Clear Your Unconscious Clutter (Inside & Out) In 5 Steps
Bookmark this article for the next time you need to declutter — whether at the New Year or the change of the season.
You know that the New Year is a fabulous time for many reasons — the feeling of a fresh start, beginning something new, and writing a brand new story with 365 juicy new pages.
The New Year is also an excellent time to declutter — and for a good reason. We’re making plans and setting goals, but if our physical space and our minds are full of stuff, this could hamper our results.
This article is about the simple ways you can take back control of the physical clutter around you so you can then tidy up the mental jumble, thus gaining more clarity of mind.
First, a story.
I love the feeling of a neat and tidy home, and because I’m often running out of the house to client appointments, I don’t always notice clutter. This New Year’s Eve we were having some people over for tacos (my favorite!)
I wanted to host our New Year celebration in a clean space, which meant I was going to take on the task of decluttering.
Starting with the kitchen — since that’s where company always gathers, I intended to give it a deep clean. There I was removing everything from the pantry and placing it on the kitchen counters. I noticed, first of all, the chaotic feeling of seeing everything on my counters because I’m one of those people that prefers clear spaces in the kitchen. And now, here were all our spices, food containers, and cooking items scattered everywhere.
And then, as I began organizing, I tapped into this feeling of satisfaction and how good it felt to put the pantry back together in an orderly fashion. The pantry was stocked with only fresh ingredients that we use. I tossed expired items and foods we no longer enjoy.
From there, I moved into other parts of the house. I’d made everything ready for our party to the best of my ability. I’d cleaned up and gotten rid of the disarray of things that had built up over time.
Fast forward to that evening where we remembered this really beautiful, expensive bottle of champagne that’s been sitting in our fridge for three years. This bottle of bubbles had traveled from California to Nevada, sat in the car, and then in our fridge. Since people were coming over, we took it out of the fridge.
The best part of taking the champagne out of the fridge was the act of taking out the bottle that had been sitting there for three years. Every time I saw it on the shelf, I felt annoyed, wondering, “When are we finally going to open this thing?” . Now, there was one less thing to look at inside the refrigerator.
As I continued the Marie Kondo-ing of our home, I walked in and out of the rooms — spare bedrooms and bathrooms are clean and ready for guests, counters are clear, and that pantry — a Kon Marie delight!
Except I kept walking into my bedroom and noticed this cabinet that’s right in front of me. I realized I had been noticing it for two weeks. The top is sort of clean, but there are little crevices inside, and they’re super dusty. Every time I walk past it, it weighs on me. I know my guests weren’t going to creep through my bedroom and find the mess, but the idea of this dust-ridden cabinet felt heavy. For weeks I’d walk by it with a laundry basket in hand or on my way in and out of bed — seeing it but not addressing the problem — until that day.
Finally, I cleaned that sucker. It only took 30 seconds to get the little wipe-y thing with the cleaner and rub it down until it looked shiny and new. I felt so much better. And then I thought about all the times the cabinet took up space in my mind. I would have spent less energy if I had taken the 30 seconds and cleaned it in the first place.
This little decluttering adventure inspired this 5-step process I’m sharing with you today.
Cluttered physical spaces are a reflection of cluttered mental spaces.
When we can clear the mess and piles of stuff that we’re no longer using, our mental clarity increases. This is great news!
It can be tempting to go on decluttering binges and try to tackle everything at once. Instead, I invite you to ditch the all-or-nothing mindset. What we want is a disciplined approach to creating sustainable clarity and balance. We’re going to chip away at the disorder and build habits that support clean, clear spaces — both physical and mental ones.
Here’s a simple five-step process for clearing physical clutter:
Step 1: Clean the unconscious spaces.
In NLP, we talk about unconscious spaces. We all have them. Unconscious spaces are those places in our environment that are mostly out of our awareness. They are places that tend to become dumping grounds for clutter. Perhaps it’s a foyer table, a kitchen junk drawer, a spare bedroom, your nightstand, or your wallet. Maybe it’s all of the above!
Identify those unconscious spaces and schedule time for decluttering each of them — focusing on one at a time — for a specific amount of time each day or each week, whatever is sustainable for you. Stick with it until it’s fresh and clear, and then celebrate your success.
Step 2: Declutter your digital spaces.
I’m talking about your computer, phone, tablet — and any other digital devices you use. Unused apps, files, downloads, and screenshots — delete or archive the digital load that’s slowing down your device and getting in the way of your productivity. Deal with cluttered inboxes, and unsubscribe to email subscriptions that you no longer read.
Step 3: Limit media consumption.
Few realize the real impact that social and news media have on our state of mind. Make careful selections, paying attention to the language you’re consuming, avoiding negative content, and embracing positive, uplifting content that you trust, and that makes you feel good. Everything you see and hear is creating internal representations. This is why it’s important to do everything in your power to create positive and high-quality internal representations because if you can control the quality of your internal representation, then you have control over a lot of your life. Having more control over your life means that you’ll have a more positive, fulfilling life experience and achieve more of what you want.
Step 4: Commit to finishing what you start.
If you love starting a new project just like I do, then you might also know how finishing those projects can become a challenge. That’s why it’s easy for people like us to jump into another project before finishing the one we’re in the middle of. The problem is that our focus gets scattered. You’ll get more done when you focus on one thing at a time. So have the end goal in mind, know what the last step before completing the project looks like, and power through until you complete it. Remember to celebrate your success!
Step 5: Let your internal focus be greater than your external focus.
Limit comparing yourself to others. Focus on the goodness in you and on being a better, more empowered version of yourself. Live your life at cause (instead of at effect). Being at effect simply means that you are pointing fingers to the outside — blaming external factors for your current experience. While living your life at cause is about asking yourself, how did this happen and what was my contribution to this? By shifting our focus internally, we can then begin to change our external environment.
These steps will help you gain clarity and embrace positive change, putting you more squarely in the driver’s seat.
Want to hear more about clearing away the clutter in your physical space to help sharpen your mind? Head over to episode #47 of The Mind Revolution Podcast: Declutter Your Life, Declutter Your Mind, and press play!
If this article inspired you to clear out your pantry, computer, wallet, or your whole home, pop over to our free Mind Revolution Facebook community and let us know!
If you enjoyed this article on decluttering, you might love these:
I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.
If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.