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How to Use a Brain Dump to Declutter Your Mind in 4 Easy Steps

With a never-ending barrage of responsibilities, appointments, and “to-do” lists, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the commitments and calendar clutter in your life! The best way to “spring clean” your mind is to carve out a little time for a BRAIN DUMP!!

Brain Dump Printables on a desk

I am a HUGE advocate of simplifying your home (some might say bordering on the ad nauseam side)…and on this little ole’ momma blog of mine, you’ll find articles about decluttering and organizing about every aspect of your living space, but one crucial area that most frequently gets overlooked is doing a “clutter cleanse” of your brain!

I’m guessing you are much like me, and you are already feeling frazzled by all the tasks that need to get done, and making time in your already brutal schedule feels just too overwhelming!

Well, take a big breath, and spend just a moment thinking how awesome it would be to not feel stressed, anxious, and worried all the time! Periodically doing a Brain Dump can help with all those things!

Brain dump helps relieve stress, anxiety, and chaos


Basically, a Brain Dump is a simple exercise of writing everything down in your brain on paper to free up the space in your mind from obsessively thinking about your “to-do’s”.

Just like when you declutter an area of your home, you take everything out of the space and then organize it, the same is true for a Brain Dump.

You get everything that is cluttering your mind out of your head, and then place those thoughts, ideas, and responsibilities into organized categories so it makes tackling all of the tasks much easier! Ultimately freeing up space in your mind!

brain art with splattered pain and mathematical equations


A successful Brain Dump can help you feel calmer because you have fewer repetitive thoughts about what you need to get done. It also is a great time management tool because you will be more efficient in tackling the things on your schedule.

Doing a Brain Dump is a proactive way to clear the mental clutter that will radically improve your sense of meaning and overall mental health.

I mean seriously, don’t we all want a bit more zen in our lives?

I realize that the idea of a Brain Dump might be new to you, and you also might need some assistance getting started, so I am here to help, my lovely readers!

So, let’s jump right in, and I’ll show you how easy brain dumping is and how you can accomplish an effective yet simple Brain Dump exercise!

"Declutter Your Mind" Handwritten on  notebook page of paper


1. Make Time & Space

The first step of the Brain Dump process is by far the hardest one because when you are already feeling overwhelmed and short on time, even thinking about adding anything else to your plate can cause stress.

I want to reassure you that once you remove the incessant “brain clutter” in your head, you will have more energy, mental space, and focus for the things that truly matter most to you.

Heck, you may even come up with some creative new ideas that you’ve yet to discover because they are hiding under the mountain of mess in your mind!

So, first, simply take (or create) a 15-30 minute break in your day. If you literally don’t have a moment to spare, I would recommend getting up a half-hour earlier than normal and giving yourself the gift of time to do your Brain Dump first thing in the morning.

If you are not a morning person, you could also make room in your schedule at the end of the day to complete this activity, but for me, I am not as fresh and clear-minded after a long day.

Either way, the most important thing is that you create some moments at some point in your day to accomplish this Brain Dump exercise.

2. Make a Master List

Now that you’ve set aside a little time and space, it’s time to dump IT ALL OUT into a Master List…and when I say “IT”, I mean to literally write down everything you are thinking about that needs to get done…errands, phone calls, appointments, chores, projects…EVERYTHING!

If it’s taking up space in your mind, then you need to put it on the Master List!

To make it even easier for you, I’ve created a Master List Printable template that you can grab here:

Printable Master List for Brain Dump

Here’s an example of what my Master List looks like:

Completed Brain Dump List

3. Make an Organized List

Once you’ve gotten every darn thought that’s been cluttering your messy mind on the Master List, it’s time to bring some order to the chaos!

Start by looking at each of the items on your Master List and place them into organized categories.

For the basic Brain Dump process that I am sharing here, I used these categories:




  • TO-DO’S






Keep in mind these headings are what works best for my list, but feel free to use whatever categories work best for you!

If you want to use my free printable template, you can grab a copy here:

Categorized Brain Dump Printable Worksheet

It’s a very simple process of marking things off your Master List and adding them to the categorized & organized list.

Brain Dump Printable Worksheets on a desk
Click on the image for free Brain Dump printables!

4. Make It Happen

Lastly, keep your Brain Dump list in a place where you will see it frequently as a reminder of the things you want to accomplish, and get busy marking things off your list!

The organized list even has a small box for you to mark once you’ve done it!

Brain Dump List Marked as Completed


Brain Dumps aren’t only just for “to-do lists”! You can use them for anything that is taking up mental space in your mind or is causing you anxiety and stress!

Here are some other things you can use the same process to declutter your psyche:

  1. Worries & Concerns

  2. Dreams and Goals

  3. Projects – Home Improvement, New Job

  4. Bucket Lists

  5. Meal Planning

  6. Events – Hosting a Party, Moving, Wedding

  7. Specific Focus – Self-Care, Making Money

In the next few weeks, I am starting a new job that I am super excited about, but my head is swirling with ideas, so I will be using this same process to get all my thoughts and brainstorms down on paper!

I know having all of my thoughts in one location will help me stay focused and not waste valuable brain space overthinking and ruminating about the things I want and need to get done!

So there you have it, friends…a kick-butt Brain Dump in 4 easy steps!!

What do you think?

Do you already use a similar process to clear your mind?

What are any tricks you use to increase your productivity and mental capacity?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, cheers to a mess-free mind, and cheers to YOU!



Want more free printables to improve your life? Then, you’ll LOVE these posts:

Magan Weber

Your Go-To Mama For 

Organizing Your Health

Home, & Happiness

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