How To Declutter And Create A Better Life

5 Things That Will Eliminate Clutter and Chaos From Your Life

Whenever we have excessive clutter in our external environment, it will have an effect on all aspects of our lives, most times, in a negative way.

Clutter is a sign we’re not in a healthy mental state and if we continue to ignore the signs, it can lead to:

  • Distraction and lack of focus.
  • Feelings of overwhelm and despair.
  • Lower levels of motivation.
  • Lack of efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Higher levels of stress or anxiety.

If we continue to tolerate clutter, we’ll use up units of mental energy, which will make it more difficult to consciously design our environments the way we want. The more clutter we can eliminate, the better our chances of creating the results and the life we want.

How to declutter your home and your life

At a recent seminar I attended, I learned that if I wanted to maintain a consistent but high level of energy during the day, I needed to develop new habits that would help me perform at a higher level. After I returned from the seminar, one of the first actions I took was to clean out my work desk as I tended to have books, loose sheets of paper with notes and other unnecessary items on it.

Those things were distractions, which affected my ability to focus and also used up valuable mental energy. By eliminating those things, I have been able to concentrate better, am less distracted and have been more effective in getting my priorities done. Something so simple has made a big difference to how I work and what I’m able to accomplish.

5 Things That Will Help Eliminate Clutter From Your Life

  1. Decide how you want your environments to be. Having a clear mental picture of what we want is a good starting point. We can visualise how we want our external environments such as our home or work space to be like, which in turn, will lead us to designing a better life for ourselves.
  2. Find out what causes clutter. If we just clean up clutter and not get to what caused the clutter in the first place, there’s every chance we’ll repeat that behaviour again. Self-awareness is often the first key to creating lasting change. This is where some self-reflection or introspection is necessary to get to the root of the clutter in our lives. Then we’ll be better informed to make intelligent choices.
  3. Schedule a declutter blitz. One of my mentors teaches a principle called “Clean up Your Messes and Incompletes,” where we identify a specific day or a weekend, where we tackle as many things, including clutter, so that we can have a better external environment. We can go through each area of our homes such as the garage, kitchen, laundry, closets, bedrooms, etc., and have each of those areas the way we’d like them to be. This may involve throwing items out or giving items away.
  4. Identify spots for items. In my previous career, there was a concept called “5S” that I learned as part of Lean Manufacturing training. The 5S stands for Sort, Straighten (or Set), Shine (or Sweep), Standardise and Sustain. What this means is there is a specific place for everything. If we adopt this concept, whenever we pick up or use an item, we know that it has to go back to a specific place after we’re done with it.
  5. Learn to live with less material things and less external commitments. One of the best ways to avoid having clutter in our lives is to have or own less things, and only commit to activities that are aligned with who we are and what we want to do. The less things we have or are committed to, the less stress we will experience, which will result in a much simpler and better life.

The better we get at decluttering, the less chaotic our lives will be. The less chaotic our lives, the more happiness, success and meaning we will create in our lives, which is what we really want.

Action Step: If you have clutter in your life at present, review your environments and create a mental picture of how you would like them to be. Start decluttering based on the ideas suggested above so that you can create a better life for yourself.

Question: What is another thing we can do to declutter and create a better life?

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