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Ep 080: Creating A Cozy Minimalist Home with Myquillyn Smith "The Nester"

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A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Myquillyn Smith is a blogger and an author. She's written The Nesting Place and her new book, Cozy Minimalist Home (which is right up my alley). Myquillyn and I talk about ways you can create a space that is both cozy and minimal in your home. She is really great at teaching her audience to create an atmosphere that allows them to live and focus on what really matters to them, and less about maintaining their stuff.

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Myquillyn Discuss:

  • Ways you can give cozy a purpose when it comes to creating a minimalist space in your home.

  • What it means to give your eyes a Sabbath on your home and why it is so powerful.

  • How you can bring your own sense of style into your home while still pursuing minimalism.  

  • The difference between a stuff manager and a home curator.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Myquillyn’s book, The Cozy Minimalist Home, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

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Hi, sweet friends! Welcome to The Purpose Show! I'm so honored that I get to be a part of your day today and that you're taking time out of your busy life to listen to my show. I'm also honored at the guest that I got to have on today and so excited that you get to listen in on our conversation.

Myquillyn Smith is a blogger and an author. She's written The Nesting Place and her new book, which just came out, is called Cozy Minimalist Home and it is just right up my alley. And if you're here and you love The Purpose Show, it's right up your alley too. We dive into talking practicality when it comes to your home and decorating and how to create a space that is both cozy and minimal and that serves you and works for you.

So, I'm so honored to welcome my guest, Myquillyn Smith. Here's our conversation.

ALLIE: Hi, Myquillyn! Welcome!

MYQUILLYN:  Hey Allie! Thanks for having me today.

ALLIE: Yeah, I'm so glad that you're here. You are one of our authors for our October book month. And your book Cozy Minimalist Home, is your second book, right?

MYQUILLYN: It is, yeah. My first book was called The Nesting Place. It was all about embracing imperfection. And so, this one is more hands-on, how-to approach decorating in your home like a cozy minimalist.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love it. So, one of the main reasons that I wanted to have you here is because, I mean, we do something pretty similar. I talk to moms about simplifying their space and in doing that you really simplify your life, and you create an atmosphere that allows you to live and focus on what really matters and the people and less about maintaining your stuff. So, when you came across my desk, I was like, “Oh my gosh! This is amazing!”

I love that you really talk about this from a decorating perspective because while I love to decorate, I actually studied interior design like you and then ended up not…I just didn't like doing it for other people.

MYQUILLYN : Yes, I get that.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love it. I just want it to be for me. I don't know how to describe and teach that. It's just not my gifting at all, but it is for sure yours. So, I feel like everyone's going to be really excited about this episode and you're kind of filling this gap I have. I feel like I know how to do it, but I don't know how to show you how to do it and you do that so well.

MYQUILLYN : Well, thank you. You know, I didn't want to go in people's homes. I'm such an introvert. And so, I did some design school and I was like, “This is the pits. I don't want to go in people's houses and move their recliner.” But there's something about the internet and encouraging women to do things themselves, I can do that.

It's been like 11 years now. I'm one of the grandmothers of the Internet when it comes to that. It has been so fun. People can actually change their homes, which really in turn helps us change the way we function, and changes our lives in many ways.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I love it. So, I just want to dive right into this book and what it's about and just pick your brain a little bit.

Basically, the whole thing is cozy becomes clutter when there's no purpose behind it and that we don't have to have cozy and minimalism opposite ends of the spectrum. They can actually live together, which I love.

I actually have a really modern style. I like clean lines. I like a lot of white. So I feel like I kind of fall a little bit stereotypical minimalist in some ways, but I never want my home to feel like you can't sit down and put your feet up on the coffee table. I let my kids jump on the couches. I want my house to feel warm and welcoming and you talk about that same thing so well. That you can have cozy and minimalism in the same space and, you should really, because it serves such a purpose. So, can you talk about how we can give cozy a purpose and what you mean by that?

MYQUILLYN: Absolutely. I love that question. You know, cozy, really the whole purpose, is to be comfortable and to let us let our guard down when we come in people's homes.

I think for a long time I thought that cozy was a style. So I thought, “Oh, I want my home to be cozy so I need to get more and more pillows from Target, and more and more throws, and more things on my coffee table,” but that is just filling a house up. When you kind of flip it and think of the purpose of cozy is to serve the people, then you have a starting point and you also have a finishing point.

And that's what I could never grasp in the early years of making home was I never knew when it was finished. I just kept feeling like I needed to add more stuff.

But when I thought about cozy as that tool that I can use, same with minimalism, thinking of it as a tool. So instead of two opposite extremes, they actually can be BFFs, that are tools that we use in our home. So, the cozy brings in that comfortable feeling and the minimalism brings in that peaceful feeling. And I know all of us want both of those things in our home.

It just made sense to me and it kind of helped me find my way because I really admire minimalism and minimalists. I love that. But I also love beautiful things in my home and want it to feel warm and welcoming. There are so many of us, that's really what everyone wants. No one wants a cluttered home when it comes down to it. We might not behave like that, but you know, on paper we would say we don't want that.

And the same with a super sparse, unwelcoming, cold home. Minimalists don't want that either. So, we're all somewhere in the middle of that. It just depends on where we fall and a lot of that has to do with our personal style. But a cozy minimalist at the heart, when it comes to home, she wants the most amount of style with the least amount of stuff.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Your book is divided up. I really feel like you kind of get to the point. It's not a difficult read. It's not super thick and loaded with stories. In the beginning, you just kind of talk about how you got here and your journey with this and then you dive right into like practicalities, which I love.

But in the beginning, you kind of talk about how you realized that you were more of a stuff manager instead of a home curator. I love the way you phrase that. So, can you talk about that and kind of unpack that and what's the difference?

MYQUILLYN: Yeah, you know, I didn't realize I was this stuff manager at the time. It took us moving from a bigger house to a smaller house, which is a trigger for many of us. And I realized I had collected a lot of stuff. I think it started back when we had a younger family and we would move into a home and we needed a chair for a desk and a lamp to work next to. So, we actually needed things for our home and so I would go thrifting. I would find it at a great price and give myself a high five. Like, “look what I did!”

But I didn't have that feeling of enough. I never knew when to call it, when I hit that line of okay, I have enough lamps, I have enough chairs. I just knew like, oh, if one looks great, I guess 10 more chairs would look 10 times as great. And I found them for a great deal for $7.

So that got me in a little trouble. I didn't trust that if I was good enough at finding a deal in the first place that I would be able to find it in the future. I had a lot of fear about, you know, what if I need that later, what if I get rid of it now and I need it. So, I was holding onto things out of fear.

Then when we moved it was a huge burden. I realized that I was spending a lot of time moving stuff, organizing stuff, taking care of stuff, washing stuff, fussing about stuff, tripping over stuff. And I'm like, I am a freaking stuff manager. This is crazy town. This is not how I want to live my life.

I felt like my stuff was in charge of me instead of me being the boss of my stuff, kind of like a museum curator, of really being intentional, which I know you appreciate, about what comes in and also what goes out.

When it comes to design, I think something no one ever talks about is the fact that we always have to be on our toes editing. I think we all can agree in our life we need that margin and white space, but we also need that on our walls, on our mantle, in our kitchen and in our bedroom. It covers so many areas of our life and I was ignoring that for a long time.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I think we get kind of caught up in what everyone else is doing or what typically is done. I always use the example for my own story of the kitchen. I don't like to cook. It's just not my favorite thing. I started to, six or seven years ago now, figure out like, oh, my life is ruled by the maintenance of my things. I started to clear that. I stopped putting every single thing on the countertop. Only my coffee maker and my Kitchen Aid were there. I put the toaster oven, the crock pot and things that I used, but not every second, underneath the countertop and it cleared my counterspace. It takes me, like what, two seconds to pull out the crockpot to use it.

But the ambiance in my kitchen is so much lighter, I actually started to enjoy being in there. I would make cooking this ritual where I pour half a glass of wine, put some worship music on, and just be in my kitchen. And I was enjoying that space instead of maintaining stuff, going into my cluttered kitchen and then doing my least favorite thing at the end of a long day.

And it's so funny how just clearing, and I’ll get into it in a second how you talk about quieting that room, lightened my load so much and actually made me enjoy something that I was dreading. I mean every day I cooked and I hated it. It sucked. It matters, you know?

MYQUILLYN: Yes. It's such a great example and I think again, like for the longest time I was really attracted to like what you just said, but I assumed that meant like every space in my house needed to be cleared off.

But what you said is the perfect example. If we can give ourselves the gift of maybe one cleared off space per room and not worry about the rest. That’s such a nice baby step. You kind of become addicted to it because it's so nice to come home to.

It doesn't mean that your kitchen island is empty 24 hours a day. What it means is it's empty and ready for you to mess it up and use it and have life there. And that's the beauty of having a few designated empty spaces or surfaces in your home. It’s so that you can use them to the fullest, live in your house and not have to move seven decorative things off just so that you could get to a space, which was the story of my life for a long time.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I think that's going to be the quotable that we use for this episode. It's so obvious, but it's a light bulb moment for so many of us because that's just how you do things. Especially in the Instagram sphere, everything's got to look perfect and there's three little things set by the sink just perfectly. And that's not practical. I always see people's homes like that and think like, is that always there? Because that sucks. Like it's in your way. You can’t even wash your hands without moving a little bird out of the way.

MYQUILLYN: That is so true.

ALLIE: So, can you, and you kind of did a little bit, but if there's anything left there, I really want everyone to leave this episode feeling equipped and like, okay, I've got it and they can go and take action. So, can you explain a little more the feeling of having how you talk about like “just enough” in your house? What does that look like?

MYQUILLYN: Whew, that is really good. Well first of all, you know, I think sometimes we can think like, oh well this is just for people that are super visual or this is just for people that are “designery” or are born with that gene and that's so untrue. I think most of us can attest to that.

There's even a study that shows that when women walk into their own cluttered home, their cortisol levels rise, which is so unhealthy for us. I do not need a person in a lab coat to tell me that. I have experienced that in and of myself. So just knowing that helps me to realize that I need to be able to draw the line. So where is that going to be?

And I think the grace in the cozy minimalist message and in the minimalist movement is that your line might be in a different place than mine. And that is okay. That's what I love. What you need in your life right now is different than what I need. If you have babies. I have three boys that are 21, 18 and 17, so for me in my family room, we have tennis shoes, backpacks and phone chargers. And I'm okay with that.

So, when it comes to thinking about enough, like if you think about furnishing a guest room. So, in my olden days I would say, “Oh, I get to furnish a guest room. I'm going to find every pillow that will work with my style, that I can afford, that I run into today.” And that would have been my cutoff. Whatever I can find that I can afford.

But now as a cozy minimalist who wants the most amount of style with the least amount of stuff, I will say, “What can I get the biggest impact from that will serve the person who needs to stay in the room?” So, if I'm a person in the room and I get up in the morning I want to put my feet down on a cozy rug. I need to have privacy so there needs to be something on the windows. I need a light to read by. I want them to have super cozy, the comfiest sheets in the world. The things that help the people, that is my line for coziness.

I can't go too over to the minimalism and have zero sheets on the bed. That is crazy. But also, I don't need 24 pillows on the bed. We get to decide that line based on how people are going to use it and how the stuff serves the people.

ALLIE: Yeah. I love that. You're perfectly leading into my next question. I hate when I'm going to do a podcast and they send me the questions beforehand because I'm like, “No, it's just going to feel forced.” People are going to think that I did that because you're leading me literally to the next question.

But I was going to ask you if you could talk about that shift between trying to make your home look better and making your home serve better. As somebody who appreciates a beautiful aesthetic and I really love design and style. I am with you where I tend to naturally be kind of like, well these throw pillows are all beautiful and on sale and they go perfectly in this room. They just look so great, but then it sucks to throw 58 throw pillows off the bed before I climb in. How do you kind of make that shift and maybe find the balance between those two things?

MYQUILLYN: I think a lot of us think like, okay, I want to approach my room. It needs a change. It needs to be freshened up. So, I guess I'm going to the furniture store. False! Stop! We never start in the furniture store.

One of the ways you always start is you think about how you need to use that room in the next year or two. So not how you used it in the past, not how you're going to need to use it when your parents move in in 10 years, but what season of life you're in right now and how you need that room to serve you.

Even if the builder said, well that's the dining room, it doesn't matter. You get to decide and be the boss of your room, how it's going to serve you. And when you start with that mindset, then you are able to step into that and allow your rooms to work for you.

So, then you'll say, “Oh, we're going to have family game nights? We need a surface big enough to play the games that we like to do together.” If you're going to eat pizza in your room, nothing wrong with that, but you probably don't want to get a silk sofa. You get to think about how you're going to use the room.

What that does is it helps with decision fatigue. Isn't that the scary part? It's making those decisions. That's all design is, is making smart decisions about your home based on what you like and how you're going to use it.

So, as you think about how you're going to use it, that really limits your decisions, which in this kind of world is actually a really good thing. I think it's so helpful to know this is exactly how we're going to use our room. It doesn't matter what my mother-in-law says or how the people who lived here before, this is how we need to use it now. And that's how you move forward in that.

ALLIE: Yeah, that's very, very simplified. I think that's where everyone gets held up. One time I did a Q & A for “what's troubling you with decorating” and everybody’s was this and I didn't know how to describe like, “Well, just do it. What do you need in the room? Like just do it.” It just comes naturally to me.

But that’s the answer to it. What are you using it for right now? Don't get overloaded with what it was supposed to be. Our dining room is our homeschool area because that's what we need. You can make it beautiful. You can make it cute and stuff, but it's got to be functional above all. I think you just hit it on the head. That's what's holding everybody back is that feeling of decision fatigue and like, “Is this what I’m supposed to do?” And it doesn't matter. What do you need? I love that.


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Most people know I'm a blogger and a podcaster, but that's really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That's why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.

I don't spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life - change that lasts - this is what my courses are for.

This is where I dive all the way into actually implementing minimalism in your home and simplification to the cluttered parts of your life as a mom. We get legit detailed in these courses. My students have incredible success rates that they share in our Private Students’ Community and you can see some of their testimonials on my website.

I work really hard to keep my courses priced as low as I can, but you guys know I totally get being on a crazy tight budget, which is why I also have payment plans available

My courses are different from each other. They each serve different purposes and will take you to different places in your life. Don't overthink which one to start with. Just go to the website and pick one that's resonating with you and enroll.

For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW.  Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they're different from each other and which one might be best for you.

I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.

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ALLIE: So, you talk a little bit in the book about giving your eyes a Sabbath from your home. Can you elaborate on that and what did you mean by that?

MYQUILLYN: Well, what I meant by that is kind of what we touched on in the beginning is about having margin, and a period of rest in our life, which some of us do that on Sunday where we kind of set up our life to have that rhythm and routine of a built-in rest.

But for me, when it came to my walls, I would put something on my wall and be like, well that's too small, so let me add 20 other things. I felt like any empty space in my home was a problem that needed to be solved by filling it. And I didn't realize the gift of having some white space on my walls.

A practical step to learn to appreciate that is what I call “quieting the house.” I do it one room at a time even though I say house. But sometimes I'll do a major “quiet” if I'm going to attack the whole room. I'll take everything out except the big furniture. I'll take the artwork off the walls, the lamps out. It helps you to see your room with fresh eyes again.

But if you just need a little reset and if your room feels a little off, sometimes the simplest thing to do is just to take everything off the walls and tell yourself I'll put it back by 5:00 tonight or maybe you give yourself permission to live with it empty for 24, 48 hours. Something kind of magical happens when you do that. And every time, without question, I realized that I have too much stuff out.

A lot of us over time add to our home. We bring home a little trinket from Target or Home Goods or whatever and we are constantly adding. But unless we take the time to intentionally subtract, and I like to subtract kind of like all in one, and then I'll bring stuff back.

Allow yourself to like, “Okay, I'm gonna take out all the chotchkies, or I'm going to take out all the artwork, or I'm going to clear off every surface and let it breathe for a night. We're going to use this room tonight as a family without stuff on every surface.” Just wait and see how your family reacts. Even the dog notices. It is crazy.

ALLIE: Yeah. That's so funny. I love that. Would you say that that's maybe a good place to start or is there another way you would have people start implementing this whole idea?

MYQUILLYN: If you've never really attacked a room and focused on that one room, got it looking the way you've always hoped so that you can use it the way you've always dreamed, not so that you can show it off or have it in a magazine, but so you're comfortable using it, I have a whole step process that I go through in the book. It's not anything mind-boggling.

I mean, it's really just talking to your family and telling them. “I'm going to work on this living room for a while so it might look different. So just be prepared. It'll be okay.” If it's the room you usually watch TV, maybe set up another space. Also creating a pinboard. With that room in mind, you just pin with passion anything that for whatever reason you like. You don't have to explain it.

There's some back steps like that that are so simple and they're not intimidating. You're not going to a furniture store and dropping money on a new sofa. Nothing like that. Those simple ways to start, what they do is they give us some little wins and they make us excited about our home. Then we start thinking about how we're going to use it and what we need to set up for. Maybe your kids are going to do homework in there.

So then, and only then, do you start touching things in your room and quieting the room, taking things out. And then maybe a few days later you start moving your furniture around to make sure it's in the right place for your next season of life. You start with what you have. You shop your house. You may look around in other rooms. If you do need that homework table, maybe have a table in the garage or at your mom's.

So there's just really simple steps like that. You're looking for things that you like, that you can use. It's all fun and happy. I mean decorating is fun, but it's not always easy if you don't know where to start.

And so, we really walk through an order of things so that you're not painting your walls green and then you realize that the rug that you love isn't going to go with that. So that takes a lot of the fear out of it, just knowing what the next simple step is. You don't have a huge deadline. You can do this over time as you're working, as you're making dinner or whatever it is.

But it feels so good to have a room that you're proud of because I know when I hate my room I'm a lot less likely to volunteer to host the baby shower, or the community group or whatever it is. And then when I do host it, I'm distracted by how it looks. So, if I can just do a few simple things to get my house in a place where I'm not embarrassed of it or I love it, how about that? Then I am ready to use it the way I've felt called to use it all my life. And that's what I really want for women.

ALLIE: Yeah. I was just going to say before you starting saying that. I love that. It's kind of like when you feel more confident about yourself, maybe you got healthier, you got a new outfit and you just feel amazing, the first thing you want to do is go out on a date night with your husband or go out with your friends, like get out.

We have moved a lot and the first thing I always did was the main living room so that I can have people over. The thing with your home is when you feel confident about it and you love even just one main room, you immediately start serving people and loving people better with your home, which I think is such the point of what we're here to do.

I feel like a lot of people think that this kind of stuff is surface, or extra, or just “not right now,” but if you would just decorate your house better by subtracting from it and start to feel better, cozier, and more confident about your space, it affects your life. It affects how you feel about your family.

And I know what study you're talking about. The one that UCLA did where they did the saliva swabs on the women, and literally the more clutter, the higher the cortisol levels, and the less clutter the less cortisol. And that is a screaming fact. This matters. It's not surface. It's not about having a perfectly clean house and taking that amazing Instagram snap.

It's about having a space that you walk into and you feel like you can take a deep breath and invite your neighbor over who's having a bad day without feeling embarrassed. It's affecting the way we live our lives well and it's so important. I love what you do.

Okay, I feel like a lot of what I hear and what I do with these women is that they're afraid to declutter. It feels so final and abrupt like “officially I'm letting go of this,” whatever it is, even though they're pretty sure it's not serving them and they can live a full life without it. I think they're attaching themselves to their things and that’s super common. I used to struggle with the same thing.

In some circumstances I feel like it's beneficial to maybe temporarily remove something instead of forcing yourself to make that final cut. You talk about that. That's what the whole “quieting” your space is, just kind of temporarily removing something and see how you feel. So, have you done that with anything kind of big? Where you thought, “I'm going to temporarily remove this big thing that everyone else needs.” And then you saw that it was better without it or you kept it? Or anything that you can think of that was kind of like, “Wow, I can't believe I actually made this shift.”

MYQUILLYN: That's such a great question. Let me dwell on that as I respond in other ways of just sharing, because I love pretty things and you love pretty things too. I know it. I love beautiful things. I love having beautiful things in my house, but I don't love them more than having a home that works for me. And so, to always have that in my head helps me be able to part with things.

The beauty of working through our house one room at a time and then kind of being done...the goal is to kind of forget about your house so you can just invite people over and not have to think about the state of your house. Wouldn't that be ideal? That's the number one thing.

Once we work through our home and you feel confident about every room, you don't want to junk it up. You kind of want to get rid of it. And so, it kind of automatically happens where you're like, “Well I'm not gonna mess with that. I just spent a lot of time making sure that really works for our family, so I'm not going to keep extra stuff.”

My family has never guilted us about if they have given us something and we've gotten rid of it. I think that comes up a lot. And you know, I think part of that is just being an adult and saying we don't need it. And if you love it so much you are welcome to have it back or sell it. I hear that so much and it makes me sad. First of all, it's just an old sofa. Let them have it back if it's such a big deal.

So many of us are living with things we hate because someone was kind to us, but we are afraid to hurt their feelings, thinking they're going to be mad because we want the home that they decided they want. They didn't want that thing in their house anymore. But now you have to keep it? It's crazy.

I think bigger stuff is easier for me than the small things for some reason. I don't know why. I'll keep a little trinket for way too long. We've been through a couple of pianos because we used one for a while and then we didn't need it. No one guilt-tripped us and I'm so grateful for that. I want to keep that in mind with my own boys as they get older. I never want to guilt them with furniture gifts and the expectations that are tied to that.

ALLIE: Yeah, like what’s sentimental to me has to be sentimental to you. That whole thing. I see people do that a lot with their kids' toys, which is so funny because this is a place where I started. I don't know if you know my story at all, but I had this terrible life where I was burdened and overwhelmed. When I started to just purge it all out of my house, I started with the toys and it was so easy for me like, “Well this isn't my stuff. This is all pointless, loud, and they don’t even play with it.” But I see people doing this. “Well I had this when I was a kid.” Well, do they play with it? No. It’s as if your kids will have the value that you had. I think people are afraid to hurt people's feelings.

It kind of comes down to a boundary issue a lot of time. My great grandparents passed away and their home was beautiful, like 70’s legit furniture, and my mom and my aunt brought everything down from the Midwest out to California and gave me everything. It was like, “Well, I'm so glad and I will keep this lamp but I don't really want this.” And they were so offended but they didn't want it. I think letting go of like, “Well, I'm not obligated here.” Again, it's just a boundary issue.

I think that what you just said about that sets people free so much. You’re not obligated. There's no secret contract that you've got to hold onto this and value it for at least 10 years.

Okay. So Cozy Minimalist Home comes out this month and you can get it anywhere, right? Amazon? Barnes & Noble?

MYQUILLYN: Anywhere. You sure can.

ALLIE: Awesome. I'm so excited for you. I have your first book and I have this one too, obviously. It's such an easy read. Both books. Very simple. It doesn’t run on  unnecessarily. You make your point. You back it up with some examples and then that's it. You show us how to do it and I love that. For moms, especially, that's the kind of writing we need. What can I do though? Like help?

MYQUILLYN: Yes. I hope it's super applicable. That's my goal. Thank you for those words. Super encouraging.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. Well, thank you for being here with us. I'm so excited that you were here and that you're sharing this with these women. I think it's going to be just really practical and really helpful and we all need some more of that.

MYQUILLYN: I hope so. Thanks Allie.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 039: 13 Ways to Bring Peace into Your Home

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Everybody wants a peaceful home. I don’t think anybody would say, “I don’t want a peaceful home.” There’s two different sides of a peaceful home. One is intentionally setting your home up to be peaceful. But then sometimes, there is just stress. How can you, in the middle of a stressful day or tense afternoon, create a peaceful atmosphere? In this episode we’re going to cover both types of bringing peace into your home. I have worked really hard to set up a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. I have also come up with a handful of in-the-middle-of-stress peacemakers. Take a step back and ask yourself, “How do you feel when you walk into your home?” Take note of it. What could you change? What is it that you don't like? You should like the way you feel when you walk in the house!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The impact a peaceful home has on you and those who come into your home.

  • How to give your kids the gift of a home they can live in by finding a balance between a home that’s too kid-friendly and the mom hates it, or not kid-friendly at all and the kids hate it.

  • How to intentionally plan for peacefulness around usually stressful times.

  • Setting phone boundaries that create a peaceful home by fostering family time.

  • The tone that you, as the mom, can set in the middle of stressful situations.

  • Practical ways you can create a peaceful atmosphere in the middle of stressful situations.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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I put together a FREE checklist for you guys called “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.”

It will help you find ways to set up a peaceful home as well as give you ideas when you are “in the middle of stress.". If you feel like your house is getting really tense and your family really needs some peace, look at your fridge, get this checklist! I know it will help bring peace to your home!  


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! I wanted to say I had to do the beginning of this episode five times and that’s never happened before. I usually hit record and I’m good, but I don’t know. I feel like I sounded weird, overly annoyingly cheerful. And then I said “Hey guys” and I started rambling about nothing. It was weird. I’m off today. Anyway…

This episode is all about how to bring peace into your home and set up a peaceful home. I’m really looking forward to sharing this with you. I think everybody wants a peaceful home. I don’t think anybody would say, “I don’t want a peaceful home.” I think my care, my deliberate action to create a peaceful home came from a few years ago when I started to really work on not yelling, which is a constant struggle for me. Just to give you guys some hope, if you also struggle with yelling, it does get easier. But it’s still a struggle.

A few years ago, I challenged myself to not yell at all for 30 days. Of course, I messed up. I did yell and had to correct it. But the point is it brought awareness how I often I turned to yelling as a solution, which in fact, is not a solution at all. It actually makes things worse. I really dealt with the fact that I go there really quickly… a lot. I think one thing that I saw was that my yelling wrecked all the peace in our home. When I do stumble and fall back into that habit, I notice again now. It kills all peace in our home.

It makes the people in our home anxious. It makes me anxious. It makes the whole house feel tense like we are on eggshells and just… anxious. That is the opposite of peace.

I have worked hard to set up a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. I have also come up with a handful of in-the-middle-of-stress peacemakers.

There’s two different sides of a peaceful home. One is intentionally setting your home up to be peaceful. But then sometimes, there is just stress. How can you, in the middle of a stressful day or tense afternoon, create a peaceful atmosphere? We’re going to come at this from both sides.

There are things you can do to set up a peaceful home. But maybe you find yourself in the thick of a stressful afternoon or something in your home. It feels anything but peaceful, even though you’ve set it up that way and you need some in-the-moment tips for creating some peace in your house.

In this episode we’re going to cover both types of bringing peace into your home. We’re going to start with ways to intentionally set up a peaceful home originally.

Let’s say you’re listening to this episode. It’s not a stressful moment right now. When you finish listening, you want to set up your home to be more peaceful. These are those kind of things; not the in the middle of stress things yet.

First, use décor that makes you feel the most at home, relaxed, and happy to be there. I’ve said this before that when I walk into my home, even it it’s a really busy day and it’s not perfectly clean, I feel like it’s a breath of fresh air every time I walk in. I love every room. Even the rooms that aren’t quite finished yet in terms of decorating. I just love my home.

I have created a home that is perfect for me. It makes me happy and relaxed. It feels lived-in and functional, but still beautiful and stylish. It reflects my personality. I don’t really purchase things to decorate my home with, unless they are really amazing and “my favorite” and I love it that way. Everything in my home just makes me really happy. That is so important.

A lot of the time we just go off of like what was on sale, what was handed down to us and given to us, we don't want to waste and we'll just use it. Really though? Is it better to have things that are functional and don't actually make us really happy?

I think it would be better to go slowly and maybe not have a house as super decorated, but to slowly wait and as your budget allows purchase things that really make you light up. This doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive. Most of my stuff is from Ikea, Target, or World Market, which are all really cheap places to get house stuff. The fact is that I love all of those things. It can be slow and budget friendly, but don't just get something for the heck of it.

Even back when we really didn't have any money (Episode 6), I loved my home. I didn't love it as much as I love it now because money changes a lot of things and you can do more. But I did love it. I didn’t just get whatever the heck and not care.  

I carefully thrifted for pieces that I loved and I repurposed them to make them more beautiful and more modern to fit my taste. I waited and I saved and got bookshelves that I thought were really beautiful.

Take a step back and ask yourself, “How do you feel when you walk into your home?” Take note of it. What maybe could you change? What is it that you don't like? Do you not like the way it's decorated? Do you feel like you don't even know how to decorate? Educate yourself. Figure out a way to make it happen. You should like the way you feel when you walk in the house. I think decor is a big part of that because it's so visual.

The next tip I have is to handle your entryway. Some homes have an “official entryway,” whether it’s a mudroom or whatever. My home does not have one of those, but I’ve created an entryway.  Whatever you are standing in when you first walk through your front door, set that up. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the door. Everything should have a place. It should be functional and work well for you, but also be pretty, well-lit, minimalistic, clean and clear of clutter so that you walk in and the first thing you see is good.

Now it's kind of tricky in my house because when you walk in the front door, if you're standing straight and looking straight ahead, you're staring down a hallway that shows you the entire front room and goes into the kitchen/family room area. It's a straight shot.

It's important to me that I keep that whole area clear of clutter. I'll post a picture in the show notes so you can see exactly what I'm talking about. I have this vintage mid-century modern console that I got for like $25 on Craigslist three and a half years ago. Super, super crazy find. It has a stamp underneath it from the furniture store that it was originally from and it says 1969 or something crazy old like that. It's amazing. We painted it a little bit and repurposed it.

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It’s a nine-drawer console on the left side (if you're standing in my front door looking down that front hallway) of the wall underneath my bicycle art. And that is a place where I can keep things that need to be downstairs in our main area, like sunglasses and keys. There’s a drawer for mail that we need to sift through and things like that. It's functional.

We keep Emmett's pull ups in there, because he wears a pull-up to nap and go to bed still, and things that we need to grab and put in the diaper bag. We have a diaper bag/ backpack/purse packing station there. It's a really great functional piece of furniture.

I would say about 60-70% of the drawers are empty because we don't need nine drawers, but I love that piece of furniture. I really wanted to have it in the front room so I could see it all the time. It works really, really well for us and helps keep that front area clear of clutter. There's really no reason for things to be sat on top of the ledge by the door or sat on top of the console. There's drawers and they each have a purpose. It helps us with functionality.

Figure out a way. Do you come in through the garage? Do you come in through the back door? Do you come in through the front door? What do you and your family use as your main door? Where were you coming in from running errands and setting your keys down? Make that section of your home really functional, pretty and clear of clutter for yourself, so the first thing you see when you walk in is clear. That's really going to help you set up a peaceful existence in your home.

Another thing is giving your kids the gift of a home that they can live in. I think there's these two big opposite ends of the spectrum that moms typically fall under. One end of the spectrum is a home feels way too kid friendly. There's kid stuff everywhere. There's really no décor. There’s just the kid’s stuff – the toy kitchen, toy bins, kids’ books, homeschool stuff. It takes over the house. It's very kid friendly, but the mom hates it. The mom feels like she's lost herself, she has no decorative style, and she doesn't really love being there.

Or on the other end of the spectrum, it's like a kid doesn't even live there. It's really stylish and perfectly clean. Everything is hidden away. It’s magazine status. It's beautiful, but it doesn't feel like you can cozy up with a book on the couch and enjoy it.

I think there's a balance between the two. This is one area where I feel, “OK, yes, I found it for myself,” so I love decorating. If I wasn't doing what I'm doing now, I think I would either own a flower shop or be doing something with decorating, because I love to decorate. My style is very important to me. It's important to me that I love my home when I walk in. But I don't want my house to feel so perfect and so beautiful that the kids are afraid to touch anything.

This is one reason that I don't buy high-end furniture. I'd rather have juice spilled on a $300 couch than an $1,800 one. I would rather feel, “It's OK; it's not the end of the world.” Even if it was an $1,800 one it still isn’t the end of the world, but you know what I'm saying. I have Ikea couches so that I can take the covers off and throw them in the washing machine, so spills and greasy fingers, stains and things like that just come right out.

I think there's a way to mix functionality with style and having a beautiful home that you love, that you're proud to show off, that you're proud to host things. Anytime I'm at church and an event comes up, I offer a host it. I love inviting friends over. I love my home. I love being here. I love hosting ladies’ nights and I love having other couples over for dinner. I love, love, love it because I feel confident about my home. It reflects my personality. I think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world and I did that. I styled that myself and I love it.

Decorating is one of my gifts and I love using it to create a beautiful home to where I can have people over. But, I don't want my kids to grow up remembering, “Mom wouldn't let us sit on the sofa in the front room. I wasn't allowed to do anything anywhere. My stuff always had to be put away upstairs.” I don't want them to feel like that.

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For example, (and I'll also share a picture of this to show you what I'm talking about) I have my kid’s toy kitchen. My kids used to have a toy kitchen way back before we moved across the country. When we were moving it was something we had gotten rid of. We really didn't bring anything when we moved to Arkansas. Now we are back in California, we're settled, our traveling spurt is done and we're here. My kids were saying that they would love to have a toy kitchen. And so, we got one for Christmas one year. Technically, it was for Emmett, but everybody plays with it.  

It was less than a hundred bucks. I found it on Amazon. It's white. It's cute and vintage, yet modern looking. I got it because it matches the house. I put it downstairs in the main room for two reasons. Number one, I like it when my kids are around me. I want there to be kid’s stuff in my house. That's why I incorporate my kids’ artwork with my décor. Because I want it to feel like kids live here. I like it when my kids are with me. They play in the toy kitchen while I'm in the real kitchen, making meals and stuff. I just think it's really fun and imaginative and I love that they wanted a toy kitchen back.

I put it in the main room. You can see it when you open the front door. It's one of the first things you see down that hallway. It's right in the middle of the family room and the kitchen. It’s in the main part of my house and I put a little collage of photos above it. Um, there's a big Fiddily Fig right next to it. I made it really cute. I incorporated functionality and kid stuff into my décor.

So instead of going and getting a toy kitchen that was cheap, but I thought was really ugly, I balanced it out. I got one that I thought was really cute that goes with my house décor and I put it in a main area. It's functional and the kids love it. They use it every single day. It doesn't look awful and it still ties in with my house.

That's a good example of how you can find a balance between this home that’s way too kid-friendly and the mom hates it, or not kid-friendly at all and the kids hate it.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Another great idea that I see all the time is putting a big whiteboard on the wall or painting a wall with chalkboard paint, so the kids can color. Plus, this is a great way to discourage super little ones from drawing on your walls. You can find ways to bring in kid functionality and the fun stuff that comes with having kids without sacrificing the home that you love.

Another way that you can bring peace into your home is find a solution to the things that are regularly stressing you out in your home. For example, we had lived in one-story houses for a long time and our current house now is two-stories. I noticed pretty quickly the whole debacle of “this is downstairs, but it belongs upstairs.” Am I seriously supposed to go all the way upstairs and put this away every single time I find something misplaced? That’s not going to work for me.

I tried it for a while, you know, “just get it done,” but, No, it's unrealistic. It doesn't work for me. I'm not doing that. It created a pile of things that belonged upstairs at the bottom of the stairs every day and it was really ugly. I found a regular dark wicker basket that goes with my décor. It’s a super simple, big, rectangle one that has a lid. I put it in the empty space on the wall by my stairs. That basket is for anything that is downstairs that belongs upstairs. Now at the end of every day we take the lid off, we carry the basket upstairs and everybody puts their things away. Super simple. It's a new rhythm that we have developed.

It took away the stress; it took away the mess. No matter how minimalistic you are, if there's people, human bodies living in your house, you're going to have stuff around. Sometimes something gets used downstairs that actually belongs upstairs and needs to be taken up. It's not a big deal. It doesn't mean you have a bunch of clutter you have to get rid of. It just means that you need a system. This gave us a simple system. The basket looks pretty and hides random things that need to be put away upstairs.

Now every night we take it up. It’s part of our nightly cleanup routine. We put things away, put the empty basket back downstairs for the next day. Little things like that.

Sometimes you don't think outside of your box and you don't realize there's such a simple solution that would help you so much. That would free up your time and make you like your house better. That basket, as simple as it was, really helped and brought some peace into our home in this one small area that was causing a lot of stress.

Another way to set up a peaceful home is flowers. I personally love to always have fresh flowers in my house. I have a couple of vases I love and I swap them out on my kitchen sink. I do not like to do the dishes and I don't particularly love cooking either, so one way that I helped myself is by making myself love my kitchen.

I take extra care. I put extra thought and budget into making my kitchen a place that I love. I have an amazing fridge that makes my life a lot easier. I bought my favorite color Kitchenaid. I bought a cute cookie jar and a cute little storage jar for my coffee beans and stuff on the counter. Everything that I have in there is my favorite. Another thing I do is keep fresh flowers in the vase by the sink. When I'm doing the dishes and prepping meals, I have fresh flowers because I love flowers. Every Sunday when we go to the store I stop at Trader Joe's and I grab a fresh bouquet of flowers.

Now if that's not in your budget, you could get fake flowers. I actually have always hated fake flowers because I feel like they always look fake. But lately I've noticed they're really upping their game. I was at Ikea and I found some beautiful fake Peonies. I bought a big bunch of them and a beautiful hand blown vase and I keep that in my bedroom. My bedroom doesn’t get a ton of light and flowers would die up there. But I like having them there when I'm getting ready in the morning. Now every morning I see a fresh bouquet of one of my favorite types of flowers. That’s actually what's on my arm, my half sleeve, is Peonies. I love them.

I see them every morning when I'm finding my outfit for the day, getting dressed and getting ready. They reflect off the mirror when I'm taking a shower so I can literally see them all the time. They're beautiful. They don't look super fake. They are there all the time and don't require a lot of care from me.

In some way, shape or form, flowers can really brighten up your home. And they do make for a more peaceful environment. It's a gift they do.

Another thing you can do is diffuse essential oils or light candles or something. I have a diffuser that I will link to. I got it off of Amazon and it was pretty cheap. I think it was like $25 or less. It's wooden and it totally goes with my mid-centuryish décor. I keep it on that console that I was telling you about earlier in the front hall of my house. Pretty much all day, every day I set it to “on”, to run until it runs out of water. I put distilled water in it, add some essential oil drops in there and I just diffuse all day.

It's in the main area of the house. You can smell it anywhere you are downstairs; sometimes even upstairs too. I really liked the Stress Away Oil from Young Living. Sometimes I'll diffuse Geranium oil or something that smells really springy and fresh. I'll do Wellness Oils if it's flu season or we're battling some sickness or something. I always have that going. Seeing the steam and smelling the oils, really does create a more peaceful atmosphere.

I know somebody too that has like oil diffuser. She has candles lit. She has incense burning all the time. That’s a little too much for my senses, personally, but it does create peace. There's all these different beautiful smells in her house. They all go really well together.

I also have a Sensi warmer. I'm not a huge fan of Sensi, but occasionally I will put a wax thing in there and let that go. It is a really overwhelming smell. If you want your house to smell really good, really quickly, that works great.

Intentionally planning for peacefulness around times that are usually stressful is huge. If you want to set your home up to be peaceful you have to think ahead. What are usually the most stressful times of day? Maybe it's when you're making dinner. Maybe it's when the kids first come home from school. Maybe it's the morning. Maybe it's the last hour that you have to get work done before you go and pick up the kids from school. Whatever it is. Whatever they are. It doesn't have to be one time; it could be all of those things. Intentionally look ahead and plan for peacefulness around those times.

Play worship music. Play instrumental music. Play acoustic music. Light candles during those times. Maybe take a minute and go in a closet or the bathroom or somewhere and just sit for a second and focus on your breathing. Consciously do a quick standing meditation for 5-10 minutes before those times. Get yourself in a place of peace because we reflect what we're feeling on our kids and our families and they tend to follow how we're feeling. I think there is something to be said about intentionally planning for peacefulness around those times that tend to be tense and stressful.

And then the last thing of ways to set up a peaceful home is to get your phone boundaries in place. Phone boundaries make for a peaceful home by fostering family time. There was a whole episode done on phone settings for a present life and I'll link to that in the show notes. I would encourage you to look at how much you're using your phone. It's going to create stress if your kids feel like you're always looking down at your phone.

If you're busy getting the kids ready to start doing homework while you start dinner before you go to baseball, and your phone is making sounds for text messages, that's going to add stress.

Put your phone in its place. It's on the back burner. It's not the main event, right? You can have your phone settings set up so your phone will ring for phone calls but not make other sounds. You can a have set time and place where you check your text messages and

Instagram. It is totally doable. If I can do it, you can do it.

A big part of my job is social media. I have set times of the day when I set my timer for 15 to 20 minutes and I answer Instagram comments, or look at text messages. When that timer goes off, it's done. I put it down until the next time of day. It's maybe 30 minutes a day for Instagram, because that's a big part of my job and I love connecting with you all. That's the only place in social media that I really give daily time. Facebook, text messages, and other stuff is less than that.

Putting it in its place will create such an atmosphere of peace because you're focused on your family. You're available to answer questions and talk to them about their day and be there without being distracted.

How many times have you been trying to finish a text message and your kid is talking to you? They're asking you questions, saying “Mom!” and you're like, “What? Hold on.” Did that really have that much of a higher priority than your kid? Probably not. I am guilty of the same thing.

When we put our phone in its place, it creates a more peaceful atmosphere by fostering families.

OK, let's focus on the “in the middle of stress” peacemaker ideas. This is a handful of ideas to help you when you're in the moment. You're in the middle of a tense, stressful situation in your home. Your home feels like, “Ah! I don't want my home to feel like this. What's going on?” Here are some things you can do in those moments when you maybe didn't set up your home to be peaceful before or maybe you did but sometimes you need more than that.

In the middle of stress I think it's important to realize that as the mom, you set the tone. If you have to “fake it till you make it or fake it till you feel it,” that works.

By the way, I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's A Happiness Project and there's a whole section of that in here. “Fake it till you feel it” works. How do you want to feel? Pretend you feel that way and you eventually will. It's amazing.

Or do something that can help you calm down quickly. Remember the standing meditation? Go in the closet, plug your ears, focus on your breathing for just a minute. Come out and feel lighter. Then start acting out of that calm and your family will follow your lead.

Play calming music. Maybe you didn't have it set up that way before, but just change it now. Turn on what does it for you. Classical worship, acoustic playlist on Spotify, whatever it is, just call a timeout. Turn on some calming music on your speaker in your house. If you don't have one, I would highly suggest you get one. I have Alexa; she's amazing. There's lots of different speakers that amplify the level of music in your house.

Music is used in therapy so much. There's a reason for that. It affects your mood. This isn't like a tip I added in here to fill this episode. This is legit and it totally changes things. Play calming music.

Another tip is to create a calm atmosphere. In that moment, what does that look like? Maybe you need to open the windows. Maybe you need to air the house out, diffuse those oils, light those candles, put that music on.

Maybe you need to open the front door and let the air in. Maybe you need say to everyone, “Let's just take a time out. Let’s do the dishes real quick, do a five-minute pickup and then come back to homework after this.”  Is it a mess, and you just are overwhelmed and you need to kind of clear some of that clutter so you can focus on the stressful task at hand? What is it going to take to create that calm atmosphere in the moment?

And speaking of that, that's the other tip: clear the surface clutter. It has a direct effect on your brain and everyone's mood. Here's my empty-hamper trick. Get an empty hamper and go through downstairs or wherever you guys are spending your time right now, and clear the surfaces. Get all the clutter off the countertops, tabletops, coffee table, side table, couch, and put it in that hamper. Roll it out of the room and put it away for later. You can go through it and put things away later that night. Clearing the surface clutter really changes your mood.

And I think the last thing I want to say is in the middle of stress, to create some peace, maybe consider if at all possible, taking a break from whatever is expected right now. For example, if your kids are doing homework and there is bickering, crying, overwhelm or tension in the household while that's going on, take a break from homework time. Even just two minutes. Have a dance party or let them go up to their room and have some alone time to unwind.

Don't let the day's time limits or stresses run your family. It can wait. You can be flexible at least a little bit.

There is a checklist that I've put together for you guys. I'm actually looking at it right now. It’s all the points that I covered written out for you to print out and put on your fridge. “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.” What an amazing thing to have sitting on your fridge so you can look at it and be reminded all the time.

It's divided into two sections: ways to set up a peaceful home and then “in the middle of stress” peacemaker ideas. If you feel like your house is getting really tense and your family really needs some peace, look at your fridge, look at these ideas and do one of them or all of them.

You can download that in the show notes and that is alliecasazza.com/shownotes/39. You’ll find all of that there. You'll find the links to those pictures of my house. I told you about the link of a diffuser that I use and the link to download that free checklist.

I encourage you guys to not lose hope. Those certain times of day don't have to feel as stressful as they always do. You can create peace there for sure.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

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