clutter 21120_3647I’m currently running part 2 of the “Life With Full Attention” course. I asked people, “from all the things you learnt on part 1, what would you like more of?” The most popular answer was: decluttering.

So here are some tips.

Tidy one thing. If you’re busy or your can’t face it, just tidy one thing. Even if it’s just a single piece of paper, it’ll make a difference.

Aims. If you’ve got a bit more time, take 3 minutes to write down your top 3 aims in life. (I know its a big ask, and of course you won’t get anything polished, but even asking the question helps focus your mind).

What is clutter? When I asked the group last night, answers included:

  • untidy mess
  • noise in the environment that tugs on your attention
  • …and gets in the way of your aims
  • things that have neither purpose nor beauty

Pick a focus. If you try and tidy everything, you’ll fail. But if you pick a small area and stay focused, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting the delightful satisfaction that comes from completion.

Enjoy the magic moments. As you turn your mind to clutter, you’ll see it everywhere! So you’ll be easily distracted into trying to tidy up other things too. So enjoy the enthusiasm your mind is bringing to the process of tidying – and gently bring it back to your chosen focus.

Start with a tiny step. Pick one thing you’re going to tidy. Something you feel ready to do. Maybe just a single piece of paper or a single email. That’ll get you going, and make it easier to continue.

Questions to ask yourself with items you’re tidying:

  • how does this help me with my aims in life?
  • who else might find it more useful than me, or might use it sooner than me?
  • when will I use it?

Organisation. Even if you get rid of lots of stuff, that doesn’t automatically make for a pleasing and relaxing environment. But if you organise it well, that can help make it more beautiful as well as saving time when you’re looking for things.