If you are too much into retail therapy for quite some time, you might just need a shot of de-clutter therapy. Don't get it? It would mean that you have to throw away the stuff that you have accumulated over a period of time. What you cannot throw away, you organise. The stuff to throw away will include the dress you thought you might fit into but can't, the high heels that you aspire to walk comfortably in (and not to the occasional party), the collection of magazines read by your grandfather, the cooking vessels you can no longer use, the shoes with tattered shoelaces and other such stuff.

And in this age of gizmos, it is very likely you might be having a cellphone that cannot be charged, the 2 GB MP3 player that weighs a pound, the computer with Celeron processor and the 56 kpbs modem that belongs to the museum.

“I do endless reorganising. I move the furniture. I throw away all junk, plastic shopping bags, bottles, I give away old clothes. The two things that I don't move are the shoe stand and the TV. But still the house looks cluttered. I don't know what to do,” says Sarita S., who works in an IT firm. “I begin my organising on Friday evening by Saturday evening I am done but still I find disorder,” she says.

Organising or reorganising is not just physical. “When my house is cluttered or my bedroom is cluttered I feel as if I am disturbed. Nothing seems to happen the way I want it to. Once I clean up the kitchen or bedroom I feel reinvigorated. Organising stuff seems to give me energy. All the tiredness just disappears,” says Lakshmi, who teaches in an engineering college.

In her agony of finding chaos in her home, Sarita is not alone. There are dozens of self-help books that promise you de-cluttered nirvana. The titles are self-explanatory:

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back by Brooks Palmer, Making Peace with the Things in Your Life: Why Your Papers, Books, Clothes, and Other Possessions Keep Overwhelming You and What to Do About It by Cindy Glovinsky and The Clutter Cure: Three Steps to Letting Go of Stuff, Organizing Your Space, & Creating the Home of Your Dreams by Judi Culbertson are some of the books. If reading a few books could clean up the home, everyone would be reading them, but it all boils down to the choice during the act. Should I or shouldn't I?

Do I keep, do I throw? These dilemmas are not easy to handle, but you have to make the choice. It would require you to throw away stuff that you don't need. Organise. Shove away some stuff.

To help its employees with de-cluttering, ADP India has launched a programme under which “employees are encouraged to hand over personal e-waste which had accumulated at their homes, to the company. This is further handed over to a firm that specialises in the treatment, handling and safe scientific disposal of e-waste.

Large and hazardous items are collected directly from the homes of the associates and handed over to the concerned party. As soon as the collection reaches 1 tonne ADP hands it over to the e-waste recycling firm,” says a firm spokesperson.

“Indians are great recyclers. Almost everything is recycled till it is worn off. I have seen the plastic water bottles recycled as stoppers for water tankers and polystyrene foam boxes as pots for plants. We are socially conditioned to keep the house clean as we do it during Deepavali and Sankranti where there is a day for bonfire,” says Sambasiva Rao.

Between de-cluttering, organising, discarding and recycling, the choice is yours to make.

Keywords: House keeping