Declutter your life to make way for the essential

Part 1: Declutter your home and office space

Sibylle Chaudhuri

8th April 2020



I think it’s great that spring is here now. It’s my favourite time of the year, the air is so different, all the beautiful colours mother earth is presenting us with, and the days are finally getting longer again. And in addition, this gorgeous weather we are having at the moment, I just love it.


All this despite the omnipresent virus-panic. Amazing, right!? 


The coronavirus makes some of us work crazy hours to take care of all our physical well-being. A huge thank you to all of you, and please, stay healthy.


Most of us are staying at home, trying to avoid spreading the virus even more. Of this group many still work home office and have the kids at home – good luck to you and always remember, this too will pass!!!! 


And, there is another group of us, staying at home, less or no work and more time at hand than they might wish for.


Generally, most of us are spending more time at home, and have more free time, due to the present outer circumstances. So, what are we going to do with the additional time at hand?


My suggestion would be to make good use of the time at home in order to be ready to take off after the virus. I want to show you 3 steps of my energy management in the coming days. You could also see it as some kind of spring cleaning, but not only for your home and office, but also for your mind and your behavioural patterns. 


The first step, we will take together, today, is decluttering your home and office space.


Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

It can be hard to concentrate and focus when we drown in clutter. The junk we all collect over time, all this clutter, can drain our energy and can be quite stress inducing. It weighs us down and literally invites more chaos into our lives. 


Even when your flat seems orderly on the surface but inside your cupboards, wardrobes, drawers, etc. resides chaos, it will affect your energy. This also applies to our attic, basement and garage.


When we declutter and clean our homes and offices, we release energy blockages and the energy can flow freely again. While doing so, very often the same happens inside of us. We create order in our mind, we gain more clarity in general, we start feeling more energetic and stronger, we create well-being for our soul.


When we want to establish change, when we want to bring something new into our lives, it would be sensible to create space first of all. One way to do so, is to declutter our home and/or our office. 


Decluttering means to throw out everything, we don’t need or like anymore, and to create order for the rest of our stuff. While doing so, we automatically start thinking about what we really need and want – in our homes, our office, our life – and what we really do not want and need anymore. This helps us to open up space and to clear our mind for the essential things in our life, to gain clarity.


Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay
Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay


And there are even more of those fantastic side-effects. Decluttering and cleaning can … 

… have a calming effect on us, just like meditation.

… give us time for self-reflection.

… even reduce Depression.

… increase our self-confidence because it creates feelings of success.

… release endorphins – our happy hormones – as a result of the physical    


… induce a good night sleep due to all the above-mentioned positive side-



Decluttering and spring cleaning clear your path for the essential. In addition, it will keep you busy and out of mischief as long as the coronavirus is out there .


Okay, this sounds really fabulous to me! What are we waiting for? Let’s roll up our sleeves and let’s get started!


How do we go about decluttering to really get it done?


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

     1. Put your mind on decluttering

Accept that you are not your stuff and your stuff does not represent who you are. They are just interchangeable objects. 


If you think it is a pity to throw away and waste all the good stuff you have, remind yourself that decluttering does not necessarily mean you have to throw things away. You could sell it at a flea market or on ebay. You can also give it to a second-hand shop and someone who really likes and needs some of your stuff can buy it at a reasonable price. I personally am a member of a Gospel choir. There is always someone who needs something.


When we share our goods and chattels with others, we experience personal growth. And you might agree with me, that collecting and keeping everything to yourself is kind of selfish, or isn’t it? Furthermore, everything that’s just lying around in your shelves and cupboards, not being used, might make someone else happy.


One simple and helpful rule in decluttering is:

Everything you have not touched, used or worn in the last 18 months goes out.


Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

     2. Set yourself an adequate and realistic goal

This could be something like, “Today, I am going to sort out my bedroom cupboard, or my drawer desk, or my desk in the office.” Set only goals you can achieve in one day. In case you have a goal, that might take longer than one day, set daily milestones. For example, you have a wardrobe which is six meters long full to the rim. In this case you only do one part (like one meter, or one door) of it every day. 


Attention: No one can do everything at once. Setting your bar too high, you will – most likely – either never start, or never finish. Both options clearly having the same disappointing result. Therefore, one step at a time. Even doing baby steps will get you to your goal, eventually. Rome was also not built in one day.


Once you have get started with your task, make sure you have a regular break every 60-90 minutes for 10-15 minutes. You could set a timer not to forget about it. Do some stretching, walk around the block, call a friend, have a cup of coffee/tea. If your chore takes longer than 3-4 hours have a proper (at least 30 minutes) lunch or tea break. Have something light to eat and rest a bit. However, do not stop decluttering before you have finished; and stop once you have reached your goal. No more at the same day, okay. There are more days to come. 


There is only one exception to this rule which is when you find yourself doubtful about more or less anything you touch; or when you find yourself in a rage throwing everything out that comes into your hands. Either way, stop for this day and think of a new date to continue decluttering. Mark this date in your calendar and maybe set some kind of reminder.


You could also decide to declutter for 15 minutes every day and be amazed how much you will get done.


Image by Mohammed Salem from Pixabay
Image by Mohammed Salem from Pixabay

    3. “A, B, C” – an easy-peasy system with a huge effect

Best is to take three bags, boxes, baskets, etc., or just make space in a different room than the one you are decluttering for three piles and mark them:



A) “Throw away”

B) “Sell it” or “Give it to charity”

C) “1-year box”


Arrange an extra pile for the things you want to keep.


“A” and “B” are self-explanatory. “C”, the “1-year box “, is for some rare objects you are really not sure if you can let go of them, yet. Those objects go into this box – and make sure it is only ONE box and not too big. Once you have finished decluttering your home you seal the box properly and write the date in one year’s time on it. Store it in the attic, basement or garage, on top your cupboard, etc. Remember to write a reminder in your calendar or your timer to review the box at that time.


After one year you can take the box out again and most properly you won’t even know anymore what is in the box. Open it and decide what you want to do with those objects in the box.


Use this one simple technique for your whole environment: your rooms, basement, attic, garage, and your office.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


4. One step at a time

As already mentioned, take one step at a time.


Now, I would suggest using the following order:


          A) After you have arranged and marked your 3 boxes or piles, start going through all the stuff visible in your home e.g. everything lying around on your floor and on top of chests, desks, side tables, etc. and assemble the objects in your boxes or on your piles. Put everything you want to keep on your extra pile.


This will help you to achieve great results in a short time and will motivate you to continue.


B) Next, go systematically through every cupboard, shelf and drawer and take everything out. Do one room after the other, it does not matter where you start. Just make sure you finish one room before starting in the next.


Again: Throw or give everything away you have not touched, used or worn within the last 18 months; and everything you don’t need and/or don’t like anymore. Assemble everything on your piles and keep everything you want to keep on your extra pile.


C) Clean the surface and the inside of the cupboard, desk, shelf, or whatever you are currently decluttering.


D) Try to arrange as many things as possible of what you want to keep neatly and organised into drawers, cabinets, and closets. If possible, keep flat surfaces free of clutter. If you want to, you can arrange a few rare objects decoratively on the surfaces. 


E) For your work area or office:

Make sure you file all papers immediately and throw away what you don’t 



Arrange an inbox for all documents you need to work with and one box for everything that needs to be filed or sent out. Go through the latter every evening before you finish work.


Put those boxes in a shelf or any other place but your desk. Your desk is only for your laptop/PC or anything you are currently working on.


When you finish work make sure your desk is tidy.


5. Be strong and throw it all out that has to go out – ASAP

Every time you have finished your goal for the day, take care that you get rid of your stuff as quickly as possible. Don’t keep it in the house. Throw it in the bin, sell it on e-bay, or, once we are all back to “normal”, give it to friends or charity. For the time being store it in a separate room, garage, attic, etc., and leave it alone until you can throw it out as soon as the coronavirus is history. The longer you keep it in your home the more likely it will find its way back into your cupboards, shelves and drawers.


If you find it difficult, ask your partner or a friend to help you.


Image by Semevent from Pixabay
Image by Semevent from Pixabay

6. Celebrate

Celebrate your success, reward yourself, pamper yourself with e.g. a long hot bath, a gorgeous meal, your favourite movie, a long walk in nature, whatever your heart desires. Do yourself a favour, forget about online shopping as a reward .



7. Follow the “one-in – two out” rule

After you have finished decluttering follow the “one-in – two out” rule to avoid stuffing your home/office again. For ever new object you bring into your home/office you throw out two others.


Once you have finished your home and/or office, you will see how relieved you will feel, you can be calm and relaxed in your own environment again. You have more space, you can breathe again, you will improve your sleep pattern and you can actually enjoy being in your home/office again. You will feel more balanced and can concentrate on the essential things in your life again. You will find yourself more creative and productive again.


Alright, get going.


Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I wish you a wonderful Easter weekend with loads of fun and relaxation.


Always look at the bright side of life and be well.







inner works for you


sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training



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Everything provided in this newsletter is for informational, motivational and/or educational purposes only. Whether you change/do something in your life is your decision and yours only. You carry responsibility for your life.


The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, psychological and/or legal advice, diagnosis, treatment or consulting. Please consult your physician, therapist, lawyer regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your concerns, symptoms and/or medical condition.



© sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training




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sibylle chaudhuri

inner works for you
coaching & training

Ratingen / Duesseldorf

fon +49 (0)172 649 49 26