When you think about self-care you may consider the importance of managing your stress levels, having a healthy work-life balance or getting enough exercise and adequate nutrition.
It is unlikely the thought of decluttering will spring to mind. However, clutter can have a seriously detrimental effect on your life and your mental health, especially if you let it become unmanageable.
Furthermore, clutter is not limited to just your home life, it can also affect your workplace, if you let it.
By prioritizing decluttering you can improve your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and even better, this can be achieved by taking a series of simple, but significant steps.
What is the process of decluttering?
Decluttering is not just about organizing your possessions and throwing out belongings that you no longer need; it is also about working out what assets add value to your life. This can concern friendships, working relationships and even daily commitments that you have made.
Working out what is truly important to you can take time, and you may make mistakes along the way, but ultimately you should come out the other end more content, less stressed and much more able to be in control of your life.
Start by setting your priorities
Make a list of all your current commitments; including your family, your work and your friendship circles. Next, make another list of the most important elements of your life; the people or undertakings that truly bring you joy. Now, cross reference these lists to find out which parts of your life you should be putting your efforts and time into.
It may be hard at first to remove yourself from certain commitments, but try to remember that by doing so, you will have more time to spend doing the things that you love with the people you care about the most.
Then eliminate toxic people
You may not think about decluttering your social circle, but it is a vital step in ensuring that you stay mentally strong and happy in your daily life. Identifying toxic people and relationships is easy when you know what to look for; think about who drains your energy, people who constantly take from you but rarely give anything in return, those who leave you feeling depressed rather than uplifted after spending time with them. These are the people that you do not need in your life; instead surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to grow and thrive as a person.
Finally, simplify your living and working environment
The most hands-on part of the process – actively decluttering your home and work areas. This can be almost therapeutic for some people; the act of throwing away belongings that you no longer need can sometimes feel like a metaphorical weight has been lifted from your shoulders. A sort of cleansing ritual, so to speak.
This undertaking can be a lengthy one, but it will be worth the effort once you see the end result.
Start by sorting your belongings into piles that you want to keep, donate and throw away. If your keep pile begins to look extensive, consider looking into a secure self storage facility where you can safely keep your treasured items.
The next step should be organizing the items you want to keep in your home into your specific storage areas; drawers, cabinets, wardrobes and dual-purpose furniture as well as other spaces such as the attic or the garage.
Lastly, you need to tackle the area in your home that is your go-to place for throwing any item that you don’t want to be seen – you know the place, everybody has one. It could be under the bed; it could be in the spare room closet; or even in a kitchen cupboard. Clearing your preferred ‘dump’ space is the ultimate sign that you are ready to embrace a clutter-free life.