This post was updated on 16/05/21
Clutter can appear in many forms, items, thoughts or anything that takes up your space and time unnecessary. If not tackled, it can drain your energy and time and even affect your emotions.
This is a post in a series on How to Live Simply to Shine in Life. You can read the second post in the series here-Ten Tips for a Simple Home. This post will cover practical tips to reduce clutter in your life now; physical clutter in your home and also
I was surprised how long it took me to write this post. I think it was because there are so many forms or clutter and methods that can be used. There is no way I could explain everything, but I think I was trying to! I am sure I will cover the topic again. However for now, I’ll provide a starting point.
So what do I mean by clutter?
Clutterers Anonymous define clutter as
anything we don’t need, want, or use that takes our time, energy or space, and destroys our serenity. It can be outgrown clothes, obsolete papers, broken toys, disliked gifts, meaningless activity, ancient resentments, or unsatisfying relationships.
Not only is it important to reduce the clutter in your home, including your wardrobe. To live simply, it helps to reduce other forms of clutter such as negative people and too much information. The television or our electronic devices are great examples of this. Have you ever caught yourself, just mindlessly scrolling? I bet you have, I know I have. When you do, can you take in everything you are reading? What will you do with that information?
I know I struggle with overwhelm, when there is too much around me. My thoughts feel jumbled and I might even feel panicky. This is why I strive to simplify and reduce. So here a few tips to get started with:
Schedule Regular De-Clutter Sessions
It is inevitable that new things come into our house and our lives. If we’re lucky enough, we get presents at birthdays, Christmas and other occasions. These mostly result in items to add to our home. Maybe when you go shopping a few extra things end up in the shopping basket, whether that’s in the shop or online? I know I’m not the only one to do this.
In my house, I like to follow the one in one out rule. When you buy something new, sell, or donate an older item to create space for the new item.
Another way to ensure your home doesn’t get too cluttered, is to schedule regular declutter sessions. Schedule regular time to go through and evaluate. Is it still serving you or having a use? I schedule time every weekend for a house project. It can be as little as 30 minutes.
Would you like further help with this? I’m running a 3 week course that would be perfect. Click here for all the details.
Turn your Phone to Silent
Is there a constant ping from your phone? Do you stop what you are doing to check what the notification? You might realise it, but that is interrupting your thought pattern, stopping your flow. Research states that it will take 20 minutes to get your concentration back. By turning your phone to silent, you minimise the distraction and the number of things occupying your mind. A more mindful approach is to check your phone at a time that’s convenient to you and you can give the message dedicated time.
Put your House to Bed
This might sound like a strange thing to say, but stay with me. Putting your house to bed involves having a good routine to clear and tidy your home at the end of each day. So rather than having yesterday’s dishes, clothes or magasines greet you in the morning, you start the day afresh. Just think for a moment if you walked downstairs each morning to find
- a clean kitchen,
- a tidy home where everything is where you need it
- no washing piles waiting to be sorted
That sounds like bliss to me! If you agree, start a routine to tick off these things each night before you sit down to relax.
You can read more on this concept: Why you should always put your home to bed each night
You wanted that freebie, so you clicked subscribe. Or maybe it is a newsletter that you used to enjoy but you just don’t enjoy or have time for anymore. If it isn’t useful or adding value, then it is clutter. Unsubscribe from emails if you don’t really need them.
Shop for your Needs
When you are out shopping, it is very easy to pick something up because you like it. Have you every done that and then when you got home, you didn’t know where to put the item? Or realised you already have one just like it?! Be clear in your mind about what you need, add it to a list and try not to deviate.
Tackling clutter can be an ongoing process, as if we’re not careful, clutter continues to invade our life.
Unfortunately, it is not a case of tackling clutter once. It is a continual process made up of mindset, daily and weekly rituals. What methods do you use to stay on top of clutter?