Decluttering is having a zeitgeist moment. Before there were TV shows and Instagram profiles dedicated to downsizing our belongings, we used to have ‘a bit of a clear out.’ Now? Decluttering is bordering on being a lifestyle choice.
Bring Me Joy
Much has been made of hanging onto items that bring you ‘joy.’ It’s a great theory, but humans are complicated things. What brings you joy one day might make you recoil the next. And what if you ditched something a week ago that would make you joyful today? Like I said, complicated.
Aiming to surround ourselves only with joyous objects is great, but some of us (those whose joy-o-meter is a bit more capricious than others) need a different approach.
It’s springtime, my friends, so there is no better time to gather all those charity collection bags and fling open your cupboards and closets.
When it comes to clothes, you might be able to predict what I’m going to say: if it doesn’t fit, fold it up and donate it. If you do lose 15 lb and manage to fit back into that dress you bought in 2014, then you deserve a new one anyway.
Same goes for anything that you bought for someone who isn’t actually you. Let me explain. I have skirts that a homesteader in Ohio would love. I also have ‘zany’ shoes that Helena Bonham Carter might nod approvingly at.
I’ve bought these things at some point to signal a bit of love for both looks, but I’m neither HBC nor a midwestern homemaker, so I don’t need their clothes.
OYNB: Clear the Way For Success
And it’s not just clothes that need a clear out. If you’re all set for OYNB and a wider internal spring-clean, then it’s not only sweaters and that weird bubble bath you won in a raffle two years ago that need to go.
Give yourself the very best chance of success from day one, by removing the alcoholic drinks you want to avoid from your home.
Starting off on your OYNB journey will probably get you thinking about eating healthily too. With that in mind, apply the same rule to any junk food snacks that spike your blood sugar or leave you feeling lethargic. Many people use OYNB as a springboard to giving their general diet and snacking habits a real overhaul.
One thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I need to work on my less-than-awesome willpower. History has repeated itself during the course of previous healthy eating regimes: if it’s there, I’ll often eat (or drink) it.
That’s fine if it’s a wheatgrass smoothie or a handful of organic chickpeas. It’s less wholesome if it’s half a bottle of wine and a tub of salted caramel ice cream. So I have to find a way around this in order to succeed.
I play to what I loosely term my ‘strengths;’ or to put it more constructively; I try to view my weaknesses through a lens of positivity. As well as sometimes lacking willpower, I can also be slightly lazy. If I don’t have something in the house, I can rarely be bothered to make a special trip to go and get it.
Now you might well be blessed with more willpower and energy than me, but it does seem to be the case that eliminating temptation is pretty effective for many of us.
Find Your OYNB Pace
There’s no point in packing those things away in the garage either: it’s still there. Find out whether any items can be donated to food banks or co-operatives and give away the rest. Once you find your pace with OYNB and cleaner eating, you can start to introduce the odd ‘treat’ snack here and there. You’ll find what works for you.
Our feelings of attachment to inanimate objects and the joy they bring ebbs and flows, and so does our self-discipline. Once you power into OYNB, you’ll find that some days seem like a breeze: you succeed without really trying. Others will be more challenging.
But this isn’t about punishing yourself. In fact, it’s the opposite. Eating and drinking nice things is one of life’s true pleasures. Fill your cupboards with great-tasting foods that augment (or at least don’t impede) good health. Make sure you’ve got some delicious fruit or herb cordials stashed away to enjoy alongside fresh juice, herbal teas or whatever your favourite soft-drink option is.
World Health Day: Another Reason to Start Now
Here’s another thing: you couldn’t have picked a better time to start OYNB. It’s springtime, the season that reminds us of the profound possibility of change.
World Health Day 2019 – an event dedicated to being mindful about our good health – falls on April 7th. It’s the perfect time to focus on where you are now, and where you want to be.
You’re poised on the cusp of new beginnings, fresh shoots and blossoming aspirations. Spring forward and don’t look back!