We are quite often faced with the realization that we have got too much going on in our world. Do you feel that you’ve got too much clutter in your life? This can range from physical clutter like too many things on our desks or in our space to too many photos on our phones, from too much going on in our world to a wardrobe that’s exploding! Whatever the reason, it causes us to feel overwhelmed and buried in the noise that’s around us. 

You may have heard of Marie Kondo. She is a specialist from Tokyo, well known for tidying people’s spaces and removing that clutter. She became a sensation around twelve to eighteen months ago with her series on Netflix about minimalizing, which was hugely popular. Her catchphrase was “Does it spark joy?” She believes that the things that you hang on to within your world need to spark joy and serve a purpose, otherwise you need to get rid of them.

clutterWe can get rid of the clutter that consumes our emotional and spiritual energy. We can rid ourselves of the things that take up too much of our time, take too much space in our world and in our lives. The things that land up exhausting and overwhelming us. What are the things that are cluttering your world, your time, your space, your brain, your heart, your energy? Are there people in your life that make you feel completely and utterly drained when you spend time with them?  These people are like energy vampires that just suck the life out of you. Well, I challenge you to Marie Kondo them, get rid of them! 

Here are some questions that I propose that you ask yourself about everything in your life. It can be about friendships, about family members, about pieces of paper or items of clothing, and even about jobs that you have. 

1. Does It Serve Me?

clutterMarie Kondo asks, “Does it spark joy?” I want you to ask yourself, “Does it actually serve me?”, “Does it empower me?” “Does it fulfill me?” “Does it make my world better to have this thing in my space and time?” Consider the relationship you have with an item of clothing that you wear. Ask yourself if you feel good when you wear it. Does it make you feel comfortable, empowered, and good about yourself? Does it feel a bit tight or not quite right, or does it feel itchy so you put off wearing it? If you are not wearing it or have to adjust that garment all the time it is not actually serving you. Fashion designers say that if you have to adjust your clothing more than twice, it’s not a good fit.  You should not have to adjust it at any point in time. So ask yourself, how many times do you have to adjust your clothing? Is it really serving you? How many times do you have to ‘adjust’ things around you?

2. When Did I Use It Last?

This certainly applies to clothing, cooking utensils, tools in your office, and things that are around in your space. The same way you ask yourself when was the last time you used the things around you, seriously ask yourself questions about your relationships and friendships. When was the last time you had great quality time together? When was the last time you were immersed in that friendship? When was the last time you considered that relationship good? When did it last serve you? It is important to look at the timeframe of when you last used, lived, or embraced something.

3. How Easily Can I Replace It?

If you discard something and regret it, how hard is it to replace it? These days there’s very little that you cannot replace, rekindle, and rebuild if you absolutely needed to. It’s so easy in this digital world to scan things which makes them easy to find again. Those old uni notes, that you’re hanging on to which are probably really outdated, you could definitely find them on Google if you threw them away. Do you really need a hard copy of that book that you are hanging on to? Or do you just hold on to it to relive the experience of reading that book? Are you really going to read it again or is it just a memory that you are hanging on to for nostalgic reasons? You’ve read the book, let it go. You enjoyed it at that moment. Hang on to a picture of the cover, if you want to. 

When it comes to friendships and relationships, sometimes we can just let them lapse if they don’t serve us. If you feel like something is missing from your life, then there will always be opportunities to just pick up the phone and catch up with that person. That is, if you really feel that something is missing from your life and that your life could be better by having that person in it. But seriously ask yourself how much is having that person in your world serving you. How much is that bringing enrichment to your world and making it a better place by having them there?

4. Would It Be Better Served With Somebody Else?

With so many things, chances are that you can replace them if you need to, especially in terms of clothing, furniture, and such things. Ask yourself if the thing you own would better serve somebody else. Maybe you have a shirt that is really tight, you know that you are not sixteen anymore, it doesn’t fit and you’re getting a bit old to wear it. Someone else, however, might think that it’s a really funky retro outfit and get immense joy from it. If you are not using things like clothing, furniture, and tools, consider cluttergiving them to someone else who could get immense value out of them. Maybe it’s an avocado cutter you own. You barely ever eat avocados, but somebody eats five of them a day and you’ve just made their world by making it available in the op shop. Give away things that would better serve somebody else.

How are you planning to Marie Kondo your world? How are you planning to minimalize things in your life, physical, spiritual, and emotional?  How do you plan to minimalize on things that consume your space, time, and energy?


  •  Get rid of the clutter that consumes your emotional and spiritual energy.
  • Ask yourself, “Does It Serve Me?”
  • Ask yourself, “When did I use it last”
  • Ask yourself, “How easily can I replace it”


  • Hold on to things that can better serve somebody else.
  • Hold on to things that clutter your time and space
  • Hold on to people that drain your energy.

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About the Author:

Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a time management strategist and stress management practitioner based in Alice Springs, Australia.  She has spent over 20 years working in time precious and stressful industries such as film, hospitality and marketing.  She has always had a burning passion for creating order and making sense of things.

She is on a mission is to become the no.1 resource to help people unclutter the chaos and break free from the shackles of overwhelm so that they wake each day inspired and motivated to work in peak performance and to live on purpose. Barbara is known around Australia for her training, coaching, online programmes, webinars and as a guest speaker.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships.