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8 Tips for Keeping Your Mind Clear,
Calm, and Clutter-Free

By Jade C. Pulman

Do you ever feel like the hubbub in your mind is so loud that you can't even hear yourself think? It's easy to get overwhelmed by mental "clutter." And just like physical clutter, all of that mental junk gets in the way. A cluttered mind can make it hard to set personal priorities and goals, perform well at work, and be fully present with your loved ones. Fortunately, you can clean out your mind just like you'd clean up a messy room. These tips will help you regain your mental clarity so you can feel more peaceful and get more done.

  1. Write in a journal.
    One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to declutter your mind is to unload all of those stray thoughts onto a blank page. Many people find writing in a journal to be therapeutic and calming, and it's a good way to sort through your thoughts and emotions.
  2. Make lists of everything you have to do.
    Feeling frantic because you have a million things to do? Stop, take a deep breath, and write out a to-do list. If you have enough items on your agenda, you can even break your list into multiple sub-lists. You'll probably find that you feel less overwhelmed when you can see all your tasks laid out in front of you.
  3. Devote a few minutes to cleaning out your inbox every day.
    It's stressful to have a messy inbox full of unanswered emails. Solve this problem by setting aside some time every day to take care of your inbox. Start by unsubscribing from any mailing lists that are filling your inbox with junk. Then work on answering emails and deleting emails you no longer need. Just a little bit of attention every day will keep your inbox tidy and non-stressful.
  4. Clean up your surroundings.
    If your desk or living room is cluttered, then your mind probably feels cluttered too, so it's best to keep your space organized.

    Your physical surroundings have a big impact on how you feel, so keep them neat and clean. For instance, if your garage is a wreck, set aside a weekend to clean it out, and do a Google search for "car storage near me" to find a place to store that car you never drive.

  5. Know what matters most to you -- and what you can put on the back burner.
    A cluttered mind is often a byproduct of trying to do too much. But no one can do everything, no matter how talented and hard-working they are. Figure out what your priorities in life are, and decide which things you can drop without feeling too bad about it. Then make sure to consistently put your priorities first.
  6. Do one thing at a time.
    Multi-tasking can make you feel scattered, and it doesn't actually help much with productivity. Sometimes it can actually distract you, making you more likely to do poor-quality work. Get into the habit of doing just one thing at once. You'll likely find that focusing on a single task at a time helps you get more done over the course of the day.
  7. Let go of the past.
    If, like many people, you tend to hang on to emotional baggage from the past, work on letting it go to achieve a clearer mind. This may be easier said than done, but you'll feel so much better when you aren't holding on to old grudges, hurts, and disappointments. Journaling and talking to a therapist are two good ways to process and release the events of the past.
  8. Meditate.
    Meditation is a tried-and-true way to boost your concentration and mental serenity. This ancient practice is all about learning to control your mind, instead of letting your mind control you. An easy way to get started is to search for guided meditation videos on YouTube.

The Takeaway

Mental clutter makes it hard to stay focused and productive. With a little effort, though, you can learn to keep your mind clear and organized. Decluttering your mind will make you happier overall, and it will allow you to spend more time and energy on the things that really matter to you.

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