Home Cleansing & Detoxing How to Declutter Your Life

How to Declutter Your Life

written by Head Health Nutter March 15, 2011

With temperatures rising, we have less than a week left of winter (yay!) and to help you prepare you for the season of rebirth, we’ve been posting a Holistic Spring Cleaning Series. In today’s post we put it all together by sharing tips and links for decluttering the major areas of your life.

Spring cleaning aficionados all know decluttering is an essential part of the exercise – it makes it so much easier to clean when you haven’t piles of junk (a.k.a. things you don’t need) to move around! This same premise holds true for more than just your environment; it also applies to your body, mind, emotions, soul and even your finances.

In terms of cleaning up your finances, getting rid of expenses you don’t need is tantamount to opening up your budget for things you DO really need or want. Since today is a video post, here are a few money-saving tips from Howcast (see above).

Note: Howcast gives some great tips that not only save money but are good for the environment and your health. However, I’d like to suggest that in tip #10 “doctor” means a natural health professional (like a Naturopathic Doc) regarding your questions on cleansing, nutrition and supplementation.

Decluttering your finances (continued)

In 2008, I wrote 7 Ways a Recession Can Be a Blessing and believe there’s gold here for those who are resisting any significant change in their spending ways. Also just as helpful is The Bright Side of Climate Change I shared in 2009.

For those of you who want more tips in how to declutter your expenses and clean up your finances, check out the sensible personal finance blog, Get Rich Slowly. J.D. Roth shares stories about debt elimination, saving money and practical investing.

Decluttering your space

ZenHabits.net is the ultimate resource for simplifying life (check out Leo’s archives), including 18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess. There’s also some good tips in this eHow article, How to declutter your home and organize your life fast!

Here are 5 decluttering tips that have helped me clear and organize my spaces:

  1. Take it one at a time. Make the project manageable by focusing on one room or closet at a time, or even one drawer at a time. Much of it will depend on your time and energy available but the point is to overcome any feelings of overwhelm and just get started.
  2. Make a mess first. Ironic as it is, this is the secret to my decluttering triumphs! By throwing everything in the middle of the room to be sorted, not only are you making space so you can put things back neatly once the outlying area is cleaned, but you’ve just committed to the task. Most people can overlook clutter when they can walk around unimpeded but it’s hard to miss if you’re tripping over it.
  3. Create piles. You’ll want at least 2 bags: garbage and recycling; and at least 2 boxes: special recycling and donation store (or garage sale if you’re up to it). For the special recycling box, this is for toxic items like old bath & body products, batteries, light bulbs, etc. For more on special waste, check out How to Properly Sort Waste for Disposal.
  4. Clean the peripheral area and start sorting the pile in the middle of the room. Find places for the things you’ll be keeping for sure and that belong in that room. If something belongs in another room, take it there and return to the room at hand.
  5. Clear out the junk. The idea is eliminate the unnecessary so you must determine what that is. For me, if it’s something I don’t use on a regular basis, I ask: 1) Have I used this in a year? 2) Does it have sentimental value?

Decluttering your mind, emotions & spirit

One of the core lessons I learned in Embrace, Release, Heal is that a spiritual perspective leads to positive thoughts which lead to positive emotions. They are intertwined so when you declutter the negative in any of these areas, you’re actually cleansing the others, too. Check out my book review for more on this book.

Another even more practical guidebook for cleansing these intangible aspects of our lives is Sandra Ingerman’s How to Thrive in Changing Times. Readers learn and practice fun ways to release negative thoughts and emotions, and replace them with more positive, life-enhancing ones. Find out more in my book review.

There are many energy healing techniques available out there today that will help you change your subconscious self-limiting beliefs to affect behaviour. We’ve blogged about a few of them here on Live Lighter: What is EFT? and several posts on PSYCK-K in The Ultimate Self-Improvement Tool, The Most Intriguing Aspects of PSYCK-K and Using the Mind to Heal the Body.

These techniques involve a facilitator until you learn it by yourself but if you wish to start cleansing these energetic aspects of your being by yourself, I suggest starting with Debbie Ford’s 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse.

Decluttering your body

There are many ways to cleanse your body but they all start with eliminating as many toxins from your diet and life as possible. For an overview, read How to Detox. If you’re just starting out, read An Easy Gentle Cleanse for a First-Timer and Five Steps to Losing 25 lbs in 3 Months as well as 15 Tips to Make Cleansing Easier.

Another safe but challenging way to declutter your body is doing an elimination diet to determine any food sensitivities. Whichever cleansing method you choose, make sure to check out this post on Supplements & Herbs to Support Cleansing.

For those who cleanse on a regular basis and wish to get a little more hardcore, try a Safe, Enlightening 3 Day Fast. Before you undertake a fast, though, please read Is Fasting Healthy? and When is Fasting Not a Good Idea to determine if it’s the best approach for you.

When cleansing your body, I suggest working with a licensed health professional, like a Naturopathic Doctor, since drastic changes in diet may exasperate underlying health conditions. Also, everyone is different and a doc who’s knowledgeable can recommend products and techniques that are right for you, determine your health on the onset and monitor your progression.

I hope you liked this post and found it helpful. For the final post in this Holistic Spring Cleaning Series, we’ll be publishing a guest post about reducing and managing stress – another important factor to spring cleaning your entire being.


I just received a surprise in my inbox that I can’t wait to share with you! We’ll publish the post on stress next week.

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The Packrat December 8, 2011 at 11:03 am

WoW Stephanie… this is sooo timely for me and one of the most practical and comprehensive posts on the subject I have read!

You’ve simplified this process, and covered the environment, body, mind, emotions, spirit, finances ~ all the major pillars of health.

So now this clutterbug has NO more excuses to wait for Spring to minimalize my life on almost every level. This will be the one New Year’s resolution I will act on!!

Just over a year ago, I sent an SOS to a very good friend (angel) to help me “clean up my act” in a feng shui kind of way, I was amazed at how much “space” and peace of mind the whole process gave me. All I needed was an organized and objective mind to hold me to account for why I was hanging onto stuff that wasn’t serving any real purpose, and not serving me at all. She also withheld judgment while holding the bags wide open for the trash, recycling & charity!

It just boggles my mind how easily “stuff” has been creeping back into my space again (apart from normal holiday paraphrenalia) So reading this post gives me great resolve to “live and let go” again!

Thanks again Stephanie, for another superb contribution to my sanity. This packrat needed that. (squeek, squeek)

Head Health Nutter December 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Hey Packrat! Thanks for reading and I’m happy to hear it’s inspired you to clean house. It really is an ongoing process – as long as we’re alive, all areas of our lives need decluttering. The positive side of this is that when you make it a regular habit and finally get caught up, it becomes easier and takes less time. 🙂


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