Let’s play a game.
When I say “declutter”, what comes to mind for you?
Take a second and really think about it.
My guess is you pictured your closets, bookshelves and drawers. They’re filled with items that you have a hard time parting with. Am I on the right track?
Humans have a tendency to over complicate things.
You’ll have to face those closets and cupboards eventually, but what if it didn’t have to be so hard?
There are some really easy places to practice living with intention
Living simply and happily involves lots of small actions that take place every day. With these actions and decisions, you allow yourself some space to breathe and to move freely through your daily life.
When multiplied, these small actions and behaviours provide a sense of peace to your daily life. Stress levels from clutter are a result of layer upon layer of seemingly small and insignificant items that make extra work for ourselves.
When these places are cluttered they drain your time and brain power
Every minute you spend in a day searching through unnecessary items takes away time and focus. When we waste our focus we get pulled away from what matters most.
What matters most will be different for all of us, so get clear on your “why” for decluttering.
The list below includes five everyday areas where you can create space
They’re a great starting point for living with intention. You can train yourself to live with less distraction and more peace. They’re so simple, I’m confident you can apply them and start making space today.
1 Finish your toiletries
What do your bathroom cupboards, medicine cabinets, bathtub ledge look like right now? Isn’t it tempting to leave just a couple uses of toothpaste or shampoo in an old bottle when a shiny new one is purchased? Commit to finishing a bottle before opening a new one. Your bathroom space will be easier to clean too!
2 Clear receipts from your wallet and purse
Where do you stuff receipts from the store after they get handed to you? Practice saying no at the checkout so they don’t even make it in your wallet. Then take a peek in your wallet or bag and get rid of any that you don’t need. Chances are, you won’t need many of them. Many important documents are available electronically now for larger purchases, and if you keep smaller receipts in case you return them, check often to see if it’s time to recycle them yet. We tend to keep receipts not because they’re important, but because we forget about them.
3 Don’t collect condiments
I used to collect condiments, seriously I did. They would look so beautiful on the shelf that I would buy them without thinking and never use them up. They just took up space in my fridge and got in the way. Now I only buy what I know I’ll use. When I get to the end of a bottle, I’ll dilute the sauce with water and add to a broth or dish to make sure I get every last drop. To live with intention is to live a life that creates more space and less waste.
4 Ditch the spices you’ll never use
We all have high hopes with exotic spices. You may be trying a recipe that calls for a spice you wouldn’t normally use. Can you borrow some instead of buying a whole bottle? What about going to a bulk store and grabbing just the amount you need. If you love to cook, a spice collection that is organized and clutter and waste free will add so much joy to your cooking.
5 Remove distractions from your phone
This subject deserves its own post, but let’s start with the simplest of changes to your phone. Turn off all unnecessary notifications. Do you need to know every time you get an email or Facebook comment? If we’re not careful, our phones can provide endless distraction. Turn off your ringer as often as you can and choose when you want to use your phone, rather than letting notifications dictate when you pick it up.
This list is a jumping off point that you can start right away. When you create space in your life, you’ll be amazed at all of the places you can learn to let go of excess.
Do you have any other suggestions for easy ways to live with less clutter? Let me know in the comments below!