from Whilst some people (myself included) have argued that they can work well with a messy desk, office or house; research has shown that working with clutter around you disrupts your ability to concentrate and process information. Any clutter around you will compete for neural representation within you and thereby thwarts your visual processing capacity.
I for one have always been a person who operated in a messy environment. Although I didn’t have dirty all around me but everything was everywhere, if you know what I mean. In college my friends (Dany in undergrad and Inno in postgrad) where the ones who used to clean my laptop for me because according to them it was horrendous. According to me my laptop was perfectly fine because whenever I needed something i would find it. I knew exactly where to find what i needed so according to me I was perfectly organized.
However recently, as one of my self-development agendas I decided to declutter my life. This encompassed removing everything unwanted from my life and organizing everything neatly. I started with relationships, I was always feeling drained with the negativity that came through some of my connections. Some of the relationships I held so dear to me but I decided to excuse myself from those intoxicating connections and focus on building positivity within my life. After going through my phone book and deleting all unwanted numbers, going through my social accounts, deleting, unfriending, unfollowing and completely blocking all the unnecessary and negative connections I had, I began to feel more positive within my space. My energy levels that had gone down started thriving again and I felt more energetic than ever before.
With this excitement of my new energy levels, I decided to spring clean my phone. My phone had been complaining about memory for as long as I remember regardless of the 32 GB memory card that was inside . I started cleaning my phone of any auto downloaded, unwanted material and boy! I felt good about it, because unlike our general life that doesn’t complain, my phone was always complaining about memory, at times I would even fail to take pictures I really needed because there was no memory. After cleaning it I decided to remove the memory card, I saw this as a measure that would force me to clean my phone more often as I had to rely with my 16 GB built in phone memory.
I don’t wanna lie to you, I have found it very fulfilling. Now I have actually grown into a habit of cleaning my phone every week. With this added joy I moved on to my laptops, I noticed that I had over 100GB photos, yes I mean 100GBJ, some duplicated, some multiple shots of the same photos and a whole lot of music and videos that I had hardly watched or listened to in the past 10 years, documents I won’t even say, a lot of unread stuff just clogging my memory. For someone with 3 terabytes of external memory and another 3 terabytes memory again in the form of my 3 laptops, you can just imagine (we will talk about the number of laptops and phones later for now we are talking about decluttering the laptopsJ).
Decluttering my laptops did not come as easy as I thought, it was a nightmare trust me! What I thought would be a day’s job, a week at most, became a whole month’s task. At one point I felt like, what the crap?! I will just keep them as they are but because I had written it on my self-development agendas, I could not leave it undone and feel happy in the end so, I encouraged myself and carried on. After a whole month of cleaning, it was done!
I then realised that from the 6 terabytes of data that was on my 3 laptops and external drive, the information I needed was only about 500GB, crazy huh?! So cleaning my electronic gadgets left me with 2 laptops and 3 phones for disposal, these I had barely touched for more than 3 years but because in my 6th lazy sense I had always told myself they were storing my information , I had kept them. I then decided to give the laptops and phones away and move on to the next item, my apartment (From homeware to my wardrobe)! Anything not being used has to go.
So this is the stage I am at right now, I have enough clothes to cover a whole community. Not sure if I will be able to succeed in the department of my wardrobe though because although I have always shared my clothes with the less fortunate, 3 monarchs a time, sometimes more, my wardrobe doesn’t seem to shrink, instead it expandsJ. But do you blame me (I am a clothing designer and stylist after allJ, at least that’s my excuse). All the same I am still gonna try. From clothes to homeware, everything I do not use should and must be gone by year end, so wish me luck.
After this am sure there will be a lot of space around me to breathe and next year is gonna find me with my palms open and ready to receive new things. If I am to confess, this has been one of the greatest self-development concept I have ever applied in my life. Even though I am halfway through the process, I am already enjoying the rewards. I feel more energized, more creative, and more effective in my life. This has also given me more room to breathe. My phone and computer are very organized, manageable and my efficiency levels have skyrocketed. Due to these benefits, I am gonna make decluttering a routinely habit not just a once off exercise.
Now moving on, I am gonna share with you some decluttering tips and so that you can also enjoy this new found joy with me.
First and foremost, decluttering is not a once off thing, neither is it an overnight process. For me it has taken a year, for you it may take weeks, months or years depending on the amount of clutter that surrounds you. My advice is, do it one step at a time, the little you do today and tomorrow will yield to the greater you would have done by the end of the week or month. Whatever little time you find, declutter a bit, you may not see the results now but in the end you will appreciate all your small efforts. Do not keep things that do not belong in your life there!
Types of decluttering you need and their merits
- Mental decluttering. This involves removing all unnecessary thoughts from your mind. Thoughts about your plans, you don’t need to keep them roaming up and down in your mind. They make noise and disrupt your relaxation or work moments. Write them down, after all this increases your chances of attaining them. This will help you from mental fatigue and it will give you inner peace.
- Emotional decluttering. Unfollow, unfriend, unlike all unnecessary connections from your life. Unsubscribe from pages that give you negative vibes and unsubscribe from news feeds that are no longer serving you. Block certain connections and avoid spending time with certain people if you have. Let go of negative emotions that you harbour about something or someone. This will help you from emotional fatigue.
- Relationship decluttering- Declutter your diet. Luckily my diet has always been decluttered. This is necessary, it will save you from unnecessary sicknesses and doctor consultations that will tap deep into your pocket.
- Physical space decluttering. That corner of your house that you always turn your eyes to look the other side when you approach there, that room that you never open, start turning your eyes to that corner and entering that room and do what needs to be done. All the items in your home that are only there to add to your labour by collecting dust to be cleaned by you all year round, yeah, you need to let them go. Your work desk, your car (ladies ladies ladies- cars are not moving wardrobes, you all know what I meanJ. If you clean your physical space, this will reduce the visual noise that your space creates.
- Technological decluttering. Remove all unwanted apps, social media accounts, documents, videos, music and other things you don’t need from your gadgets. Let go also of any gadgets you no longer need, phones, laptops, tablets, play stations, TVs etc. Keep only what you need, the music u need, the documents and books you use, the applications you use and the gadgets you use. You can’t be having 2 torch apps on your phone, seriously!
- Wardrobe decluttering. Let go of all those clothes you don’t fit anymore. If you are like me and probably everything that fitted you 10 years ago still fits, still let go of what you don’t wear or what you skip months or years without wearing. You don’t only need to give what u don’t need after all, you can also share what you need but don’t use with others, it’s called…giving.
Spring cleaning your life should not be a once off thing, it should be an ongoing process. Once in a while, perform routine checks.
- What relationships do you need to let go?
- What unwanted things around the house do you need to let go?
- What unwanted things crowding your social media accounts do you need to discard?
- What unwanted things in your gadgets do you need to clean up?
- What unwanted emotions you are harbouring do you need to let go?
Everything that you keep which is supposed to be discarded, is an unnecessary burden you impose upon yourself. It takes away room for the things you need. Therefore, discard everything you don’t need and free up space for the things you need.
The art of decluttering is the art of letting go. It is very difficult for human beings to let go of anything. From unneeded home items ,unhealth relationships to detrimental emotions, human beings find it hard to let go. Do not fall into the same trap.
Declutter your mind, your technical gadgets, your social media accounts, and your home and live a healthy life. Spring clean your life, you will be surprised at the benefits. Cluttering yourself with everything will help you achieve nothing because cluttered spaces stifle your thinking and performance.
We are in July now, don’t wait for the year to end before you can start spring cleaning your life. Start now and 2020 will find you ready, with more than enough room to achieve and receive more.
I would love to hear from you. Please write back to me and let me know of your own experiences regarding decluttering. If you found this useful, please share it with someone.