When Stuff takes over your Life

Earlier, I used to be the person who would constantly clean or organize things. But, two years ago, I realized two things.

  1. The more stuff I have, the more time I need to maintain them.

I chanced upon a few blogs on Minimalism and they resonated with me. They made me question the need for so much stuff, especially the things which I hardly ever or never use like the things accumulated inside the bed box, the books which have been read or the need to keep buying more books, the clothes that are too small or too big, the knick-knacks which are just show pieces, and the likes. Earlier, I would just clean, organize and reorganize stuff without questioning myself – ‘Why do I need so much stuff?’. In fact, we are more frivolous about things which are cheap – a T-shirt for Rs 299, plastic containers for Rs 99, toys for Rs 250, gardening tools for Rs 299 – we don’t think too much in buying these things and majority of the clutter is created by those. And it is not just about the price we pay for buying things, we pay a bigger price in maintaining them on daily basis.

  1. I wasn’t doing any of the things that I was really passionate about.

Once, my husband, who was fed up of my fascination for cleaning and organizing all the time, said, “On one hand you crib about how you never have enough time to read or write, and on another, all I see you doing is clean or organize. I think you love doing that more than reading or writing.” You know how truth hurts. Certainly, I was spending too much time on doing something which wasn’t even my passion.

When my son was a toddler, like all young kids, he would pick up things and throw them around. His play area would look like a battle ground. When he would sleep, I would organize. Once he would wake up, he would repeat the same thing and so would I. Naturally, I was exhausted all the time.

So, I decided to change things. These are the 2 things which I do now:

  1. Remove unwanted stuff. I consciously remove things everyday which is no longer useful to me. I also don’t buy anything mindlessly. I don’t shop to entertain myself. I buy only what I need. And just because something is free, I will not take it, unless I have a use for it.
  2. Prioritize. I focus on more important things like reading, writing, running, playing with my son, time with family over organizing the house. There is nothing wrong in letting the house look lived-in sometimes. I still like a clean house but I am not killing myself over it.
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