Being housebound for the past three months with the baby, we’ve been
- reading a lot,
- watching House which is a great TV series
- and doing a lot of uncluttering.
Getting rid of stuff can get rather addictive. I started with one closet (my husband’s :-)) and the high of seeing neat shelves with spaces in between carried me on through the rest of the house . It gives a very feel-good feel. Like lots of productive stuff going on, and a sense of control , maybe.
This time I applied a new set of rules which I found on a manvsdebt, a website promoting frugal and simplified living :
- Pick a room, area, or desk drawer – Pick a single, specific area. Your closet, bedroom, kitchen, office – or even the top of your desk or a “junk” drawer.
- Remove everything out of the space – Everything… that’s why it’s called “Clean Slate”. Move it into another area or room.
- Go item-by-item – Ask yourself not “Should I get rid of this?” but instead “Does this item add joy, value, or purpose into my life?”… ”Do I really need it?”. If yes, move it back into the room.
- If no, put it into one of three piles – Put it either into SELL, DONATE, or RECYCLE piles. After you’re done with each item, sell the SELL pile, donate the DONATE pile, and recycle the RECYCLE pile. Duh.
Second and third steps made a difference.
I’m happy to say, I’ve given away 25 bags of stuff and the house still seems full rather than empty, so we can do it again.
Meredith on Penelope loves lists, a blog about organizing for people who are hooked on organizing, says her family does it once every 3 months. She, of course schedules the Quarterly Cleanout into her calendar and makes sure her family is around. But I like the idea of setting a timer for just 30 minutes and just doing it and that’s it. And everyone participating.
I figure we Indians hate to let go because of two reasons:
1) Sentiment. We keep things because someone gave them to us which we equate with love and mementos of good times.
2) Money. Traditionally, we are frugal and we are recyclers, and reason that we might have to buy the thing if we need it sometime.
Getting past all that, it feels very light and fresh to have clean surfaces and less around.
And our swami shelf has become so bare, Im so proud of it.
Another aid for the fresh feeling was switching pictures around. If a picture hangs in the same place for years, you stop seeing it. Now I’m really looking at some of the pictures.
The bonus was , while I had these bags of stuff waiting to be given away, the SSLC results were announced. The son of the watchman in the fields nearby came to have his marks read from the website. He had done well and I gave him a small gift. Then another boy appeared and then one more… 🙂
Giving away stuff to people who value it is the biggest high.