As we move on in our daily life, it is quite natural for us to pick up and store several things on the way. Some of these will continue to be useful for a long time. However, some of these may not be of use to us anymore and may be just occupying space in our homes and minds. Can we get into the habit of regularly decluttering our homes? Summer vacation is a perfect time for decluttering.
Clutter may unknowingly take up a lot of space in our minds as well as our surroundings. When we sit on our desk to work, we may find diaries that we do not intend to use piled up together, pens that have dried out, or simply too many items that distract us. I have often felt that these things reduce our productivity, decrease the capability to focus and concentrate, and cause stress. Decluttering helps us to be better organized and gives us a sense of control over our environment. It helps eliminate the daily hassles of messy surroundings, such as not being able to find things and having excessive material that weighs down our lives. Tidying up gives us a feeling of freedom and liberation and affects our psychological wellbeing.
Where to begin decluttering?
It can be difficult to understand where to begin decluttering. It may also feel overwhelming to tackle the task of decluttering our homes or workspaces. I have found that understanding the challenges one might face and using some simple tips to make this task easier goes a long way in reducing stress associated with it.
It may be a good idea to begin with a smaller space as it does not seem too overwhelming and takes less time.
Tips for Decluttering
1. Be systematic in your approach: Before decluttering, it is important to remember to specify the spaces you plan to tidy up and have a plan for doing so. This can be done by making room wise lists or putting small ‘declutter notes’ around the house to serve as reminders to declutter. A plan entails recognising the purpose for which you are decluttering. For instance, you may decide to declutter because you need more space to store new things or may want to reduce the number of things in your workspace to minimize distractions.
2. Categorising: Once a space has been specified, such as a cupboard or a drawer, it helps me to categorise the objects in it according to frequency of use and/or type of product. This lets me decide where to finally arrange things in an accessible manner after taking them out and reviewing their purpose in my life.
3. Parting with things: It may be hard to decide whether a thing holds value in your life, especially when it comes to objects that we are emotionally attached to. I have found that reminding myself that someone else may benefit from the object that I am storing helps me part with it. Giving books, clothes, stationery, and such to charity or to people who need those objects gives me immense satisfaction because I am assured that what I have valued will be useful for someone else.
4. A continuous process: The number of things one must reassess to declutter may initially feel overwhelming. It is important to remember at this time that decluttering is a continuous endeavour. It is inevitable that we will all collect new things as we move through life. So, it is also essential to realise that we may need to declutter the same space over and over again, as well as inculcate the habit of regularly asking ourselves what we really want to surround ourselves with in our daily life.
5. Scheduling the task: I have found that it is useful to make time for decluttering and schedule it in our timetables. Without this, I sometimes start freeing up my surroundings just because I cannot find space for new things or locate something I need, even when I’m not in the right mental space for it or don’t have a specific amount of time that can be dedicated to doing it properly.
This summer vacation add decluttering to your schedule to make space for other things in life. Decluttering may take your time, but it is worth it.