I recently interviewed the author of healthy cookbook, ‘Super Slaw’, and Queen of the Kettlebells, Jill Greenwood (interview coming soon!). When I asked her about self-care rituals she said for her it was really about exercise and time alone, she’s not really one for pedicures and manicures. I exclaimed I’d choose decluttering over a manicure any day. She laughed and agreed, ‘yes give me a sock drawer!’
You might not put decluttering in the realm of self-care, so read on to see how much it can benefit your health and happiness. The seed of my love of decluttering began when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2010 (I’m now fully recovered). Up until then I had been a collector and hoarder of all manner of tat. I was in a relationship with a dj/record dealer, so Sundays were spent driving cross-country before dawn, hammering car boot fairs for their vinyl collections. I tagged along for the ride, and soon started my own collections of vintage tea sets, furniture and 1970s sewing and craft books.
Then something changed during my illness. I no longer wanted to live in the chaos of clutter. I wanted calmness and space. So I began by organising my sock drawer and it felt great! This was the beginning of my decluttering journey, which led me to going full on Marie Kondo, and over time, edging closer and closer towards minimalism. This might conjure up images of stark, just moved in and still need to unpack type bareness. Definitely not the vibe I’m going for. For me minimalism is just about living a simpler life: https://lumahealth.co.uk/blog/2019/8/16/17-ways-to-live-a-simpler-life
So here’s how showing your home some love is loving yourself too:
You’ll feel more peace
Managing your home can be stressful when it’s not functioning well for you. When you shed yourself of all the excess stuff you’ll feel lighter. The space allows you to breath. Your home will become a place you can fully relax in.
You learn to let go
Letting go is a skill, one that you can practice on your kitchen cupboards. When you start to declutter you’re going to discover a lot of crap from your past. Let that stuff go! By deciding to only allow the things in your home that you really love (or need), you can start to apply this to other areas of your life. Letting go of relationships or situations that don’t make you feel good. Let go of all that junk you’ve been saving ‘just incase’. Confront the anxiety that makes you hold on, and trust that god/the universe will provide exactly what you need, when you need it.
You’ll have more time
The number one objection to decluttering is not having the time to do it. But somehow we find the time to look for things we’ve lost amongst all the clutter. Or time trying to find room to store stuff when you’ve run out of space. I highly recommend the Konmari method (https://konmari.com) but it’s not always possible if your time is super limited. Start with your sock drawer instead, and take it room by room. Once your space is organised you’ll have more time to spend doing things you love.
You’ll feel less overwhelmed
When you allow space and order in your home, you will naturally begin to do the same in your schedule. Having space in your day i.e. planning to do less will stop you feeling so overwhelmed.
Cleaning becomes easy
If every object has a home, and provided you put stuff back when you use it, you never have to tidy up! Without having to move stuff around just to clean, the task of cleaning becomes much easier. Making more time for rest and relaxation.
You dress better
When you learn to live with only what you love, or is of practical use, you begin to hone in on what your personal style is. Buying decisions become easier as you buy a lot less ‘mistakes’, those never worn items that hang out in the back of your wardrobe. Or stop wearing things that you feel ok in, but not great. An edited wardrobe is easier to navigate as it’s not crammed full of stuff. Leaving space to flip through hangers and actually see what you own.
You’ll stop thinking ‘I’ve got nothing to wear!’ as you have carefully selected the clothes you love. Highlighting any areas that might be missing, e.g. the perfect dress for special occasions, or a jumper that makes you feel cosy on a miserable day. You’ll be left with a few key pieces rather than a wardrobe stuffed full of clothes that are not quite right.
Your finances will benefit
It doesn’t cost anything to subtract stuff. You won’t need to run to Ikea to buy storage solutions as when you declutter, somehow it works out that you have exactly the space you need. You find nice things in the process and start wearing forgotten items. I revealed a very nice coat I’d forgotten all about. You’ll feel less like wanted to buy things when you have carefully edited your home, and you’ll buy less mistakes as you improve your instinct for what you love. Someone else may love what no longer fits in your life too, so you could list it on eBay. The eBay app makes it really easy.
You’ll feel more gratitude
Decluttering is a process of showing your home some serious love. Instead of feeling discontent with your home and wishing you had more space, you’ll start to fully enjoy living in your home. You may even find that you begin to tackle all those niggly DIY jobs you keep putting off.
It’s life changing
Something magical happens when you shift the energy in your home. Marie Kondo shares client stories of all kinds of life-changing events that have happened after decluttering. I got pregnant towards the end of my big declutter! https://lumahealth.co.uk/blog/2019/7/26/getting-pregnant-at-39-naturally
When you begin to edit your life, you become more intentional about how you want to live. If you can fix your surroundings, what else can you sort out in your life?
When you’re space becomes simple and easy, maybe your relationship with yourself will be too.