utter declutter. simple.

One for the new year… any time really! In case you have seen the film “Speed – On the hunt for lost time” you will know that the more things bother us and the more decisions we have to make, the more stressed we become. This is one of the reasons I love to go hiking or trekking, pretty much all you do is walk, eat & sleep – usually in a spectacular environment.

Now most of us can’t go hiking continuously, something practical for everyday life is in order. And it is dead simple: apply the same principle. Declutter. Simplify.

Living in 40 sqm, I pretty much have no choice… but also have a genetic advantage having Swabian ancestors (we’re very neat and tidy – my grandma irons underwear). How do I manage it, simple (see the pattern – the approach needs to be simple too): anything I haven’t used in a year goes. If I actually need it again, I will treat myself to something new, which will be more exciting anyway. All the old stuff goes on eBay, to charity or the bin – somebody else might actually use and enjoy it … sharing is caring.

If you have a pile or looking at your whole life, it might be overwhelming where to start. Here are 2 approaches:

– 1 – De-clutter your life by Paul Foreman will give you some handy tips. It’s not black and white instructions, more of a framework or mindset encouraging you to just try (anywhere really) and a few how-to ideas.
Paul is also the creator of the beautiful mindmap.


– 2 – simplify your life® is a concept to tackle your life holistically. As you can imagine, this is a taunting exercise, so they chunkify it into 7 steps or levels of a pyramid that you climb. – The book makes for a real good read! But only buy if you’re really gonna read it 😉
1/ things – Declutter your house, all things physical. Your office (at work and at home), all environmental things you can control.
2/ finance – Eliminate debt, seriously. And then just keep it simple … or you really think that investment you don’t even understand is going to be the breakthrough?
3/ time – We all have the same amount of time at our disposal. What you do with it is up to you. Saying “No” and active deceleration will help the process.
4/ health – You only have one body (even though our cells miraculously renew themselves) and one life. If you don’t look after it, who will? And the healthier we are (in particular in our minds) the better we can enjoy life.
5/ people – This is about your networks, including your family (and they are all dysfunctional). – Jealousy has a massive impact on interpersonal relationships. Get over it!
6/ love – Nourish the relationship with your partner whilst removing emotions from your conversations.
7/ yourself – The top of the Maslow Pyramid (it’s all about climbing pyramids). How do you pursue and achieve your life goals: bank on your strengths!


Foreman P, De-clutter Your Life, IQ Matrix, viewed January 2016, http://blog.iqmatrix.com/de-clutter-your-life

Küstenmacher W 2006, simplify your life®, VNR Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG 2016, viewed January 2016, http://www.simplify.de/die-idee/


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