Detox Your Clutter: Simple Strategy for More Peaceful Living

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Is your home a hot mess? Horrifyingly cluttered and clogged? Do your belongings own you? It’s time to detox your clutter.

AEO: Audit. Edit. Organize. (Repeat.) Boom. It’s that simple.

To start, start small. Pick a room or closet and audit your belongings in that space. I removed two thirds of stuff from my dining room in just one hour.

  • Auditing your belongings is a study in how you are currently living your life vs. how many belongings are clogging your life. Do I need the stained vintage table cloths that are too small for my table anyway? The awesome grape root wine bottle opener? Nah. Know what can go and be ready to purge!

Remember to be kind to yourself during this important phase.

    • Inherited but unwanted? Find a home for it.

    • Gifted to you but not useful? Know that the item will find a home (eventually) with someone who will truly love it.

    • Horrible in every way? It will find a home at the dump, where it will off gas and add to the cloud of toxic waste that is polluting every corner of our vulnerable planet.

  • Edit your belongings. Off the vintage items go to the artisan recycler who will up-cycle them into delightful tea towels for the eco-hipster set. Everything else is going to the second hand store (including the wine root wine opener).

  • Organize what’s left. Repeat.

AEO: The Bathroom. Make tiding up and discarding as you go a regular thing. As you clean, focus on understanding what you really are using and what is simply clutter. Buy only what you need in the first place.

  • Audit. What you are really using? 30 eye shadow pallets? Five hairbrushes? Two blow-dryers? Seriously – you can only use one at a time. Find a new home for what is not truly useful.

  • Edit. That orange eye shadow pallet? Yes, you might want to keep it as an accent to your Halloween costume, but if you still have it by Christmas…it might be time to let it go.

  • Organize. Everything else goes in a bin or drawer, not stored on top of the counter. Make a practice of tidying up as you go.

AEO: The Entry. Is it a dumping zone? No matter if your home is 3,000 square feet or 300 you can do better. Dropping your shoes, purse and computer bag as your come in the door is not conducive to staying organized.

  • Audit. Do you really need all of that gear? Realize the beauty in less. One jacket, one bag, one pair of sunglasses… (After all you can only wear one pair of sunglasses at a time – right?)

  • Edit. Go through your fedora collection and let go of anything that’s not exceptional.

  • Organize. Make a space for your belongings. An inexpensive tray can easily house your sunglasses, keys, and wallet. Install hooks for your jacket, purse and dog leash. Some bins for the useful random essentials (umbrella, extra grocery shopping bags, and those little shoes you stow in your purse for when your feet hurt). Think of it this way – Leaving these items in the same place each evening cuts time and stress looking for them in the morning.

So here’s the recap: Audit. Edit. Organize. Make space for living, productivity and for inner peace.

Extra points for the advanced challenge: One room a week for the rest of the summer. That’s it. Audit it. Edit it. Organize what’s left.

Now to find the wine opener…

Love it? Read more of the Detox Your Summer series here.

Photo Credit: Karl Sinfeld under (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr