I always have a cluttering problem. I am a shopaholic and I like buying things. That’s not the end of it. I like to hold on to things. So a few years ago, my sister moved out so I had a room to myself! I started buying, organising, decluttering…. etc I could never keep my room in tidy. I just keep accumulate things and every attempt to declutter kinda fail. I do throw away things but it was only less than 10 pieces each time. I always have a new shopping site to visit and is always buying things. I know I have way too much bags but I just couldn’t resist getting one once in a while.
I finally found a solution to my problem. I have been reading this book written by a Japanese lady,Yamashita Hideko who invented a method called “Danshari”. I am not sure about other decluttering books but this is the most useful book I ever read!
I extract the information from http://www.missminimalist.com/2011/08/minimalism-around-the-world-danshari/
断 dan – to refuse
This part is about being a good gatekeeper, and stopping the inflow of stuff into your home. How to put this into action?
* Practice minsumerism
* Seek alternatives to gifts
* Eliminate your junk mail
* Refuse freebies
* Engage in consumer disobedience
捨 sha – to throw away
Here we get down to the brass tacks of decluttering: eliminating all unnecessary items from your life. Some ways to do this:
* Purge at least one item each day
* Let go of heirlooms and sentimental stuff
* Pare down your wardrobe
* Streamline your kitchen
* Donate your castoffs to charity
離 ri – to separate
The final part involves cultivating a sense of nonattachment to your possessions. To achieve this, try the following:
* Break up with your stuff
* Realize you are not what you own
* Embrace the concept of enough
* Cherish space over stuff
* Live like a butterfly
The website have some guides which I am going to read when I am done with this book. 🙂
I think the most important concept from the book is you are the subject of decluttering not the objects itself! You must understand if the objects suit you and only keep things that you will use (in the present situation). No point holding on to objects if they are going to be sitting around in your cupboard for years. Think you have only seven days and how much times you really spend with these objects? For e.g. work clothes. I have only 5 days of work. So I only need 5 sets of clothes! Why I do need so much pairs of skirts? In the past, each time I tried decluttering I throw away foods, expired skin care products, make up that I bought but never get around to use. I keep thinking why this keep happening? Now I know. I have just too many things and never get around to really use them that much. I should only keep things I would use and the rest will need to go. I keep thinking my room is not organise so I can’t concentrate. But the problem lies with my lifestyle not the organisation itself.
Anyway I read a few pages and started decluttering my wardrobe. I achieved much better result!
I found the problems with my wardrobe:
– I keep out-of-style clothes thinking I might wear someday.
– I was unwilling to let go of unworn new clothes since it is such a waste!
– I bought some clothes online and don’t really like it (differences from the picture) but I don’t throw it away as it is such a waste of money.
– I keep too much old tees thinking I would just wear it at home (who really cares what I wore at home right).
– I cannot throw away brand stuffs (e.g. an Adidas tee) as it is such a waste of money.
But I keep telling myself to let go based on the concept and I successfully clear some clothes. The result is satisfying 🙂 But I am definitely not done with my wardrobe yet. I probably need to go for a second or third round as I am still having so much clothes. I have like 4 or 5 black tank top. I should get rid of the others and keep only 1!
After reading about half the book, I decided to spend majority of my weekend doing a general decluttering for room. The result was again satisfying! I could feel myself feeling “lighter” as I throw away stuffs.
Again, here’s are some of my problems:
– I was kinda into art and craft even though I am lousy at it. I am just not talented for it. As a result of liking it, I bought supplies of craft things which I never use. I haven’t actually get rid much of it but I would be doing it in my second round.
– I keep stationary – Pens, Pencils, Papers etc. I keep pencils even though I no longer use them. I finally keep only one nice pencil from MUJI. After throwing the rest, my pen holder seems neater. I keep lots of paperclips just in case I need them. I throw away half and it save so much space! I have one whole stacks of old papers which my sister left behind. They are still good for writing so I kinda don’t want to throw them away before! I keep old notebooks which I have not finish writing but at the same time, I buy a lot of notebooks. So I told myself why am I keeping them? I could never finish and my notebooks just keep accumulating. I have stopped the flow of notebook supplies but I think I still need to cut down!
– I hold on to sentimental things such as gift! When I received a gift, I never throw away even though it might be unsuitable for me. I started throwing away some and I would continue to throw away if I come across any.
– I received a lot of freebies (from purchasing online) and I keep them since they are free anyway. But I think I need to start rejecting and throw away.
– I buy some necessities in bulk such as tissue and feel uncomfortable when it is running low. I think I would need to wait until it is actually running low.
– I buy some other stuffs in bulk. I buy a lot of iPhone covers because they are so cheap and I like changing them every now and then. But seriously, do I get to use every single one of them?
– I am usually attracted to discount and buy more even though I only need one. I would need to learn to ignore this. This is a very important as it always happen when I shop online. E.g. Buy 3 and get 1 free. The shipping cost is also divided among 4 instead of 1. The cost price of each product is therefore cheaper.
– I never throw away books as I feel like I am throwing opportunity to learn. I threw away all my textbooks since we are in the 21st century. Welcome to the internet! I don’t plan to throw away other books but I am already cutting down the purchases by switching to e-Books.
– Bag is also another things that I seldom throw away. I just keep old ones and keep buying. I changes bags often as I like my bags to match with what I am wearing. But I just keep buying. I am going to stop buying but I am also trying to get rid of my bags. I have throw away some but I might need to throw away more.
– Again, I have a problem in new things. I cannot throw away something which is still in their shrink-wrap!
I will continue reading and try to declutter a second round 🙂 I am looking forward to a new change in lifestyle!