3 Areas of Your Life You Need to De-Clutter (That Have Nothing to Do With Stuff)

de-clutter

Last week, I invested in myself and hired a stylist to come go through my closet with me. (This photo shows the heaps of items that are going and the “after” picture of my closet.)

O.M. Goodness! It felt so great to have someone objective and whom I trust look at every piece of clothing I owned and help me decide whether it should stay or go, what it would look great with that I already had, and making a very targeted (and surprisingly small) list of things I needed to fill in so that I could wake up every day and put on something that I not only felt great it, but that communicates what I want to broadcast to others about who I am and what I stand for.

Honestly, it’s an experience I wish for everyone—to systematically go through a portion of your life and see what no longer serves and make a decision to release that stuff so that you’re left only with the things you feel good about.

This winnowing process can bring you clarity and confidence to more than just your clothes. It’s just as applicable to the relationships you have, the roles you play, and the ideas you expose yourself to.

If you’ve been having any sensation of where you are in your life in this moment not really fitting you anymore, it’s time to take an inventory and do a little de-cluttering.

Following is a list of places where we also need to assess and decide what stays and what goes, and maybe what just needs a little tweaking to make work—the equivalent of taking a too-long dress to the tailor to be shortened (I’ve got a short stack of these items myself!). As you read about each category, pay attention to the first things that pop in to your head—that’s probably your wise subconscious trying to tell you something. Don’t just swat it away! You may also want a little time to think of a more thoughtful answer, and that’s fine. Just don’t discount your immediate instinct.

Relationships

Who do you spend the most time with? Do any of them mostly gossip and complain? Is there anyone who makes you feel like you need to take a shower after you hang out with them? Think about how you can spend less time with them or perhaps release them altogether (especially if you’re always the one who does the reaching out). If it’s someone you absolutely need to stay in relationship with, like a family member, what adjustments could you make to the way you show up when you’re with them? Could you take what they do that drives you crazy a little less personally?

Roles

Is there something you’ve been doing regularly in your life that you’re ready to be done with? Maybe you’ve been the primary cleaning person in your household and it’s time to hire someone or transfer more of those duties to your kids or partners. Or maybe you’ve been in a volunteer role that’s sapping your energy for something that’s calling to you. I’m willing to bet there’s something in your life that it might be time to release or reduce, particularly because it’s keeping you from stepping into a role that’s a better fit.

Ideas

What do you read, listen to, and watch? I’m all for moments of mindlessness, but does watching Real Housewives uplift you? Or does it reinforce some belief, like rich people are jerks or in order to be successful you have to marry well, or something.

Really consider what ideas you expose yourself to, and start making new choices about these things to be with people and in situations that light you up in some way.

An Exercise

To end on a high note, make a quick list of the people, activities, and types of entertainment that make you feel the most uplifted, engaged, and enthusiastic. How can you spend more time in that space?

Because life is too short to spend on things that make you unhappy! You deserve to feel good in your own skin. I want that for you. =) And I want it for the world, because when you’re feeling better, you can do better, and everyone benefits!

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