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10 Things to Declutter That Aren’t Actual Things

10 Things to Declutter That Aren’t Actual Things

We tend to think about decluttering our physical stuff but there are many other things we can remove which aren’t visible or tangible. To truly simplify your life and create more time, space and freedom for what matters, here are 10 things to declutter that aren’t actual things.


Everybody’s life looks different. We all have different stresses and strains, commitments and responsibilities and we all approach life from a unique individual standpoint. Although simplifying isn’t easy, at the very least, I hope these ideas encourage you to think about your own life differently and begin to identify clutter, beyond just your stuff!

Get rid of clutter and you may just find it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for.

Katrina Mayer

Simplifying life is about getting rid of the things that don’t matter to make space for those that do. If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, try these little suggestions as a step to simplifying your own life.


Here are 10 things to declutter that aren’t actual things.

1. Your time

Time is one of those things we can never get enough of. We all have 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us how we manage that time. Ideally, so it’s more full of things we WANT to do and not just things we NEED to do.

Learn the art of saying no because every time you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. Remember that you won’t get your time back so be careful where you say yes!

Avoid overcommitting and spreading yourself too thin. Ensure you leave plenty of time that’s free, unstructured and you can fill with things, but only IF you want.

Action Point: Try looking at your calendar now. Can you pick just one activity in the next month or so to cancel, decline or postpone. What will you do with that time instead?

Further reading:

2. Your mind

A cluttered mind is one that’s not only full of thoughts and knowledge but also full of things to remember, worries and problems.

If there’s too much going on in your mind, you’ve probably also got a lot of mental fog which could lead to a lack of clarity, focus or concentration.

As a result, a cluttered mind tends to lead to stress, procrastination and distraction. You might even be unable to get things done simply because you don’t know what to do first!

Begin clearing the clutter from your mind by getting your thoughts out of your head and down on to paper. Looking at a visual list could help you organise, prioritise and take action where needed instead of your thoughts just being a jumbled mess swirling around your head.

Further reading:

10 things to declutter that aren't actual things

3. Your relationships

We can all have relationships that feel a little one-sided or cause us more harm than good. Declutter the relationships in your life which aren’t built on mutual love, strength and support.

Dedicate your time to fostering the relationships of your choice. Every relationship needs work to keep it strong and healthy so, if a relationship is important to you, find a way to work it into your life.

Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.

Eleanor Brown

Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain relationships when life is busy or tough but just do what you can to be there for your friends and loved ones, whenever you can. In return, true friends will always be there for you.

4. Your priorities

Decluttering your priorities means defining what’s most important to you in life and honouring these things in your every day.

Without a clear list of your priorities, it can be difficult to know where to spend your time and energy. After all, if everything is important, then nothing is.

Decluttering your priorities allows you to get clear on what you need to do in the day, what will make a difference to you and your family. You’ll be able to set clear boundaries to curate a life that works for you, not just a life that’s dictated to you by your To Do list or the priorities of other people.

Action Point: Try making a list now of your priorities. Think about the people, experiences, places, memories and activities that bring most value to your life. What lifts you up and makes you happy to be living your life, right now? Now that you’re beginning to see what they might be, can you find a way to weave them into your everyday life?

Further reading:

5. Your goals

What do you really want out of life? Have you ever taken a moment to sit down and brainstorm some short, medium and long term goals for the next week, month, year, or longer?

  • Did you have goals but over time your dreams and ambitions had to take a back seat?
  • Maybe you have so many goals that you don’t know which mean the most to you or which to work towards first.
  • Do you have any goals at all, or just some vague idea of what you’d like to happen in life?
  • And, lastly, what about the goals you do actually set for yourself? Do you meet and achieve them?

The answers to these questions and the thing that will really help you achieve your goals comes down to an important, but simple process… Identifying the goals that are in alignment with YOU and YOUR life.

Goals that aren’t important, of value and aren’t the right fit for you and what you want out of your life are just clutter to distract your mind, waste your time and energy and pull you off course.

Declutter your goals, be specific, focused and accountable to the goals you DO choose to keep and you’re much more likely to achieve them. 

Further reading:

6. Your anxieties

Sometimes we do need to worry about things. Life isn’t always easy and bad things do happen to good people. However, sometimes we worry about things that haven’t yet happened and might never happen. We get caught up in our thoughts and they spiral out of control.

When this happens, it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees and work out what’s REALLY worth worrying about and what’s not.

In other words, there’s just too much clutter of worries, anxieties, negative thoughts and habits which push out thoughts that could serve us more helpfully.

If you feel your mind is fuzzy with worry and you want to knock some negative thoughts into touch, try brain dumping or my free workbook on how to shift your mindset.

Further reading:

Joyce Meyer Positive Life quote

7. Your habits

Over time we all develop habits, things that we do without even really noticing we’re doing them. Some habits are helpful and others aren’t.

Declutter your habits and make sure that you try to nurture healthy, positive habits instead of self-destructive, negative habits.

You could read my post on 24 life-changing habits to include in your daily routine for some helpful ideas. You’ll also learn exactly why habits are so important for cultivating a simple, intentional and meaningful life.

8. Your life

A simple life is an intentional one. When we choose to live with less stuff, in all its shapes and forms, not only are we defining our priorities (as I mentioned earlier) but our thinking shifts for the long term. We’re more careful, mindful, considerate and intentional in what we let into our life and what we keep out. Modern life encourages us to be more, buy more, have more, but a simpler life actually helps you to have more in other ways. Less stuff, more life.

For more tips on decluttering your life, you might like to read 20 ways to simplify your life.

9. Your eating

Declutter your eating to me means choosing healthy, nutritious meal options where possible that are simple to plan, easy to cook and yummy to eat. They don’t have to be complicated (unless you love cooking!).

Cut out processed, high salt, high sugar ready meals and take away options where possible. Plan and prepare your food for the week including all the snacks so you’re not tempted to shatter a healthy diet by grabbing a packet of salty crisps or sugary chocolate bar as a quick energy boost.

This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with pizza and chicken nuggets for the kids or something from the local takeaway for you! And, definitely not a problem with a packet of crisps or chocolate bar here and there. But, be more conscious and intentional about what clutter you feed yourself and your family and your bodies will thank you for it in the end!

Further reading:

10. Your desire to be anything but you!

This is the ultimate clutter and has the potential to make you feel unfulfilled, unhappy and constantly searching for more.

I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t aspire to improve yourself or your life, but it’s better to be happy in your own shoes, rather than wasting your energy trying to fit someone else’s or worrying what other people might think of you.

Your life is exactly that. It’s YOUR life and you can do a lot with it, whatever your circumstances. Set yourself some goals, reflect on your mindset, be kind to yourself and appreciate the little things in your life (because they make up your life).

Further reading:

10 things to declutter that aren't actual things


I hope you enjoyed this article on things to declutter that aren’t things. I’d love to hear about ways your life is cluttered and how you’ve taken steps to clear that clutter. What did you find particularly difficult? Drop a note in the comments if you have anything to add or share!

So often we think about the stuff that we can see, that’s right in front of us, but there’s so much more to life that we can’t see. Our physical, mental and emotional environments shape us into who we are, what we do with our life and how we feel about it.

Don’t let the clutter cloud your thoughts and your mind (and, of course, your space)!


If you’d like to explore what decluttering your home and life could mean for you, here are some resources which you might find helpful:

  • The Cost of Clutter: What Is Your Clutter Costing You? Clutter can take up space in our home, heart and mind but what else is your clutter costing you? In this article we look at the cost of clutter so you can decide for yourself.
  • How to Declutter Your Home and Life – Clearing clutter is often the first step to creating a simpler life, with more time, more ease and less stress. Decluttering isn’t always easy but this guide provides some helpful tips on how to declutter your home and life and make space for what matters most to you.
  • 10 Ways to Find Moments of Joy in Your Every Day – Life can feel tough sometimes. In this article I’m sharing 10 ways to find moments of joy in your every day. Little ways to bring happiness and comfort to your daily routine.
  • Decluttering Mindset: How to Get Into the Right Mindset to Declutter – Most of the actions and decisions we make and take come down to our mindset and how we feel and think about something. In this article I explore some decluttering mindset tips and how to get into the right mindset to declutter with confidence and ease.


I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!


Monday 10th of July 2023

Antonia, This is the first time resting your blog. I really enjoyed this article! It hit home. I've been in desperate need of decluttering for some time now, and I will include your tips as part of the process! Thank You ?

Balance Through Simplicity

Tuesday 18th of July 2023

Thank you and you're very welcome. Good luck with your decluttering!


Sunday 9th of July 2023

Great article, Antonia! Personally, I'd add a few things to this list, which may or may not resonate with you: anger at past wrongs (I don't think forgiveness is always required, but anger hurts only you), romantic longings for ex-partners (no comment! LOL), and beliefs that no longer serve us (credit for this one goes to Mark Manson).

But the one I've struggled with most, which is definitely related to your Point 6, Your anxieties, and Point 10, Your desire to be anything but you!, are the expectations instilled in us by others about the standards we "should" meet, the career we "should" have, and so on. Declutter the shoulds!

Thank you as always for your thoughtful and practical content, Antonia. I hope you're starting to feel settled into your new home, and you're no longer sitting in a howling wilderness of unpacked boxes!

Balance Through Simplicity

Sunday 9th of July 2023

Hi Laura, your additional points definitely resonate with me and I'm sure many others reading this. Thank you for sharing these! I particularly love the 'declutter the shoulds'.