With the fast pace that the modern world pressures us to go at, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of stimuli that is thrown at us such as the pull to buy material things (consumerism) and the barrage of media. Because of these stressors, there is a trend towards “decluttering”. Decluttering is the act of “[removing] unnecessary items from (an untidy or overcrowded place)” (Oxford English Dictionary).
But the fact that many of us have the luxury to declutter means that we live in a world of abundance of resources and time that we often take for granted. So why is there such a push towards decluttering? What are we really trying to get rid of? Well, being over inundated with things and information can cause extra stress and the temptation to engage in avoidance behaviors (e.g. downplaying/ignoring the real issues). This, in turn, makes the idea of living without clutter appealing.
Thoughts for the Week
However, if we use decluttering as means to escape from life’s complexities, it’s a losing proposition, because we will always be bombarded by stimuli. Another way to approach this is to stay mindful of what things you enjoy and value rather than focus on what excess you should be removing from your life.