How To Declutter Your Mind and Cultivate a Positive Attitude

Cleaning, Organizing and Streamlining Your Digital Files

One of the things you notice when you start decluttering is how so much of the clutter in your house reflects the clutter in your mind.

If you’re hanging on to clothes that don’t fit, the ugly vase your mother gave you for Christmas, or the exercise bike you might get around to using, you don’t just have a problem with too much stuff. You have a problem letting go.

Related Post: How To Declutter Sentimental Items Without The Guilt

Chances are you’re also hanging onto a whole bunch of bad feelings, ill-founded assumptions, old grievances, and future worries.

Don’t underestimate the part your mind plays when it comes to clearing out old clutter.

The elements of life we hold onto, the grudges we bear, the anger from past hurts, cloud our minds and prevent us from being the best we can be.

They block us from moving forward and therefore they need to be cleared out.

If we don’t let go of things, we can’t create space for new and better things to take their place.

There's no point in having a bright, airy, clutter-free home office when you have a mind that's full of the old and worn out things sapping your energy.  

Letting go of the past usually involves some form of forgiveness or acceptance – whether it’s for yourself, someone else, a situation, or even an unknown third party.

The irony is that whatever you’re holding onto in your mind is probably hurting or bothering you much more than it does anyone else!

Forgiveness doesn't mean we condone a situation or behavior, but that we choose to release it to lighten our load.

When we let go of past situations that are still bothering us, we set ourselves free and get to reclaim that energy. 

It’s about closing mental doors on past “failures,” difficult conversations you’ve had, and so on. 

Related: Declutter Your Home Office: Simple steps for organizing your home office to optimize your productivity


If you think it feels good to declutter your home, let me tell you, it feels even better to declutter your mind.

Here are some expert tips to make some space in your mind.

Use some meditation techniques

You don’t have to do the full sitting in a darkened room thing to benefit from meditation techniques. If you’re feeling overwound, some simple breathing techniques can help you calm down and focus.

For a few minutes, focus only on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders or gets back into the worrying groove, you must put that aside and come back to focus on your breath.

I find that it’s a huge help if I press the palm of my hand to the center of my chest and breathe into the count of four and then breathe out to the count of four.

Write it down

It always helps to get things out of your head and onto paper. Make a list of what you’re holding onto, what slows you down, what riles you up, and anything that gets in the way of you being the best you can be.

Simply writing down what you need to let go of will raise your level of awareness and you’ll naturally begin to loosen your grip.  

Once all those worries are down on paper, you can prioritize them and work out a plan to deal with them.

You can also assess them to identify what’s essential and what isn’t. When you can see what’s important, you can focus your energy and free up some of that mental space. 

Stay in the present

Brooding over the past and worrying about the future take up a lot of space in your mind and achieve precisely nothing. Let go of regret over past mistakes or resentment of past slights and move on.

Keep your focus on what you can influence right here, right now.

Do one thing at a time

Multitasking is not only overrated (it’s very inefficient), it also leads to greater anxiety, and you never do any one thing properly.

Focus on doing things methodically and thoroughly. As you finish one task, move onto the next.

Control all the incoming data

We talk about being available 24/7 and the 24-hour news cycle, but there is only one person who can control that. YOU. You can choose to switch off your computer, smartphone, and tv and control the amount of data your brain is trying to process.

Although this sounds pretty straightforward, it might not be easy for some people to accomplish. It partially relates to letting go, which I talked about earlier.

Once you’re able to “let go” of everything holding you back, decluttering your mind will pay off in all sorts of ways you hadn’t imagined. You will be more productive, less stressed, and more motivated.

Related Reading:

  • Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life by Peter Walsh. You may have noticed that I’ve recommended this book in multiple posts. That’s because it’s one of my favorites! I’ve read it three times, maybe four 😉 It was a huge help to me when I had to clean out my parent’s home and when I downsized my home by a couple of hundred square feet.

Check out my newest course: 

Declutter Your Home Office: Simple steps for organizing your home office to optimize your productivity

Before You Go:

Here are a few more posts you might like:



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