Declutter Your Life: Three Ways

Look around you. From where you sit, at your desk, in your bed, staring at your phone on the train, how cramped do you feel? You might find it interesting to note that, while you might not having anyone crashing into you or have items towering over you, you can still feel as though you have an elephant sitting on your chest.

I’ll be completely honest, I felt like this every time I sat at my desk for a long time. Throughout university I would find sitting down to write and study would put me immediately on edge and I’d feel as though the task ahead weighed one hundred times more than it should.

Then one day I picked up all of the books stacked up on my desk and moved them to the shelf. I cleared away assessment papers into a folder and placed that into the cupboard. Then I threw away any pens that were drying up or finished and placed a new container to keep only the fresh, new ones.

This simple act of completely clearing my desk of unnecessary clutter made the world of difference. I could sit at my desk and not feel stressed or pressured, instead I felt energised, organised and motivated!

I was hooked on decluttering, and it seems I’m not the only one. Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-changing Magic of Cleaning Up’ has become an international bestseller and is assisting everyday people in decluttering their worlds and getting on with life.

With all of this in mind, today we’re sharing our top tips to getting rid of clutter and reclaiming your space.

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Your Desk:

Even if you don’t use your desk, it can have a tendency to build up a lot of ‘stuff’. This can affect your work flow and productivity. Start by clearing out all of the papers on your desk. There’s always bills, notices, reminder notes, receipts and the occasional pamphlet and flyers from the post. Get yourself a filing system and organise your bills and receipts. Send all of the old to-do lists and reminders to the bin.

Then attack your stationery – there’s no need for pens that are almost used up, blunt scissors and an empty stapler. Go through it all and keep all of the essentials and either box or bin the rest.

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Your Tech:

Our tech devices are one of the biggest clutter culprits! Whether it be your phone, computer or iPad, these things can accumulate hours and hours of video and music, not to mention the thousands of photos dating back since you bought it two years ago!

Tackle photos first; culling all duplicates and images of poor quality. Create albums sorted into years and dates. Invest in a hard-drive so you’re not just transferring all the files from one device to another! Then go through your music and consider what you’ve listened to in the last 12 months. There’s always those oldies that you’ll want to keep, but there will also be artists and albums that you got only to find you didn’t really care for them. Hit delete and you won’t think of it again.

Sort your files. Whether it’s on your phone or laptop, organise your apps and files into folders. It will clear the clutter from your screen, plus you’ll know exactly where to look for something the next time you need it!

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Your Beauty Cupboard:

This one is a sly little cupboard (or cupboards!) because it builds up over time while you assure yourself that you will use it all eventually. In actual fact, what ends up happening is that you double up on products and things start to expire. Have you got a moisturiser that you opened a year ago? A cleanser that you started a while back? Chances are these have reached their use by date. Don’t forget your make-up and mani drawer as well! Get rid of any nail polishes that are claggy, dried shut or simply not your style any more.


Top Tips to Decluttering:

  1. Separate into three piles: must keep, would like to keep and rubbish. Be honest with yourself, remembering that anything in the middle category isn’t essential but also doesn’t have to be chucked. This is a good method to remove some of the sentimentality when decluttering.
  2. Embrace the feeling of throwing away. It can be so liberating to let go of junk, allowing space and room to move you didn’t know you had!
  3. Ask yourself: ‘Will I think of this again once it’s gone?’ More often than not you wouldn’t have even thought about the item until you picked it up again in your clean out. If you chuck it or delete it then and there, will you think about it again afterward? If the answer is no, you know what to do!
  4. When in doubt, throw it.
  5. Move by area – start with a shelf and finish it before moving on to something else. If you take on a whole room or area at once the job can become daunting and become like a chore.

Rachel x


Main Image Source: Elyse Williams

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