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5 Quick Steps to Unclutter Your Life Starting Today

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
Bruce Lee

I love uncluttering.


Because a life with less clutter makes it easier to:

  • Reduce the daily stress and find inner peace.
  • Focus and to do a better job (and often do it quicker too).
  • Keep your attention steadily on what is most important and meaningful in life.

Clutter creates distraction. It can create stress and confusion that you may not be aware that it’s creating.

But after you have uncluttered there is usually a sensation of feeling calmer and lighter, a bit more upbeat and being able to think more clearly.

Decluttering a drawer, shelf or some kind of space in your life can be an unexpectedly positive experience not just practically. But for you as a person both emotionally and mentally too.

This is the most important reason why I declutter.

But it, of course, also frees up space. It can help you to sometimes earn a bit of extra money. It can make someone else happier by giving them something you have no use for anymore.

If you have just 5 or 10 minutes to spare today and want to take a first step to simplify your outer and inner life then I recommend uncluttering just one small space in your house.

Here’s how I declutter in five quick steps.

  1. Pick a drawer or a shelf. Empty it out and clean it out. Put everything that was in that space in one big pile.
  2. Make choices about those items, one at a time. For each item in that pile ask yourself this: have I used this in the past year? If not, then it is often pretty safe to say that you won’t be using it in the future either.
  3. Give it away or trash it? If you are not keeping it then you may want to give it to someone you know that you think could make good use of it. Or you can give it away to your local charity.  If that is the case put it in a box or bag for that purpose. And if you just want to trash it then put it then put it in a bag where you’ll collect the trash items during this brief uncluttering session.
  4. If you are keeping it, then find a home for it. It could be at one of the front corners of your drawer or to the right in the top shelf of your bookcase. Having a home for each item where you put it back each time after using it will reduce the weekly clutter in your home and you will always be able to easily find the item.
  5. If you are unsure about the item then put it in a 6-month box. Put that box away somewhere where you can easily access it – a closet for example – if you need something from it. On the outside of the box write the date when you put the stuff in it. 6 months later get the box and see what is still in it. If you haven’t used those things in the past 6 months then you have no need for them and you can safely give them away or throw them out.

And that’s it.

By taking small 5-10 minute steps when you have some time to spare you can declutter a whole lot over a few weeks or months.

Or that first small step may lead you to uncluttering a whole room at once.

Image by storebukkebruse (license).

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Now that’s really a practical and quick exercise , easy to mind and body ?

  • Good practical steps,easy to execute .?

  • sk.nasim ahmed

    your positivity blog is in fact very enlightening and ifollow it.

  • maryam

    thanks for great tips ,they are so helpful for me.

  • Bisrat Atilaw

    My problem in unculletring convincing my wife she has very thing since we met twenty five years back. She used it as a reference books and trys to remind me the place, the events, the then friends etc. I will show her your article and update you the outcome.

    Many thanks for your advise on different but constructive issues. Keep in touch and good bless you.

  • Melissa Leake

    If decluttering reduces stress, I am definitely starting the de-cluttering process tomorrow! I need positivity and to de-stress; at this this point I am willing to try anything! This was a great read with good ideas!

  • Neel

    Very nice Sir. Very good ideas suggested and at the right time for me. Thanks again

  • Good tips Henrik. I recently did a white wash for my home, and that is when I realized how important it is to unclutter everything at home. Clothes, household articles, documents, food materials, books, CD’s etc etc..you need a way to manage them. Sometimes we think too much to throw something into the trash, and it piles up as a monster which eats up a huge space in our homes.
    1. In office, we do something called Spring cleaning. We can implement it at home too. Fix a particular day once in three months, run through all the items at home and throw away each and everything that you won’t be using in the future
    2. Make sure the shelves are lined up with labelled boxes which will have the smaller items
    3. Dispose the unwanted cartons and package materials that come alongwith our appliances.

  • Henrik
    I agree that uncluttering can give you a sense of achievement.

    I tend to do it in 6 month periods where I organise my study and throw out all the stuff that I thought ‘may come in useful one day’ or whose usefulness has expired.

    I do put aside some stuff for charity and leave it in the garage (out of the way!) and then take it to the charity shop at a suitable time.

    It does mean sometimes I move clutter from one room to the charity shop via the garage, but it does go eventually!

  • I love the idea of a 6 month box. Anything unused in this time can then be binned without any queries and putting the date on the box is a great accountability plan! Neat blog post. Thank you.

  • I love the idea of a 6 month box. Then you’re forced to eventually take care of the stuff in the box as it overflows. I have something similar to that; I put “maybes” into a box and then I can debate on it until I head to the thrift store the next time. Not so much a 6 month box, more like the 1 or 2 week variety, but it works. Thanks for the ideas.

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