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How to Declutter Your Life


When we talk about simplifying and decluttering, we normally speak about cleaning up the mess that lives in our home, the stacks of papers and toys that line the floors and the knick knacks that live on our shelves. But what about the other areas in our life that are in need of clean up and decluttering? Let’s talk about it all, shall we?


One way to think of the organizing process is to be throwing things out, to toss, to purge.  Another way to think about it is that we are simplifying our lives, bringing in a measure of peace and clarity to our lives.

When we have peace and clarity, it gives us the freedom to create. . .the freedom to create leads us to possibilities and opens doors that we might not have imagined. . .and it allows space for more love and success in all different areas of our life. . .and you deserve that, don’t you?

Declutter Your Relationships

How do you declutter a relationship?  It involves taking a first step, a step back and looking at your relationship, whatever type it might be.

Ask yourself these questions:

What do I want?

What am I getting?

Is there a gap between what I want and what I am getting?


It is really important when you set out to declutter your relationships that you have a rule…don’t be cruel…be kind, yet firm.  

When you know what you want and need from relationships, a door opens to you…a door you didn’t know was there.  I have a client who grew up in an alcoholic home.  Her parents were still drinking when she was pregnant with her first child.

She very firmly, yet kindly, informed her parents that while she loved them (and would not deny them seeing their grandchild), she would not allow them to see the child if they had been drinking.  To her surprise, two weeks after her informing them of her very firm boundary, they quit abusing alcohol, entirely (they are still sober today). 

Now, this result is not typical…but it is possible.  Her parents could have continued to drink, only abstaining when they wanted to see their grandchild…she didn’t make the choice for them, they did…

Ask yourself if you can declutter aspects of a relationship…some relationships can be cleaned up and salvaged, rather than being tossed. . .others cannot. . .only you know, deep in your heart.

Simplify Your Home

Start with baby steps and really think about the stuff that you have surrounding you.  Does it enrich your life, filling it with beauty and peace?  If not, why do you have it?  Is it your idea or someone else’s? 

When we live with other people, we need to take their needs into account.  It isn’t a good idea to take a trash bag through the house and get rid of all of your partner’s tools (even if he does leave them all over the floor), without talking to him about it first! (although, I have been tempted, lol)

When you think that you need to simplify your home, here are some points to consider.

  • Decide what you want in a simplified home.
  • Get a clear vision of how you want your surroundings to look.
  • Make a plan of action to simplify and follow through (even if you only do it in 15 minute intervals to sidestep overwhelm).

Be persistent and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. . .you will get there if you keep on keeping on.

If you can’t bring yourself to part with unnecessary things, there is a deeper, root cause. . .usually a belief in lack, that there will never be enough or a lack of connection to your true self. That brings us to our next area that most people need to declutter…

Kicking Negative Beliefs and Self Talk to the Curb

Here is a way to think of the brain. . .it is like a computer that is recording your every thought, image, sound, memory, belief, feeling that you have ever experienced in your life.  Yes, you might not be aware of it but it is all there. . .

When we think a certain pattern of thought, over and over again, it becomes habitual, like a well worn path that we travel on. . .without effort, we slide into that pattern of negative self talk and thoughts and what happens?  We create the same old, same old, even though we don’t want to…

What do you need then?  A simple way to end that loop is to use a pattern interrupt, something that stops the thinking in its’ track.  One way that works is to wear an elastic band or bracelet around your wrist and when you find yourself deep in negative self talk, snap it!  Snap right out of it!

This works too. . .think of something else. . .it’s that simple. . .and if you find that difficult, enlist the aid of a buddy who will say something outrageous to you when they see that you are caught in an emotional loop. . ."Oh look, there is a wolverine at the door!!! Run!”. . .I did say outrageous. . .a good laugh will break a pattern!

Ideally, you work on breaking the negative beliefs when they come up, through whatever techniques you find work for you.  These tips will help though. . .just try. .. or do. . .

There are 12 months in a year and that is a long time. . .plenty of time to get a start on decluttering and simplifying, if that is what you really want to do.  If you do, break it down into steps and start with the smallest one. . .it is easier to build a foundation of habits if you do this. . .just pick one. . .see where it leads. . .

“Drive your own life. . .you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner


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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amber January 16, 2012, 5:26 pm

    The kind, yet firm, comment reminded me of an instruction from a book that taught you how to make stuffed toys, for some reason. She said that when you put the stuffing into the toy the result should be “firm, yet soft!” Random I know, but it made me think of that 🙂

    • Sherie January 16, 2012, 7:29 pm

      That is perfect, Amber! Firm, yet soft is like firm, yet kind! Our minds sometimes look they are random and it makes perfect sense, know what I mean? Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Mary Page January 16, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Love the phrase “decluttering relationships” and I like how you define setting boundaries. 🙂

    • Sherie January 16, 2012, 12:55 pm

      Thank you, Mary!! : D

  • Rob Hodgins January 16, 2012, 8:24 am

    Decluttering is such an essential part of our lives. I’ve learned to do it regularly. Only when clutter is gone can someone see what really exists.

    I hope people embraced the three steps that you describe and make it a habit to house-clean.

    • Sherie January 16, 2012, 10:14 am

      Yes, when we sweep away the clutter, then we can see clearly now…thank you so much for your insightful comment, Rob, I appreciate you!