I love decluttering. By decluttering I mean tidying up, sorting out my things, getting rid of some unnecessary stuff and ultimately clean what’s left and gets some fresh air in. It’s just so relieving and satisfying!
Today, there are countless studies and opinions stating that the mess you surround yourself with is effectively a reflection of your mind. I’m not going to pick this to pieces now – even though this would make very interesting material for another post – but I’m coming straight to the following conclusion: It’s totally true for me. I don’t have an obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) – I’m just a human being with a human brain – and it can become quite messy in there. And I’ve realised that during times when I felt extra stressed and things start to pile up on my desk and everywhere else – it increases my stress levels even more. It makes me uncomfortable and somehow exhausted (might be due to the distraction?). So, when I reach this point of exhaustion and stress – very often, the first thing I do (besides going for a run maybe) is starting to tidy up my space. It might sound counterproductive at first, but it really helps me putting things back in order if you will. Most of the time this works wonders! I guess, that’s because it gives you this feeling of literally taking things (or your faith) in your own hands.
So, the next time you feel stressed out – why not trying this unconventional method of calming your nerves? You can listen to some music or podcast, have a cup of tea and maybe even dance around a little while kicking it off! And honestly, the worst thing that can happen is that you still don’t feel quite calm and relaxed (even though you probably will) but in a now clean space. Not too bad isn’t it? But in order to make success in this matter even more likely, there are a few things I like to keep in mind when having another decluttering session:
Time frame: While you might get all caught up in the idea of taking action – don’t run off without setting realistic goals. Decluttering usually (in my experience at least) takes longer that you’d think so, make sure not to overwhelm yourself – that will hardly make you feel any better. Instead, try focusing on the most important parts, bits and pieces and get it done!
Bigger picture: Since we’re very much conditioned on experiencing the world with our eyes (besides people with sight disorders of course), the overall look is what matters the most. So, try to focus on cleaning all obvious surfaces first – and keep those drawers for later (if there’s time left). Also try to put your essentials into boxes, drawers and cupboards. It’ll make it all look neater and tidier instantly.
Dare to declutter: Be brave – and get rid of stuff you simply never ever use or look at. There is no reason to keep it. Because if you obviously don’t even realise it’s there – it might as well not be and your life will go on (less stuffed). Some sentimental items might be the exception – but be honest with yourself: Does it have any real value to me? Will it add value to my life? Getting rid of what’s stuffing your place will be the most relieving part of the whole experience.
Maybe-Box: If you have things you actually feel ready to let go but think you might regret having done so tomorrow – put them in a Maybe-Box. This way you keep those few (!) items stored away for some time (set a deadline!) and can take out the items you still need. What’s left shouldn’t find its way back into your drawers or shelves – because you actually don’t need it.
Donate or sell: If you managed to make a pile of things you want to let go of, divide them into three piles: Throw away, donate (always a good idea) and sell (yes you might even make money if you’re lucky!). Only because you don’t need this thing anymore, it doesn’t mean that it has to go to waste. It might still be of value to other people! And if it doesn’t – get it out of your life anyway.
And now guys, happy decluttering! I hope those tips help some of you. Let me know about your experiences with decluttering and how it makes you feel!