What better time to declutter your life than the silly season! Sounds kind of boring, but you won’t be bored with the clarity it will bring, paving your way to a more organised life, where you will always know the location of your keys, socks will always have a pair, hair brushes will never be AWOL and bills are always paid on time. Okay so maybe it is a little unrealistic to think life will always run that smoothly, but if you have time to spare over the summer break, in addition to your post-xmas food and beverage cleanse, consider a clutter cleanse. It is a seriously satisfying experience!
Firstly, we must differentiate between living in a state of clutter and a more extreme condition, that is hoarding. Hoarding is a clinical disorder in which clutter has taken hold of the household with social, emotional, financial and psychological impact. Clutter, on the other hand is within a normal spectrum of human behaviour and comes from our love of things and an aversion to discarding of our valuables. The trick is in defining ‘valuables’ and thinking about the real purpose of the things we are holding onto that are contributing to the chaos of domestic life. Our things, carry emotional baggage and even at a glance can conjure a myriad of feelings, good or bad. Whether it’s a cluttered closet, the bathroom vanity the overflowing toy box or a Tupperware draw with items dating back to 1962, they all hold emotional value.
Duly noted, that some people thrive on chaos and operate quite effectively with a cluttered household or office. However, for the majority of us, getting rid of things and decluttering your life can be extremely satisfying and lead to greater productivity in your home and work life. So, without further ado, here are a few steps to kick start your clutter cleanse.
- Write down what you want to achieve from your decluttering project and put it somewhere visible on the fridge.
- List the new rules and processes for how to maintain a decluttered kitchen/wardrobe/study desk etc.
- Share the burden. Fair chance you didn’t create all the mess on your own, so if you have kids, a partner or a flatmate, get them in on the act.
- Pick the area that irks you most and start there. If it’s a wardrobe, don’t hold onto things that you haven’t worn in years with the hope they might come back in fashion. The sentiment of ‘but I might need it’ is what got you here in the first place.
- Don’t try to clean up the whole house in one day but do complete each area now and not later… after all procrastination is really just another word for clutter.
When you’ve finished, give yourself a pat on the back and bask in the high that a clutter cleanse brings.