It’s hard to let go and it’s even more difficult for hoarders who find it harder to part with their possessions. They are the good and the bad memories, the good days and the bad days. As challenging as it may sound to be, living minimally isn't as difficult as people think. Conviction and will power can actually help us swim the fiercest of seas in darkest of times. Decluttering helps not only in time and space management but also helps us recycle, reduce and reuse, and live a cost effective life.
So, how difficult it is to declutter? The very thought of minimalism is demanding and is difficult, but once you go through it you will find it moderately easy.
What will you need?
Big cardboard boxes of various sizes
A long holiday
A determined mind
Conviction that you will this time
Fun food (optional)
How to declutter
Classify the cardboard boxes and label them as clothing, electronics, household, beauty and health, office, kitchen and dining, miscellaneous.
Label two boxes from the lot (preferably of different colors) as the ‘clutter box’ and the ‘throwaway box’.
Go to each corner of the house, each room, every cupboard and closet to collect the idle objects. Put them in suitable boxes with the befitting labels. This might take a few days.
Once you are done with the sorting, take each box, starting from the biggest (the one containing more objects) and ask yourself a question that’s going to help you decide whether you really need them or not in future.
When was the last time you had used it? If the answer is more than a year, its time you parted with the stuff. Next ask, is there any possibility that you might use it soon? Or, if it is from the ‘clothing’ box, can you mix and match and wear it with other clothes, or can you tailor it to accessorize with other clothes?
Consider all the possibilities. Take the whole day to ponder over it before grouping the objects into the ‘clutter box’ finally.
Examine and read the instructions of the beauty and health products. Throw the expired medicines and beauty products into the ‘throwaway box’ even without a second thought.
Take out the exhausted batteries from the old gadgets and put them in the throwaway box. You will find several such items that cannot be reused, sold or given away for they have lived full terms. The ‘throwaway box’ is just the right place for them.
Another mammoth task is to declutter your desk. Most, by now, have shifted their office online. It's easier, faster and helps you get more organized in just a matter of clicks. Try to make your office virtual. This will not only help you live minimally, but also help in organizing your desk and managing your time more effectively.
Take each box and pick, choose, declutter or throwaway. Do this with all the stuff in all the boxes all through the week.
It’s hard to let go in the beginning, especially the almost new clothes or the dream gadgets that you had bought with your pocket money. They certainly hold fond memories. Go slow, take time and do not live the emotional memories again. This will block you from your motive. Start by thinking that others might use them more than you do, or do the items more justice than you will.
One thing that you will find everywhere, in all the boxes is paper. Do not throw them. Every bit of scrap paper can be reused and recycled effectively. Cut them small and use them as memos and stickers, use them to make crafts for children, sit with them through some educative art (collages, origami, and paper art) sessions. Your old accessories, junk jewellery, buttons, belts, scrap CDs etc., can get another fruitful life through your imagination.
Start only once you are prepared. You will need a long holiday to plan and do this. Start with the biggest box. Do not leave the biggest for the last.
The job could be boring. Switch on your favourite music or do some fun task in between. Eat fruits, drink juices or coffee to perk up. Having said that, never over-extend the task.
Plan a garage sale once you are done sorting the things you want to giveaway to people or organizations that will need them.
Make it interesting by putting anecdotes and pieces of trivia attached to each item. There is always ways to make fun and live better.