Mindful with Irene (26)

Irene is rather jealous of Astrid’s blog about decluttering. Because she herself is more of a hoarder than a declutterer.

Actually, I’m really rather jealous of Astrid with her weekly blogs about decluttering. First, because it seems like fun to write about decluttering, but even more so because that whole decluttering lark is something I just can’t do. And, as I have discovered through her blog, Astrid can!

Whenever I try to declutter, I simply end up moving stuff around the house. Things get placed in the loft, popped into drawers, and hidden in plastic bags. But actually thrown away? Nope, that doesn’t happen. I try to pick up a few tips from Astrid; like thinking to myself “Is there someone else who will be happier with this than me?” “Will I ever wear this again?” and “Will I ever use this again?” but they never actually help. And so, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the crux of the difference between hoarders and declutterers. Declutterers are much better at not fooling themselves.

You see, hoarders, like myself, often think: There’ll be times for this (again). Times in which I will suddenly love wearing blouses with red flowers; times in which I will write a novel on my typewriter, just like Hank in the TV series, Californication; times when I will urgently need those five leftover plastic green champagne glasses; times when all those socks that have mysteriously disappeared will reappear and want to be reunited with their partners.

The other week, while I was moving my piles of rubbish around—rather frustratingly, I might add—I thought to myself that I would never be able to learn the art of decluttering. But I could at least write a blog about it, and what’s more, make it a mindful blog. The task? To place 25 different things in a more logical place every day for one week. It might not exactly be Mindful Decluttering, but it certainly is Mindful Moving. It also doesn’t leave you with an emptier house, but it does leave you with a clearer head! Next week, you’ll hear how it went …

Irene, together with Astrid, is the founder and creative director of Flow Magazine. She lives with her children (10 and 13, co-parenting) in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in her daily life.