A STORY is told by one Ellison Kamupira of Harare about a man in his village who bought the first vehicle in his family. With much ululating, pomp and ceremony the villagers gathered at his homestead to receive the vehicle.
With the words “Zvichanaka Chete” (Everything Will Be Alright) proudly emblazoned on its side, the vehicle made its maiden voyage to the village which would turn out to be the last one.
Once the reception party died down, the vehicle never started again despite the spirited efforts of the village mechanic. After several months of no movement, according to Kamupira, people with vehicles started borrowing parts from the car starting with the wheels, leaving the vehicle on bricks.
Later, they moved to the seats but the optimism of the message on the side of the vehicle did not reduce. Eventually, this vehicle which came with much promise became a chicken house but the message “Zvichanaka Chete” persisted on what remained of the car body.
Unfortunately, this story epitomises much of our lives whose creative space is complicated by clutter. Living in two places particularly for our Diaspora communities complicates how we manage clutter even further.
I was speaking to one of my mkhwenyanas, Jabulani, based in the UK this week. Each time I speak to him, the issue of going home always comes up but year after year there is no follow up.
I am one of the people who also labour under clutter and I am realising how it reduces mobility in achieving goals. I am in my tenth consecutive year living outside my home country from an initial target of just two years. It is difficult to simultaneously live in two countries at the same time.
Early last year, when finances were really tight, I had a double garage in Harare with a plethora of building supplies which I cleared and took to the auction house. I was pleasantly surprised what value I was sitting on over the years.
Many of us packed our furniture into storage when we left Zimbabwe. Of course it made sense to keep some assets, though slowly depreciating, when the Zimbabwean dollar was rapidly losing value. The multi-currency system has brought stability in this regard and it now makes sense to release the clutter we have kept back home to release cash-flow into your financial plan.
In any case, even if we decide to go back permanently to Zimbabwe, we are very unlikely to use the same furniture purchased many years ago, not to mention electronic goods which have no place in modern existence.
When you are unable to find things that you know you have somewhere, feel stressed out by the disorganisation in your home and when the clutter around you is causing tension in your relationships, then it is time to get the decluttering process initiated.
The most important thing to remember when decluttering is that you will be making room and getting rid of emotional baggage, whilst lowering your storage costs. Decluttering can be viewed as essential for executing your goals.
While it is always good to hang onto things of sentimental value, ask yourself if you truly need to keep a magazine from 2000. Give some thought to donate away computers, magazines, books, old toys or clothes in good condition to a local charity or sell them to make some cash. You can also donate all clothes you don't wear anymore and are still in very good condition to local charities back home or in your host country.
Whether you declutter and sell items for cash, donate items to the needy or both, you are building a more balanced approach to material possessions.
Donations make mental and space sense. You can go ahead and sell these things through a yard sale, or garage sale or if you have sufficient time and capacity, market them on the internet. If you have the know-how, getting rid of the things you don’t need is equally very liberating and releasing, and can actually create some cash flow.
The bottom line, anyone who declutters will feel great! Recycling can be gratifying, knowing that your waste will go to good use. Those of us with control issues might have a tougher time of "letting go," but letting go releases things that are blocking the path to happiness.
If your thoughts are cluttered with negative energy, your results in life and business will reflect those thoughts. Clutter in any area of your life can easily spill over into other areas, so it's important to understand this reality and keep it in check.
When you're surrounded by clutter, your efficiency is reduced, productivity is thwarted, creativity is diminished, tolerance is lowered and your bottom line ultimately suffers. Fortunately, clutter can be removed and it doesn't have to be unpleasant or difficult.
It is important to focus on decluttering our lives in a tangible and intangible way. Recently, I am trying to use everything that I currently own as this is extra friendly on the budget, and is eco-friendly. I am even trying to declutter my email inboxes since realising that life can get so busy that postponing things to later typically never gets done.
Some of the reasons for struggling with letting go could be sentimental value. When we spend a lot on an item, we do not want to throw it away or donate it. Sometimes we are too lazy to sort it or we hope it might be useful one day.
The essential to decluttering is to really think about the items we really do and do not need. So, rather than let it lie in the box or at the back of your wardrobe, why not permit it to earn social capital or even some money for your investment?
When we rid our workspace and life of unnecessary clutter, we reap the rewards of a clearer mind and clearer desk. Freeing up your physical space can improve your focus, release blocked creativity and improve decision making.
Tafirenyika L. Makunike is the chairman and founder of Nepachem cc (www.nepachem.co.za), an enterprise development and consulting company. He writes in his personal capacity