Decluttering for Diwali

Decluttering for Diwali

With Diwali around the corner, my husband and I decide it’s time to declutter. I look around the house wondering where to begin. My husband gently suggests, “Why don’t you begin with your closet and give away the clothes you don’t need?” This was easier said than done.

I reach into my closet for the first saree on the left, a cream georgette. I’m determined to start at one end and work my way to the other. The sari with intricate zari embroidery evokes fond memories of a shopping trip with my favourite cousin. I’d dragged her from work to go shopping for a family wedding. Most people would pass on trudging through a crowded Chennai bazaar on a sultry afternoon. But my cousin and I aren’t most people. Crowds and sultry weather was not going to stop us. We haggled and waggled our way undeterred by bullheaded shopkeepers and other disgruntled shoppers. Standing in front of my closet, I can virtually smell the coffee, that my mom greeted us with, when we returned home that day tired but triumphant.

“How is it going?” The husband’s voice yanks me to the present. I can’t possibly give this saree away. Maybe it would be better to start with the accessories I think. The elegant cream leather clutch under the sari on the shelf catches my attention. The clutch has played faithful companion to the aforementioned sari for many years and was a gift from a friend at her daughter’s wedding. It was no ordinary wedding, but a royal affair set in Rajasthan, featuring horses, dancers and mouth-watering regional cuisine. Even now, my senses are overwhelmed imagining the taste of the ghevar I had at the wedding. I return the cream clutch back to its original place in the wardrobe.

Twenty minutes of handling two items and twenty memories meant the cupboard is no leaner than before. By now the husband is fuming and heads out of the bedroom. I hear the loud clank of vessels on the kitchen counter. I rush in to see what the commotion is about. “You’re not using most of these saucepans or serving spoons. I’ve already started binning them, you can do the rest!” Utensils of all shapes and sizes sit on the counter. Most of them were bequeathed by my mom on my frequent visits to Chennai.

“Seeing how keen you are about decluttering for Diwali why don’t we start with the study?” I decide it’s time to fight fire with fire. Without waiting for his response, I stride to the study. My husband’s incessant acquisition of books, most still waiting to be read, is the reason for my new found fervour for decluttering. “Shall we begin here on the right?” I ask. Recognising the militant look in my face, my husband gazes at his bookshelves and declares, “Maybe we should wait for the New Year to begin decluttering!”