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How to Emotionally Declutter Your Space

Minimalist bedroom - a bed, rug, lamp, and nightstand - learn how to declutter your space.

It’s pretty easy to shove things we don’t use away in the corner, under your bed, in a drawer, in the closet, or some other secret, shameful place. It can feel so wasteful to simply throw away something, so instead, we tend to cling to it. Unfortunately, this creates an ever growing mountain of “junk,” infiltrating our living space. When you reach the point of feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to declutter.

Decluttering is much more than just cleaning out your space, it’s cleaning out your mind, too. By freeing your space of unnecessary material things, you can relax your mind and only keep meaningful, useful objects. Before you declutter your space, consider how you want to approach the cleaning process.

Cleaning materials ontop of a kitchen counter and fruits in the background - clean to remove obstacles in the way of decluttering your space.
Photo by soul_studio on Shutterstock

One of the first steps to emotionally decluttering your space is not letting any other factors impair your judgement. Wash your dirty dishes and throw away obvious trash, first. This allows you to focus on the actual things in your room, beginning the decluttering process.

One popular method for decluttering your space is Marie Kondo’s KonMari method. This method asks you to question each and every object you own, determining whether or not it sparks joy. If it does, then you keep it, and if not, then you can choose to throw it away, donate it, or pass it to someone else. The KonMari method has you tackling your living space by category, rather than by section or all at once. First, you go through your clothes. Make a big pile of your clothes and only keep what sparks joy. Next, do the same with your books, only keeping the ones that spark joy. Third, apply this method to any and all paperwork. Sure, most paperwork doesn’t spark joy, but only keep what is absolutely necessary, and take pictures of the rest. Fourth, apply the method to miscellaneous object. Finally, sort through sentimental objects, taking photos of what you don’t want to keep.

The KonMari method is a great method for surrounding yourself with joyous items, while decluttering and tidying up throughout the process. You won’t feel as weighed down by a mess or daunting items, freeing your mind.

Woman holding a donation box full of clothes not being used anymore - declutter your space by getting rid of materials you don't use or need.
Photo by Dragana Gordic on Shutterstock

Another popular method is a bit less lighthearted than KonMari, and that is the Swedish Death Cleaning method. Swedish Death Cleaning is intended to minimize your material collections, freeing your space of excess objects. The method takes minimalism to a new level, though, as it is less about you and more about your loved ones. Swedish Death Cleaning is the process of cleaning so that if something were to happen to you, it would be less of a burden on your loved ones to clean your space. By minimizing your space, your loved ones would have less to sort through during a challenging time.

As dark as this method can seem, it improves your living space immediately, too. By holding onto fewer material objects, you’re freeing yourself from unnecessary clutter. This method can completely transform your space, giving you a fresh, clean space.

If you’re looking to emotionally declutter your space, there is no time like the present! These two methods are an excellent place to start, freeing yourself of the burden of excess materialism and clutter.

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