TWO weeks ago, I found myself staring at my closet full of clothes and realized I don’t anymore have space for my newly bought clothes. I was too tempted to buy plastic boxes to have more room for my outfits. Good thing, I successfully resisted the temptation. I looked around my room and saw too many senseless embellishments; I dug through my things and found useless items – plastic balloons, hair clips, toy watches, glitter pens that do not work, and photocopies of other people’s college notes, among others.

I have to admit I had too many things and I was too immature and sentimental to let go of them. I am 25 years old now and I still keep all my boyband posters and Britney Spears memorabilia. It’s nice to be nostalgic once in a while but according to my mother, it’s not nice to have a room full of things you do not even need. Mothers know best, right?

I am a certified keeper of things. I thought that it’s good to have something to remind you of any moment. Thus, my room was always full of useless things. Until I stumbled upon the website, becomingminimalist.com.

One of the writers, Joshua Becker, said “we are a culture drowning in possessions.” Which is true. Consumerism has definitely consumed us. We’d do everything to buy that car even if it means eating water and biscuits the whole day. We walk to work just so we could afford high-end appliances. We have an iPhone, another iPhone, a laptop, a tablet, an expensive speaker. We borrow money just so we could afford new clothes and wear different pairs of shoes every day. We buy useless but visually pleasing things – a pack of colorful washi tapes, emoji balls, unicorn furniture, and the list goes on.

We have to remove all our unnecessary possessions not to make room for new ones but to own less.

 

“Removing possessions begins to turn back our desire for more as we find freedom, happiness, and abundance in owning less. And removing ourselves from the all-consuming desire to own more creates opportunity for significant life change to take place,” Becker said in his article.

If you’re still not convinced to declutter not just your physical environment but your life in general, here are some facts to help you out:

DECLUTTERING IS BENEFICIAL ACCORDING TO SCIENCE

Science has its explanation why decluttering is good. Christopher Peterson, Ph.D wrote in Psychology Today that clutter has psychological effects. In his study, Peterson said children will have a hard time concentrating when they are surrounded by disorganized physical settings.

On focus is not the interpersonal chaos that may preside in some homes; that too takes a toll. Rather, the focus is on physical settings that are noisy and disorganized. Children who live in these settings have more than their share of problems,” he noted.

Another study published on the journal Sleep revealed that people who tend to hoard things have difficulty to doze off.

According to the study’s lead author Pamela Thacher, “if hoarders have cluttered or unusable bedrooms (and less comfortable, functional beds), any existing risk for cognitive dysfunction, depression and stress may increase as sleep quality worsens.”

LESS STRESS

This proved to be true based on personal experience. I used to spend around 30 minutes choosing what to wear. After selling my old clothes, my closet looks cleaner. Also, I feel less stressed in the morning since my options on what to wear have been narrowed down.  It is also nice to look at a cleaner closet.

A study has even shown that women’s stress hormones skyrocket when they walk into a cluttered room or environment.

On the other hand, this does not only apply to physical settings but also in the emotional aspect. Declutter your relationships. If it feels too heavy, why not try decluttering your social media first? Delete the friends you don’t interact with. Unfollow pages that do no good to your daily life. Delete the toxic virtual people. Delete the social media accounts you do not even use.

LETTING GO OF THE PAST

They say, nostalgia is a dirty little liar. It is. It makes you feel that the past was full of sunshine and flowers and butterflies. It makes you want to go back. Do yourself a favor and throw away all the things that deserve to be part of your past. Throw that love letter from your ex-boyfriend who ghosted you after he made you pay for dinner. Throw that keychain from your former best friend who spread dirty rumors about you. Throw those giveaways you got from weddings and birthdays of people you do not even talk to. Get rid of everything that has negative emotional impact on you.

Decluttering is challenging, but it is important. Try decluttering once a week for a few hours. Trust me, it gives you a kind of relief, like something has been pulled out of you. Take your baby steps until you achieve that cleaner, less stressed, and more organized human being that you want to be./PN

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