Tag Archives: Junk

I Have Been Decluttering for Two Years

13 Aug

I love this.

Image Source: Door

This makes me panic.

Image Source: Sales MOMS Network

Even this is too much for me.

Image Source: Dying of Cute

I have been decluttering for the past two years.

Image Source: Simply Stated

I only buy what can fit into a suitcase.

I recently threw away 7 kgs of university notes.

Image Source: The Way of Improvement Leads Home

I still have CDs, books and notebooks to sort out.

Image Source: State Library of Victoria

I can’t wait to declutter my home completely.

Image Source: Minimalisti

Related Posts:

The Art of the Essential

The Art of the Essential II

The Art of the Essential III

Confessions of a Book Abuser

Art of the Essential Part III

22 Nov

I couldn’t believe it when I saw that our neighbours, a young couple in their early twenties, were back for the tenth time to move out their possessions. During their move out of their one-bedroom into a two-bedroom flat they had already loaded a 7-seater four times, a moving van twice and their own car at least four times. Their main reason for moving was “the need for an extra room to fit in all of their things”.

Among the things that my neighbours were packing away were VHS tapes, games for consoles they no longer owned, furniture they never used, broken electric appliances and various items of home decoration that was mostly kept in drawers. It shocked me to see just how much energy and time they were wasting to move these useless things from one home to another. And to think that they would be paying extra rent for the sole purpose of storing these unused things!…and that they would now have a whole room just dedicated to junk!

I couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to have so many possessions – so many useless possessions, at that. I have been living with only the bare essentials for almost a year now. Last autumn, inspired by Dominique Loreau, I started sorting out all of my junk (because that is precisely what most of it was), trying to get it down to the essentials (see The Art of the Essential, The Art of the Essential Part II). During the first few rounds of sorting, I reduced the quantity of my possessions by about three-quarters. I then moved to a different country and have been living with about 3-4 suitcase-worth of things for the past ten months. And to me that is more than enough – I’m already worrying about all the books and magazines building up on my shelves!

I follow these few simple rules to ensure that I don’t end up storing unnecessary junk:

1) Don’t buy it. If I don’t need it or don’t love it, I don’t buy it. Even when I ‘treat’ myself, I still buy either something I need or love.

2) Use the library. Books take up a lot of space and weigh a lot. I usually only buy and keep books that I love and which I am sure to read more than once. If I can’t find them in the library, I buy them in second-hand shops and give them to charity once I’ve read them.

3) Sort as you go. As soon as I know that something isn’t serving me anymore, I put it up for sale or take it to charity immediately. That way, I avoid build-up of junk in my cupboards and basement, saving me space, time and energy.

4) Set a deadline. “If my chair doesn’t get sold on ebay after two months, I will give it to charity”. If we don’t set ourselves deadlines, we will keep holding on to our junk.

5) Rules for freebies. If someone, after having sorted out their own things, offers me free clothes, books, furniture etc., I ask myself “If this was on sale in a shop, would I buy it?”. Keep, if yes, give back, if no.

7) Make your own home decorations. Pen pots, candle holders, curtains, folders…there are so many things we can make ourselves using cardboard, paints, fabric and a bit of imagination. Once we’re bored with these things or need to move, we can just throw them away or recycle them.

What rules do you go by to avoid the build-up of superfluous possessions?

Are You Running Out of Memory Space?

24 Sep

“Low Disk Space”. My laptop has been popping up this message for several weeks. Until today, the thought of having to go through all of my files, in order to delete anything unnecessary, seemed like a chore and a waste of time. Wouldn’t it be easier just to transfer everything onto a hard disk drive, instead?

This morning, however, the words spoken by a sophrologist, at a trial class that I attended yesterday, rang in my mind: “How can we make space for the present, for the new, when we are holding on to the past, to the old?”

My laptop needs space to save new files, to perform new functions. My old documents, photos and music are blocking it up from being able to serve the purposes for which I need it today. It is asking for my help to clear it of the unnecessary junk that I’ve been storing all these years.

As humans, clearing up our system of the past is crucial to a fruitful, productive and fulfilling life in the present. Unfortunately, unlike the laptop, we are not programmed to recognise a file overload (until it reaches a critical state). We have to look into ourselves on a regular basis in order to understand this.

Our past fears, frustration, grudges and negative emotions do not serve us today. They are in the mind; they exist only as thoughts and memories. Today’s reality is different to yesterday’s. In order to live fully today, our mind and body must be in the present.

“Think of an acorn”, the sophrologist said. “It has only one thought – to grow in to an oak tree. It has no awareness of the past and no concept of the future. But it knows what it must achieve today: to grow. So everyday it focuses on growing, looking only at the present circumstances – rain and sun – to help it do so. When it can grow no more, it dies, and is recycled into a new life-form”.

Today, I will free my laptop of old and unnecessary junk. Today, I will connect to myself and recognise the thoughts, beliefs and emotions from the past that hold me back from living fully today.

Happy Laptop

What unnecessary thoughts are blocking up your mind?

What beliefs from the past do not serve you today?

What negative emotions, based on past events, prevent you from moving forward?

What excess baggage, emotional and mental, do you carry around, not noticing its heavy weight on your life?