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  • Writer's pictureSahina

5 Steps To Declutter Your Mind!

Having spent many years helping people declutter their homes, as a Professional Organizer, it’s clear to me that decluttering one’s mind involves the exact same steps. Here’s what it takes, in both cases:

Step 1: ACKNOWLEDGE that you have some clutter you’d be better off without. Clutter is anything that no longer serves a useful purpose in your life. The things you’ve outgrown a need for. Recognizing clutter for what it is, is the first step towards releasing it. And although it may be easier to identify physical clutter, due to its visible nature, than it is to recognize internal clutter, both types weigh you down.

Mental/emotional clutter can dampen your mood and interfere with your thinking. It can affect the choices you make and diminish your enjoyment of life. Turning a blind eye and ignoring either type of clutter doesn’t make it go away!

Step 2: DECIDE you’re ready to make a change. Letting go of the old creates space for the new. This is true whether you’re decluttering your home, or letting go of some emotional baggage that’s been occupying a space in your psyche.

The natural cycles of life – beginning, middle and end – means there’s an organic timing to releasing what’s no longer necessary in our lives. Just as trees shed their leaves in the autumn, and our physical bodies slough off old cells on a daily basis, these natural cycles occur on every level. Whether we’re talking about tossing out an old, worn-out pair of shoes, or a belief system that no longer makes sense to us – deciding to let go can be liberating and opens the door to something new.

Step 3: SEE CLEARLY what your clutter consists of. Only when you’re fully aware of what your clutter actually is, can you best decide what to do with it. Whereas physical clutter consists of material things, inner clutter consists of no-longer-useful thoughts, emotions, beliefs and attitudes.

Maybe you’re ready to ditch the habit of negative self-talk that sabotages an area of your life? Or a limiting belief about what you’re capable of doing, being or having? Maybe you feel ready to let go of unresolved emotions from the past (grief, anger, resentment, guilt, disappointment etc) or fears and worries about the future that weigh you down? Knowing what you’re dealing with exactly, helps you determine the best method of releasing it.

Step 4: TAKE ACTION! Disposing of physical clutter may involve donating to your local charity shop, recycling or throwing stuff in the bin. When it comes to letting go of inner clutter, there are different ways to get the job done. The most important thing is knowing it’s possible for you to release and transform the thoughts and feelings that clutter up your inner space and drag you down.

Some types of inner clutter are easier to let go of than others. So, depending on what it is, and how chronic or deep-seated it has become, you’ll need to discern which method might work best for you.

Sometimes, the simple act of sharing what’s on your mind or heart with a trusted friend is enough to release it. When dealing with more chronic or hard-wired issues, talking to a professional – a therapist, alternative practitioner or spiritual counsellor, for example - might be necessary in order to uproot the problem. Finding the right professional for you – one that you trust – is important, and will allow you to be vulnerable enough to be guided through complex or hard-to-face issues on the way to releasing your inner burdens.

Additionally, there are many effective, easy-to-use self-help tools that allow you to identify and dissolve your inner baggage without too much trouble. Personally, I have found Journaling, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and The Work of Byron Katie to all be extremely helpful tools. Each of them, in their own way, allow me to unravel and release the thoughts and feelings I’m ready to let go of, and to reclaim my inner peace.

Of course, there are other equally effective self-help tools out there. Finding the method(s) that work best for you is the important thing. Open-mindedness and the willingness to try new things allows for new possibilities. And knowing when to reach out for the help of a professional is something to keep in mind.

The fact that we use both our homes and our minds on a daily basis means that clutter can easily re-appear if we’re not mindful about staying on top of it.

Step 5: MAINTAIN. Both outer and inner decluttering require some maintenance if you wish to continue living in peace and clarity. Keeping clutter at bay is an on-going job. The fact that we use both our homes and our minds on a daily basis means that clutter can easily re-appear if we’re not mindful about staying on top of it.

Regarding inner clutter, some form of regular practice will help keep your internal environment clear. For some, daily meditation is a necessity in order to maintain inner clarity and calm. Meditation is for the mind what a daily shower is for the body. It washes away the detritus that inevitably accumulates. Daily or weekly journaling has a similar effect, in that it sweeps away the stuff that gathers on the surface of your mind, leaving it clearer.

Spending time in nature, or with a pet, also soothes and calms the mind, bringing you back into deeper connection with yourself, and with your heart. All of these activities help us reconnect and rebalance the mind and heart after spending long stretches of time engaged in mental busy-ness.

Whenever you manage to rid yourself of some inner clutter, give yourself a well deserved pat on the back! Not everyone is interested, let alone committed, to the process of clearing out their inner clutter. However, the more you clean up your inner environment, the more you’ll be blessed by its rewards - a clearer, more peaceful mind, increased happiness, more vitality, better health, improved relationships - including a deeper, more loving relationship with yourself. What could be more worthwhile?

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