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Declutter Your Space – Declutter Your Mind

Written by: Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

What used to be an old wives tale has become a surprisingly powerful tool for many, especially in an era where so many of us work from home. It's one thing that is hard to start but always so worth it, and you feel good when you get it right. If you're feeling overwhelmed and stuck, then the practice of decluttering is just what you need. It surprises people that sorting and organizing stuff can directly influence mental well-being and productivity. This timeless concept with seemingly endless methods and even more claimed benefits is what we're tackling today. Today, I cut through the noise with my favorite techniques, reasons, and tips.

Donating Decluttering and cleaning up wardrobe clothes

Decluttering and cleaning are different.

To declutter is different from cleaning. While equally therapeutic, cleaning focuses on removing dirt, dust, and an overall mess. Decluttering is all about stuff – letting go of and getting rid of the things taking up room in our spaces (homes, offices, cars, etc.) And it generally refers to removing the items that no longer serve us. This makes sense to most of us because we've all had that experience of decluttering a work or desk space and suddenly being able to focus better and be more productive. Less stuff in our space is less stuff to weigh us down, less stuff to get messy, and less stuff to distract us. While this is a very practical explanation, decluttering also gets to be an experience about releasing what is weighing us down and making space in our lives for the goodness to come. We cannot move a new couch in without removing the old one – literally and figuratively.


Benefits of Decluttering

  1. Reduced stress: A cluttered environment immediately triggers me to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. Decluttering can create a more organized and peaceful space, reducing stress levels (especially for those now working at home full-time.)

  2. Increased productivity: A clutter-free workspace is, of course, going to improve your focus and help you concentrate better(leading to increased productivity).

  3. Better sleep: Did you know cluttered bedrooms can interfere with sleep quality? Any high achiever will tell you how difficult it can be to relax. In a cluttered space, it’s almost impossible. By decluttering the bedroom, we create a more calming environment, resulting in better sleep.

  4. Improved mood: Decluttering can improve overall mood and mental health. But once you have decluttered, being surrounded by items that serve you or bring you joy is also a great energy in any space. A clean and organized space can create that sense of calm we'd all like a bit more of in our day.

  5. Increased motivation: A cluttered environment can make it challenging to get motivated to do anything(including decluttering.) But by creating physical space around us, we can create a more inspiring and motivating space. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

  6. Healthier eating habits: A clutter-free kitchen makes preparing healthy meals and making healthier food choices easier. It also makes the kitchen a more inviting space that might spark some cooking creativity.

  7. Improved relationships: A cluttered environment can cause tension in relationships. When you only have items that serve or bring joy, it becomes harder to create a mess. A decluttered, clean, and organized space feels more harmonious – thus creating more harmony for the people living there.

Hopefully, you have seven more reasons to test your decluttering skills. But as someone who has tried, tried, and tried again – here are some tips for your own decluttering journey.


Tips to help you declutter your space


1. Start small.


Decluttering can be overwhelming, so it's essential to start small. Tackle one room or area of your home at a time. That may be an entire room one energetic Saturday morning or one drawer of your work desk. No space is too small or insignificant to benefit from a bit of decluttering. Starting small can help you feel more accomplished and motivated to continue decluttering.


2. Get rid of what you don't need.


I know it's hard to get rid of things you don't need but have a sentimental attachment to. But those clothes, old books, magazines, and outdated technology won't turn back the clock. In the same way, getting rid of these items won't erase those special memories. I've heard of some beautiful ways to retain the essence of those items. For example, scanning all your children's artwork and creating a coffee table book is a great idea. I'm a sucker for quickness and efficiency. I shift my focus from what I am “losing” or letting go of to what someone else might gain from my unused goods.


3. Organize what you keep.


Once you’ve let go of what doesn’t serve you. It’s time to organize what you keep so that all you love and use is around you in a way that makes sense and brings joy to your daily life. For example, shelves, drawer organizers, and bins are great tools for organizing your space efficiently.


4. Remember digital clutter.


In today's digital age, it's important to remember that clutter can also exist in the digital world. For online entrepreneurs – this is an even more vital task. We need to declutter our digital lives regularly. This includes unsubscribing from old unopened emails and deleting old messages, photos, and videos. This is tough to keep up with, so I recommend you schedule it.


5. Practice mindfulness.


Decluttering isn't just about getting rid of physical and digital clutter. It's also about cultivating a more mindful approach to life. Remember that your mind and body are spaces too.


Regular breaks throughout the day to be still and undistracted are a great way to declutter the mind. Tools like journals, brain dumps, or talking to your coach can also declutter the mind. Decluttering the body gets to be its own adventure and might look different to everyone. Taking a break from alcohol or practicing intermittent fasting are tools you might use.


Bonus Declutter Tip: Out & Out


What really helped me get to the next level of my decluttering journey was something a friend taught me, which I call the Out & Out. This means once you've decided to get rid of it, get it out that day. I've had artwork, appliances, and tools that make it to the front door and right back into the house, only to land at the front door a few months later.


Now it’s time to go and declutter! Hopefully, this blog will push you to create spaces you love and feel good in. Hopefully, it'll show you how joy and purpose are often found in the everyday little things. I also hope these tips help create a more organized and peaceful living environment to create a healthier and happier body, mind, and life.


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Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Recently featured "The Gut Health Coach" by Yahoo!, Chelsea Haines has a unique way of helping high-performers heal. She doesn't claim to know best. Her mission: to remind you that YOU are the expert on your body, only you know precisely what you need, and you are not "crazy" for feeling how you feel. Her expertise stems from personally healing autoimmune disease paired with formal degrees in psychology, gut health, and mindfulness. She’s the Founder of The Gut Health Agency, where a team of health coaches & Registered Dietitians merge health coaching with clinical testing for increased patient compliance and lasting habit change ‒ a needle-moving combination not otherwise seen in the gut health space.

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