Lately I have been trying to do a better job of keeping clutter to a minimum. It’s simply not sustainable to dedicate a day of the week to just clean the house, and so I have started to adhere to an old system that has been passed down for generations. I like to describe it as a centuries-old way of keeping clutter at bay, with the mess out the door and cleanliness to stay. In Punjabi, it’s called Naal Dee Naal, or As You Go, and my wife has been trying to get me to follow it for years.
The idea is quite simple and has two basic implementations. The first is a no-brainer, which is to put everything away that you bring out, be it the dishes and ingredients to a meal or tools and scraps for a DIY project. Leave nothing to be picked up at a later time. This ensures that you don’t add to the existing clutter. Parent tip: Get your kids in this habit as early as possible. If they pick up after themselves, you’re not left to clean up everywhere they’ve been that day after they go to bed.
The other implementation is for helping to declutter an already-full house. When leaving a room, do a scan to see if there’s anything that doesn’t belong and take it with you on your way out. You will see a huge improvement in a very short time in how much more you’re able to enjoy living in your home without the visual noise of clutter surrounding you.
This does wonders for minimizing possessions as well. Instead of putting off the task with the excuse that you have no time to go through everything, do it Naal Dee Naal over time. If something comes into your hands that you no longer need, recycle/toss it right then, or put it in a box/bag to donate to the thrift store when you fill it with enough things. These days, with the capabilities of smartphones in general and in photography capabilities, it’s also very easy to list an item for sale as well. It takes just a few minutes to list and you could soon be a bit closer to the joys of owning less.
Give it a try and see how you like it!
Peace and blessings