In today's fast-paced world, clutter can creep into all areas of our lives, draining our energy, stifling our creativity, and hindering our productivity. But when we take a holistic approach to decluttering and go beyond just tidying up, we can unlock a world of benefits and reclaim our power to create, produce and live life to the fullest.
When we think of decluttering, we think about the piles of paperwork on our desks or the wardrobe bursting at its seams, but our whole lives are cluttered with things that don’t serve us.
EXCESS ISN'T ALWAYS BEST
Our lives are full in every way. We're living at times of unprecedented excess. From excess clothes to excess food, we've been led to believe more is better. But that's just not true. The more of everything we have, from choice to possessions, the more complicated life is.
That's why people are turning to minimalism. They want to simplify their lives, and for good reason. The more stuff we have, the more time and energy we have to devote to it. Having stuff weighs us down and robs us of our energy, creativity, productivity and serenity.
I'm not a professional organizer but I am a Virgo, and Virgos are perfectionists. We love order and organization. So if there's clutter in my house, it drives me mad. I can't think. I can't work. And I feel totally drained and discombobulated.
For me, getting my house in order and my living spaces aesthetically pleasing is a priority. Living in a clutter-free home gives me the space and freedom to create, think, and be. It reduces stress and improves mental health. It just makes my life easier. Plus I can find what I need quickly, freeing up my time to do the important things.
Studies have shown that our homes really do affect our mental health. People who describe their home as cluttered or unfinished have higher cortisol levels and more depressive moods. But it's not just our cluttered homes that affect our energy, creativity and productivity levels.
I spring-cleaned my thought processes too. I stopped giving airplay to thoughts that didn't serve me. Using mindfulness, I literally decluttered my mind, leaving me free to get on with being creative and productive. Since then, I'm also happier and more at peace.
But just like keeping on top of the clutter at home, keeping a tidy mind is not something you do once. Clutter-free living is a lifestyle choice. And it's a choice we can make in every area of our life. Clutter, whether digital, mental, physical or social, sucks away at our energy and creativity. In contrast, clutter-free living frees us up to enjoy life with boundless energy, creativity and productivity.
Do regular audits in every area of your life. Not just of your possessions but of your calendar and finances too. Get rid of things that don't serve you. Sell your stuff at a garage sale, unsubscribe from mailing lists, and only share time with people you value.
Following these simple tips not only creates valuable space in your home, but you'll also find you have space in your life. And that means you'll be less stressed, more creative, more productive and more at peace with yourself.
DECLUTTERING WITH THE 20/80 RULE
The 20/80 rule says that we use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. It's an interesting concept to reflect on and helpful when you start decluttering. The 20% of stuff should have easily accessible storage so you can access it daily.
The other 80% of your stuff may or may not get used. Go through it. You know the saying, if it doesn't spark joy, it's time to let go. This method is popular because it works. But there are times it doesn't.
I've got stuff in my house that doesn't spark joy, but it does make my life easier. Whatever you decide to keep, the important thing is that it has a home and is easy to access when you need it. When things have homes, you can keep flat surfaces clear and your living space serene and enjoyable. And you'll have space to live, create and produce.
DECLUTTER YOUR HOME - ROOM BY ROOM
Make yourself a decluttering checklist by room and even by cupboard or drawers. Start small and tackle each one in 30-minute slots. Working systematically, one room at a time, is manageable, sustainable and a lifestyle.
Clean out your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Get creative and find new recipes to use up old condiments. Don't throw out all the expired items. You can eat some well beyond their used-by date. Just go to Eat By Date to see if it's still edible, or use your nose!
Clean out your bathroom cabinet and get rid of old, out-of-date medications, use up nearly finished bottles of potions and lotions and give away toiletries that you tried and didn't like or even got for Christmas. You might make someone else's day!
If you've got a walk-in closet, your bedroom's probably quite tidy, but there's a temptation to keep every item of clothing you ever bought. Use the 20/80 rule to audit your clothes. If you've got things you've never worn but they still have the purchase tag, pop them on Vinted and bring joy to someone else's life.
Anything else in the 80% pile, put in a box and pop it in a storage space out of the way. After six months, write down every item you can remember. Find a new home for everything that didn't make it to the list. As a guide, you only need about 85 clothing items if you live in a four-season location.
Organize your laundry room with clever storage solutions. Using the laundry room as a dumping room is tempting, but if you get into the habit of regular decluttering, you'll find this doesn't happen.
Schedule 30 minutes every month to go through paperwork. If you've got a workspace or office at home, these can get cluttered with everything from old magazines to important documents and essential contracts. Recycle old papers, and set up an effective filing system.
DECLUTTER YOUR CALENDAR
Doing a calendar audit can be a real bonus if you've got a hectic social life. We tend to fill our calendars, adding more stress to our lives and leaving little time for creativity. Instead, reflect honestly on your social engagements. Which ones nourish you and make you feel fulfilled, and which just don't serve you?
DECLUTTER YOUR DIGITAL LIFE
Audit your digital life too so that you can focus on what's important. For example, how much of your mail do you open? With everyone offering free workshops and ebooks these days, it's easy to find your inbox full. But which emails do you actually open? Which ones fulfill you or do you find helpful? Unsubscribe from mailing lists you never get around to reading or change your preferences to receive less mail. Remove apps from your devices that you never use. Stop paying for subscriptions you don't use and save money.
DECLUTTER YOUR MIND
Decluttering any part of your life, whether that's your home, calendar or phone, will free up your mind. But the best way to declutter your mind is to learn mindfulness. It's the most critical decluttering you'll ever do. When we have a clear mind, we have less stress, more energy and are more creative and productive.
RELEASE YOUR ENERGY AND CREATIVITY WITH A DECLUTTERING LIFESTYLE
Discover the transformative power of holistic decluttering and how it can infuse your life with boundless energy, unleash creative potential, reduce stress and enhance your productivity. Start today, start small, and make it a lifestyle choice.
Written by Kirsti Formoso - Wellness Writer for Koraru
Kirsti Formoso is a wellness writer and researcher. She is passionate about holistic health and wellbeing. She has over 30 years of experiential knowledge in personal and spiritual development, and a Masters of Science in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology. She is also a peer reviewer for two scientific journals specialising in Transpersonal Psychology. When she’s not writing she can be found working on her vegetable plot, hiking in the mountains and breathing in all the wonders nature has to offer.