Have you been “on the go” for weeks or months and forgotten to come up for air? Sometimes, being busy at work, or in life, is a good thing. Most of the time, however, all work and no down time can lead to extreme stress as clutter starts to form around you. Clutter can start to build at work, at home, and even in your mind, causing stress and chaos. It is wise to take an occasional timeout and find time to declutter your life, bring it back to equilibrium, before returning to the daily grind.

Decluttering your life is easier said than done. In fact, the act of simplifying your surroundings can be extremely daunting if you don’t know where to begin. Keeping things simple and small-chunking the task will help you feel like it is much more manageable. After all, you are trying to rid your life of stress rather than create more.

 

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Declutter At Work
When you are busy at work, chances are good to-do lists, informational documents, and other things are either strewn all over the place or starting to build up in stacks. To alleviate the visual stress and re-ground yourself in your work, the first thing you want to do is confront your desk. At the extreme, you may want to totally empty your desk and clean everything, including the drawers.

Before putting everything back into your desk, you may want to take time to sort through everything and dispose of things you definitely do not need. Is it really necessary to have three stress balls in your desk? Do you really need to hang on to the eight clown stickers your daughter gave you when she was two years old, seeing how she now has a daughter of her own?

After considering what to keep or toss, you are ready to return things to your desk in an organized manner. Documents need to be filed and labeled appropriately so they are easily accessible in the future. Books need to go back to their places on your shelves. The most important part of this process is to designate a spot for every little thing in your office so that everything has a place to go back to when you are done with it.

Once your work space is decluttered, the other thing to organize at work is the chaos that may have ensued on your computer’s desktop. The desktop of a computer, alone, can cause undue stress. How many times have you looked for a document that was filed away, but cannot find it because you don’t remember what you called it or where it was filed? It is important for you to consider decluttering your computer by deleting unused documents and programs, and organizing the information you want to file away for the future.

Declutter at Home
Chances are pretty good that if your work environment is cluttered and causing stress, home is just as bad, if not worse. Homes are generally a little more difficult to declutter as there are more nooks and crannies to shove things into, leading you to the Out of Sight, Out of Mind Syndrome. If you clean like most people, you tend to clear away the clutter, temporarily, when you have guests over. The act of throwing things into close-able drawers and closets will end up biting you in the rear as eventually you will have to address the chaos you’ve created.

When you consider decluttering your home, it is wise to attack the task one room at a time. As you address each room, you want to make sure you go through and empty every little nook and cranny out. Every drawer and closet should be cleaned. All the items in the rooms need to be reconsidered before putting them all back in their proper nesting places. Like the items at work in your office, the things at home all need a place to live. Keep this in mind as you return things back to their spots after cleaning.

As you sort through your possessions, put them into three piles: keep, throw away, and donate. This is where emotional decisions may get in the way. Most of us hang on to things because they bring back certain memories that we are not willing to give up just yet. Keep in mind that sometimes memories can be triggered with pictures and stories rather than objects that collect dust. When it comes to your clothing, if you haven’t worn it in the last year, get rid of it.

Maintaining a Simple Lifestyle
When you walk into your office and your desk is decluttered, you are better prepared to function at your highest potential instead of being bogged down by the stress-induced mess. It is important for you to make the link between the environment in which you work and live, and the amount of stress you feel inside. The simpler and less cluttered your surroundings are, the healthier you will be as you move along in life.

Once you have taken the time to declutter both your work and living spaces, you are well on your way to a less stressful life. When you leave in the morning to go to work and your home is decluttered, you know you will return to order and sanity at the end of the day. Just this feeling, alone, can make your day better.