A Beginner's Guide to A Minimalist Home

How do you feel when you walk into your home? Seriously, answer right now.

Do you feel happy? Calm? Overwhelmed? Upset? Depressed? Resentful? Blessed? Like you just don’t even have time to give two craps?

Grab a pen or your smartphone and jot down the first emotion or thought that pops up for you when I ask you that question… how do you feel when you walk into your home?

Now answer this - how do you want to feel when you walk into your home? Write it down.

Do your answers match? If not, this is for you today, mama. I know how you feel because I have so been there. But let me give you a virtual hug and a big scoop of hope… it doesn’t have to be like this anymore. Really! It doesn’t.

I’m not going to offer you some kind of ridiculous cleaning schedule or set of tasks to check off every day. I’m here to give you something that will last- the gift of less.

While magazines and Pinterest graphics everywhere are telling you to get organized and rearrange the way you have things set up, I’m here to tell you that none of that is going to help you one bit. All that’s gonna do is have you moving things around that are still in your way. I want you to actually let go of the stuff you have in your home but don’t need- the things that aren’t adding to your life or helping you fulfill your purpose. When you have less in your way, you have more time, energy, and space (emotionally, mentally, and physically) to focus on what matters most.

New here? Read my story to learn more about how I got here and why I do what I do.

I’m here to tell you with the biggest smile on my face and a hefty confidence that you can feel at peace, happy, relaxed, and fulfilled when you walk into your home on any given day. You can breathe and know that you don’t have to run around like a headless chicken trying to keep things clean, because they just stay cleaner when there’s less stuff. You can spend thirty minutes of your day on housework instead of four hours.

You can spend your weekends enjoying your family instead of catching up on the laundry. Seriously!

What does your home feel like to your family? Ask them.

If you’re afraid of their answer, I’ve been there too. I remember nagging my husband about how hard keeping up with my role was and how I wished he helped more. I remember being the mom who yelled, who was always behind, always cleaning up, and rarely enjoyed her family.

Your home can be a true haven for your family- it all starts with you, mama. You set the tone. If we can get you simplified and feeling lighter, it’s going to show on your face and in your voice, and that’s going to have a massive, positive impact on the people you love who share your space.  

So many of us think that keeping our home needs to take up the bulk of our time. But when you choose to let go of what you don’t need, of what isn’t serving you, you have less to maintain in your home and less time spent on it.

Most of my students who have gone through Your Uncluttered Home say the same thing- that they only spend about thirty minutes a day cleaning and maintaining their homes (the exceptions usually have extremely large houses).

Step outside of your current reality for a moment and imagine that… only spending half an hour at the end of your day cleaning up, with a few simple rhythms in place (wiping the counters and table after meals, etc) during the day. What would change for you? What would you do with your time? How much closer would you be with your children? The whole world opens up!

Minimalism is so much more than a clean house (that’s a perk for sure though!). It’s about creating the time and space you need to be a present mom; to live a purposeful life you love. It’s about getting to your eightieth birthday and knowing you were there; you didn’t just clean up after a life you wished you’d lived.

But how do you get there? Obviously you have to do some work on your house and get to this point, right? What does this look like room-by-room?

The Kitchen

I don’t think any room is as integral as the kitchen. Everything happens here! School lunches are prepared, family dinners are made, coffee is brewed… this room is Grand Central Station for the busy mom.

Start simplifying in here by getting rid of some dishes! Most of us have way more dishes than we need, and it’s kinda weird. Why do we feel like we need three different sets all the time? Unless you’re the Duggars, you don’t.

Take a look at your cups and mugs the same way. How many do you have? Why do you have so many? What do you really use and love? Let go of the excess!

Look at your appliances. Those are such space hogs! And a lot of the time, we don’t realize how many we’ve been storing for years and not using at all. Sometimes you’ll find that one appliance has the same features as another appliance you own- you don’t need duplicates, so pick one!

Get my free guide to decluttering the laundry and dishes! This is one of my most popular downloads because it’s straightforward, but detailed and helpful for the two biggest time-suckers in your home.

The Kids Rooms

Most people think kids equal clutter, and there’s not much you can do about it, but I disagree. :) I think kids means messes, but not clutter. I believe mothers need minimalism more than anybody, and kids need it too!

Start by simplifying your kids’ wardrobes. So often we keep way too many clothing options and hand-me-downs for our kids, and all it does is give us overstuffed drawers and extra things to clean. Let it go, girl! Pare down to what you know your kids like, fit in, and actually wear.

Next, take a look at the toys. I know this is a really sensitive area because there’s often a lot of guilt that comes with simplifying the toys, but listen to me… your kids will play so much better with less to choose from.

Start by getting rid of what you know isn’t played with. If it’s broken, missing pieces, or just no longer used, let it go.

Keep things positive by talking to your child about how their toys will change the life of another child who is less fortunate than they are. When I make decluttering about blessing others, my kids light up. It’s a win-win. Let your kids be a part of the process- show them where you take their donations, make them aware of what kind of kids are getting their old toys and teach them to give.

Want a lot more help with your kids and decluttering their toys? I’m hosting a free online workshop where I’m teaching just that!

The Bathrooms

The bathroom is a fantastic place to start if decluttering totally overwhelms you.

Not a lot of people keep precious memories stored in the bathroom… it’s usually just old eyeshadows and hair tools you never use anymore. This makes the bathroom a great place to build some confidence and momentum, so you feel inspired and ready to move forward.

Here are some of my tips for taking on the bathrooms:

  • Don’t let the kids’ bath toys take over for one more day. Choose two of their favorites (or let them choose) and get rid of the rest.

  • If you haven’t used it in the last month, it’s probably not something you should hold on to.

  • It’s unsanitary to keep old makeup. Use that as your excuse for trashing it and let go of the guilt. It’s gross, girl!

  • Keep what you know you use regularly. Be honest with yourself!

  • Only keep one of each toiletry- one shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc. Buy a new one when you run out. You don’t need multiples.

  • Every bathroom-dweller has a secret grooming product obsession; they buy multiples of their fetish item. When faced with more than three of anything in the bathroom, invoke the Law of Numbers: Keep two favorites, declutter the rest.

  • If you haven’t used it in the last month, it’s probably not something you should hold on to. Things like make up you only wear to fancy occasions are your call, but know that it’s unsanitary to keep them, so use that as an excuse to let them go guilt-free.

The Master Bedroom

I used to use my master bedroom as a holding cell for all the crap I didn’t have time to put away. I used it to dump clean laundry I didn’t feel like folding, too. Basically, at the end of a very long, draining day of mom life, I would climb the stairs and enter an abyss of stress. Perfect, right?

Your bedroom needs to be a place where you can rest and recharge. It just does. Mom life ain’t easy, and we need somewhere we can go to be revived. I don’t think we need to go outside of our houses for that; I think we can make that happen in daily life right where we live, and I think that’s the main purpose of this room. (it’s also where the “magic” happens, and the magic is a lot more magical when the floor isn’t covered in crap, am I right?!)

Start by removing all the things being kept in your bedroom that don’t belong there! What have you thrown in there because your mother-in-law was about to drop by? Use my favorite trick and grab an empty laundry hamper. Put everything that doesn’t belong in your bedroom in the hamper, then take it around the house with you delivering things to their proper homes.

Next, clean up your nightstands. These tiny tables are such clutter collectors! What do you need next to you when you start and end your day? Clear everything else off.

Pare down your wardrobe by using the reverse hanger trick. After you wear something from your closet, hang it back up and reverse the hanger so it’s facing the opposite way of the rest of the hangers. After a few weeks, look and see what’s still forward-facing. You probably don’t need those items as much as you thought you did, huh? Simplify!

your uncluttered home allie casazza

If you’re sitting there wanting to just go all-in and makeover your motherhood through minimalism, check out my online course, Your Uncluttered Home. It’s earned global praise for the simple, busy-mama-friendly philosophy of realistic minimalism for families.

In it, I will take you through every step, A to Z, room-by-room until you come out the other side, and then even further through maintenance mode and lifestyle shifts like dealing with relatives who won’t stop giving and things like that. I’ve got your back, girl. Let’s make this happen together!

Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza , Murrieta, CA