12 Simple Ways To Declutter Your Home And Your Life Today
With free Declutter Worksheet
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Believe it or not, I used to be a very messy person.
You might think I’m all structured and organized, but no no no. My default mode = messy. This is a side of me you haven’t learned about yet, and I’m ready to tell you about my own decluttering journey + give you 12 simple ways to declutter your home and simplify your life, starting today.
I was that kid who leaves stuff hanging around literally everywhere.
The kitchen table would become un-usable in only one day, stuffed with my homework, random toys, my headphones, my charger, a plate with some leftovers, a half-empty (or half-full) cup of tea, my hairbrush … Literally everything I had used that day.
It would drive my mom nuts.
Over the years as I was looking for more inner peace and mental calmness, I could see my relationship with clutter transform little bit by little bit.
On the podcast, I will share my personal journey of how I went from the messiest person in my household, to: “Maya, your house is so cozy and tidy!”
In this blog post, I will keep it short and sweet with prompts and tips for each of the 12 simple ways to declutter your home and your life ;)
Feel free to get cozy, grab your journal, and reflect on the prompts I included in this blog post. You’ll be surprised by what comes up for you when you truly connect to yourself and this moment of self-reflection.
As a bonus, I’m giving you free access to the Declutter Worksheet which is part of the resources library in the Healthy High Achievers Membership(We’re having so much fun with our little Book Club in there, you’re super welcome to join!)
The Declutter Worksheet
Get cozy and start journaling with the Declutter Worksheet to figure out which area in your life and your home is giving you the most stress and anxiety at this moment so you know where to go next on your journey to becoming a Healthy (and Clutter-Free) High Achiever.
Take 5-minute breaks from work (or from anything you’re doing at home) and use these 5 minutes to put things where they belong, wash some dishes, brush your dog, …
Whenever you tidy up, time it. Show yourself it doesn’t take long at all to fold your clothes or to do the dishes. Your mind thinks it takes forever and you don’t have time for it. Prove yourself wrong.
Use tidying up as a mindfulness exercise. Be completely present with what you’re seeing, what your hands are doing and what the surface and texture of your things feel like.
2 - Your Desk
“Is what I have on my desk truly necessary for everyday use?” Look at your desk, right now, and ask yourself this question. Not necessary at all? - Put it where it belongs or throw it away. Only sometimes necessary? - Give it a fixed spot in a drawer, a little basket, out of sight. For everyday use? - Place is beautifully on a corner of your desk.
What do you see in front of you? A nice clear (inspiring) wall? A messy living room? A beautiful garden? Make sure that whatever is in front of you while working is clean, bright, inspiring.
Use your desk ONLY for work. Train your brain and make it understand that desk = work. If you start scrolling on social media or watching Netflix, you let your brain associate ‘desk’ with ‘social media’. Don’t sabotage yourself.
3 - Friendships
Make a list of the people who bring out the best in you. These people should be your main focus. Send them a little thank you message. Meet up with them to fuel your ‘positive connections’ tank.
Get better at saying NO. Saying no to someone else is saying YES to yourself. We have an entire module dedicated to learning how to say ‘no’ in the From Clutter To Calm program.
How much social life do you really need in a week? How much is enough to fill your cup? And how much is too much and leaves you with 0 me-time? Only you get to decide how much of your time and energy you want/need to invest in this area of your life.
4 - Weekly Planner
Have an honest look at this week’s schedule, right now. As if you were looking at it from one of your friends’ perspectives. Are you overdoing it? … Are you saying ‘no’ to this question because you think you’re superhuman and your batteries are ever-lasting and don’t ever ever need to get recharged? ;)
How much time are you spending on what’s truly important to you? Is your calendar filled with urgent tasks and deadlines? Or do you actually get to work on your bigger life goals?
Watch Day 1 of the Declutter Your Schedule Mini-challenge. It just takes 10 minutes. This is the foundational concept you need to understand about our productivity culture, which will help you to start decluttering your schedule.
5 - Social media
What’s bothering you about your social media use? In what way is it draining you?
What do you love about social media? There are 2 sides to the coin! Find out why your brain loves checking in with social media and be very conscious of the part that’s good for you, and the part that’s purely addictive.
Turn off your notifications. I've turned off my Instagram and Facebook notifications forever, and only have WhatsApp notifications coming in. While I’m working, I have my WiFi on my phone turned off altogether.
6 - Books
Are you truly enjoying the book you’re reading right now? Or do you feel pressured by your reading list, wanting to finish this one asap so you can hop to the next one?
Re-evaluate your reading list: Do these books still pique your interest? They might have when you put them on your list, but maybe they are just not that aligned with the phase you’re in right now. Make sure you always pick the book that feels most accurate in your life at this moment.
Do you have a nice balance between informative books & novels? Or do you want to still your hunger for learning more and more by reading informative books only?
Gift yourself one empty evening a week. Make it as cozy and relaxing as possible. Candles, lights low, relaxing music, a bath or foot bath as you’re reading a novel, doing some journaling and self-reflection (like filling out the Declutter Worksheet) …
Are you going to bed on time? What’s your sleep chronotype and which sleep rhythm makes you feel at your best? Creating a night routine and improving sleep quality is a big topic in the From Clutter To Calm program. You’re very welcome to join our next group.
8 - Email inbox
Messy inbox? Start from scratch. Put everything in an archive folder and start from scratch. You can go through that folder when you have the energy, but for now, think about how you can use your inbox in a new way. Take a fresh start. This tip is directly inspired by the Digital Detox challenge over at The Multipassionate.
Unsubscribe from any newsletters you’re not really reading. How many of those do you delete without even looking at them? You can bookmark the website or platform of that newsletter and unsubscribe. Of course, if you enjoy reading it, keep it.
How many times a day do you really need to check your inbox? Probably not as often as you think. Most emails, even urgent ones, can wait for at least an hour. On my computer, I close my email program completely and check it 2-3 times a day. On my phone, I turned off my email notifications.
9 - Get little baskets
Don’t underestimate the power of baskets. I did, until a couple of months ago. After giving everything its own place, make sure you have some nice baskets. Not just a tea box or shoebox like I was using, find out why on this episode of the Healthy High Achievers podcast.
Use baskets inside your drawers. Use smaller baskets inside your drawers and cupboards to bulk together your socks, your cables, your little bags with left-over flour in the kitchen, …
Put a basket next to the couch. This has been a life-changer for me. Everything I often use when I’m on the couch, I used to put it all on the little side table. Now, the side table only has some coasters, candles and a little plant. Everything else, I put it in the basket (and of course, I need to declutter this basket often, during my 5-minute breaks.)
10 - Snack options
You know that drawer filled with snacks? I don’t have it anymore. Choose wisely: which kind of snacks are delicious and healthy at the same time? If you buy it, you will eat it. Start by making wiser decisions in the supermarket so you can clear the clutter in your food supply.
Allow yourself that ‘forbidden’ snack, just not too often. Don’t feel bad when you eat your favorite chips. It’s not about forbidding yourself of anything that’s unhealthy. You’ve probably tried that before, and what happened? You probably started craving that food even more. Allow yourself to have your favorite not-so-healthy snack. For example, I buy myself a big bag of my favorite chips only on Sundays, and I fully enjoy it without guilt.
Declutter & Clean your Gut. If there was a way to give you a clear picture of the mess you made in your gut, oh man, I’m sure we would all be going crazy. Watch this interview and start cleaning your gut. Good health starts in the gut. Don’t underestimate the part you play in this.
Are your life goals still aligned with the person you are today? We are in the process of constant change and transformation, and so are your life goals. Don’t hang on to dreams or goals that are not truly what you want anymore at this moment in time. Dare to let go and change direction.
Be determined, but stay flexible. I don’t want you to get flaky with your life plan, and I don’t want you to get stuck in a dream that’s not for you anymore. Journal about your life goals often, in every area of your life. Break them down into small chunks. Take action, go for it. And stay flexible in case life changes and your inner world shifts.
12 - Your meal plan
Make a list of your healthy fast food. What are your favorite healthy dishes that you can prepare easily when you have no time or no energy for cooking? Keep a list of your quickest healthy options, brainstorm different combinations, and only prepare a nice recipe from scratch when you have the time to put on your favorite music and enjoy the process.
Use my 3-2-1 meal planning method. I invented this a couple of years ago with one of my Functional Medicine coaching clients. The idea is that as you decide on your meal plan for the week, you choose:
3 meals for dinner: pick 3 recipes and make a portion that’s big enough for 2 days (you’ll probably eat out or order food once or twice a week and that’s ok, make room for that)
2 options for lunch: only 2? Yes. 1 can be a filling salad. You can cook your quinoa/rice and your lentils in advance and add them to the mix. Every day you can switch it up a bit. As a second option, so you don’t end up eating salads every day, can be a big hash you cook on the weekend, or your favorite baguette, or soup …
1 easy breakfast option: really, you only need one favorite breakfast option and switch it up whenever you wish. I love oatmeal and create variety with shredded coconut, with cinnamon or cacao powder, with different kinds of fruit … You can do the same for your smoothies or bowls.
We covered a lotttt of ground here.
I hope this list gave you some inspiration on how to get started in each area. Don’t do them all at once. Use the Declutter Worksheet to determine which area in your life you should start decluttering first.
Step by step. You’ll create more mental space to declutter other areas and feel even more at ease to declutter even more and …. It’s a constant upward cycle. You will fall down a couple of times, or all the time, but that’s ok. My house often gets messy too. That’s the moment you just put on your favorite music and get started. One by one, bit by bit.
You’re doing a great job, Chievers.
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