So many people think about their material possessions and physical stuff when it comes to decluttering. But there’s a whole load of other things that we can declutter in our life that aren’t visible or tangible. If you’re looking to truly declutter your life and create more time, space and freedom by living simply, then check out this post on 10 things to declutter that aren’t actual things.
A WORD ABOUT THIS LIST
Everybody’s life looks different. We all have different stresses and strains, commitments and responsibilities and we all approach our life from a unique individual standpoint.
Therefore, some things on this list might not apply to you or I might have missed something out that you consider really important. If so, please let me know in the comments!
Although not definitive, here’s my top 10 things to declutter that aren’t actual things.
10 THINGS TO DECLUTTER THAT AREN’T ACTUAL THINGS
#1 Your time
Time is one of those things that 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 so it’s productive and full of things we WANT to do as well as things we NEED to do.
Be ruthless with what you say no to. Don’t overcommit yourself and spread yourself too thin. Ensure you leave plenty of time that’s free, unstructured and you can fill with things IF you want to.
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 what you say yes to!
Try looking at your calendar now and see if you can pick just one thing in the next couple of weeks to cancel, decline or postpone. What will you do with that time instead?
Here are a couple of posts which might help you declutter your time
#2 Your mind
A cluttered mind is one that’s not only full of thoughts and knowledge but also full of things to remember, thoughts, worries and problems.
If there’s too much going on in your mind, you’ve got a lot of distraction, so you can’t think clearly, focus or concentrate.
As a result, a cluttered mind tends to lead to stress, procrastination, being easily side-tracked and you’re unable to get things done because you don’t know which you should be thinking about and acting on first.
You can start to declutter your mind by getting things out of your head and on to paper. You’ll be able to see things visually in front of you so you can organise, prioritise and take action over them. Your thoughts will no longer be a jumbled mass of abstract thoughts swirling around your head.
Try organising your thoughts into a To Do list or try a brain dump! Click here to visit my post on how to do a brain dump to declutter your mind.
#3 Your relationships
We all have relationships that feel a bit 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.
It doesn’t mean you have to be rude or unkind, just find a way to maintain the relationship in a way that benefits YOU.
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.
Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain relationships when you’ve got little kids that need so much of your time and attention. In these stages of life, you don’t have much time for yourself, let alone anyone else but just do what you can, when you can. True friends will always be there for you.
Check out this post on how to keep the passion alive when you have loads of kids if you need ideas for maintaining your relationship with your partner!
#4 Your priorities
Decluttering your priorities means working out what’s most important in your day, your month, your life and focusing your time, energy and attention on these things.
If you don’t declutter your priorities, then you run the risk of having so much on your To Do list that you’re never able to achieve anything.
- This is partly because you’ve got so many priorities that it’s just not possible to get them all done.
- Or you might be overwhelmed at the long list, can’t decide what to do first and end up never achieving anything.
- There’s also the problem of identifying which are the PRIORITY priorities, i.e. the most important, because you haven’t organised them and they all seem as important as each other.
If you declutter your priorities you can get rid of the unnecessary ones or the ones that actually, when you think about them, aren’t really adding any value or something you want or need to do anyway.
Decluttering your priorities will allow you to identify what’s most important to you and which order of importance they come in.
You can get rid of the priorities that are just adding unnecessary clutter to your list, your thoughts and your time.
Try making a list now of your priorities. Does it feel good to get them down on paper and does it help if you list them in order of importance or urgency?
For some helpful tips in managing your time, your To Do list and your productivity, check out my post on 15 ways to have the most productive day
#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, 5 years, 10 or even 20 years?
- Did you have goals once upon a time but when you became a Mum, your dreams and ambitions suddenly went on the back-burner?
- 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? Do you have any real idea of whether it will happen to you by coincidence, luck or fate, or whether you should be actively working towards them? If so, when will you start?
- 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 life are just clutter to distract your mind and waste your time and energy.
Declutter your goals and be specific, focused and accountable to the goals you DO choose to keep and you’re much more likely to achieve them.
For more help, check out my post on how to set goals and keep them!
#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 inside our heads.
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 behaviours that make us lose clarity and judgement.
Try doing a brain dump (see earlier in the post) or try shifting your mindset and thinking about situations differently. Sometimes we’re so used to thinking a certain way or having a particular outlook, that we don’t stop to think whether it’s actually realistic, necessary or helpful.
For more information, check out this post on how to shift your mindset and achieve anything you want.
#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 concentrate on developing healthy and positive habits, rather than negative and self-destructive ones.
You could read my post on 24 life-changing habits to include in your daily routine for some tips on what to include in your life!
#8 Your life
A simple life is an intentional one. It enables you to spend your time, money, energy and love on the people and things that mean the most to you, without being distracted by the clutter of the modern world. Too often these days we feel we need to be more busy, more successful, more ambitious, more wealthy. More, more, more…
Try decluttering your life with these 8 ways to simplify your life and you might find you have less, but your life will be fuller for it!
#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 you and your family and your body will thank you for it!
For more help with meal planning and meal prep ideas, check out my post on Meal-planning made simple.
#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 you 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.
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, put a smile on your face and remember that you’re so lucky to have what you have.
If you need a quick fix of feel-good ideas, check out my post on 15 ways to make yourself feel better!
SIMPLE IS BEST
I hope you enjoyed this post. It was lovely for me to write about something that I love to talk about (decluttering) but with a different spin.
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)!
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK?
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve got anything to add to the list!
YOUR NEXT STEP…
Your Intentional Life is a completely free 7-day email course that will make you look at your life differently. I’ll show you how to create a life that supports YOU so you can focus on your purpose, priorities and the things that are most important to you without clutter and distraction.