This post forms part of the A-Z of Self-Care for Busy Parents series. If you missed the introductory post you can read it here.

Decluttering seems to be the latest big craze, especially since Marie Kondo arrived on the scene. While I’m sure that most of us would benefit a great deal (myself especially) from a good declutter of our homes, we tend not to think about decluttering our minds.

If you think about it, we all have so much going on on a daily basis it can be hard to keep track of every little detail. Before you know it you start forgetting things all the time, whether it’s as simple as where you put your car keys, missing someone’s birthday, or forgetting about an appointment or that really important thing you wanted to mention during your morning meeting.

In today’s digital age we’re being bombarded with information all the time, it’s no wonder our brain’s can’t hold on to everything. If we don’t do something about it we find ourselves performing well below our usual capabilities in all areas of our lives.

Do you find yourself forgetting things all the time? It's not surprising that in a world where we are bombarded with information 24/7 our brains get overloaded and full. Take some time to declutter your mind with these easy strategies and see how much better you perform ...

If you really want to take better care of yourself, you need to set aside some time clear some of that mental clutter so that you can start performing at full capacity again. Below I have listed just a few ways you can begin that clear out, and they are all really simple and quick:

Brain Dump

Get a blank sheet of paper or a notebook (seems to be much more effective than a computer for this exercise) and set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Now write down everything that is on your mind right now, all those jobs you want to do, all the things you need to remember. Anything really. The aim of this exercise is to just get it all out of your head so that you have room to think. Afterwards you can put this piece of paper away to look back at later so that you can use it to write to-do lists if needs be.

Free Writing

Similar to a brain dump, this is less about things you need to do and more about writing down whatever comes into your head. Set a timer for 10 minutes and start writing (again, with good old pen and paper). Even if you don’t know what to write, write ‘I don’t know what to write’ over and and over until something else comes through, whatever you do, keep the pen moving across the page for the full time. By keeping the pen moving no matter what, you start to bypass the analytical mind and tap into your subconscious, you’ll be amazed at what comes out at the end. It can be a really cathartic experience. I use it for writer’s block sometimes and it always works.


Keeping a daily journal can really help you process your day, or set you up for the one ahead. By getting all those thoughts out of your head you clear space to get on with what you need to. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, a tatty old notebook will do.


I’d never really done any meditation until I was asked to review an app called Welzen last year. Ever since I have become a little hooked. I go through periods when I don’t meditate for a few days or weeks and I suddenly realise how much more tension I’m carrying and how stressed I am as a result. I try to get up before the kids every morning and spent 10-15 following a guided mindfulness mediation and it always helps me start the day from a state of relaxation and with a clear mind.

Get Out In Nature

Getting out into the fresh air and surrounding yourself with nature is an amazing way to still the mind. I always feel better after a long walk out with the dogs in the open countryside. If you can’t escape the city, use what you have. Too many of us get outside and barely notice our surroundings, we just rush from a-b. When you’re outside today, keep a look out for the nature around you, if you look you’ll see it everywhere. From trees, to hedges, flowers and hanging baskets, to blades of grass pushing their way through eh cracks in the pavement.


As much as it pains me to admit it, exercise always helps clear my mind and leave me feeling more energised, I just need to push past the initial resistance to getting started. It can be as simple as getting out for a walk though or taking the kids to the park with a ball. Get the heart pumping and the blood flowing and not only will the endorphins lighten your mood, the increased oxygen to your brain will get that working better too.

Let It Go

This is perhaps the hardest one but also the most important. Are you holding on to something? A comment someone made, socks left on the floor, a difficult day at work, maybe someone just cut you up at the junction and you’re still angry about it? We all have a tendency to run things through in our mind over and over and get ourselves more and more worked up about something until it becomes much bigger. Stop. Don’t let whatever it was ruin the rest of your day. Let it go and move on. Any of the methods above are great for helping with this.


To-do lists have a habit of being never-ending and sometimes it can be hard to see the wood for the trees and know where to start. Get it all written down and then prioritise. Are some tasks really necessary? If not, dump them. Can other tasks be done by someone else? Delegate them. Out of what’s left put them in order of priority and focus only on those things that absolutely have to get done today.

Switch Off

I mentioned at the top how the digital age has us being bombarded with information all day every day, mainly from social media. If you’re feeling a bit frazzled switch off all your electronic devices like phones, iPads and computers for a few hours (a whole day would be better but not always possible). You’ll be amazed how freeing it is after a while and it gives your brain the time it needs to process everything it already has to deal with.

So there you have it, just a few quick ways to help ease some of that mental clutter. If you give any of these methods a try (or have any others of your own to share), please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

Need more tips for self-care? Don’t want to miss the rest of the series? Enter your details in the box below to receive it in your inbox every week. And remember to bookmark the introductory post (here), the links to each new post will be added on to there as they are published. I also have a post with 19 Quotes To Help  Declutter Your Mind with FREE printable versions of every quote.


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24 thoughts on “Declutter Your Mind

  1. My mind is forever cluttered! I love free writing but haven’t been doing it so much recently! I should take it up again! #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 7:34 am
  2. I needed to read this post today. I think I’m in desperate need of decluttering my mind – the last few weeks I’ve found it so hard rock focus and get things done! Bookmarking this post now, so I can try these tips. 🙂
    Charlene | High Heels & Fairy Tales recently posted…On Thursdays We Do MakeoversMy Profile

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 8:04 am
    1. *to focus

      Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 8:05 am
  3. Great tips! I need to do these more regularly! #FamilyFunLinky
    relentlesslypurple recently posted…Snow Edits – My Sunday PhotoMy Profile

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 9:33 am
  4. I do love a good old brain dump and have learnt to do mind maps which I find very therapeutic and a great way to get creative, especially when it is creating ideas for blog posts X #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 1:22 pm
  5. I love the free writing idea!!! Especially agree about getting outdoors too , I went or a walk yesterday after being stuck in with the weather and did my head the world of good #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 2:27 pm
  6. A wonderful comprehensive list. I am very guilty of juggling mental to-do lists. It would be so much easier to have them all contained in a journal #familyfunlinky
    Andrea @ Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Serra da Malcata Nature Reserve, Reserva Natural da Serra da MalcataMy Profile

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 3:23 pm
  7. Oh yes I agree I wrote a similar post a while ago. I am practicing a lot more self care lately and decluttering my mind was a good start. Thank you for hosting #FamilyFun
    Catie recently posted…Week in Photos #22My Profile

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 4:07 pm
  8. Switching off from blogging and social media have helped me in the past. I need to do these things! #familyfun

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 4:17 pm
  9. Such great ideas. Collecting them makes you think how much you could do for your mental health just by being a bit more mindful! #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 7:22 pm
  10. I like the idea of a brain dump, and I love getting outdoors for a walk. I considered doing that today but I’m struggling with my feet at the moment so couldn’t. 🙁 I’m sure I’ll get out sooner or later. Great post lovely xx
    Morgan Prince recently posted…Things I’ve learned about myself since becoming a motherMy Profile

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 8:36 pm
  11. I should try this whole brain-dump thing – I think part of the reason I sleep so poorly is that my brain likes to run through everything I need to do in the middle of the night. No thanks, brain – I don’t want to think about that email I need to write at 4am. Exercise definitely helps, though – when I can find the time! #familyfunlinky
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…10 facts about working mums that we should all be angrier aboutMy Profile

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 8:46 pm
  12. Some fab tips, I really need to do more of these – my brain is constantly firing!
    Natalie recently posted…Hit Or Miss Recommendation – Aqua CarpaticaMy Profile

    Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 10:12 pm
  13. some great ideas here. Its so easy to find yourself overwhelmed, whether by housework or by whats going on in our minds. Its good to take a step back and recognize what is important sometimes #familyfun

    Posted on 6 March, 2018 at 2:26 am
  14. I love this! It is so perfect for where I am right now. The free writing idea is fab, especially for writers block as you mentioned. X #FamilyFunLinky

    Posted on 6 March, 2018 at 3:20 pm
  15. I’ve not really heard of this but I definitely use exercise as a brain dump – I didn’t realise it is but I think I do! #familyfun

    Posted on 6 March, 2018 at 9:21 pm
  16. I love this! I agree that we have too much going on in our minds at all times. Taking some time to brain dump, or meditate is a great way to unburden your mind. And I second the ideas of nature and exercise – I try to combine the two by taking a walk or jog outside, or wandering with my camera through a local park or pathway.
    Jessica – A Modern Mom’s Life recently posted…Raising Girls – The Primary School YearsMy Profile

    Posted on 6 March, 2018 at 10:32 pm
  17. I am a big believer in getting outside to clear the mind and recharge but the rest of your tips are simply fantastic! I did a brain dump for my blog only a few weeks ago, and it was amazing to see it all on one sheet of paper. I do find that I have been more productive and efficient since. So going to try your free writing tip – already looking forward to what might come out at the end. Is this something you would do every day?

    Posted on 7 March, 2018 at 11:14 am
  18. These are all great tips. I leave my phone downstairs to charge when I go up to bed on an evening. I also carve out some parts of the week which are totally technology-free. I often get the best ideas in these quiet times! #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 7 March, 2018 at 5:37 pm
  19. Great tips and I find it so powerful to switch off completely quite often these days. I find I return from breaks and the world has not caved in, usually I have not missed much and I am more efficient too #FamilyFun
    Kate recently posted…Interview with Tushna Ghadially, Founder of Marylebone MumsMy Profile

    Posted on 7 March, 2018 at 9:44 pm
  20. Oh I love this! I did the first one already and am working on the second one. The other things I already do every day, except for get out in nature. I need to do that more. I miss it. #FamilyFunLinky
    Michelle Kellogg recently posted…Dear Blog, Where Do We Go From Here?My Profile

    Posted on 10 March, 2018 at 3:30 pm
  21. These are all great strategies. I suffer from burnout (from too many years of doing too much), so I’m trying hard to let go of a lot… Finding it quite hard to put good strategies into practice thouhg. But, I keep working on it. x #FamilyFunLinky
    Malin – Sensational Learning with Penguin recently posted…One Year with the National Trust, in the South EastMy Profile

    Posted on 12 March, 2018 at 5:51 am
  22. Just back from a 2 night mini break & all this is to true! #familyfunlinky
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…10 top tips for leaving your baby overnight for the first timeMy Profile

    Posted on 12 March, 2018 at 8:27 pm
  23. I love this post, Alana. Anyway one can declutter, especially our minds/brains/thoughts is exemplary for mental health and wellness. Bravo! #FamilyFunLinky xo

    Posted on 15 March, 2018 at 9:47 am