On clutter

I imagined this personal initiative: the ‘cubic metre project’. When I migrated to Australia, my belongings fit in a 1m3 box. Over seven years, clutter has accumulated. My apartment is 50 m2, with tall ceilings about 3.5m high. That’s 175 m3 in total Enough for two people and parties, not for junk. So, could I get rid of 1m3 in a day?

It was less difficult than I thought.

First stop around the bin. In a minute, I got rid of a bulging ‘bag of bags’, full of useless plastic and air. Second stop, my study. A few months ago, I went through my bookshelves, and selected about 40 books  to donate. They were still sitting in a pile. I slid them inside an old shopping trolley. They’re now ready for the op shop. Third stop, a quick run through perishables. Curry paste from 2014, sweet soy sauce from 2012, almond cordial from 2010, I bid thee farewell. They joined a broken suitcase, a useless plastic jug, and worn out pillow cases in the bin downstairs.

“Decluttering” is a popular trend. People have read the book, ‘minimal aesthetic’ equates happiness. Many resist, of which I am: are things really that evil? Or maybe, we just don’t want to painfully sort through piles of emotionally loaded mementoes, papers, books, photos, or even clothes. But often, half the problem can be solved in an hour. The same wisdom applies to houses as computer hard drives. If it feels clogged, clear the trash.




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