Decluttering or Simple Tidying Up
2nd January 2017
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We have all read how decluttering will help us sort out our life, help us reach our goals, makes us be and feel better.  But, is it all true?

I never know where all the stuff that needs to be decluttered comes from?  Well, ok, we buy it… and I do love a bit of decluttering every now and then:  I just call it tidying up!  Decluttering seems to me to be something that needs to be learnt and something that needs some kind of investment in either time or money.  I am well aware that tidying up and decluttering are quite different things, but I do find that if I do call it simply tidying up, it does seem to be a much smaller mountain to climb.

However, a bit like looking for the Holy Grail, I have over the years bought books to help me perfect my tidying up skills: some seemed to just state the obvious, some required the effort of a military operation, some came across as so time consuming that the first thing that got decluttered were the books themselves.

This year the book that seems to be the must read is is Marie “KonMari” Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  So to keep me a bit more clutter free I have actually downloaded it on my Kindle and will be giving it a go, even though the methodical approach that the Japanese seem to have scares me a bit:  my mind is not methodical at all (my husband can vouch for that) and every time I have tried to schedule my day to a strict timetable, it has always gone wrong and I got myself in a tizz.

Going back to my question on whether decluttering works, I must admit that every time I have done a bit of it, afterwards I have always felt better, I felt I had a clearer mind and a more productive day.  So yes, it does work.  But I have always found it short lived.    Why? and here is the second “but” of extreme decluttering, the one done over a whole weekend by the whole family.   I look at pictures in all the books that I have bought over the years and a lot of the time I always felt that the “before” picture felt so much more homely, lived in, happy and the “after” shot has often reminded me of a hotel room, impersonal, a place that could belong to anybody.   

I treasure the knick knacks that I pick up along the way:  is it not true that that little trinket you kept from your holiday in a far flung corner of the world, which is admittedly just junk, is the thing that might just make you smile on a cold January evening?  It is indeed a fleeting memory, but one that you would have not had without that trinket in your hands, and KonMari’s book apparently agrees that these are the objects you should keep.  Of course, then there is everything else….  KonMari says that is what we should get rid of.  I will tell you more after I have read the book, but one thing is certain, come the end of January I will have done some tidying up to make sure that I have a much more productive year and a clearer mind and I will carry on tidying as I go throughout the year, but I will probably not do any official decluttering in 2017 – I simply don’t have the time to go through every drawer and every corner of my house to put stuff that I no longer want into bags to then put in the car where they will stay for months before I remember to park close enough to the local charity shop to drop them off.    Who is joining me in a bit of tidying up?  Promise, no feather dusters will be required.

About the Author

Victoria H

Member since: 11th March 2014

My name is Victoria Hunter and I'm a true Hertford person - I went to school in Hertford and grew up here. I understand the importance of bringing trusted businesses and the community together, and believe...

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