Decluttering your life


downloadWith Christmas and New Year just around the corner, this might be the perfect time to finally set about decluttering your house. Clean out your home before all the festivities and parties begin and step into the new year with a clutter free home and life.

Clutter is anything in your house that is not adding value to your life. Getting rid of the junk will make space for the things that actually matter. For many, organizing their home acts as a stress buster by giving a sense of control and accomplishment, while for others, it’s about reclaiming the extra space that didn’t exist before.

No matter what our reasons are for decluttering our house, we can safely agree that getting rid of the clutter helps us regain control of our lives, reduce stress, saves time we usually spend looking for things, provide a more relaxing environment and create more space for your family and friends and for the things you love. But getting started on this process can be a pretty daunting task and more often than not, we tend to get frustrated and give up midway.

declutter-your-life-challenge-the-big-basement-project-2As with any big task, the easiest way to begin is by making a list. Jot down the “clutter hot-spots” like closets, drawers, counter tops, kitchen cabinets etc. Start small and set achievable goals for yourself like deciding to tackle maybe one cupboard or one area each day in 2-3 hours instead of trying to work an entire day and get a whole room done.

As you go through each room or space, you’ll need a sorting system for the items that you find so that you don’t end up in a bigger mess than you started out with. The most popular sorting system is the three-box system where you take three separate boxes or bins and mark each as ‘trash’, ‘give away’ and ‘keep’. This makes you take a decision item by item and makes it easier to get the things sorted. Another important step is to complete the task all the way. The things in the box marked ‘trash’ need to be taken out to the trash bin or to the recycle centre right away. Do not store them in the garage or attic, that would just add to your clutter, albeit in a different place. If you are yourself taking the ‘give away’ box to a nearby charity or someone’s house, put it in the vehicle that you’ll carry it in or if someone is picking it up, call them immediately.

The most difficult part of decluttering is deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Often we keep things because of sentimental attachments. Be it a special gift or your kid’s drawings, it can be hard to part with certain things. In that case make “keep the memories, get rid of the stuff” your mantra. And then there’s the tendency to think that we might need it in future that keeps us from clearing out stuff. The Oprah Winfrey reverse hanger experiment might come in handy in these cases, and it’s applicable for not just clothes, but for multiple other things like books, DVDs, toys etc. Every time you wear a garment or use a certain thing, return it in its place facing the reverse direction. Over the course of six months or a year, you’ll see clearly what you use and what you don’t. And if you haven’t needed it in a year, you really don’t need it in your life any longer, so get rid of it.

Decluttering can be a challenging task but it can lead to a free, liberating life and make your house into a relaxing haven. Get your family involved and make this into a fun, innovative process. So go ahead and get your Monica on!

Mekhla Gan

About Mekhla Gan

"The whole world opened to me when I learned to read" and I have been hooked to it ever since. Suspending my own life, cocooning in someone else's imagination and in the process, living a thousand lives is for me the most exhilarating way of experiencing life. Books are what I turn to in my happy and not so happy times for it is in them that I find the words for what I have known all along..
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