5 Ways to Get Into a Clutter-Free Routine
How Physical Clutter Can Affect Your Mental Clarity
Did you know that over half of Americans are overwhelmed with clutter and don’t know what to do about it?
A cluttered space you use regularly can wreak havoc with your inner peace and even lead to anxiety. Especially if you’re trying to run a business, a clutter-free space is essential to keep you grounded and efficient.
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Here are a few simple tips to get into a clutter-free routine and enjoy your space.
Clutter affects us in many ways.
A survey that found 54% of Americans feeling overwhelmed also revealed 78% of us find it too complicated or simply have no idea where to start decluttering. The clutter-free struggle can leave you feeling helpless and it will sap your energy.
Imagine you’re trying to juggle your family’s schedules while running a full-time business or balancing a side hustle and a 9-to-5 job… all in the midst of constant clutter getting in the way. You’ll quickly feel like you can’t make progress when the easiest way to tackle is learning to live clutter-free.
Have you ever noticed how many successful CEOs and entrepreneurs extol the virtues of a clean desk and a simple, minimalist routine? This is directly related to helping their concentration? Steve Jobs famously wore a black turtleneck top and jeans all the time in order to reduce the number of decisions he had to make every day. He was then able to focus on the important work he needed to do.
Moreover, clutter literally weighs you down.
Messy rooms, unmade beds, dishes piled up in the sink all generate more items in the to-do list in your head and add to the pressures at home. This is why it is essential to declutter your space and use a clutter-free routine to maximize your mental health.
I personally struggle tremendously with clutter. It’s organized chaos. Just because it isn’t put away, doesn’t mean I can’t find it. I can actually find my items very easily when they are laid out all over. It’s a visual thing for me.
There are also times when an item needs a new place or new home. This creates more work by rearranging cupboards or closets to fit the new item. Ultimately, this takes much more time than just putting something away. Thus, I end up leaving it out on the counters to remind me to take time to put it away.
My husband is the complete opposite. He doesn’t care if the closets and cupboards are messy, just as long as it’s visually clutter-free. I think he is the king of shoving stuff places. We argue frequently over items that were accidentally thrown away because he was in a rush to clean stuff up.
I’m more careful and coordinated. He’s in a hurry and careless. It’s a frustrating lifestyle!
Create Clutter-Free Accountability
Every person in your household should help with the clutter! You’re not the only one creating it, so you shouldn’t be the only one dealing with it!
An easy way to foster this is to create a simple chart with chores. Assign everyone a clear role and reward them with a tick or a star (especially kids). Before you know it, breathing will be easier as numerous activities are taken off your plate. And seeing the progress in your clutter-free space will make you feel accomplished, too.
There are only 2 adults living in our house but we still have a fair share of clutter. I really need organization systems before I can put stuff away. We have come a long way but now my husband piles the stuff in my office or my reselling room. Then, I can take my time to get it to the perfect home.
I started the beginning of this year by reorganizing everything. It is a huge undertaking and time-consuming. But, I am making small wins every day to have a clutter-free home. And each baby step gets me closer to my goal.
Make Clutter-Free Lists
Lists are great ways to tackle any level of clutter. Whether on your desk or the whole house, lists break down the tasks ahead, minimizing how intimidating they might feel. Lists also allow you to visually assess clutter-free progress.
Ticking items off your declutter list gives you a feeling of achievement! In turn, feeds your mental well-being and gives you a more positive outlook on the next set of tasks.
I LOVE lists. I have lists for everything you can possibly imagine.
BUT – there are some negatives about making lists. First, I add way more to a list than even feasibly possible to complete. Over time I learned to give them a priority level and complete the most important one first. This helps me stay on track and work at a manageable pace.
Optimize Your Space
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear discusses how good habits don’t just develop “against the grain.” The most efficient people optimize their environment to allow them to be successful.
This means very simple actions, such as always putting the remote control away near the TV after watching it, so it’s not the first tempting thing you see in the morning. You’ll be less likely to turn the TV on and waste some time watching the news in the morning.
Similarly, at your desk, put everything away before you stop working, and then you can sit down with a clear mind the next morning. You’ll find yourself more productive and less distracted.
One way to optimize clutter-free space is to create zones in your home for specific items. Create a list of items that go in each room like the garage, mudroom, bedrooms, kitchens, etc. That way if you find an item out of place, you know what zone it belongs to.
Create a Clutter-Free Morning Routine
One terrific habit to help with clutter is getting into a routine that helps you be in the best mood possible when you start your day.
Here are a few simple tips and techniques to start right with healthy and productive clutter-free habits:
- You need to look forward to it, so include something that makes you happy.
- If you love drinking your morning coffee, set up your coffee machine the night before. When you wake up, press a button and you have your favorite coffee at your desk right away.
- Make it easy.
- The easier you make it for yourself, the more likely you are to follow your new routine.
- Set a notepad and pen on top of your keyboard to start writing your morning to-do list first thing.
- Take a minute to layout your running outfit so you see it first thing and dress to hit the road.
- Small steps like the ones above allow you to easily get started. Once the habit is formed, it makes it much easier to stick to.
- Include movement.
- A short walk, yoga, or a morning run, generates endorphins and get you energized and excited for the day.
- It doesn’t have to be anything hardcore, but a simple 10-15 minute routine can help jumpstart your day.
Once you pin down your morning routine, you’ll find that your brain responds to the repetitiveness. This creates a feeling of calmness and more readiness to start the day. After a time, the clutter-free life will start being more routine and automated.
Tackle Clutter Generators
Take a step back and look at what’s causing the clutter in your space: is it tons of unopened mail? Toys and clothes not tidied away? Heaps of notebooks and post-its, all disorganized?
Once you do an initial clutter-free assessment, make a note of what are your main offenders when it comes to re-cluttering. This will allow you to catch them before they get out of hand.
For example, open the mail when it arrives and put whatever action is required off the back of it on a to-do list. Deal with all the junk mail immediately, keeping your space tidy.
Another good example is with shoes and clothes. At the end of every day, put everything away before you relax for the evening. In the morning, you’ll know where to find all your stuff, avoiding anxiety and wasted time. Your living space will feel organized and calm.
The more clutter-free your home and work environments are, the calmer and more efficient you will be. And it doesn’t take a huge effort to declutter. Sometimes, the first few steps are the hardest. Hopefully, these tips help get you started in the right direction!
What are your favorite clutter-free tips? Please comment below and share with others!
Till next time,
The Bexa Boss Lady