What is Decluttering?
Decluttering is about removing the unnecessary from a certain space to tidy up. It can be used not only for a physical space such as your home and office, but also your mental and digital space. Depending on what the item is, you could store it, dispose it or give it away.
Decluttering for Deen
I think cleanliness and clarity is a big part of our faith. And I feel that decluttering helps us greatly in achieving the two. So say Bismillah, and go for it!
Let’s talk about three different spaces in our life that we can declutter:
Decluttering your physical space
Your physical surroundings can impact your inner being. Although cluttered homes may look clean, they may not feel clean. It’s important to declutter your home on a regular basis. If decluttering your entire home is challenging, try sorting things out one room at a time.
3 Kinds of Clutter:
Out of Place
Get boxes or baskets to categorize the items you find. I generally look for items that are misplaced. An example would be books that are lying around the house but should be on the shelf. Makeup that’s in the bathroom instead of on the dressing table is another example. Also clothes and toys that aren’t in their respective places.
Out of Time
Old items that are collecting dust, outdated gizmos and gadgets as well as expired products – should be sorted out. Get those old clothes or home products cleaned, and to someone who needs it. You can sell outdated gizmos and gadgets online, or give them to a workshop where they can salvage the parts. And immediately throw out expired cosmetics, toiletries or processed food items.
Out of Use
Items that are no longer used can be collected and given to those in need. A great example would be baby products (such as clothing and furniture) that your child may have outgrown. Get these goods to a mum-to-be. Donate them to an orphanage or ask friends and family if they’d like to have them. Make sure these items find someone who needs them, and make some extra space in your home for things you can use.
Decluttering Your Digital Space
Do you realise you take up space on the World Wide Web? Whether it’s saving messages, downloading a playlist or taking photographs with your electronic device – these are all items that take up space. Decluttering can help you keep things neat and tidy in the digital world too!
3 ways to declutter digitally:
Delete those unnecessary screenshots, lengthy chats, halal memes that you have saved and blurry photographs. You don’t need them! It will save you from plenty of unnecessary scrolling and searching.
Decluttering includes organizing and tidying up. This helps you become aware of all that you have. Sort emails, messages and media files into folders. This will also make it easier to find something specific when you need it. While sorting, you are sure to find files, apps, subscriptions that you don’t need and more (delete or remove them).
Many of us have limited space on our phones, tablets and other electronic devices. Develop the habit to transfer data to a storage device periodically. This not only declutters your digital space but also ensures files are safely backed up.
Decluttering Your Mental Space
With mental health issues on the rise, decluttering has become more important than ever. I am always reminded of Rasulallah’s advice to let go of anything that disturbs our soul. Decluttering helps us in letting go.
Let’s see how decluttering can help with:
Our fast-paced lives can rob us of the time needed to address our feelings. The internet can expose us to things that can make us smile and cry within the same minute. We need to learn to slow down, connect with our inner self and declutter our feelings. As humans, we are created to feel. Be aware of your feelings and tend to them. There’s no need to rush and distract yourself. Such behaviour will only result in an emotional overload that will upset you. Take time out to feel an emotion and then declutter.
Holding on to the Past:
It’s nice to cherish good memories and the wisdom we have gained along life’s road. But holding on to a past event that upsets us or number us can weigh us down, and keep us from moving into a happier future. If you find yourself wandering down memory lane in tears- it’s time to declutter. Find the root of your pain, embrace it, and then let it go for good. You may not succeed at first but you will eventually. This will not only help your heart and soul feel lighter but also prepare you for what is to come.
Penting Up Anger
Drop the unhealthy habit of penting up anger until it makes you erupt like a volcano. It’s a lot like hoarding. Whether it’s at home or work, it’s important we learn how to manage anger and address the issues that cause it. This can be done by identifying the cause at an earlier stage and addressing it in a calm manner. For example, if someone dumps too much work on you- make sure you let them know it was more than you could handle. And learn how to politely say “no” in the future to avoid being overworked.
Whether you are decluttering the space around you or within you, remember that every ounce of effort invested has a positive result. Some people dedicate a daily slot (as short as ten minutes) in their schedule to declutter their life. Others make sure they do a complete decluttering periodically. Do you practice decluttering? Do you have any tips and tricks to share? Or stories about how decluttering has helped? I’d love to hear from you and learn from your experiences. Let me know in the comments!