7 Tips to Declutter Your Life
Do you feel overwhelmed in life? How many times have you said, “I will do it tomorrow,” and six months later you still haven’t emptied that drawer! Procrastination is the thief of time. My friends, it will rob you of your joy, rob you of your time and ten years down the line you will look back wondering why you haven’t achieved anything in life.
You will never get to your place of purpose by living in chaos. There is no such thing as an organized mess! According to experts, a cluttered home equals a cluttered life. Studies prove that once you get your home in order, everything else will start to fall into place. Let me give you some alarming statistics. The average person spends 60 hours per year looking for lost items. That equals 150 days throughout a lifetime! Just think of what you could do with 150 additional days!
There is more to decluttering than getting rid of unwanted items in the home. It applies to every area of your life, and in this book, we are going to touch on some of those points and provide you with the tips needed to help you become all you were created to be!
Your house should be your sanctuary; the place where you relax, socialize, lay your head at night and get a good rest. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many people; why? It’s because their homes are so messy that it causes them more anxiety than working a 60-hour week! A cluttered environment equals a cluttered mind. When you have so much junk in your home that you could open a thrift store, it’s toxic. Here are some tips on how you can declutter your home.
Get Rid of The Junk: Tackle each room one by one and get rid of anything that you haven’t used for more than a year. No matter how much you like the look of it, or whether you think you will be able to use it any time soon, if you don’t use it, bin it! What you do with the stuff is up to you, you could hold a garage sale, sell the stuff on the internet or give it away to charity. The point is to get rid of it!
Clean: Now that you can see your carpet, it’s time to start cleaning. Again, go through each room, hoovering, dusting and wiping down the windows and the walls. You will be amazed at how much dirt was tucked underneath some of that junk.
Organize: Now that everything is nice and clean, you want to make sure your home is in order. There should be a specific place for everything. For example, the keys go on a hook in the corridor, the remote control on the second shelf, the magazines in a rack. Don’t leave anything unassigned; give your possessions a home within a home. You will probably need to go out and buy some bins so that you will have somewhere to put everything.
That’s it. People, your home has now officially been decluttered!
Your mind is the most powerful organ in your body. It directs the course of your life and if it isn’t in good working order, guess what? You are going to have a very hard time. Most of us don’t pay any attention to our minds. We feed our bodies, but our minds are neglected.
We don’t think about what we are putting into our minds and neither do we think about what we are thinking. How would you feel if I were to tell you that everything that is happening in your life right now is a direct result of the way you think?
Without getting too scientific here, thoughts are energy. Energy travels and connects with other energy. Everything in life is energy, so whatever you think about the most, you will attract into your life. This is a universal law. There is no getting around this fact, so you can either let the laws work for you, or they will work against you.
According to research, human beings think approximately 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day! That’s a lot of thinking, right? But if I were to ask you to write down your last 1,000 thoughts you wouldn’t remember, that’s because of most of the time, you are not conscious of your thoughts. The trick is to pay attention to your dominant thought patterns when you catch yourself thinking.
Unfortunately, most of our thinking is negative. That inner voice is constantly feeding you bad news. However, the good news is that you have got the power to control your thoughts. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but with persistence and practice, you can master your thoughts.
Pay Attention to Your Thoughts: To start, pay attention to what you think about. Are you concerned about paying bills or that you won’t have enough money to send your children to college? Do you wonder if you will ever achieve your goals? Carry a notepad and pen around, and when you catch yourself thinking, write your thoughts down.
Change the Narrative of Your Mind: The idea here is to erase negative thinking and replace those thoughts with something positive. So instead of thinking, “I will never have enough money to send my children to college,” say to yourself, “I have more than enough money to send my children to college.” This is going to feel very strange when you start doing it because your bank balance is telling a completely different story.
However, faith is declaring what you can see in your spirit and not what you can see with your physical eyes. You want to focus all your thought energy on the desired outcome and not on what you don’t want.
Remember, whatever you think about the most, you will attract into your life, as James Allen’s book states, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he!”
When I was a teenager, my parents didn’t like the friends that I had started hanging around with, and they would say, “Show me your friend, and I will show you your character.” In other words, your friends reflect who you are. I didn’t pay this any attention until I got older and realized what they meant. I assume that you are reading this book because you are trying to get somewhere in life.
Unfortunately, not everyone has goals. Some of your friends are either content with where they are in life, or they are too lazy to change their circumstances. People like this will hold you back from reaching your destiny because subconsciously they want you to remain in the same position as them. Therefore, they will do everything in their power to hold you back. They will call you at all hours of the night and day to talk about their problems for hours on end, they always want you to come to some social event, or they will turn up at your house with a beer and a pizza and sit in front of the TV for the entire weekend. These are not the type of people you want in your life, so here is how to get rid of them and make new friends.
Take Inventory of Your Friends: Make a list of all the friends that are closest to you. Next to their names write down their goals, if you don’t know ask them. And then write down what these people are doing to achieve their goals.
Next, write down what you do when you spend time with people as well as the content of the conversations that you hold. If any of your friends have no goals, you spend most of your time engaging in non-productive activities and conversations, you need to get these people out of your life.
Feed Them with A Long-Handled Spoon: Weeding people out of your life is not the easiest thing in the world especially when you have known them for a significant period. Just telling them you don’t want to be friends anymore is rude and insensitive. However, you can start to distance yourself from them. The more you focus on your goals, the less time you will have to spend with them. They are not going to understand this at first. In fact, some will become quite annoyed with you. However, you must persevere if you are going to get anywhere in life.
Start Networking: Once you have got rid of your old friends, you want to make new friends that are walking on the same path as you. The question is where do you find such people? Go to seminars and conferences where speakers are teaching about success, goal achievement, and prosperity. People don’t go to places like this unless they are trying to change their lives for the better once you have got rid of your old friends, keep them out! This sounds harsh, but unless they are walking in the same direction as you, you don’t need them in your life!
5.Are You Managing Your Time? – How to Declutter Your Day
Have you ever wondered why successful people achieve so much? It’s not because they have some divine knowledge that the rest of the world don’t possess. Neither is it because they are magically given more hours in the day than everyone else. Outside of sheer hard work, it’s because they manage their time exceptionally well. Every hour of their day is filled with doing something productive that relates to a specific goal. This is the daily routine of the average person:
- They roll out of bed an hour before work
- Rush to get ready
- Have breakfast if they have time
- Go to work
- Come home
- Have dinner
- Sit in front of the TV watching fruitless entertainment
- Go to bed
- Wake up in the morning and do it all again
- Can’t wait until Friday
- Get depressed on Sunday
Does this routine sound familiar to you? Now, here is the daily routine of Bill Gates:
Wake up at 4 am
Run-on the treadmill for an hour at the same time as watching an educational DVD
Read the newspaper
Has a shower
Gets to work
This is just a snapshot of his daily routine. However, can you see how different it is to the average person? Here are some tips on how to manage your time better.
Wake Up Earlier: One of the many reasons why successful people are where they are in life is because they wake up before everyone else. While the rest of the world is in bed, they are up doing what they need to do to ensure their goals are achieved. I am not telling you to wake up at 4 a.m. but you can start by waking up an hour earlier than you normally would and see what type of difference it makes to your level of productivity.
Have Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets you up for success, it fuels your brain and prepares you for the task at hand.
Exercise: A healthy body equals a healthy mind. Get the blood circulating in your body first thing in the morning and you will be fired up and ready for everything that you need to do.
Work on Your Goals: The first thing in the morning is the best time to work on your goals. This is when you have the most energy and will power, at the end of the day, you are tired, you don’t have much energy left and you are not as productive.
Write A To-Do List: Most people plow through their day with no real direction. When you know where you are going, you are more likely to get there. Write a to-do list before you go to bed and carry it with you throughout the day. As you get each task done, tick it off. You will feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction that you have successfully managed to complete what you set out to do.
This is just the beginning. Once you gain momentum and start waking up earlier, you will really see a difference in your productivity levels and the number of things you are able to accomplish throughout the day. If you don’t have a plan for your life, except one thing – failure!
6. Does Your Desk Look Like a Trash Heap? How to Declutter Your Work Area
Your work environment is equally as important as your home environment. If it is cluttered and full of trash, your productivity levels are going to be at an all-time low. Your desk is where the magic happens, all the work you need to get done happens in here, so you want to make sure that it is conducive to success.
If you feel flustered and stressed out when you sit at your workspace because you can’t find the minutes for last night’s meeting, or you can’t find your project plans and whatever else comes along with having a messy desk, you need to make some changes. Here are some tips on decluttering your work area.
What Are the Necessities: In other words, what items do you use all the time? Keep these things at arm’s length. Everything else should either go in the trash or in a draw. This step will keep an organized flow on your desk.
Spring Cleaning: Dust is real! It can build up very quickly under a pile of mess, so once you know what you are throwing away and what you are keeping, give your desk a good clean!
Compartmentalize Your Desk: Create compartments based on your work tasks, this will allow you to prioritize your work and help you to flow through your tasks throughout the day. For example, you can have a compartment for emails, meetings, research etc. It is also essential that you label them in order of importance.
Take A Lunch Break: There are times when you will feel as if you have got so much work to do that you won’t want to leave your desk. This is not a good idea. Taking a break will revive you and give you the additional boost you need to keep going. Make sure you leave your desk. The whole idea of taking a break is that you mentally detach from what you are doing. You should also make a point of taking a short walk when you go for a break. The fresh air will help to clear your mind.
6. Are You Trying to Do Too Much? – How to Declutter Your Commitments
Are you one of those people always complaining that there are not enough hours in the day to get things done? May I submit to you that it’s not the number of hours you have available but what you choose to do with that time. We take on way too many commitments and then complain that we don’t have enough time to complete them and to enjoy life.
What does the typical week look like to you? What does a typical day look like? Is your calendar so jam-packed that you don’t have a minute to spare? Are you constantly jumping from activity to activity?
If you feel overwhelmed by life, the answer is ladies and gentlemen to apply the same principle of decluttering your home to decluttering your commitments. Decide what you are going to keep, throw in the trash or donate. Here are some steps to help you to declutter your commitments.
Take Inventory: You know what tasks and activities you have committed to. Write them down and ask yourself why you have agreed to this commitment. Are you excited about doing it, does the activity fill you with joy, or do you get irritated when you think about it? Is the commitment something you can delegate? Organize them into three piles: 1) Keep, 2) Trash, 3) Donate (delegate).
Stick to It: Once you have made these piles stick to them. If you must let some people down, oh well, they will live to see another day! However, do let them down gently. Call or meet with them face to face and apologize for the inconvenience. You don’t need to go into detail about why you’ve got to cancel, just say that it isn’t convenient for you at the moment.
Take a Break: There are some commitments that are a must. You must do them because they are tied to your very existence. However, not everything is a matter of life and death and sometimes you simply need to spend time alone.
Therefore, spend at least one month doing nothing, don’t do anything with the school, the church or your job. Whatever extra-curricula activities you typically take on, take a break from them. This will refresh you and give you the energy to continue once you get back to it.
People are always complaining that life is hard, but in some cases, we make life difficult for ourselves, especially when we are the type of people who find it difficult to say no. It is important that you enjoy life, have fun and relax. When you are always busy, it is impossible to do so.
7. Maintaining Your Decluttered Life
Now that everything in your life has been nicely decluttered, it is essential that you keep it that way. Here are some tips on maintaining your decluttered life.
Maintaining Your Decluttered Home: Give your home a good clean once a week. If you realize that you are getting back into bad habits of buying things that you don’t really need, or putting things where they are not supposed to go, nip the habit in the bud as soon as it comes to your awareness. Your home should always be immaculate.
It should be inspection ready no matter what time of the night or day it is. Not only is this for your own peace of mind, but you never know who is going to show up at your home. When your house is in order, you will feel much better about life.
Maintaining Your Decluttered Mind: When it comes to decluttering your mind, consistency is key. The strategies you have learned must become a part of your daily routine. Once it becomes a habit, you will find that positive thinking becomes second nature to you. Worry will no longer be a part of your vocabulary and you will begin to attract the things in your life that you want instead of what you don’t want.
Maintaining Your Decluttered Relationships: People have a sneaky way of finding themselves back into your life. The friends that you used to associate with will find it difficult that you are no longer a part of their lives and they will try every manipulation tactic to reel you back in.
Keep the doors closed and refuse to be drawn back into a life of complacency. You are a person of purpose and you cannot afford to allow other people to hold you back from your destiny.
As well as keeping your old friends shut out of your life, you also need to be wary of the new people who will come into your life. Before you allow people all the way in, evaluate their character, what do they talk about most often? What are they doing to work towards their goals? Are they stagnant in life? You want to keep such people as far away from you as possible.
Maintaining Your Decluttered Day: Again, consistency is key. Your ability to keep a decluttered day is determined by your ability to maintain your daily routine. Waking up early and getting things done first thing in the morning should become a normal part of your life.
You are not going to get this right straight away; it is going to take some time and it is going to take some practice. However, if you are consistent you will be successful. According to research, it takes 21 days to form a habit. Once you can maintain this routine for 21 days consecutively, you know you are headed in the right direction.
Maintaining Your Decluttered Work Area: Treat your work area in the same way that you treat your home. Tidy it every day and don’t allow paperwork to accumulate. At the end of each day, get rid of anything that you don’t need. Prepare the work that you are going to do the following day.
Write a to-do list so that you see it as soon as you return to work the next morning. When your desk is constantly clear, you will become a lot more productive, you will meet deadlines on time, and you will have a lot less stress in your life.
Maintaining Your Decluttered Commitments: The key to decluttering your commitments is learning how to say no. When someone or an organization asks you to do something, if your week is already full, or you don’t feel in your heart that it is something you need to be a part of then say no. Every so often, take inventory of your commitments. If you ever feel as if things are getting too much, go back to the keep, trash, donate principle.
I don’t know what your ideal life looks like, but I do know that you are reading this because you feel overwhelmed. You’ve just got too many things going on, clutter is wearing you down and you want to eliminate it.
I can deeply empathize with you because once upon a time I was that person. My life was so full of nothing that it felt like I was walking up a never-ending hill and I was unable to see a way out.
However, after reading some books, watching some videos and going to seminars I decided to implement the principles that I had been learning. All I can say is that my life was transformed. It took a while, but I got there in the end.
That is the reason I have written this book; I believe that we can all live a decluttered and minimalist life if we are intentional about it. You must make a conscious and determined effort to live this way every day of your life, and after some time, you will begin to see things change. However, change does not come without work, and you will need to have enough discipline and determination to put the work into achieving your goals.
What you will find when you declutter your life is that your mind will become clear, there will be a renewed intensity to your focus, ideas will start to flow freely, and new doors of opportunity will begin to open for you. Decluttering doesn’t just bring order, it is one of the principles of success, you will find that the most successful people in the world are exceptionally organized and live very minimalist lives.
There is nothing easy about the task you are about to embark on. In fact, it is extremely difficult, and there are going to be days when you are just not in the mood and you really don’t feel like doing anything. But it is on these days that you must persevere and push through. Discipline is not having the will power to do something but doing something when you don’t want to do it.
I wish you every success on your journey to a decluttered life!