Mindful Musings

Decluttering Mindset

Many podcasts are now devoted to decluttering, and personal organisation services abound. The ‘Simply Organised‘ Facebook group, the ‘Simply Organised‘ book and ‘The Art of Decluttering‘ service and podcast provide all the armoury needed to battle an overflowing house into submission.

Decluttering requires a specific mindset, which can be learnt. Changing thinking around possessions – finding places to put previously-loved items back into circulation – is something that can be developed with a shift in perspective, looking at the world differently. Decluttering can be one among many virtuous actions, like reducing waste at the source by buying in bulk, living with less by not subscribing to fast fashion, and adding solar panels. These actions and more reduce the carbon footprint and promote walking more lightly on the earth. Like getting tattoos (so I’ve heard), once you start being simply organised you can’t stop … I guess that might make me a hopeless case for the cause.

The feeling of lightness is the dopamine-rush that inspires me to declutter. The physical space I clear and arrange to my liking equates to the mental space that allows me to be creative and on-the-ball, which allows me to be my best self in myriad ways. Is there anything better than that?

My decluttering journey is a continual work in progress. It has been helped along the way by people who have given me things I simply have no more room for, which allowed me to offload them at the op shop – because it was their stuff, really. I used to feel such a sense of responsibility for the things in my possession that I felt obligated to find homes for them, asking friends and family whether they would like them and doggedly holding onto them until a home could be found. This fell down (frequently) when I couldn’t move stuff on, so it was a refreshing leap for me to ‘have the permission’ to simply take stuff to an op shop. (I’ve always enjoyed op shopping, but I hadn’t actually thought of myself as a contributor before.) I know that donating to op shops has never been out of my control, it just seemed to never be in my control.

My aim is to know everything that’s in my shed, to be able to locate it easily, and to have only things I want in it. On the days I despair of ever doing that I figure I’ve got the rest of my life to achieve this and maybe I’ll get to the place where I can actually enjoy the space instead of dreading what Mess I’ll find. On the days of optimism I approach the task as a personal challenge, an Opportunity for me to be my best self by clearing and cleaning and sorting. One thing is certain: it’s a continued work in progress, and an enjoyable one at that!

Wherever you are on your decluttering journey – whether you need one or not – I wish you easy travels.

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