Monday, June 13, 2011


clutter - illustration friday

I was chatting on Facebook with a dear friend of mine tonight, talking about how I've given myself a year to de-clutter our home.  We're planning to make our treechange dreams a reality then and I don't want to take a huge amount of "stuff" with us.

My wise friend mentioned the Japanese word "danshari".  Danshari is all about throwing away things you no longer need and learning to live with less.  It believes that the clearing not only creates physical space, but also emotional.  "Stuff" weighs you down, keeps you looking at the past rather than enjoying the present and making plans for the future.  Without too much around you, you'll have more room, time and energy for the life you want.

This site also talks about the related theory of "Mottainai" - to not be wasteful.  This was a real buzz word when I lived in Japan especially with the release of the "Mottainai Furoshiki".  As a bit of a hoarder, a person who always finds myself saying "But I could use this for...." I found these words enlightening...

"... when you keep things because they might ‘come in handy’ and because throwing them away would be ‘such a waste’, do they actually retain their original meaning by being shut away in a cupboard somewhere? Things don’t actually have a meaning until they are put to use, so isn’t not putting them to use actually more wasteful than keeping them just in case?"

Or more simply put on this site "Does this item help me thrive in my present life?  Do I need this to reach my current goals?"

It will be these words that I try to keep in mind as I begin to clear out the bookshelves, the office, the wardrobe... and wouldn't it be a real bonus if with the space came some new energy to work towards that little house in the bush we dream of?


A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

This post has struck a chord with me as I tend to be a bit of a hoarder. Love the philosphy of Danshari - good luck with your de-clutter.

Kirra said...

So glad to have prompted an entire blog .. and an inspirational one at that! xx xx xx

Maestra Orquestra said...

Thank you for sharing these terms. I need some of this in my life right now!!

Mid-Craft Crisis said...

"Things don’t actually have a meaning until they are put to use, so isn’t not putting them to use actually more wasteful than keeping them just in case?" I think I need to print this quote and hang it on the wall while I am trying to cull! I have given myself a deadline of the end of August. We are starting a reno and it will be a complete life change. Changing from living large in a small house to small space living. Somethings are hard to let go. Good luck with your plans :-)

Beautifully Recreated said...

Love your word. I think the process of decluttering is a constant one. I too need to be doing this regularlly. As STUFF totally does sap you of energy and it totally can rob you of your future. Courage and strength to you as you declutter your way to your dreams.

Tracey said...

Oh that's fabulous ... I'm on a big decluttering drive at the moment. I shall do some more investigating of 'danshari' and 'mottainai' ... both concepts I would love to abide more closely by.


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