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The Benefits of Decluttering

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

“The more things you own, the more they own you.”

While we’ve always been counselled to keep our living and working spaces clean (think back to your mom yelling at you to clean your room), most people don’t think about the co-relation of a clean space with a clean and clear mindset. But this co-relation has not only been studied and well established, it has also sparked a movement called minimalism (which we admit, is a teensy bit extreme for us, and not exactly possible and practical for everyone), but it does bring to focus the benefits of the ‘less is more’ concept of thinking and living.

Image source - Sutton and Grove

Image source – Sutton and Grove

 

To put it simply, decluttering is the conscious act of removing all necessary physical assets that are of no use to you any longer. Though each practitioner and advocate of the practice will vary a little in how they describe it, most will give you a time frame (like a year or two) and ask you to either throw away or donate anything that hasn’t been used by you in that duration. For example, open your cupboard and remove all items of clothing that you have not worn even once in the past one year.

Image source - Frugal and Thriving

Image source – Frugal and Thriving

But is decluttering really all it’s cracked up to be, or is it just another passing fad? Well, we present a list of supposed benefits to de-cluttering your life, to make it easier for you to decide.

 

1. It makes you more confident in your own abilities

The more organized your living or workspace, the more confident you feel in your organization skills. Because let’s face it, opening your eyes each morning to that giant pile of clothes on that chair, or walking into your office with a cluttered desk being the first thing you see, isn’t exactly a great way to get a boost of confidence.

Image source - Recruiter.com

Image source – Recruiter.com

 

2. It reduces anxiety

The more clutter you see, the more guilty you feel for not having sorted it, and fantastic news, the more anxious you feel because of the pressure you’ve now created thanks to all that guilt. It’s a never ending cycle. Best way to clear your mind? Clear that desk!

Image source - Reader's Digest

Image source – Reader’s Digest

 

3. It leads to mindful purchasing

Since decluttering requires you to not only dispose of things you aren’t using, it also requires that you pay attention new purchases, which in turns leads you to be more mindful in your purchasing habits. This means that you actively consider the longevity of use for any product you purchase, whether it is a piece for your home, and item of clothing, or even work equipment.

Image source - uploadvr.com

Image source – uploadvr.com

 

4. It helps you find things more easily

So simple! The less items you have, the less likely something will get misplaced amongst a giant pile. No more emptying the entire cupboard to find your favorite shirt, and opening all the kitchen drawers to find that pizza cutter. Since you’re only keeping the bare minimum stuff, you can now find things in a jiffy.

Image source - Tilting at Windmills

Image source – Tilting at Windmills

 

5. It leads to better sleep

Though there are plenty of studies that show that a less cluttered space allows for positive energy to flow without obstruction, if you aren’t one to believe ‘such’ things, it doesn’t matter. A cleaner home leaves less room for guilt in your mind. Guilt of leaving that mess in the hall, that pile of papers on your desk, that pile of dishes in the sink. The cleaner your home, the more satisfied you feel turning in for the day, the better your sleep.

Image source - ExpertBeacon

Image source – ExpertBeacon

 

6. It’s easier to let go of the past

We often end up holding onto things as physical reminders of long held memories. And this often leads to our inability to let ‘things’ go. But once you purge the excess physical items, you often find yourself feeling mentally lighter too. People have often expressed the feeling of letting go of the past, and being able to focus more not only on their present, but the future too.

Image source - Goddess Ignited

Image source – Goddess Ignited

 

7. It reduces stress in relationships

A cramped and cluttered home often leads to a cluttered mind as well, and the first victim is often our relationships, whether with our significant other, our parents or siblings, or even our coworkers. Flustered feelings resulting from an overflowing desk or an untidy home often manifest in our dealings with people that co-exist with us in those very spaces, and freeing up the excess and unused allows for the same in our feelings too.

Image source - Zoosk

Image source – Zoosk

 

8. It saves on storage space

The less items you have, the less you have to worry about stuffing them in some random drawer or cabinet, just to get them out of the way. It becomes possible not only to find space to store everything you own, but also becomes easier to organize it, since you’re no longer stuck in the otherwise never ending struggle to find that itty bitty space for that extra pair of shoes, or that third guitar, or that 47th stuffed toy (hey, we don’t judge).

Image source - Pinterest

Image source – Pinterest

 

9. It increases creativity and productivity

Instead of constantly worrying about where you’re going to put the new project file so it doesn’t get mixed up with the old ones, or why you now have three places where you’re keeping linen, you now can focus on better things. Since decluttering frees up both space and time, you automatically have more time on your hands to not only be more organized, but more productive too.

Image source - Startup

Image source – Startup

 

10. It leads to a cleaner household/office

And it’s so much easier (and faster) to keep clean! Instead of dusting 67 little knick knacks, many of which were gifts some twenty years ago and you don’t even remember who gave them, you now can just wipe down empty coffee tables, and display cabinets that have only the really special items now. Think of all the things you can do with all that extra time! And an added benefit is that your health will get an extra boost, since you won’t dread cleaning as a never-ending task, and therefore you’ll probably do it more often and more diligently.

Image source - Cleaning Services

Image source – Cleaning Services

 

So, we’ve laid down all the benefits of decluttering your spaces, but ultimately, the choice remains yours. Try out it, and if really works for you, do share your experiences with us. We’d love to hear back from you. Happy cleaning, folks.

It’s Only Words

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

It’s the age of communication, and there seems to be no getting away from it. And with social media being a permanent and inescapable part of our lives, nothing can drive this point home more.

But are we unequipped to deal with the sudden requirement for us to sound intelligent no matter what we do? We have to comment on a friend’s status update. We have to tweet at our favorite celebrity. We have to find that perfect caption for our latest Instagram picture. And what about those lovely people who seem to login to various sites purely to correct other’s mistakes in spelling or grammar? How do we possibly escape them? And let’s not even begin on how we have to reply to our boss’ emails at work in the most diplomatic way possible.

The trick is simple really. We have to do that one thing our English teacher in school kept telling us to do – improve our vocabulary! (And this holds true for all languages by the way, not just English).

So all those years of ignoring our teacher seem to be coming back to bite us in the, err, rear, while our old teachers are sitting at home probably creating fake profiles just so that they can correct us in public domains. (Dear teacher, that was a joke, not an invitation to do so)

So, here’s how you can fight back, and improve that vocabulary!

 

1. Use the dictionary

Sorry. There’s no getting around this one. Unfortunately, if we don’t understand what a word means, we can’t use it correctly. The good news is that you don’t have to lug around the actual book though. Just download any dictionary app, and use it every time you come across a word you don’t quite understand.

Image source – Unilad

 

 

 

2. Read more

Ok, sure, the last time you were told this, you probably had a mountain of text books in front of you. But here too, there is good news. It doesn’t matter what you read, just that you cultivate reading as a habit. So, cultivate away, but towards your individual tastes and interests, whether that’s the latest automobile magazine, Bollywood gossip column, Harry Potter book, or even an Archies comic, or Tinkle digest! Even newspapers, political blog posts, sports magazines, industry journals, or a self-help book count. Though you should draw the line at Whatsapp forwards. Those don’t count. Just 20 minutes a day is more than enough!

Image source - Reading Ahead

Image source – Reading Ahead

 

3. Play word games

Yes, you read that correctly. And it works too! It doesn’t matter whether the games are in a newspaper, or puzzle book, or board game, or even on an app on your phone. Crosswords, word jumbles, Scrabble, they all help you keep your word count up!

Image source - Chemistry World

Image source – Chemistry World

 

4. Stop using the word ‘very’

Unfortunately, the word ‘very’ has a tendency to become a bit of a crutch for those suffering from a poor vocabulary. We miss out on using so many alternative ways of expressing things just by hiding behind this one little word. ‘Very angry’ could be ‘furious’, ‘very pretty’ could be ‘gorgeous’, and ‘very bad’ could be ‘atrocious’. Our language tends to become a bit colorless and bland if get used to just using ‘very’ everywhere.

Image source – SankeiBiz

 

5. Don’t think you’re too old to learn

Just because you’re no longer in school, doesn’t mean you know everything. And it also doesn’t mean that you should. Every situation you face in life will try to teach you something, you just have to be open to it. And even teachers themselves should be constantly learning new things. Don’t use age as an excuse, but rather as an opportunity!

Image source – Telegraph

 

But above all else, never be ashamed for where you stand in terms of your knowledge. As long as you are working to better yourself, you are the master of your fate. Don’t forget, no one out there is perfect, and we are all learning something every day. The power is in realizing this, and staying humble. More power to you!