You may think that minimalism only refers to the clutter in your home- the stuff that clogs up your space, but there are some very different types of clutter that threaten to overwhelm you that you can’t even see- this hidden clutter. So here we delve into each one and discuss ways you can try and dissipate some of that junk so you can feel freer and lighter. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Digital clutter: It may not be as obvious as physical clutter, but it can still mount up. Old word files from your university days, documents saved from your previous job and pictures that have never been sorted can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. Chances are you are probably reminded of this every time you open up your laptop or log on to your home computer. If so, it’s time to tackle this- and it doesn’t have to all be at once. Take 30 minutes each day to organise your digital life and after a few weeks or months, everything will be in apple pie order and you will have discarded anything that is no longer useful to you. 

Mental clutter: This is a big category, because it can be the result of years of hoarding feelings and emotions that you’ve never dealt with and just pushed to the recesses of your mind. You might feel the need to call on a professional to help you with this, especially if you know you have some deep, dark things to process your way through. Take each one in turn and examine it by talking it through with someone (this could be a trusted friend) or writing your thoughts down on paper only to throw them away afterwards so you are practicing lessening the load. Mental clutter can be a result of physical clutter so look around you first, as one of your healing tasks might be to create space in your home before you can allow yourself room to think. 

Media clutter: It’s all well and good moving all your entertainment activity online but having too much of anything can be overwhelming, even when it’s not lined up across a bookshelf or taking over your TV unit. Yes, I’m talking about subscriptions- do you have so many streaming services that you can never decide what to watch? Do you have more digital magazines and books than you have the time to read? If so, it might be time to reduce the amount of options open to you and reduce your viewing pleasures down to one. Watch all the things you want to on Netflix before moving onto Amazon Prime, then cancel this before subscribing to another. Read the book or magazine and then order another after you’ve swiped the last page. Have a one at a time mentality to stop yourself from being exhausted by too much choice. Whether you are indecisive or not- having all of these options can be confusing and can induce a feeling of missing out- so pace yourself and have a one in-one out rule. 

Relationship clutter: Perhaps you have too many people in your life- not all of whom are a good match for you. Some of these people may drain you of energy, time and money while others may lift you up, be kind to you and treat you as you do them. Think about the folks in your life right now, who fits into which category? Perhaps you are spreading yourself too thinly and you need to devote more time to those who fall into the latter description- they are after all the ones who deserve it the most. 

Is your partner fond of overcomplicating your relationship? If so, is this something you can address and fix or would you be better parting ways?

Career clutter: Perhaps you have worked at a job for many years now and you know how to do it with your eyes shut, you haven’t been offered any training or progression and you have felt stuck for a while now. Perhaps this in itself is creating mental clutter because your mind is plagued with feelings of dissatisfaction and a desire to move on but maybe you’re struggling to figure out what your next move should be. You are torn between doing what you know which is safe and familiar and diving into a whole new challenge which is uncertain and scary. 

Maybe you hate your job and it takes up a lot of mental space both when you are at work and in your downtime because you can’t escape it. Is it time to establish a career in something that makes you happy even if it means you earn less money or have to put in some extra hours initially? Could you work for yourself if you feel a lack of stability from the person who runs the show now?

Health clutter: It’s possible you are worried about the state of your health and you want to improve things but are confused by the messages on how to do so. Maybe you want to lose weight, get fitter, stop smoking, drinking or address your anxiety and don’t know where to begin. You are preoccupied with the thought of the new and improved you, but struggle to put the things in place to get there. Do you need to seek out a professional to help you to reach your goal? Perhaps you can’t do it alone and need some assistance to encourage you to stay on track and avoid temptation. By starting on your journey, your mind will be filled with positivity rather than false starts, disappointments and comparisons, which will reduce the clutter massively. 

Hobby clutter: Perhaps you have all the equipment for many different hobbies and don’t know which one to devote your attention to at any one given time. You want to identify with each of them and aspire to be like others you have seen do the same pastime- but it’s your fantasy self doing you a disservice again. 

Choose one or two hobbies you can enjoy and sustain- if something doesn’t make you excited to pursue it and you don’t have the time or the inclination to begin- it’s someone else’s dream not yours.

RELATED: Minimalism: How a minimalist lifestyle can help you to reinvent yourself

Minimalism is a powerful tool for change, and a means to help you reinvent yourself in 2021 should you wish to shed the old you and reveal the new and shinier person just waiting underneath the thick skin of stuff. Here are just seven ways living more simply can give you a rebirth... to read more click HERE 

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