Have you ever woken up in the morning utterly exhausted? The baby kept you awake or you simply couldn’t switch off. You walk into your living room and see toys everywhere, the kitchen sink full of dishes and last nights meal still on the table.
What do you do?
You reach inside the cupboard, grab a few biscuits maybe make some coffee and load it with sugar. All the while, basking in the stress of having to clear this mess up. By the time you finished eating that one biscuit, you find yourself reaching for more, as the stress of having to clear up sends your nerves AWOL.
How Clutter Affects Our Health
As a busy mom of two (soon to be three insha’Allah – Allah Willing), I have been there and done that – hoard.
I’ve hoarded clothes from when my kids came from the hospital. I’ve held on to that broken container ‘just in case‘ it comes in handy. I’ve held on to things for their sentimental and useful values.
But what happened in return? My house was a mess which in turn affected the health of my mind, body and spirit.
When we have too much stuff we feel stressed because;
- It reminds us that we’re not looking after our stuff
- We have things to do which we’re not keeping on top of.
- and when we can’t find something, our brain goes into overdrive
When we get surrounded by too much stuff, we get frustrated which in turn can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Most unhealthy eating habits are of an emotional nature; having a disorganized home adds to this.
Decluttering Leads To Healthier Eating Habits
Studies show that a clutter-free environment allows you to perform tasks of daily living more efficiently because everything you need is readily available and within reach. This in turn allows you to focus on preparing healthier meals and keeping up with recipes.
For example, if the dishes are clean and put in a place that are easy to find and use; you are more likely to eat at home and actually enjoy cooking.
My clients often complain to me, about having to cook. Why can’t they just eat out? And I always ask about the state of their homes, especially the kitchen. 99.9% of the time, the issue isn’t with the cooking itself, it’s the fact that they don’t know where their cooking materials are. And it makes sense. As soon as your dishes are unwashed or all over the place, you’ll want to eat out more because the thought of having to clean up is too strenuous at the time of hunger.
Not to mention when your home is more organized, you feel more accomplished and less embarrassed or anxious about who will see your mess. This in turn improves your overall wellbeing and can really have a positive effect on those unhealthy eating habits.
This also reminds me of what the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasallam said regarding eemaan (faith)
“Cleanliness is half the faith (Eemaan).” [Sahih Muslim]
This includes our living space, as this is where we spend the most time, with family and invoked in ibadaah (worship). So it makes sense to always keep this space clutter free and clean so that we can worship Allah properly.
Declutter Saves Time
The Prophet sallahu alayhi wasallam said;
”Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas in the Mustadrak of Hakim & Musnad Imam Ahmad. Sahih)
Time is so precious. Imagine the time you could save by not having to clean up so much. The hours you could use, dedicated in worship to Allah, with family and just enjoying your children. Think about all the you-time including exercising and cooking healthy and delicious meals.
Your physical space has a direct impact on your mental health. Visual bliss will help keep you calm and comfortable which is the key to optimal health.
How To Declutter?
Firstly you need to get to the issue. Which areas of the house are frustrating you the most? The kitchen is almost always the primary concern, as this is the often used space. Clearing out the kitchen can help you make healthier food choices in the future.
Write down the issues if you have too, as sometimes we can get overwhelmed with the present and future moment. Write down what aspects need to be sorted. For example; the spice rack needs to be organized. Make it a simple list and then check them off once you’ve done them.
Then you need to start. Say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah), use the 5 second rule (if you have to), with the sincere intention that you are cleaning that space, so that you can worship Allah properly. So that you can honour your eemaan (faith), by keeping it clean and clutter free.
Take time that is uninterrupted and have 3 bags
- and sale (if you want to have a boot/garage/yard sale)
Once you’ve sorted everything out then clean the space. Maybe buy pretty boxes to make the space more tidy. If it’s the kitchen area, you could buy pretty wooden/glass jars to keep your spices in, or cereals/nuts in.
Getting rid of unnecessary packaging can really benefit you, when trying to get healthy. When it’s in a clear jar, you’re more likely to use it.
Get used to labelling your storage systems. There’s nothing worse than taking a few hours to clear that space only to have it cluttered again. And if you have small children, labels are a good way of teaching kids new words because they’re on display.
And once that space is clear, you will feel motivated to carry on throughout the house and clear up any other unwanted junk. What a beautiful, clutter free home you’ll have in the end insha’Allah (Allah Willing).
Can you see the benefit of decluttering for your overall wellbeing?
Do you want to feel the benefit of having a clutter free environment where you can enjoy life; Where you don’t have to worry about any mess or disorganization around you?
Then start today! As the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasallam said “actions are judged by intentions” so make the intention that you want to declutter your home in order to improve your health, and in turn worship Allah properly.
May Allah keep our homes clean and our eemaan high aameen!