Saturday, July 25, 2020
Decluttering Doesnt Work
Decluttering Doesnt Work Decluttering is, by and large, a farce. If you clicked on this post to figure out how to declutter your closet, youâre in the wrong place. Youâll be hard-pressed to find anything here even vaguely resembling something as trite as â67 Ways to Declutter a Messy Home.â Thatâs because decluttering alone doesnât solve the problem: discussing how to get rid of your stuff answers only the what, but not the why. The whatâ"i.e., the how toâ"is easy. We all know, instinctually, how to declutter. You can start small: focus on one room at a time, making progress each day as you work toward a simplified life. You can go big: rent a dumpster and throw out everything, moving on to a more fulfilling life. Or you can take the moderate approach: plunge into a Packing Party and embrace the fun side of decluttering, enjoying the entire simplification process. People should, however, be much more concerned with the whyâ"the purpose behind declutteringâ"than the what. While the what is easy, the why is far more obscure because the nature of the why is highly individual. Ultimately, it has to do with the benefits youâll experience once youâre on the other side of decluttering. Decluttering is not the end resultâ"it is merely the first step. You donât become instantly happy and content by just getting rid of your stuffâ"at least not in the long run. Decluttering doesnât work like that. If you simply embrace the what without the why, then youâll get nowhere (slowly and painfully, by the way, repeatedly making the same mistakes). It is possible to get rid of everything you own and still be utterly miserable, to come home to your empty house and sulk after removing all your pacifiers. When you get rid of the vast majority of your possessions, youâre forced to confront your darker side: When did I give so much meaning to possessions? What is truly important in life? Why am I discontent? Who is the person I want to become? How will I define my own success? These are difficult questions with no easy answers, but these questions are far more important than just ditching your material possessions: if you donât answer them carefully, rigorously, then the closet you just decluttered will be brimming with new purchases not long from now. Read this essay and 150 others in our new book, Essential.