Unless you’re a mouse, it’s unlikely that you find clutter comforting and cosy. Living in an untidy and disorderedenvironment can make us feel stressed and anxious. Not only does the sight of it make us unhappy, it literally gets in our way and slows us down. We all know that feeling of trying to leave the house on time, only to be delayed by a lengthy search for keys, money or that other shoe.

So, just as a messy and chaotic living space can make us feel stressed, a clean and clear environment can do wonders for our mental state, making us feel calm, happy and positive. So how can you clear the clutter from your life and get that positive energy flowing? Read on to find out.

Start small

Facing a house full of clutter to tackle can feel daunting and you might give up before you’ve begun. The trick is to start small. Maybe it’s that bulging tray full of paperwork you’ve been meaning to deal with? An overflowing underwear drawer? If you set yourself the task of completing one small decluttering job every week, you’ll soon see a difference.

Apply the oneyear rule

Even if you’re a reasonably tidy person, you’ll probably have a cupboard of shame, where you cram all the things that you don’t know what to do with. Or maybe it’s your loft, stuffed with rubbish you’re clinging on to in case you might need it some day? If you haven’t used an item in a year, then it’s very unlikely that you’re going to use it again. Bag it up and take it to a charity shop or pop it on eBay and make yourself some extra cash.

De-cluttering guru Marie Kondo recommends only keeping items that spark joy. A great tip and one that will definitely motivate you to get rid of those thirty-three phone chargersyou’ve been holding on to for no particular reason.

Think about what you bring home

The best way to get rid of clutter is to stop bringing it home in the first place. If you have children, you might be facing an uphill battle as they bring in countless pieces of artwork from school, or plastic rubbish from every party they go to. Try thisidea: Take a picture of your child with their creation and stick the picture on the fridge, or in a photobook.

If you’re a shopaholic, think carefully about your purchases. Anything you buy will need a place in your home. Do you really need another pair of boots? If you do, then make sure you give your old ones away to make room for them.

Tidy up your finances

It’s not just your home that can benefit from de-cluttering, it’s important to get your finances in order too. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t know what their bank balance is from day-to-day, or you have five different accounts, you probably feel quite stressed when you think about money. You might even be missing repayments due to your lack of organisation.The first step is making sure that you’ve registered for online banking and have downloaded your bank’s app so you can easily check your balance. 

Make sure that you’ve switched from paper statements to online statements for all your accounts, including credit cards, broadband and energy suppliers. Have a look at your debts and see if you’re able to consolidate them into one — meaning less paperwork and just one repayment to worry about. You can also tidy up your subscriptions. What are you paying for that you’ve forgotten about? Is it an app that you no longer use? A magazine subscription that you don’t have time to read? Get rid of this financial clutter and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.

Armed with these tips, you should be able to remove clutter from your life, meaning a happier, calmer you and a hopefully a Zen-like existence. All together now: “Om.”