Isn’t it incredible how stuff just accumulates all the time? In our garages, draws, cupboards, work desks, pantries, boxes and even in our heads. New things, old things, borrowed things, forgotten things, my things, your things, his things and her things and any other variation of things.

Just the other day I went to the op shop to drop off some old books, vases, bits and bobs. True to the saying, another man’s trash is another man’s treasure (Or women in this case).

About 10 minutes later, I walked out with 4 extra items…….

I hadn’t planned on doing so obviously. I just found some items I had been looking for in the last couple of weeks and saw the opportunity. So I bought them. In fact, I’m wearing one of them as I write this.

But nevertheless, it proves my point. We accumulate. A lot. All the time. And not just physical things but also thoughts, ideas and sometimes even behaviors.

We live in a society where we are encouraged, if not even coerced, into constant consuming. Buy the next this, buy more of this, buy a new model of this, consume this, consume that. It is everywhere, all the time. And when we consume there is not necessarily a specific desire or need for most of the things we are acquiring. Just the addiction to the dopamine hit when handing over the cash and holding the new item in our hand.

But this blog post is not about consumerism, although I will share some ideas further down the track on how to buy less. This post is about how to declutter your life. How to let go of the things you have accumulated. Physically, within your home and other spaces, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. And why decluttering in all parts of your life and being is an integral tool to our growth and attracting more of what brings us true joy.

I just love it and I hope you will learn to do too!

Decluttering in all areas of your life makes you feel happier.

When we are in a space where we feel there is just too much around us, we can start to feel suffocated, not in control of our own spaces and just in general a little more grumpy and on edge.

And something similar happens to our mind. When our mind is cluttered with thoughts about our days, people and problems in our lives, it feels busy, scattered, unfocused. It affects our everyday life, our emotions and how we feel about…. Well… about everything.

And this is because our human brains desire order. Order quals thriving, chaos equals stunted growth, stress, pain. We are geared towards avoiding pain or death and moving towards pleasure at a basic level at all times. Read more on this in this blog post HERE.

So, when we are in a space that screams chaos, feels cluttered and overwhelming, it is impossible to fully and whole-heartedly enjoy life because our human brain kicks into survival mode aka moving away from pain, chaos and stress.

We can use our mind as a tool to dampen that physical response of our body to chaos but only for a period of time. And besides, stress and emotions is our body’s and mind’s way of communicating with us when we are in danger and when we need to change something for ourselves. So listening to ourselves and our responses is a really important part of growth and thriving.

We find more joy in a space, physically or mentally, that is clear and ordered because it signals our brain that we are safe to thrive and experience pleasure. Essentially, decluttering your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual environment brings us less chaos, pain and stress and more pleasure and is an act of love and selfcare. And regular selfcare increases our capacity to love ourselves and others unconditionally and our ability to experience joy.

Getting rid of what doesn’t serve you gives you more space for what you really love.

Imagine trying to paint a painting with a canvas full of paint. How will this affect your process of creation? How much paint will you need? Will you ever get the colours you want? The texture you want? The design or style you want? How much reworking and effort will be required? How thick will the canvas be when you are finished? Do you feel in full control over the outcome of the artwork?

Just let that one sink in for a moment.

When we declutter it is kind of like clearing the canvas, or atleast clearing the shapes, colours etc that we don’t want anymore. This allows us to paint the picture we want without having to worry so much about what was there before. Clearing a space increases our sense of control and order. And remember order equals ‘safe to thrive’, chaos equals pain, stunted growth and stress.

Both ways, painting on a clear canvas vs a canvas full of paint, will be artworks but the outcomes and the processes are likely to be quite different.

Trying to paint our dream lives without letting go of the clutter can become very convoluted, a lengthy and likely stressful process with a more or less unpredictable outcome. But if we choose to clear the canvas or freshen it up first, we will likely find ourselves being able to paint a much clearer and more vibrant picture and we have more control over the possible outcome of our work.

Which option do you think will help you feel more empowered?

Five steps to less: Clearing the junk of life.

So let’s get to the juicy part where we talk about the steps to clear what doesn’t serve us anymore. As I said, decluttering can happen in your physical environment, as much as in your mind and heart. And you will find that decluttering physical spaces has a positive effect on your mind, emotions and soul. And vice versa.

The world is your oyster here, and there is no right or wrong in what you choose to let go off. It actually doesn’t even matter where you start with the decluttering. All that matters is that you make a start somewhere and the rest of the process will reveal itself to you as you go.

Here are some helpful steps to consider. These steps can but don’t necessarily happen in chronological order and can be repeated as much as you want.

Decluttering and letting go of what doesn’t serve us is an intuitive and creative process so allow yourself to go about it the way it feels good for you.

Step 1 – Know what’s there.

Decluttering can only really happen when we know what is there. Especially when we have piles and piles of stuff, habits, behaviors, emotions etc we can sometimes lose sight of what is there because of all the chaos. In this instance take time to make sense of what you have in front of you by categorizing and ordering for example: keep vs letting go. You may also want to do this in smaller bursts if there is a lot to declutter.

Step 2 – Get clear on why you are ready to let go .

You may have heard this before in terms of goal setting but knowing your why is a powerful driver in much of self-development. When decluttering, allow yourself to get really clear on why this doesn’t serve you anymore and why you are ready to let go. This step creates a deeper and stronger connection to your action and satisfies our minds’ need for identifying.

Step 3 | Find gratitude for what you are letting go of.

Specific objects, behaviors and people served a purpose for being in our lives. Whether we decide to let go or keep them, it is always beneficial to find gratitude for the presence of it or them in our lives. It or them, among other things, have brought us to this moment in time, it may have taught us something, given us joy once upon a time, helped us realize what it is we actually want by showing us what we don’t want. Giving gratitude before letting go is a powerful step to reframing letting go as a pleasurable experience.

Step 4 – Get the support you need.

Yes, when it comes to decluttering we are the ones that have to do the work. But that doesn’t mean that we have to do this on our own or make ourselves struggle through the process without the proper tools. So give yourself permission to get a family member, a friend, your favorite practitioner or coach to give you a hand in the process and to acquire rubbish bags, gloves and whatever tools you need to get the work done.

Step 5 – Become aware of what you accumulate from here on and why.

Here is the thing. We have control over what we allow into our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual spaces. If you don’t want something in there you don’t have to let it in. So whenever acquiring a physical object, a new habit, behavior or process etc get really clear on the purpose of its presence in your life. Tune in with yourself and make sure the new is aligned with your inner self and what you need or desire right now. Generally a really indicator is weather or not the new brings us joy. And if it doesn’t, do you really want that in your life?

The more time you spend letting go of what doesn’t serve you, the more you will learn to enjoy the process and the aftereffects of your work. Not just will decluttering your life increase your happiness but it will also have a ripple effect on the people around you. Because joy is contagious. Happiness is contagious. And doing the hard work is contagious too.

So, with gratitude and love I wish you happy decluttering until the next time xx


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My name is Sophie and I was born in New Zealand, Aotearoa, and grew up in Germany. A move to the other side of the world and the discovery of the beauty of my soul self later, I firmly cemented my feet in Auckland, Taamaki Makaurau, New Zealand in 2004.

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