You’ve often heard the expression ‘Out with the old and in with the new!’ and generally this is linked with physically decluttering your living and work spaces! But physical decluttering is only one type of decluttering and you can also declutter or simplify your day and your digital life. All clutter in your life leads to mental clutter… and how many of you have a continuously racing mind even when you try to sleep at night?
Decluttering, clutter-clearing, space-clearing, feng shui or whatever name you wish to put on it is about simplifying your life and bringing the energy back into balance – in every aspect, as all aspects are inter-related.
Where to start and how to approach it?
Well there are numerous books written on decluttering, feng shui etc. but here I will guide you on the most important and simple steps to take to get you started.
Clearing your environment, your diary, your relationships etc. is all about your life – your vision for what your life will be like. It’s about letting go of what’s not serving you in your life – old patterns, habits, beliefs etc. Therefore, you need to always clear with intention and shift what doesn’t work in your life! Clear with the intention that your life changes and create space for new energy to enter.
Your physical environment – living and work:
Physical clutter bombards your mind with excessive stimuli, which forces your brain to work overtime. As you declutter your physical space(s) you’ll discover that your mind is also decluttered.
In all decluttering there are some critical questions to ask yourself:
- Why am I holding this clutter?
- Do I use it?
- Do I love it?
- Is it broken?
If you don’t use or love something then it is clogging up your life and limiting your time and this is also a trigger for old associations and relationships which may have run their natural course.
If something you love and use is broken, you must fix it immediately as the break in the object brings the energy down – and you want to maintain high energy at all times.
In terms of your physical environment(s), I am not suggesting you take the minimalist approach, but take one room or area at a time and really look at it – and ask these questions:
- What have you not used in over a year? …sell or donate it.
- Do you love it or are you holding something out of obligation, does it serve you well or at all? …sell or donate it.
- Do you love and use it but it’s broken? …then fix it!
- Are your rooms, work and living spaces bright and airy with a lightness to the atmosphere or are they heavy, dark and oppressive? …clear them, paint them, use bright colours etc.
Your mind – the mental energy being used:
Mind clutter is often related to everyone and everything in your life – and the most important question is ‘how much of my mental energy am I spending on myself?’ This will help you focus on your own self-care and to practise healthy selfishness – in other words, put your own oxygen mask on first!
The rest of your inner chatter / clutter which keeps interrupting your thought process when you’re trying to get important things done can be downloaded by keeping a journal, which you write in at the end of each day and jot down things that you’re concerned about like:
- Things that you’re worried about;
- Plans for achieving an important goal;
- Concerns about a relationship that’s draining your energy; and so on.
Nothing creates as much mental clutter as endless to-do lists. Accept that you can’t do it all, and choose to focus on the things which are most important to you. Prioritise the items in your journal and work through them one at a time.
Mind clutter can also relate to the past. Most people keep a large store of this information in the back of their minds. Things like mistakes they’ve made, opportunities they’ve missed, people they’ve hurt, past grievances, and so on. Take the time to go through this for yourself and discard memories of the past that are not serving you well and are just cluttering up your current life.
Limit the amount of information that comes into your life—and create space in your brain–by doing the following:
- Set a limit on the amount of time that you’re going to spend on social media sites or browsing the internet.
- Unsubscribe from any blogs and cancel any magazine subscriptions that are not contributing to your quality of life or your well-being.
- Make sure that the opinions that you pay attention to come from well-regarded individuals with good intent.
- Decide what information is relevant to you and disregard everything else.
Your digital declutter:
How much time do you spend on your iphone, ipad, laptop etc. and is it all absolutely necessary or have you fallen into an unmerciful bad habit – to be on-trend? When you declutter your digital activities you will again declutter your mind – try the following:
- Set a cut-off time for your work phone, outside your working hours.
- Set a cut-off time for your personal phone towards the end of each day and allow yourself time to wind-down from the electronic stimulation before you sleep.
- Look at the email newsletters, blogs, social networks, online reading and watching, forums, etc. and ask yourself if they are essential? Consider how you can declutter them?
Mental clutter leads to congestion in your inner world. It gets in the way of being able to think clearly, and to focus on what really matters. Plan to live your best life by decluttering your mind using the tips and suggestions above.
Connect with me for a quick chat if you would like to know more about how to take the next steps in living your best life with intent, regardless of the circumstances, and the clutter! I would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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