Decluttering 101

A lot of us have the habit of setting New Year goals, and one of the hot ones right now is “Decluttering” and “Living with Less”. Well there’s a NetFlix show dedicated to it (Tidying up by Marie Kondo), so it must definitely be trending right? 🙂 Jokes aside, I’ve been wanting to write about it and this seemed to be the perfect time for it since I’ve been practicing this for quite sometime now, so here’s some wisdom that I gathered from the exercise 🙂

Decluttering your mind: 

The best way to declutter your mind and have a better sense of what occupies most of your conscious mind is to meditate. Just try this as a quick exercise: Close your eyes every night before going to sleep and see what kinds of thoughts prop up. When I initially started doing this, I realized that most of the things that came up were not even about my life! Yes you read that right. It was all of the things I thought about other people’s life – thanks to Social media. More like watching the insta stories with my eyes closed. That’s when I realized how much time I invested (or wasted?) in this platform, owing to FOMO or whatever maybe the reason.

Initially I thought uninstalling Instagram or Facebook would give me my much needed freedom. Well that didn’t really work out as I planned, because I ended up reaching for my phone every two minutes and I had to resist the urge to reinstall it. This love-hate relationship continued for months and I had another reason at my disposal: I was a blogger so I had to constantly post on Social media. Later, I realized I wasn’t even creating content, just ravenously consuming too much information which didn’t do me any good. After numerous failed attempts, finally during my month long break in India, I decided I needed to get over this addiction for my own good. And I decided to only use my Blog’s insta handle and uninstall the personal one for all the reasons I mentioned before. And man, the amount of freedom that has given me, not knowing what all the people I know/don’t know are up to in their everyday life has certainly freed up all my thoughts, meaning I can think more of my life and what I want to do with it. The added advantage was the additional time I got everyday, finally it feels like 24 hours is indeed enough to do everything I want 😀

The whole point of explaining my struggle with all the excruciating details is to show that it is really hard to let go of something that you’re used to waking up to everyday, but it is doable. And don’t get me wrong –  if you are one of those people who can wonderfully balance life and Social media and draw an explicit line between them with 0 mental stress – kudos to you! This above rant was only for those unfortunate souls (like me) who can’t pull off that feat. Now when I close my eyes to meditate, my head is much clearer and I feel much light headed and happier in my everyday life.

Decluttering your home:

When I started this process of decluttering my home, it was mainly because I had too many clothes and I realized most of them were non-wearable (Wrong size/wrong season/not my type anymore etc). So every morning, waking up and picking something to wear was a struggle. So I started this project of clearing out my closet last spring and I can’t tell you how much of a life changer that has been! It has saved so much time for me in the mornings and I can now say with confidence that every piece I have in my wardrobe is something I truly love. This’s just an example of what decluttering a place would impact you in your everyday life. Here are some tips and tricks that might help you along this journey –

  • Start with the part of your house that has the maximum amount of stuff and move along to the less cluttered ones. In that way, you face the devil headfirst and it only gets easier 🙂
  • Sorting out clothes according to seasons has worked so well for me. In that way, I have minimal clothes hanging in my closet and I can choose easily every morning
  • Get storage containers for small items! I can’t stress this enough, it truly is a life changer you guys. I kept thinking getting storage containers will only increase the amount of stuff I already have, but it doesn’t work that way. It helps tremendously when you want to sort out the bedroom drawers or your stationery items.
  •  Do not throw out stuff unless you’re 100% sure they can’t be reused. For Eg. I have these super old boots (~5 years to be exact) which I love dearly but they look soo worn out. Initially I tried looking for the same type but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Then I realized I could wash them and polish them (they are brown color so that made life easier for me) and reuse them for many more years to come! Simple hacks like these really make you more conscious of what you already own and what you really need to buy
  • Store your extra plastic/cloth/paper bags in a spare structured laundry bag and keep it in the place where you hang your coats/keep your keys. In that way, you will remember to pick a few while you go to grab your coat before heading out.
  • Keep a bag in your car with spare grocery bags and vegetable bags so that if you forget your coat(from the previous point) you will still have some bags handy.
  • Store your extra groceries (lentils, cooking spices etc) in a clear box in your kitchen so that you can see what you have and don’t buy more of the same kind. I didn’t do  this for almost 3 years and I have enough coriander powder to last for another 3 😐
  • Write a list of all the veggies you have gotten for the week in a post it/reusable pad and stick it in the kitchen. That way you won’t waste any of them and you know what exactly you need to buy
  • Under the bed storage is one of the best things that happened to me. They remain beautifully tucked away from the rest of the world and will come to your rescue when you need it.
  • Last but not least, DONATE everything that can be donated to GoodWill/Salvation Army/ThredUp! Your things might find love again 🙂

Woah, that was one long post! I jotted down everything that came to my mind. Hope you got at least one or two takeaways after reading this. DM on insta or shoot me an email if you have any questions/are curious about any of the products that I mentioned.

(Image courtesy: Pinterest)

Until next time,

Mal

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