Today is officially the first day of spring and with the energy of this fresh start and warmer (or slightly less cold!) weather comes a desire to spring clean and create fresh beginnings. And while we’re all for heading into a good ol' cleaning frenzy we believe the best place to start your decluttering process is your mind.
Day-to-day life provides enough tension to deal with but during this time of heightened health concerns over COVID-19, clearing some space for greater mental clarity (in conjunction with our tips for creating a peaceful bedroom sanctuary) will create a lasting refresh and renewal of both your inner and outer worlds this spring.
Simple Ways to Declutter Your Mind
Just like our closets and physical environment—our minds need a little tidying up from time to time. If you feel like your mind is in overdrive, that you have trouble focusing or staying motivated—use these tips daily to clear away your mental overwhelm and bring a greater sense of ease into your life.
Deep breathing is a simple yet effective way to clear your mind, induce tranquility and elevate your mood instantly. You can simply take a few deep breaths whenever you feel tense during your day or try some alternate nostril breathing to recalibrate your energy flow and feel grounded: simply close off one nostril and inhale through the open side, then close off that nostril and open the opposite side and exhale.
Do a “Data Dump”
When your mind is overflowing with all of the things you need to remember and do—it can cue instant overwhelm. Grab a pen and paper and write down everything that’s currently on your mind: from your work “to do” list to family priorities to groceries. The simple process of transferring them all into a written form frees up mental space and helps you let go of thinking about them over and over again.
Identify What’s Essential
Once you’ve done your “data dump”—take a look over your list, circle your top three priorities and forget the rest. This will allow your mind to relax a bit more as once you identify what’s truly important and you can either eliminate the rest or put it into a “later” list. And if you feel like everything is important—plan out your entire week with your top three daily tasks identified so that everything has a home that’s somewhere other than your mind.
Rethink Your Sleep Habits
Your sleep habits, conscious or otherwise, directly impact how calm and at ease your mind feels the next day. If you find your mind feels “wired” at night thinking about everything you didn’t get done today, and everything there is to do tomorrow, take heart. There are things you can do to help your overloaded mind unwind. Firstly, take a stocktake to see if any of these habits are keeping you from deeper sleep and then pick 1-2 things from this list that will help you reinvent your nighttime routine for calm. For example, try reading a good book instead of binge-watching TV shows and catching up on work and have fun making your bedroom your “zen den” (more on that below!).
Shake It Out
Spending some physical energy is the ultimate mind-clearing activity. Take a walk, do a workout, or stand up and literally shake it out. Physical movement increases circulation and makes more space in your mind when you are feeling cluttered. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so, too, will your mind.
Limit Incoming Information
Keeping clutter from coming in in the first place can be just as challenging and going through a decluttering process. Unsubscribe from emails you don’t open, delete apps, say no more, browse fewer websites, watch less TV, set a limit on social media consumption. Simply ask yourself before you let something into your mental landscape: “Will this energize me or deplete me?”
Simple Ways to Declutter Your Bedroom
The bedroom can easily become a dumping ground for laundry, unpacked bags, personal items and unread books on your nightstand, and used for storage underneath your bed or in your cupboards. Use these tips to not only declutter your bedroom to create more calm in your mind but also to work toward the space becoming the ultimate retreat and haven from daily demands and pressures.
Pack Away Out-of-Season Clothes
For any clothes, accessories, and bedding that are out of season—find a home for them elsewhere whether under your bed or in storage. That includes those cozy blankets, sweaters, shoes, and coats—if you’re not going to use something for months, there is no point in it being in circulation.
Clear Bedroom Surface Clutter
Flat surfaces tend to become clutter (and dust!) magnets—nightstands, dressers, shelves, and cupboards. Use this as a great opportunity to clear, clean, and sanitize the surfaces and then be very intentional about what you choose to put back. Keep only your most essential and relaxation-inducing items out and resist the temptation to allow those surfaces to become dumping grounds.
Pick a Multi-use Nightstand
Your nightstand is possibly the most personal piece of furniture in your bedroom—from an intimate collection of personal objects to the book you're reading to photos of your loved ones. By finding a nightstand with good surface space (like a dresser that includes draws for storage or a mini desk with one draw) you can hide away some of those items (like books and magazines or your journal and pen) while not in use.
Make a Habit of Putting Away Clothes
Putting your clothes away each night might feel like an extra task you don’t have the energy for—but it can make a huge difference to how serene your room feels as you settle down for the night, as well as how you start the day the next morning.
Use Baskets to Reduce Visual Clutter
Baskets or other storage units are a great way to make your room feel warm and calm by reducing visual clutter that would have otherwise been created thanks to dirty clothes, books, magazines, and other loose ends. Using baskets also means there is less clutter tossed onto your closet and bedroom floor and instead hidden away in your baskets.
Clutter is essentially anything you don’t like, don’t use, or don’t need on a regular basis. By clearing it away from both your mind and your bedroom you can enjoy more relaxation, spaciousness, clarity, and ease this spring season. Tackle those spaces using the suggestions above, one step at a time and look forward to feeling lighter and re-energized as you soak up longer days, warmer weather, and new possibilities.