I didn’t even realise that one of the reasons I felt so overwhelmed was clutter!. It wasn’t so easy to start because I felt attached to most of my things, but the moment I took the first leap, it became easier.
I decided to create the beginner’s guide to decluttering for anyone who is looking to start this journey
I personally like to refer to decluttering as a self care activity and here’s why:Decluttering is a self-care activity because you're making a conscious effort to rid your space of anything that is not serving you. Click To Tweet
A lot of times, we’re holding on to things that stop us from moving forward. It’s hard to be your best self when you feel choked. Sometimes, it can be hard to part with items because they either hold a lot of memories or make us feel safe in a way, and we feel the need to hold on to “just in case.”
For beginners, this wouldn’t be an easy process, but the trick to decluttering is knowing what to keep, what to let go of and organising the items that remain. I will be focusing on the four aspects of our lives that I believe holds a lot of clutter.Here's a GUIDE to decluttering the four areas of your life that tend to hold a lot and might be the reason you feel overwhelmed and choked Click To Tweet
Your physical space is your environment. This could be your closet, table, corners around your house or workplace. Cluttered surroundings affect our mental health and cause us to feel overwhelmed and distracted.
Over time, I have realised that clutter is a major source of stress for me; once I start feeling somehow, the first thing I do is check my surroundings.
I try to declutter as often as possible. I’m mainly on a new journey where I’m practising minimalism and keeping only the things I need.
I went as far as hosting a closet sale earlier this year because I believed that all my many pieces could find new homes and belong to someone for who they’ll serve a useful purpose.
I always put up items on here, so if you’re looking to purchase certain things, be sure to check it out before splurging.
If you’re looking to declutter, you can steal my formula on how I’ve been able to do this over the years.
I saw a tweet one time saying, “I find it hard to delete pictures on my phone, even random screenshots” I just smiled because I could relate, and truth be told, we’ve all been there before.
Here’s my easy peasy guide to getting started with digital decluttering:
- Gallery, I always start from the screenshots folder. There you’ll find pictures that you no longer resonate with. You’ll also get to see how much you’ve evolved over the years based on the patterns in the information you’re saving.
Next up is selfies; get rid of the 100 selfies that look the same and those you don’t like! Repeat this for your entire photo album.
- Next, you go through your playlist and delete those old songs that you always skip whenever they come on.
- Another place to declutter is your inbox. This should be your text messages and email, then check out applications you haven’t used in a while and uninstall them. You can also go to your phone’s settings and clear the cache.
- For your computer, you can get rid of those documents and images you no longer need or back them up to your cloud storage, close down those tabs that have been running in your browser. Delete those movies you have watched and empty your recycle bin.
Decluttering your gadgets regularly helps them perform better.
I remember reading an article on the dangers of mental clutter. They hurt your mental and physical health. They lead to anxiety, stress, and in worse cases, depression. Different things cause mental chaos, even a cluttered physical space. However, one leading cause of mental clutter is unwanted thoughts that pop up every other minute.
It could be something new that you have been overthinking, work, or an old memory or experience from the past. It can be hard to let go of thoughts and declutter your mind. However, it is essential to do this for your sanity. Decluttering your mind is a gradual process.
First, you have to identify the clutter. Is it work or experiences from the past? If it helps, you can write them down. For the worries from past experiences, you can take a moment to meditate on them. Ask yourself some personal questions like:
- Is that situation relevant now?
- Was that situation even that serious?
- Am I blowing it out of proportion?
- Was that situation in my control?
- Do the words that person uttered have validity over me, or are they just acting out?
These questions will help you understand what truly matters and what you need to let go of after this healing comes next. This is probably the trickiest part of mental decluttering, but it’s an essential step on this journey.
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to healing, so be sure to take your time and do what you need for your situation.
During this step, the plan is to be mindful of your thoughts to eliminate the clutter. Feel all you need to feel while going through you’re mental decluttering journey; you’ll be in a better place after.
Decluttering requires a lot of discipline. You might be tempted to keep some of the stuff that you do not need. If it helps, you can get a third party for support.
Tips To Maintaining A Clear Space
After decluttering comes the next stage, which is maintaining a clean/organised space. It is easy to fall back into your cluttered space if you don’t put in the work to make sure you don’t pile up stuff again.
Here are my top two tips;
- Reduce the Flow of New Stuff: reduce your shopping to once a month and always have a shopping list, so you buy what you need. For your computer or phone, you can opt for the web version of apps instead of downloading them, and instead of pilling screenshots, you can use the save feature on Instagram.
- Create a Routine for Yourself: so instead of waiting till your table is cluttered, you can choose to organise your table every morning. Have a specific place for keeping things and make it a habit to clear out your inbox daily.
I hope you all find these tips helpful, and you can live the clutter-free/ minimalist life you have always dreamed of. Feel free to drop your comments on tips that helped you declutter your space. If you are going to try out these tips, I kindly share your experience with me.
I have created a self-care challenge, so if you are interested in joining the squad, sign up and experience a 30-day journey focused on your growth.