Declutter Your Life, Declutter Your Mind
Have you ever felt absolutely stuck and restless at the same time? These two particular feelings could be a red flag that something is blocking you in your everyday life. 9 times out of 10 that something is just clutter. Decluttering your life will definitely help you: I’ll tell you why.
What is Clutter?
It’s old cinema tickets. Bags you used to love but are worn out and that you don’t wear anymore. Expired lipsticks. Sales receipts in your pockets. Old phone chargers. Magazines. Costume jewelry. Dry nail polish bottles. Ripped stockings, “just-in-case” stuff, memories.
Do you really need to keep it all? Are you hoarding stuff because of some bigger issue? Could it be that you are terribly scared of letting go?
Even if all the clutter in your life could be a sign of some bigger issue, you can still take action and keep things under control. Which actually in this case is doing the opposite: letting go and accepting you have no control. Sometimes we deceive ourselves in order to maintain an illusion of control over our lives. The sooner you accept you have no control, the better off you’ll be. All the stuff you own doesn’t make you any better, and it won’t help you in case something goes wrong. What that stuff is doing is weighing you down. That stuff is stealing space from new things coming in. Let it go. Take the leap. When your energies are flowing, when you feel relieved and therefore less stressed, everything you need will come your way. Except clutter!
How to Declutter Your Life
The key to bring a decluttering operation to a successful completion is starting small. Don’t try to declutter your whole house, office space, email inbox, thoughts and relationships all at once. You’ll most likely fail and keep drowning in your own clutter.
Start small. Choose one field in your life you wish to declutter now and start from there. Let me guide you through some of the most popular “decluttering routines”.
Declutter your Mind
This one should be a priority for everyone, but we all know how human beings are not famous for getting their priorities right. Clutter in your mind = stress. Also, stress will create more clutter, which creates more stress. You get the point.
What can help you decluttering your mind?
- A constant practice. No matter what you choose, make it a constant in your daily routine. Whether it’s watering your plants or doing a 15 minutes yoga sequence every day, make it a habit. The key here is to only think about what you’re doing for the whole time you’re doing it. If you’re not used to clearing your mind you might want to start with a short task and then go for something a little more challenging.
- Meditation. Does it need an explanation? Choose a meditation practice you like, try them all until you find the one you feel most comfortable doing. It will help you a lot.
- Acceptance. Accepting whatever is going on in your life creates miracles. If you accept everything, you’ll stop trying to figure out solutions for you and everyone around you, which will translate into less stress and less mind clutter. Accept, trust, and you will figure it out.
Declutter your House
Decluttering your house is just as important as decluttering your mind. Also, just as stress and clutter are strictly correlated, clutter in your surroundings and clutter in your mind are related too. Working and living in a cluttered place will add up to the confusion and won’t help you living a stress-free life and keep the energies flowing.
If you live with other people and you happen to live out of your bedroom, this can be crucial to your personal development and to get rid of stress. It also can be more of a challenge because you sometimes have little to no control on common spaces when you live with roomates, but you can make it work. Start from your room and from the rooms you spend more time in.
- Start small. For the love of God, don’t do my mistake. When I get on a decluttering whim I always throw everything out of bookshelves, closets, I shove everything on my desk on the floor and I start going through that mountain of clutter. If you care about your sanity, don’t do this. Start small. Start by decluttering ONE shelf at a time. Do one thing every day, but don’t try to do all at once. It will only create frustration and a sense of overwhelm!
- Get some big plastic bags. When I declutter, I’m serious about it. I get those big black bin bags and I dive in. You need those bags close to you so you can put everything you want to get rid of in them.
- Recycle. This is very important. Don’t just throw everything away. If you can donate to someone, do it. If you can sell something that you don’t use anymore, do it. You will keep energies balanced if you get something back from your decluttering, whether it’s gratitude or a little cash. When it comes to garbage, keep your bags separate of course: plastic, paper, glass. Keep your non-recyclable waste at a minimum: you will feel less guilty about throwing all that stuff in the bin!
- Keep things tidy. As far as I love a good declutter, it’s easier if you don’t hoard in the first place. Next time you feel the urge to buy that set of cute notebooks think about your bookshelf, bent under the weight of all the paper you hoarded over the past.
Declutter your Closet
This is my favourite one. I was going to say “this is crucial for us women” when I had a flash of my boyfriend closet. He’s still got t-shirts from middle school, so this is pretty crucial for both genders (and those in between). Unless you’re Carrie Bradshaw, I’m confident you can declutter your wardrobe in one session. These are the key questions you need to ask yourself for each piece in order to keep it, give it away, or put in the “maybe pile” (the one you’ll go through again in a few weeks).
- Have you worn this item over the past two weeks?
- Does this have a sentimental value?
- Do you feel good when wearing it?
- Is this what you wear when you have no clue on what to wear?
Keep that item. You obviously love it and you’ll keep wearing it.
- Has it been sitting in your closet for over a year?
- Is it ripped beyond repair?
- Is it worn out, does it look cheap?
- Does it still have a hangtag attached?
- Was it gifted but not really your style?
Give it away. There’s no way you’re going to wear it anytime soon, and it’s only stealing space from the clothes you’d wear! Don’t throw clothes and accessories in the bin: organize a swap party, bring your clothes to a charity shop, try to sell the most valuable items, gift them to people you know, host a giveaway.
- Be honest: did you forget you had it?
- Is it too small or too big for you?
Put it in the “maybe” pile. Now that you remember you had it, you could wear it or take it to a seamstress to fit your size. If it’s still there in a weeks without any change, you might as well give it away.
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About the Author
Hey, it's Elisa, founder of styleonvega.com. I'm a social media strategist & consultant by day and blogger by night (honing my multitasking skills since 2006 ;). I'm an atypical Italian, freedom lifestyle advocate and modern spirituality enthusiast. Feel like we could get along? Join me just above this box or get in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter.