How To Declutter Your Whole Life For More Joy, Ease & Creativity
We all know the benefits of decluttering our homes, but what about the rest of our lives? Everyone has their own version of "life clutter" that builds up in romantic relationships, friendships, workflow, scheduling, etc. Once we clean that up, we can start to feel more mindful, productive, naturally motivated, and intuitive. Here's a quick game plan for clearing life clutter whenever you feel stuck:
Step 1: Cross any unwanted and unnecessary extras off your to-do lists.
According to feng shui, organization and planning are essential for staying in a state of flow. But if you tend to pack each day with so much that you consistently feel pushed to the edge to get it all done, it's time to cross off the nonessentials. Then, see if you can delegate or streamline what's left. That way, you'll feel more focused and energized as you work through your pared-down calendar.
Step 2: Do the same for your goals.
I've seen (and made) many exhaustive lists of goals for a single year. If you, too, have a lengthy goal list, ask yourself whether everything on it is deeply, truly important. If there's anything on there you only wrote down because it sounded good or it's something other people have, that can get crossed off the list.
What are the goals and dreams you'd do anything to fulfill? Those should be your focus. Once you identify the things you truly want, find creative ways to plan them. I love using bullet journals and creative planners, and there are so many out there that are fantastic!
Step 3: See where your energy is going all day long.
Once you've pared down your calendar and streamlined your goals, zoom in on how you use your energy every day. Start by keeping tabs on how you spend your time: Does any of it get sucked up in distractions or things you don't enjoy that are totally inessential? (Scrolling social media, anyone?) Consider what could be a better investment of that time. Clear out the habits and patterns that are time and energy drains to make more space for those goals you just identified.
Step 4: Schedule time for yourself every day.
Make it truly "yin" leisure time—the type that is quiet and loose and makes you feel more magnetic and welcoming to all the good things. Take walks, catch up with friends, daydream. This time is as important as the time you spend "doing" lots of things.
Once you've cleared up some more space in your schedule, here's how to protect it and keep it from getting cluttered again:
DON'T: Spend it on your phone.
While there are plenty of strategies for spending time more mindfully, none have had as big an impact on my clients (or me!) as cutting back on phone time. That means leaving your phone untouched—and preferably out of sight—as often as possible. I also recommend turning off any electronics with glowing screens at least one hour before sleep. All the messages/work/data/drama they feed us don't always make for the friendliest of bedtime stories.
DO: Set healthy boundaries.
If you find yourself drained by your social interactions, stuck in one-sided relationships, or helping everyone to the detriment of yourself, you might need to reconsider your boundaries. Creating healthy boundaries is essential for a prosperous life, and getting in the habit of consistently setting and strengthening them can be truly game-changing.
DO: Socialize in spaces that lift you up.
We're always interacting with energy, everywhere we go. If you feel drained in bars or don't like certain restaurants or other places where your friends hang out, suggest new spots: Host a game night or book club, or scope out some other communal spaces around you.
DO: Find practices that you can do to regularly clear energy.
DO: Make more art.
Sketch for fun. Paste together collages. Knit. Pick up old hobbies and run with them. Making art can clear your mind, reduce stress in so many ways, and bring more balance to your life.