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10 Creative Ways to De-clutter Your Home

10 Creative Ways to De-clutter Your Home

If anyone were asked if they enjoy the clutter around them, few would say that they do. However, the problem with de-cluttering doesn’t lie in the desire to do so; it is all a matter of keeping the individual interested in the process. Some may not know how to get started, while others may be at a loss as to why they may give up cleaning after ten minutes. Today, we have ten ways you can add a bit of spice to de-cluttering that will not only create lasting results, but will also prevent you from cleaning burnout.

#1 Stuff the Bag

dustbin liner

    One of the benefits of our goal-oriented society is how this can be used to complete tasks at the best of our ability in a reasonable amount of time. A great de-cluttering technique that makes use of this is what I call “Stuff the Bag”.

    • Specify what your ultimate goal is: throwing away items, or making donations?
    • Search the area, throw away what’s trash, and collect what you’re donating. Attempt to fill the bag to capacity.
    • Add a bit of earth-friendliness by recycling paper and other recyclable items found along the way.

    Since you only have to do is tie it up and throw it out, you are less likely to want to hold on to something or go back to retrieve it.

    #2 Time Yourself

    You may find yourself either cleaning until your knees give out or looking to when the end is near. If you are either of these types of individuals, you may want to look into timing yourself.

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    Timing how long you will clean helps to reduce stress from being overworked. It creates a challenge to try and finish within the knick of time, and you are able to focus fully on one task or another rather than trying to have a catchall clean day. So, for example, you can allot yourself 20 minutes to dust, 15 minutes to organize the bookshelf, etc. When the time is up, move on. If you didn’t stop in time, schedule for another day or at least after a nice 15 minute break to refresh.

    #3 Feed Outside the Box

    feedoutsidethebox_creativedeclutter03

      While we certainly find cleaning the kitchen on our to-do lists, we don’t always look into de-cluttering that space. The difference lies in cleaning for sanitary reasons vs. cleaning for sanity reasons. If you’ve ever found yourself looking throughout the kitchen for a specific item, or if your kitchen is stuffed with boxes of the same item, you’ll love this tip.

      1. Invest in a couple of clear food containers from target or a home décor store.
      2. Place food or liquids into the containers from their boxes or cartons.

      This saves on space because instead of having three boxes of the same cereal filling your pantry, you are able to put the contents of those boxes into containers. While you’re at it, the boxes or cartons can be recycled afterwards to extend the effect of this cleanse.

      #4 Schedule Your De-cluttering

      Earlier, we mentioned giving you a time limit with tasks to prevent over-working, but if over-working yourself isn’t an issue, you may find yourself not finding time to de-clutter in the first place. Prevent this from happening by scheduling your cleaning into apps like Wunderlist or the onboard iOS Reminders app.

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      This will prevent you from running around like a headless chicken to find places to clean. Spend a weekend searching your home for concern areas, jotting them down, then scheduling in when you can make time for decluttering each spot.

      #5 Put Clothes in Piles of Three

      pilesofthree_creativedeclutter05

        De-cluttering your closet is one of the most daunting parts of cleaning your home. One tip that is particularly popular and what I will make use of when packing in a few days for college is the “Pile of Three” method. This works by seeing your clothes as one huge pile rather than just pants, shirts, etc.

        1. Empty your closet.
        2. Assess clothing for damage and size.
        3. Put into one of three piles: Keep, Trash, or Donate.
        4. Throw away clothes you’re trashing, give away the donate pile to a friend, the less fortunate, or a consignment shop.

        With the clothes you’re keeping, we have a tip later about how to de-clutter that pile even further.

        #6 Change Your Mindset of Cleaning

        Ultimately, when de-cluttering, it’s important to change the way you view cleaning. Most often, it isn’t about throwing out junk but rather assessing what you truly need or don’t need. There can be times when you give away great quality clothing, but if you have repeat colors or if something doesn’t fit, doing away with it will help you begin to see de-cluttering as a cleanse from all the stuff in your life.

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        To further changing your mindset on cleaning, look into listening to a couple of tunes while cleaning. Having uplifting music will make cleaning fun and enjoyable, not just a chore. Below, we have five music suggestions to get you in the cleaning spirit.

        1. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
        2. Beat It by Michael Jackson
        3. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves
        4. Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd
        5. Maniac by Michael Sembello

        #7 Use the Traveler’s Method

        As a person who loves to travel, my favorite part is ironically my most dreaded part. The preparation process is fun because you are able to envision all that you are about to do, but it also means a stressful packing process. Why not take the “Traveler’s Method” into the way you de-clutter.

        When packing for a trip, you are confined to one or two pieces of luggage and what doesn’t fit doesn’t come with you on your journey. You can use this in the de-cluttering process by reducing the amount of places clutter can grow. This can be applied to anywhere you are de-cluttering, from confining your toiletry items into one caddy or having one container for office supplies. The reduced space will prevent you from taking on too much of what you don’t need.

        #8 Re-arrange Your Space

        rearrangespace_creativedeclutter08

          In this tip, I recommend re-arranging the placement of the main items in your room. For example, changing the position of your couches or office desk. This will force you to address the junk you are holding in and around these items. You don’t want to spread or tag along the junk that comes with these items and rearranging your space allows you to address the issue.

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          #9 Musical Chairs For Your Closet

          Before, we mentioned about the “Pile of Three” method. But what happens when the items you want to keep is still a large pile? It’s time to play “Musical Chairs for Your Closet”.

          • Remove all the hangers from your closet, creating a pile of hangers.
          • Remove 5 or 10 from the pile.
          • Place clothes back in closet assessing one final time if each item stays or goes.
          • Once hanger space runs out, what’s left is donated.

          #10 Digitize Your Clutter

          digitize_creativedeclutter10

            Paper is still a necessary evil, at least until everyone goes digital. Until then, you can help jump-start the revolution by digitizing some of the papers that are filling up your kitchen drawers or office space. You can even implement the “Pile of Three” method in this case.

            • Pile 1: “No Throw Zone” – original documents and sentimental items.
            • Pile 2: “Trashing the Junk” – papers that have to go.
            • Pile 3: “Scan and Go” – papers you’re scanning and throwing out.

            If you don’t have a scanner, you can use your smartphone to take a photo of the document. You can also look into public scanning and printing shops and save your papers onto a memory card or flash drive. Once scanned, apps like Evernote or Dropbox provides a place to hold and organize them.

            Which de-cluttering tip did you find the most creative and useful? Let us know in the comments below.

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            How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

            How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

            Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

            Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

            I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

            You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

            Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

            When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

            I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

            Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

            Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

            Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

            1. The Inner Critic

            This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

            • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
            • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
            • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
            • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

            He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

            Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

            2. The Worrier

            This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

            He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

            Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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            3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

            He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

            He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

            He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

            4. The Sleep Depriver

            This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

            His motivation can be:

            • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
            • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
            • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
            • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

            How can you control these squatters?

            How to Master Your Mind

            You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

            Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

            There are two ways to control your thoughts:

            • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
            • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

            This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

            The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

            Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

            For the Inner Critic

            When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

            You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

            For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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            You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

            “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

            If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

            • He riles up the Worrier.
            • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
            • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
            • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
            • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

            Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

            Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

            For the Worrier

            Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

            Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

            You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

            • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
            • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
            • Muscles tense

            Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

            If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

            Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

            “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

            Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

            If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

            Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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            Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

            For example:

            If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

            “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

            Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

            “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

            Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

            For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

            Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

            The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

            • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
            • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
            • Muscles tension

            I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

            Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

            Breathe in through your nose:

            • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
            • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
            • Focus on your belly rising.

            Breathe out through your nose:

            • Feel your lungs emptying.
            • Focus on your belly falling.
            • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

            Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

            Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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            One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

            Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

            For the Sleep Depriver

            (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

            I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

            Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

            1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
            2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

            When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

            From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

            For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

            If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

            You can also use this technique any time you want to:

            • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
            • Shut down your thinking.
            • Calm your feelings.
            • Simply focus on the present moment. 

            Becoming the Master of Your Mind

            Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

            You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

            Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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