I know how confusing it can be when you first start clearing all the chemical crapola out of your home, diet and life. It’s bloody painful! Where to start, what to do first, how to decide on each thing and what to prioritize. It feels hard because it is! Hopefully though, we can come up with a few ideas to help in sorting some of these beginner issues out.
So where do you stand with all of this? you’ve decided to find out a bit more, you’ve figured out that most of the *stuff* in your pantry, under the kitchen sink, in the laundry and around the house can be harmful and even downright dangerous. But how hard should you go at getting rid of it all?
You might be surprised that even seasoned Chemical Declutterers sometimes still really struggle with how hard core we should get. I mean seriously, if I went as hard at it as I wanted to, my family would be living atop the Himalayan mountains drinking fermented buffalo milk and chewing the fat with the indigenous folk. That is unlikely to happen, my kids are addicted to modern life and have a gazillion electrical products, so there is like a buckleys chance in hell that they will go!! Besides there’s more of them than us, so I’m not taking the chance of winning that fight. Soooooo, in light of that, how should we keep the balance?
I tend to go with the 80/20 rule. That being that we do what we know is safe 80% of the time and the other 20% of the time we relax a little. We let a few things slide, because they are not on our radar today. Sometimes it’s the food we had at a restaurant, sometimes we can’t get our favourite chem safe laundry powder and sometimes finances control our budget and things don’t stretch as far this shop. And you know what, it’s ok. It’s ok to let things slide here and there if we know that we have a bunch of other things covered that day, week, month etc. It’s ok to accept that we’re human and that sometimes we can only do so much. Here’s a few reasons I think are ok for putting on your 20 list today.
It’s bound to happen, you’ve sourced out a few excellent products and they’re a little bit expensive but, it’s ok, you’ve budgeted well and they fit in the weekly shop. 3 months later, uh oh, it’s hubby’s birthday, or a big electricity bill comes in. Before you know it you’re making what seems like a life decision over shampoo. Oh no, should I pay the bill or buy the shampoo? (simplified I know, but go with me here, 😉 ). What to do? You pay the darn bill! You buy the next best chemically safe option you can afford and you move on. You’ll know you’re not so happy with the choice, but you also know it’ll be one of your priorities next shop. So it’s ok. 80/20!
Stress is not good for your health. Really, it is not worth having serious sleepless nights over this. If you find that you are getting too stressed over what to eat, what to put in the soap dispenser, what mattress to buy, what candles to use in the house. Then just stop. Take a step back to re-assess. I mean, don’t get so laid back that you drop the ball completely, but really, chill out a bit. Stress will kill you quicker than most other things, so it’s vitally important to take stock and remember the really important things in life. I mean this stuff is super important too, but it’s ok to take a day out, re adjust your household priorities and come back to it tomorrow.
If you are delaying making changes at all, because you don’t know what to change first, then write a list. Start out small, take baby steps. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post. Don’t do nothing because you don’t know what to do first, but just do one thing! This will help you work up to the level of 80/20. You won’t get to a level you’re comfortable with unless you start somewhere. So pick something within the realms of what brought you to decide to go chem safe in the first place and start there. Perhaps you start with your bathroom one item at a time.
So how do you feel about this? There should definitely be some things that you will not consider putting on your 20 list, because you just cannot let certain things slide. But, that’s where your priorities can help you out when you need to pull back for whatever reason. You should know what is important for you and your family, so that you know what you are happy to relax on when the time comes. When things are free from stress and financial burden then continue to strive forward into new areas in the house and clean those up. Doing this consistently will help you accept the tough times much better because you know you are doing the best you can, when you can.
Feel better? Give yourself a big pat on the back. You’re doing what you can with what you know today. Tomorrow you’ll know a bit more and you can action that out then. 🙂
If you’re not doing anything then wth? Get started! Do something! Right now, today! Unless you’re too stressed then……..just feel better gosh darn it! This is important! 😉 xx