Updated: Sep 10
Three ways I combat depression, anxiety and physical pain.
I'm curious...Does your kitchen support your long term life goals?
Are you clear about what your Future Self wants to do and have in your kitchen? Does a part of you wish you'd take time to focus on this?
If so, I encourage you to carve out time for this.
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 intense neck and back pain.
But I haven't been debilitated by any of these in many years, thank goodness!
People who meet me now say "Whaaat? You? Depressed? A past smoker? A suicidal drinker? But you're so healthy!"
What changed? Pretty much everything!
These 3 things are what I attribute my freedom from the deep suffering I used to experience:
Thoughts I choose to think
Habits I choose to practice
How I organize my kitchen
Many of my blog posts touch on the thought work and habits I practice to support my organizing-life adventure.
But 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!
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.
Do you know what I mean?
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 put things away easily.
"Little by little, bit by bit, and sometimes in big chunks" became my mantra.
I have an entire section my 5 Weeks to Freedom course about this, but in a nutshell...
To get my kitchen to the point it is now - a place I LOVE being and sharing - 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)
The wise Christiane Northrup said, "I have learned that letting go is a process, not an event."
I've certainly found this to be true while getting my kitchen decluttered and organized to support my health and life goals, along with everything else in my life (relationships, jobs, identities...)
Here are some kitchen organizing steps:
(they work with any room):
1 Imagine your Future Self - what do they want/need/deeply desire?
Do you want to have less pain? Lose weight? Not be debilitated by poor health when you're older? Be independent as long as possible? Enjoy good food?
(Be clear, creative and detailed)
2 Find the big end goals
Do you want to remodel? Downsize? Upsize? Move? Cook whole foods? Have friends/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).
Let your deep brain find what's needed to reach these goals
Maybe take a quiet walk, journal, let your mind find the answers.
(Reach out to me if you feel stuck)
3 Choose one simple project to begin with...and just do it!
If you need to clear space first, start there.
I like to pick a simple, specific category to go through that doesn't feel hard:
4 Go through the category 100% while keeping your Future Self in mind.
For a step-by-step guide on how I go through categories, see my Top 5 Tips to Declutter and Organize.
Category by category, little by little, bit by bit...and sometimes in big chunks. YOU'VE GOT THIS! Your Future Self is depending on you...
I'm here to help and I'm cheering for you and your Future Self!
I'm rooting for you, loving you as you are, loving who who you want to become, 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!
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.
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.
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!