Inspiring links (from decluttering to minimalism)

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(Every week, I  publish a series of inspiring links. Enjoy this week’s round up on decluttering & minimalism!)

Sometimes love sunders, and we have to move on. The things we once loved, we may not love forever. I don’t love you anymore.

34 proven ways to keep your home clutterfree

Complaining less shifts our focus to the positive. It allows gratitude to take root. And cheerfulness can be an excellent beautifier. How to complain less?

Try it, you might like it. Maybe one small change could have a larger impact that we imagine.

In our lives immersed in technology, we rarely shut everything off. The time to shut down.

3 decluttering projects you can tackle in 20 minutes or less

Love and blessings,

Shaloo

Letting go of books

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The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.  ~James Bryce

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. Every book I read teaches me something new – a new perspective, some value-addition, a challenge to my beliefs, getting to know about different cultures and of course, enriching vocabulary.

For example, I read Leo Babauta’s ‘Power of less’ and it made me have a serious look at my consumption patterns , the way I had been cluttering my house, getting into debt with my habit of finding solace in shopping. The book is, as Leo describes it,

“A how-to manual on how to simplify and focus on the essential. How to do less while accomplishing more. How to focus and use that focus to achieve your goals, no matter what they are.”

All by doing less and owning less.

A few months back, I probably would have found it very hard to let go of my books. Every book I read used to be proudly displayed on my bookshelf as a trophy. I guess every book lover goes through a similar phase and can’t even imagine to let go of even one.

But a sudden shift came with my acquaintance to minimalism. I started questioning my pride of having my own library. I asked myself how many books I re-read and if I am not going to read them again, then why am I hoarding them?

Still giving away books was difficult for me, so I decided not to buy more books and bought a library membership instead. However that didn’t work out for me as library was quite out of the way and I found it difficult to take out time to go there. Also, at times, the titles I wanted to read were not available in the library.

And then I bought a ‘Kindle’- the most amazing gadget for book lovers. Though I must admit that, I miss the feel and scent of a book and ‘Kindle’ can never replace the pleasure of reading a real book! But still it’s a fabulous device. Your own personal library in a tiny device, you can carry your library with you wherever you go, you don’t have to worry about the physical space the books occupy and the books on kindle cost less too!

During my Diwali decluttering challenge, I gave away some of my books to friends and I found that it’s really not that hard to let go. So I put up some of my books on ebay for sale and I have started the process of downsizing my library.

I still buy books like my recent purchase of ‘The Tarot Bible’. I find that reference books are more handy to use if bought in physical form. Or my purchase of  ‘The Oath of Vayuputras’ as the title is not available on kindle.

It’s more important to read and savour the book rather than hoarding it. Read, learn and share – that’s what essence of reading should be all about!

Please leave a comment telling me about your personal library.

 

Lessons learnt during 15 days Diwali decluttering challenge

I had taken 15 days decluttering challenge this diwali. I decided to get rid of ten things a day till Diwali and I decided to donate things rather than throwing things away. The idea was to declutter my house of 150 things in just fifteen days. And by donating things, I wanted to put my unwanted things into use.

Was I successful in my challenge? Well, the answer is yes and no! Did I get rid of 150 things in fifteen days? Yes,I did. Was I able to donate ten things a day everyday? No, I couldn’t. I missed a day as I had to go out of town.I made up for the loss by donating twenty days the next day.

I have summed up the lessons learnt during my 15 days diwali decluttering challenge below:

  • The maximum number of things decluttered were clothes which made me realise how much money I have wasted on buying clothes.Some of the clothes I wore only 2-3 time after I bought them because they didn’t appeal so much later. Lesson learnt : Buy clothes only when you really need. No impulsive buying and no hanging on to clothes hoping that they will fit someday when I will lose some weight.
  • I managed to give away some of my books too which I’d thought would be the hardest thing for me to do. Lesson learnt: I am not going to read all the books I buy again and again.So keep only those books which you think you will read again and gift the rest to your friends.
  • I used to donate things to orphanage or beggars but I never gave my old things to any of friends until this challenge. But I found that my friends loved it when I gave them some of my books and cds. Lesson learnt: It’s ok to give your unwanted things to your friends if you think they might be useful for them. Just ask them if they would like to have that particular thing.
  • It was a challenge to give away ten things each day. Lesson learnt: Keep a donation box at home. Keep putting whatever you wish to donate into it and when the box gets full, give it away to someone needy or to some NGO.
  • The bigger challenge was whom to give away things to. Lesson learnt: Make a list of charity organisations, orphanages or old age homes in your area where you can donate things. Decide where you want to donate and declutter accordingly as per their needs.
  • I took the challenge of donating ten things a day and at times, finding things to donate was a challenge in itself. Lesson learnt: You don’t have to link decluttering with donating.It’s better to donate than throwing things away but donate only those things which are fit for use.Throw away the damaged or absolute junk.

We are most likely to do things when we take a challenge or make a commitment.It’s good to take a decluttering challenge once in a while but more important is to make decluttering a habit which is precisely what this decluttering challenge did for me.

Devoting just ten minutes everyday to decluttering can work wonders to your home.So what are you waiting for?

ABC of decluttering

My guest post on “ABC of decluttering” was published on artoflivingsblog.com a few days back :

How often do we hang on to unwanted junk just in case we might need it someday in future? And that day might never come! As a result, we keep on accumulating clutter that isn’t absolutely essential, that we don’t love and use often.

Decluttering  is needed at all levels to move on. Perhaps that’s why people are required to clean up their homes before an important festival in almost all religions with the sole purpose of inviting renewed energy in your lives. Be it Eid or Diwali or Christmas,the first step to celebrations is house cleaning.Getting rid of the old and the unwanted makes way for the new.

Getting rid of clutter is very simple but still many people seem to struggle with clutter due to some reason or the other. So, with that in mind, I present to you the ABC of decluttering ! Simple but powerful tools to get you started on decluttering your life.

Read more here.


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