Haven’t we all heard the adage, “Clear your room to clear your head”? The belief is that cluttered surroundings begin to affect your mind, impacting your ability to think clearly. There is certainly some truth in that and there is much to be benefited from by applying it in our lives. And it becomes even more appropriate around festivals when all the preparations can become overwhelming.
While it’s the easiest thing to find make-shift solutions (like dumping everything behind closed doors where no guest will venture), why not try and make it a fun and interesting way to rid yourself of things you don’t need!
Prepare to ‘let go’
Before you begin the de-clutter exercise, it is important to prepare for letting go. All forms of sentimentality seeps in when it’s time to throw things away. To stay away from that, prep up with setting up your favourite music in the background, keep a glass of lemonade handy for little in-between sips and begin!
Divide items into Keep, Donate, Throw
Start with one corner at a time. Better still, make it ‘Cleaning Sunday’ and get everyone to chip in clearing their rooms. Everything that you encounter should (heartlessly and honestly) be placed in the Keep, Donate or Throw pile.
The former are items you use everyday and can foresee doing in the immediate future. Things that are in good shape but have fallen out of favour with you should be packed up (after washing) to be donated to someone whose life would be incomplete without them. And everything else like tattered rags, pens without ink, old newspapers (let’s face it, you’re never going to make that Papier Mache bowl) should just be THROWN.
Clear the surfaces
Over a period of time, all surfaces (including that Cross Trainer you ordered under diet duress) become a place to pile things up; clothes, books, toys et al. No de-cluttering exercise is complete without making right this widespread wrong. Keep surfaces to a minimum to begin with, keep laundry baskets handy (it’s always nice to practice a throw in the room) and always take the extra seconds to put things in their rightful place. This becomes easier when you constantly apply the Keep, Throw, Donate routine.
Clutter-free homes are a utopia that can only be built by people who don’t live at all. So instead of beating yourself (or family members) up for it, store items creatively around the house. For instance, the kids’ room should have colourful boxes from where they can easily remove and return toys or even clothes to.
In your own room, clothes and shoes should be stored by frequency of use, with only regular items lined up on hangers and seasonal ones stored away for limited use.
Even the kitchen would benefit from spices, cereals, nuts and knickknacks being stored in proper containers that are easy to use and clean.
That might look like a lot to take in but it will certainly be worth the effort. And practiced over time to perfection, it will become second nature. What’s more, the resultant free flowing thoughts in your head will forever thank you!
– by Manika Dhama