Clear your mind

So you’ve heard of the saying, ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’; how about tidy office, tidy kitchen, tidy bedroom? If you look at the space around you, whether at work or at home and you’re surrounded by chaos, quite naturally, your head will be in a muddle too. It’s time to declutter, and in doing so, you’ll free up some valuable headspace, allowing you to think more clearly.

I came across a book, The life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo, when I was on holiday last summer. It discusses the power of decluttering your home, and the difference it can make to your life. It couldn’t have come at a more timely moment, as I was about to embark on this seemingly endless journey of packing up my house, in preparation to move. I returned from holiday completely enthused and inspired.

Does it give you joy?

We have lived here for 17 years, and in all honesty, there has never been the need for a major clear out, so you can imagine the clutter we’ve accumulated over time. This fantastic book, which uses the Japanese KonMari method, has helped me to tackle this major project, whilst making me realise that you don’t need to move house, to tidy a few things up. Had I kept on top of things earlier, it may have not been such an arduous task now.

As Kondo suggests, look at your belongings individually; aside from the essentials that you need to run your home, ask yourself the question, does it give you joy? If the answer is no, what purpose does it have? It’s time to be ruthless and let it go! Initially, this was tough, but once I got into the swing of things, it was incredibly straightforward. Why? Because it’s simple and makes total sense. Why am I hanging on to all of this ‘stuff’?

Let it go

Whether it’s clothing in the back of your wardrobe that hasn’t seen the light of day for five years, or that old chair in the garage with a ripped seat that you’ve been meaning to get upholstered, despite having nowhere to put it; the question of joy gives you permission to get rid of these pretty useless items, that you’ve been holding onto, ‘just in case’.

This whole process has been liberating. Of course, there is a downside; the local charity shops and recycling centre are becoming a little too familiar, but I’m hoping the majority of my unwanted goods will find a new home somewhere.

So, if you find yourself surrounded by so much clutter that you can’t think straight, don’t wait until you next move house.

A step at a time

For efficiency, categorise everything before you start. Kondo suggests starting with your wardrobe, as clothes hold the least emotion; now is a great time as the seasons change and you make room for your summer staples. You could then move onto books, furniture and kitchen gadgets, but save the photographs and sentimental items until much later on, once you’ve really got the hang of it.

In freeing this space around you, not only will you benefit from a great sense of achievement, you will be able to function much more clearly. Declutter your surroundings and in turn, you will declutter your mind.