202

How to de-clutter your space, mind and finances for 2016

iStock/Thinkstock

(NEW YORK) — It’s important to be in the right frame of mind for the new year.

On Monday ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts brought together a panel of pros — organizational expert June Saruwatari, financial expert Nicole Lapin and psychologist Debbie Magids — to explain how to reboot your mind, body and soul in 2016.

They offered the following advice for getting your life organized:

Clean Your Space

Saruwatari, the author of Behind the Clutter: Truth.Love.Meaning.Purpose, tackled the issue of guilt, saying that people often feel guilty because they’ve spent money on something they don’t need and won’t use, or were given something that they don’t like.

Saruwatari advised that people transform that guilt into gratitude by giving the unused item to someone in need. If you’re not ready to take that step, you can start by cleaning your desk. If it’s messy, just sweep everything off the table and you’ll feel more free, she said.

For people who may feel overwhelmed by what’s facing them, Saruwatari said you can start de-cluttering one step at a time, one space at a time. Rather than facing a mountain of stuff, they can make progress by doing one small thing at a time.

Get Your Financial House in Order

Lapin suggested Saruwatari’s advice applies to finances as well. She suggested creating a spending plan of the three essentials: transportation, food and housing. Seventy percent of your budget should be directed for these essentials, she said. Then, 15 percent of your money should go for retirement or a vacation, and the remaining 15 percent should be allotted to cover extras, she said.

She advised that people place the money for those extras on a pre-paid card at the beginning of each month, and when that money runs out, the party’s over until the following month.

She also suggested keeping small indulgences, such as keeping that morning latte in your routine.

“You allow yourself small indulgences so you end up staying on track and don’t binge later on,” Lapin said. “If you cut out everything cold turkey, you are starved and so deprived and then you end up splurging on something super expensive later on.”

Overcome Negative Thinking

To get rid of negative thoughts that could cloud your mind, stop it with a pop. That is, take that negative thought, stay “stop” to it, and replace it with a new thought, said Magids, who holds a doctoral degree in counseling psychology.

One way of doing that is to use actual balloons. Write down every negative thought that keeps popping into your head, out loud say “stop” and then pop the balloon, Magids said.

“You automatically go into a positive feeling and de-clutter,” she said.

Magids also recommended that people go to sleep with positive thoughts at the end of the day. Doing that will allow those thoughts to seep into the subconscious, she said. She mentioned the “1, 3, 5” rule: in the 10 minutes before you go to sleep, think of one thing you did to help someone and pay it forward, think of three things that day that made you happy and grateful and meditate for the remaining five minutes, she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.