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The Art of Decluttering

8 April, 2020

, lockdown

For those who are open to learn and innovate, the India lockdown due to Corona does offer a lot of opportunities. While some are getting creative, and putting up videos and snaps on social media, some catch up on reading, movies, and chatting with extended family. One other important aspect coming out of the lockdown is that people have started cleaning their houses and minds.

Even the people who have to work from home, are saving on the travel time of up to three hours a day. Cleaning is not one of the favorite hobbies of most people. To add to this, most of us are habituated to buying things that we do not need. At times, impulsively, and at others, because we find some sale going on and cannot resist the temptation. Most often, we end up not using these things. There are also certain things to which we relate emotionally and hence are loathe to let go of these.

The Spring cleaning as Westerners call it, which most of us Indians do during Diwali or at least once or twice a year, seems to have come in early this time. The time on hand has prompted many people into cleaning their cupboards, attics, garages, balconies, wardrobes, and more. And believe it or not, it is throwing up a whole of stuff, which we did not know existed! Here are a few tips while you are at it.


There are two kinds of books that you may find among the clutter at home; those that you would have bought for the love of reading, or learning something new. Or the academic ones that have been accumulated over the years. There are a few ways in which you can rid yourself of these books. Either sell them off to bookstores that accept the secondhand books, or donate them to a library or an organization that accepts such books. You could even check out options like OLX for selling off the books. For those who love books, it is a big issue to let go, but perhaps you can limit the choice to match your storage space and let go of the not so important ones.

Clothes and footwear

Sometimes, wardrobes throw up some surprises, as you find some clothes you did not know existed or had forgotten all about. Some clothes grow old, but don’t fade, or some have some emotional connection. Once again, it is tough, but you need to decide to keep or give away the clothes. Many organizations are ready to come home and pick up the clothes (and books) that you want to discard. They reuse these for the needy and underprivileged.

However, care should be taken not to give away torn, stained and shoddy clothes to such clauses. Such clothes can be discarded as waste. Sometimes, this cleaning activity will clear out and give you some space in the wardrobe. The same goes for footwear, as without knowing we keep buying, and suddenly we realize that we have a lot of them. These too can be discarded if worn out, or handed over to those in need, if in good working condition.

Other stuff

Apart from books and clothes, the other stuff that you find during your cleaning activity are, toys, cardboard boxes, plastic covers, bags, possibly unused utensils, cassettes, DVDs, etc. For each of these, you can find ways to dispose of them; either by donating through some organizations, or handing over to the needy around. If nothing, the usual garbage pickup people or the local kabaaddiwaalas will also be able to take them off. What is important is to decide to give them off and make sure that the house is fully decluttered.

Why is it important?

The art of decluttering is not easy to pick up and needs some amount of focus and discipline from our side. But why is it so important to do it? It is not just for making more space in our homes. There is some amount of science and psychology associated with decluttering. Many psychologists have openly said that clutter in the house can lead to negative energies, and cause a lot of stress and anxiety. These can affect your health, both mental and physical. This can further lead to disturbed relationships also.

You will be able to let go of some emotional baggage when you throw out or decide to give away certain things. A cleaner house can help you feel relaxed, stimulate creativity, sharpen your senses, promote a sense of well being, and of course, when you donate things, you are helping others in need. Also, you may save a lot of money, when you realize what all you have been hoarding on and not using. Perhaps, it will force a rethink of your buying habits, and lifestyle as a whole. Decluttering is an art, which needs to be mastered over time, and practiced throughout our life. It is not easy, but highly therapeutic, and sometimes that is all you need to bring in much-needed positivity.

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