Menon: Decluttering your life

It all started a few months ago when I was having a Zoella, a popular YouTuber, video marathon—a regular occurrence when you have an affinity for locking yourself in your room alone regularly, like I do.

In one of her older favorites videos—I can’t tell you which one since I don’t remember, don’t want to look and if you find out how old it is you might judge me for being too jobless—she mentions a book named “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. Admittedly, I did not think much of it at the time, but since I’m returning from my summer break after a partly difficult freshman year at university, I have been giving a lot of thought to trying to get my life together this coming semester.

The general idea is to eliminate anything from your life that doesn’t give you happiness, be it items, people or disgusting vegetables. Actually, whether they bring you happiness or not, the disgusting vegetables might actually be useful—sorry about that. But jokes aside, looking at it from a logical and technical point of view, it makes no sense as to why we would want to keep anything around that didn’t make us happy. I might not be able to control everyone around me, or all the situations around me, but what I can control is the people I choose to keep in my life and the situations I want to give attention to. It is much easier to write and preach than to actually practice, but I can share with you that I used this summer to apply this philosophy to my life, and it was the only good decision I’ve made these past four years.

I started with my social networks, removing people from my Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat that I didn’t really like and to whom I didn’t want to give access to my life. Why would I want to have people on my personal accounts who don’t make me feel good? I don’t want to be scrolling through my Instagram feed, and after gorgeous pictures of makeup, food and Varun Dhawan, have to cringe when I see that annoying person who was never really nice to me.

My Twitter was slightly more challenging. Even at home I’m always on the run, and I don’t often have time to read an actual newspaper or magazine, so I realized that I could make up for that by following all the newspapers and magazines Twitter handles to get instant updates on what was happening all over the world almost simultaneously. Unfortunately, everyone in the world isn’t always open minded and progressive, so I have to dredge through the racist, sexist and just downright ignorant nonsense that people choose to impose on the world. For some reason my earlier coping mechanism for these tweets was reading them, going to the person’s handle, reading more similar posts and fuming. But now, I just block them and, believe me, not having to read a tweet from any of the Kardashians or Trumps is the best thing I could have ever done for myself.

Now, almost three months down the line, I have learned three things: You have way more time for yourself when you’re not focusing on the wrong people, scrolling through your timeline is way more productive when you only have everything that’s useful on it and that I follow more stores and makeup brands on Instagram than people. Oh well.  

Arundhati Menon is a second-year student.