Decluttering is an essential part of your personal journey to a happier you. It is also an important principle of self-care, as getting rid of things you don’t need can help you to live lighter and stress less.
Why do we clutter in the first place? Well, it’s part of our modern-day consumer culture.
As Massage Magazine explains,
“We have clutter for many reasons, but most of it is ingrained in our culture. We’re told by people on television we need the newest and best things. We go to stores and are told we need more. It all looks so good we just can’t help ourselves.”
Moreover, clutter is not just material things, but also emotional things that weigh you down. I challenge you to get rid of everything that weighs you down by decluttering your life and your space so that you can live lighter and happier.
By sharing the following tips, I hope to make your decluttering mission a bit easier:
Declutter your life
If you simplify your life, you will experience more freedom. Get rid of baggage that weighs you down and open up yourself to the possibility of living lighter.
Decluttering your mind
- Learn to let go of negative thoughts and emotions.
- Tell the truth – lies and secrets build up and feelings of guilt can become very heavy.
- Avoid (heavy) multi-tasking. Rather single-task as much as possible to reduce stress.
- Do breathing exercises to relieve stress and improve concentration.
- Keep a journal to analyse and organise your thoughts.
- Rethink negative, burdensome friendships.
- Clean up your Facebook news feed (e.g. hide people who are constantly negative).
- Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read.
- Remove books from your “to read” list if you didn’t get past the first chapter. It’s okay to let go.
- Leave WhatsApp and Facebook groups that add nothing to your day.
Declutter your space
Decluttering your room
Your bedroom should be an “oasis of calm and order”. And it can be if you keep it neat and uncluttered.
- Keep your room clean and dust-free.
- Install hooks in your room to avoid tossing your clothes and bags on the floor, the bed or a chair.
- Use pretty trays and bowls to contain clutter such as jewellery and knickknacks.
- Use corner shelves to save space.
- Place your throw pillows and extra blankets overnight in a basket next to your bed.
- Invest in storage furniture such as storage benches and beds with built-in storage underneath
Decluttering your closet
Aim to turn your wardrobe into a capsule wardrobe: a small collection of essential, versatile pieces that you love to wear. Your thinned-out closet will be less stressful, less time-consuming, and more convenient.
- Ask yourself, “Did I wear this piece in the last year?” If the answer is no, give it away.
- Remove clothes that don’t fit you anymore once and for all.
- Reduce clothing often by keeping a donation bin nearby.
- Instead of falling into the trend purchase trap, embrace your favourite timeless fashion.
- Ask “How did I feel the last time I wore this?” If the answer is negative, consider getting rid of the piece.
- When cleaning out your closet, get a friend to help to prevent you from hoarding.
- Experiment with less by placing half of your clothing in a different room for two weeks and only wearing what’s left in your closet.
Decluttering your office
By decluttering your workspace, you will have much fewer distractions, allowing you to be more focused. Moreover, walking into a clean office each day will encourage you to make the most of the day and its new opportunities.
- Re-evaluate your office supplies by asking yourself: “Does this item have a purpose?”
- Use the breadbox test to stay organised: If it’s smaller than a breadbox, hide it away in a drawer.
- Reduce your notes and paperwork by storing things digitally.
- Organise your cables – there are many tips and tricks available on the internet.
- Organise your pens and pencils in pen holders instead of pencil cases.
- Declutter your computer’s desktop.
- Clear off your desk once a day (preferably in the evenings): Put things away and throw away old notes, dry pens, etc.