11 Simple Ways To Declutter Your Life & Boost Happiness!
Written by: Liz Brown - Apr. 8, 2019
Spring has officially sprung—which means it’s out with the old and in with the new. This time of year is all about revitalization. The last traces of winter have finally dissipated and the earth has entered a lively state of renewal and growth. Birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the sun is beaming through the clouds! All of nature is awake and ready to breathe new life and to start fresh again—including us.
It’s natural for people to crave change in the spring. You can just feel it in the air—which is why many of us have the urge to clear out all the clutter that has accumulated during the dormant winter months and do a little spring cleaning. What’s funny is that even though we can do this any time throughout the year, it just feels “right” to do it in the spring. 😆
So, in the spirit of spring cleaning, it’s time to declutter your life and rid yourself of the stale energy that’s been lingering in the air and around your home! You might even surprise yourself with how much stuff you’ve accumulated in a few months time—and where it all piles up! By decluttering these areas of your life, you can feel reawakened, rejuvenated, alive, and harness the spirit and vitality of spring. 🌷🦋
How Clutter Happens
“Where did all this junk come from?!”
– Said literally everyone at some point in their lives…
I think most people can attest to this sentiment because clutter can happen to just about anyone—even to the most unlikely people. In general, people have a tendency to “collect” things for a number of reasons—it might hold sentimental value, maybe you think you’ll use it later, or maybe you feel the need to keep it because you spent your hard earned money on it. Even if you haven’t used it in months, giving it up would feel like dollars down the drain. No matter what the reason is, if you repeat these behaviors over and over again, things will eventually pile up. The result—too much stuff!
Another way that clutter can accumulate is because there isn’t a simple organization system in place. When you don’t know where to put things, you tend to toss them somewhere that’s out of sight and out of mind. When this happens, clutter can accumulate… quickly! (I’m talking to you, kitchen junk drawer!) If this sounds like you, finding a way to stay organized can help alleviate a ton of stress and help keep everything tidy.
You might also find that transitioning into a new routine can create a mess of your life. Whether you had a new baby, started or lost a job, moved into a new home, or experienced a financial setback, whatever it is, life-altering situations can significantly impact your ability to declutter your life.
How Clutter Affects Your Brain
Decluttering is one of the best and worst parts of spring cleaning. Getting rid of old junk can feel liberating like a weight has been lifted and you can finally breathe again. But trying to decide what to keep and what to toss can feel like a tedious and grueling task for a lot of people.
In fact, researchers at Yale School of Medicine discovered that the same part of your brain that is fired off when you experience physical pain (like when you stub your toe or get a paper cut) is triggered when you throw away an item that you own or feel a connection toward. Your brain actually associates losing one of your valued possessions as something that causes you physical pain, and the more you’re emotionally attached to an item, the less likely you are to toss it—which explains why it’s so difficult to let certain things go.
Clutter affects your brain in other ways too—like your mood and self-esteem, your quality of sleep, your ability to focus, and can even cause stress, depression, and anxiety. It’s an unexpected type of toxin that can have a significant impact on your overall health. Thankfully, the side effects caused by clutter can be managed. By tidying up a few simple areas in your surroundings, you can start to declutter your life, reduce stress, and feel happier!
How To Declutter Your Life
Decluttering your life can feel overwhelming—and rightfully so. If you’ve ever had a big task looming over your head, wondering where to begin can sometimes feel like the worst part. The key to any successful spring cleaning is to start with something small that doesn’t take up a lot of time or energy but has a big payoff. From there, you can move onto larger projects and go through sentimental items that might be more difficult to part from.
11 Different Places To Declutter (That Won’t Stress You Out)
Here are some examples of simple ways you can begin to declutter your life:
Believe it or not, the simple act of cleaning out your purse can be a small, yet rewarding, win when it comes to eliminating clutter from your life. Think about it, your purse is something you carry around every single day and have at all times… it’s inevitable that it’ll collect a hodge-podge of items. Who knows, maybe all of your long-lost bobby pins and hair ties will suddenly reappear once you clean it out!
With the influx of beauty products on the market today, it’s no wonder we have more makeup and beauty products that we know what to do with. Every day a new product hits the shelves, or in our digital era, makes an appearance on your social media feed, and after a while, all the impulse and special occasion purchases can add up. Remember that royal blue liquid eyeliner you bought for Halloween back in 2017 (the one you haven’t touched since)? Yeah, that’s gotta go.
Taking the time to go through your beauty products can clear up a ton of space in your vanity or bathroom and even make your morning and evening beauty routine easier and more enjoyable. Sometimes too many options can become a problem after a while.
Social Media, Email, and App Notifications
”Can’t a girl get some peace and quiet?!” This day and age, digital notifications demand our attention almost 24/7, which can conflict with our productivity. In fact, one study discovered that people who had fewer phone notifications felt less stressed and less distracted on a daily basis. So, if your smartphone is covered with red notifications, it’s time to clear them out. For an extra challenge, turn the notifications off completely!
Files on Your Computer
Be honest, when was the last time you went through the files on your computer? Most people don’t even realize how much space their files, internet downloads, music, photos, and movies take up on their hard drives, not to mention the space on your desktop. Take the time to sort through your files, decide what needs to be transferred to an external hard drive, what needs to be trashed, and establish a simple organization system to help make finding what you need a lot easier. Here’s a tip, only keep the things you refer to regularly.
Fridge and Cupboards
It’s time to play the“How long has this been expired?” game! Despite your best intentions, your refrigerator almost always becomes the place where expired food sets up camp. To prevent a buildup of expired food (and a stinky fridge) you should clean out your fridge once a week and toss anything that’s past its prime. And don’t forget about all your boxed and canned goods in your cupboards!
Even though your cupboards can store foods with a longer shelf-life, auditing your stockpile at least every three months will help keep your cupboards clean and tidy. You just may have forgotten about that old can of lima beans in the back corner!
Unopened Mail / Loose Papers
Loose papers can pile up fast, especially if you don’t deal with them on a daily basis. So, what’s the quickest way to put a stop to it? Go paperless! Signing up for electronic receipts and billing statements can put a halt to the pileup and give you the time you need to get organized. Separating the existing papers by category can help you decide what’s important to keep and what should be shredded or recycled.
When cleaning out your medicine cabinet you should look for anything that’s expired and any duplicate items. If you get sick maybe once or twice each year, it’s easy to buy the same medicine over and over again without realizing you already have it at home. And if you have kids in the house where colds seem to come and go like it’s just another Wednesday, you may have way more medications than you know what to do with. Going through your medicine cabinet at the beginning of the autumn season and at the end of the winter season can help keep things clean and under control.
However, you should be careful when discarding medications. Containers should be stripped of their prescription label and the medication should be removed and placed in a sealable bag. Solid medications, such as pills, should be diluted with liquid so they dissolve and others should be mixed with material like sawdust, coffee grinds, or kitty litter to make them less appealing for children and animals to eat.
For many of you, your car is a sacred space to escape the distractions of everyday life. For others, well, your car might be a dumping ground for anything and everything—a second closet, a storage unit, a trash can, the home of your child’s prized booger collection, or even a graveyard for all the empty plastic water bottles you’ve “been meaning to throw away”. Whatever it is, your car can get pretty messy. So next time you pull up for a car wash, take a few minutes to go through all the junk that’s accumulated and start fresh!
Uh oh, this one’s a doozy! Cleaning out your closet is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind when it comes to spring cleaning because, let’s face it, we all have a particularly strange attachment to our clothes. For a lot of people, clothes hold a lot of sentimental value—they can remind you of a certain time in your life that you might not want to forget, and letting them go can feel like you’re erasing a piece of your past.
But one thing I’ve learned from Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant and host of the popular TV series Tidying Up, is that if it doesn’t “spark joy”, it has no place in your closet or your life. Separate your clothes into three piles—one for the clothes that “spark joy” for you that you want to keep, another for clothes that are still in good condition but can be donated, and a third for old or damaged clothing that can be tossed.
When it comes to financial literacy, Americans seem to fall behind in comparison to other parts of the world. In fact, two-thirds of American’s are unable to pass a basic financial literacy test—which explains why money is the number one cause of stress in the United States. If you want to feel more confident with your money, it’s time to get your finances in order.
You can use financial software to track your spending habits, set reminders for when bills are due, and audit any recurring subscriptions that you may have forgotten about that eat away at your account balance every month. If you don’t feel confident or feel overwhelmed when it comes to sorting through your finances, you might want to consider hiring a professional to help you get back on track.
If you have a storage unit, a garage that’s filled to the rafters, or a shed you can’t seem to walk into, chances are, you have a lot of stuff. There is nothing wrong with having a lot of stuff, but if you want to simplify your life and stress less, you have to make some changes. You may come across items you’ve completely forgotten about or ones that have you guessing why you even kept them in the first place.
Either way, getting rid of the things you don’t use regularly (with the exception of seasonal items) can help you focus on the things that bring you joy.
Spring Cleaning From The Inside Out
We know that decluttering your life is a lot of work. But one of the most important things you can’t forget to spring clean is yourself! Over time, your body can accumulate toxins from the environment that can leave you feeling fatigued, bloated, overweight, and ill. By adding supplements, like SkinnyFit Detox, ZzzTox, and Belly Balance, into your daily routine, you can remove toxin buildup, fight stress, improve digestion, and accelerate weight loss.
The Bottom Line
When you feel better about yourself your actions reflect that. Taking pride in yourself and your health is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your happiness and improve your attitude—the rest is merely a domino effect that affects the world around you. Now is the time to take your first step toward a happier, healthier, clutter-free life, and there is no easier way than with SkinnyFit!