There's a bit of wisdom in this:
There are two things I’d recommend you do to get started — and you can choose which one to do first, as it doesn’t matter really where you start:
1. Pick your life’s short list. It’s crucial that you take a step back and figure out what’s most important to you. I suggest taking half a day off, or even just 30-60 minutes. Get outside and take a walk, or go to a coffee shop, and allow yourself to think. Big picture stuff: what do you love most? Every person’s list will be different — my list was: spending time with family, writing, reading and running. Pick just 4-5 things, even if there are lots of other things that also seem important. Now make a longer list: what else is in your life that’s not on the short list? Once you’ve done these things, you’re done with the Big Picture stuff — the next step is to start eliminating commitments that aren’t on the short list. Do the same for your work life — what’s most important, and what doesn’t make your short list of most important projects and goals.
2. Start clearing clutter in one spot. Physical clutter can be overwhelming, which is why you should just pick one small spot, and clear that. You can get to the rest later. It might be the top of your desk, or if that is super messy maybe just one spot on top of your desk. It might be a table-top or part of a counter or shelf in your home. It doesn’t matter what the spot is. Here’s how to start: first clear off that area and put everything into a pile to the side. Now sort through the pile quickly, making three smaller piles: stuff you use and love, stuff you can donate, and trash. Sort quickly and ruthlessly — everything should go in one of the three piles. Then throw the trash away, put the donate stuff in a box to be dropped off to a charity, and put the stuff you love and use neatly where it belongs. Everything should have a permanent home. Done! Slowly expand your decluttered zone.
Some people thrive on clutter, however. The continual re-sorting of clutter can be addictive. Then there is the idea that a person maintains control over their environment through clutter and through being able to index their clutter in their mind.
As to finding out what is important, I think that is healthy. If anything, we are a self-centered sort of species and it's always a good idea to disconnect from things and consider other people.
And, yes. Other people are clutter sometimes.
Do you know who has solved the issue of clutter? IKEA. Now, they're not paying me to say this, but the simple act of acquiring several IKEA pieces (doesn't matter what they are, so long as you like what they're about) and putting them together becomes a relaxation opportunity in and of itself. Think about what two big IKEA bookcases could do for you. Put them together. Sort and pile and reorganize and remove what works on those pieces and what doesn't.
Leo Babauta is the author of Focus.