When we talk about decluttering, we’re not just talking about your spare room or your kitchen. We’re talking about the whole damn house and when your house has been completely decluttered, your life becomes amazing. Today I’m going to show you how to declutter your life so you can have less stress and be happier in 6 simple steps.
This may be a long one. Grab your drink of choice and let’s get cracking.
First things first.
Why is it important to declutter your life?
So many people think that decluttering is simply cleaning out one room and then all is well.
It kinda is and it kinda isn’t. I mean, yes, decluttering is all about cleaning up a room or a drawer or a closet but it’s so much more than that.
You first need to understand something really important:
Clutter is toxic negative energy
Wherever the clutter is living in your space right now, that area is full of this negative energy. And now I’m going to put a different little spin on this and I hope you stay with me here for the whole thing.
Just trust me on this one, please.
I’ve studied Feng Shui for over 10 years and while this article is definitely NOT about Feng Shui there are certain things you need to know that just make sense in everyday life. Once you understand, you’ll see why it is so important to declutter your life.
Actually, your mind will be blown.
Can decluttering change your life?
You better believe it. In more ways than you can even wrap your head around. When we toss ‘things’ and clean up clutter that’s bogged down our house (and stressed us out) the freedom you will feel is beyond amazing.
When you own less stuff you have less stress and you feel a hundred pounds lighter. For real. Can decluttering change your life? Yup. For the better.
Joshua Becker from becomingminimalist.com has an amazing site full of posts about decluttering-the who, why, when, where, etc. You might want to check him out to help you get started on your journey to become a minimalist and different ways to declutter your life.
Clutter = negative energy
Every single thing on the face of the earth has energy. Good, toxic, stagnant, dirty, you name it, energy comes in all forms.
I want you to look at your cluttered area and tell me what kind of energy you think is lurking in there. I assure you it’s not good.
Now I want you to take a look at this map below. This map shows you the 9 life areas in your space (whether you live in a house or apartment).
You can see at the bottom of the map, that’s your front door and looking in.
Figure out where the most clutter in your house is and find that spot on the map. Chances are, that area of your life is either in chaos or not as well as you’d like it to be. That’s where all the toxic negative energy is hanging out. Ick.
That’s enough Feng Shui’ing for now. I wanted you to actually see how clutter affects every area of your life, whether you believe it or not. It does. That’s why it is SO important to declutter your life by starting with your home.
Get it now?
How to live a simple life-declutter!!
Yes, living simply is a great goal to strive for but it’s so much more than that. It’s about feeling happier and more peaceful in your surroundings, your space.
I think in this day and age, keeping up with the Jones’ isn’t so much on people’s minds anymore. It’s about living simply and not living beyond your means.
What people don’t realize is that once you start decluttering, room by room, you will feel a totally different energy in your house and within yourself. It’s so amazing.
When we clear the clutter from our house, we, in turn, clear the clutter from our minds and daily life, and all that adds up to being happier and less stressed. Living simply and in gratitude, for all we do have.
(this article contains affiliate links so if you make a purchase I may make a small commission-affiliate disclosure)
Where to start decluttering
So now that you have a better understanding of how clutter affects your life and why it’s so important to declutter, let’s talk about how we’re going to go about where to start decluttering, one room at a time.
Depending on how much clutter you actually have in your entire house, this may or may not be overwhelming.
Before you begin, I suggest tackling the room or area with the most amount of clutter. Why? Because once you get the big job out of the way, the rest will be easy and you will actually look forward to clearing out all the clutter in the rest of the areas.
Many will say start small. I think if we just do little bits and rooms at a time we will keep putting off the big one. Start big, work your way down to small.
Once you’ve chosen the area or the room, make a plan.
Planning is key. Many of us like structure and routine. We like schedules and appointments. We are more prone to complete tasks when we see them written out clearly and then can check them off.
It gives us a sense of accomplishment and who doesn’t like that feeling?
How to start decluttering when overwhelmed
Yes it’s overwhelming. You’ve put this off long enough. You know it’s time to get to it and anxiety and overwhelm kick in. I’m going to try to make this easy for you and show you how to start decluttering when overwhelmed in 6 simple steps.
Before we even get started, you need to decide which room you are going to tackle first.
Once you’ve picked your room you are then going to pick a date on the calendar, much like a doctor’s appointment, and stick to it. You should set aside at least two hours, though you can definitely do more hours if you feel up to it.
At least start with 2 hours, please.
If the thought of decluttering gives you a little bit of anxiety then you need to start mentally preparing yourself for this big event.
Block out your time and make sure there are no interruptions. Let your friends and family know not to disturb you. We can see easily get distracted when we have to do things we don’t want to do, amirite?
You’ve procrastinated long enough on doing this. It’s time. You might like this post on how to overcome procrastination.
You will need some things before you get started. Here’s a simple little decluttering checklist to help you get started.
Decluttering checklist of the things you’ll need
- garbage bags
- masking tape and black marker
- storage boxes or plastic containers
- soft music (or pumped up jammin’ stuff!)
- a drink of choice (though I’d suggest water or herbal tea)
- a proper frame of mind
- 100% commitment to getting it done!
That’s the easy part. Now for the hard, er, I mean fun part! You’ve set the date, you prepared yourself for this day…let’s go!!
Things to declutter
It’s important to know what things to declutter first so you don’t get way too overwhelmed. I mean, you’re probably already freaking out a little so when we narrow it down a bit, it just makes it so much easier.
Some of the things to declutter include:
- things you haven’t used in over a year
- things you don’t like (ugly pictures Aunt Betty bought you)
- outdated items
- broken/worn/torn things
- useless things
You probably already know what most of these are but as you go room to room and come across them, you’ll know that these are “chuck it” items and they MUST go!!
I also get that many people like to hang on to memorabilia. I get that. Before I became a minimalist, I hung onto every single solitary thing. When I finally got rid of all those things, my life got so much simpler and easier, and much to my surprise and delight, I didn’t miss a single solitary item I chucked.
You won’t either. I am a firm believer that the memories in our hearts and minds live on forever, not the material ones. #mytwocents
Remember, we’ve already mentally prepared for all of this. Now be prepared to part with things you simply don’t need to hang on to anymore.
6 Simple steps to help you declutter your life
Here we go!! You got all the things you need off the decluttering checklist, it’s time to get crackalackin’. Here are 6 simple steps to help you declutter your life, so you can be happier!
As you enter the room, you may feel a slight wave of anxiety. Breathe through it. You’re so gonna be ok and you are going to feel like a million dollars when you’re done. Trust me on that.
1 Clear an area on the floor
You’re going to be creating lots of little (or big) piles. Make sure you clear an area on the floor to put all your unwanted/wanted items.
2 Get your piles ready
Get your garbage bags and boxes ready. It doesn’t matter where in the room you start, just pick a spot and start.
As you sort through each thing, decide if it’s a “keep” “donate” “sell” or “throwaway” item. One thing to keep in mind is that some of the stuff you are holding on to that you don’t need or want can be sold in a yard sale. Ka-ching!!
3 Don’t overthink this
Don’t overthink each item. The longer you think about it, the more apt you are to want to keep it. Remember, we are decluttering your life. You’re not going to get anywhere if you spend too much time thinking about whether or not to keep stuff.
4 No rethinking
Once you’ve added an item to a pile it’s done. Do not go back to that pile and pick up the item again and rethink it. Nope nope nope. You will never get this finished if you do that and you will become super frustrated.
5 Take a 5 minute break
After 30 minutes or so, take a wee break. Clear your mind, make another cup of tea, go for a short walk outside or simply step away from the room but set a timer!! 5 minutes is all you need to recharge.
6 Finishing up
At the end of your two hours (or however many hours you chose to set aside to do this) give yourself a high five. If you have not quite finished this room, make another date on the calendar in the very near future (one week is ideal, sooner if you can) to get back in this room and do more work.
If a “garbage” bag or box is full, remove it immediately and take it out to the trash. Don’t let it sit in that room. You’ll be too tempted to go back and go through it again. Get rid of it.
But most importantly be proud of yourself for getting started and actually doing it!!
How to declutter smaller areas
Maybe you have a shelf or small closet that needs to be decluttered. It’s super simple to do this in under 30 minutes. You probably already know what’s garbage and what you need to keep. As you go through your day, take a few minutes to clear these little areas.
Every little bit adds up to getting rid of toxic energy!
Speaking of shelves, maybe you have an empty one that has room to store all your cluttered mess!! Use it for that. Put things away neatly!! Or better yet, get some shelves and get some of that stuff off the floor!!
What to do after your area has been completely decluttered
I would highly recommend doing this, though you don’t really have to, it’s just a simple way to clear the energy from the room that you’ve just stirred up.
I love space clearing rooms and do it about once a month. You will need a sage smudge stick or lavender spritzer for this.
When you’re done decluttering your room, burn your sage and starting at the door and moving clockwise, wave your sage smudge stick in the air to cleanse all the negative energy. I found this video that explains the use of sage and how to use it.
You can also clear your own personal energy by holding the sage at your heart and letting the smoke rise up around you. That’s how I like to clear my own energy.
Don’t forget you can also use a lavender spritzer if smoke isn’t your thing.
Declutter your life-have more inner peace!
You will notice as you get through your house/space and declutter your life and area, you will have more inner peace and joy in your life.
You will feel less stressed and surprisingly enough, good things will flow to you and bad things will go away. It’s kind of like magic, but it’s all simply a matter of how energy works.
Think about how you feel when you are around a toxic person. That’s negative energy. The same holds true for your house and all the clutter in your space. It’s all toxic.
Get rid of that, declutter your life, and live happier ever after.
You’re welcome! 🙂