Mak­ing space for a great year ahead

The Argus - - LIFESTYLE -

The year has started. Most are us are get­ting into the swing of things this week. Af­ter a few weeks of liv­ing a very dif­fer­ent paced life, meet­ing peo­ple we do not al­ways see, do­ing things we don’t do the rest of the year and hav­ing more rest and down time where a lot of deeper think­ing hap­pens, it is a great time to look around at your life and space and see things afresh.

There are a lot of pres­sures we must sur­vive ev­ery­day to keep things sim­ple. We are bom­barded with so many ad­ver­tise­ments daily en­cour­ag­ing us to buy and ac­cu­mu­late more that pray on our in­se­cu­ri­ties. We are told we will be hap­pier / health­ier / bet­ter if we get this, do that or go there. We also get a dopamine hit when we buy more stuff and our in­ner greedy per­son (if you have one) en­joys the tem­po­rary feel­ing of more be­cause he or she wants ev­ery­thing now.

There is more and more talk about min­i­mal­ism in the last 10 years–how it gives you more time, free­dom, creativ­ity, money and joy. Marie Kondo’s cur­rent Net­flix pro­gramme about the ben­e­fits of de­clut­ter­ing and or­gan­is­ing is get­ting a lot of at­ten­tion and in­spires many to only keep things that bring a ‘spark of joy’.

What­ever way you like to look at things, there is a lot of value in keep­ing things sim­ple. A few years ago, I heard a few facts that made me think–the av­er­age Bri­tish child has 238 toys and plays with 12. The av­er­age Amer­i­can home has grown by three times in the last 50 years and one out of 10 Amer­i­cans have off-site stor­age. I re­mem­ber when mov­ing from In­dia to Ire­land 10 years ago – I left 95 per­cent of my worldly pos­ses­sions in stor­age for over a year and hardly missed any­thing.

As time passes our needs and fo­cus changes. Things we loved when we bought them 5 years ago may not be rel­e­vant to us to­day. Tidy­ing your space has the ef­fect of tidy­ing up your mind and life and helps you face things.

While ex­treme min­i­mal­ism or hav­ing a fixed num­ber of pos­ses­sions may not be for all of us, the gen­eral ap­proach has a lot to of­fer. The process in­volves sit­ting down and defin­ing what you want your life to be about and plan­ning what you need to keep to make that hap­pen – and re­mov­ing what dis­tracts you from that – ev­ery­where – at home, at work, in your car, hand­bag, man­bag and whereever else you leave your foot­print.

If you are spend­ing too many hours clean­ing what you don’t use or what doesn’t give joy maybe it is time to let them go? There are many sys­tems of or­gan­is­ing and de­clut­ter­ing on of­fer. They all have their mer­its. They gen­er­ally of­fer the same or sim­i­lar point­ers. Look at ev­ery­thing in your life and only keep what you love or use (what helps you live a good life).

The ben­e­fits are many. Most im­por­tantly, you will have more time in the day as less time is spent clean­ing, or­gan­is­ing and look­ing for things. You will have less stress and anx­i­ety and your space will be more or­gan­ised which all helps bring men­tal clar­ity. You will feel lighter. You will prob­a­bly have more money as you are less in­clined to buy stuff when you see how much you al­ready have.

The most im­por­tant thing is that what you have in your life should en­rich it, and help you do what you want and need to do.

Wish you a won­der­ful week.


There are many ben­e­fits from de­clut­ter­ing and or­gan­is­ing your en­vi­ron­ment.

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