“The ability to simplify means eliminating the unnecessary so the necessary may speak.” — Hans Hofmann
Decluttering is a marathon, they say, and not a sprint. Whether we’re talking about material possessions or our mental load, the ability to cut through the crap to get to the golden bits of life is a constant tai chi involving discernment and distillation of what matters most to us.
Andrea is our newest staff member in the DC office (hurrah!) and she was just telling us the other day how her family managed to downsize their Stuff from a four-bedroom house’s worth to a single bedroom. Because her family used to move so frequently, minimalism has not only become a life-saver but a lifestyle choice.
And there’s good science to back up the benefits of simplifying our lives. Minimalism may not suit most of us right now or ever. (In an interview last year with Vogue, Donatella Versace singled out Minimalism as the one trend she never wished to see again, just as the camera panned across her gorgeously ornate living room…) And yet there are countless of articles now testifying to the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of better organising our beautiful messy lives. Fewer commitments and belongings mean less ongoing maintenance. Also, the physical act of decluttering reduces anxiety while clearing our minds as we literally make space with our hands. It also naturally prompts us to reevaluate what we want and need to control, and clarifies what we hold closest and dearest to us.
It also doesn’t need to be hard. I know I just said it is a marathon and not a sprint, but 15-minute spurts of decluttering are manageable and beneficial. Instead of attacking a whole room, try working by categories of things. Crockery. Shoes. I recently went through my underwear and sock drawers, determined that I shall fit only what I need in them and then toss everything else out. It took me half an hour total, but I can’t tell you how ridiculously pleased I felt after the endeavour. My walk-in robe is still a work in progress, but every morning now I am inordinately chuffed when I open my underwear drawer and it’s Marie Kondo-perfect. And that’s because decluttering also creates a sense of confidence and self-efficacy.
TODAY, THE SOCK DRAWER. TOMORROW, THE WORLD.