Monday, May 17, 2010

Declutter your life - part 2

No worries

Let's continue where we left off.
An important tip: Don't think about 'getting rid of clutter' as 'getting rid of items'. Instead, think of it as 'getting rid of worries'.

I might need to explain this better... The best thing I can do, is give you an example. Suppose you have a low closet, with nothing on top of it. You think it looks a bit empty, so you decide to buy something to put on the closet.
Suppose you buy an expensive crystal sculpture to put there. Now you have a beautiful sculpture, that looks very nice under the light. But you didn't gain 'just' a sculpture. Now you also have the worries that go with it: being affraid to accidently break it, wondering whether it was ok to buy something so expensive, etc. An emotional bond emerges between you and the sculpture. One that brings worries, that weren't there before.

You have such an emotional bond with all the items in your room/house. That's right, all of them! So the more items you get rid of, the more bonds you break. And the more bonds you break, the less worries remain.

The monk and the man

An extreme example, that might clarify this more is, the following: suppose there is a monk who has nothing but a small walking stick. Next to the monk, stands a man that has a frigde, a car, a big TV, etc. If they both get robbed and most of their possessions get stolen, who suffers most?

The monk will loose his walking stick, which is not much in terms of goods, but it's 100% of his possessions. If the man's fridge, car and TV get stolen, he'll loose 3 times as much items, items that are worth much more (in terms of money), but that may only account to 30% of his posessions. After all, he still has his house and his furniture (it's just an example).

So how I explained it, means that both of them could be the worst off after the robbery. It all depends on how you look at it. But the monk will probably be able to replace all his posessions very easily (he just needs to find a new walking stick), whereas the man needs to work hard and long to be able to replace his stolen possessions.

And if the monk has no emotional attachment to his walking stick (it's just a walking stick), he'll suffer no meaningful loss whatsoever. The man needs his car and his fridge. And he likes to watch his big TV. So emotionally, the man is way worse of, after the robbery.


Decluttering your room and/or house, actually means decluttering your life. We all have emotional attachments to our items. By getting rid of them, you don't just create more space, but you also break the material bonds you have and you get rid of worries that accompany those bonds. It's a win win situation.
So good luck decluttering your life. The more items you throw away, the better you'll feel...


One more tip: you can expand these ideas and declutter everything that needs decluttering. If your room is a mess, you can use these techniques, but your mailbox can be a mess too, your foto collection, your address book, your agenda, ... it can all be decluttered in practically the same way.