Clutter is the death of productivity. I don’t know if that is a researched fact but clutter certainly distracts me to the point of no return. Recently, I had some deep wise thoughts about physical and metaphoric clutter taking up unnecessary space in my life. Naturally, I went on a throwing spree and am feeling a whole heap better. And now, of course, I will share it all with you and you too will be an evolved human because of it (ha!).
Woah, what the actual crap was I hanging on to here? I had tops that I hadn’t worn in 8 years, shoes that were too narrow for my feet and things I forgot even existed. It was no wonder why sliding open my wardrobe doors caused me anxiety. Some sort of ‘clutter rage’ took over and I found myself mercilessly throwing old clothes into a pile on my bed. I was stuffing them unceremoniously into plastic bags and tying them so tight in fear of them escaping. All the while cursing their very existence and my stupidity for keeping them so long.
It’s weirdly therapeutic getting rid of old clothes and making much-needed space in your wardrobe. I’ve grown, I’ve matured and so has my style. I no longer follow bizarre trends or wear butt cheek shorts so all that had to go. I’ll admit, there were some items that I found hard to let go of. I put them in bags and hid them at the bottom of my wardrobe. If I don’t look for them in a few months they’re being given away too. Simple!
Why was I keeping this crap?
Memories, money and the feelings of ‘what if I need it one day’. True, some items of clothing may hold sentimental value. My year 12 formal frock, for instance, I was hesitant to give it away even though I’d never wear it again. The first ever ‘nice top’ I bought in my early 20s that I’ll never wear again. It may have been nice then but not now. I’d spent money on it all those years ago so giving it away seems like a waste. The shirt I wore once or twice and sort of like, should I give it away? What if I need it one day and I’ve given it away? The truth is, if you aren’t wearing it you don’t need it. Give it all away! You are holding on to feelings and sentiments and in the end, it’s impractical.
When I first moved into my ‘upstairs granny flat’ nearly 9 years ago, I had a bean bag for a couch and my mattress was on the floor. People had kindly given me all this stuff because I was young and of course had absolutely nothing and no money. Over the years I’d accumulated a bunch of crap I had been trying to store in such a small space. The moment I decided it was absolutely my prerogative what I wanted in my house and gave all the unnecessary crap away it was like I could breathe again!
I had bought a bunch over the years that were sitting around aimlessly looking pretty sad. Or, they were stored unceremoniously in drawers and cupboards. Bye-bye nicknacks!
I love books. I have a few cool ones sitting around being used as decoration. I have a Kindle with lots of books on it. I have my favourite titles all on a shelf but I also had a whole two shelves of pointless dusty things I had never read. People had given them to me. Bye-bye dusty old books.
Er. Old kitchen crap? Nuff said. Bye-bye old kitchen crap!
Hate that chair your cousin kindly gave you? Despise that print your dad forced upon you? Shudder at the sight of the bedside tables that were dumped on you? Feel like taking an axe to the hideous dining table someone donated to you? Ok, I get it things cost money but for god’s sake, your home is supposed to be your sanctuary! Get rid of it and be smart, acquire a new one. Go to Ikea, visit the Salvos, anything – just get rid of things that you hate looking at. Bye-bye ridiculous furniture!
People, feelings, memories and all that emotional baggage.
Ok, if you aren’t a fan of my deep thoughts and philosophical musings skip this part. If you want to really explore this idea with me please continue.
Hanging on to pointless s*&t does absolutely nothing good for your soul. I truly believe this is the case for physical clutter and also emotional clutter in our lives. Emotional clutter could mean feelings, friends, relationships, anxieties and regrets. Some of us may feel obliged to continue a relationship with that one family member who continuously disrespects us. We may feel obliged to continue listening to our friends talk about themselves without a care for anybody else (including us) because they’ve been our friend for years. We may feel we’ve done something so terrible that the guilt we carry around is a necessary burden.
But, why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we hang on to things that do not serve us, is it because we are too weak to part with them? Is it like me being too weak to part with the many items of clothing in my wardrobe? I sometimes think it’s a form of self-sabotage. If we have all this stuff that is clouding our lives we have an excuse for not being happy. We have an excuse for not getting things done, not going after our dreams and not making changes.
I guess we can chalk it down to one philosophy – we are living this one life, in this one moment and we deserve to make the most of it. We deserve to be happy, to be heartbroken, to make mistakes, to succeed and to fail. We deserve to be listened to, to be loved and to be respected. We deserve to be surrounded by things and people that serve us. I’m no expert and I most certainly need to take my own advice every single day. But what if we really did live the way we truly deserve to?
Be fearless, get rid of the crap that is cluttering your life and your mind!