It's that time of year when summer is winding down, the days are shorter and the weather is starting to cool. For me, September represents a time of transition, a time to reset and refocus. While we often wait for a new year to make our resolutions and roll out new habits, this month offers an opportunity to take stock of where we are and where we want to be.
One of the best ways to kick-start a September reset is by decluttering your space. Whether it's your home or your office, taking the time to get rid of anything that is no longer serving a purpose can be incredibly liberating and therapeutic.
Earlier in the year I caught up with my good friend and extremely organised Nicola Lewis – author of Mind Over Clutter. When it comes to the sheer therapy value in decluttering our lives, she says:
“This is the main element of decluttering that a lot of people don’t really understand – letting go of items, some very personal items has to be supported by a form of therapy … The reason why we are decluttering in the first place is the main focus of the job … Sometimes it really is a case of less is more.”
The first step is to start by doing a quick sweep of your space and identify anything that is broken, outdated or no longer needed. Then, take time to sort through everything else and decide what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Remember that the goal is to create a peaceful space that is clean, organised and conducive to productivity.
The action of decluttering your physical space will then trigger the other important part of the equation – your headspace. This can mean different things to different people, but the goal is the same – to clear your mind of any mental clutter that may be holding you back. For me, I like to practise mindfulness and meditation, taking time out to reflect, and once in a while even putting pen to paper.
Keeping a journal is one way of creating a sense of order in what can sometimes feel like chaos! Decluttering your thoughts onto paper is a calming exercise, and research shows that writing a journal improves our mental health, boosts confidence, inspires creativity and can actually lead to a stronger immune system and better sleep.
So – approaching September with the energy of positive intention is key. Take time to identify your goals for the rest of the year and create a plan that is achievable for you. Set realistic expectations and be willing to adjust your goals if you need to – because the aim here is not perfection, but progress.
Embrace this new season by setting yourself up for a productive and fulfilling end to the year and you’ll see that the opportunities are endless.