Are you a hoarder? Your first reaction is probably to say no, but have a look around. How much “stuff” do you actually own? If you pulled everything out of your cupboard would you be swimming in a sea of clothes and unidentified junk?
The reality for most of us is that we tend to hold on to things a lot longer than we need to. We keep paperwork thinking we might need it one day (technically you only need to keep tax related paperwork), or gifts we’ve been given, lest the gift giver ever find out we don’t still own what they gifted us 10 years ago! Gasp!
But do we really need all that clutter, and is it actually harming us?
I’m not just talking about the dust that builds up, although that’s definitely one hazard. I’m talking more on the metaphysical side of things. Is owning too much actually stopping good things from finding space in our lives?
I decided to test the theory for myself and find out.
Step 1: purchase the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
After I dutifully read the entire book in about a day and a half, I started decluttering like I was a woman possessed. My tv stand that was once filled with DVDs (I don’t even have a functioning DVD player) and books is now beautifully sparse with just some decorative items like my tibetan singing bowl and a candle.
The real part of my house that I wanted to tackle though was my wardrobe. I never considered myself as having a large amount of clothing, but I’ve managed to donate an entire massive suitcase to charity in my decluttering rampage. I like to think that has scored me some karmic points at the very least.
I think it’s only fair to show you my before and after photos. Be kind about the horrendous before pic please!
Since reducing my wardrobe to only the essentials, I definitely find it easier to pick out an outfit. The only thing I’ve actively missed was an ugly old cardigan that was handy to grab and go, but I think the world is a better place without me wearing it. Plus, look at these beautifully organised drawers, they’re practically art. 😉
So, has my life improved since decluttering? The jury is still out on that one. I definitely enjoy being in my apartment more, and I’ve felt a bit more motivated, but I can’t say I’ve manifested anything awesome into my life yet. I will say my life is easier not having so much stuff though. I feel lighter and less overwhelmed with less possessions. It’s also nice that everything now has a designated space, so clutter doesn’t pile up where it doesn’t belong anymore.
Will you be giving decluttering a go? My advice is to grab yourself a copy of the book, read it all the way through, and then go to town on your house (and car!).
Main photo credit: Bench Accounting via Unsplash.