Give Yourself a Dose of Digital Minimalism

Your home may be the very picture of #minimalism after you used all of the at-home time in the last year to #declutter and #donate your extra stuff to ClothingDonations.org. But your digital life may also need a good dose of minimalism. “Distracting ourselves with videos, TV episodes and quick online reads is a poor substitute for our prepandemic plans,” StudyBreaks says. Spending less time may offer you the space to tackle long-term goals, so now’s the time to do a “digital decluttering” to make time for offline pursuits.

Minimalism Doesn’t Mean Austerity

Think #minimalism means an austere lifestyle? Think again! You don’t have to sleep on a bamboo mat, wear the same outfit every day or drink only loose-leaf tea. But it does mean that you slowly pare away the things that don’t matter or get in the way of your focus — or avoid buying them in the first place. Advertising continuously assaults the psyche to create wants for things that aren’t really that necessary or useful. Minimalism (and its post-purchase streamlining strategy, #decluttering) counters that by helping one focus on the people, things and experiences that matter most.

Minimalism Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Think #minimalism is stark or boring? Think again! When you can eliminate household décor items that aren’t meaningful or beautiful, you get a home that holds things that are of true significance to your life, Becoming Minimalist says. Photos, artwork, natural elements and travel souvenirs will create more warmth and interest than store-bought tchotchkes because they inspire memories and associations. Take a hard look at your spaces and #declutter and #donate anything that’s only there to take up space or doesn’t have a deeper meaning to yourself and your family.

Keeping the Spring Travel Bug at Bay

It has now been a full year since #lockdowns against the novel #coronavirus went into effect worldwide, shutting down in-person gatherings such as concerts, conventions, school and sporting events. People canceled their trips due to travel restrictions, and most haven’t boarded a plane since.

A year later, the prospect of taking a pleasure trip has improved. With three COVID-19 vaccines being administered nationwide, many of the most vulnerable segments of the population are starting to get some protection against the disease. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and you may still want to hold off on planning that jaunt.

Spring fever, of course, is an affliction that worsens with the rising temperatures. You probably want to go out and do something — anything — that involves fresh air, sun, scenery and social interactions. For the next few months, however, the safest bet is to get creative while breaking the routine.

One safe way to shake up the routine is to take a “staycation,” Everyday Health says. Just set aside time to create your own spa experience, meditate or explore parts of your own hometown on foot. You can also try bring one of your dream destinations home for a night; if you can’t go to Italy, for example, make some fresh pasta and cue up a Fellini film.

If you absolutely must get out of town to preserve your sanity, consider taking a camping trip with the people in your family or “pod,” says the Washington Post. If you observe masking and social distancing rules with anyone unfamiliar, camping is one of the safest ways to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the spread of the virus.

One thing the Organizing Blog advises doing in the spring is a thorough #cleaning and #decluttering. Throw open the windows and enjoy the fresh air as you scour; once you sort out extra stuff you don’t need and #donate it to ClothingDonations.org, your home will be much more livable.

One more way to keep the travel bug at bay is to plan your dream trip(s) for the future. Experts say that domestic travel could return to normal once most people are vaccinated, and that is currently targeted to happen by the start of summer. International travel may have to wait a while longer, depending on the destination.

When you decide to travel again, you’ll have that much more pent-up anticipation for your trip — and maybe enjoy it more thoroughly as a result. But wherever you go, stay safe: Wear a mask, wash your hands and observe social distancing. Travel is fantastic food for the soul, but you don’t want to gamble with your health.

Declutter Before Deep-Cleaning

The snows of February are melting, and warmer weather is on the way. But before you can enjoy the outdoors in your shirtsleeves again, make time in your schedule to tackle the spring cleaning. To get started on a deep clean, sort out anything that isn’t going to be useful next winter, such as the sweaters nobody wore, the blankets that don’t match and the holiday decorations you didn’t put up. Bag them and schedule a free #donation #pickup from ClothingDonations.org so that a new home can enjoy them next winter.