Getting Your Husband on Board with Minimalism

There are a few main setbacks I see holding overwhelmed women back from taking the plunge into the minimalist lifestyle, and their husbands not being gung-ho about the whole idea is probably number one on the list. The reason this is so frustrating to me is because of the misconception that a husband and wife need to be on the same page in order for the wife to better her life. This is so not true!

In a healthy marriage, if a wife is super overwhelmed and needs to simplify in order to be a more intentional person, she should be able to communicate that to her husband and move forward with the things that have an affect on her life, whether he gets it or not.

For example, a few years ago when I first discovered that decluttering was the key to overcoming overwhelm in my motherhood, my husband got tense. He wasn’t on board and was nervous about me getting rid of things. I explained that letting go of clutter was setting me free and improving my life, even helping clear up my depression, and he understood. We came to a compromise - I would declutter the areas of the house that were mine and the kids’, the areas that had a direct impact on how I spent my day, and I would leave all his stuff alone. He could keep the garage and his half of the closet any way he wanted, and I would never purge anything that belonged to him.

We carried on this way for two years or so, with me living incredibly minimal and him hoarding random odds and ends and little things he planned to use for some project one day. Eventually came to see the benefits of minimalism and started implementing it too.

Honestly, I’m so glad Brian is on the same page as me now, but I could’ve gone on that way forever and been completely happy. I would’ve experienced all the same freedom and joy and simplicity in my life as I am now that he’s on board. You do not need your husband to be on board in order to experience the freedom and intentionality of minimalism.

 Me and my love bug :)

Me and my love bug :)

I don’t think you can convince, nag, or force a guy into jumping on board with this, and I wouldn’t try to. When you try to coerce someone into agreeing with you, what usually happens is you push them away and turn them off to the idea entirely, making things even harder for yourself.

What I did worked, so I think it’s worth a shot. Compromise without pressure, and being quiet, living proof that this works and makes life way easier.

There may be some things your husband and you spent money on together for the house or the kids that he’s not okay with you purging. Again, explain your overwhelm to him and offer to compromise some way. If he won’t budge, fine. Let there be a few things like that - you will still experience a lot less overwhelm by purging the other areas in your home.

One way you can compromise is by offering to simply move an item into the garage or attic for two weeks to see if it is needed before you commit to getting rid of it completely. This might help your husband feel less panicked about donating things you spent money on, and help him see that the real waste happened when you bought an item you don’t truly need, not when you decided to let it go for the sake of simpler living.

So much of the time, we sabotage our success by trying to have all our ducks in a row before we get started on something. I know it feels like you need your husband on board with this, but if that’s not happening, don’t let it keep you from starting. Start small, leave his crap alone, and just see what happens. Don’t let a hurdle, big or small, hold you back from improving your life in a way that makes you a better wife and mother, and a happier person who lives on purpose.


Mama, you can make this happen for yourself even through difficulties and lack of support. Things can change on that front, don't wait around for it though! A lifestyle of less opens the door to SO MUCH MORE! Start now and let me walk you through every step of the process. 

 
 How to get husband on board with minimalism. What if my husband isn't on board?

Minimalism For Your Health, Calendar, + Relationships

I talk a lot about how minimalism is addictive because it’s so true! Every week I read posts in my Facebook group from women who are experiencing the crazy freedom simplifying brings and they can’t stop.

You gain this incredible momentum and it leaks into every area of your life. For me, it started with purging the kids’ toys, then I moved into the kitchen, then our clothes, then the closets and linens, then the drawers and cabinets, then my house was done and I found myself living more minimally with my calendar and schedule, and my relationships, and my eating habits. It’s crazy how this catches you and changed your entire life, all because you were tired of the clutter.

Often, I get this question from newbies who are trying to figure out if this lifestyle of less is right for them.

“How does minimalism apply to the rest of your life outside of your home?”

Ohhh mama. I can’t wait to tell you about this. Today’s Minimalism Basics post is all about how minimalism helps you in areas other than your household clutter. Let’s do it.

 

Your calendar

Applying minimalism to my calendar has probably been the biggest game changer outside of the kids’ toys and laundry. When you learn to think minimally about what’s taking up space in your house, it becomes habit. I started thinking minimally about what I was putting on my calendar soon after I’d purged my house. I’d get asked if I could make it to some event and go to put it on my iPhone calendar app and think “wait… do I want to go to this? Really?” It was liberating.

To implement minimalism to your calendar, ask yourself a few key questions.

  1. Why am I thinking of attending this? (is it out of obligation or guilt?)

  2. Is this a good use of my time with or away from my family?

  3. Does this event line up with my purpose in life?

By getting real with yourself before you say yes to something, you’re forcing yourself to evaluate whether or not this event is worth your limited time. How we spend our days ends up being how we spent our lives, so this stuff matters.

 

Your relationships

Think about the people in your life. Are any of them toxic to you? Why are you allowing them in? Because they’re related to you? Because you feel obligated to tolerate them?

There is a huge difference between being forced to have someone in your life (because of family ties, etc) and allowing them to take something from you. Put up boundaries where you need to. Is there someone who sucks the life out of you and harms you emotionally to the point where you feel anxious, upset, or super down after spending time with them? You need boundaries. I want you to understand that this is your one and only life! Be a kind person, but don’t be a doormat. Pick up this book and make reading it your priority, then get minimal about the toxic relationships in your life.

  • Do you need this relationship?
  • How can you put up boundaries around yourself with this person?
  • What is this relationship adding to or taking from your life?

Set up boundaries for a life you love living, and don’t let another person steal your joy.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Your health and fitness

The weight loss industry generates $20 billion a year in the US, mostly from diet books. There are approximately 108 million dieters in the United States right now.

I believe losing weight and getting healthy have been way over-complicated. I know that if I want to be smaller, I need to cut out my Taco Bell runs during late night writing sessions. But honestly, I love me a chalupa.

Eat clean, get moving, be healthy. It’s as simple as that unless you have a serious health issue, which I guarantee 108 million people in my country alone, do not.

You can absolutely implement minimalism in your health and fitness routine. This is why I don’t share meal plans and cooking routines on my blog (it’s not just because I hate cooking). I don’t have any of that stuff. I just go to the store and buy healthy foods that fit a clean eating/Paleo lifestyle, and prepare it, then eat it with my family. I don’t spend an hour a week writing out what we will eat, we don’t get sick of the food we eat. We just make basic dinners and rotate them based on what sounds good that night. That’s it.

Clear the mental clutter of which foods should be eaten with which other types of foods and when is it the best time to workout and what kinds of arm workouts are best for this kind of arm fat. Just shush. Buy healthy food at the store, pair a little meat (if that’s your thang) with a ton of veggies and maybe a little healthy starch. Get moving at least once a day, try not to sit much, and drink water. There you have it.

Minimalism is so much more than an uncluttered house. It’s an intentional life without extra crap sucking up all your time, and that absolutely applies to other areas of your life. What starts with the physical clutter in your space leaks into the emotional, mental, and relational clutter that you didn't even realize was bearing down on you with such a heavy force. 

Take the philosophy of less and run with it! See where it takes you ;)

What areas of your life other than your home have you implemented minimalism? Share in the comments!


Wanna cut the chaos and do this thing for real? My course will walk you through every room, every area of your overwhelming house. Let me take the guess work out of decluttering for you and help you come out on the other side- a life of LESS so you can live MORE. 


 


 

 How to apply a minimalist philosophy to the rest of your life - calendar, relationships, health and fitness. 

Decluttering Your House 101: The How To

So you hear about this awesome idea called minimalism, and you want in. You read up on some of the main points, set aside some time to get started, and walk into your house with fresh eyes. Those eyes see all the things - cluttered surfaces, drawers full of randoms dating back to God-only-knows-when, toys exploding out to every room, crackers smashed into the carpet… oh boy. The overwhelm creeps in and gains its choke-hold position.

I can’t do this.

This is way too much.

I’m too overwhelmed.

I’ll never be able to get this whole house done.

I need a nap.

This happens all the time. It happened to me when I first set out to simplify my life, and I see it happening in my group on a regular basis. It’s totally normal, but what you do with this feeling will define the rest of your life - if you really do this, or if you let the overwhelm win.

Hold up, mama. BREATHE.

I’m gonna give you some minimalism basics today to help you break down the decluttering process. It only feels overwhelming because you’re already overwhelmed. It feels like you’re taking on something extra and it’s all too much. But taking this on will free you up in ways you can’t possibly expect, and it’s gonna be GOOD. So hold on, and let’s break down the process of how to declutter so it becomes simpler.

 

Stop looking at all there is to do and just start.

Choose a non-emotional room to start in, like the bathroom. Nothing with sentimental items to go through. Get the kids busy or ask for help from someone, create some breathing room for this important journey to take place, and walk in there and start.

Sometimes it even helps my extremely overwhelmed clients to close their eyes, walk into the room they’re going to tackle, and pick something up with their eyes still closed. Then I have them open their eyes and make a decision about the item they’re holding.

Keep, donate, or trash? Make the decision, place the item in the pile location, and pick up the next thing.

There, you started. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now you have a little momentum to keep going, and the more you work through things, the more your motivation and momentum builds. Before you know it, you’re on fire and making it happen!

 

How to make decisions about your items

You will make one of three decisions about every item you pick up - keep it, throw it away, or donate it. There is no “maybe” pile because you’re not here to waste time and create piles of stuff to go through later… you’re going through it NOW and you’re finishing this room today. You’re not going to waste your own time because you live intentionally now.

So how do you decide which of the three piles to put your items in? By asking a few key questions about each thing you feel stumped on:

  1. Do I need this? Would life be able to go on tomorrow without this?

  2. Do I love this? Does it bring me joy?

  3. Does this item line up with my purpose? Does it help me live intentionally?

If the answer to two or more of these is no, why are you allowing this item to take up your space and time? Rethink.

When you know an item needs to be removed from your home, you have another choice to make: trash or donate? If it’s at all damaged, stained, ripped, or in poor condition, just throw it away. The needy don’t want your trash, and Salvation Army will either not accept it or throw it away for you later. Save them the work; throw it away if it’s trash.

If an item is in decent condition, by all means put it in the donation pile. When you throw everything away, you’re contributing to waste and build-up that harms our planet. Donate what you can, and keep the trash pile for real trash.

>> A note on selling your items. I’m not against selling your things when you’re decluttering, but I do see a lot of the time that holding onto things because you might have a garage sale or make money off of them on Facebook sell groups often leads to lack of progress. I’ve seen women make $600 off selling a room-full of stuff. I’ve also seen way more women spend two weeks decluttering only to make zero progress because they held onto everything in hopes of selling and never did. Be careful. Weigh it out. Is it worth it for you to try?

 

Where to donate your things

You have lots of options when it comes to donating your items, but don’t let those options become overwhelming and keep you from making decisions. Let’s break it down so you can pick what appeals to you most.

Churches - you can donate pretty much anything to your church or a church near you. I like to donate toys and books in particular so they can use them in the nursery and kids club.

Salvation Army - the perk here is that they will pick up your donations for you. The con is they are VERY picky with what they’ll accept. If there is anything at all wrong with a piece of furniture or a blouse, they won’t take it and you’re still stuck with some of your stuff.

Goodwill - the perk here is that Goodwill accepts donations of all kinds and sorts through them on their own. You can walk in with your bags and leave them, knowing they have hired help who will do the sorting and deciding if they’ll sell it, and you’re still helping the less-fortunate by donating instead of selling.  

Best Buy - you can drop off or ship your electronic waste to a Best Buy near you and they will recycle it for you. There’s no need to hold onto things with lithium batteries because you don’t know what to do with them. Ship it off and let it go.

There are plenty of good causes ready to accept your donations beyond the popular thrift stores. You can find a nearby shelter or food bank and do some good in your community! The point is not to get held up by the details of where, when, or how you’ll remove the clutter from your home and just do it.

 decluttering 101: how to declutter your house. 

3 Keys to a Successful Purging Session

If you’re someone who has jumped on the minimalist bandwagon, this might sound familiar…

You’re on fire, and you’re doing this. You head into one of the over-cluttered rooms in your house and get started. You make decisions, placing things into piles: keep, trash, and donate. You work through the entire room - everything - and you’re feeling super proud of yourself. You look at the donate pile, you look at the trash pile, and you know you totally nailed this purge sesh.

You’re exhausted. You walk into the kitchen and brew yourself a fresh batch of well-deserved coffee. The baby wakes up from his nap, the kids run in the door from school, and you’re back in your normal rhythm for the afternoon.

That night you walk by the room you purged earlier that day and you see the terrifying image of those three perfect piles, torn apart. Stuff is strewn everywhere. All the hard work you did to make decisions was undone. The kids have no idea what they’ve done. You’re so disappointed, so annoyed, your purging fire has been snuffed completely out. Fail.

This happens all the time. It happened to me when I first started my decluttering journey, and I see it happening in my Facebook group and in my students every week. There are a few common purging hurdles just like this one that really suck, but can be totally avoided if you stick to a few basic rules. I’m gonna lay them out for you today because I like you, and I want you to succeed. A simpler life is so worth it!

3 Keys to a Successful Purge Session

Follow all the way through

Listen to me, mama… you are not done with a decluttering session until you have followed all. the. way. through. Got it?

This means everything in your “keep” pile has been double checked, and is something you absolutely love or need, and has been put in its new home. This means everything in your “trash” pile has been bagged up and carried out to the outside garbage cans. This means everything in your “donate” pile has been bagged up and put in the back of your car for a trip to Goodwill. This also means you have set an alarm in your phone to go off in three days’ time - this is your time limit for dropping off any and all donations.

I don’t implement a lot of rules in my philosophy of minimalism because I believe it should work for you and your life, but here you need rules. I see too many failures and too many overwhelmed mamas throwing in the towel because they didn’t follow all the way through and things got undone by their kids, their husband, or the fact that they left the piles sitting for weeks.

Again, YOU ARE NOT FINISHED WITH A PURGE SESSION UNTIL YOU HAVE FOLLOWED ALL THE WAY THROUGH!

Handle the hard stuff like a pro

Picture this…

You’re on a roll in your daughter’s room. You’re purging, you’re making good decisions about her clothes, her toys, you’ve got this. Then you see it - the tiny white dress she was dedicated in - the one your late grandmother handed down to you for her right before she passed away. Heart twists, indecision pours over you.

You sit there going over memories for ten minutes, unable to make a decision. You know you don’t need this little dress, and it’s not something you really feel you want to keep since you have tons of photos of her wearing it, yet you can’t put it in the donate pile. You just can’t do it. You get overwhelmed and decide to take a break.

While you’re sipping coffee and checking Facebook, thirty minutes fly by and it’s time to go pick up the kids from school. Your decluttering session was derailed by a sentimental item you didn’t know what to do with, and now it’s over.

You know that whenever you decide to get back to it, a hard decision about that tiny white dress is waiting for you, so you avoid the task like the plague. Eventually your decluttering progress just turns into a giant mess in your daughter’s room, and you feel like “minimalism just doesn’t work” for you. You miss out on all the freedom because of one hard choice.

This happens all the time! Friend, it’s okay. There’s a better way to handle this kind of thing.

When you find yourself held up on something difficult or sentimental, just set it aside. I’m not saying to put it in a box and hide it in the closet or decide never to deal with it - we need to deal with what tugs on our heart strings - it’s good for us. But you don’t need to deal with it in the middle of a productive purge session if it’s stumping you. Set it aside, and go through that pile later.


Ready to go all in? Stop cleaning up after your life and start living it. Enroll in the movement that's taking motherhood by the horns, and get every step you need to declutter your entire house, like now. 


My favorite way to handle this would be to set aside sentimental things or things I felt were too hard to make an instant decision about, finish my decluttering in the room I was working on (and follow all the way through, right??), and then later that evening, after I’d put the kids to bed and had some quiet time, I could focus. I would turn on Netflix and pour myself a glass of wine, and make sound decisions about as many hard things as I could.

Why am I feeling like I can’t get rid of this? Is it because of guilt or obligation? Do I feel like I haven’t honored this memory by taking a photo of it? Is this one of the few special things I should actually keep? For more on dealing with sentimental items, read this.

Treat it like an important appointment

I think a lot of the time, we keep ourselves from succeeding in this journey before it even really starts. We decide this minimalism thing sounds cool and we’ll give it a try, but life is crazy and we’re already overwhelmed, so it doesn’t ever really happen.

Mama listen, do you want this or don’t you? If you really want to be able to have company drop by and not be embarrassed about your house, if you really want to be set free from the constant cycle of cleaning up all day, if you want to have weekends that are spent having fun with your family over having to catch up on the laundry, then make it happen!

If this was any other important appointment, you’d probably write it on your fridge calendar, put it in your phone, wake up, get dressed, and show up for it. Why are you not treating this the same way when it’s so much more important than so many things we do for ourselves? This is the key to a simpler, more intentional life for you and your family - treat it like that!

Choose a day and time block that works for your schedule - however big or small works for your life - and show up. Just walk in a room and get started until your time is up, follow all the way through and be done for the day.

When you show up for yourself and do this, you’re putting yourself on the road to living a better life instead of just cleaning up after it. This matters! Treat purging sessions like the most important appointment on your calendar, and you will succeed.
 

Other posts that can help you overcome common hurdles in decluttering:

Purging with kids in the house

Decluttering the kids’ rooms

How to stop buying things you don’t need

Minimalism & Christmas gifts

5 Shortcuts to Decluttering the Hard Stuff

 3 keys to a successful decluttering session. How to purge effectively. 



What exactly is minimalism?

When most people hear the word minimalism, their minds are immediately filled with stereotype images and assumptions - white walls, near-empty rooms, KonMari. However, minimalism has little to do with decor and folding styles. Trust me, I wouldn’t dedicate my career to something as shallow as that.

This is a massive movement, and I believe it’s incredibly beneficial for us mothers. This is a lifestyle shift that’s turning on the light for moms everywhere, revealing the truth - you don’t have to clean up all the time; there is a much lighter way to do motherhood!

Minimalism is about creating breathing room in your home, your calendar, and your life so that you can be intentional with the people who matter most to you, and present to enjoy them fully.

As a minimalist, I choose carefully what takes up space in my home, because I know those things I choose will also take up my time. I like to use the toaster as an example. Your toaster sit on your counter top ready to be used. You use it to turn bread into toast, you dump the crumb tray every so often, you wipe it down when you detail the kitchen, you move it back under the cabinet to its dedicated spot… all of this may only take you a couple minutes total, but it’s a couple minutes nonetheless. Your toaster takes up some of your space, and because it exists in your house, it also takes up some of your time. Everything you own works the same way.

Some things only take up thirty seconds a month, others take up hours without us even realizing it. Minimalism is about looking at how we’re spending our time, what’s taking up our space and our lives, and asking one question: why?

Minimalism is living intentionally, with a purpose that leaves its fingerprint on every single day. Because that’s how you end up with a life worth living.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
— Annie Dillard

Let me ask you this… what’s most important to you? What are your toppest priorities in life?

Your husband?

Your relationship with God?

Your family?

Your job?

Write it down.

Now answer this, being totally honest with yourself… if someone had a secret camera in your home (take the creepiness of this example out and set it aside) and their main purpose was to find out what your top priorities were, what would they find?

Would they see your daily actions lining up with what you say are your priorities?

Or would they see that your phone appears to be the highest priority?

Or money?

Or yourself?

Or having a clean house?

Or whatever is going on on Facebook?

So often, we think we have our priorities in line. I mean after all, we’re moms! Moms take care of their families and serve until they desperately need a night out - obviously we are super focused on those who matter most. But how often do we get caught up in the chaos and end up living these precious days of our kids’ fleeting childhood in full-on survival mode? How often do we send our kids away from us to “go play” or “go be busy” so we can catch up on something as mundane as housework? How often do we count the minutes till bedtime instead of sitting down and playing Legos with them?

This isn’t to guilt you or to be another post where one mommy shames all the others. This was me. It IS me every time I lose focus because I’m human, and I mess up all the time. But this was me every single day a few years ago. I was stuck in survival mode, barely getting by, always trying to catch up on the housework. A day without a mountain of laundry lurking in the hallway felt like an AMAZING day! Now, it’s exactly the opposite.

I don’t spend hours standing at the kitchen sink each week cleaning up after our meals because we only have the dishes we truly need, and they don’t overwhelm me. I don’t spend the weekend catching up on Laundry Mountain because there aren’t enough clothes to create a mountain, yet we lack nothing. We have everything we need, and for once I absolutely love my wardrobe.

I don’t have to be the mom who yells or the wife who’s stretched super thin all the time because it just doesn’t really exist anymore. Sure, I have my days, my hard weeks, but that’s life. My regularly days are now simpler, intentional, joyful, and filled with purpose.

I’m able to be the mom who plays with her kids on a regular basis, which is what I always wanted but felt unable to be.

I’m able to sit down with my husband in a clean house at the end of a long day and watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine without feeling like I should be doing something else. I can relax and soak up my time with my family because everything is simplified. There is so much less to do!

This is true minimalism. This is why I believe moms need it most. This is why I spend my time spreading this message, running across the world with this blazing torch in my hand - because I want you to know the truth and have a chance to take hold of this freedom!

If you’re reading this and feeling like you wanna grab hold of it, you’re in the right place. Click here to go get your free minimalism starter kit, or dive all the way in and do this thing for real NOW by enrolling in my course. It’ll walk you through the steps I took to declutter my entire house and start living on purpose so you can do the same.

Whatever you do from here is up to you. You can be a reader, take this information, think about it as you go about your day and quickly forget about it because, #momlife be cray. Or you can grip this new truth in your hands and choose to make it your actual life. Join the movement one way or another, just don’t walk away from this article the same way you walked into it.

 

 What is exactly is minimalism? How does minimalism help moms?