Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Project Declutter - Confessions of a Shopaholic

Usually, when it's Diwali time my parents force me, against my will, kicking and screaming, to clean my room to get it ready for a whitewash and in the process a willy-nilly re-organisation and decluttering happens.

But even though I wrote that in the present tense that's a thing of the past. Now, I live in the UK, now I live alone, well almost alone if you don't count my housemate. And we don't need to count him for this as he doesn't force me to winter clean or reorganise my room. 

So what then? Why? Why suddenly this interest in de-cluttering? I didn't even know there was such a word, I thought I was inventing it when I typed "Project Declutter" in my MindMap. (Mind Maps, what a great idea, remind me to tell you about this some time!). 

Anyhoo, if I start to track the idea back to its origin we might be spending the night here, so let's just say that the amount of clutter in my room got to a point where it was almost crushing me, forcing me to stay on the bed all the time and carefully pick my way through the clutter when I felt the need to pee and did need to leave the room. 

The reason it took so long to start this project was its sheer size, it's mammothness. Also the intricate relationship that exists between different lots of clutter - if I do move the books where do I put them, I do want to straighten out this drawer but where will all this stuff go...and so on. 

But there were some incentives as well, some things that did inspire me to start this project. I mean other than the expected incentive of being able to walk around in my room without tiptoeing like I am on a guided tour in a minefield. (If it's an unguided tour, I just won't move an inch). 

One such incentive was that I could buy more stuff for this project. You know what, I have been thinking, that even though I may not be (I say may be) as sexy as Isla Fisher I may still be a shopaholic. And if you say that it's a girlie thing to shop, I will yell "sexist" at you. Even though I do like to shop in a store, (my neck turns on its own any time I pass an electronics store), my most favourite is online shopping. Nothing like the rush of typing a keyword in ebay.co.uk search box and getting 17,202 records back. And Amazon.co.uk..oh, I love Amazon!

Well, this in itself reminds me of Isla Fisher in her recent movie Confessions of a Shopaholic. But when I am doing the decluttering I am even more acutely reminded of her and how she does her own decluttering. 

Just yesterday when a friend asked me what I am up to I said, "I am working on decluttering my room and my life." And she said, "Decluttering your life...that sounds ominous!". 

And yet, your room and your life are so intertwined that one cannot be cluttered or decluttered without affecting the other. 

Now that I think back on it, the indicator of the rising amount of clutter in my room was the number of books on my night-table. Usually I keep one or two books there on the edge that I am reading. Recently it started growing into a pile. I was adding to these one or two books because there was no place for me to move the books I had finished. So, before this little tower should start to rival the Eiffel Tower and I get a letter from Paris, I thought I should take action. 

While I was waiting for new bookcases to arrive (they have now and they are lovely, by the way), I just took all the surplus books and lined them up on the window sill. Just casually I ran my eye over the titles and realized something. They were not just books, they were dreams, aspirations, enquiries of a curious mind and the efforts to be a better man. By arranging them in a visible, orderly manner in a bookcase I will have more access to them and more of a reminder to pursue these projects that I lauched into with vigour at a time but then let pass out of mind. So, you see, decluttering, room and life both. 

Since this is a huge project, not the size of Bhakhra Nangal but still big, I can fill several pages with details and thoughts regarding this. But in all fairness to my readers, I should stop here. 
As usual, your comments and thoughts are welcome. 

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