I am one of those people who cannot relax if I am surrounded in clutter and mess, and this doesn't just apply to my home. This also goes for my life (digital and otherwise), and of course, the thousands of things that take up residence in my mind day in and day out. I believe it to be true that you are your most productive self when you simplify the things around you, and are not surrounded in chaos. Not just productive, but lighter in spirit.
Listen, if you're one of those people who still have clothes from 10 years ago that you haven't worn SINCE 2006, then guess what? They need to go. Pull everything out of your closet, go through each piece, and create two piles - one for the things that you will donate to charity, and the other for things that you want to keep, and have a use for.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a lot of possessions to be happy. We're programmed to think that, but in reality, you'd be much happier if when you opened your closet, you were greeted with pieces that you genuinely love. This goes for footwear too. I'm sure some of you have shoes in your closet that you have no plans on ever wearing again, whether they're outdated, or no longer your style. Toss them in the donation pile. Trust me, you won't miss them. My advice is to de-clutter twice a year. I have found myself going through my items once every few months, and it really feels good to get rid of things you no longer hold an emotional attachment to.
This goes for home decor pieces as well. If you're tired of looking at that ugly lamp in the corner of your living room, give it away, or sell it. Getting rid of things you no longer love will allow you the opportunity to make room for things you do.
Dear people who work from home, keep your desk area clean and pretty and I promise you your productivity levels will skyrocket. I know some of you have become used to working in clutter, but...stop. Just stop. The space in which you create should be inspiring and calming, and if you find a cluttered, messy desk inspiring, then maybe you should just skip to the next section of this post.
Mind & Life:
Life can be rough. We all have so much on our plate, and when it boils down to it, we're just trying to stay sane in this chaotic world. I think that not worrying about things you have no control over is so very important. This is something I struggle with every day. I am a worry-wart by nature; I literally stress about everything. It's annoying, to be honest. I actively work on staying present - I do - but so far, it's been an ultimate fail. God ain't done with me yet.
Another way to de-clutter your life is to try and avoid putting yourself in unhealthy situations or being around people with whom you cannot be your authentic and best self. Energy is contagious, and if you surround yourself with overly negative and toxic people, then you will eventually become a product of your environment.
Think about what's important to you, and what makes you genuinely happy, and then examine the things and people around you. What purpose do they serve? Do they bring out the best in you? Do they inspire you? Do they motivate you to be a better person? Do they make you feel better when you're down? Everyone and everything in your life is placed in one of three categories - reason, season, or lifetime. Organize accordingly.
I'm an advocate of music being one of the biggest ways to relieve stress and anxiety. Play something mellow, soothing when you're feeling overwhelmed. It's great to relax to. I personally love listening to jazz music when I am stressed. I have playlists for this, you know?
Last but not least, don't harbor grudges. It's so emotionally draining, and unhealthy. I struggle with this as well. Note to self: Let it go. Relax, breathe, release, repeat.
De-cluttering your life also means de-cluttering all of those unused apps and other useless crap you have on your phone. I do not have hundreds upon hundreds of apps on my phone, simply because I have no use for them. I go through my phone very frequently, and delete photos I no longer want (this also means deleting them from the deleted folder), and if it's been months since I've used an app, it will most likely get deleted as well.
Go through your contact list every few months, and delete numbers of people you haven't heard from in ages. Also, for the love of all that is right with the world, read / delete your e-mails. There's no reason a person should have over 1,000 unread e-mails sitting in their inbox. Seeing a number that large, of unread e-mails, would give me anxiety. I understand that I may be a little more anal than a lot of people, but seriously, you'll feel so much better if you maintain your inbox on a daily basis.
De-cluttering is gratifying, and so necessary for a clear head space, among other things. Give it a try!