Episode 084: "Mandatory" Clutter

Episode Transcription

We’re excited to start something new today and answer a call-in question from our community. If you want one of your questions answered, click here to send Diana a recording

In this episode, Diana talks about what to do with items you need to keep but might feel like clutter.

We’ll also discuss:

  • How the call-in questions will work. Click here to send us a recording.
  • Giving yourself grace.
  • Organizing needed items and decluttering other spaces.
  • Determining the best area for your items.

What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?

  • 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
  • How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
  • Guest interviews
  • Deep dives on specific topics

Find Diana Rene on social media:

Instagram: @the.decluttered.mom
Facebook: @the.decluttered.mom
Pinterest: @DianaRene

Are you ready for a peaceful and clutter-free home? Watch my FREE training video "Kiss Clutter Goodbye" to learn how it's possible! And find all of my resources here.

This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.

Diana Rene: 0:06
You're listening to the decluttered mom podcast, a podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Rene, and in 2017, I had my second daughter and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home Okay, not literally, but I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next 10 months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show. Okay, I know I say this about every single episode, but I am so excited for this episode because this is our first call in episode and what that means is it's going to kind of have the vibe of a call in radio show and it's going to be questions from you guys in audio format, and so I have a link in the show notes.

If you're listening to today and you're like this is so cool, I want to be a part of this, I have a question I want to ask and I want me to answer on the podcast, then you can go to that link and you can really quickly and easily.

It's so simple. My team has they like hardcore research the best software for this and we found a great solution and you can just go to this link and basically click a button and put in your name and your email and it's going to save the audio file for us. You can actually even listen to it to make sure it sounds good, or you can redo it before you submit it. And now we get these audio files and they are questions from you guys, and then I get to answer them quote unquote, on air, just like a call in radio show, and so I just think this is going to be really fun. It's going to be a cool way for you guys to be able to ask your questions. I love hearing you ask the questions because it just creates even more of a connection with you guys and it's just it's fun. It's just fun, okay, and so, without further ado, let's get into the first ever call in episode.

Renee - Caller 02:28
Hi Diana, my name is Renee and I live in the Denver area as well. I am here to ask about mandatory clutter and the reason why is I have a super medically complex little kid and he has so many medical supplies and so many pieces of equipment and, with supply chain issues and just general fear as a medical parent, I genuinely feel like I can't get rid of these things. Do you have any advice or insight on that? My son's room was one of the last that I haven't decluttered for just sheer anxiety, so I'd love to hear your thoughts or if you have worked with any other members that have insight on this. Thank you so much.

Okay, Renee from Colorado. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you for sending this question in. I want to just kick this off by saying that grace giving yourself grace is going to be key in this situation, and I love the term that you used of mandatory clutter. I think that is just so spot on. This is stuff that you can't get rid of, right, because it's things that you need for your child to take care of their health, and so it's not. I want to maybe even rephrase that, because I don't think it's necessarily clutter, because this is stuff that you need and this is stuff that your child needs. But I also can fully empathize with the fact that it may feel like clutter, especially when you have to keep multiples of the same item.

I know that you mentioned that you have fear with supply chain issues and all of that, and, to be 100% frank with you, I don't think that fear is unfounded. We are in 2024, where everything happened over the last four years kind of feels surreal, and there are so many things and situations where we don't know that what we need is necessarily going to be there when we need it. Obviously, like this is the extreme example, but toilet paper right in 2020 was just kind of like this crazy thing that nobody, you've never in your life would expect, that in the future there would be a time where you couldn't find toilet paper right, and obviously that again, that's an extreme example. But in the medical world, as we all know, at least in the United States there are many times and it feels like it's happening more and more often where specific medical supplies or medications are not as available as we need them to be. My daughter has life threatening food allergies, and so we always must keep EpiPens on hand, and there was a time a couple years ago where it was very difficult to get our hands on an EpiPen, even though we had the script for it. It was almost impossible to find a twin pack. So two EpiPens, which you always need, two EpiPens with you. It was almost impossible to get to because there was a shortage in epinephrine, and so I just want to validate your feelings around that, because I'm not going to tell you that you need to like, not keep, multiples of things, because it sounds like these are things that are inherently necessary for your son's health and, as a mom, I 100% understand why you would feel that you need to hold on to extra items, and so that's the first thing I really want to just touch on is that your fear is not unfounded. This doesn't sound to me like a situation where you are just holding on to hundreds of extra things that we all know you could get anywhere at any store at any time. It sounds like you have a good handle on the types of things that you know that you need to hold on to, and so I just wanted to validate you in that feeling and in how you are approaching this. And so, while we're giving ourselves grace because we are going through a situation where we have to think more, we have to prepare more, we have to plan more and we have to strategize more than if your child did not have health concerns so just giving ourselves grace and being an understanding that like this is hard and you're figuring out the best solution for it. And number two is just validating that your fear is not unfounded, that you probably do have to hold on to extra things because it is a necessary thing. It's not just like a frivolous, fun thing that you're holding on to extra items for. So, knowing that right, knowing all of that, then we have to come up with. Well, what do we do? I found it.

One thing that I noticed in your question is that you said his room feels stressful, because I don't know if you use those words, but that was the impression I got is that his room is kind of being overrun by all of these supplies, and so the first question I would have is is that the best place for this equipment and for these supplies? And maybe it is. Maybe, you know, I don't know your living situation, I don't know the space that you do have, but I wonder if there is a different place in your home that can be more of like a storage area versus like in your face, in his room. So that's the first question I would pose to you to think about is is this the best area for the type of equipment, slash, supplies that we need to keep extras on hand? If it is okay, if it's not, then let's think of a different area. If it is in his room, then are there ways that we can kind of quote unquote, hide the mandatory clutter? And so I don't know.

Obviously I'm working with limited information here, so I don't know what type of supplies that you are talking about, but are we able to create a system of drawers where you know that X type of supplies goes in this drawer, y type of supplies goes in this drawer, but at least that way we're able to keep it organized Number one and number two, we're able to kind of hide it Because, again, we already established that this is not excess stuff that you need to get rid of. This is just stuff that you have to store. And if we're not, like, if we have to keep it in a space that we're going to be hanging out in or relaxing or sleeping in, then how can we at least make it not be so in our face? And so is there some type of drawer system, shelving system, something like that, where you can have shelves with baskets that you can't see through, that you can label, you can have drawers that you can label and you can categorize things to keep things more organized and know exactly how much you have of each supply, also, so that you do see if you're starting to run low on this thing and you want to kind of stack up just because of potential supply chain issues. And so those are the things I would kind of look at instead of focusing on decluttering. This is more of an organizational thing. This is more of an organizing problem versus a decluttering problem. And so, step number one figure out is this the best place already? Did we already decide this is the best place, or is there a better place for this? Do we have space in a storage room, an extra closet, a basement, a garage, depending on where you live? Is there a better place where it's not, so in our face? If there is, then great, let's move the supplies there and organize them there. If not, let's keep them in the room, but let's organize better in a way that's not so obvious. And so that's kind of where I would go through and think about something like this.

I do think that if you get to a point where you are keeping too much of one item only, you are really the only person there is going to be able to say what too much is, because, again, I don't know exactly what specific types of supplies you are working with. But we do have to have that caution with potential supply chain issues or being able to get what we need. But we also have to work with the space that we have right, because you could end up filling the entire bedroom with medical supplies because you are concerned about not being able to get your hands on it, but we have to also be practical in the fact that we only have so much space, like physical space, that we are able to put these items. And so those are the things that I would think through and I would work through as you are trying to figure out the best solution for your medical equipment and supplies. And again, I just want to end this with a reminder we started with grace, we're going to end with grace. This is something that it sounds like you may have to think about for a long time. With any time you're dealing with something medical, so please just give yourself grace. Remember that there are other things. That was the other thing I wanted to say.

Sometimes, when we have something that we have to have in our home that is just taking up more space for whatever reason, but it is something that we have to have Sometimes we just have to declutter more ruthlessly in other areas, and so I this is another thing that oftentimes clients with just smaller homes if they are living in a studio apartment, they are going to have to be more ruthless than someone that's living in a 6,000 square foot home with a barn in their backyard that they can use for storage. You know what I mean. Like. Is that fair? No, like, not necessarily, but looking, putting that aside and just remembering that we have to look at what we are dealing with and this space that we do have, and when we have a lot of things that are taking up space that we have to have for whatever reason, like medical equipment and supplies, then we might just have to be a little bit more ruthless in other areas to be able to make this space, to manage it in a way that doesn't feel overwhelming. So I hope this was helpful for you.

Renee, please reach out to me. Send me a DM on Instagram. I would love to hear if this was helpful for you and everyone else. I would love to hear if this was a fun format for you. If you would like to ask a question, I would love it if you did, if you will just follow the link in the show notes and that will take you to the website where you can very easily leave your question. Thanks for hanging out and listening to the decluttered mom podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories, and if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at the decluttered mom and send me a DM to say hi. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.