Sounds like a mundane task. Doesn’t it? I can find the things I want even if my room is cluttered. Why do I have to bother myself with decluttering?
Research says that decluttering has many benefits. According to the author of the book “Happiness Project”, there are six different types of clutters:
You save things because they remind you of good memories. I personally have a huge clutter of this kind. I just want them to be there even though I hardly take time out and see them. I have my kindergarten books placed safely in the attic. I have clothes of the time when I was 9 years old which no longer fit me. I just save them under the name of memories. Even if you ask me to get rid of them now, I won’t. Instead I will make a museum out of them, instead of letting them lie there in the attic. Ideally, one should get rid of these too, because it is better to live in the present than bask on past glory. But since I give way too much importance to memories, it is difficult for me to follow the ideal scenario. If you can, do give it a try.
Self-righteous conservation clutter:
You save those things because you think that you might use them some day. But when is the someday? If it has not come in the last 5 years, it might not come in the next 5 years too. Sell it off or push it into the nostalgic clutter otherwise.
When you see something on sale, you just buy it because it is on sale. You don’t think if it is something which you are going to use. Most of the stuff ends up as garbage at home. Either sell off this clutter or start using them if they are really useful for you. As a precautionary measure, don’t get tempted when there is a sale next time. Every time you feel the necessity for an item, write it down. Maintain a list of all those items and how much amount you are willing to spend on them. During sale time, buy only those items.
This is the clutter which we retain even though they have outgrown their usage. Do you still have the night pant which has holes and you still wear it because no one is going to see you in it anyway? Get rid of them right away. You can alter their shape and use them as a doormat. Use it in some other form if it has become useless. But get rid of the outgrown things.
Has your friend offered her table because she was getting a new one? Did you just accept it even though you have enough tables in your house? This is freebie clutter. You just dump things because you think they are for free and I might need it someday. But in reality that someday might never come. Start saying ‘NO’ for this type of clutter.
Did you buy a treadmill a few years back? Is it still lying in your store room? You want to retain it in the hope that you will use it someday. No aspirational clutter please! You can buy the latest variety from market the day you want to truly work out.
Now that you know the different types of clutter, start invading your home now. Start from your closet. Get rid of your clothes which come under any of the above clutters. I had nearly 50 clothes, but I used to not wear more than 50 of them. I got rid of all the clothes which I was not interested in wearing. I just kept the 15 which I use for casual wear and put the party wear clothes separately. Now when I look at my closet, I don’t get the feeling that I have nothing to wear. Instead, I feel happy that I have so many clothes to wear.
Then move to the other parts of your house and keeping going with your decluttering.
This is just about the physical clutter clearing. There is emotional clutter too. I will write about it in the next article.
Happy decluttering till then!