6 simple steps to declutter your life

Ever wondered why letting go is so hard? These tips might make it easier

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By Delna Mistry Anand

Published: Thu 1 Jun 2023, 8:33 PM

Have you ever held on to something, very well knowing that it isn’t the best for you, and wondered why it is so hard to let go? Join the gang! We’re human and letting go of something or someone is a common obstacle most of us face.

Yet, we all strive to learn when to hold on and when to let go, the art of discernment.

So many of us struggle with clearing clutter, despite knowing how it can affect us mentally, emotionally, and physically. The key emotions that play a role are:


Read as nostalgia, comfort, habit and everything that is ‘familiar’ to you. The mind loves what is familiar, and that is why we get stuck in repetitive patterns too.


Fear can be anything from ‘What if I need this later?’ to ‘What if I don’t get a replacement?’

Here are some tips to help you decide what to let go and what to hold on to:

• Start small

Clearing clutter can be overwhelming, but it’s important to start somewhere. Pick one area and start there. Remember, it will get messier before it gets better.

• Value

Put a value on the item in question. How much is it contributing to your space, would you rather attract something new instead or cling to this item? Once you learn how easy it is to attract the things you want in life, you’ll find it easier to let go of the old things that no longer serve you. It is one of the fastest and easiest ways to activate the laws of attraction.

• Spark Joy

Globally renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo recommends that your space should be filled with things that “spark joy”. When it no longer brings you joy, it can be discarded or donated.

• Sort the items in two big batches of ‘Keep’ and ‘Discard’


If you struggle with indecision, setting numeric limits helps. How many pairs of socks/towels/tablecloths do you need? Keep the good ones, let the rest go.

When it comes to items that hold memory, it takes courage but remember that your loved one’s memory is not restricted to that item. I learned to part with these items, knowing that I am not discarding their love or memory. That lives within me.


The Discard batch can be further sorted into Donate, Sell, or Trash. Donating pre-loved items can be so satisfying when you know someone else gets to continue enjoying them as you did.

•Set a deadline

Setting a deadline often works, as it helps you plan your time. Many homes plan an annual decluttering activity before spring or an auspicious festival like Diwali.

•Make it fun

No one is attached to your stuff the way you are. For objectivity, ask a friend or family member to help you through the process.

Letting go of things that aren’t needed creates more space for what’s important. Today, we have discussed decluttering items, but the same principles apply to people, situations, thought processes, and beliefs that need to be decluttered. What do you need to let go of? And when do you intend to start?


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