Thursday, 1 February 2018

Decluttering Guide For a Cleaner Home.

Talk about Hoarding, Kashmiri's are masters in it! Talk about Decluttering, it is a blasphemy!

We Kashmiris hoard about everything and anything. We love to stock things that we need not. The list can go on and on, utensils, clothes, furnishing are just few examples.

Why am I writing this?

I am on a Decluttering drive and  it is driving me nuts and also recently I saw two of our next door neighbors roughly constructing garden sheds and cupboards under their ground floor verandahs ( in addition to the warehouses ) just to accommodate the junk that was littered all over the place! We need serious organizing here! Seriously!

Therefore I compiled this guide to help anyone who is trying to make their homes a bit cleaner.

What is clutter?

The clutter is anything you’re keeping around you in your house that firstly doesn’t add value to your life, secondly, doesn’t benefit you ever! Decluttering means making room for yourself and things that matter in your home.

However you may define clutter, it is bad for your health. According to Psychology Today, people tend to feel like life is out of control when they surround themselves with more things than they can manage. The mess causes stress. If you’re not taking care of the clutter in your home, you may not be taking care of yourself either.

Why Declutter?

Because it relieves stress and provides some sense of control and accomplishment. Cleaning the junk and freeing that corner of your house gives you extra space and satisfaction. It is enjoyable and your home feels more like your home! Whatever the reason, I have compiled some tips to help you declutter your highly hoarded Kashmiri house.

Don’t discuss that with your Kashmiri mama, you will be thrown out before anything else!
Jokes apart, let’s begin!

Step 1: Set Goals, Make a Plan.

Before throwing everything out or sitting in a mess from every corner of your home, make a plan. No matter how much you have to get through, set goals and try to accomplish them one by one. This will reduce the frustration and confusion while you are at work.

Make the list of all target areas (rooms, cupboards and under the bed’s in some cases). Consider the severity of the clutter they have. Some places are loosely cluttered and are not stuffed with excessive mess, these are easy to handle. This will help you manage your time effectively.

You should understand that this is a work of few days and not one day so set completion times and dates for the clutter areas.

Step 2: Sort the things out.

Make two sorted lists. This is for the organization of things that you find during decluttering. The first list is of the things that “you need”, “you don’t need”. The things that you need will go into the spaces just emptied and the things that you do not need will be further sorted as “Recycle”, “Sell”, “Donate” and “Thrash”

The things that are no longer needed by you must belong to any one of the above. There are things that are entirely rubbish and will provide no value to anyone and hence must be thrashed. However, some of the things can be donated to the needy. One man’s clutter may be another’s need, so, decide wisely. Maybe those extra sheets or clothes, or those extra pieces of carpets, bedding's or utensils will fill up need of someone poor. Try to give out things that are in good condition.

And yes, that plastic and paper is better recycled than consuming space in your home. Doing this, you are helping the planet earth a bit too.

Lastly, if you happen to have some items that could be sold like furnishing, decoration, electronics etc. that you no longer need, you can sell them at some second hand market place and make some extra money too.

Additional tips.

1.       Be committed.

Everyone has some junk lying around, there can be no denying. And there is certainly some junk that we adore and simply can’t throw away no matter how old and useless they turn. Talking about myself I too hoard so many things that I seriously don’t want to part away with simply because I love them or have spent a lot of money on. They are not junk, they are memories!

This is the hardest part of decluttering, deciding what needs to go and what needs to stay. These are real and valid feelings that make it challenging to part with our stuff.

One must be mentally prepared to part with the things that one hasn’t used in a long time.

2.       80/20 Rule.

When it comes to clothing, we generally only wear 20 percent of the clothes we own 80 percent of the time. This rule hold true for other things as well like books, kitchen stuff and other house accessories.

Our mission must be to get rid of things that we don’t use 80 percent of the time.

3.       Get over the costs.

Ya Ya, you have spent hundreds over it and simply cannot throw that away. But that costs have been already incurred and cannot be recovered back so what is the point? These things should be considered as the sunk costs except in some cases where the value of the thing may have increased. You will not get the money back you spent on that thing, but you can get your little space back and a cleaner home.

4.       When was the last time you used it.

They say if you haven’t used it in like 6 months, you don’t need it. So, do you think that the things that you have accumulated over some 10 – 15 years? If you pulled the item out and said, “I’ve been wondering where this was!" you should probably get rid of it. And if you didn’t even know you still had the item in question, you should definitely get rid of it –you didn’t miss it enough to warrant keeping it.

5.        Be strong.

After you have made the decision, stand strong on it. If something is not letting you sleep, you can still pull it out of junk the next morning but try not to do that otherwise you will end up amassing more than you had planned.

I hope this was insightful and helpful. I will be posting more guidelines about how we can declutter bedrooms and study rooms effectively and how to find time for it.. Maybe a small post on organizing things too. Till than Bye.

P.S. Comment what you think about decluttering and what do you do about it.