I’m secretly a huge hoarder –I hate throwing things away. I still have notebooks at my dad’s house from high school and old notes that my best friend used to write for one another that I never intend to throw away. Regardless of the sentimental value some of my hoarded items retain, a lot of it is just junk.
The junk in my closet, the junk taking up space in my bedroom or the junk I keep in the kitchen because of the comfort it provides. Something about holding onto the familiar is just… nice. The familiar is really, really nice.
But this year, I really wanted to focus on getting rid of things that I don’t need or that don’t serve a useful purpose anymore. It didn’t take long to realize that I didn’t just want to throw away those notes from my 9th grade biology class but that I wanted to remove all of the unwanted junk from my mind, body and space.
It’s more than just cleaning out, it’s making room and space for the things that do truly serve a useful purpose. So over the past few weeks of the new year I’ve been decluttering the junk from my body, all of my spaces and most importantly, my mind. Even though I’ve had lot going on with little downtime I’m noticeably less stressed out. Dare I say, I’m relaxed….rested? Whoa!
So today, I wanted to hare my top five tips for decluttering mind, body and space.
If you don’t need and use it, say no.
This works for food, material objects and the thoughts that fill our heads. Creatives love filling up their spaces with stunning objects that help define and showcase their personality. We fill our cabinets and fridges with flavors suited to our personal tastes and don’t even get me started on our closets. And our thoughts? Those tend to clutter our heads until we can’t think any more.
It all adds up to an unnecessary amount of clutter.
If you don’t need five different kinds of pasta sauce, say no. If you don’t need another sweater or office supply, say no. And if you have too many thoughts in your head and not enough time to sort through them all, say no. No is good.
Get in the habit of throwing things away
I never realized how much I loved throwing things away until I finally started throwing things away. I do a pretty standard cleaning routine once a week, usually on Sunday mornings. Now, I add a toss it session to that routine, throwing away things I don’t use regularly or need to make space.
I’m realizing that I have to do the same thing for my body. Getting in the habit of throwing certain foods out of my mind and definitely out of my fridge. As much as I love it, I don’t really need a bunch of chips and sweets around taking up space that could be used for good foods.
Mentally, I can internalize thoughts and play out scenarios in my head for hours. So throwing things out of my mind either takes the form of dumping all of those thoughts out by journaling or letting my mind focus on one specific thing by reading. I make it a necessary part of my routine and it changes everything –I sleep longer and better and wake up ready to run the world.
Organize the things you do use and need
I think we all have that one area of our spaces or our lives that is just always a mess. The more clutter we allow, the less room we have to organize and clean things up. Once you begin saying no to the things you don’t need and get in the habit of routinely throwing things away, you will see that there’s so much more space to organize.
Once I got rid of the sweets I was keeping in the freezer I was able to make sense of the space available to store other things (like brussels sprouts, obviously). And when I finally let go of clothes that are too worn to wear or just don’t fit me and my style any more, I was able to realistically see what new things I need to purchase.
Less is really more.