I think it’s safe to say that many of us often feel bogged down or overwhelmed by clutter. This clutter can take the form of physical items in our homes, or it can be in the form of thoughts, feelings, worries, and problems in our minds.
As someone who lives with mental illness, sorting out mind-clutter can feel pretty impossible. There’s too much, I don’t know where to start, I haven’t got the energy, and so on.
Whilst drowning in mind clutter, the physical clutter started to pile up. My mind clutter was spilling over into the physical realm. Then, as the physical clutter got progressively worse, it started to add to my mind-clutter. It soon became a vicious cycle.
When we hear the word “decluttering”, it can evoke visions of a huge, overwhelming project that is going to take time and energy we just don’t have.
However, one day I found myself with a tiny bit of energy. Not much, just a little spark. I decided to grab onto it and complete one small decluttering task. I did it. And suddenly I felt a huge rush of satisfaction. I’d achieved something. I’d succeeded in something. Not only that, but having spent a little time doing some physical decluttering, my mind somehow felt a little lighter. I’m not saying all my problems had disappeared, but it felt like sorting out one small physical task had kind of sorted out a little bit of space in my mind.
Here is a list of just a few decluttering tasks that require little effort or energy, to help you clear your space and your mind.
Shred/rip up old mail
If you have a stack of old mail that you no longer need, shred it or rip it up, and put it in the recycling.
Clear out your inbox
If your email inbox is full of newsletters or expired offers, go through and delete them. There’s something really satisfying about seeing that “unread” number go down! Also, if you have a little bit more energy, you could unsubscribe from mailing lists that you’re no longer interested in.
Sort computer files into folders
If you have all sorts of files scattered across your desktop screen, create some folders and store those files away. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you’re not confronted with that mess every time you open your laptop.
Delete old phone contacts
Still got “guy from the bar” saved in your phone from last year even though you didn’t want his number in the first place? Delete it.
Throw out odd socks
Okay. It’s been months. You haven’t found the missing sock to the pair. It’s time to let go of the odd sock. Unless you’re one of those people who like to wear odd socks, in which case… you do you.
Organise your bookshelf/DVD shelf
You can get creative with this one. If the thought of organising them alphabetically feels like too much work or not your style, organise them another way. Maybe by genre, colour, or by read and unread/watched and unwatched. If you find a book/DVD you have no intention of reading/watching again, donate it to charity – another feel-good boost.
Throw out old pet toys
Yes, Captain Flufflebum loves her old, raggedy mouse toy. But she’s ripped out all the stuffing and it’s covered in kitty drool. It’s time to get rid. And hey, it’s an excuse to treat her to a brand new (clean) toy!
Delete old social media profiles
Now, no shade to MySpace/Bebo/other platforms languishing in the social media graveyard (honestly, no shade…) but you and I both know you’re never going to use it again. You haven’t even logged into your account in years. Log in, save any photos that you want to keep, and delete it. You’ll feel lighter!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Do you have any others to add to the list? Have you tried any of these suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!