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Declutter Your Life: 5 Ways to Simplify Before the New Year

December 5, 2023

As the year draws to a close, decluttering your life can increase productivity, reduce stress, and give you a clearer perspective. This blog post will explore five practical ways to simplify your life and declutter before the year’s end.

simplify and declutter before the new year for happiness and better mental health.

Use the 15-Minute Rule

Take a cue from renowned organizing consultant Marie Kondo and embrace the 15-minute Rule. Set aside 15 minutes daily to declutter a specific area of your home or workspace. Whether it’s your desk, a kitchen drawer, or a closet, this incremental approach prevents overwhelm and makes the process more manageable. As Kondo emphasizes, focus on items that “spark joy” to create a more intentional living space.

Conduct a Digital Detox

Digital clutter can be as overwhelming as physical clutter in our technology-driven age. Declutter and simplify your digital life by organizing files, deleting unused apps, and unsubscribing from email lists. Implement the two-minute Rule: if a task takes less than two minutes, do it immediately. This practice helps prevent the accumulation of small digital tasks that can quickly add up.

Cultivate a Mindfulness Meditation Practice

Decluttering isn’t limited to physical spaces; it’s also essential to declutter your mind. Incorporate mindfulness meditation into your daily routine to clear mental clutter, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. Many apps offer guided meditation sessions, making it easier for beginners to establish a mindfulness practice. Duke Health & Well-Being offers mindfulness programs to help establish a meditation practice with expert guidance from experienced instructors and a supportive community.

Practice Gratitude Journaling

Embrace a positive mindset by incorporating gratitude journaling into your routine. Reflect on the positive aspects of your life and express gratitude for them. This practice can shift your focus away from what you lack, promoting a sense of abundance and contentment.

Do a Closet Cleanse

Adopting the “capsule wardrobe” concept gives your wardrobe a year-end cleanse. Identify key pieces that can be mixed and matched, donating or selling items that no longer serve you. This minimalist approach simplifies your morning routine and reduces decision fatigue, allowing you to focus on more critical aspects of your day.


Decluttering before the end of the year is not just about creating physical space; it’s about fostering a mindset that welcomes new opportunities and experiences. By incorporating these practical strategies, you can simplify your life, reduce stress, and enter the new year with a refreshed perspective. Take the first step today, and let the act of decluttering be your gift to yourself as you bid farewell to the old and welcome the new.


  1. Marie Kondo, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
  2. Cal Newport, “Digital Minimalism.”
  3. Courtney Carver, “Project 333.”
  4. Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Wherever You Go, There You Are.”
  5. Robert A. Emmons, “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.”


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