|Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash|
We're finite creatures. We have only so much time, money, space, and energy.
But our modern consumer society offers a dizzying array of merchandise. This can have several possible effects:
- The constant influx of new products catches our attention and makes us greedy, and so we buy more than we need.
- Endless sales and clearances make everything look like a "bargain," and so we buy more than we need.
- The difficulty of making the "perfect" choice can be overwhelming, even paralyzing. We're unsure, and so we buy more than we need.
- We can't locate something essential among the clutter of past purchases, so even though we own three such items, we buy more than we need.
The load of unused items becomes a physical weight, and may cause guilt or regret. We try to hide it away in boxes, bins, drawers, closets, basements, attics, and under the bed, but it's all still there, nagging at us.
Feng Shui practitioners say that hidden clutter affects your home's energy. It makes sense that unused items create inertia. Clutter keeps you stuck in the past, or demonstrates your fears about the future.
Clutter represents indecision and procrastination.
Items that are used move from one place to another. Dishes and cookware are used, become dirty, get washed, and are returned to the cupboard. Clothing is worn, dirtied, laundered, and returned to a drawer or the closet. Tools, appliances, books, photos, knickknacks, or other things that sit in one place for a long time may simply be clutter. Does your home contain shelves, drawers, closets, maybe even entire rooms where nothing comes or goes? That staleness and stagnation need to be cleared away.
Don't let hidden clutter trap you and drag you down. Pretend you have x-ray vision to see what's hidden, and pull it out into the open. Ask yourself, "Do I need this? Does it bring something positive to my life?" Be honest. Don't let yourself make excuses. Go through things at your own pace, but go through them.
Here's a decluttering clue: you like the things you use over and over more than the things just sitting at the back of a closet. The dusty items are not the ones you need and love.
Don't look at each item and ask if it sparks joy or memories. At one point it probably did, which is why it's cluttering your cupboard. Enforce a use-it-or-lose-it guideline.
Those hidden things, the ones you keep just because you've had them for so long, or because someone gave them to you, or because your fear has made you keep them "just in case," aren't doing you any good. Let them go, and they might be useful to someone else.
Having less will highlight the items you actually use and enjoy.