How to Clear Your Clutter with a Zen Mindset
Having a tidy and uncluttered home is one of the things that contributes most to my sense of calm.
When I get out of bed in the morning and come into a living room that has been decluttered, that has the appearance of minimalism, and that does not have rubbish laying about, I feel a sense of tranquility and pleasure enter my heart.
On the other hand, when I step out into a living room that is packed with toys, books, and more stuff all over the place, the area is in complete disarray, and my mind is racing.
I’ve been simplifying and decluttering for years now (probably 8 or 9 years), and while I’ve gotten pretty good at it, I’ve discovered that you need to keep coming back to revisit your clutter every once in a while.
This is because it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’ve got it under control when you’re not.
The following is a list of my top recommendations for decluttering:
Things’ Best to Tackle it Little by Bit
De-cluttering only one shelf should only take you fifteen minutes, so time it and then celebrate your accomplishment as soon as the shelf or the fifteen minutes are over.
The next day, devote fifteen minutes to cleaning another shelf. Conquering a full room or closet may be intimidating, and it’s easy to put the task off indefinitely as a result.
If that is the case, then you should simply take it slow and easy.
Put Aside a Few Hours to Complete the Task
This piece of advice runs directly counter to the one that was just given, and that’s because it does. It’s just a different tactic, and you should use whichever approach yields the best results for you.
When I feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in a room or closet, I find it helpful to clear the clutter by setting aside a portion of the morning or the full morning on a Saturday.
It’s a great feeling when I’m finished, which is why I do everything at once.
Take everything off a shelf or out of a drawer at the same time.
You should concentrate on one drawer or shelf at a time, and clear it fully, regardless of which of the two tactics described above you decide to use.
After that, clear up that cabinet or drawer. Then, take the pile, sort everything, and only put back what you wish to retain. After that, go on to the next shelf or drawer.
Make snap judgments after going through the pile one thing at a time and sorting it out. Be sure you have a trash bag and a box ready to give away.
When you take everything off a shelf or out of a drawer, go through the pile and examine each item individually.
Take a look at the thing you’re holding, and decide if it should go in the garbage, be donated, or be kept. It shouldn’t be added to the pile again.
If you use this strategy throughout the whole stack, you will quickly reach your goal. It will take an interminable amount of time if you keep sifting through the pile and then re-sorting it.
Only the items that you wish to retain should be put back, and you should organize them tastefully.
Do Not Show Any Mercy
You may be a hoarder, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of the stuff you’ve amassed will never be put to any use by you.
Get rid of it if you haven’t utilized it in the last year and do it now. It can be summed up like that.
Get rid of it if you only used it once or twice in the previous year but you know you won’t use it again in the next year if you’ve only used it once or twice in the previous year.
Throw it away if there is no hope of saving it, but donate it if you think someone else may benefit from having it.
Papers? Be merciless, unless it’s vital. Magazines, catalogs, junk mail, invoices older than a year, notes to yourself, messages from others, and outdated work-related materials should all be thrown away.
The only thing that should be retained for a period of seven years is information that pertains to taxes; other significant papers, including as warranties, birth and death certificates, marriage certificates, insurance policies, wills, and other important documents, should be discarded after three years.
However, you will recognize them when you see them. If not, throw it away!!!!
Create a “maybe” box if you find yourself undecided about a number of different topics.
If there is anything that you just can’t bear to get rid of because you may need it in the future, put it in the box, close the box, label it, and store it away somewhere out of sight, like the garage, the attic, or the closet.
It’s quite unlikely that you’ll ever decide to open up that box again.
If this is the case, after a period of six months to a year, remove it from storage and either throw it out or donate it.
Make a Plan to Prevent the Accumulation of Clutter, and Stick to It
There is a rationale to the fact that you have huge stacks of documents strewn over the area in addition to large mounds of toys, books, and clothing.
The reason behind this is because you do not have a consistent method to put things back where they belong and to get rid of items that you do not need.
While this is a subject for another time, it is something you should keep in mind while you organize your belongings.
You’ll never reach perfection, but if you think more strategically about how the clutter in your home accumulated in the first place, you may be able to identify strategies to prevent it from occurring again.
When You’re Finished: You Should Have a Party!
This is a fundamental concept that applies to life in general: you should always celebrate your victories, no matter how little they may be.
Even if you just cleaned out one drawer, that’s a huge step in the right direction. Do something kind for yourself and indulge in something tasty.
When you open up that drawer (or closet, or whatever), take a moment to appreciate how straightforward it is.
Take a few slow, deep breaths and remind yourself that you’ve just accomplished something positive.
Revel in the calm that has come over you.
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