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7 Tips for Reducing Clutter and Simplifying Your Life

June 22, 2017
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Clutter clogs you up in all kinds of ways. While you may think that all the random little, bitty, useless things using up useful space in your life aren’t really affecting you. Here’s the simple lowdown – YES they are!

Your subconscious mind processes everything around you, including the knick-knacks and doodads lying here and there in your kitchen, living room, the useless stuff in the basement and garage. The clutter isn’t limited to physical goods, you can also have clutter brain if you don’t figure out how to simplify how your life.

And so why not right now?

It is never too early to live the best you kind of life. Let’s do it friends, let’s place that clutter on the curb between age-you-cola and mind-numbing reality shows. This simple de-clutter is going to make a huge impact – guaranteed.

1. The drawer

So we’re going to start off small and this may even some insignificant, but don’t be fooled, the mess that surrounds you is the mess that’s in you. Now, this exercise should not take you a lot of time, then again I haven’t seen THE DRAWER that is yours.

You know that one drawer you have in the kitchen where you throw everything from packets of soy sauce to screwdrivers, plastic forks, fridge magnets, someone’s button, one chopstick, keychain, pen, and on and on, you get the picture.

Basically it’s the drawer where you can throw things that you don’t want to have to think about and don’t want to throw away.

Stop it!

This simple, repeated act creates clutter in your mind. We know that we are a collection of our habits, if you continue this kitchen clutter it will dribble over into other parts of your life.

If you allow yourself to be indecisive about the drawer, this is also giving permission to yourself to be indecisive about all sorts of things in your life. So clear that drawer, throw those things out or find a proper place for them.

Designate that drawer for something else so you won’t be compelled to repeat the habit. And you will feel the difference in the energy of your kitchen and you’ll feel great about doing this one simple act that adds to that which is you.

2. The memory closet

Ok, this is a big one for most people and can easily take a chunk of Sunday afternoon. However, this simple change to one space in your home is going to make a major impact on how you feel from morning to night.

Staring into the closet is a daily morning ritual for most people and sometimes what looks back at us is at least a decade full of memories. This is absolutely unhealthy for your psyche since it means you are using your precious and limited energy to travel back in time almost every time you finger through the clothes in your closet.

You may not be aware of it, but an item of clothing you wore a long time ago probably has at least one significant memory linked to it, and that’s why you’re not getting rid of it.

So let’s be honest, it is more than likely that you wear approximately 10 percent of the items hanging in your closet. Go through that closet, and if you haven’t worn something in the past year put it into the pile you are going to donate to charity.

Now out of the remaining items, if you wore it once within the year, but not within the past 6 months, put it into a pile that you are going to wash, put into a suitcase and store somewhere until next year. If you don’t bring that suitcase out to take one of the items out in the next 6 months, then you donate the contents of that suitcase too.

Your closet may look a little sparse, but your brain will feel free and this will also give you a chance to reinvent yourself with a few new clean cut pieces to better suit the new clean cut version of you.

3. The knick-knack paddy whacks

Knick-knacks are great in that souvenir shop or on sale at the mall, but actually incorporating them into your spaces is a different story. That figurine of a teddy bear hanging out with a scarecrow may be cute in your grandma’s living room, but if you’re trying to live clean, clutter-free then you should really just donate the knick-knacks to a charity and clean up your chi space.

So tackle your living room first, this is where many of these queerios end up, such as on the mantelpiece, on the side table, coffee table, on shelves and even hanging from the ceilings (groan).

Living rooms are where queerios go to nest. Get into your living room and take them out. You can wait a week before donating them, which will give you a chance to figure out if any of them provided any sort of design value. But to begin with, get rid of everything that isn’t a piece of furniture or a photograph or a living thing.

You can continue your knick-knack whack through the rest of the rooms in your home – maybe one a week depending on the size of your space.

If you’ve got a ton of treasures from your travels and don’t want to get rid of them, maybe create a space dedicated to your travels and give your knick-knacks a home there.

4. Your virtual mail

You know all those unread pieces of mail you have sitting in your virtual inbox, now imagine those taking physical form and sitting in your living room. Yes, that would be quite the mountain wouldn’t it, I bet we couldn’t even find you.

Chances are there are at least more than 500 pieces of both read and unread mail just hanging out in virtual land and chances also are that they go as far back as a year. This is terrible for productivity since psychologically this task hasn’t been completed by you. Similar to when you set a reminder on your phone, there is a reminder set in your brain about these unaddressed emails.

However, the difference is that your phone reminder you can delete, but you can’t delete the one set in your brain without actually taking care of the business at hand.

So, go through your inbox and take care of this blockage. You only have two choices to make with each email – delete or address. Give yourself 2 hours (or more if you’ve got more mail) and just do it.

5. Make a list of your top 4 goals for this year

Now let’s dive deeper into your mental clutter. Once you sit down and write out what exactly is important to you, you will have a much easier time making decisions on how to spend your time.

The decision-making process will go something like this: Does this help me reach my year-end goals? If yes, then you can proceed with an affirmative, and if no, then it’s probably best not to waste your time on widdle-waddle.

Making concrete decisions is difficult for even the best of us, but having something to chart those decisions by is immensely helpful. And remember if a day of laying in the hammock and reading a book is going to help you produce more the next day, then by all means do it.

Don’t be mean to yourself. Just do you in the best way possible!

6. Wake up. Plan your day.

No more of the following statement: “Well, I just don’t know where the day went.”
It is just plain silly to not be in control of your day, you’re the only that is in control. It’s kind of like setting out to drive to New York City and then ending up in Los Angeles – it just makes no sense, that is of course unless you didn’t plan your trip. Bing!

And surely there are certain things that you want to accomplish today, this week, this month, year. However, the only way you’re going to be able to accomplish those things is planning them into your day. Yes, you even need to plan how to live slowly, we’ve been programmed to live fast.

Planning your day is going to keep you on track, especially if you are an independent lifer and work for yourself or in the home. Divide your day by the hour and schedule in everything from when you work, take a walk, have lunch, meet friends, etc.

Sure life can throw the unexpected your way, but as long as you have your handy guide, you will know when you are on or off track and you will know exactly where the day went. That my friends is important.

7. Give yourself a raw day

If you’ve never eaten raw for a day, boy are you are in for an uber treat. You will feel a difference in the way you feel by around 3 in the afternoon. I kid you not, you will feel electric and connected to everything around you.

There are several reasons how eating raw for a day is going de-clutter and simplify your life. Right off the top, eating raw means not having to figure out what to cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – that right there is going to put a whole lot of time in your pocket.

Eating raw foods means no cooking – you can’t get much simpler than that. On top of that you are going to give your body a day to de-clutter itself by only feeding it fresh, whole foods it can easily breakdown.

Eating raw will give you and your whole body a break for a day and if you can try to have one of these days once a week, even better. And eating raw is quite easy, you can nosh on all sorts of vegetables, fruits and nuts. Eating yogurt isn’t a part of the actual going raw diet, however if you feel like you need something a little extra, have a healthy yogurt with your fruit, add some nuts and let yourself fly for the day.

Try out these 7 simple simplify your life strategies and watch everything around you turn a new shade of lovely. Seriously. These are simple things and they work.
Now up and at ‘em.

Written by Joti Heir.