Finally, a reprieve from the dark despair of winter. (SAD anyone?) Welcome back sunshine, longer days and promising weather. Time to dive back into outdoor activities, wear fewer layers and our favorite springtime activity— spring cleaning. Whether you are gearing up for your first travel assignment or finishing your seventeenth, taking a good hard look at what you own (and what you can get rid of) can be a game changer.
Declutter Your Life
“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don't.” - Marie Kondō
First and foremost what do you own? So many of us continue to acquire things we do not need because we forget what we already have! Take stock of all your belongings. This means unstuffing your closet, tearing apart that old hallway closet, delving into the garage or shed and even tackling your car. Getting eyes on your stuff again can bring that “new purchase” rush without actually buying a thing. Now that you know what you have...what can you toss?
Still holding on to those textbooks and notebooks from school? The intention to revisit and restudy material is a good one, but there are different (and much lighter) ways to achieve the same goal. Ditch the old textbooks, notebooks and printouts. There are eBooks, online databases and apps which can provide much (or all) of the information you’re looking for. Ask your new colleagues for info and find an updated resource from your place of work. Forgot a certain process or procedure? YouTube it. If you graduated recently from school, chances are your notes, papers and books are already kept digitally within the confines of a computer or iPad. Even so, take a dive into the folders on your hard drive to clean up and organize any files, notes and data. Cleaning up digitally can feel just as refreshing as physically.
Cheap and easy-to-replace items shouldn’t be hoarded. Towels, shower curtains, trash cans, and plastic kitchenware are too inexpensive to waste valuable packing space. Instead, donate to a thrift store or hand them down to a fellow healthcare professional. Your work community can be a great source of people who are ready to take on any cheap or free items. As for the extra food left in your kitchen? Pack up all perishables to donate to the local food bank. The extra step taken here will make sure any uneaten food will not go to waste!
Moving is too stressful to lug around unneeded items. You’ll learn pretty fast what you really miss when it’s not there with you. If you know you’re going to be traveling for the foreseeable future, take this opportunity to realize what you need and what you don’t. Pack only the essentials. You’ll have time to regroup and reassess between assignments to better pack next time. If you are currently a travel medical professional, you have already experienced some type of minimalist living. Embrace it!
Breath of Fresh Air
Decluttering your possessions will help you refocus on what matters in your life and at your job. Packing up will seem less intimidating and moving will be less stressful knowing how little you actually need to pack. Feel light on your toes knowing you can move and establish yourself easier and more efficiently than before. Spring is a time for a shakeup. Spring clean your possessions and enjoy each day as a traveling medial pro!