Sick of feeling stifled? Need to create more harmony in your life? Now’s the time to declutter!
I have never been a hoarder. In fact, I do minimal really well! That need to be in a clear space might be based on growing up in a family home where there were lots of ‘things’ (ripe for breaking unfortunately for my mother) and becoming very wary of how stuff encroaches on the flow of space. Also, I have found that a clear space provides me with room to think, to be and to breathe.
Decluttering is not only something to do when you realise you have enough clothes in your wardrobe or furniture in the garage to open up your own high street store, it’s also necessary for your sanity. After all, how can goodness flow in when there is no space for it to flow into?
Here are a few areas you might consider decluttering from time to time:
1. Environment: This is the obvious one. You suddenly realise you can barely move around your home or every time you go to your wardrobe things fall out over you and the floor…mmm. Time to declutter! Ask any good declutter queen or personal stylist and they will probably advise you to do regular check-ups on your environment and possessions. What have you stopped using? What have you never used/worn? How can you clear your garage to make way for your car? You know what I mean! And the great thing these days is you can generate money by selling off ‘stuff’, help out someone you know who is in need or donate to a charity. Clear your space so that you can breathe; it will feel better, I promise.
2. Brain Dump: Sometimes you might just want to turn down the volume in your head and other times you have to turn to decluttering. It’s important to let go of the stuff blocking your mental ability so that you can let in some good new lessons. Fortunately, there is a lot of capacity up there and our wonderful brain has a filing system most businesses would envy! However, we rarely maximise its capabilities. Brain dumping is one of my favourite pastimes. I simply write down as much as I can what is circulating in my head and in doing so I slow down, and often remove, the thousands of replays of thoughts taking place. The real benefit is that I can look at what I’ve written and see what are the things I need to do, what are things I am wasting time thinking/focusing on and quite often identify what things have been bothering me. That often leads to positive actions, leaving more space in my head for creative thinking and new lessons – because life seems to bring those along on a regular basis!
3. Relationships: Be it friend, lover or other, relationships are time-consuming and who wants to spend time with toxic people? No one I know and yet there are plenty of people who do. If you have people in your life who always tell you you’re wrong, tell you you’re crazy to want more from life, discourage you from exploring your abilities, talk down to you, abuse you (in all its forms) – declutter! Relationships are about connecting, loving, learning, understanding, empathising and yes, challenging (your thoughts, beliefs) but they are not meant to reduce your self-belief. This can be one of the most difficult things you ever do but do it you must! Your self-worth matters and others will respect you when you demonstrate respect for yourself and turf out those who add zero benefits to your wellbeing. Moving on.
4. Diary: Interestingly, we all know there are 24 hours in a day and yet, quite often, we act as if there are 52 and then wonder why we struggle to get things done. Diary management, time management, call it what you will, it is your responsibility to realistically plan and utilise your time. If you over clutter it with things to do, accept the consequences! As a woman in business it is so easy to overbook myself but by using simple tools such as the Stephen Covey Matrix and setting aside chunks of time proportionate to the task at hand, I gain control and less frequently feel like I’m running out of time. Time is fluid, our ability to use it perhaps less so! Declutter your diary and be kinder to yourself.
5. Paperwork: I really can’t stress enough that a good shredder goes a long way! Paperwork, everywhere. I don’t know who developed the concept of a paperless office but… really? Not working for most. No matter what, we will always receive letters, flyers, free newspapers and constant fast food take away posters. DO NOT keep them all! Get into the habit of opening letters instead of piling them up waiting for ‘some time’ to deal with them. Sort them into piles; Keep – and take action, keep – read (interested or useful in the future) and dump immediately. I love shredding paperwork and I do it regularly and still, I am amazed at how quickly it accumulates again. Have a place (box, file, in-tray) for the important things so you can access them at the drop of a hat and get rid of the waste. And don’t forget to recycle for the sake of the planet (another great thing about shredding, all cut up and ready to go!)
Decluttering is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It really does help you to gain more control of your life. What areas of your life have you decluttered and what other areas of your life could you declutter?
Let it go, let it flow and see how much lighter you feel from the inside out!
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