Simplify and Declutter — It’s Much Easier Than You Think It Is

goals as guidelines
Make it a choice to simplify and declutter, not an obligation.

Finding time to simplify and declutter is a game-changer.

And yet, if you’ve got ‘simplify and declutter’ on your to-do list, are you inclined to shy away from it? How often does it get bumped to the bottom of your list?

The fact is that this activity is often on our radar, but on more days than not, I will bet that it never quite makes it to the top.

Why is that? 

There are many reasons.  Other tasks can often seem more pressing and take priority.  Add to that the fact that many of us have difficulties with letting go, and you have a sure-fire recipe for procrastination. 

I would add that when a task like ‘simplify and declutter’ becomes something you think you ‘should’ do, your perspective may change. Indeed, the word ‘should’ can often bring out enough rebelliousness to keep the activity shelved.

Simplify and declutter…

Many of us like the idea of simplicity in practice but sabotage our implementation by confusing asceticism with our interest in simplifying. We make it so much more difficut and uncomfortable than it needs to be.

As with so many things, taking incremental steps and striving for balance will go a long way toward helping you realize your goals.  Letting go is a challenge for many of us, so be gentle with yourself and start small.

Try this right now:

Stop reading and look around the room you are in. 

Do you see things that you seldom or never use or enjoy looking at?

Pick up two or three of those things and put them into a bag.  Then put the bag in your closet. 

Keep adding to your bag, repeating this exercise every day for a week.

Ask yourself:

At the end of the week, take out your bag and look at the items you’d tucked away.

  • Did you miss the items that you removed? 
  • Did you discover that you actually do need them for something?  Then by all means, return them to their places.
  • But, if you didn’t miss them or need them, are you ready to let them go?

If you’re not ready to make a decision, that’s fine. Put the bag back in your closet. It’s fine to let this percolate as long as you need to.

Check back later.

Then if you find that, after some predetermined span of time, you never give these items a thought, then I suggest that you can happily either give them away, sell them, or dispose of them.

Slowly, your landscape will change as you let go of what you really don’t need.  As this process evolves, notice how you feel

  • How does your breathing change in your decluttered space? Are you more relaxed? 
  • What things emerge that had been hidden? 
  • How does your energy change, and what ideas bubble up in this new spaciousness? 

I think you will be amazed at what you find as you journey on your path of discovery.

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