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Home » casa + cultura

Decluttering: Inside and Out

Submitted by on January 31, 2011 – 5:28 am7 Comments

decluttering before and after

Editor’s note: This week the Tiki Tiki essays will focus on decluttering, organizing, detoxing — all the good stuff.

By Marcela Beatty

I could see myself.

I was surrounded by papers, clothes and toys. A big glass of diet coke and a package of Oreo cookies to my side.

All of a sudden, I was in tears.

Was this me?

I had emptied every drawer, cabinet and closet (looking for my passport) only to find what a mess I had been hiding. Every struggle, bad habit and carelessness hidden behind doors… yet open for me to see.

It was time for change.

Slowly, I’ve been cleaning my life.

Inside and Out.

I have sorted through every paper, every toy, piece of clothing, and piece of trash.

The 5-year-old lipstick has been thrown out… the top that I swore I would eventually wear but haven’t in the last 10 years…

My body needed it too. No caffeine, dairy, gluten, sugar, or processed food…. a whole lot of veggies is pretty much what I have been consuming.

And yoga. It’s been kicking my butt.

And less media time.

It is a detox, a cleansing, the start of new life….whatever you want to call it.

The diet has been the hardest. Some days are good, some a struggle, and some days I give in to that craving (reminding myself that I’m not perfect) only to find that it really wasn’t worth it. I have also found myself reaching for things I shouldn’t during times of stress, when I am tired or when I’m upset.

I’ve been keeping a journal and writing it down has let it come to light and I am slowly finding out how important it is for your diet to feel positive.

I have been following Whole Living’s 28 day detox plan…and somehow I was able to get through the whole plan. It’s challenging, yet you will feel amazing! I will continue with a modified plan, I owe it to myself and my family.

Some things I have learned along the way:

  • Start a journal. Write down things that happened that day, daily stresses, good times and how you feel before and after you eat. You will soon find how much your mood affects your eating.
  • Plan! Plan what you will eat today. Plan your exercise. Plan your day. It seriously takes minutes.
  • Drink water…and lot’s and lot’s of tea.
  • Smoothies for breakfast (you can pack a whole lot veggies and fruits, and pretty soon your whole family will be enjoying them as well). Carrie has some great green smoothie suggestions.
  • Include your family, a cookbook recommendation… Feeding The Whole Family: Cooking With Whole Foods.
  • Exercise daily, even on days when you just aren’t feeling it…take a 15 minute walk. Bring the kids with you on their bikes….they will love you.
  • Yoga. It works wonders. Forget how strong you will feel after a month…. your mood! You will feel good and I guarantee there will be less screaming in your home. (Check out these yoga posts/exercises from Shape magazine.)
  • Take it slow. Your body deserves to be taken care of. And your mind does too. Any step is a step forward.

Happy eating. Happy cleaning. Happy yoga.

Amigas… lo merecemos!!!

Marcela Beatty, originally from El Salvador, lives in Pasadena, Ca. She publishes Culture Mami, works as an ICU nurse and raises two beautiful children with her husband.

Share, por favor!


  • Congratulations, Marcela! It’s awesome what you’re doing! It’s amazing how so many people I know are trying to do the same this new year!

    I have been organizing and decluttering for the past few weeks too and it feels soooo good!! I’ve always been a pack rat o cachivachera because for some reason it’s really difficult for me to let go of things, stupid things that may have meant something at some point in my life, but no longer do.

    I’ve pretty much gone through my closet and given away everything I didn’t wear last winter and I’ll be doing the same come summer. It feels great and it’s totally liberating. I mean, it wasn’t easy, because there’s always that part of me that says: “oh, but maybe you’ll really wear this winter!” When I really know the answer is: “No! You’ll never wear it! You hated how it looked on you from the moment you brought it home!”

    Anyhow, thanks for sharing such an honest post y buena suerte a todas!
    Roxana A. Soto´s last [fabulousness] ..The Culture of Food Giveaway Brought to You by PAM

  • Maura says:

    Marcela, I could’ve practically written this post myself. I had the same kind of revelation. And I’m throwing out the old to welcome in the new. I’m eating cleaner, healthier and switching to almost all natural products because what we put ON our bodies is almost as important as what we put IN them, too. I’m cleaning my house, drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf, and trying to get organized. Get rid of the things I don’t need. Have more time to spend with family. And I’ve vowed to start and end every single day with a cup of homemade té de manzanilla – so far I’ve kept to it. It reminds me to stop and relax, and to keep hydrated. With these changes, I feel a lot more calm and a lot more at peace. I hope to keep it up! I hate saying it’s a new year’s resolution because, really, it’s so much more. Detoxing your life, including removing yourself from negative situations and people who give you mala vibra, can be so refreshing. It’s my new way of taking care of myself, and I am loving the de-stressed me who can think clearly and plan for each day without whining about my to do list.
    Maura´s last [fabulousness] ..CROCK-POT FRIJOLES DE LA OLLA

  • [...] balance lately? Is stuff clogging up your chi, your joy?Be sure to read this week’s essays by Marcela and Marta. Tomorrow, Monica is at bat. Share your tips and tricks for decluttering and click on [...]

  • TikiTikiBlog says:

    We loved this post by @mom2miahaudrey on detoxing from the inside out: http://tikitikiblog.com/decluttering-ins… #FF this smart woman.

  • lisarenata says:

    Marce I am so proud of you! I think one of the things I find the hardest is to stick to my exercise routine. I’ll be doing great going to the gym three + times a week, then I get sick (or something else happens) and I stop,or slack off and then I have trouble starting all over again. Shame on me!

    15 min a day? doable. thanks!
    lisarenata´s last [fabulousness] ..Friday Favoritas

  • Catalina says:

    Marcela that’s awesome! It’s hard to make such big changes in our lives but you are doing great! I love yoga too!! When I practice regularly, I feel a wash of calmness from my mind through my body. It also helps bring awareness to what I feed my body. Hm? I need to go back to the studio. :)

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