I am an obsessively organized person and I clean and declutter on the go. I strongly live by “a place for everything, and everything in its place’ rule. So there is always some kind of order and rhythm in our home, or even if there isn’t at some point, I take comfort in the fact that it can be restored within a 15 minute flash cleaning spree. I am also finding myself too much inclined towards simple/minimalistic living for quite sometime now. So now I don’t find it hard to part with a rarely used commodity however expensive or nice it looks. And it has given me a new perspective when making any purchases (timelessness and practicality being the top factors now).
This past week, we spent a lot of time sorting, tidying, purging and finally packing. It was a family affair complete with coffee and music and to-do lists and distracting kids. Does anyone else end up playing dress up while going through old clothes and hats and shoes or is it just me? ( No? Just me? Okay. )
Moving house is so eye-opening for those of us striving for a simple and minimalistic life. Because when you lay out your belongings and stuff before you and realize that you have a huge pile of sweaters that you have been tugging along since many years just for sentimental reasons and haven’t worn once. Rather too many pairs of pretty, delicate, ankle-twisting shoes that can never be worn by a Mama of two energetic young boys. That was my condition when I packed and moved last time, less than a year ago! I hated the nagging feeling that comes from owning too much and not using it enough. But that happens when you are staying put in a place for a few years and turn a blind eye to certain parts of the house.
But a fast approaching house move is the biggest catalyst for a massive purge and to declutter like never before! When I did it at the start of this year when we moved from Karachi, I was lethal and ruthless in letting go of the unused, impractical, even sentimental, stuff. It felt so good! Like I could breathe better. The house breathed better. The closets, the luggage boxes, the shelves and the hidden nooks all thanked me later for giving them a new, less stuffy life. I promised myself that I will never accumulate ‘stuff’ again. We moved to Riyadh about 6 months ago and I am happy to realize and report that I have stayed somewhat true to that promise.
Even after all my efforts at a simple, practical living, clutter got accumulated, things weren’t replaced to their rightful spot, and the toy baskets were a case of complete madness, brimming with all-sorts.
Now that we are in the middle of another move (another out of country one at that), I am again finding myself peeking into every room and closet, considering everything I own and wondering if I really want to move it? Can i live without it for the next couple of months? And if i can do without it for that long, do i really need it at all? Naturally, there is a lot that can be left behind.
There is stuff in my kitchen (fancy dishes, cutlery, electric grill etc) that hasn’t been used since we moved here. There are clothes in my closet that have continually been pushed to the back far too many times and have never seen the light of the day in months. The boys have far too many toys. Time to be ruthless again, stick to the basics, and let go of the fancies and the impossible ideals.
Decluttering is an on-going and evolving process that requires you to be on top of things at all times, not just during moving house. You need to have a simply lifestyle and you can’t get lazy with it, cause if you do, clutter starts to creep back in. And thats never good, is it? I am off to check at least two more items on my packing list before dinner. Wish me luck!
PS, a little about our next life adventure in this post. ( Dreams and Butterflies )