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What is clutter?
Clutter is anything that you no longer need, no longer use, or which no longer serves you. Examples include, useless computer files, worn-out jeans, or an unfulfilling relationship. Decluttering therefore, is simply the process of removing these things from your life, and/or reorganising these things in a way which minimizes clutter.
Most of us are drowning in clutter – an overwhelming sense of ‘too much’ in virtually every aspect of our lives. Take physical clutter for example – the average home has over 300,000 items of clutter. This is a problem because the more clutter we have, the harder it becomes for us to remain ‘present.’ Think about it – so much of the clutter we have is associated with memories, which distract us from being present now. Other clutter can just affect our concentration/create mind fog which also affects our presence.
Being less present can weigh you down and make you feel chronically tired and drained of energy, often leaving you feeling frazzled on a daily basis. It can distract you and affect your concentration, meaning it takes you much longer to do things, whilst at the same time making it easier to feel overwhelmed. It can even compound feelings of anger, sadness and depression, and can make it more difficult to maintain positive emotions. Clutter has a very real and negative affect on both your physical and mental health, including your overall enjoyment of life.
On an energetic level, clutter blocks the flow of abundance, getting in the way of the success we are reaching for. When we have clutter and unwanted stuff in our lives, there isn’t space for the abundance we are seeking – be it more time with our family and friends, more money, or so forth. This makes it challenging to feel grateful and truly appreciate the things we have. So, if you’re serious about living more in the present including manifesting and welcoming abundance, health and happiness into your life, then here are some essential things to declutter…
Declutter your stuff/physical environment:
This is what most of us think of when we think of clutter and applies to the physical space you spend your time in on a day-to-day basis: your home, your workspace and so forth. Before you begin decluttering, just take a minute to sit quietly and imagine your ideal life/the vision you hold for yourself. This includes the abundance you want, the success you need to achieve, and the place you want to be in the next 12months. Then when you come across items like a pile of old recipe magazines, or that piece of art you bought when you were younger, ask yourself if these items are part of that vision. If not then you need to get rid of them/clear that space so that abundance can come in. To do this, simply sort everything into 3 piles/large boxes:
Keep – Keep only the things that you love, use frequently and which meets the high standard of the improved version of your life you’re working toward.
Donate – Not only does donating an unwanted item help to save our environment, but it also helps someone else in need too. Donating an item, rather than trashing it, can often make the process of letting go much easier too. If you feel the item is too valuable to donate, then you can always auction it online.
Trash – Recycle what you can of course, but if it is junk then trash it. If your still having difficulty deciding what to trash and what to keep, because you’re unsure if the item fits your vision, then you could also ask yourself… ‘If I were to move to another country tomorrow then what would I bring with me?’ If the item isn’t on your list, then it’s time to trash it.
Armed with these 3 steps, now it’s time to get rid of any physical clutter…
Declutter your home:
*Kitchen – declutter items such as unused or excessive cookbooks, cooking utensils, dish towels, baking/corning ware, cleaning supplies, mixing bowls, oven mitts/hot pads, tupperware or other food storage, cutlery, glasses/coffee mugs, dishware, spices, pantry items, fridge/freezer items, kitchen gadgets, small kitchen appliances, medicine/vitamins, etc.
*Bedrooms – declutter items such as bills and paperwork, ditch technology like computers and television, bedside table, dressers, tallboys and cupboards including unworn clothes, shelves, under the bed, piles of clothes, cosmetics and products, books, etc.
*Garage – should be for storing your cars, so declutter items such as extra refrigerator, freezers, washing machines/dryers, yard and garden tools, bikes, golf clubs, kids toys, tools, etc. Some of these items are best stored in a shed.
*Office workspace – both at home/work – declutter items such as random paper, out dated technology including software, mystery cords/cables, broken equipment, excess office supplies, empty ink cartridges, old books, etc.
*Car – Collect everything from your car and return it to where it belongs – kids toys go back to the kid’s room, paper work in the office and mail in the mail tray. Remove rubbish every time you get petrol, and keep only essential items in your glove box.
*Other possessions – It’s important to realise that the more you own – be it investment homes, cars, toys, pets, or whatever else, the greater the upkeep/clutter (time, energy and effort) in your life. By striving to live a more minimalistic/simple lifestyle, you can free yourself from more clutter.
Do a digital declutter:
*Declutter your computer – delete unused files and programs, delete excessive icons on your desktop, clear the Recycle Bin regularly, delete movies once watched, store information in a file share or cloud system, set up an auto archive on your email, unsubscribe from email lists/newsletters, excessive RSS feeds, switch of all notifications, reduce your email accounts, use automated inbox sorting, clean up your bookmarks, organize your photos into folders by date and/or event, defrag/clean disk, defriend, unfollow, and in general clean out your social newsfeeds and switch off notifications, etc.
*Declutter your phone – Delete unused apps and hide less frequently used apps, create folders and sort apps by usage or tasks, keep your home screen minimal, use cloud storage, stream music, backup photos then delete, etc.
Other things to declutter:
Declutter your heart – We do this by living true to ourselves, meaning living in alignment with who we are, including doing whatever it is that we want to do in life. Because if we don’t, then we will continue to have a constant flow of drama/emotional baggage/clutter in our lives. Also, too often in life we hold onto resentment and fail to forgive either ourselves or those who have hurt us along the way. Doing so keeps us locked in the past, robbing us of our gratitude, and filling our mind with more mental stress and clutter – and yes, even if we think that we have let go of it! So, a really important aspect of living true here is to ensure to be the bigger person, meaning to let go of any heaviness in your heart/emotional clutter, by practicing forgiveness – for both yourself and for others too. See past the things that have hurt or disappointed you as steppingstones and lessons to be learned from.
Declutter your relationships – We’re all directly influenced by the people we choose to surround ourselves with. Often in life we hold on to toxic relationships which do little other than drain our energy. But like the saying goes – people often come into your life for a reason, a season or a life time. If your relationship with another is not allowing you to grow and to feel happy, then it is no longer serving you and you need to let it go. Declutter these relationships and surround yourself only with those people who love and support you, and which you enjoy being around.
Declutter your health & well-being: There is an overwhelming amount of information available today on how best to achieve optimum health and well-being, much of which is both incorrect and damn right confusing. However, it doesn’t have to be, because I’ve summed up everything you need to do to achieve optimal health and well-being in a clutter-free way – by focusing your energy on just 3 key areas – what you chew, what you do and living true.
Declutter your faith – Some of us follow certain faiths – be it religion or some other spiritual belief, that do nothing more than to add more clutter to our lives. This includes beliefs like praying a certain way/at certain times of the day, wearing a particular item of clothing, needing to attend your place of worship at least once per week, etc. The truth is that all of these things are false, and are of no value because the creator loves us all the same regardless of what you do or don’t do. So, if you want to declutter your life, then ditch any man-made doctrines/rules which say that you must do this or that, and instead just be a good person.
Declutter your finances – pay down debt including the amount of loans you have, set up automatic bill pay for recurring expenses, pay upfront instead of interest free, consolidate accounts, go paperless when it comes to utility bills/credit card/bank statements, etc. You can also ditch your paper receipts and use an app such as One Receipt to take pictures of your receipts and organize them digitally. Automate savings, outsource your tax return to an accountant or investable assets to a financial advisor. Also, don’t forget to declutter your wallet too.
Declutter your meals – Eating is something we have to do several times per day, every day of the week. If we are not organised in this area, it can be a constant cause of clutter in our lives. Plan and prepare what you will eat for the week ahead. This way you won’t waste time making multiple trips to the supermarket wandering aimlessly up each aisle, trying to decide what to cook for dinner. Also get into the habit of preparing meals in advance.
When you stay consistent, and stick to these decluttering tips, you will find yourself feeling less stressed and happier. The key is to make the time to do this otherwise it just won’t happen, so start today and start small. Begin by cleaning up your physical clutter first and then move on to the other areas of clutter in your life.
Q.What area of your life do you most need to declutter and why?
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