New year. New space. Ways to declutter your life.

December 30, 2019 Providence Body & Mind Team

Ways to gain control if clutter has invaded every aspect of your life from your social commitments to your closets and the 3,000+ unread emails in your inbox.

  • Reducing clutter in your physical space can often reduce the chaos in other areas of your life as well
  • Just say no to non-essential commitments that don’t provide value
  • Limit the amount of time you devote to social media


Is your closet one pair of shoes away from an avalanche?

Does juggling your obligations and activities require a flowchart to keep track of all your commitments?

Do you find it hard to focus on a single thought because your mind is overflowing with all the details of your life?

Maybe it’s time to declutter your life.

Clutter consists of more than a pile of unmatched socks that never seems to get any smaller or a box of items you’ve been meaning to donate that remains permanently in the trunk of your car.

Clutter is a sign of uncontrolled excess. Too much stuff. Too many thoughts. Too many responsibilities. It can be overwhelming.

Whether you go full-on KonMari method and attempt to spark joy with a whole-house overhaul or start small with color-coded markers to organize your day planner, reducing the clutter in your life is well worth the effort it takes to make lasting change. It can even improve your mental health significantly by helping you focus on what really matters.

Decluttering can improve your mental health significantly by helping you focus on what really matters.

Declutter your house

If "stuff" has taken over your space, getting rid of the things you no longer use or need will free up more than your floors and closets. Research shows clearing your physical space can help clear your mental space as well.

  • Start small by decluttering and cleaning in 5 to 10-minute intervals and increase your time once you’ve built up momentum.
  • Donate or throw away one item a day for a year and you’ll have removed 365 items from your home with minimal effort.
  • Ask yourself: Do I need this? Do I love this? Do I use this regularly? If the answer is “no,” recycle it, donate it, or throw it away.
  • Take before and after photos as you tackle each area or room. Keeping track of your progress can help keep you motivated and actively involved in the decluttering process.

Declutter your digital life

Have digital newsletters, magazines and social media taken over your computer, phone and tablet? Information overload is one of the more draining forms of clutter. You don’t have to cut yourself off from the world altogether, but setting some limits to the onslaught of information you receive daily can reduce your stress level and improve your peace of mind.

  • Unsubscribe to any newsletters, magazines, podcasts or RSS feeds that you no longer enjoy or need.
  • If social media has become intrusive to your “real” life, set time limits for yourself and then stick to them. You may be surprised by how much of your day you’ve freed up.
  • Delete any files and programs you don’t need on your computer. Purge no-longer-used icons from your desktop. Get rid of all the unread, unwanted emails in your inbox.

Declutter your schedule

The demands on your time and attention can be never-ending. Reducing your non-essential commitments is one of the most effective ways you can declutter your life.

  • Create a list of priorities and then schedule your time accordingly. Re-evaluate the list regularly to ensure it’s still an accurate reflection of what you consider most important.
  • Say no to volunteer activities that bring limited value to your life.
  • Make time for yourself. While you’re paring down your schedule, don’t skimp on the time you set aside to refresh, relax and restore.

Declutter your relationships

It may sound harsh, but not everyone in your life deserves to be there. For meaningful change, declutter your relationships, improve those worth keeping, and focus on the people who are a positive presence in your life.

  • Talk to friends and family about your efforts to improve your life’s balance. Sharing your thoughts can often bring fresh perspective to the issues and behaviors that cluttered the past.
  • As much as you can, rid yourself of toxic people who thrive on conflict and disrupt your life.

Find a doctor

At Providence, we offer the tools and resources you need to declutter and manage your healthcare needs conveniently and efficiently. You can find a specialist in our provider directory. Or you can search for a primary care doctor in your area.






Related resources

Empowering our patients via Apple’s new health records feature

5 Healthy New Year's Resolutions (That Don't Involve Losing Weight)

Why health resolutions fail

Share how you plan to #simplify and #declutteryour life in 2020 with readers @psjh.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.


About the Author

The Providence Body & Mind Team is dedicated to providing medically-sound, data-backed insights and advice on how to reach and maintain your optimal health through a mixture of exercise, mindfulness, preventative care and healthy living in general.

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