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How Decluttering can change the game

Recently I attended a 10 day Vipassana Meditation Retreat in Worcester, WC. Dhamma Pataka is a centre run by volunteers, and is tucked away in the beautiful Fonteintjiesberg Nature Reserve mountains. When I got back from the retreat, after having no access to my life, my cellphone, my family, friends and not having using words or any form communication with anyone, I arrived home to an apartment filled to the brim. I felt overwhelmed and quite frankly, my anxiety went through the roof.

I arrived home after having only a bed, bedding and basic necessities at my disposal. I wasn't able to make decisions about what time I went to bed, how I spend my day, or even what meals I ate. Then, 12 days later, I arrived home having to do all of these things, and in an apartment that was filled with useless stuff.

After unpacking my bags, I tossed everything that had sustained me for 12 days and looked at my cupboards and thought "Why do I have so many items of clothings that don't fit me anymore?". I was clinging to items that I wore years ago, all in hopes of being that size again. But instead of motivating me, it was reminding me each day to bash my body and spit out hateful words in the mirror about the fact that another pair of jeans were going to the "one day pile". So I started out with my bedroom cupboards and made a donation pile higher than my bed and neatly placed each item that brought me joy into the cupboard and closed it. There! All done! Anxiety under control!

Minutes later, I walked into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and opened the cupboard, only to find 23 mugs and 16 types of tea (of which I only like the taste of 4). So off I went, decluttering the tea and coffee cupboard. And before I knew it, each cupboard in the house had been decluttered.

By poor husband, who had not been on the retreat, sat there with eyes wide open and wondered what was happening. After some negotiation and conversation about how much control I felt over my anxiety by releasing myself from these items, we agreed on 90% of the items I was wanting to donate.

He then followed suit and found the process liberating.

I find my anxiety to be lower at home. I open a cupboard and things aren't everywhere. I don't add extra frustration when I am looking in my cupboard. I am not reminded that I haven't lost the weight I wanted to loose. I open the cupboards and there is enough. Not too much. Not too little. Enough to sustain. Enough to not overwhelm.

We kept the items in the donation pile for about a week and decided that if we did not need it during that week, then it would remain in the donations pile and be sent off to Valkenberg Charity store where we donate all of our previously loved pieces.

If you wanting some inspiration, I would suggest watching Sparking Joy, or Tiding up with Marie Kondo on Netflix or some of her videos on Youtube. Especially if you are finding that your anxiety is higher when you are at home, I would suggest giving this whole decluttering thing a try, it's really liberating.

All my love,

Tami x

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