6 Tips for Decluttering for a Calm Mind
I think nearly everyone has had that moment of looking around your home and realising, “wow. I have a lot of stuff”. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but there are all sorts of benefits to getting rid of the stuff we don’t need anymore, and surrounding us with what we really need.
Having an aesthetically pleasing environment to live in can have huge benefits for your mental health. You won’t feel overwhelmed by all the little distractions strewn about the place, you’ll be able to concentrate better (especially important if you work from home), and you’ll generally find your home a more relaxing place to live in.
So here are six tips for decluttering for a calm mind.
1. Make a start
First and foremost, stop putting off the task of decluttering. There is a tendency for people to put off getting rid of their clutter because they fear they might throw out something they’ll need in the future. This is seldom the case.
One helpful way to get yourself started is to create a decluttering checklist. Go around your house and make a list of things that you have an excess of.
A good place to start is the kitchen; so many households have many times the number of glasses, cutlery, crockery, Tupperware containers, and so on, than they actually need. Once you begin making your list of things that you can reduce, you’ll begin noticing all sorts of other things you could do without.
As you make a start on minimising the contents of your home, you’ll begin to see the tangible results of it and be more motivated to continue.
2. Look at your home like a first-time visitor
Next time you arrive back home, pretend you’re visiting for the first time, or that this is the home of a friend or family member. Viewing your space from a different perspective is a great way to notice things that might have just become part of the scenery. Take notes about your first impressions, and be honest (but not too harsh!) with yourself. If it is too hard, just ask your family and friends’ opinion. They often see what you don’t see everyday.
As a “new visitor” entering your home, how does the space make you feel? Is it a chaotic environment, or do you feel a sense of ease and calm? With all the overstimulation our brains receive on a daily basis from technology, social media, the news, advertising, and so on, we want our home to be a place for our brains (and those of our friends) to feel soothed and relaxed.
3. Resist impulse buying
It might seem obvious that resisting the urge to buy more things is a good way to reduce clutter, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. When you feel that urge to purchase the shiny new thing from the shop or website, hit the pause button and consider:
- Where would it live in your home?
- What would it take to maintain it?
- Do you “need” this, or “want” this?
You could go for a walk around the shop (or the block, if you’re shopping online), as you think about how much you really want/need this item. The impulse to purchase will fade if your need for it is not great enough. And it could save you some money as well!
4. Decluttering can be an interesting exercise in self-awareness
As you go through the decluttering of your home, you’ll no doubt come across things you haven’t seen or thought about for years. There’s nothing wrong with reflecting on why you’ve held onto something and recognising if it’s something you still really love enough to hold onto.
Taking stock of what is most important to you in your home and your lifestyle, can be an interesting exercise in self reflection. Asking yourself what your material possessions really mean to you and taking the time to think about whether you need to keep them in your life can help you tap into a better sense of self-awareness.
5. Don’t feel you need to declutter your entire home in a day
Decluttering your home isn’t an easy task. Don’t overwhelm yourself by aiming to finish it in a single day. Break it down into pieces and tackle one room, or even area of a room, at a time.
When you finish one area, notice how satisfying it is to see that wonderful, tidy spot, and use that as motivation for the next part of the job. As long as you can maintain the completed areas, it might even be something that you do on a semi-regular basis – gradually working your way around your home.
So don’t stress about it, be kind to yourself, and enjoy!
6. Maintain it
Once you’ve finished getting rid of your clutter, it’s all too easy to gradually let it build up again, ruining all of your hard work. Make an effort to keep abreast of any accumulating “nests” of clutter, and nip them in the bud before they become overwhelming. You might like to schedule a regular “declutter” day to maintain it – kind of like you would with a haircut!
Decluttering your home can seem overwhelming, but I hope these tips have given you the confidence to make a start. The benefits to your mental health will be immediately noticeable – there’s nothing like kicking back to relax in your beautifully clutter-free home.
If you’d like to give your home a fresh makeover, I’d love to help. Please feel free to get in touch and I’ll be in contact at a time that suits you.