The five strategies I use to clear my house and my mind

Photo of a tidy bedroom.
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When I moved across the country from my family I took whatever I could fit in three suitcases and a carry-on. Unintentionally, I had become a minimalist.

Unfortunately, that didn’t last too long. Over the past two years, I have accumulated quite a lot of, well, clutter. I lived with it for a while. But then I got tired of it.

Slowly, one day at a time, I’ve been decluttering.

I’ve found a consistent system to get things out, and over time I’ve cleared out a lot from my house. Decluttering became a routine. It became a habit.

I talk…


Understanding this can aid introspection, help you advance your career, and improve your empathy for others

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The age old debate of nature vs nurture is in some ways futile. Both are influential to our growth, development, and our personality.

Even two siblings who have been brought up the same, will experience different things. Different friends, different interactions with their parents, different classes in grade schools, different career paths, and different relationships.

We are all a product of our experiences.

And as much as this may appear to be common sense, we forget it in our day to day lives.

We judge too quickly. We are dumfounded as to why someone may have made the choices they…


Just as we should give our past selves grace for the things we cannot change, we should also give our current selves a chance to actively improve

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You hear this hypothetical question a lot — if you could go back and time and tell your past self something, what would you say?

I’ve thought a lot about this. Part of me thinks about the million mistakes I would love to change. I would make myself a better person, kinder, less selfish. I would say different things, make different decisions, and give myself the advice I wish someone else had told me.

But at the same time, I wouldn’t want to utter a word.

We would not be who we are had we not experienced what we have…


Once you understand that you have the freedom to change, you understand that almost every aspect of you life is malleable.

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I’ve written before about how there’s always an exit in life. There’s a way out, if you will. But this concept is more important than just feeling trapped in your current career, relationship, or location. It’s about understanding mobility.

It’s understanding that sometimes, you have to make your own exit.

In this article I spoke about utilizing your exits. Breaking your lease, dropping out of school, quitting your job, or other ways in which you can find and use the exit that is available to you when life has gone awry and you feel trapped.

Sometimes though, this exit is…


Address the root cause of burnout before burning down your career

A woman resting her head wearily on a balcony overlooking a city.
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Burnout is, unfortunately, a universal phenomenon. We’ve all felt it at some point. Whether it’s feeling burnout at the end of a long day or a perpetual feeling that doesn’t escape you even on your days off — we’ve all felt burnout in some capacity.

I’ve recently gotten better at combatting my burnout. Partly, this is through saying no more frequently. But, more importantly, I’ve learned to incorporate some daily habits which improve my stress level and my work-life balance.

I realized my issue was not my work itself, but how I handled my work. …


Part two in a series of self-awareness and self-improvement

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I’ve written a lot about habits. My latest, was an assessment of my own good and bad habits. Self-awareness is a critical precursor to self-improvement.

So, this is part two to this piece. The hope is that the further I assess my own habits, the more it may spark ideas in your own mind about what you’re doing well or what could stand improvement.

Now, I do think how we speak about the things that need improvement is important. I use the term bad habits because its simple and clear. However, I truly prefer the term “needs improvement.” A “bad”…


The appetizer should be so good you’re excited for the main course, and the main course must be so delicious that you can’t leave without dessert

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Every writer wants people to read their work. We want you to read every word we’ve scribbled on the paper. We want you to feel everything we felt as we wrote the words and more.

But, it’s sadly quite common for not every word to be read. Readers skim to get the idea for your piece and then move on to the next.

It’s not that they are necessarily unappreciative, it’s just that they’re busy. If they don’t perceive the value quickly, they’ll move on.

How do you make your work influential enough that every word becomes prioritized?

Here are…


And the problem with the “hustle mentality”

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“Hustle mentality” has become a buzzword as influencers emphasize all you need is a mindset to be successful and if you don’t have this mindset, failure is imminent.

Not only is this an incorrect statement, it can be harmful to those who by default put 150% into everything as well as those who adopt a hustle mentality but don’t have the resources to be successful. This leads to pouring more and more into your venture, without sufficient return on investment.

Both of these circumstances also lead to burnout.

I’m not here to tell you that you don’t need to work…


Setting expectations means nothing without enforcement

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I bought a house with my mother before beginning my PhD program, as I knew I’d be in the same area for at least 5 years.

Through the process, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons. I learned what I actually wanted in a home (and a neighborhood)-

I learned how to negotiate-

and I learned lessons through the renovation process-

But I also learned how to be landlord, through renting out two of the rooms in my 3 bedroom house. …


To form better habits you first have to assess your current routine

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Recently, I sat down and wrote down my habits. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Sometimes, our habits are so involuntary they are unconscious. The only way to form better habits or to eliminate the bad, is to first understand what habits are there.

I challenge you to take some time to assess your habits. You just may improve your daily routine.

Here’s how I assessed my own routine.

What Are Habits?

According to Merriam Webster, habits are-

“An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary”

After writing a few articles on the nature of habits, and their…

Trudy Horsting

Writer. PhD Student. Frugal Traveler. Passionate about health, personal growth, and saving money.

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