2nd BDJ Rendezvous 2018: Declutter Your Life

On this year’s 2nd Belle de Jour Power Planner Rendezvous, BDJ Bellas are taught on how to let go of things that clutters their lives so that they can live fully. I for one carry luggage when I was still single, and now, carry the entire house when leaving because kids.

Did you know? Compulsive hoarding can cause your mental, emotional, physical, and even financial health to dwindle simply by starting to think that these items are of value in the future.

Hoarding is a disorder of persistent difficulty discarding or parting with material possessions because of a wrong perception of need to save them. A person with this kind of disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of items specially those with sentimental values and hence accumulate things excessively regardless of actual value or usage. Some cases are severe, some are just like me.


BDJ Rendezvous was held at the Activity Area of SM Light Mall last July 28, 2018. Hosted by Ms. Yani Manapil, the event, entitled “Declutter Your Life” aims to educate and inspire millennials by giving them a new perspective about the practice of Effective Decluttering in both aspects of material things and substantial like toxic relationships and unreasonable paranoia of the mind.

Dig Deep and Let Go with Organizing Consultant of Aliwalas Philippines, Patricia Tancongco

The first thing we need to do before starting the decluttering process is to Know Yourself Better. By doing so, we will know the things that really matters to us now. Asking the right questions will refine our sense of purpose and hence, will give a greater sense of purpose, which is the best motivator in decluttering.

What are our goals or the things we would like to achieve after decluttering? Was it to make you happy? To keep the things we value the most? To finally live our dream lives?

It is also important to Visualize the Result, the decluttered space will be welcoming things that excites and motivates you, be it an extra space for the things you are passionate about or the time saved so you could listen to your favourite audio book while sipping a hot drink.

Decluttering is not just a chore, but a form of self-care.

If we are bothered about the value of the things we don’t need anymore, we could sell it online, do a garage sale or even donate it to charities – donating the things with sentimental values to us resonates joy knowing that someone else would benefit from the things we love. In these ways, we could change our space to make room for things we love, finally changing our daily lives even ourselves for the better.

Decluttering Like A Guru by KonMari Consultant-in-Training, Renelyn Tan-Castillejos

The KonMari way of organizing is not about the things we need to throw away, but retaining the things that gives and sparks joy.

The KonMari Method of Decluttering revolves around two skills.
The ability to keep what sparks joy and discard the rest, and
The ability to decide where to keep each thing and put it back in place.

One of the things we usually don’t know whether to throw away or keep are souvenirs be it from our trips or as pasalubong from our friends and loved ones. Ms. Renelyn shared to us a new way of sparking joy to these dust eaters by attaching it to our hangers so that every time we open our closets to change clothes, seeing these key chains will spark joy and good memories as we remember our unforgettable trip or the loved one who gave it to us.

Another thing that was instilled in me was how to be grateful on the material things that we own and letting them go. One example of this are books or clothes we are sentimentally attached to. If we may not read or wear them anymore but we are having a hard time on letting them go because of its sentimental value to us. What do we do?

First, we have to be thankful. Thank the book or the dress, because once it your life it brought joy and happiness to you.

Then, let it go.

If it’s still usable, donate it to charity or to the less-fortunate, this will ease the pain of your loss since the idea of giving others joy from the material things you will give them will also spark joy and happiness to you.

Marie Kondo’s 6 Basic Rules of Tidying:
1)    Commit yourself to tidying up
2)    Imagine your ideal lifestyle
3)    Finish discarding the first
4)    Tidy by category, not by location
5)    Follow the right order
6)    Ask yourself if it sparks joy

If we live with other members of the family or colleagues in a dorm who has a lot of clutter, how do we encourage them to declutter? Be a good example. We may inspire them to do it as well, but if not, at least you have your own sense of peace from the organization of your things.

Have things in their place, and put things back in their place.

Tidying is an act of confronting yourself, hence, it is hard. Cleaning is the act of confronting nature. When decluttering, you are confronting yourself in a tedious act of cleaning. That is why it is important to commit first in tidying up before starting the decluttering process.

Make the Switch by Minimalist advocate and founder of Mean Living Philippines, Phoebe Blas

I was always torn between throwing things away to declutter and reusing things to help the biggest problem our Mother Nature is facing, the garbage.

My ground is now firmer, after hearing the talk on how Ms. Phoebe Blas of Mean Living Philippines slowly switched to a clutter-free lifestyle while helping our environment by having fewer things at home starting in clothes, bags and shoes, all along without the feeling of deprivation and instead feeling more elevated and happy.

This is what I’m missing. And now I am so happy to share with you the things I learned from this very special talk by Ms. Phoebe.

The One Month Challenge

If you are busy in life and can’t find a whole day to sit and declutter, this one month challenge is a good way to start your decluttering process.

Starting on the first day of the month, throw away one item that you don’t need anymore. You increase this number by increments of one, so on the 10th day, you should throw away 10 unwanted stuff. Doing so, you will discard 528 unwanted items without a sweat! These unwanted items may include clothes, books, and different kinds of abubots like receipts, used notebooks, broken gadgets and appliances.

The Minimalist Way of Decluttering, Zero-Waste

You won’t throw away plastic, if you are not using it at the first place.

Ms. Phoebe slowly switched to zero-waste lifestyle by starting to use naked bar shampoo and conditioner, a bamboo toothbrush, cloth napkins and menstrual cup.

Minimalism helps people question what things add value to their lives. Clearing the clutter from your life’s path will certainly make room for what is most important to yours.

Circular Economy mimics nature where there is no trash, so instead of discarding resources, Zero-Waste-ing a product means creating a system where all resources including the packaging resumed fully back into the system.

Owning fewer material possessions will reduce the burden of stress that comes from owning a lot while remembering the goal of Zero-Waste is to have a circular economy where nothing goes to the thrash and hence garbage become non-existent.

I am not yet ready on switching to fully-zero waste but I’m starting by using recyclable bags, refusing to use straw, bringing my own bottle of water, segregating waste and throwing it on proper bins. Aside from creating smarter choices, I also opt to refuse to buy, not because I don’t have the money for it, but because I want it, but not really need it. Owning one bag for everything meant extra time to bond with my kids, instead of planning what bag will match my outfit. That also goes for my everyday shoes as well.

Clear it All Out by Sound Healer, Miqo Dionisio
Planning life is tough, planning life out of fear is unattainable. That is why we should learn to master on planning life out of love instead. As an engineer, we are taught to expect and recreate the worst case scenario and by there, design the structure maximizing its strength in a specific factor of safety that will most probably give extra time for people to escape before collapsing either during an earthquake or can withstand strong gust of wind during typhoon.

Apparently, that not how we should plan life. We should not start with “what if my plan didn’t work?” but with “what if it did?” Asking positive questions in planning things ahead will keep you closer to your goals, because taking care of our inner peace is the key for a cluttered-free lifestyle and thinking.

While hearing all of these, I remember a Korean proverb I learned from self-studying Hangul that I would like to share to ya’ll, too, it’s…

Sijoni banida which meant well begun is half done. If you started it right, you’re halfway there.

Thank you so much Belle de Jour Power Planner for inviting me in this year’s 2nd BDJ Rendezvous. I learned a lot in this very timely topic of Decluttering Life.

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