Declutter your mind to declutter you home

The hardest part of decluttering happen in you mind. The clutter itself isn’t really the problem it is the preconceived ideas we have about what we should, could and must keep and what we think we can’t live without. If these thoughts are hindering your decluttering perhaps it is time to declutter your mind.

Question every thought about what you should, must and have room to keep even though you don’t really need or want them. And rethink what is really important to you when it comes to those items you feel you can’t let go. We are often in a tug of war over wishing we had the space or that our space was less complicated with stuff, but at the same time want to hang on to things out of habits of a lifetime.

Set your priorities, make your choice, trade off, call it what you will but your life will be enriched, not deprived, by creating a simpler, more serene living environment. Who wants to come home to a cluttered untidy home each day? Who wants to constantly feel that there are endless arduous tasks to be completed, within the home, due to the volume of stuff to maintain? Who wants to sit in permanent limbo procrastinating over what needs doing and getting nothing done?

There is nothing I hate more than reaching the end of a tiring day and seeing mess all around me, either begging to be done now or having to be dealt with tomorrow. It is a tormenting situation to be constantly feeling under pressure like this. It isn’t conducive to relaxing downtime and especially not to a good nights sleep.

So decide what is truly important to you and what isn’t. If the stuff in more important than happily live with it. But if your subconscious is constantly nagging you do simplify your possessions then perhaps it is time to do something about it. Like I told a friend this weekend ~ “Once you feel you are making progress, working on it doesn’t seem like such a chore.”. And the joy of accomplishing something is always good for one’s psychological health.

Today’s Mini Mission

 Declutter something you keep telling yourself you must keep even though you don’t want to.

Eco Tip for the Day

When boiling dried pasta, bring to the boil then turn the temperature down to low and once settled put a lid on. It will boil quicker and at a lower temperature this way thus saving electricity. When you think it is almost done turn off the heat and allow the residual heat to complete the cooking process. The same method works for rice. Rice will usually take 12 minutes to cook this way.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • What is right for you? I often get comments from people contradicting my suggestions regarding what to declutter and pleading their case on why they keep certain items or collections of things. Avid readers […]
  • Love it or heave it (Revisited) As you may have guessed, due to the lack of them, I struggle to come up with new posts these days, mostly because I declutter much less now, therefore the inspiration for posts isn't […]
  • It bugs me so I’m over it ~ A post by Peggy W I have begun to look at a lot of things in my home through a filter of “does it bug me”?  It’s kind of the opposite of “does it spark joy”.  Like the embellished sweatshirt […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Colleen, this is a good post. You know, our world really does clutter our minds with things that aren’t true. We are bombarded with advertising that makes us think we have to have certain things in order to count as a person. Books, magazines, TV programs and such also fill our minds with wrong thinking. Our worth does not come from how we look, what we have or don’t have, or where we work. I know that for most people if they really think about it the thing that matters most about a person is how loving, kind, and easy to be with they are. I’ve really been trying to declutter my mind so that I can also declutter my life with the things that don’t really matter.

    • Well said Deb J. If we can ignore all those suggestions put in our way we can be much happier. I am glad that for the most part I find advertising annoying rather than a source of temptation these days.

  2. Decluttering our mind is the key, but it sure can be hard to change our way of thinking. Changing my mindset is something I am working to change as I also work to get rid of clutter in my life.

    • Hi Kayla, changing one’s mindset can be easier when using the same approach I use for decluttering. Focus on making small changes that add up to a complete reversal of thinking.

  3. This is definitely the key to decluttering! I have a constant conversation in my head over whether or not we truly use or need an item in the home that we are used to seeing. That is the hardest part for me. But it does get easier and eventually you feel relief when you start to notice a change. I have fewer and fewer things nagging me to make a decision about them now. It really makes being home more relaxing!
    For the mini-mission today I got rid of some of our kids’ old bulky art work that wasn’t very unique. All the ones I got rid of had all sorts of parts and pieces to them or glitter. Glitter is a nightmare. That was tough getting rid of their creations but I still have a good little pile of the nicer mostly flat art!

    • Hi Claire, kids art work is a challenge for a lot of people. Like you I just kept the best. Fortunately for me I pretty much did that right from the start so reducing what I did have later on was hardly even necessary but I did it anyway.

  4. I have confessed a number of times to having arguments with myself over items up for decluttering. What I have realised recently is that little voice in my head that argues with me, will argue emphatically no matter what the item is. It’s just ‘doing its job’.

    Last night three boxes of clothing were addressed. The females in my house store our off season clothes, but unfortunately due to a helpful male these got mixed with a box of clothes destined for Goodwill and ended up remaining on the garage floor for a month. So we went thru it all last night. A big box of clothes going out. But as Goodwill doesn’t want off-season clothes and I don’t want to store them for winter for Goodwill the girls are going to organise a swap meet amongst their friends. We’ve done it before and it’s kinda fun. So only one box of clothes was returned to the ceiling storage space, and a good half we plan to re-visit in Spring – have even put a reminder in my phone – and we can see what fits or suits then and then we can either hold another swap meet or take to Goodwill.

    • Hi Moni, we don’t have that seasonal clothes issue out my local charity. They take anything anytime. They have a warehouse where they do all the sorting and bag everything up with labels for whatever season and person type that the clothes are suitable for. Perhaps there is another charity near you that isn’t so fussy.

  5. I helped a friend last week with his recycling. He had 27 bags of books and dvds that needed to go. He has unending hopes to sell them all of course but after almost a year he still has most of them.

    I took away, with his permission, 3 bags when I left for home. I was able to take a bag of dvds to work where it was all taken immediately. The 2 bags of books are still there but maybe tomorrow I will get them out of my house. Hmmm.

  6. Our minds are fascinating and the tricks they play, amazing.
    Fear stops many from letting go. It’s the save it Mr. Justin Case syndrome,
    scarcity thinking, especially for those of us who grew up with Great Depression babies as parents.
    I have found that the mind can rationalize just about anything, but your heart and soul know best.
    Everything I own tugs at my heart or it’s gone. I use the same process when purchasing something new as well.

    • Hi Kimberley, I don’t trust the heart and soul, I let logic direct me to the right choice. That’s not to say I don’t make any emotional choices, but I do minimise those.

      • Personally, I do think that ones heart and soul can be logical. It is the “intuition” part of the heart and soul that is often overlooked when making the correct individual choices.

        • It is a tricky one that. I think it is our heart and soul the causes us to keep too much sentimental stuff in the first place. That is why I think to get rid of it one has to rely on logic. Or perhaps it is just a change of heart one needs.