Honestly, one thing that I have never been able to do is to make my house clutter-free. I neither could find the time to clear nor the resolve to do away with them. But circumstances forced me to initiate measures in that direction when I decided to set up my practice as a professional, post-retirement from the services of a public sector bank on superannuation. The targeted area was the living room that also doubled up as my study room which eventually had to be my office.
My professional colleagues chipped in to help me. After a quick survey, professionals that they were, they each had a solution ranging from the Oprah Winfrey experiment, to the Four-Box method or the Courtney Carver approach.
Their real problem started on eyeing my school notebooks. I promptly resisted, pointing to the unused pages that could be put to use besides the sentimental value it had for me. When they were surprised at my amazing collection of stationery items, especially unused pencils, I had to tell them that Board and other committee meetings being a monthly affair, it was only natural that they found a place in my study room.
True, the unused personal computer was a classical instance of e-waste but I could not imagine getting rid of it even under an attractive exchange scheme, for it was the first acquisition from my hard earned savings. The mobiles, calculators, music-systems and cassettes could not be touched for they brought back nostalgic memories of the past, each having an interesting tale deeply entwined with my cluttered life!
Even the innumerable calendars on the walls with the deities could not be touched for obvious reasons. My friends tried reasoning with me to retain, at best, one and discard the rest. “Even in cricket, only eleven can find a find a place in the final line-up, the others have to sit out,” they tried convincing me, knowing my craze for cricket. Even that analogy failed to break the ice.
When they fished out an old rusted geometry box, my joy knew no bounds; I snatched it from their hands, flipped it
open and was thrilled beyond imagination to spot the small red coloured graphite piece that was not only my treasured asset but also a good luck charm — a small pencil from my school days.
That signalled the beginning of a stalemate and the ‘decluttering’ operations came to a grinding halt. As I stood holding the small piece of graphite close to my heart, my colleagues chose to beat the retreat having understood my predicament. I couldn’t care less even when they made a passing remark that any attempt to declutter my place was akin to straightening the proverbial dog’s tail!