The holidays are just around the corner, and the year is coming to a close – can you believe it? With a new year approaching, now is the perfect time to reflect on what your life looks like, both physically and mentally, and make the necessary adjustments to feel lighter and less stressed.
Time passes quickly, and life can easily become cluttered without even realizing it. Whether it’s your closet filled with too many knit sweaters, your kitchen cabinet storing expired baking mixes, or your mind consumed with redundant thoughts, clutter can cause us to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and restless. Clutter can also make us react impulsively instead of taking the time to make well-thought-out decisions.
Clutter comes in many forms; it’s not just that junk drawer in your kitchen, your office desk hoarding old papers, or your email inbox growing by the hour. There is also mental clutter – the things that are always on your mind. Primary food – your relationships, career, home environment, social life, and more – fills your thoughts and can affect your body and your health.
Many people dread the process of decluttering, but it doesn’t have to be so painful! Here are a few ways to remove clutter from your life so you can feel more relaxed and relieved.
Write It Down
What has been consuming your mind with more clutter than necessary? Notice where you feel content and where you can find more space for welcoming new opportunities that will bring health and happiness into your life. Is it a career you’re unsatisfied in, a relationship you want out of, or a discussion with an old friend you’ve been putting off for weeks? Write down the areas of your life that are constantly in the back of your mind and need to be addressed. A great first step in understanding what is truly disturbing your concentration and productivity is putting it on paper and seeing it in real life. Writing things down can help prioritize what is going on and identify what is truly causing stress.
For material items, write down the places you know need to be cleaned out. Then, put time on your calendar to thoughtfully go through your drawers, cabinets, closets, and computers.
If there’s something you know you want to change in your life that is cluttering your mind, take small steps. It could be adjusting your current routine to have one less commitment to free up more time for yourself or simply starting to research how you can pursue a passion that you want to turn into a career. The same goes for clearing your physical space. There is no need to hurry through cleaning your house or office in one day. Start by organizing your T-shirt drawer or throwing out old bathroom products that you haven’t used in months.
Take small strides toward reducing clutter by schedule time each day or over the weekend to start. It may feel like you don’t have time to do it, but to feel more focused and productive in life, it’s important to make time. Commit to doing what you have scheduled and make it a priority, but don’t rush through it.
Often, when going through our belongings, we hold onto things we don’t need by creating unlikely scenarios in our head, just to feel better about keeping them. It’s not uncommon to build an emotional connection with items that serve no purpose to us. A good rule for getting rid of unneeded items is if you haven’t worn it, used it, or touched it all year, it’s time to toss it. Instead of just throwing it in the garbage, though, find a way to do good by donating it! By donating your unused goods, they won’t go to waste and can be extremely useful for someone else. Knowing that you’re helping someone in need can make this minimization process much easier.
What are your tips for reducing clutter? Tell us in the comments below!