Spring is sprung, the grass is riz……
Spring is officially here and as the daffodils bloom so the sun starts to shine and show up all the dust on all that stuff that you keep meaning to decluttter. I am approaching PhD status in decluttering, and not just physical stuff but in a wide range of areas of my life. It took me almost two years (not bad for a PhD) and now I am just starting on the slippery slope of Declutter Academia (I am hoping for a post doc position as Strategy Leader for Operation Downsize)
Essentially decluttering can be boiled down to “Take item in right hand, place it in bin bag/box in left hand. Repeat until house cleared. Remove bags/boxes from house.” It astonishes me that so many people have made so much money expanding those three sentences into books that contain thousands of sentences. Perhaps I should write one too ! However, even I appreciate that emotions play a large part too. So if you are thinking of attacking the attic/kitchen/sitting room/unidentified room which is so full you can’t remember what it is for, here are some of the tips I learned as I took us from Organised But Bursting to Organised and Able to Breath Again.
Don’t give up Like learning to play a musical instrument it is hard at first. You can see other people knocking off a snazzy sounding concerto whilst you are still struggling to coordinate your left and right hand sufficiently to get three notes out in the correct order. But everybody has to start at the beginning. Everybody has to practice, practice, practice before they are a master of the art. Decluttering is no different.
It does become easier. Trust me, you will come to a point when you are instinctively picking up things that you don’t want or need and putting them in the charity bag or recycling.
Let go of guilt. Just because it was a gift or a family heirloom does not mean that you have to keep it. Offer the latter to somebody else in the family to caretake if it will cause a ruction. So you bought a dress and have never worn it but keep it because you feel you must. Don’t. Let it go. Sell it on eBay BNWT!
Space is beautiful. The things you love can shine when they are bordered by space, space in itself is something to love and cherish.
Don’t clutter it up the space. My entire summer wardrobe fits in less space than my shirts used to take up. My bookshelves contain books I want to read. I know every shoe I possess, I no longer open a shoe box and look at the contents with surprise.
As I decluttered my belongings I decluttered my mind. Now I can’t promise that this is true for everyone or that the two were actually connected. I suffer from acute and severe depression, the kind where all is well and suddenly for no apparent reason the lights are all turned off. I made an active decision after a particularly nasty attack that I was going to think differently. Thus it is quite possible that my mind declutter is down to that. Either way. This year I have gone from unsure what to do with my life stay at home mum to published author with a second book in the works; professional tarot reader and pesonal development coach with clients across the world. As I decluttered I became more focused. The things I focussed on were not those that I had expected but I am loving life and have big plans for the future.
Not everyone likes it. A bit like losing weight and discovering that not all your friends are as keen on the new you. I have been told all sorts of reasons why “they” can’t do it; why “they” could never let go of books (heaven forbid!) and so forth. Maybe they really can’t or maybe they are jealous. Whatever the reason it has nothing to do with me so I shall continue my path.
I have discovered my own style. As I have let go of things that I didn’t like, need or want I have discovered a style that is mine and I like it.
I have made some amazing friends and some incredible business contacts. I have discovered crossovers and potential joint projects with people I probably would never have met had I not started, and gone public with this journey.
I have more time. I can’t explain this one, I still live in the same house, I still have the same family. Perhaps it is more that I am more mindful of my time, I don’t fritter it away. As I am only keeping things I cherish I am learning to cherish my time as well.
And finally, I did it because I wanted to. You have to want to.