• Tosh Patterson

Simplify Your Life: 5 Non-Physical Things to Declutter for a More Intentional Life

Simplifying your life is about getting rid of the things that don’t matter in order to make space for things that do. We tend to think about physical stuff when it comes to decluttering, but there are also non-physical things to remove.


To truly simplify your life and create more time, space, and freedom for what matters, here are 5 non-physical things to declutter. Much of the non-physical clutter requires mindset shifts. I hope these ideas encourage you to think about your own life differently and begin to identify clutter, beyond just your stuff!

FOCUS ON ONE THING

I recommend picking just one thing from the list and consider making one practical step towards a more clutter-free life. You simplify your life by taking ONE small action again and again.



#1 Your Digital Space

Consuming information is easier than ever before. We receive information via email, social media, Youtube, websites, and online forums. Plus, you could also be receiving physical magazines and books.

The result: consuming too much information from too many sources. These channels are bombarding you with both negative and positive information and create overload from the dings + pings coming at you.


Personally, I regularly declutter my email and social media space often. I feel less overwhelmed and less scattered by cutting the digital clutter.

The truth is you don’t have to constantly be on and responding to everything within minutes. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and those around you!

→ ACTION: Turn off notifications (from email + social media) to your phone. Unsubscribe from one email newsletter every day. Overall aim to cut back + declutter the digital noise coming from your email inbox and social media.

#2 Your Mental Space

Feeling overstimulated by the number of people who need your attention? There’s so much going on you can’t even hear yourself think? Your mind is cluttered full of thoughts, things to remember, worries and problems.

If there’s too much going on in your mind, you’ve probably also got a lot of mental fog which could lead to a lack of clarity, focus, or concentration.


As a result, a cluttered mind feels overwhelmed. This often leads to stress, procrastination, and distraction. You might even be unable to get things done simply because you don’t know what to do first!


→ ACTION: Begin clearing the clutter from your mind by getting your thoughts out of your head and down on to paper. Looking at a visual list could help you organize, prioritize and take action where needed instead of your thoughts just being a jumbled mess swirling around your head.


#3 Your Time

Your day can be filled with what you WANT to do as well as things you NEED to do. But there are only 24 hours in a day and you have to decide how to best manage that time.

I’ve learned (and teach clients) the art of saying no because every time you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. Remember that you won’t get your time back so be careful where you say yes!

Avoid overcommitting and spreading yourself too thin. Ensure you leave plenty of CUSHION -- time that’s free, unstructured -- on your schedule. This helps you NOT run the risk of being overextended.

For example, I block out lunch time, commute time before/after lunch with a friend, time I don’t accept appointments. Ultimately, this helps cushion my calendar and limits how much I take on every week.

→ ACTION: Ask yourself if there are any events or recurring activities that no longer serve you. Look at your calendar and pick just one activity in the next month or so to cancel, decline or postpone. Or you can look at a few appointments and add 15 minute cushions before or after the appointment to give yourself some breathing room.

#4 Your Priorities

Decluttering your priorities means defining what’s most important to you for this season of your life. Then you unapologetically honor these priorities daily. Without a clear list of your priorities, it’s difficult to know where to spend your time or your energy. And, if everything is important, then nothing is.

But you have to start with answering this: what does success mean RIGHT NOW in this season of life? Decluttering your priorities will help you to get clear on where to spend your time every day, and THIS is what will make a difference to you and your family. Then you’ll be able to set clear boundaries to cultivate a life that works for you, not just a life that’s driven by other people’s priorities.

What’s a priority tends to shift depending on what’s happening in my life because what I can do as a single woman is different from being married, and different from having a puppy at home. So get clear on what standard are you trying to meet and that will help you determine your priorities.

→ ACTION: Try making a list now of your priorities. Think about the people, experiences, places, memories, and activities that bring the most value to your life. What lifts you up and makes you happy to be living your life, right now? Now that you’re beginning to see what they might be, can you find a way to weave them into your everyday life?


#5 Your Script/Rules

If you feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and unhappy with your life, maybe you’re living by someone else’s rules and expectations. This is a common kind of clutter that leaves you constantly searching for more, doing more, buying more - looking outside yourself for happiness.

What do you want? How do you want to be living right now?

Burn the script and stop wasting your energy people-pleasing, or trying to fit in with what society deems success. Your life is YOUR life and you can do whatever you wish with it.


→ ACTION: Get quiet and ask yourself what life experience would make me happy? What do I really, REALLY want right now? Making time to reconnect to your inner GPS will help you be honest with yourself.

WHAT NON-PHYSICAL THING WILL YOU DECLUTTER TODAY?

When you choose to live with less stuff, and declutter in all its shapes and forms, not only are you defining your priorities but you’re more intentional about what to let into your life and what to keep out.

So are you ready to declutter the non-physical things in order to simplify your life and create more time, space and freedom for what matters?

Give yourself permission to live a simpler, decluttered, rule-free life NOW!

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