‘Tis the season for spring cleaning! It’s time to clear the clutter and deep clean for a fresh start. Admittedly, I “spring clean” about twice a month…Sure, it might be considered a tad excessive, but it’s one of my favorite ways to unwind.
Physical clutter is the easiest to identify. This type of clutter can be seen and touched. Whether you are at home, work, or even living out of your bag, physical clutter can crowd and overwhelm you. It’s easy to hold on to things…to shove them in closets, stuff them in drawers, or even let things pile up in the corner. This is especially true for gift items. Unfortunately, these items that are stowed away rarely see the light of day! Why hold onto them?
Clearing Physical Clutter
- Focus on one pile, one room, or one drawer at a time
- Create keep, donate, or toss piles to begin the decluttering process
- Will this item serve you? Does it truly have meaning? If not, remove.
- If you can’t or won’t fix what is broken, give it to someone who can or throw it away
- Sign up for paperless billing
- Get rid of duplicates
- Develop a decluttering routine to stay consistent
Technology has become such an integral part of our society, so much so that people have developed internet use or addiction disorders. People have disconnected from community and one another to connect on a more distant, superficial level. While technology certainly has its advantages and has allowed us to excel in many realms, it seems that it has also created an environment of media chaos, artificial competition, complete ignorance, and an overall state of desensitization. Allowing technology to clutter your world can either be a positive or negative experience. You have a choice in how to approach and accept technology on a personal level. Social media usage, media consumption, e-mail overload, or excessive desktop icons or browser tabs are all forms of digital clutter.
Clearing Digital Clutter
- Limit or delete your social media
- Limit your internet use to certain times
- Delete phone contacts you no longer need
- Create folders/labels for your e-mails
- Clean up your e-mail inbox by deleting and organizing e-mails
- Unsubscribe from marketing e-mails that no longer interest you
- Organize and delete files on your computer
Mental clutter clouds your mind with worry, stress, self-doubt, and long lists of endless to-dos. It creates an internal dialogue that causes anxiety and keeps you up at night. The expectation and requirement to be a master multi-tasker in today’s world amounts to increased pressure to be perfect. How is the presentation going to go tomorrow? Can I tack on another project to my timeline? Am I spending enough time with my family and friends? Why am I so exhausted? Have I studied enough? Do I have enough money to cover the month? Am I good enough? These questions, among others, are just a few of examples of the thoughts that can keep your mind distracted. Mental clutter slows you down and reduces productivity, leaving you drained and unfocused.
Clearing Mental Clutter
- Write down your thoughts and to-do lists
- Create a list of positive affirmations
- Be present in the moment
- Be mindful and try to focus on one thing at a time when possible
- Start prioritizing and delegating
- Set aside time to process your thoughts
- Do what is good for your soul
On A Personal Note
Over the years, I have learned to immediately remove things I do not want in my life. Decluttering has allowed me to be more focused on the people I want to spend time with, things I want to accomplish, and living in the now. I tend to frequently evaluate my workspace, home, and everything in between to determine worthiness and placement. Honestly, it has taken a lot of time and practice. The biggest struggle I deal with is my mental clutter. I’m hoping that journaling will help me to further declutter my thoughts.
What types of clutter do you struggle with? What ways do you manage and prevent clutter?