Clutter. Not only is it annoying to look at, but it also dredges up different emotions. When I used to confront my messy closet I’d feel irritated due to my total lack of organisation. I couldn’t find what I was looking for and half the time I had stuff I’d forgotten existed.
Fact. A closet really shouldn’t be allowed to elicit negative emotions. Oh, alright it isn’t the closet’s fault, but I used to find myself blaming it for what I’d done. Which really explains why I decided to get the clutter in my life under some kind of control. Once I started I realised there was a whole load of other proven benefits which extend to decluttering all sorts of aspects in your life.
Clutter clogs the mind. Having so many things to deal with makes it difficult to begin a new project. When you start to declutter you find your mind starts to become free. You have more mental energy to think about new projects and more time to plan. Time is a major benefit of decluttering. The time that you could have spent maintaining unnecessary things can now be used to do something else, something you love and prefer doing.
It Looks Better
There’s no getting away from the fact that when things are clean and organised, the view is so much better. So when your room, office or life in general is crowded, the little stresses that come with it sneak into your mind. Laziness is appealing at times but I found the more organised and neater I was, the calmer and happier I became. Good for me!
Who doesn’t need more space? I do. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Decluttering is the ultimate space finding solution. When you get rid of the things you no longer use, you will be amazed at how much more space you will be left with. If you haven’t worn that thing for a year or more it’s time for it to go. If your drawers are full of ‘just in case’ stuff, you need to rethink it. I had a drawer with plugs and power packs. Why did I hold on to them? Where did they even come from? I was terrified of throwing stuff out in case I needed them. With stuff I couldn’t remember I put it in a bag and wrote a date on. If, after six months, I hadn’t gone near them I threw them out.
There is, I have discovered, a huge level of satisfaction that comes with clearing space and getting organised. Having less to deal with helps you accomplish more. Pretty soon this sense of accomplishment becomes a part of your life and it’s a good feeling.
Where to Start?
I’ve shared my thoughts that decluttering can have profound and positive effects on all sorts of areas of your life. However, when you start it can be quite a chore. It’s a wrench to throw some stuff away and it’s hard to know where to begin. I now share the wisdom of my decluttering days to give you a kick start:
Your work area
- The desk. Begin by clearing everything off the top of your desk then the drawers. Now assemble all the items on the floor, get rid of anything that you have not used for a long time, clean the desk and return the useful items in an organized manner. If you haven’t at least half filled your paper basket something has gone wrong. Go back and start again.
- The computer. Dump all those old programs and files you never use or look at. Don’t go too mad, you can save stuff to a stick in case you need it, but this is about decluttering your working environment. Dump those pointless icons off the desktop. Clear the history and the cache because they slow things down.
- Simplify your rooms. Start by clearing the floors. Donate or dispose of the unused things. After you are done with the floors move to other surfaces such as the top of dresses, shelves, surfaces. Clear them as much as you can then move to the furniture. Sort out the things you need and dispose those that you no longer use.
- Organize closets and drawers. You don’t need me to tell you how to do this!
You know your life is cluttered if you double-book things, forget where you’re supposed to be, turn up at the wrong times or days, and don’t know what day of the week it is. Simple solutions are:
- use the organiser on your smartphone, or get a wall calendar or diary. Remember to use them!
- Reconsider your routines. Is everything in your life of equal importance? Probably not. Try to unpick the must-do stuff, from the things you really enjoy, and the things you could do but don’t actually need to.
Okay that’s it. If you manage to get this far then declare yourself officially decluttered and award yourself a cream cake!