Spring Cleaning for Your Mind

Make space for new ideas with these great de-cluttering tips from entrepreneurs.

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Tips from Danielle LaPorte

If perception is reality then you want the clearest view possible. That means illusions, criticisms, and nagging thought-forms all need to be swept out so you can hear your truth and make space for your most desired feelings to show up. Our psyches love to be in sync with the seasons, so naturally, spring is a powerful time to consider new approaches to becoming more you.


— Danielle LaPorte is the author The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (Crown Archetype). 

Photo Credit: UnionPhotographers, Vancouver

Admit to What Sucks

If I just hang in here a little longer, maybe she’ll come up to speed. He’ll change; I just need to be more flexible. If I really apply myself, I’ll learn to love this kind of work.


Our sense of duty can blind us to the clues of doom. Just ’fess up—it ain’t workin’.


Step 1: Acknowledge what’s broke, or perpetually disappointing in your life.


Step 2: Do not worry about how you are going to fix what’s broke.


Step 3: Reaffirm what’s not working so you’re really clear about it. Just notice what sucks with ruthless honesty. Then—and only then—will solutions emerge.


Danielle LaPorte





Photo courtesy of electroalice/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of electroalice/Shutterstock.com

Create a Stop-Doing List

If you’re going to make great stuff happen, what you stop doing is just as important as what you start and continue to do.


  • Stopping = room to create without restraint or compromise.
  • Stopping = more time for what matters most.


This is where “quitting” crosses over into enlightenment. Stopping what’s distracting, draining, or aggravating doesn’t require any heavy lifting or extra stamina—just love and self-respect.


— Danielle LaPorte

Face Forward

It doesn’t matter how many master’s degrees you’ve earned, or how the economy walloped your sales last year. Focus on what you’re doing now, on who you are today. Past hurts and glory days take up a lot of space in your head. And not only is the future clutter-free, it's a lot more exciting and compelling to talk about.


Danielle LaPorte




Photo courtesy of marekuliasz/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of marekuliasz/Shutterstock.com

Create a Glory Board

What are your victories and accomplishments? Sing your praises. If you’re feeling too shy to blow your own horn, answer like your BFF or the person who loves you most would answer. Go back as far in your life as you need to for evidence of greatness. Accentuating the positive will help sweep out the critical dust bunnies in your psyche. 


— Danielle LaPorte





Photo courtesy of Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Tips from Rosa Mae Neel

A de-cluttered mind allows you to take in new ideas, experience new adventures and feel mentally and physically lighter. It makes you more productive and more focused on your tasks.


— Rosa Mae Neel, Founder of Prune, Style for Professionals

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rosa Mae Neel

Make One To-Do List

A mind is often cluttered by to-do lists that run rampant through our thoughts at all times of the day. Every time you think of something you want to do, jot it down in the same place—maybe your iPhone notes—and know that you can forget about it for now because it is recorded there. Assign a certain amount of time each week to deal with open items.

Rosa Mae Neel





Photo courtesy of lucadp/Shutterstock.com

Photo courtesy of lucadp/Shutterstock.com

Prune Your Closet

Having lots of things that do not fit or that you do not like in your closet weighs down on your psyche. Go through each item you own and ask yourself if you really love it. If you don't, part ways with it by donating it to a charity or selling it at a consignment store.


— Rosa Mae Neel




Photo courtesy of Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.com

Put Things Out of Sight

Put things in your home where they belong and don't display more than you need to. Your bathroom and bedroom should be minimal and only the things you use daily should be on display. Your bedroom should be serene and any small items near your bed should be stored in a pretty box.


Rosa Mae Neel





Photo courtesy of Tr1sha/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tr1sha/Shutterstock.com

Tips from Ann Tran

Entrepreneurs, in particular, tend to think constantly about the state of their businesses and keep a running internal dialog going, full of new ideas and strategies. While these mental notes and activities are important for regular creative stimulation, spring is the perfect time to de-clutter the mind of those bits and pieces that hold little potential for future value.


Ann Tran

Photo Credit: M.J. Farkas

Remember that You’re not in this World Alone

Your decisions affect countless others, as theirs do, too. Don’t make everything center around you. When working on a project, integrate your team and make each member feel important. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Collaborate, share, respect, grow and learn. When I’m doing my mental spring-cleaning, I always remember that it’s not just me in this universe; it’s a big world, and everyone has a story.


— Ann Tran



Photo courtesy of Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.com

Photo courtesy of Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.com

Evaluate Your Expectations and Your Perceptions of People Around You

Continually reevaluate your point of view, guarding against a stale mindset. Look for the benefits present in every situation. While a project or idea may not move along the way you’d hoped, remember that the dots may connect for the best down the line.


— Ann Tran





Photo Courtesy of Nenov Brothers Photography/Shutterstock.com

Photo Courtesy of Nenov Brothers Photography/Shutterstock.com

Focus on the Positives of Each Day

When a negative voice visits, ask yourself, how can we benefit from this situation? You can learn a lot about yourself by asking and answering this simple question. And it can make for fascinating blog content.

Ann Tran




Photo courtesy of Nenov Brothers Photography/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nenov Brothers Photography/Shutterstock.com

Break Bad Habits

Take a look at your daily routine and find the things that you do that you would be better off without. Turn your experience with breaking your bad habits into a winning situation for you and others by sharing it with the world. Form new, good habits for others to look to as an example for themselves.

— Ann Tran






Photo courtesy of Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lightspring/Shutterstock.com


It’s also beneficial to unplug and enjoy nature on a regular basis. Go for a walk to refresh your energy, de-clutter your mind, and recharge. Adding a bit of nature to every day will do the trick for you in all seasons – not just spring.

Ann Tran





Photo courtesy of April Cat/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of April Cat/Shutterstock.com

Tips from Farnoosh Brock

Clutter is the noise, the banter, the chat back and forth, the self-criticism, the doubts, the rubbish that gets in the way of clear thinking. When you can remove this clutter, and keep it in the very background of your mind, you gain clarity and with it comes renewed sense of energy.


— Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living

Photo Credit: Prolific Living

Clear the Noise in Your Mind

Sit still for 15 minutes doing nothing. Allow silence to be as much a part of your day as noise. Clarity brings renewed energy.


Farnoosh Brock





Photo courtesy of Yellowj/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yellowj/Shutterstock.com

Approach One Thing at a Time

A cluttered mind wastes time. Do your very best on any given task rather than half your best on two.


Farnoosh Brock






Photo courtesy of Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.com

Listen to Your Mind

A clean mind is contagious to the rest of your life. Let your clean mind guide you to clean other areas of your life by listening to your inner voice. Follow your craving to clean out your desk and organize your files as soon as you get the urge.

Farnoosh Brock





Photo courtesy of Voronin76/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Voronin76/Shutterstock.com

Make Time to Do Nothing

Allow quietude and calmness into your day; not everything has to be hectic to be productive. It can be so much easier to get through the day. 

Farnoosh Brock







Photo courtesy of loannis Pantzi/Shutterstock.com




Jennifer Jeanne Patterson is a freelance writer and author of 52 Fights. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children. Find her blog at Unplanned Cooking.

Related: Best Outfits for Home-Based Entrepreneurs

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of loannis Pantzi/Shutterstock.com

First Published January 30, 2012

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