How do you make time to declutter your life with so much going on? The first thing I find helps me the most is when my mind feels cluttered with a myriad of thoughts and emotions, journaling helps me declutter what’s jamming up my thoughts and keeping me stressed. Yet, decluttering your life can seem like a daunting task, especially when you have a lot going on.
However, these timeless tips you can implement right now will make the process more manageable and effective. In his book, The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less, John Robbins says, “In the never-ending battle with chaos, clutter sides with chaos every time. Anything that you possess that does not add to your life or your happiness eventually becomes a burden.”
So use these tips to help you unburden yourself from the clutter in your life.
Declutter Your Mind
I find that making to-do lists, journaling, and making simple lists help me organize my thoughts. By decluttering my mind, I can think more clearly and therefore find solutions to daily challenges. Downloading what’s clogging up your mind will help you begin to plan how to declutter your life so you can reduce stress and overwhelm. This article lists three negative effects of clutter on our mental health: increased stress levels, difficulty focusing, and a negative impact on relationships.
One of the most effective ways to start decluttering is by focusing on what’s on your mind. When your thoughts and emotions are cluttered, it can be challenging to find clarity and peace. Journaling is a powerful tool that can help you declutter your mind. Take some time each day to write down your thoughts, worries, and goals. By doing so, you will create space in your mind and gain a sense of control over your thoughts.
In addition to journaling, creating to-do lists and simple lists can also help you organize your thoughts. Write down all the tasks and responsibilities that are weighing on your mind, and prioritize them based on their importance. This will allow you to focus on one thing at a time and prevent overwhelm.
Once you have decluttered your mind, it’s time to move on to decluttering your physical space. Start by tackling one area at a time, such as your closet, kitchen, or office. Sort through your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or discard. Remember, the goal is to create a space that is clean, organized, and free from unnecessary clutter.
Best-selling author of The Art of Organizing, Nicole Gebai is a professional organizer who knows firsthand the challenges of solo parenting. Growing up in a chaotic environment, Nicole found solace in the order and organization taught in Montessori school. This early education has influenced her career, helping her to become an artist and organizer. Listen to the episode to get more tips and strategies to declutter your life.
Enhance Your Mental Health When You Declutter Your Life
Studies show that decluttering your life can greatly enhance your mental health. By removing physical clutter from your surroundings, you create a sense of order and reduce distractions, allowing your mind to focus and relax. This process can promote a feeling of control and reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.
Additionally, decluttering can help you let go of sentimental attachments and negative emotions associated with possessions, leading to emotional relief and improved overall well-being. Simplifying your life through decluttering can create a peaceful and harmonious environment that supports a clear and calm mindset, ultimately contributing to enhanced mental health.
Declutter Your Life By Organizing Your Workspace
I’ve walked into many of my colleague’s offices, raised an eyebrow at the mountain of stuff on their desk, and gotten the shoulder shrug and “What?” “I know where everything is”. And sometimes I wonder if they’re trying to convince me or themselves.
Clutter is everywhere! Without making the time to organize your workspace, your office can get cluttered quickly. This wouldn’t be a big deal if clutter helped you be more productive. But you know all too well that clutter is a productivity killer. In reality, a clutter-free office is a productive office. You’d be able to find things quicker and get more done without the frustration.
And even if you think you know where everything is, how competent do you look if your boss drops into your office and asks you for that report he gave you to read last week if you have to dig under a mountain of chaos to find it?
You know you need to make some changes to your organizational habits if you see piles of papers, files, or junk in every nook, cranny, and crevice. Once clutter takes over your workspace, it’s time to fight back with some clutter-free organizational tips!
Creating Your Clutter-Free Office
A clutter-free office starts with the desire to get rid of the clutter. Every morning, make it a goal to put away (or toss) some things that are not in the right place. You can use this strategy anywhere—at home, in the car, or at work—and you’ll notice a huge difference on a day-to-day basis. If you’re rather motivated, try removing 20 or more pieces of clutter at a time. Think of how many pieces of clutter you could eliminate if you spent half an hour on the problem!
You also need to come up with a filing system for papers. Paper is often the worst clutter culprit, and if you can design a strategy to deal with all of the paperwork, you’ll find your office much easier to work in. This is often as simple as having “in”, “out”, and “to be filed” boxes. Getting the paperwork off the desk will change the whole look and feel of your workspace.
Declutter Your Life by Decluttering Your Computer
Ensure that your computer remains free from clutter as well. While it’s convenient to store all your files on your computer, it still qualifies as clutter, even in its virtual form. Take the time to remove any unused icons from your desktop, empty the recycle bin, and regularly scan for viruses and spyware to maintain optimal performance. Just like physical clutter in your office, virtual clutter on your computer can impede productivity and cause distractions. You can further declutter your life by using cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to ensure your computer’s hard drive stays clutter-free.
When you declutter, you make it a more productive office. By implementing one or all of these strategies, you can maintain a clutter-free office on an ongoing basis. It may take some time and effort to declutter and keep it that way. But the work will be well worth it because you’ll feel better, find things faster, and get a whole lot more done in less time. You can successfully declutter your life.
More Ways to Declutter Your Life
In the podcast episode above, Nicole Gabai shares her personal journey and how she used her tumultuous upbringing as a stepping stone to success. She shares the six-step process that she has successfully implemented for 23 years, helping mothers declutter and streamline their lives. She also explains that decluttering and organizing are two separate processes. Decluttering is the initial stage where you get rid of the obvious stuff that doesn’t serve you anymore.
Nicole shares her unique approaches that you can use to declutter your life, such as the principle of sectional organizing. This principle involves dividing a room into multiple sections, each designated for a specific purpose. This approach reduces chaos by ensuring everything has a specific place. In addition to this, Nicole uses what she calls the zone principle to prioritize items within these sections. Zone one items are those that you use most frequently, while zone two and three items are less frequently used. Having a specified zone for each set of items gives you an easy and reliable system to declutter your life.
Information management is another important aspect of Nicole’s organizing process. She talks about the importance of having a halfway book system for categorizing and storing information. This is especially helpful in managing the plethora of information that comes at us daily. It allows for quick and easy retrieval of information, reducing the stress and chaos that often come with information overload.
Another important concept Nicole brings up is portability. She emphasizes the importance of having your most essential items with you at all times. This ensures that you always have what you need at your fingertips. A well-organized backpack or bag can be a lifesaver, especially for solo parents who are constantly on the go.
Help Kids Learn to Declutter
As a mom, you may find it overwhelming to declutter and tidy up your children’s room. Nicole also shares her tips on decluttering children’s rooms. Nicole advises that you declutter without your kids, as this is something that children may not understand. She recommends using labels and clear drawers to organize children’s items, making it easy for them to find what they need. She also suggests introducing a chore chart to provide structure and teach children responsibility from a young age.
In the chaotic world of solo parenting, organization is a key element that can bring calmness and order. As Nicole Gebai beautifully illustrates in this episode, with the right techniques and principles, anyone can transform chaos into order.
When embarking on the journey of decluttering your life, it is imperative to adopt an objective perspective. Take a moment to question whether each possession or commitment brings you joy or adds value to your existence. If the answer is no, it is time to say goodbye.
Additionally, it is crucial to understand that decluttering is an ongoing process that demands consistent attention. It is not a one-time task that can wear you out and then be forgotten. So, implement a regular schedule to declutter and maintain the newly organized space. This practice will prevent the accumulation of clutter and ensure a perpetually serene and unburdened life especially if you implement most of the tips above.
Ultimately, learning to declutter your life is an effective way to alleviate stress, enhance efficiency, and cultivate tranquility. By implementing these timeless suggestions, you can initiate the decluttering process immediately and start relishing the immediate benefits it brings.