When I got married, I quit my job. I knew I would not have enough time to be the kind of wife that I wanted to be, and a good secretary. There were a lot of things that I quit when I got married. All music and band activities ceased. A lot of social functions and side projects (like selling things on Ebay) got cut because I now had new priorities. At least for this first year of marriage, my husband and I have committed to not putting extra "stuff" on our calendar. It is busy enough WITHOUT me signing up for everything that sounds good or fun.
Getting rid of calendar clutter is a lot harder than getting rid of physical clutter. Why? Because you have to deal with people. You have to tell people "I can't", "I won't" and "no". I can't do (insert activity) anymore, I won't do (insert activity) for you in the future. This can upset some people, especially if you are accustomed to saying "yes" to everyone. Some people might try to manipulate you with guilt or anger. I used to think that I was obligated to do something if I was free that day. If I didn't want to do it, I would lie and tell them I had something else going that day, or come up with something to .do, because it sounds better than "I just don't want to". The problem with this approach is that people keep coming back for more. They didn't hear "no", they heard "later". It's important that you say what you mean. If you have integrity in this way, people will respect you and your time, without demanding explanations.
Consider whether certain activities are in line with your personal and family goals or if they are actually fighting against those goals. For me, a conflicting goal was music. I love music and at one time I was playing in three different groups. However, I married a man whose primary goals did not revolve around music. If I continued to spend so much time playing in bands, we would not go anywhere as a team. I would be pulling one way, and he would be pulling another way. We would have different goals. So for now, playing music is on the back burner. This doesn't make me sad; it's just a different season in my life and I cannot do everything.
It's important to identify what got you so busy in the first place, and to modify your behavior so it doesn't happen again. My problems were beating around the bush when I wanted to say no, and also having a million different interests and trying to follow them all at the same time. Life got easier when I realized that I could give a firm no, and when I intentionally stopped certain activities so I could get better at others. Example: I put most all of my efforts into gardening and writing this summer, and almost no effort into sewing or painting, which are also things I want to pursue. I will have time for those things later.
You will not believe how easier life becomes when you start protecting your time and saying "no". Suddenly you can actually accomplish things because you are focused and not spread thin, serving everyone and their neighbor. You can actually do a good job at your most important roles in life.
Edit: After nearly a year of marriage, Hubs and I were able to play music again and help out the worship team at church. During the winter, after gardening season, we were able to go to Guatemala for nearly a month, and I was able to spend more time sewing. Learn to say "no" until the time is right!
Do you have a problem with calendar clutter? What has helped you say "no" to unnecessary activities?