Tuesday, September 12, 2017

10 Ways to declutter your life

Clutter holds us back. It takes up valuable space in our homes, creates mental clutter and decreases our overall energy. Clutter clearing is a process and will not happen overnight. Start with something - anything - and build momentum. I started decluttering my home this summer when I felt stuck in several aspects of my life. My closets were overflowing with clothes I don't wear and clothes that don't fit since I've lost weight, kitchen cupboards held extra dish sets I don't use that I kept from college, and there was so much more that needed to go. It didn't happen over night, but as I continued the energy started increasing again.

Let's dive right in. The state of our homes reflects the state of our lives. What is yours saying about you? And what do you want it to say? Start by setting some goals and intentions of where you want to end up before you start.

10 Ways to Declutter Your Life

1. Love it or Use it. If you don't love it or use it, consider tossing it. If it has value and brings you joy, definitely keep it. Find a permanent place for it and keep going through your stuff.

2. Start with the area that stresses you out. It may be a closet or your kitchen cabinets. Whatever area you choose will give you momentum to continue tackling this decluttering journey and will decrease your stress. Start with 20 minutes a day. Spend a few less minutes scrolling social media or on another task and go through everything. While you can spend an entire day or weekend doing this, that is not absolutely necessary. Budget your time and break down the task into manageable segments.

3. Tackle an unfinished project. We all have them and thinking about it may cause an "ugh!" and the urge to do something - anything - else. Mine was a set of photo albums I've been avoiding finishing since 2013. Set a deadline to finish it. Break it up into manageable chunks if needed, but finish it. You will feel so much better!

4. Aim for no more than 70% full. Leave some space for new energy to come into your life. It's a lot harder for that to happen when everything is crammed into your space. Try clearing off your kitchen counter. You'd be surprised what a difference it makes.

5. Clean out your vehicle. Vehicles can become the catch all for our stuff. Clean it out, throw away anything that isn't needed, put other items away, and vacuum. The energy will feel so much better. It is also important to create a system so that the stuff stops staying here. This helps to guarantee you will not repeat this step on a daily basis.

6. Sort your email inbox. Clutter is not always the type that fills up the room literally. Sometimes it's virtual clutter that weighs us down.

7. Manage your wardrobe. Remove clothes from drawers and place them on the bed. Try them on. What makes you feel amazing? Those are the outfits to keep! What clothing items do you avoid wearing? If they don't make you feel good, those might be good candidates for the Goodwill pile. Getting ready in the morning is much easier when all of your options make you feel fantastic.

8. Clear the DVR. Already-watched shows that will not be viewed again and those that will not be watched a first time are good candidates for the delete button. This creates space for programming you will watch. It can be draining to sort through long lists of shows to find the one you want to watch.

9. Organize bathroom drawers and under the sink. This is usually an area that may not be sorted through often. Toss the 832 hotel shampoo bottles, anything you do not use and other items that have no purpose. This process also makes it easier to find the items you use regularly.

10. Designate a place for keys and other important items. This isn't as much about decluttering as it is giving yourself some peace of mind. How many times have you forgotten where you placed your keys or sunglasses? Find a good place for them and drop them off when you enter the house. The stress of looking for keys when you are already late is not worth it and can easily be avoided.

I'd love to hear your favorite tips for decluttering and organizing your life. Share them in the comments!