Declutter Your Life: Here’s How

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Did you know that clutter has an affect on how we feel? It’s true; when we hoard objects to the point of having them lying about the house, it weighs down on us and adds to our stress and mental anxiety, even if we may not attribute it to such. But it’s not just physical items we’re talking about here: the way your files are stored digitally on your PC, your commitments and daily routine. Too much of everything will end up making us feel drained and unable to cope.

You’re not alone if anything said so far rings a bell and the good news is, there is something you can do about it and here at SVEA we’re eager to share it. You can start by taking in a deep breath, and by tackling your clutter one step at a time…

  1. Start small and easy

Take a look at what lies around you on the floor. Anything there you can do without or haven’t used/ignored for months? Perhaps it’s time to find another storage place for it – or to give it away.

  1. Move on to surfaces and closets

File away your tax returns or bills which you’ve had lying around since last month. If you don’t have a proper filing cabinet, why not take a quick look at alternatives Pinterest can come up with? From utilising space in closets creatively, to DIY filing systems, there’s something for every household.

Did you know that people in general only wear a very small percentage of what’s in their closets? Re-arrange your clothes, so that the articles you wear often are easily retrieved. If you find you haven’t worn something in a year, perhaps it’s time to find it a new home. Be strict and disciplined with yourself – keeping those psychedelic tops and dresses from the 80s just in case you’re invited to a Boogie party really does not merit the space.

  1. Don’t be scared to give away

Sometimes, we hesitate to give items away because we associate fond memories with them or maybe because they were gifts. But you don’t need to throw them away. How about passing them on to your family? When an object lies unutilised, taking up space you would otherwise use for something else, it is still clutter, no matter how many feelings you associate with it.

  1. Raid the kitchen cupboards

From appliances you’ve only used once in ten years, to extra condiments you don’t even like, the kitchen is always a hoard-fest.  Try selling appliances you don’t use and which are still in good condition or ask whether anyone in your family needs them. You’ll breathe a genuine sigh of relief at the space you’ll make once this ordeal is done. Try not to load the space up with an even newer waffle maker if you’ve never used the older one though.

  1. Turn on your PC – and clean it up!

Not in the literal sense of course, but you’d be surprised at how much better you’ll feel when you don’t have a cluttered screen greeting you every time you turn on the power button. It makes retrieving files that much easier, especially if you can’t remember what name you gave them. Sort them by year, type or function and gain more minutes in your day.

  1. Look after yourself too – don’t over commit.

Sometimes, it’s easy to promise people you’ll catch up for a coffee soon. At times though, the feeling that you have tomeet up a number of people can get overwhelming, especially if you’re juggling a number of other commitments as well. Cancelling or postponing will only make you feel bad. Our advice: never make promises you think you might not keep. Be honest about your schedule – your friends will appreciate the fact that you managed to make time when it happens even more.

  1. Simplify, simplify, simplify

Don’t set up processes that are hard to maintain. If you don’t think you have time to take care of new responsibilities, don’t enlist if you can. Let all your family in on these processes (don’t stack things we use everyday at the back of the cupboard, put remote controls back in their box once you’re done, restock anything which has emptied straight away, etc) and even though they will not always follow these to the rule, knowing is the first step to doing. And always ask for help when you feel you need it. Even Wonder Woman had a team at her back!

A few days into your decluttering exercise, you’ll find you’re more focused on your work without bits and bobs constantly shifting your attention. Although trivial, you will feel better, knowing there’s space for your new pair of shoes or bag in your closet. It’s remarkable how much these little things affect our psyche. They somehow make us feel like we’re more in control of our life. So get those storage bags – it’s time to spring clean!

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