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5 Tips for Clutter-Free Living

I highly recommend moderation, even in yoga. If we remember that yoga is designed to reduce suffering (not limit our fun), then we should consider how excess (or deficiency, for that matter) can be a hindrance on the path.

For one, a cluttered space denotes a cluttered mind. If we follow the pull of our senses, our primary purpose becomes getting what we want and not losing what we have. The more we acquire, the more we have to worry about. Here’s an example: there was a time when I drove a beat-up old car that I cared little for. I paid minimal insurance, parked beside shopping carts in busy lots, and put on as much mileage as I could to visit friends and family.

Shortly after that, I purchased a new car. My insurance spiked, I parked blocks from the nearest store to avoid scratches, and I walked everywhere to keep the mileage low. This meant my circle of friends became smaller, and trips home occurred less often.

This begs the question, was I happier with the brand new, more expensive car? Did I enjoy more (or less) freedom?

In simplifying our lives through practicing moderation, we create space to consider the topics that really matter.

Here are five tips for de-cluttering your life (and, thus, your mind):

  1. Ditch Sales. Don’t purchase something just because it’s on sale. Often those things stay in the closet anyway, which means that, no matter how cheap an item was, you wasted your money.

  2. Find a Charity. When you feel the desire to shop, hop online and find a meaningful charity to support. Donate $50 or $100. If you’ve got disposable income for electronics or clothes, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  3. Wait 48 Hours Before Splurging. Impulsive buys are a recipe for regret. If you find something you love, sit on it for 48 hours. Often you’ll change your mind, and if not, the item will still be there.

  4. Clean Out Your Closets. Several times I’ve “gifted myself” with something I already owned. I purchased a dress for a special occasion, only to forget about it days later. Nothing beats shopping for free!

  5. Raise Your Karma! In switching cycles from summer to fall, bag anything you haven’t worn for three months. You won’t even notice it’s gone, and the buzz you’ll get from sharing with someone in need far surpasses the thrill of yet another pair of new shoes.

Clean your space, clear your mind, and wait for realizations to arrive.

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