A lot of people when they think about decluttering, think it’s just about getting rid of the ‘stuff’ in your home. The decluttering mindset is more than that.
For me it started with decluttering things, but as I grew in confidence with decluttering and the decision making progress of only keeping what sparked joy this ethos transferred to other areas of my life. I found that I became more mindful of my own well being, I discovered a clearer picture of what made (and kept) me happy. This clarity over my life has made me happier, and healthier, not just mentally but physically too.
When I decluttered my kitchen, I took the time to declutter food I had bought too. Let me tell you how life used to be. I would go once a week to the supermarket. I would buy the exact same things each week, and lots of items that were ‘healthy’ options and things I ‘should’ buy. What this meant was my shopping bill was double what it is now, and each time I came home from doing a big shop I would first of all have to throw loads of food away that was out of date or no longer fresh and then spend quite a while shoving things in the fridge/cupboard like I was playing a game of Tetris! Fitting the food in meant that lots of things were pushed to the back of the cupboard to gather dust and never see the light of day, let alone my plate.
I would then feel hungry. I would go to the fridge or the cupboard after a long 12 hour day at work, open the door and then feel totally underwhelmed, pace up and down a bit, have another look (in case something else I fancied eating had magically appeared within the last 5 minutes), and then order a takeaway. I lived on takeaways for mainly 4-5 evenings a week. I certainly wasn’t healthy – and neither was my bank balance! It got so bad that one night the delivery driver from the local Chinese came to my door – he’d seen the area as Loxley and automatically assumed it was for me (amazingly, for once, it wasn’t!)
Then I decluttered. I threw away all the food that I ‘should’ eat. All the food I had bought to ‘experiment’ with once I had time to cook…. But never had as I hated cooking, and certainly never had spare time to cook properly. I gave the food bank all the tins of things I had bought because they were on offer, but weren’t actually keen on. I threw away bags of icing and sugar, and flour (which I’m pretty sure was that old it had weevils). These were bought in a flurry of ‘one day MiniTingle and I with bond over baking cakes’. The result of which was her getting bored after 2 minutes and me then spending 35 minutes increasingly fed up that I’d started something and now had to finish it – and I couldn’t eat that many buns if I tried so the dogs got a lot of treats that week. So the flour and icing sugar was pushed to the back of the cupboard along with the baking stuff to clutter up my already bursting cupboard.
Then it all changed. When shopping I only buy food I get excited about cooking/eating. I love food NOW. I’m the kind of person that eats breakfast and then counts down how many hours or minutes it is before I can eat my dinner. By buying food I get excited about cooking it means I actually cook. It doesn’t feel like a chore. I do occasionally experiment with new things as it doesn’t feel time consuming or overwhelming – because I’m doing it because I’m excited about it rather than feeling I ought to. Takeaways happen maybe once a month now. As I saved so much money I now get an organic veg box delivered once a week – so I’m helping a local business and eating more healthy fruit and veg too. I also go to the shop less – I’ve discovered that now I have a decluttered kitchen I can see exactly what I have lots of, and what needs replacing. I have a magnet on my fridge with suggested meal plan and a shopping list of things I need to buy. This stops me from buying duplicates. I’m no longer a slave to BOGOF’s and bargains – they just don’t interest me. I know that with the exception of bread, milk and salad the cans in the fridge and the food in the freezer can feed me lots of nice meals for quite a while, if for example I’m ill, or too busy to shop, or snow happens.
This has meant my health has drastically improved, confirmed when I had some blood tests recently and all my levels were at the top end of ‘good’ which was very different to before, and I feel better for it too. My hair which once was so thin my scalp would show has started to be thicker and grow back. So you see, decluttering changes lives, but in so many more ways than you would ever begin to imagine at the start of your journey. Not bad to say I only decluttered as I wanted to see my bedroom floor again.