The life-changing magic of tidying up (your life)

Wellbeing: what are the three habits that would make a big difference to your wellbeing? If you’re running on empty, how will you perform at work and at home? 

Mental load: how can you reduce the decisions you need to make? How can you empower others to take full accountability on key areas? 

Relationships: what relationships are most important to you and how can you connect with those people more often? 

Mind clutter: Things such as perfectionism, beating yourself up, guilt, unrealistic expectations etc can clutter our mind. Learn psychological skills to work with your mind more productively. 

# 5 Follow the right order 

Create space first through diary clean up and saying no to any non-essential requests. 

Apply the 5Ds to your life: Delete, Delegate, Defer, Downgrade and Do. 

Work through mind clutter with support from a therapist or coach. 

# 6 Ask yourself if it sparks joy 

Although this is number six, I would argue that this is probably the first thing you should do. Learn about what is most important to you and connect in with these values all of the time. 

Ask yourself, is this investment of time/energy contributing to or taking me away from what’s most important to me? 

A meaningful, joyful life comes from living aligned to our values. 

A note on only having things that spark joy 

Joy is not the same as happiness. Sometimes, the pursuit of joy is a long-term journey complete with short-term moments that are unenjoyable, boring, uncomfortable and annoying. This can feel difficult and often we want to avoid it. But, avoiding it takes us away from a meaningful life. 

If six steps are too much, try my version of a life-changing method of tidying up your life: 

  1. Create more space through simplification, and the disciplined pursuit of less
  1. Look after yourself – reduce stress, focus on restoring your energy and prioritise your wellbeing; 
  1. Reflect on what is most important to you, set meaningful and realistic goals and take action; 
  1. Do the inner work that will allow you to have bad days, experience difficult emotions and thoughts and still take action towards the life you most want. 

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Side note: I followed the advice in Marie Kondo’s original book four years ago and although it took a very long time, it really was life changing 😉 

* this is based on him having 2.5 hours per day of free time during the week where he is not at school and not including tasks such as eating, showering, homework, getting ready for school, bedtime routine etc. 


Originally published here.

Belinda Haan is a writer, advocate, and facilitator focused on re-writing the motherhood experience. She uniquely blends the best of psychology and heart to support women in their transition into motherhood. She is the founder of the Motherhood Gathering, which provides a loving container for women as they navigate the joy and full catastrophe of early motherhood. You can follow Belinda on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

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