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4 Steps to Decluttering Your Life

02/26/2015 02:44 pm ET | Updated Apr 28, 2015
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Do you wake up with a full mind overflowing with the have-tos -- meetings, classes, family, and the all too common "What the hell am I doing with my life?"

Does your mind resemble an episode from one of those reality television shows about hoarders? Are you a closet hoarder? Are you holding on to things in your life because you don't know how to get rid of them? Let's face it. Getting rid of old books and knickknacks is much easier than tossing out a relationship, a weekly class, a house that is too big, or a job that doesn't suit your passions.

So what do you do to declutter your life?

1. First take inventory of your life and thoughts. What overwhelms you? Spend a day taking notes of your thoughts. When you wake up in the morning what are you thinking about? When you are driving from here to there, what are you thinking about?

Take note of your mind filling thoughts and they will lead you to where the clutter resides in your life.

2. With your list in hand make a three-columned chart with one column labeled "keeper," one labeled "get rid of," and the final column labeled "?" Now separate out your previous list into columns of where the items on your list belong. Be honest with yourself. Don't edit your thoughts or gut feelings. Don't let fear choose for your. Remember this is just a list. It isn't a permanent decision. Ask yourself these questions,

-- Does it bring joy?
-- Are you holding on to out of fear or guilt?
-- Does it only sometimes feel right?
-- Are you following an expectation?

3. Now that you know what is a keeper -- enjoy these items and appreciate them as a part of your life. As for your "get rid of" list, just like when you de-clutter your living room, you have to decide how to get rid of what you no longer need. Some things go to friends, some to thrift stores and some even the trash. But where do these real life "things" go?

Decisions need to be made. Start brainstorming how you can get rid of each thing. Sometimes it will be as easy as just cancelling an exercise class you really don't like. Sometimes it may take more work like choosing a different career path. This will definitely take a bit more work. But don't let the fear get the best of you. Be brave and bold. Remember to get rid of that which does not serve you.

As for the maybe list, sit with these items for the time being. Once you are better at decluttering your life you will eventually know exactly what list they belong in, "keeper" or "get rid of."

4. Finally live and do with ease. Life should be easy and things that are meant to be will be. When thing get or feel hard, there is a reason for it. Life isn't meant to be difficult. When it gets difficult ask why. Don't push when things don't feel right.

De-cluttering your life allows for movement and freedom. Fill your days with those things that make you feel free and light. In time you will wake with a mind that will see the light streaming through the curtains and a day full of everything you want. Free and light!