There. I said it. It’s right up there in the title.
I want to completely have my home, car, and office free of clutter by the end of August of this year.
Do you ever wonder why you are so efficient the night before a deadline? Why you are so good at studying the week before finals when you barely touched your textbook for the whole semester? Why you always pack everything the night before, or even the morning of the flight?
Cyril Parkinson was a British historian who noted the phenomenon that as bureaucracies expanded, they became more inefficient. Parkinson’s Law states that: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Productivity hackers by and large agree that the more time you give yourself to complete a task, the longer it will take to finish the task.
Last year when I first started my decluttering journey, I told myself I would just see how it goes. I made a lot of progress in the first few weeks, then I took a break and things slowly returned back to normal. I tried again a few months later, and the cycle repeated itself. While I definitely have less crap than I used to – I am nowhere close to being fully decluttered. There are still a lot of things in my house that I wish were not there.
Following Parkinson’s Law, I hope that by setting a timeline of 3 months I will be pushed to completely revamp my living space and correct my shopping habits once and for all.
Kon Mari suggests that a complete decluttering can be performed in 6 months – which she describes as a quick period of time. I gave myself 3 months because I tend to lose momentum the longer a project takes – and also because my house is not that big.
I will follow the KonMari checklist for decluttering.
1. Clothing (June 1st – June 15th)
2. Books (June 15th – June 22nd)
3. Papers (June 22nd – June 29th)
4. Komono (Miscellaneous) (July 1st – July 31st)
- Kitchen – condiments, cooking utensils, kitchen accessories
- Uniform and Military Supplies
- Hobby Goods
5. Sentimental Items (August 1st – August 15th)
6. Electronic Organizing (August 16th – August 31st)
Everytime I’ve attempted the decluttering, I get stuck after point 3. I find it too difficult to sort through two people’s worth of papers and misc gear and I end up going shopping again – which leads me back to step one. Luckily, having tried this once before I also have a pretty good idea of how long it realistically takes me to declutter things (this involves selling items worth money, disposing of electronics safely, donating usable things to the community shelters).
I don’t want to be roommates with a bunch of stuff I don’t use anymore.
Kon Mari asks her clients to envision what sort of home they ideally picture themselves living in.
I want to live in a clean, light, mentally refreshing atmosphere that fosters creativity. I want to be able to drink tea at my dressing table in the mornings while applying makeup from a feminine vanity. I want to be able to read in a cozy chair and have green plants in my field of vision on weeknights with soft jazz music playing in the background.