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How to Start Decluttering your Life- Why it’s Important for your Wellbeing

What’s up party people?!

Manika- Nia here and today I want to cover something super important- cleaning up your mess! Ok more specifically I want to discuss clutter, how damaging it is to hold onto unnecessary things, and ways in which you can begin to declutter your life.

In the western world we are consumed with things. By and by we are consumers meaning that we spend a great portion of our time… well consuming! This means that so many of us have unnecessary items literally taking over our lives. Wardrobes filled to the brim with items that we never wear. Drawers stuffed with products from who knows when. Closets filled with useless items “that might maybe possibly be necessary if that one thing happens that never has before but who knows just might some day.” The list is exhausting and believe it or not, harboring all of these futile things is also exhausting your own life, clogging up your mind and burdening you in more ways than you can imagine.

I know this from personal experience. Things things things was the code in which I lived by! Oh yes I was that girl who studied abroad and checked in two bags (whilst still having a carry on duffel bag and extra large purse) with one of the checked in bags containing only shoes. The monstrous waves of clothes that I had seemed to fill my bedroom whether I was living in a tiny or large room, and things just kept stacking up. The worst part was that I would always complain that I had nothing to wear. I can attest to the severe strain of it all and how it literally was just too much to handle. Things here, things there, things everywhere, and yet nothing anywhere.

One day one of my friends showed me something that threw me for a loop. He could basically fit his entire life into a couple of suitcases.

I couldn’t believe it. Considering the fact that he was a snazzy dresser with really nice (expensive) clothes among other things, I imagined that he would be just as excessive as me. But he wasn’t. His apartment was filled with items of great quality, items that he regularly used- necessary things. No wonder he always seemed so weightless and free.

I took a long hard look at my life and realized that I had been carrying junk around for as long as I could remember and when I thought about it more, recognized that it ran in the family. Things things things= us us us. I decided to opt out and ever since doing so, feel like I have underwent an almighty cleanse.

It takes practice, consistency and steps (I’m still working the things off) but decluttering your life is vital in looking after your wellbeing. I like to relate this to another operating system: a hard drive. When a hard drive is overwhelmed with unnecessary junk, it slows down and cannot function properly. Having unnecessary clutter puts stress on our minds and prevents us from having easy lives. This is why we must take important steps to keep the clutter out of our homes and away from our minds. Luckily its easy peasy.



Let’s Start with the Wardrobe

It is so easy for this to get out of hand but with some consistency and a simple checklist your wardrobe can get back on track. I do this once a week, every week. First step is to go through your clothes- all of them, and while you do ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Does it fit?
  3. Is it comfortable?
  4. Do I wear it?
  5. Do I feel good in it?

That’s it. That’s your criteria and if any article does not make the cut then place it in a bag that you tuck away somewhere. If at the end of the month you never find yourself going in the bag then that bag, and everything within it is unnecessary to you. See if a loved one would like anything and if anything is left after that, donate it to charity. There are so many people in the world who actually need clothes to wear and wherever you are it shouldn’t be too difficult to drop off unwanted clothes at a charity shop, drop off box, or even have someone come collect it from your doorstep!

After following these steps your wardrobe will transform. Soon it will consist of pieces that mean something to you, that look great on you and that you actually wear. Use this for all elements of your wardrobe including shoes, pjs and delicates.

*tip* any time you buy or receive more articles of clothing, see if you can’t give something up in replacement. I like to double up what I donate whenever I buy something new. Don’t get trapped in the “I might..” if it does not fit the criteria, it’s time to go.

Products/Cosmetics

I have fallen victim to this so many times. I buy a new product or am given a gift set from some well- meaning loved one only to never use it. But it looks nice so I just throw it under the sink in my bathroom. I’ll use it one day, I’m sure. Only I don’t and sits under there for ages, collecting dust. Then I buy a new product or am given something else and the same thing happens. Break the cycle here! Take charge of your life and all of things in them. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I use it?
  2. Does it work well?

If you don’t use it then it is time to oust it. This goes for cosmetics as well. See if someone else can put it to good use, donate when possible but let it go if it has no place in your life. Make sure that you are going through your beauty products and cosmetics regularly. I give mine a review every two weeks and use the same method that I use with my wardrobe. Place what I am not using in a bag and if I do not have a need for them within a month, I say farewell.

In- House Storage/Kitchen Cabinets/Closets

Have a problem with things falling out and nearly crushing you when you open a closet in your home? What about food items that are out of date or no space to place the things that you have just bought? You need some efficiency, some organization, some declutterization in your life! This is something that should be done weekly. Get to know your place. I know so many people whose kitchen is overrun with food items yet very often they seem to buy something new, some of which they already have a bounty of! I also know people who have old grocery receipts, sauce packets from various restaurants, and even wrappers and packages with nothing in them left in their kitchen cabinets and drawers. Do you fall in this category? Go through your things. Throw out items that are out of date, try to stop yourself from keeping rubbish, and stay on top of what becomes a part of your home. The more you practice and get into the habit of this, the less work you will have to do.

Storage Units/ Garage

Have lots of space in your home filled with lots of… crap? You need to get in there and sort it. This does not have to be something that you do every week but it needs to be done at least once a month to ensure that you are not holding onto things that you do not need. Ask yourself this:

  1. Does it serve a regular purpose for me or the household?
  2. Do I love it? (sentimental value)
  3. Is it important?

So many times we find it easier to just throw things in a pile or put it off because we are too lazy to sift through junk. But why have you got junk in the first place! And how do you know if its worthless or not unless you go through it? Craft out some time and go through everything that you call yours. Try placing items that you think you may not need into one corner or one box and by next month give them away or throw them away after you are sure that you don’t need them.  If you are housing things for a loved one ask them if they are able to organize their items in the same way that you organize yours. Try labeling your items and placing “like with like” in boxes so that you know what is what. Everything has a place in our lives and if there is no place for it, it probably does not belong there.



Refrigerator

I want to emphasize the mighty fridge because I am big into not wasting foodies. I declutter my own by shopping for the week. Planning out what Mick and I will have and buying specifically for that week. As the week comes to a close we make sure to use what is left by juicing the remaining fruits and vegetables and making a meal of the food that needs to be eaten up. Before we go and do our weekly shop we check what we have and make note of what we need. If you find that your fridge is overrun with food that is going off, half- finished drinks, open food cans, and half- used sauces or if there is barely any room to place something when you do your grocery shopping then it might be high time to make some serious changes. Buy what you need and go through to ensure that you are not holding onto something that you do not need or will not use. Why do you need 5 bottles of ketchup in there or that can of open food that has been in there for weeks? Take charge of your life. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will it be eaten in a week?
  2. Will it be eaten ever?

Car

This is the same principle as the others. Ever been offered a ride by someone only to find that (although there are only two of you) you are squashed in the back seat rammed up against the window because there is a mountain of who knows what next to you with your feet laying sideways atop a black bin bag that is split a bit and you are pretty sure a baby rattle is sticking out even though you are sure that this person has no kids. Extreme but I have been in this situation at least three times, only my own heavy bag was crushing me as well because there was also no room in the trunk. If clutter has spread to your car then you have to sort that out. Go through what you need and donate what you don’t. Throw away the rubbish. Cleanse your car to cleanse your life. Clean out your car once a week and soon each week all you’ll have to do is give it a once over because the work is already done for you.

The Message

The message here is to take your setting off of autopilot. You are in control of your wellbeing, and it is your responsibility to take care of all aspects of your life. Sure it takes work, but this type of work is crucial in having a clear mind. You will not function as well as you could otherwise. This is how you start decluttering your life and the rewards for such an undertaking is in the peace that follows. Take care of yourself and be conscious of everything that you do- it matters.

Your Turn

Did thois post help your clutter woes? Have some more questions? Comments? Be sure to get involved in discussion below! Can’t wait to talk more about this 🙂 until next time! Namaste

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10 thoughts on “How to Start Decluttering your Life- Why it’s Important for your Wellbeing

  1. Thanks for such a post, we generally don’t give decluttering its due importance and its definitely and important part of well-being. Seems like after reading your post I have a long list of clean up to do 🙂 . Guess I will from my store room and take out the stuff which is of no use to me and shall donate and sell it as relevant.
    Cheers

    1. That’s brilliant! The very best of luck to you! It can also be great fun to do this so please share your experiences back in the handbook soon 🙂 thanks so much for reading and for your response!

  2. Sounds like a great way to feel lighter and get rid of a lot of bad conscience, because I feel that when I think about all the stuff I have in all wardrobes, drawers and of course: in my car… Thanks for reminding me of this, I know I will feel a lot better, changing my lifestyle a bit:)

  3. I have to agree with you. We tend to buy so many stuff and don’t spend enough time to clean it. I buy too many clothes that one day I look at my wardrobe and I see many clothes that I’ve never used.
    I think the post is very helpful as there’re many tips to clean up your mess.
    Thanks a lot for sharing

    1. You are so very welcome and thank you so much for reading 🙂 it is something we are all very accustomed to but I think this is always the perfect time to try something new especially if it lines up with balancing our lives 🙂

  4. Manika, I love your tips on keeping our wardrobe in-check. Most of the time I do not realize how much stuff I have accumulated into in my closet until I basically have no room left…then I start getting rid of some.

    I also agree that de-cluttering our living space is very important to our well-being. Great info and thank you!

    1. Hi Udoh, I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading. I am right there with you with the wardrobe, and before I got into decluttering I certainly was in the same boat. Do you find that you feel once you start to get rid of things in your closet?

  5. There was a time I was having nightmares pretty often and didn’t know why. My mom said I should probably declutter my room and maybe I’d have more peace of mind. I think you guys are on to something. Because when my room is neat with space, I do feel more at peace!

    I need to do another room sweep!

    1. Hi Ham, thank you for sharing your story here! I certainly believe. Maybe something to do with the energy or even feng shui! Either way I agree that it is best to organize the world around us for peace of mind 🙂

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