Judith's Jottings » Blog Home Page
How completing a jigsaw can inform the decluttering process - 20th November 2018
Are you a fan of jigsaws? I remember the frustration of them on wet childhood holidays. Too much sky and not enough patience sometimes.
Would you believe me if I told you there's a connection between how you tackle a jigsaw and how you approach decluttering?
Maybe it's a while since you did a jigsaw?
Let me remind you of the process.
Firstly, find a clear space in which to complete the jigsaw. Then tip out all the pieces and make sure they are face up.
Next, find the four corner pieces and all those with a straight edge. This enables you to complete the outline of the picture as a starting point. You might then consider the image on the lid and decide to sort the remaining pieces into 'sky' 'grass' 'water' or what have you. If you don't start with this sorting process then you are repeatedly looking through every single piece for something to slot into the puzzle.
You need patience for a jigsaw. You need to be able to try pieces and have them not fit, and to keep going until you find the exact piece.
When you have completed your jigsaw you will be rightly proud of your efforts and your triumph over all that 'sea' where it all looked the same, for instance!
What's that got to do with decluttering?
If you are to succeed with decluttering you need to prepare for it in a thoughtful way.
It helps to have a clear space to spread everything out. Just like the situation with the puzzle, this enables you to see exactly what you have so you can begin to sort your 'things' into separate piles. Instead of looking for matching colours and images you need to establish what kind of items are in your space and sub-divide them. For example if you are working on clothes, you could make categories of each type of garment.
The creation of categories helps you appreciate exactly what you have. This is the only way to confidently declutter any item. In the example of clothes decluttering, if your pile of trousers is huge, then you can safely part from some of them.
You may not have 'edges' and 'corners' but you will find certain key items that will inform how you proceed. Again, using the clothing example you might find lots of garments of a kind that you no longer wear. That would mean you could swiftly declutter quite a big pile of items. That one realisation is the 'corner' of your decluttering jigsaw.
You will need patience for sure! There are bound to be items that 'trip you up'. Indecision may be an issue, or you might lose the impetus. Remember, the jigsaw doesn't look good until every last piece is in place. Then it is something to be proud of.