Declutter Yourself for Immense Happiness

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” -Socrates

I have to admit- I love decluttering. Its officially my favorite chore of all the chores life has to offer. It doesn’t mean I don’t love other areas of my life, but it simply means, decluttering(which I often call “refreshing”) makes way for so much more. Out with the old and In with the New always makes me happy.

A while back I wrote about simplicity and shared how simplicity is what led me to becoming more spiritual. Decluttering is essentially the main ingredient in the simplifying recipe, be it for spiritual growth or core immense happiness.

When I talk about decluttering I speak of it in the real physical and emotional aspect of our life. There are many aspects of our life that need attention. Like our house feels better, looks better, helps us create better when there is no clutter, the same goes for our emotions.

How to Physically Declutter?

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ~William Morris
Physically I have a ‘six month no use’ rule. The rule is-If there is anything in my home or office that has NOT been used in even a minute way in the last six months, that equals clutter. If it doesn’t help me feel better, look better, think better….its got to go. Period. Yup, this can be a hard but freeing rule too. Hard cause sometimes, the outfits you love the most(but don’t fit you anymore) come in that very category or the food you love(but isn’t good for your health) comes up in that category. Its things like these that can get accumulated over time and drain us our energy-both physically and emotionally. The physical decluttering happens everyday here in my life space. I might have sentimental attachments to some things, but if that sentiment is a negative one…then it gets no room in my life space.

How to Emotionally Declutter?

Emotional decluttering is essentially the same as physical decluttering, except here there is no time frame. The rule is- If a memory or mental image doesn’t serve me positively its time to “let it go”. How? Well a simple way I use to remove emotional clutter is: to write that negative or painful memory on a piece of paper. While writing pour your heart out. Let the tears flow, the anger soar…no problem. But once you have finished writing it, tear that paper into tiny tiny bits and throw it in the bin outside your living space. That physical act of tearing the paper with the painful memory precipitates into your emotional being and starts the emotional decluttering, which ultimately leads to healing even the deepest and oldest of emotional wounds.

The above rules just thought of, can bring about a massive change in the way you look at yourself and all things around you. Just thinking ‘Declutter’ can make the energy wheels roll subconsciously. Once you begin decluttering, you want this beautiful feeling to be part of all aspects of your daily life too. You kind of develop this loving relationship with the simple act of decluttering.

Incase youre wondering how I declutter, here are a few of my decluttering ways:

  • Self Decluttering—Good riddance to decisions that don’t support self-care, self-value, and self-worth.
  • Decluttering with Others—Do the people in my life give me energy and encourage my personal growth, or block that growth with dysfunctional dynamics and outdated scripts? If they don’t support me as a loving, open, free, and spontaneous being: Goodbye!(lovingly)
  • Decluttering emotional life—Out with stagnant patterns that no longer serve me.
  • Decluttering work—Not only reducing the “clutter” of paperwork, inefficiency, and overcommunication, but also striving to create a balanced workload and make my work invigorating, inspiring, collaborative, and empowering to others.
  • Decluttering nature and play—Seeing these as expressions of love and opportunities to fill your life with truth and joy.

Other than the physical decluttering, which is imperative to our growth, the process of emotional decluttering is one that makes us evolve into the self we were truly meant to be.

Now, if that means saying goodbye to some designer handbags, its a really small price to pay. Right? 🙂

Why carry all that clutter around when we can live free and happy?

I know from personal experience that MORE doesnt bring happiness. Infact MORE weighs us down and prevents our flight.

I want to fly- easy, light and free….dont you?

Lets dust our wings from that clutter bug and FLy….

Here is a positive affirmation that I use always : “Present Me is tired of carrying the clutter of Past Me and Future Me. I’m letting all that’s unnecessary GO.”

Other Positive announcements you might be interested in:

  1. I’ve started a series of Soul-Healing Articles in this Month’s Newsletter, which are exclusively for Email Subscribers. Want to receive this Soul Healing series? Sign up by clicking here.
  2. In the spirit of decluttering, Positive Provocations is also more lean and clean, design wise. Tell me what you think of the clean look.

Now its YOUR turn to tell me what decluttering does for you. How do you declutter yourself? Share your tips, tricks and amazing wisdom in the comments below.

With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath

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40 thoughts on “Declutter Yourself for Immense Happiness

  1. Great post!

    I don’t de-clutter my physical space nearly as often as I should. Recently I moved from New Jersey to North Carolina and I found plenty of things to get rid of, primarily clothing and books I knew I was no longer interested in reading or re-reading.

    My mental space is another story. Since I’ve moved I’ve become much more aware of thought patterns that don’t help me, and I’ve been working diligently, and largely successfully, to turn them off. I haven’t tried writing them down and physically tearing them up but it sounds like a great idea. Instead, I’ve accentuated the positive. I’ve been making affirmations & hanging out with dynamic, positive people.

    1. Hi Steve,
      Hanging out with positive people always works wonders on our own productivity. Great idea to accentuate the positive!
      I often feel like if my physical space is clutter free, it makes me feel better and create better. There is a cyclic link to the physical and emotional decluttering. Either done effect the other in a positive way.
      Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts here.
      Much Love~

  2. I would like to declutter my physical space more. While I do set aside time to clear my desk and home, it is still not as often enough. The consequence is a pile-up. I like your 6 months rule. I have something similar internally but I have not determined it to be “6 months”.

    I spend more time doing emotional clutter. I enjoy play and going out to connect with nature.

    Love your reminder about decluttering! Have an awesome weekend!

    With love,

    1. Hi Evelyn,
      I just knew you would be my kind of clutter free gal 🙂 You know when the emotional clutter is taken care of the physical clutter also works itself out.
      My six month rule is my savior!
      Thank you so much for your lovely sharing and comment here.
      Much Love~

  3. Zeenat,

    I’m amazed by your clarity and commitment to decluttering. I don’t buy a lot to begin with, but it’s still amazing how it all adds up. I haven’t made it a positive habit to declutter regularly. I love the idea, but haven’t got the “regular” feature down! There’s so much inspiration in this article, I’m feeling impelled to get much more tougher on clutter.

    I love your new, lean and clean look!

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I dont buy stuff except groceries or replacements. But since my little one has come along there is a lot of buying happening. Hence the giving away has also increased. And shifting home also helps us refresh na 🙂
      I’m so glad you liked this article…
      Thank you for your compliments on the lean look(you inspire me). I wish there was a code to reduce my butt 😉
      So Much Love~

  4. Please come my way, I need your clarity on this- if i use you 6 month rule i know that will be amazing. I am good on emotional decluttering and need work on the rest.

    This is brilliant Zeenat
    love and peace

    1. Hi Suzie,
      If you can declutter emotionally, you can just as easily do the physical too. Just make up your mind and get your hands dirty….Take out one sunday each month, just to declutter. You’ll be amazed at how much more creative you will get. Yup if you get anymore creative you will be Super awesome!! Woohoo 🙂
      Glad you liked this. Thank you for your lovely comment here.
      So Much Love~

  5. Rand

    Hi Z,

    I don’t want to clutter +too much+ with my comment here…

    “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ~William Morris

    So…the Morris Chair is beautiful, as is the Stickly bookcase, as are the Roycrofter’s books in the bookcase, as are the handhammered bookends on top of the bookcase, as is the Grueby ,Teco, and Newcomb pottery in the Mission Oak cabinet.

    These items are not in my collection, but if you get my drift…’de-cluttering’ these types of simplistic physical treasures can be a tuff call.

    To tell you the truth though…I can see a lot of items here at home that do not have to be present.

    If anyone wants to give me an original 1840 edition of ‘Two Years Before The Mast’ (got one Joy?) I’d find some way to make room for it…

    1. Rand

      I read the comment by Bunny in your last post Zeenat.

      Having just a very simple home is a blessing.

      My heart goes out to her…

    2. Hi Rand,
      May you never declutter your comment 😉 Atleast not here. I love reading your thoughts here!!
      As for decluttering your physical space…I too am truly attached to my books. When I got married and moved in with hubby darling, I came with BIG 10 boxes=50kgs of only books. Yup! That was me then…now I have a nice cupboard I put my books in and keep only the ones that serve me positively. If that means it reminds me of a certain special time, then it stays. But all things negative go…Its like ripping off a band-aid. It hurts but the reveal is healing na.
      And I know..about Bunny. Its surely a blessing to have even a simple roof over our head.
      Thank you fro your loving comment here.
      Much Love~

  6. Zeenat,

    I do not always love starting of decluttering process, but when I am done it feels great. For me, having 2 little boys means constant decluttering of clothes, toys, papers and crafts so I seemed to be decluttering every 2 months unlike many normal people but it gives me peace of mind that is priceless!

    Thank you for sharing inspiring post!


    1. Hi Preeti,
      So lovely seeing you here 🙂
      Oh and I completely ‘get’ the need to constantly declutter….I have one little girl…and yup the toys,clothes,books,papers…just keep piling up.
      I’m glad you already have a 2 month practice to declutter. Good for you 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment. And please give big hugs to those little kids of yours.
      Much Love~

  7. Wonderful Post! I find that de-cluttering brings an amazing feeling of lightness & freedom! So thank you reminding, as I need to do some de-cluttering myself. 😀

    A quote that I love:

    “Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole World belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

    1. Salaams M!
      Ahh…I almost always smile so so wide seeing your comment on the blog 🙂 I take it as a huge compliment when you say wonderful post 🙂 Thank you!
      That quote is beautiful and so very apt.
      Plus, I am getting a bit of a telepathic message as to what your decluttering is about 😉 😉
      Lots of love~

  8. Zeenat,
    Over the last year especially, I have really worked at decluttering my physical space. And the thing is, as I’ve done this, I’ve also felt the internal decluttering. Having fewer things taking up space has really given me a feeling of freedom. Having fewer things cluttering up “me” also creates this extras sense of freedom. (and I love it…)

    Big love to you,

    1. Hi Lance,
      How amazing that you are decluttering big time and feeling that amazing free feeling. Yay!
      So happy for your success in the decluttering department 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment here.
      So Much Love~

  9. Zeenat,
    This is one of my favorite articles of yours! You nailed it with this: “Decluttering equals refreshing”! Absolutely..
    We (by we, I mean “me”) are sometimes afraid to let go..will we have another of *this* and the answer is we are always provided for on all levels when we open our heart.
    When I am “stuck” I declutter, when I am afraid I look around to see what I may remove..and then there is room to embrace new, revel in clean fresh physical space, newly opened mental space..
    In working within abundance, one tool is to remove barrier to flow (declutter)..once we remove even one thing, flow has more access..
    Awe-some Zeenat..awe-some!

    1. Oh Joy,
      I do exactly the same thing. If at any point I feel like the six month rule is too far gone…and the immediate sense of ‘refreshing’ creeps in…I look around and then remove…remove BIG time 🙂
      Youre so right about flow…Even one small object passed on to another brings about a certain positive energy in its place…Amazing Universe at work!!
      I’m so so glad you liked this article so so much
      Thank you for your amazing comment and energetic energy here.
      So Much Love~

  10. Hi Zeenat:

    Great article at a great time. Spring is a great time of year to let things go and start fresh. De-cluttering is not an easy process for me…I’ll agree what Lance says about how clearing the clutter can really clear the mind. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Tim,
      So lovely seeing you here!
      That lance makes a great point. Somehow a physical deluttering automatically precipitates into the emotional realm and clear the mind.
      Although its not easy….its one positive act…that brings in amazingly positive happy energy. Its well worth the effort.
      Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts here.
      So Much Love~

  11. Sue Alexander | Inspired Type

    Zeenat this is absolutely beautiful! “I want to fly- easy, light and free….dont you? Lets dust our wings from that clutter bug and FLY….” Yes, yes, yes!!!

    1. Hi Sue,
      Yippee…You and me flying up up into the blue blue sky 🙂
      Thank you for your energetic comment here.
      Much Love~

  12. Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord

    Beautiful Zeenat, I loved this post for many reasons and one of them is because I, too, am a physical space de-clutterer. Your six-month rule sounds similar to my own, and there are very few things in my apartment that I hold onto “just in case.” I like the idea of free-flowing energy, so new things may come in, and they may then go out again in a few months after their time with me has expired. I think that makes me tough, in some ways, to buy gifts for. (smile)

    The other thing I loved about this post was your suggestion for how to emotionally unclutter. I may try that. And the positive affirmation at the end was terrific. Thank you!

    1. Hi My Joyful Angel,
      I’m so glad you are a fellow declutterer 🙂
      I love how energy just flows, comes and goes…its magical.
      When I want to buy you a gift, I’ll have to think long and hard of things you ‘wont’ pass on :)hmmm…
      I’m so so so happy you liked this article…and try the emotional declutter technique..oh it works wonders.
      Love to you~

  13. Zeenat,
    I love that you love to declutter! I love to declutter as well! I love the feeling of space around me. I have moved 15 times in my life so I am the queen of clearing clutter. Don’t let me loose in the home a of clutterbug – I will be chomping at the bit to start divesting of their stuff!

    1. Hi Angela,
      Woohoo…another declutter sister 🙂 Chomping is the exact word my mother uses when I visit her place…cause I keep literally giving stuff away from her place, or atleast keep telling her to do so. So I physically and mentally chomp chomp chomp 😉
      Oh How I love clarity after decluttering.
      In the past 5 years alone I have moved 6 houses and 3 cities. Its heavenly for the declutterer in me 😉
      Thank you for your awesome comment here.
      So Much Love~

  14. Hi Zeenat,

    Clutter can easily weigh us down. We come into this world with nothing and we will leave this world with nothing. In the event of life and death caused by a natural disaster for example, nothing really matters except our lives and those of our loved ones. As such, decluttering makes perfect sense because it allows us to live freer and simpler lives. Easier said than done though.

    I love to collect things especially books. So there is a lot of physical clutter around me. And if I were to apply your 6 months no use rule, a lot of these things would have to go. Although I have deep attachment to my things, I realize that there is a need to declutter to free up more space for myself. Well, I shall try out your 6 months no use rule to clear out my unwanted stuff then. 🙂

    Interestingly, I have less problems with emotional clutter. I no longer live in the past like I use to and I am able to let go of the emotional attachments I have to things that no longer serve their purpose. While I still feel deeply for people, I am better able to manage my emotions and live an emotionally uncluttered life.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier

    1. HI Irving,
      You know if you are having an easier time handling you emotional clutter, then that usually culminates into having less physical clutter. The thing with physical clutter, is that we get comfortable with it around us. Not realizing its holding us back. Try taking our one day a month to physically declutter your space. You will want to do it more often from then. The first step is always the hardest.
      Need me to push you to do so??? Just let me know and I will haunt you on facebook, twitter, email endlessly 😉
      Plus if you can decipher between Needs and Wants….then decluttering your physical space becomes easier. In my eyes, I only need love, air, water and 2 pairs of clothes 🙂 All my other possessions I can live without. I completely LIVE and breathe this line “We come into this world with nothing and we will leave this world with nothing.” I often quote this same exact thought to many many clutterbugs 🙂
      Thank you for your amazingly awesome comment here.
      So Much Love~

  15. I feel a lot the same way when I work out.
    Just like decluttering helps you appriciate everything else in life you do, so does keeping yourself healthy.

    The increased energy will make you feel better and be able to enjoy everything else more.

    Great post and I do think I should start decluttering more often.

    1. Hi Daniel,
      I agree completely. Decluttering on the health level is an amazing start to having the loving relationship with decluttering as a habit.
      May you be successful in all your decluttering adventures 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts here.
      Much Love~

  16. This is a continuing process for me. We have so many extra items we don’t need. It horrifies me now, but I accept that it sometimes happens when people live through a long period of unusual robust income. We had that for about 10 years, and indulged in many purchases that were really impulse buying, and an unhealthy level of consumption. I did give away a big bag of white tee shirts and a large “boom box” stereo system last week. That’s about the space of a human body reclaimed 🙂

    1. Hi Mikey,
      A good start to decluttering 🙂
      Now if you give away all thats not needed with the six month rule in place, you would be FREE FREE and ready to fly 😉 Come on get free fast so that we can have a flying race up in the bright blue sky …:)
      Much Love~

  17. I love the concept of decluttering and since I have moved from a four bedroom farmhouse to a two bedroom flat I think I practice what you preach! I find that scaling down helps me focus on less but better. Having less clutter around me helps me to understand what really matters in my life – people and hobby interests matter to me more now than material possessions.

    1. Hi Louise,
      Deluttering is such a lovely habit. And downsizing or moving houses(as I do very often) always leads to prioritizing whats important. The clutter just automatically goes away na …
      People and hobby interests…what amazing possessions to hold on to 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts here Louise. Appreciate it.
      Much Love~

  18. Lesley baker

    Great article- it’s inspired me to try harder with the decluttering! It is always such a good feeling, even when you declutter just a little!

    1. Hi Lesley,
      Lovely seeing your thoughts here!
      I’m glad you liked this article. I agree decluttering is the best feeling ever..the energy after is just marvelous 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment here.
      Much Love~

  19. Hi Zeenat

    Just stumbled on your nice blog.

    You touch on the beauty of simplicity, something which I strive for in my life too.

    Reducing emotional and physical clutter helps us to achieve simplicity.

    And that can only be a good thing on the path to happiness.

    Like the saying goes, “less is more”.

  20. Pingback: Surround Yourself With Positivity(part two)-Simple tips to Catapult Your Positive Energy | *Positive Provocations*

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