Quick Tips For a Decluttered Life
Physical clutter just bogs us down. It makes everything harder to do- from thinking straight to finding your car keys. Most people recognize the positive power of having a de-cluttered work space, but most people aren’t really sure about how to get started cleaning up the accumulated mess. Here are a few quick tips and tricks you can implement immediately to start to see some traction.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to do all of these at once, honestly you don’t even need to do more than one of them at a time. Whenever you feel like making some movements to tame your mess, just take a look at this list, pick one of the actions, and spend five minutes on it. Slowly and steadily, your mess will work down to nothing.
- A lot of our clutter comes from accumulated papers. We get all sorts of paper, some of which is important, some of which isn’t, but all of it adds to the mess. Instead of just throwing your paper wherever, create a home for all your papers. Whether it’s a filing cabinet or just a couple of folders on your desk, give all that paper a home. This works even better if different types of papers (bills, reports, etc.) all have their own place.
- Clean off one area at a time. And when I say area, I don’t mean room, I mean one counter, or one bookshelf, or one patch of your floor. Clear it off, and then stop putting things there. Even if you keep the bad habit of throwing your stuff into piles, throw your stuff into other piles- don’t start a new one here. If you do this once every day or so, you’ll have a clean room in no time.
- Schedule an hour, a day, or a weekend where you will simply clean and get rid of your clutter. Write this into your schedule, put it on your Google Calendar, do whatever you need to, anything that will make it seem as official and necessary as everything else on your to-do list. If you see it on there alongside an important work report, or picking up your kids from soccer practice, you are much more likely to treat it with respect and follow through.
- Start figuring out what stuff you don’t need that you can donate. Clothes are a great start for this. Most of us just wear the same couple of shirts and pants every single day, leaving a full wardrobe of mostly untouched items. Take the items you never wear out, put them in a garbage bag, and drive them to your nearest Salvation Army, Goodwill, AmVets, or whatever other thrift store you live near. Now that you’ve gotten rid of the clothes you never wear, next week give away the clothes you almost never wear. Keep going with this process, a bag a week, until you are down to your essentials. You’ll be surprised just how much of your space you devoted to garments that never see the light of day.
- After you’ve made a couple positive changes towards living a less cluttered life, take the time to remember what things used to look like, and consciously appreciate the work you have done to set things right. Take before and after pictures if it helps. While the increased ease with which you go through your day will certainly feel good, dedicating some time to really appreciating your de-cluttered space will help cement the desire to live simply deep within.