10 Tips to Clear Clutter
Have you ever just looked around at all the ‘stuff’ you have and feel it compressing on your poor, little, already overworked mind? Have you noticed how it makes you feel heavy and perhaps even a little low?
Anora O’Connor wrote this amazing quote that I feel sums it up perfectly:
‘I want to walk into my home and not feel stress and tension. I want to walk in and feel glad to be home. Instead of minding the junk and clutter, I want to simplify and mind the things that matter.”
Clutter is trapped energy that has an ability to mess up more than your physical space. It can muddy your mind, emotions and soul. It makes you feel unorganised, keeps you confused and I swear it keeps you in the past too.
Clogged up, congested in more ways than one, clutter can make you feel sluggish and lethargic. Honestly, who hasn’t felt their energy just drain like an unplugged sink when they walk into a cluttered, crowded, overstuffed room?
And guess what? All that heaviness, lethargy in the mind soon translates to the body and can easily become excess weight in the body.
Clearing clutter is free and freeing – but where do we start when it’s hard to get rid of all our pretty pretties and things that we love and once were valuable but now are worth nothing (even if it cost you a bomb 20 years ago!)
Here’s 10 Tips to clearing that clutter –
1. Question it!
a. Do you use it?
b. Do you love it?
c. Does it lift or lower your energy?
2. Timing is everything!
Give yourself a time limit, make it short and punchy (like 30 minutes)
3. One space at a time!
One drawer, cupboard, bench ONLY – and do it in your timeframe!
4. Stored is rarely or never used again!
It can be tempting to store items, box it up, label it and put in a cupboard. Nice and neat and NEVER to be seen or used again. If you are tempted to store, perhaps leave it out in an accessible space, give yourself a month’s time limit and if you haven’t thought about it, needed or used it -DONATE or BIN it! Pronto! Don’t look in the box, just release it to the greater good.
5. Everything has a place and everything IN its place!
When your pretty pretties have a home, put them in it – put them away!! How many times have you kicked your shoes off, or dropped your bag and two days later (or more) they’re still there? It’s the little disciplines of putting ‘the thing’ back that creates a huge organisational benefit down the track.
6. Pantry pass it on!
A quick way to clean out the pantry is to scan it, looking for non-perishables that you know you won’t eat (and are IN date) and donate them to a friend, food bank or charity – whatever floats your boat. This shifts your mind from ‘oh god, more cleaning, more waste!” to “How good am I helping out others” (Plus you get a cleaner pantry).
7. Cheat’s closet clear-out!
Overflowing closet and nothing to wear and can’t throw it out!! I feel you! If you can’t bear to part with anything then use this cheat – sort everything into like colours. All whites together then pinks, then reds, you get the picture. The cheat in this move is, the next time you want to wear something blue, you can easily see an entire chunk of your cupboard is made up of blue things. This will stop you from buying yet ANOTHER blue item and you can even sort the blues and bin what you don’t find joy with anymore (as Mari Kondo would say).
Little by little, you might find it easier to cull one colour at a time, over a period of time. Bite size chunks so to speak.
8. Technically tech is cluttered up too!
Probably my most radical tip (which came about for me one day when I couldn’t be stuffed to do it properly) I had thousands of emails in the dreaded inbox. I had to attend to it, didn’t want to though. In one sweet moment of clarity I realised I had hung onto many of those emails for YEARS. Never rechecked them! So, I hit ‘select all’ and deleted them. Crikey!!
I panicked, then settled knowing they were in my deleted bin. Still safe if I changed my mind on any of them – lurking there long enough to pass the panic stage and feel the bliss of an empty inbox. It was amazing!! I could see daily emails roll in – then came my next game-changer move! Each day it was SO easy to unsubscribe from pesky emails. I no longer waste time swiping to delete a tonne of unread, unwanted emails- and email life has never been so good!
You can take this one further if you wish, all the way to unfollowing people or products on social media. Each time you go onto social media for a week, unfollow one account. When you aren’t seeing how you don’t ‘have’ enough (thanks influencers) you don’t want to go buy more!
9. One In – One Out!
A self-imposed rule, that each time you buy an item of clothing, kitchen utensils (my personal weakness) one gets thrown out or donated.
10. Bin Night Delight!
a. Go get yourself a bin bag and scooch through the house filling it with whatever you can (now I’m talking trash or junk here). See how much you can get into the one bag, then go throw it in your wheelie bin (preferably on bin collection day so you can’t back out and change your mind on things) This one is liberating – no thought, total passion and maximum effect.
Control, Alt, Note it Down!
b. Thoughts and to-do lists that swirl around in your head continuously are the worst clutter-f#ck of all. They drain your energy, keep you confused and hazy and worst of all, we are addicted to the habit. We even pride ourselves on it. Write it down – not as a to-do list, but more of a ‘in case I forget it list’. No expectations of ticking things off the list, like your own version of a back-up. All you are responsible for then is to check it if you ‘think’ you’ve missed something. A relaxed mind, an uncluttered mind that isn’t overworked on mindlessly remembering tasks, is a strong and calm mind. Worth a try.