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decluttering your home

Decluttering Your Home: The New Meditation for Healthy, Happy Living

By Laura BourlandRise Writer
Jul 27, 2018

Boston’s Irreversible Law of Clutter states, “In any household, junk accumulates to fill the space available for its storage.” 

Think back to the day you moved into your home. Do you remember looking at all that empty space and thinking, “How am I to fill all these rooms with just a few things we have?” But sure enough, you found that new sitting room set, added a few knick-knacks, and now you find yourself buried up to your ears in things that add little to no value to your life.

It’s not to say your home is filled with junk—far from it! No, it’s just that those things that truly mean something to you have become cluttered with the not-so-important things that find their way to your home. We’re talking about that pile of brochures you keep meaning to read, the souvenirs carried home from weddings and birthday parties, the loose buttons, broken toys in line to be repaired, and that massive pile of single socks just waiting for a mate to turn up.

A wise man named David Baird once said, “It is easier to be happy when you are not surrounded by the confusion and the clutter of life.” Think about that for a moment… wouldn’t life be simpler and more enjoyable without the clutter? Of course, it would! To add to that, it is easier to embark on a home improvement project when our home is clutter-free, as it allows you to better envision the spaces—and allows space for the contractors to get to work!

Decluttering your home is an excellent way to take back control of your life and relax your mind. While the outcome of an organized and clutter-free home is the end-goal, the process of removing clutter can be a very pleasant and meditative task. 

How to Make Decluttering Your Home a Meditation

If you’re unfamiliar with meditation, the first thing to commit to truth is this: There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Meditation is defined as a process of “thinking deeply or focusing the mind for a period of time for spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.”

Happy or relaxing music can help you get into the zone by drawing your thoughts away from daily stressors. Don’t be afraid to sing along or get lost in the lyrics. Or, you may choose to skip music and just enjoy the silence. 

The key is to focus your whole attention on the decluttering task at hand. Slow down and take the time to appreciate the sounds of the breeze blowing in the trees outside, the memories brought to light when a long-lost picture is uncovered, the softness of the carpet as you reach the bottom of a pile, and the relaxing sight of each organized space. 

Before You Start, Set an Intention and Create a Plan

As with any meditation, it’s best to start the meditation of decluttering with an intention. Removing the clutter and organizing your home, room by room, will take more than a day. Accept that, and create a plan and an end goal to keep you on schedule and in the moment. Your plan might look something like this (giving yourself time off Monday, Wednesday, and Friday):

  • Saturday: Organize kitchen cabinets, clear out old dishware and expired foods
  • Sunday: Clean kids’ rooms, remove broken toys and clothes that don’t fit
  • Tuesday: Organize garage cabinets and shelves
  • Thursday: Clean and organize laundry room and downstairs bathroom
  • Saturday: Organize linen closet and take donations to Goodwill

Once you have a plan, stick to it! Meditation is all about denying the distractions that will surely creep up and staying in the present moment. 

Set a positive intention with your family or roommates by including them and sharing your plan. Task your young kids to make a pile of broken toys and organize their favorite 15 toys in their designated toy box. Older children, spouses, and adult roommates can be given specific instruction to sort loose batteries, coins, and nails as they declutter junk drawers, garage shelves, and closets.

Set a timer and request that everyone stays focused on their task until that timer buzzes. And don’t forget to reward a good decluttering session with a healthy lunch or a fun family outing. 

Gather Your Home Decluttering Supply Kit

There are a few things you should have on hand to make your meditative decluttering go smoothly. Having these things ready before you start will help you stay in the present moment and have a more productive and rewarding decluttering session.

Your Plan. Remember that plan you put together? Keep it near you to keep you on task and help you avoid jumping from room to room. Yes, the living room is a mess, but right now you need to stay focused on the kitchen.

Donation Box. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. As you organize, add things you don’t need anymore to a box to be donated at the end of your decluttering project.

Trash Bins/Bags. As you declutter, you’re bound to find a good amount of trash in the form of plastic packaging, food wrappers, shopping bags, and broken things. Keep a trash bin or bag nearby. Keep a second bin for any recyclables. 

Compost Bucket. This one will be really handy as you clean out the kitchen, but you may also find compostable items like toilet paper rolls, junk mail, and old receipts throughout the house. 

Permanent Marker/Label Maker. As you organize, label boxes and shelves with what they contain. This will not only tell you exactly what’s in there next time you look, but it will also help you avoid adding back unnecessary clutter later.

Music. Music has the power to relax the mind and lift the spirits. You might choose to blast music loud for the entire house to work to or allow each person to choose their own music.  

A Few Ideas to Better Organize Your Home…

Everyone has a different style and preference as to the amount of clutter in their home and how they choose to organize it. Below are a few ideas to help you get the ball rolling.

Clear Glass Mason Jars, Vases and Canisters

Use them to organize:

  • Loose coins and batteries
  • Crayons and craft supplies
  • Snack foods like trail mix, candy, cookies, etc.
  • Dry goods like cereal, flour, sugar, laundry detergent, etc. (also good for reducing packaging and waste and switching to buying in bulk, for a more sustainable and less waste-producing home)
  • Odds and ends like screws, bottle caps, safety pins, etc.


Add shelving to open spaces like garages and closets to:

  • Organize and sort like-items
  • Get storage bins and large items off the floor
  • Store extra supplies like toilet paper and canned goods

Clear Plastic Storage Tubs

Air-tight containers can be used to:

  • Store out-of-season décor and clothing
  • Contain crafting, camping, and other hobby supplies
  • Preserve childhood memories and keepsake items
  • Protect open containers from bugs and weather

Mindfully Declutter Your Home and Discover Peace of Mind

A clutter-free house not only looks better, but it’ll also help you and your family feel more relaxed at home. Plus, you’ll free up a lot of space for the things that truly matter in your life. 

Remember, neither meditation nor decluttering your home is a quick thing. By setting an intention and creating a plan, you’ll set yourself up for success and be able to truly enjoy the meditation of decluttering your home. 

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2020-04-29T12:58:17+0000
Laura Bourland

Article by:

Laura Bourland

Laura grew up in the California suburbs, far removed from environmentalism, but nature always has a way. She uprooted her life in 2015, moving to the countryside of Washington to live a more sustainable and simple life on 12 acres. She and her fiancee are learning on the job as they attempt everything from gardening and natural pest control to eco-friendly building and home improvement.