I used to think I could out-clean clutter.
I tried everything.
Downloaded all the pretty printable cleaning schedules from pinterest…
Tried zone cleaning…
Heck, I even hired a cleaning service to come every other week…
But my house was still a hot mess, 90% of the time.
The mountain of laundry still dominated the hallway.
The paperwork piles still took over the countertop and kitchen table.
We could barely walk through the family room without tripping over a toy…
It wasn’t until I ruthlessly decluttered that I realized I had it totally backwards.
Getting rid of all the excess is what changed everything.
The piles went away, the toys got picked up…
I felt like I could BREATHE again in my own home...
And bonus? I actually spent way LESS time cleaning - i’m talking 50-70% less, because I wasn’t spending so much time picking the whole house up before I got to the ACTUAL cleaning.
What about you? Do you think you can out-clean...
I walked in through the back door of our house.
Riley was crying because we had to leave the park, because Lila was losing her mind at the park.
She was still mostly colicky, I don’t know what I was thinking trying to actually leave the house with both girls.
I was already overwhelmed, but walking in to our house and seeing all the stuff made me feel like I was DROWNING.
3 large piles on the kitchen table had now morphed into one messy, overflowing pile.
I could barely find a walkway to the couch with all the toys on the floor.
Last nights dirty dishes were still in the sink and the counter (ok and let’s be honest - it was probably a few days worth at this point).
I still hadn’t put away the new groceries from this morning bc the pantry was such a mess there wasn’t really room.
I turned Daniel tiger on for Riley, grabbed Lila out of the car seat and began my multiple times a day struggle just to get her to nurse.
I sat there on the couch and looked at all...
All that stuff...
The piles on the kitchen counters, the dining table, your bedside table.
The cords and DVD’s and books overflowing the basket in the family room.
The gadgets that fall out every time you open that one kitchen cabinet.
The boxes of stuff in your kids closet.
All of that stuff that you bought or received with good intentions. Things that were going to make your life better for various reasons.
It’s causing you stress.
It’s causing you anxiety.
It’s making you lose your patience often with your spouse.
It’s making you yell at your kids when all you want is for them to go to bed because the chaos of the day needs to be done.
I get it, because I was there.
Your stuff is robbing you of your peace.
But the good news? No, great news?
Is that YOU have the power to change all of that.
You have the power to bring peace into the very culture of your home.
You have the power to bring calm into your mornings, afternoons and nights.
How does your...
Prior to ruthlessly decluttering, I remember marathon cleaning sessions on the weekend. I'm talking HOURS.
I would scrub away while I fumed inside about how our house was in terrible shape.
I would rage vacuum while I thought about all of the other things I WISHED I was doing.
+taking a nap
+hiking with my kids
+day date with my husband
+read a book
....but instead, I would clean. And get the house nice. Then pick up after someone. Then pick up after someone else. Then get frustrated at someone for not picking up after themselves. Then WHY DO WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF IN THIS HOUSE?!?
Some weekends, I would just skip the cleaning. Because I was too tired. And what was it all for, anyway? It would just be a hot mess by Sunday night again.
....but then I went a little crazy and got rid of 70% of our household belongings.
And a secret side effect that no one told me about?
There was a DRASTIC reduction in cleaning.
I'm talking, 50% less cleaning.
I don’t need to tell you that clutter adds stress into our lives.
…that it builds up slowly, and before we know it - has taken over our homes.
But did you know that clutter literally stresses you out? Like physiologically stresses you out?
According to a 2009 UCLA study, women who perceive clutter in their home have raised levels of cortisol (stress)!
But not only that…
According to a 2016 Cornell study, stressed caused from clutter was found to have triggered avoidance techniques like eating junk food and binge watching tv!
All because we have extra stuff in our house, that we don’t need, want, or use.
But if it was EASY to get rid of it all, then we wouldn’t be in this literal mess, would we?
Clutter holds emotions.
It holds attachments.
Happy times and sad times.
It can hold guilt.
So no wonder we get so caught up in holding onto things!
What do you think? Do you find clutter increases your stress levels?
I saw a meme the other day that said something along the lines of “I have a messy house because I’m busy enjoying my kids”….
My first thought was…”so with that line of thinking…if I have a tidy and uncluttered home, I must not have time to enjoy my kids?”
When that is the complete OPPOSITE of reality.
That meme has it backwards.
Because here’s the thing….
When you fully declutter your home, and implement systems and routines - you spend a DRASTICALLY less amount of time on cleaning.
Like, 50-75% less time on picking up and cleaning!
Think about it…
When you have way less stuff - you don’t have as many things to put back in their home at the end of the day…
You don’t need to spend HOURS picking up before you can even get to the actual cleaning…
And when you have cleared countertops and horizontal surfaces - it takes .2 seconds to wipe things down before you leave the...
When I was a stay at home mom with my oldest, Riley, I was drowning.
Barely keeping my head above water.
Every single morning, I’d lay on the playroom floor while she played around me. Unable to motivate myself enough to get up and DO something. Then by afternoon, the reality of our house would hit and I would plop her in front of the tv and clean like a mad woman - barely making a dent.
Sometimes I would just get so overwhelmed that I would just pretend the messes weren’t there. It was almost paralyzing thinking about beginning, so I just wouldn’t.
And you know what I regret the most about that?
That instead of being present for my time home with her, I was simply surviving.
I wasn’t able to enjoy her fully and be super intentional and purposeful, I was just trying to stay awake and keep her alive through another day.
And the thing is, seasons of survival are 100% normal.....
.....but YEARS of it don’t have to be.
Now that I have the privilege of...
Have you ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, the reason you don’t have time to declutter - is because you have so much clutter taking up all your time?
Maybe we have it all backwards....
“I just don’t have enough time to declutter”.
I hear this all. the. time.
And I get it. Because I used to think and feel the same way.
I was busy keeping tiny humans alive and fed every few hours. I was sleep deprived. I had zero energy. I had meal planning to do, and grocery shopping, and drive time to and from dance class, oh yeah - and somehow I had to figure out how to have a MEDIUM pink leotard by friday for that recital. What even IS “medium” pink?!
And now you want me to find time to sift through our junk and figure out what to keep, what to donate, what to trash, what to sell - AND find even more time to then figure out how i’m going to get it out of our actual house?!
But here’s the thing, Mama.
Have you stopped to...
I see you, Mama.
I see you tirelessly (and thanklessly) working from sun-up to waaay past sun-down. I see you wiping butts, kissing owie's, cutting grapes, and trying to go to the bathroom (unsuccessfully) alone. I see you trying to manage your household all while meeting the hundreds (or thousands?) demands of your daily life. I see you trying to hold it all together while you feel like you are falling apart.
When I began my journey with decluttering and “Minimal-ish” living, I truly had no idea how many aspects of my life would change for the better. I figured my house would be less messy, which honestly? Is the only reason I needed. (Raise your hand if you despise cleaning like me!)
But the other benefits that surprised me?
Talk about a GAME. CHANGER.
More patience with my kids? Check.
More patience with my husband? Check.
Less anxiety? HUGE check.
More time to read? Or watch a...
As I sat on the ground last week waiting for the fireworks to begin, I told my 4 year old how July 3rd is a special day to me because it’s the day I arrived to Colorado after my cross county road trip from Michigan. I had been dating my now husband long distance for a year and a half, and we decided one of us was gonna have to move to see if this thing was really going to work or not. (Thankfully, it did)
When the fireworks began, I started thinking about how much my life has changed in these 9 years since I moved here...but I was also thinking about how I moved here with only the personal belongings I could fit into my little Saturn Ion. I didn’t rent a truck or movers, I decided what was important enough to me to fit in the trunk and back seat of that tiny car.
And you know what? I was happy.
I was content.
I was fulfilled.
So then, why did I start buying so much STUFF as soon as I arrived? My mom and I took countless trips to Bed Bath and Beyond and Target....