Have you also been seeing “declutter” content everywhere lately? What used to seem like a bit of an old wives tale has been a surprising relief tactic in my life as of late. It’s one of those things that are incredibly hard to start but always so worth it, and feel good when you get it right. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and stuck right now, then the practice of decluttering might be just what you need. It always surprises people to discover that an exercise related to sorting and organizing stuff can so directly influence aspects of mental well-being and even productivity. This timeless concept with seemingly endless methods and even more claimed benefits is what we’re tackling today. I decided to cut through some of the noise with some of my favorite methods, reasons, and tricks.
Declutter is not the same as cleaning. While equally therapeutic, cleaning focuses on removing dirt, dust, and an overall mess. Decluttering is all about stuff, letting go of, and getting rid of the stuff taking up space in our spaces (lives and even minds) that no longer serve us. This makes a lot of sense to most of us because we’ve all had that experience of decluttering a work or desk space and suddenly being able to focus a little better and/or be more productive.
Less stuff in our space is, in essence, less stuff to weigh us down, less stuff to get messy, and less stuff to distract us. While this is a very practical explanation, decluttering also gets to be a beautiful spiritual experience about releasing what is weighing us down and making space in our lives for the goodness to come.
If the “declutter” bug hasn’t gotten you yet, then this list of potential benefits might:
Hopefully, you’ve got seven more reasons to test out your decluttering skills. But as someone who has tried, tried, and tried again – here are some tips to aid on your own decluttering journey.
Decluttering can be overwhelming, so it’s essential to start small. Tackle one room or one area of your home or space at a time, whether that be an entire room one energetic Saturday morning or one drawer of your work desk. No space is too small or insignificant to benefit from a bit of decluttering. This can help you feel more accomplished and motivated to continue decluttering.
I know it’s hard to get rid of things you don’t need but have a sentimental attachment to. But those clothes, old books, magazines, and outdated technology; won’t turn back the clock. In the same way getting rid of these won’t erase those special memories. I’ve heard of some beautiful ways to retain the essence of those items. Layering all your children’s artwork in one shadowbox frame or taking photos of old trophies and accolades and creating a coffee table book, for example, are great ideas. I’m personally a sucker for quickness and efficiency.
I like to shift my focus to the joy my unworn clothes might bring another young girl in need. I want to imagine the knowledge I could spread by donating the books I loved but know I won’t read. Or imagine the happiness someone else might get from my favorite fiction novels growing up. With each item you remove, remind yourself: through this, you are bringing joy to others while simultaneously creating more space for NEW joy to enter into your own life.
If you’re anything like me, then this is the BEST part. I am a sucker for organizing with storage bins, shelves, and any other organizational tool I can find. I especially enjoy organizing kitchen cupboards, for example. My meal preps never go smoother than post a good decluttering session. Not only do you have a more efficient and streamlined space, but it just feels like a big ol’ exhale. The first exhale when you get it done. The second is when you open that cupboard and all your containers have lids.
In today’s digital age, it’s important to remember that clutter can also exist in the digital world. For all my online entrepreneurs – this is even more vital for us. We need to declutter our digital lives regularly. I’m talking about scheduling some time weekly. To: delete old emails, unsubscribe, organize digital files, unfollow accounts that are adding stress, and delete the content you won’t use. OR, if you might use it, create an online folder you can easily access that you add to and regularly delete from. If you’re a creator, do yourself a favor and check out your reels or Tik Tok drafts folder. I can guess you have anything from 3 – 10GB of space. Space is just being held by drafts you probably didn’t intend to post or need to post. This is the tough one to keep up with, so I recommend you schedule a time to do it.
Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of physical and digital clutter. It’s also about cultivating a more mindful approach to life. Remember that your mind and body are spaces too. Regular breaks throughout the day to be still and undistracted for that bit of time are a way of decluttering the mind. Tools like journals, brain dumps, or talking to your coach are also all ways to declutter the mind. Decluttering your body gets to be its own adventure and might look different to everyone. It might be taking a break from alcohol or practicing some intermittent fasting. The Gut Health Agency team are experts on the body, mind, and all things gut health. The beautiful thing about decluttering (and life overall) is that you get to do it YOUR way.
What helped me get to the next level of my decluttering journey was something a friend taught me, which I call the Out & Out. This means once you’ve decided to get rid of it, get it out that day. I’ve had artwork, appliances, and tools that make it to the front door (or the trunk of the car!) and right back into the house, only to land back at the front door a few months later. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that sometimes things land up there five or more times before I finally give it away.
Trust your gut, it’s usually your first instinct, and it’s almost always right.
I know it’s already overwhelming that it’s April, but hopefully, this will push you to spend some time spring cleaning and creating spaces you love and feel good in. Hopefully, it’ll show you how joy and purpose are often found in the everyday little things. I also hope that these tips help create a more organized and peaceful living environment so you can create a healthier and happier body, mind, and life.
Chelsea interviews professionals to bring YOU today’s most updated knowledge on nutrition and wellness.