Decluttering: cos’è e perché fa bene anche alla mente

Decluttering: Tips and Benefits for a Simpler Life

We’ve talked about how to shop without waste and how positive awareness, or mindfulness, is a good approach to life. Decluttering is a great bridge between these two concepts because it combines the desire to live minimally with the intention of letting go of the superfluous, even on an emotional level.

But what is decluttering, and how can you start practicing it today?

What is Decluttering? Less is Better

Living in a mess and accumulating objects happens to many of us, either continuously or during a particular period of our lives when we feel more insecure and fragile for various reasons.

Both are daily phenomena that manifest discomfort: on the contrary, managing to tidy up your home, closet, or pantry also means creating space and order within yourself.

This basic concept is the foundation of "decluttering," an English term that simply means "tidying up." It has become famous in recent years thanks to the Japanese "guru" Marie Kondo and her well-known KonMari method.

But it’s more than just tidying up.

It can start as a sort of break therapy to interrupt a negative cycle, combat laziness that leads us to postpone closet changes or cleaning the garage, but it indicates something deeper than just "I'll do it tomorrow."

Practiced systematically, decluttering becomes a real lifestyle: it’s not about cyclically accumulating and organizing but tidying up once and for all, so you don't have to do it again because living with "less" becomes the norm.

Indeed, the approach is to live more minimally, understand what you really need, and keep only the essentials, as the superfluous often serves only as a mask or the proverbial "Linus's blanket" to hide and protect ourselves from disappointments.

How to Organize Closets and Shoe Racks, But Also the Fridge and Pantry

Let's be clear, there’s nothing wrong with collecting ceramic figurines or being passionate about shoes, having over two dozen in the shoe rack. However, it depends on how this makes you feel: is it a fun and positive pastime? Is it a way to express your style?

Or is it just pointless accumulation? Is it true that you never use those shoes and the figurines are collecting dust because you don't even pay attention to them?

In this second case, maybe you should consider decluttering!

If clothes that you haven't worn for more than a year fall on you when you open the closet, or you have so much "extra" food stored in the pantry that the oldest packages are now expired, you’re wasting money, space, and energy.

Take an entire afternoon, wear comfortable clothes, arm yourself with large garbage bags, and play some music you like: you’re ready to start.

To avoid panic, tackle one room at a time, starting with what seems easiest or what you know will give you the most satisfaction in the end: we assure you the effort will be worth it.

Don't procrastinate, start now and try to visualize how serene you'll feel seeing:

  • Spices neatly arranged on the kitchen shelf

  • The living room bookshelf freed from old dusty magazines, with books organized by author or genre

  • The walk-in closet with all clothes hanging, perhaps color-coordinated

  • The bicycle finding its place in the garage without playing Tetris every time to put it away

Don’t you already feel better just thinking about it?

And not everything that’s excessive for you needs to be thrown away; it can actually be useful for other purposes.

Why Decluttering is Good for the Environment and Society

Worn-out clothes and expired food, unfortunately, need to be discarded: pay attention and sort them correctly, opening and separating packages made of different materials.

Conversely, nearly new clothes that simply are out of fashion for you or don’t fit well can be a great resource for those less fortunate: ensure they’re clean and in good condition, then pack them in appropriate bags to protect them and take them to collection points of charitable associations in your area.

The same goes for old textbooks that you no longer need or books by an author you’ve read and re-read and now find boring: donate them to small neighborhood libraries or associations that send them to places where they’re truly valuable.

In addition to making this small social contribution, decluttering can help the environment because you’ll discover that you can live better by having less, buying less and better, paying more attention to what you wear, how you furnish and clean your home, and yes, even and especially what you put on the table.

Positive Effects of Decluttering on the Psyche

Decluttering doesn’t just mean making room in the closet. It’s a true philosophy of life, an approach to the essential, wanting to keep only what’s truly needed, not just from a material perspective.

The superfluous objects we discard help us visualize the heavy emotional baggage we carry inside, which we can eliminate, making space in the mind and heart.

On one hand, order at home gives a sense of inner order: who doesn’t feel at peace after finishing a seasonal closet change or clearing out a garage full of old unused boxes?

On the other hand, we often imbue some objects with emotional value: the gift from an ex-boyfriend, the moving box, the book from that terrible university exam, or clothes that no longer fit. All this can create stress because it triggers painful and delicate memories or associations.

That’s why deciding to "throw everything away" can be a real boon for your well-being and emotional health!

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