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Declutter your life

Get a fresh start by decluttering your life

This is the first in a four-part series on decluttering your life. Start here, then learn how to declutter your mind, schedule and relationships. 

Spring and summer are the perfect time to declutter your life and get a fresh start.

“Warmer months welcome a natural circadian rhythm that increases our energy,” says Angela Buttimer, MS, NCC, RYT, LPC, a licensed psychotherapist at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont. “Trees and flowers are blooming, the days are longer, we have more energy and we feel a fresh sense of motivation to achieve our goals.”

A helpful way to see progress on your goals is to declutter key areas of your life.

What is clutter, anyway?

When you think of decluttering your life, you probably think of your physical surroundings first, such as your junk drawer or hall closet. However, there are many areas that can benefit from a fresh start, including your relationships, schedule and mind.

“Clutter is anything you have in your life on a mental, emotional, relational, financial or physical level that is not connected to your highest and greatest good,” says Buttimer.

Practical ways to declutter

Decluttering can be satisfying and even fun if you have a realistic plan to prevent burnout. Buttimer recommends the following tactics:

  • Write down your intentions. Put your goals on paper, set a realistic deadline for accomplishing them and define what success will look like.

  • Break down your goals into smaller tasks. This prevents overwhelm and helps you focus only on the very next step. Perhaps you need to pick up a few boxes to organize your items, hire a housekeeper or professional organizer, or call a local donation center.

  • Purchase an inexpensive calendar. Buttimer has her coaching clients purchase a simple calendar for tracking only their decluttering goals.

  • Schedule decluttering sessions. “In your calendar, schedule a few short buckets of time each week and then set a timer when you start each task,” she says. “I recommend starting with 15 to 20 minutes. When time is up, stop decluttering. This will keep you from burning out by doing too much too soon.”

  • Check in weekly. “At each check-in, ask yourself if you need to modify your goals or if you need some help,” says Buttimer. “This regular assessment will keep you on track.”

Now that you know the decluttering basics, you can apply them to many areas of your life. For additional tips, check out the rest of the series:

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