4 Ways to Declutter Your Mind While Working from Home

For some, working from home during the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. From eliminating long commute times and increasing productivity levels to taking control of more aspects of daily life, remote work has proven to be a positive experience for quite a few employees during this unusual year.

Unfortunately for many others, the long-term departure from the office (on top of the anxiety-inducing effects of the pandemic) has left them feeling isolated, unmotivated, and mentally cluttered.

Much like junk drawers, kitchen cabinets, and storage closets, our minds can easily become a cluttered mess—which means they need a bit of tidying from time to time to maintain a balanced headspace.

Fortunately, if your thoughts are in a chaotic jumble due to COVID-19 and your new remote work environment, Safeguard Self Storage is here to help. With this guide, we will teach you how to declutter your mind while navigating your work-from-home experience. By doing so, you can stay mentally and emotionally sharp as we wait for society to return to normal.

1. Start a Journal

One of the easiest ways you can start decluttering your mind is to keep a journal. Whether you reach for a pocket-sized notebook or a few sheets of ruled paper, hand-writing your negative thoughts—including jotting down quick notes or creating a bulleted list—will help you get rid of mental baggage and clear your mind for daily work-related tasks.

According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, journaling reduces intrusive thoughts about negative events while improving your working memory. In fact, researchers believe these improvements free up cognitive resources for other mental activities, including our ability to effectively cope with stress.

Other benefits of journaling include:

  • Prioritizing problems, fears, and concerns in a clear manner.
  • Tracking and recognizing triggers while learning better ways to control them.
  • Identifying negative thoughts and behaviors, as well as opportunities for positive self-talk.

You don’t have to be an expert writer to get the mental health benefits of journaling, either—so don’t hesitate to write whatever you feel without worrying about proper sentence structure or grammar. 

2. Reduce News and Social Media Consumption

While staying informed about the pandemic is a good thing, too much news and social media consumption can leave your mind in a cluttered tailspin. Between spending multiple hours online each day for work and a constant flow of content from every angle, it’s easy for negative news cycles and social media posts to clutter your thoughts and even trigger depression.

Thankfully, many smartphones offer features that allow you to limit social media app use daily. For example, on iOS devices, you can use the “Screen Time” feature to set app time limits—making it easy to track how much you are interacting with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or any news application every day.  

In addition to spending less time with social media platforms, it’s important to make the right decisions when it comes to media consumption. Only follow reliable news sources for important updates and avoid click-bait articles with catchy headlines that are from unknown sources. Also, unsubscribe from unnecessary news subscriptions in your email, and do your best to organize your inbox.

3. Take On One Task at a Time

While working from home, you likely have a lot on your mind. With work-related tasks on top of looming household chores or personal errands, it can be easy to get lost in multitasking projects that do more harm than good.

If you are constantly bouncing back and forth between different tasks in an effort to complete them faster, you could be adding additional clutter into your mind—meaning your limited attention span will make it difficult to focus and absorb information. In fact, according to research conducted by the Stanford Memory Lab, heavy multitaskers actually have a reduced capacity for memory

Rather than allowing unnecessary multitasking to cause you to stress or impair your cognitive control, try to focus on a single task at a time. To help get you started, make daily checklists that begin with your most important task and end with your simplest task. This will allow you to devote all your mental brainpower to each item on your to-do list while avoiding debilitating mental clutter.

4. Streamline Your At-Home Workspace

When it comes to mental clutter, your physical workspace plays an integral role in your ability to maintain a well-balanced headspace. If your at-home office or workstation is filled with excessive stimuli, unorganized clutter, or physical distractions, your mind could be working overtime—even when you’re trying to complete simple tasks.

No matter if you are working from a kitchen table, desk, or breakfast bar, you should declutter your main workspace as soon as possible. Begin by getting rid of all unnecessary or non-essential items from your work area, as well as giving your essential items a proper place.

Clear up unruly piles of paper, take old coffee cups to your kitchen sink or dishwasher, and make sure you have plenty of space for your computer and other essential work materials. As you continue to work from home, make it a point to organize and clear your workspace every day prior to tackling your assignments.

Let Safeguard Help You Declutter Your Mind

At Safeguard Self Storage, we know the importance of having a clutter-free mind—and oftentimes that starts with having a clutter-free workspace. If you are new to working from home and you don’t have a designated, organized office area, our selection of contact-free self storage units can help you clear out space for one today.

Find your local Safeguard facility today and start taking control of your remote work environment during the pandemic.

Organizing Your Child’s Hybrid Learning Environment

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, new societal rules have taken a toll on all of us. From wearing face coverings in public spaces to working from home becoming the new normal, people across the country have changed their daily routines to curb the spread of this dangerous virus. Consequently, one group of youngsters has had to adapt to these major changes practically overnight: students.

With new regulations being implemented in schools—such as adding sneeze guards around desks or minimizing physical interaction between peers—many students have been introduced to hybrid learning for the first time. Hybrid learning combines online and in-person education into one curriculum, meaning some students can learn remotely while others learn in a traditional classroom setting simultaneously.

While hybrid learning has been around for some time, many teachers and parents are just now adopting these remote learning strategies to keep students’ exposure to a minimum while ensuring learners are still getting the education they need to succeed. But if you are a parent who is new to hybrid learning, you may be wondering how to provide your child with the best at-home educational experience possible.

At Safeguard Self Storage, we know the first step to ensuring your child stays on track while learning from home is creating an organized hybrid-learning environment. Fortunately, with these easy at-home classroom organization ideas handy, you can rest assured your child will remain focused, motivated, and excited to learn during these unusual times.

Choosing the Right Hybrid Learning Space At Home

Establishing a healthy learning environment for your child goes hand-in-hand with their ability to absorb subject matter and think critically. Rather than having them complete their coursework in common areas around your home (such as at the kitchen table or on the living room sofa), it’s important they have a designated space that’s quiet, is well-organized, and provides all of the learning tools they need in one place.

 Once you have an area picked out that’s perfect for remote learning—like a spare bedroom or office space—then you can focus on keeping your kid’s workspace clutter-free.

4 Classroom Organization Ideas for Remote Learning

From creating an easily digestible class schedule to establishing a designated area for materials, here are a few classroom organization ideas you can use to turn your child’s at-home classroom into an organizational oasis.

1. Supersize Your Child’s Class Schedule

While not a physical item, your child’s class schedule is one of the most important things to organize right away. An easy-to-read and streamlined schedule will allow your student (and you) to stay on track with their curriculum while they are out of the classroom. A fun and easy way to create a visually appealing class schedule is to dedicate an area of your wall to chalkboard paint.

 With chalkboard paint, you can create a daily calendar above your child’s desk or learning area, which makes it easy to refer to as they work on their studies throughout the day. Plus, when you need to make edits, you can easily wipe away old text and write in new. If you would rather not dedicate an area of your wall to chalkboard paint, you could also hang a large whiteboard, bulletin board, or a traditional chalkboard. 

2. Create a Curriculum Control Center

When your child’s school supplies are unorganized, it can be difficult for them to stay on track—not to mention it can be a waste of their school time if they are constantly looking for materials they need. Instead of leaving things like textbooks, notebooks, folders, and craft supplies lying around, create a curriculum control center that is a focal point for your student. Large bookshelves with extra space for individual storage bins will work perfectly for your control center.

Moveable Control Centers

If space is limited in your child’s hybrid learning environment, it might be difficult to create a permanent curriculum control center. Instead, you can create multiple moveable control centers on rolling storage carts. As a bonus, these carts can easily be wheeled away into a closet or other storage area on the weekend to free up space. 

3. Give Each School Subject Its Own Color

Speaking of keeping things organized in your curriculum control center, it is best to designate individual storage bins to each subject your child is studying. No matter if you use small plastic tubs or file holders, assign a specific color to areas of study like English, science, history, and math. Then create labels for each subject so they are easy to remember and spot on the fly.

4. Minimize Distractions with Help from Safeguard Self Storage

If your child is new to a hybrid learning environment, at-home distractions can quickly pull their attention away from getting schoolwork done—especially if you are unable to designate a dedicated learning area in your home due to limited space. Thankfully, Safeguard Self Storage is here to help your child get the most out of their remote learning experience.

Whether you need to transform a spare room or a section of your child’s bedroom into a makeshift classroom, our convenient storage solutions are here to help. With a wide selection of unit sizes and types, you can rid your child’s at-home study space from things like seasonal sports equipment, unused belongings, or clutter with ease.

Create the perfect hybrid learning environment for your child; find your local Safeguard Self Storage facility today to start saving valuable space!

Why Should We Protect the Environment?

Now more than ever, it’s critical to protect our environment in any way that we can. In fact, the health of our earth depends on it! In 2019, we experienced the second-warmest year globally in the 140-year record, with temperatures 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th-century temperature average. On top of the world warming up, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our air are at their highest in 650,000 years—and human activities like deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels are making matters worse.

As temperatures continue to rise and CO2 levels increase, our oceans are steadily warming up. This is causing sinking ice sheets, retreating glaciers, and declining Arctic sea ice—all of which are contributing to rising sea levels, displacement of people in coastal cities, shrinking habitats for animals, and an increase in extreme storms like hurricanes. With this evidence in mind, it’s easy to see why we should protect the environment.

Here at Safeguard, we know discussing our changing climate can feel daunting, as it’s easy to feel like there is nothing we can do to make things better. But we are here to tell you that working towards a healthier planet doesn’t mean drastic life changes or large investments.

With this guide on how to protect the environment, you will be equipped to make subtle changes in your everyday routine that help reduce human-generated carbon emissions and slow down our earth’s rising temperatures. Additionally, you’ll discover how Safeguard has taken steps to make our storage facilities green.

How to Protect the Environment: 8 Simple Ways

Understanding how to protect the environment is the first step to making earth-friendly changes in your everyday life. With these 8 simple steps, you can implement changes that have a positive impact on your local community, ecosystem, and our environment as a whole: 

1. Remember the Four “R’s”

Protecting the environment every day is as simple as remembering to reduce, recycle, reuse, and repeat. Avoid taking freebies at events and purchasing cheaply made goods (especially clothing from fast-fashion retailers) that are on sale. Oftentimes, things we consume end up in a landfill, in the back of a closet, or in a junk drawer, so focus on buying only essential items or things that are built to last.

When it comes to recycling, try to stay away from single-use plastic cups, bottles, and straws and instead opt for reusable containers. This goes for ordering take-out food, too, as many types of food containers are plastic and non-biodegradable. When grocery shopping, try not to forget those reusable bags! If you do, don’t be afraid to ask for paper bags instead of plastic.

2. Change Up Your Transportation

If you own a car but live in a city with public transit, try to limit the use of your personal vehicle as much as possible. From city buses to subways, public transportation is much more fuel-efficient than individual cars or trucks. This goes for carpooling with friends, family, or coworkers, too!

If you’d rather not use public transit or carpool, consider biking to more places on the weekends. Not only will this cut your carbon emissions down to zero, but you’ll also get a great workout.

Happen to be in the market for a new car? Many vehicle manufacturers are producing long-range, all-electric vehicles that eliminate the need for gasoline entirely. Plus, with an electric vehicle, you’ll save money by avoiding the fluctuating oil prices at the pump.

3. Switch Your Light Bulbs

While it may seem simple, choosing energy-efficient light bulbs in your home or apartment will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions overnight. And, as a tip, always remember to flip off your light switches, TV, and any other electronic device when you are not actively using it.

4. Consume Less Water

And we’re not encouraging you to drink less water—stay hydrated! From brushing your teeth to taking a shower, conserving water at home starts with self-discipline. Try to limit the amount of time you spend in the shower, always turn off the water while you brush your teeth, and only run your dishwasher or laundry machine when you have a full load.

When it comes to watering plants or landscaping, consider collecting rainwater for future use rather than always using your hose. Also, make sure to take a tour of your space frequently to ensure you don’t have any leaky faucets.

5. Install a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are an easy way to conserve electricity, as your thermostat contributes to nearly half of your energy bill. With a smart thermostat installed, your system will learn your home temperature patterns and adjust according to whether you are home or not. Simply put, it conserves energy by pulling back on heating and cooling when your home is not occupied. As a bonus, installing a smart thermostat will save you money on your electricity bill.

6. Utilize Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

If you purchase traditional cleaners—such as laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, all-purpose cleaner, or toilet bowl cleaner—they will come filled with harmful chemicals that run down your drain and eventually find their way into our waterways. When shopping for cleaners, look for products made with non-toxic ingredients in biodegradable containers. Not only will this keep our waterways and wildlife safe, but it will also prevent plastic from filling up our landfills.

7. Shop Local

If you stop and think about where your everyday products come from, many are most likely shipped from areas across the world (especially if you’re an avid online shopper). Alarmingly, the transportation industry is responsible for 28.2% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, making it the largest producer of CO2 out of all of our economic sectors.

While fast shipping and large selections from online retailers may be alluring, opt to shop locally for as many products as you can, such as package-free food from your local farmers market. 

8. Start a Compost

Food waste is a large contributor to the trash cycle, not to mention it is responsible for a significant portion of methane emissions in landfills. Rather than simply tossing out your fruit peels, veggie scraps, or coffee grounds, you can create a low-maintenance compost pile at home. Composting reduces the need to use chemical fertilizers in your lawn, enriches your soil, and lowers your carbon footprint.

Safeguard’s Green Initiatives