Clutter contaminates. We live in a complex, confused, and complicated culture. Simplicity is calling our name. Cutting through the clutter welcomes a clear, calm, and compelling life. Decluttering is not an easy task and society (distraction) and science (entropy) will be our constant challengers. But, the result of decluttering is worth the effort and then some—especially if you desire to move from pollution and pandemonium to prosperity and peace. Here are seven steps.
1. Get past your past
You can’t change your past. It has already happened. Your past is a historical event, yet it clutters your present reality like a bunch of old mail on a kitchen counter. Learn life lessons from your past. Don’t linger.
2. Connect without comparing
Comparing yourself to others steals your joy, encourages scarcity, and points your focus to the wrong person. Stop comparing yourself to others. Your comparisons aren’t accurate anyway. Here is a better idea. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Here is another better idea. Connect to others. Use good people for support, inspiration, and encouragement.
3. Learn to say “no”
“No” is one of the most important words we can speak to declutter our lives. “Yes” is a word that leads us to busyness. Busyness leads to a cluttered calendar. A cluttered calendar leads to stress, disappointment, fatigue, and anxiety. Say “no” to mediocre and average and pretty good things so that you have room to say “yes” to the best things.
4. Focus on moments and not stuff
Would you rather have cool stories to tell or lots of crap cluttering your closets? Invest in people and experiences–not material possessions.
5. Be proactive in dealing with conflict
Unresolved conflict wears us down. The tension. The uncertainty. You have to have the tough conversation sooner or later. Choose sooner. Approach the conversation knowing relationships are more important than your need to be right. Listen to understand. Speak the truth. Practice patience and forgiveness.
Resentment and shame are part of your vocabulary. Forgiving others and forgiving self erases the power of those words and adds new words like restoration and peace to your life.
7. Focus on progress, not perfection
Perfection is not attainable. The quest for perfection leaves a trail or tears that clutters our lives with feelings of hopelessness and failure. You aren’t perfect. So stop trying to attain the unattainable. Focus on the next step. Concentrate on development. Celebrate your progress toward your challenging, yet achievable goals.
You will never reach a status in your life named decluttered. Life will keep throwing clutter your way. But, don’t let the clutter accumulate. Keep decluttering. Forgiving yourself and others. Connecting to people and God. Saying “no” to less important things. Living in the moment. Having the tough conversations. And concentrating on daily progress.