How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

Clutter creates stress

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Clutter creates stress

The world today is so fast-paced it is nearly impossible to avoid stress. There are endless modes of stimulation, people and things vying for your attention. Whilst avoiding stress completely might not be achievable, there are ways you can manage your stress. Having too much stuff can lead to more stress. The more “stuff” you have in your life, the more your attention and thoughts are consumed, and the more your stress is triggered. If you want to feel less stressed, decluttering your life is a good place to start. For some people, decluttering is a process that can take some time. It might depend on how much “stuff” you have and how attached you are to your stuff. Often, however, once you let go of something, you don’t regret it. The process is cathartic and helps you to move on to new experiences in your life. Here are 10 suggestions on how to reduce stress and start decluttering your life:

1. Unsubscribe to all emails you receive but never read. Every email you receive is asking for your attention and has the potential to distract you. If it is not something worthy of your attention, get rid of it. You can always resubscribe later if you really miss it.

2. Stop making impulse purchases. When you buy on impulse, you are often allowing someone else to convince you to buy something. Had you really thought about it, you might not have made the purchase. Making impulse purchases can lead to accumulating lots of “stuff” you don’t really want or need.

3. Remove yourself from the toxic people in your life. This is a big one. If someone is always taking your time and energy and doesn’t give much or anything back in return, you might want to ask yourself how deep your love is for that person. Are you willing to continue to support this person, or is it time to let them go?

4. Close or consolidate your social media accounts. The more online accounts you have, the more you might feel distracted and obliged to check them. Your true friends will remain your friend even if you aren’t on Twitter anymore.

5. Clean up and tidy your room. When you wake up and you see mess, how do you think this will affect your day? Before you go to sleep you see mess, how do you think this will affect your sleep? More than likely, they will both be disturbed to some extent.

6. Go through your wardrobe and dispose of clothes you don’t wear or no longer need. There is a good chance you don’t wear a lot of your clothes. So dispose of them. Decluttering your external life will help to declutter your internal life.

7. Go through all of your possessions and dispose of any items that do not add value to your life. When was the last time you used that popcorn maker, or that PS3? If you haven’t used them in years, take them to the thrift store.

8. Remove unused apps on your smartphone. By removing any unused or rarely used apps, you are removing some of the potential for unnecessary distraction in your life.

9. File away paperwork and throw away any paperwork no longer needed. Having lots of random pieces of paperwork lying around can be stressful. To decrease the worry in your life, tidy up your paperwork, create a filing system and throw away any old paperwork which you no longer need.

10. Clean out your car. If you spend a lot of time in your car, the state of clutter in your car will probably affect you. Remove anything that doesn’t need to live in the car, throw away any garbage, give it a good vacuum and wipe away any dirt or dust.

These are just a few suggestions to declutter your life. I’m sure you can think of many more. Be part of the movement and good luck in taking back your life!

7 Comments

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

When I walk by the kitchen counter?

I see stacks of unopened mail, coupons I keep and never use, kids artwork from school and lots of, what I like to call, random papers.

Ohhhhhh the random papers.

It’s the same when I walk into the kids bedrooms and I see unfinished bags of goldfish, empty water bottles, unmade beds, legos everywhere and dirty clothes strung across the floor.

Not only do I cringe at the site of clutter, but I feel a huge burden of stress come over me.

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

When my home and my life feel cluttered… I feel stressed. And do you know what’s worse than a stressed out wife?

Nothing. Join us on our 22 day Declutter Challenge NOW!

Comments

This is perfect & Oh, so happening! Thanks for the “cheatsheet” ahem, I mean worksheet to stay on track… clutter (be gone) here we come!

Took a trip to Goodwill just yesterday – the 2nd one this year. One day a time, but I’m working on this in all parts of our home. Love this new look and feel of the blog guys – keep up the good work!

I stumbled across your blog and everything you said, I said “yep that’s me.” Unopened mail, kids artwork, clutter on the kitchen counter, countless piles of paper. LOL I just printed your declutter worksheet too! Some of the things on your worksheet will defiantly take me more then a day to do ( I work 7am-5:30 pm each day) not a lot of window left for other stuff, let alone kiss the husband hello after work. So its ok to take a few days to do one task on your worksheet I hope?!

Omg. I’ve been trying to declutter our house. It comes in waves but when my house is cluttered it gives me an almost panic attack. I’m gonna make my husband list to this. (He has shirts that he hasn’t worn in YEARS). I think he’s a closest hoarder lol.

Ah just the word “declutter” makes me feel better, much less actually doing it. Since our family embraced minimalism, our focus, energy, and general peace of mind of increased tenfold. Less really is so much more!

I’m a packrat. My wife recently started decluttering stuff from the closets. I haven’t looked to see what’s been purged, but I figure if I haven’t missed it by now, it probably wasn’t that important. Thanks for sharing.

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How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

Symptoms of a Stressful And Cluttered Life

While some find “stress” as a motivating force to “go an extra mile,” many people find stress as a highly impacting condition that prevents them from maximizing their life opportunities. The following are some common symptoms for people who are stressed:

– Feels tired all the time or fatigue

– Does not feel fulfilled or happy being at work

– Poor time management, uses the phrases, “I forgot,” “I missed that” and “I’ll do it later/tomorrow/some other time.”

– Unable to focus, feels like they’re doing too many things at the same time

– Always busy or those who does not seem to have time “to breath” or “have fun”

– Bad sleeping habits or does not have sufficient time to sleep

– Frequent headaches or gets stomach pain/upset stomach

– Irritable or mood swings

There are different coping mechanisms for stress but those who neglect or ignore the symptoms expose themselves to graver medical conditions such as depression, high blood pressure, heart problems, weight problems, reproductive problems and skin problems. It is essential, therefore, to start acting now and take steps to improve one’s lifestyle and reduce stress.

Tips To Declutter Your Life Starting Today

We’re not judging your lifestyle as cluttered. We are merely pointing out that one of the most effective ways to reduce stress is by simplifying your way of life. Some call it minimalistic, some call it Zen while some simply regard it as a practical way of living. Take note of these items and questions:

Routines

Some find routines restricting and boring but in reality, life is all about routine. Time is relative and you cannot change when the sun rises or sets. You can adjust based on various factors such as school or work but at the end of it all, there will always be a schedule you must adhere to. The question now is – how are you going to spend your time?

Commitments

Some people are afraid to hear this word as they find it too scary. Commitments, however, are not just about relationships. We call the “output we promise at work” commitments as well. We call “meeting with friends” a commitment. Having short-term and long-term goals is a commitment. Even the “seize the day” mentality is a commitment in itself. The question now is – what are you committed to?

Journaling

Knowing that there are a lot of commitments and there is very little time, how are you going to manage? Journaling allows you to record many aspects of your life including your routines and commitments. It is a self-reflective process that gives you the opportunity to review and assess what was completed, successful, has to be improved or simply, has to be decluttered.

Some More Action You Can Take

Now we are looking at some specific things you can do to declutter your life and reduce stress. Even if your life is not where you want it to be right now, you can still start making these small and simple changes and you will feel much better. As Tony Robbins said, “Progress equals happiness”.

For 21 days, focus on doing a decluttering activity and write it in your journal. After 21 days, review what you have completed and assess how it helped you. If you feel that the daily activity improves your lifestyle, consider it as a part of your routine, if not, revise and take another challenge. Find creative ways to declutter your life every day.

Some decluttering ideas you can try:

– Folding clean clothes

– Organizing clean clothes into the closet

– Picking out clothes for donation

– Throwing away old shoes

– Deleting unused programs/apps on your computer/mobile phone

– Deleting unnecessary snaps or photos on your mobile phone

– Disk clean-up for your laptop/computer

– Remove unnecessary people on your social media accounts or perhaps replace them with people you’ve been meaning to add

– Organize your rss feeds, remove any that does not seem impactful to your life

– Organizing files on your work desk (putting them on a folder or an envelope)

– Organizing files at home (perhaps your mail or your bills and segregating them into folders or bins)

– Organizing toys at home (for donation, for garbage, for keeps)

– Taking your car to the car wash or doing it yourself

– Mowing the lawn

– Clearing out corroded knives/pans

– Throwing away old pots or containers

– Throwing away expired items

Bio:

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)Kimberley Martinez is a writer, blogger, traveler and personal development student. She loves writing, traveling and networking with like-minded positive individuals. For more of her latest work, visit https://www.upwevent.co.uk/

If you want to learn how journaling can help you tackle life’s challenges such as clutter, please download the free eBook, The Journaling Guide to Manage The Stress and Strains of Life .

Your home should be a place of solace and comfort, but too often is a source of stress in our lives. Our Declutter Your Life in 21 Days self-paced journaling course will show you how to take charge of your physical space, create harmony in your life, and end the battle with clutter for good.

Decluttering your life goes beyond having an organized and neat home, although that is a big part of it. Decluttering can also become important to your overall well-being by helping you make room for what really matters to you, reducing stress, and helping you feel in control.

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

Tackling the clutter in your home may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to go full Marie Kondo to make a difference. You can start the decluttering process with small steps, doing a little at a time.

According to Dave Ramsey, “For decluttering to have its full effect, though, you have to first believe that filling your life with stuff—material items—will never actually bring true fulfillment. Once you believe that, you’ll be on your way to living with a minimalist attitude, no matter how much (or how little) you end up decluttering.”

If you’re ready to begin decluttering, here are some ways to get started with decluttering both your home and your life.

Declutter Your Home
At first, it may seem like a daunting task, but in order to effectively declutter your house, you’ll have to tackle your messes and take everything out in order to take inventory of what you want to keep, toss, or store.

First, start with one room and empty everything out of drawers, closets, and any other places clutter may be lurking. Then, lay it all out on a large towel or sheet to take inventory of what you have. Start to separate your items into three distinct piles: keep, toss, or store. If you have old files and papers collecting in your home office, modify your piles into these categories: file, to do, and trash.

  • Keep: Keep only the things that still serve a purpose for you, or to quote organization expert, Marie Kondo, “things that bring you joy.” Another good rule of thumb, especially for clothing, is that if you have not worn it or used it in a year, get rid of it. Those jeans that are two sizes smaller aren’t motivating you to lose the weight; they’re just taking up valuable space. Same for that dress you wore one time to a dinner two years ago. You get the gist; look at each item individually and really consider which pile to place it into.
  • Toss: Sometimes the decision to throw out an item will be obvious, such as jeans that no longer fit, a shirt with holes in it, or makeup that’s gone bad. With other items, you may think, “I might wear that someday.” Don’t get caught in that train of thought, as the “someday” items are what is cluttering up your space.
  • Store: There will be some items that hold sentimental value for you. Things such as your child’s first blanket or your wedding veil. These types of items can, of course, be kept and stored. But don’t be too quick to put something into the store pile, or you’ll end up not parting with anything. Only store those items that truly hold sentimental value or that you may need in the future.

Continue this process with every room in your home. Tackle the piles of toys, CDs, DVDs, books, and other items, and place them into the three piles. Once you have a full “toss” pile, you can decide if you want to donate items or if any items are worth selling. Don’t let the toss pile sit too long in your basement or garage, because then it just becomes more clutter. Go ahead and donate or sell items as soon as possible to truly get rid of the clutter once and for all.

Declutter Your Life
Decluttering the physical stuff in your life is the easy part compared to decluttering your life, but this step is crucial to your mental health and overall well being.

  • Streamline Your Commitments: Between work, family, school, sports, hobbies, and social commitments, our lives seem to be scheduled 24/7. To declutter your schedule, take a look at all of your commitments and write them all down. Seeing all of it in writing can help you realize how much you are really doing and can help you decide which commitments you must keep, which you want to keep, and which ones you can let go. To make more time for the things that you truly want to do and truly love, you will need to learn to say no more often and not feel guilty about it.
  • Restructure Your Routines: We all have daily and weekly obligations and chores, but most of us just do them without any routine or structure. Write down your daily and weekly tasks and obligations, and then create a schedule, such as doing your laundry all in one day instead of several times a week, cleaning the house on a certain day, and so on. Having a daily or weekly routine can bring a sense of order to your life and help reduce the stress you may feel about getting everything done.
  • Declutter Your Relationships: With the hectic schedules that most adults have today, it leaves little time for friendships and relationships. That’s why it’s important to really focus on those relationships that truly matter. If there are friends or others in your life who are negative and drain your energy, it’s time to let them go. Place more emphasis on spending your time with people who make you feel happy and loved, and help you grow. This can be true for friends on social media as well!

Once you’ve decluttered, be aware of clutter trying to creep back into your life. Keep on top of it so it doesn’t take over your life again. You’ll not only have a tidier home, but a less stressful life.

Spring is a week away but I’ve already got spring cleaning fever! Are you feeling the need to remove everything from every drawer, every cabinet, and every closet to decide what is or isn’t bringing you joy? Ok, but are you ready for a fresh start and an organized home? Me too, friend. Me too.

If you need some decluttering inspiration and accountability, grab my FREE Declutter Checklist which has been updated for 2021!

This is the ultimate declutter checklist! With prep day instructions and segmented project lists, you can tackle it all in one weekend or separate it out throughout the season. This handy checklist helps alleviate the stress of where to start by giving you step-by-step guidance.

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

Decluttering can be overwhelming. My strategy? Approach each space with these 3 steps in mind:

  1. Minimize.
    Gather like things together to decrease the span across your home. This allows you to see the “stuff” you have to store as well as the available closets, drawers, and cabinets you have to store it all in. Store like things together; everything will have its own place which makes staying organized easier!
  2. Eliminate.
    Consolidate, donate, or toss anything non-essential. This is where you will use the trash bags, recycling containers, and storage bins. Create piles so you can easily see what needs to be donated or recycled.
  3. Organize.
    When you put it back, organize it and make it pretty! This is the fun part. Organize as you put everything back in place (after wiping down surfaces and clearing out the trash). Use cute bins and labels, like these adorable stickers, to make it look cute! We’re naturally more likely to keep things organized if it looks beautiful.

This FREE printable is the ultimate declutter checklist. It takes the stress out of decluttering by giving you an easy-to-follow guide. You know, I love a good checklist!

Don’t let the stress of decluttering your space derail you from making progress. Getting organized is an ongoing process. What are your best decluttering or spring cleaning tips? Share below!

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

Drowning in STUFF?

Imagine how it would feel to walk into your home and feel deeply at ease.

You CAN part with the clutter that’s crowding your home and your head. Maybe all you need is a plan—and support.

Let’s do this together!

Think of this challenge as motivation to.

  • . clear the clutter that’s been bothering you for far too long.
  • . finally give yourself the home you’ve been longing for.
  • . develop new confidence in yourself to live with less—and to keep it that way.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

For 7 days, I’ll email you a mini-lesson with tips and a challenge—to help you tackle each of the 5 main areas of your home.

7 days, 5 spaces, a total home makeover.

My goal is that you’ll finish the challenge feeling more ease in your home and more peace in your life.

The 7 Mini-Lessons

Simple Systems to Start Now

Kitchen and Pantry

Kid Rooms

Master Closet

Storage Areas

Clutter-Collecting Hotspots

Celebrate! The Surprising Secret to Long-Term Success

Truth: You Spend Too Much Time Cleaning Up

Another truth: You can change that! When you own less, you’ll be amazed at how much time you get back.

What Others Are Saying.

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

About Erica

Hi! I’m Erica Layne, bestselling author of The Minimalist Way and founder of The Life On Purpose Movement—and I’m so excited to work with you!

Nine years ago, I was drowning in STUFF. Every night, after I finally got my kids tucked into bed, I spent my precious solo time picking up dirty socks and discarded toys. Then one day, it dawned on me—What if I just got RID of all that stuff?

So I did. And now, almost a decade later, I’ve never looked back. THIS is the transformation I want for you.

Get Started Today

Your first email will hit your inbox shortly after signing up!

What you get:

  • 7 mini-lessons delivered to your inbox
  • A beautiful, printable workbook that includes all of the emailed material, as well as room for writing and reflection
  • Access to our supportive community Facebook group
  • A calmer, more peaceful home in just 7 days!

When does the challenge start and finish?

You’ll receive a welcome email shortly after signing up, and then the first mini-lesson will arrive in your inbox two days after that. This will give you a bit of time to prep—print out the workbook, clear some time for decluttering, etc. You can expect 7 mini-lessons in 7 days, for a total of 8 emails.

What is the cost?

The cost is $29, partly to cover my costs for creating and running it and partly so that your monetary investment motivates your personal investment throughout the course. (Research confirms this!) I have NO DOUBT that the change you’ll see in your home will be well worth the few dollars a day you’ll spend for it.

What if some lessons don’t apply to me (like if I don’t have kids)?

I offer an alternative task for the kids’ mini-lesson, but as with any of the lessons, you don’t have to follow the order outlined in the mini-lessons. The point of The Clutter Cleanse is to get as much clutter purged as possible in 7 days. If you do it differently than outlined… The end result is what matters!

What if I’m unsatisfied?

First, I hope you won’t be! Participants who commit to following through see real transformation! But IF for some reason you’re unsatisfied, I offer a full refund within 30 days.

Can I contact you?

If you have a question I haven’t answered, email me at [email protected]

Now’s Your Chance to Make a Change

A change that will have a positive ripple effect on SO MANY areas of your life.

Time and again women have told me that reducing their family’s clutter helped their kids fight less, lowered the stress levels for all members of the household, and most importantly, freed up space inside their minds and souls. Let’s get this freedom for you, too!

Spring is a week away but I’ve already got spring cleaning fever! Are you feeling the need to remove everything from every drawer, every cabinet, and every closet to decide what is or isn’t bringing you joy? Ok, but are you ready for a fresh start and an organized home? Me too, friend. Me too.

If you need some decluttering inspiration and accountability, grab my FREE Declutter Checklist which has been updated for 2021!

This is the ultimate declutter checklist! With prep day instructions and segmented project lists, you can tackle it all in one weekend or separate it out throughout the season. This handy checklist helps alleviate the stress of where to start by giving you step-by-step guidance.

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

How to declutter your life and reduce stress (the ultimate guide)

Decluttering can be overwhelming. My strategy? Approach each space with these 3 steps in mind:

  1. Minimize.
    Gather like things together to decrease the span across your home. This allows you to see the “stuff” you have to store as well as the available closets, drawers, and cabinets you have to store it all in. Store like things together; everything will have its own place which makes staying organized easier!
  2. Eliminate.
    Consolidate, donate, or toss anything non-essential. This is where you will use the trash bags, recycling containers, and storage bins. Create piles so you can easily see what needs to be donated or recycled.
  3. Organize.
    When you put it back, organize it and make it pretty! This is the fun part. Organize as you put everything back in place (after wiping down surfaces and clearing out the trash). Use cute bins and labels, like these adorable stickers, to make it look cute! We’re naturally more likely to keep things organized if it looks beautiful.

This FREE printable is the ultimate declutter checklist. It takes the stress out of decluttering by giving you an easy-to-follow guide. You know, I love a good checklist!

Don’t let the stress of decluttering your space derail you from making progress. Getting organized is an ongoing process. What are your best decluttering or spring cleaning tips? Share below!

Our final tips for the International Wellbeing Wednesday theme ‘Change your environment, Change your state’, focus on “Decluttering your Environment” be it work or home.

The term wellbeing covers both your physical and mental states, and the environment around you has a major influence on your psychological health. If you walk into a room and it’s messy, cluttered and stresses you out, then we undoubtedly feel the impact.

A recent study in the Journal of Neuorscience found that having multiple stimuli placed in front of you will result in those stimuli competing for your attention, meaning you’ll find yourself distracted.

Decluttering is therefore not simple about throwing bits of paper in the bin or stuffing a box in the corner. It is a journey to self-discovery, a chance to learn how you previously “lived” and what changes you want to make to better your environment. Think carefully about what you REALLY need and want, and what you can recycle or bin.

“A tidy space is a tidy mind.”

Clutter doesn’t have to just be physical, it can also be digital – like too many files on your computer and too many tabs open on internet explorer. This digital form of clutter can affect your productivity and ability to focus on a task.

The decision to organise and declutter your life is not only empowering, but it can have an enormous positive effect on your wellbeing – leading to more mindfulness, reduced stress and anxiety, better quality of life and better focus. You’ll be able to start curbing the habit of accumulating unnecessary clutter.

How to master de-cluttering:

  • Make a list – jot down all the areas that need to be ‘decluttered’, starting with the easiest or most important.
  • Conduct a weekly/monthly review – whether that is your closet or your computer, make sure you spend time every week/month reviewing what you ‘need’ and get rid of anything that is not necessary.
  • Issue a “clear desk policy” – We have a “clear desk policy’ at The Stress Management Society to make sure that our environment is stress free and enables us to think clearly at all times.

Our final tips for the International Wellbeing Wednesday theme ‘Change your environment, Change your state’, focus on “Decluttering your Environment” be it work or home.

The term wellbeing covers both your physical and mental states, and the environment around you has a major influence on your psychological health. If you walk into a room and it’s messy, cluttered and stresses you out, then we undoubtedly feel the impact.

A recent study in the Journal of Neuorscience found that having multiple stimuli placed in front of you will result in those stimuli competing for your attention, meaning you’ll find yourself distracted.

Decluttering is therefore not simple about throwing bits of paper in the bin or stuffing a box in the corner. It is a journey to self-discovery, a chance to learn how you previously “lived” and what changes you want to make to better your environment. Think carefully about what you REALLY need and want, and what you can recycle or bin.

“A tidy space is a tidy mind.”

Clutter doesn’t have to just be physical, it can also be digital – like too many files on your computer and too many tabs open on internet explorer. This digital form of clutter can affect your productivity and ability to focus on a task.

The decision to organise and declutter your life is not only empowering, but it can have an enormous positive effect on your wellbeing – leading to more mindfulness, reduced stress and anxiety, better quality of life and better focus. You’ll be able to start curbing the habit of accumulating unnecessary clutter.

How to master de-cluttering:

  • Make a list – jot down all the areas that need to be ‘decluttered’, starting with the easiest or most important.
  • Conduct a weekly/monthly review – whether that is your closet or your computer, make sure you spend time every week/month reviewing what you ‘need’ and get rid of anything that is not necessary.
  • Issue a “clear desk policy” – We have a “clear desk policy’ at The Stress Management Society to make sure that our environment is stress free and enables us to think clearly at all times.