The act of decluttering may to some seem reserved for the hoarders seen on TV as we sit aghast at the mountains of junk in which they live; or it may feel a bit too eccentric an endeavour to take seriously as something only a quirky uncle or hermit living in the forest might undertake. But I propose that that a moderate amount of decluttering need not be a chore or a difficult task, but one in which any individual can find a degree of rejuvenation in body and mind, along with spades more spare time to invest on worthwhile pursuits.
The first and foremost aspect of decluttering is going to be the physical downsizing. The old clothes piled up in your wardrobe and room; the once loved books and films; the various trinkets and ornaments collected over the years, are they really necessary anymore? Now, it is not the idea to immediately discard all your belongings in one frantic go, no. A gradual process of deciding what still plays a valuable role in your life is a more practical and realistic method of decluttering. Try letting go of a few disused items each day. Admittedly it is difficult at first, but ruthlessness is key here. If you don’t wear that old pair of dungarees anymore, or haven’t used that old lava lamp you got for your 13th birthday, perhaps it is time to say goodbye. Not only will you have more space but there will be simply less ‘stuff’ to fill your eye-line and worry about in your living or working space; you should feel happier and less overwhelmed in whatever environment It is that receives the treatment.
Next comes an equally important, perhaps even more so, step: digital decluttering. This is a means by which you can mentally declutter and make space, to accompany the newfound physical space you have. A reasonable first step might be trying to restrict social-media use gradually each day, or only using it at certain times. This will in turn shift focus from the lives of others, which the hours of mindless scrolling encourage, and onto your own life, hopefully instilling more focus and a greater enjoyment for the activities you yourself pursue. A further step is to reorganise your phone’s layout: are there a slew of old apps stagnating in your phone acting as eyesore and obstacle when you need to find something? Remove them. Seeing how important the phone is to daily existence now, it would make sense to declutter it with the same assiduity that you would your bedroom.
A final step which is conjunction with the previous, and may not apply for everyone, is the practice of mindfulness and meditation. There a lot of misconceptions surrounding these practices and you needn’t be a monk isolated in a Tibetan monastery to enjoy a little meditation. The Scientific backing behind meditation is growing daily and among its many benefits are reduced anxiety, reduced stress, greater concentration, and for us – the one’s seeking less clutter – a greater sense of awareness regarding our mental space. Starting with 10 minutes a day and being consistent should see your head feeling clearer and tidier, and with acclaimed free Apps like ‘Headspace’ it has never been easier.
Decluttering is something that i’m sure most of us need in our lives and with these steps it has never been easier. It will not only help you physically, but also assist you in organising your studies and having an all round easier time whilst at uni so there’s no excuse not to start now.