What is decluttering?
If we ask Google what decluttering is, we get answers like these:
Definitions of decluttering:
Decluttering consists of two main activities:
- The practical/physical activity of removing/discarding the things we decided to get rid of,
- and the mental/emotional activity of making decisions about what belongs to the category of things we no longer need/use/love.
If we wish to make our decluttering project a success we have to ensure that both activities are conducted efficiently.
The physical part – taking our belongings out, arranging them in a working area for the sorting process, packing and storing things, carrying items around and organising the discarding of clutter – can be delegated. It can be done by someone else – a family member, a friend or a service contractor such as a professional organiser or declutter expert.
However, we are the ones who have to manage the mental/emotional part of the job – we have to make the decisions about what still serves us and should be kept, and what no longer adds value to our life and should go.
Often, it’s our inability to make decisions that causes clutter.
A lack of awareness about our values and priorities leads to procrastination.
We postpone decluttering-decisions because we don’t feel able to decide what’s important to us and what’s not – we fear we could make wrong decisions that we might regret later.
That’s why we should invest some time and effort to make ourselves aware of our core values and to determine the purpose of declutter/change process.
Getting a deep understanding of our current situation, our values and our vision enables us to make the ‘right’ decisions later in the process and to get and stay focused and motivated on our declutter/change journey.
Thus, as soon as we start to appreciate getting rid of clutter as an opportunity to honour and realise our values, the process of ‘decluttering’ loses its negative image. Instead of being the unpleasant activity of just throwing things away, it evolves as a powerful ‘self-awareness tool’ which helps to add clarity and direction to our life.
We no longer have to hate our clutter or feel ashamed of it, we can accept it as what it actually is: a collection of belongings that were useful to us at some point in our life but no longer serve our current/future needs.
Before we declutter anything, we take the time to thoroughly evaluate and ‘understand’ our belongings. We ‘study’ anything we own, but especially the clutter, and explore its former meaning and value.
Now we consider and decide what’s of current and future value to us. These are the things we want to keep.
Finally, we are able to decisively loosen our attachment to the objects and issues of our past which no longer serve us, and sort them out.