We all grow up experiencing an annual obsession for cleanliness and beautification of our house. In the Indian subcontinent it is generally around the festival of Diwali or New year and in the West it is earlier in the year called Spring cleaning! Not to say our home is dirty rest of the year 😛 (Haaww!!!) but the spike in “Safai” (Cleaning) is traditionally linked to this time of the year. The house needs repairs, painting, new drapes, new lights etc etc…. the list is endless. Be it Diwali, Christmas, Eid, New year or any such occasion, the basic concept of rejoicing stays the same and the preparations are more or less similar. It’s amazing how these festivities bring all of us to work every year, put up the lights, decorate the house with lamps and flowers, cook delicious sweets, buy gifts for everyone, shop for new household items and clothes.
So this time I decided to try a new kind of cleaning… ‘Zen’ style with a new age twist. Now, I am no Zen monk, far from it in fact! But I do believe in some of their principles and try my best to apply some in life. One of these is, to keep life simple = declutter, and other is to live in the moment. But wait, what is clutter? Is it the mess in my bedroom that I cleverly cover when an unannounced guest show’s up?
What is clutter?
In the words of Eleanor Brownn, “Clutter is not just physical stuff, it is old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.”
Ooookayyyy, I sense some heavy thinking going on here… and since I’m no expert at the Zen thing let’s keep the emotional decluttering part for your best friends or therapists or whoever. Here, let’s just focus on the easily manageable things! Make 2 lists (you could probably do this mentally but I fail to work well without an itemized visual copy) –
- ITEMS I DON’T USE REGULARLY- (if it’s a dress you have not touched in over a year, accept it… chances are you will not wear it, it was probably one of those spontaneous buy’s to lift your spirit). Box these things or pile them up behind in the shelves rather than waste that precious, front shelf real estate!
- ITEMS I DON’T NEED – Everyone has different need’s, so no help from me here, prioritize according to your own requirements. I know of people who just cannot function without their music playing continuously, for them their music collection is most important. At the same time there are some who can work perfectly well in silence. No one can prioritize your belongings as well as you, yourself. Whatever you don’t need give it away, donating things gives more meaning to the occasion. Make it a family activity to share, I think children would learn a lot this way.
Add 5 to 10 items in each list from your bag, closet, work desk, kitchen, car, make up/ toiletry bag, night stand, shoe closet….. feel free to categorize further.
Next, comes the interesting but pain’s taking part… now that you in the groove of listing stuff…. Pick up that PHONE transfer the important data and clear up all that space !! Yes these days your de-cluttering skills can be measured in gigabytes! After sufficient break and rest get working to DELETE all those extra folders and files from your laptop, give the poor guy a break for handling all the unnecessary load.
Instant relief right? Want to take it a step further? Carefully clear your inbox of non essential mails and all those ridiculous backed up photo’s and video’s. Trust me the world will not end if a few hundred of those selfie’s or meme’s got deleted. Now you are really tired, but guess what… you just cleaned an year’s worth of clutter, so relax. Enjoy a well earned break, pat yourself on the back, grab a drink or a bite with your loved one and welcome the new you fresh version of you, the upgraded “YOU- 2.Ohhh”
So basically I just told you to refresh your techno clutter and make lists to let go of stuff. I did get you to read this entire post though & maybe set the mood for some heavy listing. What other magic pill were you expecting? Come on get working people, lot’s of nostalgic moments lay ahead as you hit delete or pack boxes, so no time to waste. Sob if you must at the task ahead, but get your zen working! declutter and live in the moment enjoying the process…. Happy decluttering comrade 🙂