The Fine Art of Decluttering

25 Apr The Fine Art of Decluttering

“One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.”

Francis Jourdain

Spring has sprung! It’s that time of the year associated with change and organisation. The goal is to put away (or give away) the heavy duty clothing needed to brave the colder months. Finally, you get the chance to wear your ‘holiday clothes’ and invite the warmth and airiness of springtime.

So here are a few tips for you:

1. Discard, then organise.

The conventional approach to decluttering is to do it gradually – a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which dooms you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

Japanese cleaning consultant and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo, recommends a radically different approach:

Start by discarding. Then organise your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go! If you adopt this approach – The KonMari Method – you’ll never revert to clutter again’ she asserts.

Apparently, The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. Why not give it a go?

2. Digital Detox!

I read recently that Brits collectively own more than 700 million gadgets, at a ratio of ten devices per person! Sadly, we are spending more time using these gadgets than we are sleeping! Six people in ten consider themselves so hooked on their phones, tablets and computers that it is disrupting their work, school or home life!

This is an area I struggle with myself if I am honest. I like my gadgets and it can be hard to put them down. But the bitter truth is that we could probably all do with a bit of ‘digital detox.’

3. Happiness in little doses.

To say that we live in a remarkably materialistic society is an understatement. One reason we acquire and hoard stuff is because we think this ‘stuff’ is going to make us happy. But perhaps there is some truth in the words of the wise sage, Socrates, who observed that “the secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.

What if we seek happiness from the little things? Take a walk in the park. Stop and feel the wind on your face. Bask in the sun with your eyes closed, or drink a cold bottle of fresh water.

One thing I find useful is to think long and hard before I buy stuff. I try to buy only things that will truly bring me joy. In the end, it comes down to recognising that more stuff is unlikely to make us happy anyway. As Epicurus observed “nothing is enough for the man (or woman) to whom enough is too little.