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How I Organized my Kitchen for Better Mental Health & Less Pain

Updated: Jun 10

Three ways I combat depression, anxiety and physical pain.

Does your kitchen support your health or detract from it?


A few years ago I asked myself this question and the answer inspired me to do a deep declutter & organization of my kitchen, which ultimately led to a remodel.


Now my husband and I love our kitchen we spend more time in there together than almost anywhere else in the house!


(See some photos of our kitchen organizing below)


I've lived with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager, and in my early twenties I had days-long migraines and months-long neck and back pain.


Thankfully I haven't been debilitated by any of these in many years!


People who meet me now say "Whaaat? You? Depressed? A past smoker? A suicidal drinker? But you're so healthy and positive!"


What changed?


Pretty much everything!


These are 3 things I attribute my freedom from deep suffering to:


  1. Thoughts I choose to think

  2. Habits I choose to practice

  3. How I organize & use my kitchen


Many of my blog posts touch on the thought work and habits I practice to support my organizing-life adventure.


But until now I haven't shared how my kitchen is a HUGE part of my healing journey and how passionate I am about helping others to find health and joy in the kitchen.


My husband's doctor recently called us "obnoxiously healthy", which we thought was hilariously awesome. We weren't always this way - it's been quite a journey!




First...


I made a pact with my Future Self that I will no longer torture her - I made her health a priority.


I decided what I don't want...


I don't want my husband to have to take care of me because of choices I make now.


I don't want to be in pain and get sucked into depression because of the food I eat.


I don't want to miss out on opportunities and dreams because I'm not healthy (due to decisions I'm making now).


I decided what I do want...


I want to enjoy making and eating delicious, nutritious food on a daily basis.


I want to share delicious, nutritious food because it makes me ridiculously happy.


I want it to be easy to make and share delicious, nutritious food!


I want to be healthy in mind and body for as long as humanly possible so I can experience as many incredible, beautiful, delightful things as I can in this one short lifetime.


Once I was clear about WHY I was doing this...


I set up my kitchen so my healthy, happy Future Self has the tools and space she needs...


AND she can find things...


AND she can put things away easily.


"Little by little, bit by bit, and sometimes in big chunks" became my mantra.


To get my kitchen to the point it is now, I did things like:


  • Look honestly look at each cupboard, drawer and shelf

  • Give myself focused time to go through each category in my kitchen

  • Ask myself what I TRULY need and want to support my Future Self

  • GET SH*T OUT! Clear out what I don't need and want so I can find and use what I DO (and actually get it OUT of the house - not just into the garage)


Christiane Northrup said, "I have learned that letting go is a process, not an event."


I've found this to be true while getting my kitchen decluttered and organized!


Here are 5 kitchen organizing steps:


(they work with any room):


1 - Imagine your Future Self & ask questions:


  • What does Future You you want, need, and deeply desire?

  • Do you want to have less pain? Lose weight? Not be debilitated by poor health? Be independent as long as possible? Enjoy good food?

  • Be clear, creative and detailed.

  • Let your Self dream big - you don't have to know how to get there!



2 - Find the big end goals & ask questions:


  • Do you want to remodel? Downsize? Upsize? Move? Cook whole foods?

  • Do you want to have friends or family over? Eat less junk food? Eat no junk food? Start a relationship? End a relationship? Strengthen relationships? Feel great in your body? Be able to travel?

  • Think big, let your Self dream.


3 - Let your deep brain figure out what's needed to reach these goals:


  • Maybe take a quiet walk, journal

  • Don't push it, just keep asking - let your mind find the answers.

  • Reach out to me if you feel stuck



4 - Choose one simple project to begin with...and just do it!


If you need to clear space first, start there - it helps to have counter, island or table clear to put things on.


I like to pick a simple, specific category or space to go through that doesn't feel hard:

  • Mugs

  • Plates

  • Utensils

  • Kitchen towels

  • Wine glasses

  • Water glasses

  • Hot pads

  • Snack foods

  • Canned food

  • Coffee accoutrement

  • Mixing bowls

  • Pans

  • Condiments

  • Knives

  • Plates

  • Bowls

  • ONE cupboard

  • ONE shelf

  • ONE counter

  • ONE drawer



5 - Go through the category or space 100% while keeping your Future Self in mind.


Use my step-by-step guide on how to go through categories: Top 5 Tips to Declutter and Organize.



Category by category, little by little, bit by bit...and sometimes in big chunks....


YOU CAN DO THIS! Your Future Self is depending on you...


I'm here to help and am cheering for you and your Future Self!


I'm rooting for you, loving you as you are, loving who you want to become, and holding space for your dreams and deepest desires...


If you'd like help decluttering and organizing your kitchen (or any space), please reach out to me - I've been doing this in my own home and with others for almost ten years and I LOVE IT!


XO,

Spring


PS - see below for some photos of my kitchen

Please remember that I'm here for you! Reach out if you have questions and/or you feel stuck.


There's no need to struggle with clutter anymore - you're not alone and I can help you feel better right away.


Send me a personal Facebook or Instagram message @SpringCourtright - or schedule a free strategy call with me.


For inspiration and organizing tips in your in-box, join my e-newsletter, Sunbeams.


Inspiration only, no spam, I promise :)


May life treat you kindly until we meet again!





Some photos from my kitchen:

SPICE CUPBOARD (left)

I love our spice cupboard! When we remodeled I took the doors off, went through ALL our spices (omg), then ordered jars and labels.


My hubby loves the big containers and I don't, so I put them up high where it's hard for me to reach but easy for him. The rest are alphabetized so they're easy to find and put away.


These are some of the jars I use (I would love it if you use this link if you decide to buy them as I'm an Amazon affiliate - thank you in advance!)



OILS & NUTS (middle)

To the right of the stove I put our oils on one shelf, and on the other shelves I put jars of nuts and some raw foods (raisins, shredded coconut, tahini, cacao, etc.)



BIG KITCHEN TOOLS (right)

We've pared these down a LOT over the years. The ones we use most often are in the front (popcorn popper, blender, food processor, pickling salt...)


This didn't happen overnight - this is the product of many years of tinkering, trying things, honing in on what I really want-need-use-love AND what supports my husband/my flow of life and health desires.


It's ever-changing, but it all feels good right now :)

The bottom shelf is our smoothie station - super easy, next to my coffee station!


(a few glasses are in the dishwasher and I have a cabinet in our dining room with plates, bowls, utensils and wine glasses for when we entertain)


Yes, I store our tupperware with lids, and I have a container for lids missing their containers. When it gets full, I go through and toss some.



I love my coffee-vitamin counter SO MUCH! It makes me happy Every. Single. Day!

Every morning this is where you'll find me. My smoothie cupboard is right next to it, so I easily make smoothies and take my vitamins while my coffee is steeping.


There's so much more - reach out if you want to see more photos or have questions!


Happy kitchen organizing!



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