Ten years ago this word popped up images of torn or old clothes, broken household material, expired cosmetics and scrap in my mind. I would get down to clearing them up by disposing or selling to scrap dealers and then feeling happy about it. Only that this happy state lasted for a short while until I accumulated my next clutter heap, which by the way, kept piling up quite frequently.
Ten years hence…
My understanding of De-Cluttering has evolved. Since the past five years or so, my brain still categorizes all the above items under clutter but it has slowly attuned itself to buying less in the first place and making an effort to freeing itself from the vicious cycle of clutter to de-clutter to clutter and so on…..
It was not easy for me – buying less clothes, fewer pair of shoes, less furniture, fewer utensils, not stocking up my grocery cabinet for an unforeseen natural calamity (hasn’t really happened yet since the time I was born :)) giving away unused clothes or household items to someone who really needed it, making a conscious choice to use all the cookware and not stack on the top of showy wooden shelves only to bite dust and get lucky to be used once in a year when guests come, saying NO to gifts – Trust me, It was not easy to do.
Attachment – is human nature! Attachments to people or materials or social titles – we get born only to die one day and in-between all we are busy doing is trying to keep these attachments loathed to our body, heart and mind.
I first began with a self-talk into recognizing that I have a material pile which needs to be cleared. What followed was its segregation into what should be thrown away and what should be recycled. It took me slightly over one and half years to get rid of my personal clutter (yes, I did give away those expensive embellished wears, business suits (I only wore 2-3 but had like 15) over stocked woolens and shirts, once-in-a-year worn jewellery, pair of shoes that were either always forgotten or never matched my attire and just laid in the shoe boxes like dead :), small, medium, extra large, extra small sizes handbags – I gave away all with a brave heart).
Next on my de-clutter agenda was less used furniture and decorations and household items, unused stationery and books, upholstery, electrical goods that I mostly gave away or donated.
In this time of de-cluttering, I also consciously kept a watch on my buying list and succeeded in keeping that fairly low. This skill which I acquired in time, has been my biggest learning from my entire clutter to de-clutter transitions. Another important change that I saw within me was that as I reduced outside clutter, the more space I started feeling inside me. I was less stressed to maintain things as I had less things to take care off. It clearly saved me a lot of time organizing my own wardrobes and storage spaces in the houses.
Today, I maintain a space inside and outside of me. For every broken thing, there is only one replacement or for every new purchase, there is an equivalent give-away (more often than not). Gradually, my wants to possess material or buying or stocking up urges have reduced, I try and utilize every possible thing in my house, not to forget, every corner of my house meets a purpose and does not feel unattended for days, months or years With fewer stresses on my mind, I enjoy investing my time on important relationships of my life, self learning opportunities and in this whole process, my journey to becoming more fearless and less worrisome about events that have not happened and may never occur for which I have to stock up and clutter my life continues.. .
Less is more. Indeed!