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: Unsplash

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.