Declutter On This Diwali

Diwali is a magnificent festival of lights celebrated all over India with great faith and enthusiasm. It is an occasion when people meet and greet, markets are full of crackers and God idols, kitchens spread beautiful aroma of sweets and happiness can be felt all around. On Diwali, we engage in decorating our homes, buy new clothes and pray for blessings to the Almighty. The festive vibe is so fresh and energetic that you can feel it at every home, street and city. And I must say that if you get a chance to fly over India during Diwali, trust me, you will witness one of the most amazing views of the planet. Just like the sky full of stars :D

India at night from space during Diwali By NASA via Wikimedia Commons

Living abroad since two years, this is one thing which I really miss. However, I try my best to do things that make me feel as excited as I would have felt at home. So, what is the special thing I did on this Diwali? Well, this Diwali I planned to declutter my house and my mind. I have learnt an important life-fact that disciplined decluttering is really crucial to make our lives organized and our minds peaceful so that we can have a clear view of what we appreciate and want in our life. It’s essence is beautifully quoted by a Japanese organizing expert, Marie Kondo in her best-selling book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ as,

“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”

This quote really touched me (because I have a habit of holding on to old things) and I said to myself ‘What can be a more auspicious occasion than Diwali to incorporate decluttering in my lifestyle?’ So, in this blog post, I am going to share my mini decluttering experience and what I learnt from it. Let’s get started!

The first thing I needed was a list of things to be inspected. For this, I had a 360 degrees gaze at my room, recalled all the things in my mind and prepared a decluttering list. To make the activity easier, I divided my decluttering list into three sub-lists: physical list, digital list and mental list. The following table shows the item in each sub-list.

Decluttering List

Although this list is not exhaustive, it can be used as a reference by anyone interesting in decluttering. The first two sub-lists are pretty obvious and a bit boring to explain. Let’s talk about the third list, i.e., the mental list.

In the competitive and fast-moving world of today where instant performance is always expected, the one thing which has totally lost its equilibrium is our mind. The decluttering activity gave me a wonderful opportunity to think deeply about myself, the positive things and most importantly the negative things which are the main reason behind the equilibrium loss. I listed things that I feel at times of stress and observed my reactions in those situations. I call this list as the mental list. I tried short experiments of replacing these negative things with positive ones and gradually I found something amazing. I realized that our mind can easily be fooled. Mind believes in what we tell it. It believes that stress is natural because we have conditioned it to accept stress. If you can correct the things you say to your mind, you can live a life you dream of. Infact, now I understood the real meaning of the famous dialogue ‘AAL IS WELL’ of the movie 3-Idiots. It actually works! Apart from the negative feelings, it is also important to get rid of people who add no value to your life but just drain your energy, or simply called ‘assholes’. It’s better to silently and respectfully get away from them than to engage in an agitated fuss. This mental dump has relieved me a lot and I am delighted about it.

What I did and learnt from decluttering can be summarized in three points:

  1. I found the things that are important but I lost them somehow. It reminds me to respect the things/people/resources that I already have. It taught me that most of the times we are self-sufficient and all we need to do is to identify and use ourselves efficiently.
  2. I discarded the things that are unimportant. It taught me to find the stuff that really matters. I learnt that prioritizing things is important. And it is completely okay if some low priority things are left behind.
  3. I shared the things that are unimportant for me but can be useful for others. It taught me the meaning of sharing and empathy. Many a times, we discard things from our narrow viewpoint and interests without thinking about others. I realized that it is important to continuously share to grow sustainably.

I am amazed how such small activities can teach big philosophical lessons about life. I am looking forward to continue this practise and improve over time. So, that all folks! I hope you enjoyed reading my decluttering experience and may be encouraged to give it a try. If yes, do share your experience and share your knowledge with the world. With that note, I end this blog post and wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali :)