Ever at home, look around, and get freaked out by the mess? Cleaning is one thing, but clutter is another. Mindful de-cluttering will reduce your stress, actually bring you joy—and here’s how to do it…
Make a Date
The first thing necessary is to make time to face your belongings (some of which you forgot you even had.) You don’t need as much time as you think. Don’t put it off because you’re afraid it will take hours.
Plan to tackle one small area at a time. Put aside one hour. You can look at your calendar and make a date for your de-cluttering session. If you’re on a deadline, you’ll get more done than if you put aside an entire day. Get as much done as possible in that time span, and then make a new date for your next session.
In the time you set aside, try not to let anything interrupt you. Let calls go to voicemail and answer texts after your hour is up. This is one important element of mindfulness in this mission.
Mindful anything requires your complete focus. If you truly want to de-clutter (which you should to reduce your stress levels) then you have to be contemplative and truthful with yourself as you peruse your items. Which ones will stay, and which will go?
Here are a few examples of how to approach your de-cluttering project.
Let’s, for example, use one of our hours on the refrigerator. Looking at the front of it—is it covered with magnets, photos, fingerprints, and school papers? Take everything off. Only put up what you absolutely want to look at everyday. Papers should go in an office space or the information placed in an app on your phone.
Check out the inside of the fridge. Are there bottles of old salad dressing that you’ll never use? Dump them. Throw out anything spoiled, expired, or that you know you’ll never use. You won’t miss it. Give good stuff to the food bank if you won’t use it.
How about that end drawer over from the silverware? That’s right, the one that’s so full it gets stuck, and you can’t open it. Rubber bands, tacks, notepaper, pens from the mechanic, and keys you have no idea to what they belong. Empty it.
Keep only what works and what you’ll absolutely need. Toss broken things you know you’ll never get around to fixing. Numbers on scraps of paper can go in your phone. This is going to be so much fun!
Check out your clothes closet. Are there pants that don’t fit and never will again? How about that blouse you wouldn’t be caught dead in. Donate them. Get rid of old, smelly shoes. The really cool part of this session is that you will get to know which clothes you really love. Then, wear them. No one sees them in the closet. Enjoy the items you adore!
How many lipsticks do you have that have changed color from time erosion? There’s a bottle of lotion with a squirt left that’s so old it’s hardened. Have you taken a whiff of that perfume your grandmother gave you? Would you really wear it and purposefully want to smell that way? Are there more than 10 magazines by the toilet? Keeping these things around create clutter and brain chaos whether you think so or not.
Don’t be afraid to look at things around the house and admit you don’t want to look at them. Everything (if there’s clutter) can’t be your favorite. However, you can, over the course of time, reclaim your space. Endeavor it to be rich with things you only need or absolutely love. All of the rest can fall by the wayside and bring you the lightness you need and deserve. Happy de-cluttering!