When life throws you a curveball, or you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, STOP, BREATHE, and look around you. When is the last time you decluttered the space where you live? Taking charge of your emotional life can be a complicated task, and the best way to handle it is to start by cleaning the physical space around you.

Clean the house.

Your house is the place where you go back every day after work and it should be welcoming. When is the last time you cleaned it? Even if you clean it often, there are always little things you can do: polish the countertop, or rearrange the pillows on the couch. These simple gestures will give you the first kick to start to organize your life in a broader sense.

Reduce your wardrobe.

Are there clothes that you didn’t wear in the last month? Maybe it’s time to get rid of them and donate them to charity. I lived with three pairs of pants and four T-shirts during the six months I spent traveling around the world. I did it because I didn’t want to carry too much weight, but later this choice acquired a deeper meaning: I felt free. Clothes don’t define who you are.

Declutter your digital life.

If you have had the same computer for many years, you have probably accumulated a lot of useless stuff: old documents, old files, applications that you don’t use anymore. Go through your folders and delete what you don’t need. Do the same with your Facebook acquaintances, I am sure there are some people you never talk to.

Surround yourself with positive people.

I have often been criticized for selecting the people that can be part of my life, but I never cared. Avoid negative people who complain all the time and try to put you down hiding behind sentences like: “I say this for your own good.” Choose wisely, feel the energy of the people around you and don’t try to be friend with someone you don’t like just to be kind.

Take responsibility for your mistakes.

Some people blame others for their mistakes and they never learn. Think about the last time you blamed someone, was it really his/her fault? Focus on your behavior and take responsibility for YOUR actions. This is the only way to grow, close the door to the past and move forward.

Commit to your goals.

As a big believer in the “Law of Attraction,” I like writing my goals down. The more specific you are, the better it is. Visualize them happening while you write and you will attract them to your life. Every time you feel overwhelmed in your daily life, go back to your list and repeat the visualization exercise.

Originally published at medium.com