Decluttering is a Challenge in 2021

When I was fond of accumulating, I did not have much to accumulate. Now that I am hoarding things, I am constantly looking for ways to declutter. This year, I realized that decluttering is a major Challenge.

I wanted to be accountable to myself when I worked on each one of my decluttering challenges. Writing has always made me feel accountable. Hence, I am listing everything about my project here.

When I started with just one decluttering challenge at the beginning of this year, my mind was swirling. I had to stick to just one MAJOR question,

Could I survive without this?

Then popped another question. How on earth did I start to accumulate so many things? I am learning how I started holding onto things and why I do it.

Going Way Back in Time

During school (almost 17 years now), all I ever had was one shelf space to arrange my books. Then another shelf space to arrange my clothes we wear at home. Finally, the last shelf space to arrange the dresses we wear when we go out. The school uniforms always had its space in my father’s wardrobe along with his pressed clothes. Everything had its place and it was simple.

By high school, I was given a separate room to handle my studies and my storage. I was gifted a new wardrobe by my aunty for one of my birthdays. All the ceramics(popular in the 90’s) finally found its place there along with the books and one part of my dad’s library. During college, I used to shop for clothes in bulk, stitch them in bulk and wear them on a random basis.

There were so many gifts back then from friends and family. A card sent for every occasion, a cute gift that was friends brought home when they came home. I was overwhelmed and thankful for everything I received and still am because they all stand there in my wardrobe. I was not fond of sharing any of this with anyone else and still don’t. That’s where my collection started.

Imagine living for 22 years in the same house and how much it will hold. The best part was my father lived for almost 50 years there before we had finally shifted.

When I joined work, I had the ability to purchase anything I wanted. I tried to give back in some way or the other, but it never felt enough when it came to giving back to people we love. I also purchased a lot of books. Until college, I borrowed books from the nearby library and used a little from my father’s big collection.

As a Couple

Facebook replaced the humble Orkut and Amazon replaced my innumerable trips to many nearby shops and the shopping experience . It was easier to shop online and saved the hassle of running around in the weekend to buy these stuff.

Weekends then became the time to rest at home. Bathing my pet, spending time with family and majorly spending time over the phone occupied my weekend. Being constantly targeted by sales people for acne products and services was one of the prime reasons I stopped visiting malls, supermarkets and many shops.

The life after marriage was a good accumulating period. Since I already started the accumulating process, it was a surprise to see my husband’s wardrobe. Oh, yes, he had so many things that I could not even count, but everything was in its place. I couldn’t differentiate between two shirts of his which is mostly the same colour to me, but to him its a matter of texture and comfort.

By marriage, I was no longer working, so buying dresses or accessories seemed unnecessary to me. However, the husband loved to gift all of this and some books. Since I did not buy much dresses or accessories, I invested all of them in buying books. Hence, the TBR list grew. We had different interests and we collected things in our own way.

From Children’s Books to My Reads

Now that I am in a different country, the first thing I did after booking the tickets were packing most of the books in newspapers and placing them in the loft. The rest stays neatly arranged on one shelf in the bedroom. I miss all my books and my stationary accessories that I couldn’t bring when I travelled here.

When you are staying in a different country for a period of time, you have this subconscious mind constantly reminding you about the things you buy. Will I be able to take this back home? Do you really need this? We can always donate a few things, sell a few and leave the rest depending on who’s going to occupy after us.

Lot of books arranged in a big shelf, good photo for a decluttering challenge
PC: Digital Decluttering is a Big Challenge

When it comes to phone, I prefer to use single SIM phones. That makes it too many. When there’s too many there’s too much clutter too. I have collection of photos of almost 3-4 years now in my phone along with the non-stop WhatsApp photos and videos(some). Since the daughter has started to explore photography with my phone, it gets quickly filled up with burst shots.

Since I left my old phone back in India, which had moments right from daughter’s birth, I do not want to lose more. So, I’m moving my photos on a monthly basis to laptop or a pen drive. Best of all, I am printing some of them and making an album. After all, old ways are the best anytime. My parents had spent a fortune on albums, but it is worth it. We used to view them when cousins come over or during family get togethers.

My mailboxes are nothing but almost close to a elite bin. So many advertisements and promotions that if I want to find something, it takes me forever. I will be doing a deep cleaning this year and unsubscribe from most places and maybe delete a couple of mail ID’s too. Oh, yes, I have one for each work I do! 😐

Somehow, my interest in many social media channels is slowly reducing. I am looking forward to deleting a lot of content from most channels, at the moment, it is Twitter and Facebook Pages. These are my digital cleansing projects.

Home Decluttering Challenge

I’ve always wanted to have a home of my own. We don’t own one yet, but to get the feeling of being on our own is also a big experience for me. I’ve come to enjoy staying on our own and it is comforting in many ways.

Setting up a Montessori shelf has been one of my interests since my Montessori course. Though we manage to tidy up the toys, I wanted to have a theme for each week and learn to interlink it with all subjects. So, this is one of my top priorities in the kid’s section.

Kitchen decluttering is one major challenge project that I am looking forward to this year. This will help me get into weekly meal planning (yes, still not fully into it) and more of taking up a sustainable living project.

Growing plants has always been on the list, but somehow never happened. I have problems with keeping a plant alive and the other is my daughter knocks the whole thing down. My first plant here is a Peace Lily which has survived for almost 6 months now and my daughter has keenly watered it. So, this would be an interesting thing to do this year.

The main reason to focus on the decluttering challenges this year is to make homemade stuff as much as possible. To reduce my food waste, to move to a sustainable space and make it our way of life from here on.

As of now, these are my major decluttering challenges of 2021. I know that if I decode this here, I will be able to keep up with it wherever I am.

About Jayanthy Govindarajan

I share the reflections of my mind here as a mommy blogger. I share my parenting experiences and life experiences with gratitude.

View all posts by Jayanthy Govindarajan →

4 Comments on “Decluttering is a Challenge in 2021”

  1. Except for home stuffs I have done no major shopping in the last two years. It made me realize that I already have enough. Maybe a little too much. I have started finding clothes with tags still intact. Decluttering is essential. And as I am getting older, I am understanding its importance. Btw, I am a hoader …of paper stuffs. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by Raji. Cheers, I am a hoarder of stationary and paper stuff too. I hardly buy clothes since I am not working. But, yes, it’s true that decluttering is essential almost everyday 🤭

  2. You know, I have so many notebooks filled with all sorts of writing in my house. I know it’s better to trash them as it taking up a lot of space, but I can’t. And I have way too much pens and color pens. Don’t tell my husband! 🙂 It’s important to declutter. I’m trying, true story! 🙂

    1. I think I will write a separate post on notebooks and stationary. I love them so much too and cannot hold back from buying one notebook. There’s never too many when it comes to notebooks and stationary, isn’t it, Vinitha.

Share your thoughts in the comments section, I would love to hear from you!