How to Unclutter Your Life

Are you overwhelmed, stressed, frazzled? Do you feel like you simply have TOO MUCH going on in your life, all the time? Constant distractions, things pulling you in different directions, you’re disorganized and absolutely ready to throw in the towel and take time off. Here’s seven things you can do right now to unclutter your life; it may not solve all your problems, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t help at least a little.

  1. Take an hour to do… something. If you’re a big Internet user, take an hour to clean your emails and organize them. Trash the spam ones or the offers for “30% off from this store” that you haven’t used and have expired. Create folders for any emails with photos in them that you’d like to save and store them there. Figure out what you really need to save and what you don’t, and organize accordingly. I tend to email myself a lot of things to print in the future, so while I’m cleaning, I print everything I need and then get rid of those excess emails. It may not take an hour, but do it. It’ll almost instantly help you feel a little less cluttered.
  2. Get a planner, and fill it out. This is a great, yet overrated, way of getting organized! I buy a small, hand-held planner at Walmart for less than $5 each year. Fill out any events, meetings, birthdays, dinners, etc. you have planned. Assignments that are due, whether at work or school, write those in. You can even use it to keep track of what bills are due when and similar things like that. While it might be overwhelming to look at a planner filled with lots of different tasks and reminders, it’s definitely a way to stay organized.
  3. Recycle what you can. I’m the type who tends to save lots of things I don’t need: old magazines, clothes I don’t wear anymore, papers, receipts. Once a month, I go through all of this and recycle what I can. Old magazines may have one article in them I want, so I’ll rip that out and save it in a folder, then recycle the magazine. Every few months, I sort through my clothing and donate what I no longer use or want. All sorts of assorted papers and receipts tend to accumulate on my desk and in my bag, so I go through all of this every week or two and toss whatever I don’t need.
  4. If there’s something you’re putting off, do it. Now. It’s easy to say “Oh, I’ll get to that later.” But what better time than the present? Do it now if you can, and you won’t have to think about it anymore!
  5. Clean out your wallet. And your bags, purses, pockets. Collect all your receipts and either toss them or put them in an envelope to save if you need to. Get your money together and put all the coins together in a jar for saving. Know where your ID cards are, know where your gift cards are – and how much they’re worth! Figure it all out and clean out your wallet. You may be surprised to see how much is actually IN your wallet on a daily basis.
  6. Go under the bed. No, not you – I mean, physically take everything out from underneath your bed. Sort through it, organize it, and toss or recycle or donate what you don’t need! You might be surprised to see how much has accumulated under there. You can even get special “under the bed” containers at places like Walmart or Target that will make it cleaner and easier to store things there in the future.
  7. Make a to-do list. This might be similar to getting a planner, but it’s a little more detailed. Sit down right now, with a pen and a piece of paper and catalog everything you need to do: a) today b) in the next week c) “sometime in the future”. Figure out what you’ve got to do, and figure out what you can accomplish right now and what will take more work. And the things that will take more work? Figure out what smaller steps you can do towards getting those things done. Breaking it all up and organizing it in such a way will make it seem more manageable.

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