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Lately, my space has felt hectic, busy—cluttered.
By space, I mean my physical space: my apartment, which sometimes feels way too small for two grown people and a rambunctious puppy; my closet, which basically houses all my belongings at the moment (and there are a lot of belongings); and my bathroom, which is overflowing with hair products and face serums and things I tell myself I’m going to use one day but which often get pushed into the back of a cabinet.
And then there’s my emotional space: my mind, which is constantly moving in a billion different stressful, joyful, or anxiety-filled directions; my heart, which is often overwhelmed with love and sadness and care and worry; and my body, which is trying to hold everything that matters to me in just two hands.
On my best days, my life feels full in a way that leaves me overflowing with gratitude. And on my worst days, I want to put it all down, put it all away. I want to unburden my mind and my heart, along with my home and my closet.
I want to clear all the damn clutter and start fresh.
But what usually happens is that the thought of clearing my space, the stress over when and where to start, leaves me paralyzed and I end up on the couch, bingeing a show I’ve seen 100 times (I’m talking to you “Grey’s Anatomy”) and promising myself that I will organize the closet or meditate or whatever…tomorrow.
When I asked Elephant readers how they clear clutter from their lives, I was surprised how simple some of their suggestions were. May they be of benefit.
Here are 10 truly simple ways to clear clutter:
1. “Start with a mental check in: why does it matter to you/what joy and peace does it bring you? Then deeper, does it actually have that power you identify or do you have it in you? Next, repurpose, recycle, reduce, and rehome.”
2. “Donate! Clear physical clutter by donating items and donate time to someone in need of your help. Both bring freedom.” ~ Barbara
3. “Don’t put it down, put it away.” ~ Judith
4. “Cleaning. Literally. I always feel better after having given a space a thorough scrub down.” ~ Heather
5. “Sort through it and gently ask why you’ve been holding onto it and what is keeping you from letting it go.” ~ Whitney
6. “Mental purging…cry, yell, talk it out…then Let. It. Go. Ask myself in real terms why does it matter, and deal with my understanding of it. Then tell it good-bye.” ~ Ann Marie
7. “Meditation for the mental declutter. Change of environment and being out in nature.” ~ Niharika
8. “For emotional decluttering : chant ‘If it comes, let it. If it goes, let it. If it stays, let it.'” ~ Yolanda
9. “Cut out those people who either drain your energy or refuse to see the real you.” ~ Daniel
10. “Turn off your phone.” ~ Marie