minimalism

Ep 089: Minimalism For Those Who Enjoy Shopping

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There is this awkward tension in our culture where we feel we have to choose between being minimalist and enjoying shopping. Why can’t we choose both? Just because we enjoy shopping doesn’t mean we buy everything we see on the shelves. I enjoy shopping! Strolling the aisles of a store is where I find inspiration and get refreshed. For me, it is about browsing and enjoying, without feeling the pressure to buy every single thing I find that I like. I'm not shopping to shop. I am shopping because I truly enjoy the process of being out and finding inspiration! And I know that like me, a lot of you would say the same. So I hope this episode encourages you to find freedom in being a minimalist who enjoys shopping.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The two core reasons people love to shop and their impact on minimalism.

  • How you can find freedom in enjoying shopping and being a minimalist (you don’t have to choose one or the other!)

  • Why her closet isn’t as minimal as the rest of her house.

  • Questions you can ask yourself as you shop to help you decide whether or not to buy things you find.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Anyone else love shopping? I do! When I go shopping and see something I love, I run through a list of questions before I buy it. This way I am checking my heart and intentions before making a purchase I really don’t need to make! Download this FREE PDF and image for your phone so that you can have these questions with you when you go shopping!

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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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From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hey, beautiful lady! Thank you for listening today! I’m really glad you're here!

This episode…I've been feeling weird about this episode - and I'm just going to say it - because in what I do, there's another type of person. And that person is very extreme. Minimalism for the sake of minimalism. It's less for the sake of less. They know how many of everything they have and they're really set on “I can't have more than this amount of stuff because then I'm not a minimalist” and I just am not that way.

I hope that is what draws you listeners to me, because it is different. It's not that there's anything really wrong with the other way; I just don't vibe with that. It's not how I am. I don't like anything that feels really legalistic and limiting – ‘now I feel like I can't be who I am because I want to be a minimalist. I'm having to change who I am and say ‘no’ to things that totally bring me joy and add to my life in a really positive way with no negative side effects because it's not minimalist’ - I just don't like that.

A lot of times people will come to me and talk to me in that tone…like I'm like that. And I always have to redirect them and say, “Well, the way you're asking that question is very minimalism for the sake of just being a minimalist and that's just not how I think. So, let me redirect you, ‘rephrase’ this for you, and help you make this decision about this area of your home under this mindset instead.” And it's something that I have to say over and over again, almost daily, because it is such a common thing in minimalist teachers.

Whenever I talk about what I'm about to talk about, I get a lot of flack and that's okay because I think if you're not getting any negative feedback you’re probably not really doing anything that's worthwhile. But I also get a lot of positive feedback.

So I'm just going to lay it out on the line. This episode has been on my heart for a while because it's for me. I'm talking to me. Minimalism For People Who Enjoy Shopping. So we're gonna just dive in.

There are one of two hearts at the core of someone who says they love to shop. One, they're filling a void and they are addicted to the ‘high’ that comes with shopping, which is totally a thing. Look it up. Or two, they're like me, and they just like being out alone – browsing, walking, looking, getting inspired and finding the occasional perfect thing they have been looking for. They also might just like clothes and like putting outfits together and like fashion, which is also me.

So that's kind of what I've learned, that there's 1 of 2 hearts at the core of somebody who says they love to shop, and that's like a thing that kind of makes them panic a little about minimalism.

So they’re either coming from total panic and anxiety like, “Oh my gosh, you’re going to take away my ‘drug’ because shopping is filling a void. I shop and I buy things incessantly all the time because I'm filling this void and I’m trying to get away from this problem and just fill a void.” Or they just really enjoy the process. So, check yo’self before you wreck yo’self, right? Where is this coming from? What's the heart? Where are you at?

But if you're like me and you just like the process of shopping, don't you dare feel guilty about that. That's ridiculous. Especially because most of us listening are mothers. Of course you like to shop. You can get away from your kids and browse and take a deep breath. My favorite thing to do in the whole world, seriously, no joke, is to get my headphones, go to Target, order a coffee, put in a podcast or a song and just walk and breathe and I don't have anything that I need. I'm just there and I'm just looking and browsing.

I have self-discipline and I am a minimalist. I don't grab incessantly needless things. I don't feel the need to do that. But that's how I get inspired. That's how I refresh and recharge. I'm alone. I'm out. I love looking at things and like, “Oh look at that. It's so beautiful. That is something that I could do with that one corner of my house I've been wanting to get decorated. That's a great idea!” It's just refreshing to me. I don't know. It just is.

When moms tell me that they want to simplify their homes and go minimalist, but shopping is their joy, it's their escape, and they don't want to hate themselves, I totally get it. I love shopping.

So, here's what I hate – “Why don't you just walk around outside instead? Why do you have to walk around at Target?” Umm…because I don't want to walk around outside. I want to go to Target because it's hot or cold or wet, and there are bugs out there, and rapists, and other kids climbing trees and stuff, and because…Target. I want to go where I want to go. Leave me alone.

That's the kind of legalist BS that I really just don't like. And secrets-behind-the-scenes’ peek - it's made other minimalists not like me either. And that's okay.

But seriously, browsing is how I get inspired and refreshed. Who cares if I leave the store with something for my bookshelf. Leave me alone. I'm not about this like, “Oh, I’m a minimalist and I don't need to go to the store. I just sit on my rug and do yoga, breathe deeply, surrounded by all white walls with nothing fun in the house. I wear a black T-shirt every day because even though I love fashion and I love putting outfits together that's not minimalist and that is just what I am.” No, you're never going to find that from me.



Hey guys! Have you heard? Declutter Like A Mother is coming back! I'm super excited! This is my annual challenge. I'm beyond ecstatic to even be saying this to you guys!

I look forward to this every year. It is the one time of year that I just clear my schedule. I show up. I'm live with you guys. We’re chatting. I'm answering questions. We are focused on decluttering.

The whole premise of Declutter Like A Mother is 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. That 30 minutes can be broken up throughout the day or done all at once, whatever you need to do, but the point is my whole community comes together. We rally. We become decluttering warriors. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

Last year we had over 40,000 women from all over the world joining together, showing up to the live streams, reading the emails, decluttering their houses, and getting insane results.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like A Mother is where you need to be!

It's totally free to sign up. You can go to alliecassaza.com/warriors and you'll get the signup page. Totally free!

I want to see you there! Let's do this!


I also enjoy making trips to the store for necessities and I like to make that a nice experience. Here's what I mean by that. I am home a lot, you guys. My life might be a little different than yours. So just consider my life as you take this in. My life is home all the time. I homeschool my kids. I work at home. My office is literally a part of my home. I walk out the door and I'm in my office. I even do a lot of my working out at home because we have a gym in our garage. So I'm home for pretty much everything.

When that happens, you notice that you're out of paper towels and you kind of get this like, “Oh, I'm out of paper towels! I need to go to target.” And I love that. I totally make it a thing. I tell Brian like, “Hey, are you good? Are you good with the kids? I would love to just get out for a second.” Sometimes he'll do this too. Sometimes we all do it together and we'll let the kids get a little apple or a little snack bar or something and we'll all go to Target together. Just walk around, be together and talk. Brian and I will get coffees. The kids run alongside the cart because the store is empty because we homeschool and no one else was at the store in the middle of the week in the morning. And we just be.

I love making my trips to the store for necessities a nice experience. So, I will go to Target because I need paper towels, but I'll bring my headphones, get a coffee, take a deep breath and browse. I'll be there for an hour and leave with just paper towels.

It's about browsing and enjoying and not buying every single thing. Just because I find something that seems like, “Oh my gosh! This is perfect for me. I love it. It's so cute.” doesn't mean I buy it. I have another episode that I did on this that I'll link to where I talk a little bit about this, not having to buy every single thing even if it seems perfect and, of course, you have to buy it – no, you don't.

I will definitely be browsing and go for paper towels and see, “Oh look! This book came out. I didn't realize this book was out yet! I've been wanting to read this. I'm going to get this book.” Or “Oh my gosh, the perfect pencil holder for my desk because my other one fell off the desk and cracked and broke. I'm going to get this.”

Sure, that kind of stuff happens, but I'm not shopping to shop. I'm not a minimalist for the sake of being minimalist and I'm not shopping for the sake of shopping, you know? Just buying stuff because I'm out. I can enjoy and appreciate something and not get it. It's more about being out and about and enjoying that process.

I've talked about this so much. I don't want my podcast to be super repetitive, but when it comes to clothing, I love to shop. I don't get cheap crap at Target and stuff really anymore. It's pretty rare that I will leave with a piece of clothing from Target. But you know, like the other day, it was a holiday weekend and my family went down to Carlsbad because we live in California, and we were just walking around. Brian needed some new tennis shoes. His were worn out and had holes in them and he went to go to the Nike store and there was a Madewell there. I love Madewell. So, I went in and I was looking around and I found a beautiful sweater. I loved it and I bought it because I loved it. I've worn it three times already since then.

So yes, I love to shop, but it's not shopping for the sake of shopping, buying everything that you see that you like. Where is your heart? Where are you coming from? I really hope this is resonating. I really hope this is making sense to you guys. I never want to misconstrue my message.

Why are you doing something? Are you doing it because of being, oh, you're a minimalist so you can't buy jeans? Or you don't need that, so don't get it, otherwise you're the worst. Or are you doing something because it's an area of your life that you want to simplify? What's your purpose?

What takes up your space takes up your time, right? We talk about this all the time. Of course, it is important to be minimal and to be a ruthless editor of what comes into your home, but not in everything to where your joy is totally sucked out of you.

I'm going to link in the show notes to this episode to a video that I made about this, about my story with doing this to myself. Having a capsule wardrobe and being very extreme, limiting my capsule wardrobe, limiting my clothes and how I started to really almost get a little depressive because I wasn't able to be myself, and have clothes and outfits to put together and play with that area of my life.

I love that. It's a huge part of who I am. If I wasn't doing what I am doing now, I would probably either own a flower shop because I love putting flowers and bouquets together or I would do something with fashion, clothes, styling and dressing for your shape. I love that kind of stuff.

I'll link to that video in the show notes that you can get at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/089, if you want to watch that video because it's all about that. I won't bore you with it again here.

Be an editor of your home. Get intentional with what's taking up your space because it's taking up your time too, but don't do that just for the sake of being a minimalist to where your joy has totally left you and a big piece of who you are is just not getting satisfied because you're trying to be minimal. That’s no fun. That's not what this is about.

For a personal example, a lot of the areas of my home and my life are super minimal versus my closet and my wardrobe, which is not super minimal, because that brings me so much joy and it's such a huge part of who I am. So my kitchen - my kitchen is very minimal. We do not have extra dishes and stuff. I don't love being in there and love cooking all the time. I do what I have to do and then I'm done. So, I have the storageware that we need. I have the Tupperware that we need. I have the pots and pans that we need and the spatulas that we need. I don't have anything that I don't really need for how I cook for my family because it's not an area where I feel really inspired.

I have students in Your Uncluttered Home who have told me, “I feel like a chef. I love cooking. I love getting creative. I love being inspired in the kitchen. I want to have all these extra appliances and all these extra things to try even though they're not necessities and I don't use them all the time.” That's fine. That's their area where they want to get messy and they like to have joy and they like to have a little bit of excess. They'll deal with it taking up their time. They'll deal with that taking up more space and time because it's worth it to them. Because it's joyful for them.

I'm not that way. My kitchen is very minimal. My kids' toys are very minimal and all of the stuff that most people have in their drawers and their closets – mine is super, super minimalistic - but not my wardrobe. Make sense?

To help you guys out, I'm going to leave you with this. Here are some questions that I run through in my head to make sure that I'm not needlessly buying something when I'm out shopping and browsing and just walking around. You can write them down. You can keep them in your phone or you can go to the show notes for this episode and just download them. It's a pdf you could just save to your phone to have on hand.

Question #1: Is this something that I had been planning to buy for some time? Is this a planned purchase? Not just a random, you know, I'm going to get this.

Question #2: Is it necessary?

And keep in mind, please, that these questions or not, “If the answer is ‘no’, you can't get it, because that's minimalist for the sake of being minimalist. But this is just some things I just do to remember, check yourself before you wreck yourself.

So these are just kind of gut-checking questions that you can ask yourself to kind of feel out where you're at.

Question #3: Is it replacing something I no longer have or have now, but I'm planning to get rid of?

Question #4: How does this add to my life or improve the lives of my family?

Question #5: Do I own a version of this that works just fine already?

Question #6: Will I love this in a month, or a year, or 10 years (applicable to what the item is). For example, it's not super likely that you're going to love the same wall art 20 years from now. That's a given. But if you think you'll be sick of it by the end of this current year, maybe it's not right for you. Maybe that's not a smart way to spend your money.

Question #7: Also is it decorative or functional or needed? Why are you buying this?

These are just things that you use to check yourself.

If you want to get this list of questions - I have this in my phone, literally I have it in my notes - I put it on a pdf for you. Just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/089and you can download that and put it on your phone. Super helpful. If you do enjoy shopping, but you feel like you've overdone it in the past and you're worried that you're going to undo your minimalist work, just have this list of gut-check questions for yourself and that can be super helpful.


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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 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!

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Ep 070: 6 Things I No Longer Purchase Since Becoming A Minimalist

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As you know, I am all about simplifying things and making things better and lighter, making things work better for me and the season that I'm in right now. And through that, I have been getting really intentional with the things that I'm buying. Really questioning what's coming into my home and (like Nate Berkus says) “becoming a ruthless editor” of what I allow to take up space in the space that I live in. That matters and that's something to guard!

My goal is just to encourage you and show you that there's so much out there we don't really need to be buying. To encourage you to question why am I getting this or why am I buying anything not just things on this list. I really hope this episode will inspire you and make you think a little bit!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The value in changing your perspective from filling everything in your life “for now” to waiting until it's the right time with the right item.

  • Why you should walk away from purchasing those items you want to use, but never actually end up using.

  • How to avoid buying things you like but don’t serve a purpose in her home (you know those things that suck you in at Target!).  

  • Why it is better to purchase things that cost more and are better quality instead of items that are cheaper and don’t last a long time.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop.

It's not this joy-sucking horror show. It's life-giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love, what you really need and creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. 

The Minimalism Starter Kit will walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it for moms, written by me, for you.


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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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Hi beautiful!  Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show!

This episode is kind of fun. I'm going to tell you a few things I don't buy any more since I became a minimalist.

I have been really detaching from the label minimalist lately. I just feel like people assume so much when you call yourself that or when you say that something is the minimalist way of doing things. I don't know. It just seems like so… maybe it's just me but it's been feeling really perfectionistic and bare minimum and I'm just really not about that and I never have been.

I just am more about simplifying things and making things better and lighter, making things work better for me and the season that I'm in right now.

But I don't really know what else to call this episode so I'm regretfully using the word minimalist for lack of a better one. I have just been getting really intentional with the things that I'm buying. Really questioning what's coming into my home and becoming like Nate Berkus says, “becoming a ruthless editor” of what I allow to take up space in the space that I live in. That matters and that's something to guard.

There are definitely a few things… there's a lot of things but I tried to choose things that I think a lot of other people buy that I don't anymore, just because I've been more intentional in this area.

So, this episode is just fun, kind of light. Maybe it will just inspire you and make you think a little bit. And if you are spending money on these things maybe it will help you be encouraged, “Oh, I can do without that.” Or maybe not and you'll think that that's ridiculous and you want to buy these things, and you do you. But my goal in this episode is just to encourage and kind of show that there's so much out there that we don't really need to be buying. To encourage you to question why am I getting this or why am I buying anything not just things on this list.

So, the first thing that I no longer purchase since becoming a minimalist is my kid's school and sports photos.

So, we're homeschooling right now, but my kids have been in school before, and we definitely are an athletic family. At this point, all three older kids are in sports and when you do that there's always picture day and you can buy all different sizes and amounts of those sports photos. You can get “buddy pictures” if you have siblings that play on a team or you’re friends with another kid on the team. They're really expensive too. It's pretty crazy.

I actually have my kids partake in the photo just for the team photo, so that anyone else and the coach who wants to buy the photos… my kids are on the team so they are in the photo. To me it's just like part of the whole team spirit thing, but I actually don't even fill out the form for those.

I don't purchase them ever anymore. The reason is they're not necessary. They're not my style. I don't need to have those posed, super professional images of my kids holding their bat like that. It’s not even theirs; it’s just there for a photo prop with their hat propped too high on their heads so you can see their face. It's not them. It's not them playing baseball or soccer or whatever it is. It's just not real. It's not my style and it's not worth it to me.

I take so many great photos of my kids actually playing their sport. Bella's in softball right now. And Leo (Leland, we call him Leo) and Hudson are on the same baseball team and they have played baseball for three seasons now. Actually, I think 4, so you know at this point we're kind of a baseball family.

I've got so many great photos of them sliding into home, them hitting their first ball, videos and photos of them squeezing each other with their little baseball bag slung over their shoulders, smiling super huge after a good game with their little snack bags in their hands. I've got so many great photos. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen them. I don't need those super posed professional photos. They’re just clutter to me.

I don’t like them. I don't frame them. They never look like my style. I don't want them in my house because they're a bunch of other kids and them too, and they're just fake. Honestly, those pictures of my kids by themselves and their solo professional photos, they just feel fake to me and unauthentic. And I've got so many other great photos, so I would rather spend my time being intentional to snap a few great pics each season than get one of those fake photos because I feel like I'm missing out on something if I don't. I'm not missing out on anything except for clutter. So to me, that's one of those things that’s just really become not a priority at all.

The second thing that I no longer purchase since becoming a minimalist is things that are  cheap junk that doesn't last, like crappy shoes and clothing. That's been a really big journey of mine over the last year or so. It's pretty rare now. I used to put my outfits together and tag everything from Target. And now, occasionally, sure I'll get something from Target but it's way rarer now. It's actually pretty friggin’ rare now.

I've been shopping at places like Z Supply and Madewell instead, not just because my budget is bigger now than it used to be, but because I want things to last a little bit longer.

I've got a pair of Lucky Jeans that I've had now for five years. I have even gotten them tailored when I lost weight and they fit great. They are very flattering. I love them. My Madewell jeans are my favorite ones too. I love those.

I’ve just been getting things that are a little bit better quality. I still shop at H & M. It's one of my favorite stores. I like them because of the styles, and for super basic things that I can just get dressed for the day and do housework, run errands or go out to dinner. It can be dressed up or down and it's just really functional. That's not really my point. But just really, really, crappy shoes and clothing. Like going to Target and getting tennis shoes is not my game anymore. I will invest in a good pair of Nike's.

And kind of underneath that same topic, things that are like “for now.” I used to always say, “I’ll just get this one for now.” Like a piece of furniture that I don't really love, but I really want to fill that empty space that’s bothering me. I won't do that anymore. I'll wait until I find the right piece and I have the money in my budget to spend, get it, and bring it into my home.

I stopped filling everything in my life “for now” and I wait until the it's the right time with the right item, whether it's a piece of clothing or like I've actually been needing a really great classic coat for a long time. And I live in California where it's not really like, “Oh! I need to get a coat. It's winter.” You know I have jackets and stuff that work fine, but I've been wanting a really great camel coat to have, especially for travel.

I've been traveling a lot more lately because of my career. And sometimes I know I'm going to travel in the winter to places that actually have winter, and I'd love to have a beautiful neutral camel coat that I can wear. (If you don't know what a camel coat is, you can google it. They're amazing.) I've seen so many but it just hasn't been the right time. I want to try it on. I don't want to get it online. It's just been something that I've been thinking about and I didn't just go and get it because I thought of it and winter's coming and I need to get it. I've been waiting for two years and just not getting one because I haven't been in person and found the perfect one. That’s something that matters to me and those are expensive. Those are expensive it's going to be an investment. So just things like that. I hope that example helps you see what I mean.

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Hey girl, real quick! Let me tell you about something that I've created that is totally

free and amazing and that I am so excited to have you get your hands on! It is called my Minimalism Starter Kit.

Maybe you've been just feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home and letting things go that you don't really need.

Maybe you’re simplifying your lifestyle, but you haven't really done much. Or you've tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well. Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. Maybe you're constantly cleaning and you just feel like the house is actually never clean.

I can totally help you! And it can be simple to get started! I have put together the Minimalism Starter Kit to basically build some serious momentum for you. To help just launch you forward into momentum and success in your minimalist journey.

And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show.

It's life-giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love, what you really need and creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. Because that's what really matters, right?

The Minimalism Starter Kit will basically walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it for moms, written by me, for you.

It goes through why would you want to do this? What's it gonna do for you? Where's it going to take you?

It helps you find your “why” and has you answer some questions for yourself. It's fillable on the computer or you could fill it in like a journal, with a pen, old-school style.

It will walk you through decluttering your laundry and dishes. The two biggest time suckers for moms, right? It will also give you a list of 15-minute, quick and easy decluttering projects for the busy mom who doesn't know where to start. It also includes a list of 20 things that you can get rid of right now.

This is a serious momentum builder. It's about getting started in just making decisions and just letting go of stuff right now. It empowers you and will help you keep going.

It also includes a 10-minute declutter challenge. And it will help you keep going after you're done with the Minimalism Starter Kit. It has resources and some just really punchy words in there, from me to you, that will help you keep going.

It's got resources like my top blog posts and other things that I have put together that are totally free for you to keep going, so go check it out. alliecasazza.com/starterkit.

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The third thing would be things that feel like I'm capturing a memory, but I'm really not. And one great example of that is tourist items from gift shops when you're on a trip.

I was in San Diego recently. I live about an hour outside of San Diego. And I go there often to catch up on work and get a little break. Whenever I'm in charge of where something is, like for my team or I have to fly somebody out for a meeting or something, I'll always try to get it to be in San Diego because I love it there. There's this great little place called Seaport Village right next to the hotel that I always stay at. And they've got this “swag shop” and it's really just full of sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, magnets, keychains, things like that that are basically just San Diego swag just to say that you were somewhere.

Why do we always feel that pull to get something like that or bring something back for somebody like that when you can get so many great photos of the trip and have the memories that way where it actually matters instead of bringing clutter into your home just to show or remind you that you went somewhere that you know that you went. So that's one little thing that I just feel like everybody always gets suckered into, that I haven’t bought.

I think the last thing I bought like that was…Brian really likes…(and this is so funny because it's very unminimalistic and he's actually stricter than I am with keeping things simplified) but he really likes those travel mugs from Starbucks. When you're in a new city and you go to the Starbucks there they'll have Oklahoma or Texas or Los Angeles mugs for wherever you are.

And he really likes getting those in all the places that we've been together, even if the mug is ugly, which is not my favorite thing about him. But I was in San Diego and I realized we actually don't have the San Diego one. San Diego has been a really special part of our story and we’ve had some really great memories there, really big business things happen there, and they came out with a new San Diego one. And so I picked that up for him. I was shocked at myself. I never get stuff like that.

So it's not like, “Oh, I never get these things now. I'm a minimalist.” I didn't even want to use the word minimalist. I don't want to seem annoying. It's just that typically those swag shops, it's just pointless clutter and you feel like you're capturing a memory by buying something from there but you're really not. Photos do it justice way better than that.

The fourth thing that I no longer buy is DVDs. I always think who buys DVDs anymore? But apparently people do because they're still all over the stores and I see some of them gone off the shelf like somebody bought this.

We use something called Vudu (not like the witchcraft). It's an app on your TV and you can create an account and then you can buy movies on there. And they have pretty much anything. We haven't found anything that we wanted to buy that they didn't have.

So if something is not on Netflix and it's a new movie that we really wanted to watch the kids, we really wanted to see it as a family, or we really loved it in the theater and we wanted to have it in our home, we'll get it on Vudu. It's really just like a digital DVD holder, which is awesome.

And then of course we love Hulu and Netflix, so we have accounts to both those things, but no DVDs. It just kind of feels pointless.

The fifth thing is things that I like at the store but have no place or purpose for. So I’ve really learned the art of being in the store (let's use Target as an example because everything at Target is amazing) and seeing something that I just think is the cutest thing I've ever seen (Oh my gosh I love it so much!) and then thinking, “What's the purpose of this? Where would I put this? Why would I get this?” And if I can't come up with anything, I don't get it. I just appreciate how cute it is. Maybe it's something that reminds me of a friend so I'll take a picture and send it to her and be like, “Oh my gosh look what I found at Target. Thinking of you. Love you,” but I won't buy it.

Maybe it's something really cute that’s meant to go in an office. If I can't think, “Oh that's perfect to fill that spot that I have on my gallery wall in my office I'm going to buy this and then my gallery will be finished.” If that doesn't happen I won't get it.

So I've really learned the art of appreciating the beauty of something that's been created and not having to buy it just because I loved it and it felt like it was made for me. Sometimes I'll see something that’s the shape of a cat or the shape of a cactus. And I love those two things so much. But just because something is like, “Oh look, this reminds me of me! I love this,” it doesn't mean I have to buy it.

And the sixth thing that I no longer purchase are things that I want to use but never actually do use. And one funny example for me is hair clips.

I used to constantly buy cute little hair clips. You know that section at Target? They have barrettes, ponytail holders, bobby pins, and then they've got a section of cuter things like headbands, clips with a flower on the back, barrettes with pretty designs so that when you clip your hair into it you see the pretty design? I used to get those kinds of things all the time and I never, ever used them. I wanted to use them. I wanted to be the type of person that would clip my hair back and put a cute barrette in it. But I just never did. I don’t know what it is, but I just never do it.

So, I went through a round of decluttering in my bathroom recently and I got rid of all those things. I have one that I kept that I actually really liked and I have only used it once in all these years.

Things like that. What I mean by that specific example is not like, “Oh, don't buy hair clips; hair clips are pointless,” but they're pointless for me because I've proven time and time again that I'm not the type of person that pins my hair back with a really cute clip. Whenever I do pin my hair back I just use a bobby pin and hide it underneath my hair so it looks like nothing is holding my hair back. I never use barrettes or pretty things like that. I appreciate them and admire them and I always think they look so cute on other people but I just never tend to grab for them. I don't know why. So I don't get those things anymore.

Another example would be like certain styles of clothing that I really love and admire, but then when I buy them I never end up actually grabbing them, wearing them and putting an outfit together with them. They just kind of sit there.

This happens a lot in boutiques. I'm a normal person. I shop at H&M, and Target and stuff, but I do really like supporting small businesses and I make a point to do that. First, whenever I'm looking for a specific item, I'll go to small shops in my area or the area that I'm staying in if I'm not by my house. I look there first. There's a couple of boutiques, especially in downtown in Oceanside and San Diego area near where I live, that I really love and I will browse whenever I'm out there.

Sometimes the things are just so unique, beautiful and I really appreciate them. It's a small shop so I feel like I'm supporting them and I'll get something that I really liked. But it ends up never, ever getting worn. I've really stopped doing that because, again, just like the hair clips, it's like I'm purchasing something that is somebody that I want to be or that I admire. Like, “Oh I like that they put a little barrette in their hair instead of just leaving it plain with a bobby pin. That's really cute.” But I never actually do that. Or, “I really like that this person dresses that style. I really like the idea of being a person who would wear that sweater.” But I never actually grab for the sweater. So it's not serving me. It's pointless and it was a waste of money.

Another example of this is homeschool stuff. Homeschool supplies and curricula - Oh my gosh, it's so easy to get sucked into the warp, the vortex and feel like you need something or you're doing your kids a disservice by not having a certain type of something and want to get it. “This is the answer for my home school organization! This is why I haven't been able to explain fractions to Hudson. I'm going to get this program!”

And sometimes those things are really helpful but I've really learned to think it through and wait and ask myself, “Am I trying to solve a problem the fast way? Is this really going to serve me? Am I really going to use this? Am I really going to wear his hair clip?

So basically things that I want to use or would like to be the type of person who uses them, but I never actually do use. Things that are quick fixes, like the homeschool supply example, things like that. I've just really learned to say “No.”

There's been maybe once or twice in the last year that I have said “no” to something at boutique or something and then left the store, gone back to my house, thought about it and wish I really had bought that. And what you can do is you can go back or get it online. Or ask yourself why do I feel like I really want that?

And then think, “Well it's because I need a black blouse, but that black blouse just felt a little bit too eccentric. I wouldn't actually wear it.” OK. Go find a plainer black blouse that you think you'll actually wear.

So just checking in with yourself. I really think it comes down to mindfulness about the things that we buy. And that's the whole point is just being intentional and being mindful about the purpose behind your purchases.


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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 065: The Beginner's Guide to A Minimalist Home

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How do you feel when you walk your home? Do you feel happy? Calm? Overwhelmed? Angry? Depressed? Resentful? Blessed? Do you feel like you just don't even have time to care about how you feel? Because I've been there. And now I want you to answer this: How do you want to feel when you walk into your home? Do your answers to those two questions match? If not, I want to help you get to the place where they match and you feel good walking into your home.

There is a connection between minimalism and motherhood. We have to move beyond organization and dive deep into decluttering to experience the joy that comes with minimalism. Once we do that, we can truly enjoy motherhood more! I promise I'm not going to offer you some kind of ridiculous cleaning schedule or a set of tasks to check off every day, because that’s unrealistic. I am here to give you something that will last - I am giving you the gift of less so that you can have more.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How minimalism and motherhood are connected.

  • The difference between organization and decluttering, and the value decluttering brings that organization doesn’t.

  • Practical ways you can begin to declutter your home from room to room.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.


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! Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Purpose Show. Whether it is your first time listening or you've heard every single episode, I am so glad you're here and really thankful for you and you're listening. It helps me out so much when you listen and even more when you leave a review. So hit me up over there and leave a review for me.

Side Note: if you do leave a review, email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of that review and you'll be entered to win a giveaway of any course of your choosing. We give away a course from reviews every single month. So get on it!

Okay. Today I want to give you the beginner's guide to a minimalist home. If you've been around here for a while, if I've already helped you minimize your home, maybe you're a student in Your Uncluttered Home or Unburdened, or you were in my Monthly Membership Site, or maybe you've just kind of taken in some of my free stuff and you've kind of done a DIY version of your house, this could serve as some re-inspiration for you. We all need that every once in a while, right?

But if you're new to this idea or you don't even really see the connection between minimalism and motherhood, you don't really know why I'm talking about this or you've done nothing yet, I'm super excited for you because this is everything to me. This is what I do and this is the foundation of my story and how my entire life changed for the better.

My motherhood got so much lighter, simpler, more positive and more intentional. I will link to my story in the show notes for this episode. You can find that at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/065. I'll link to my story there just in case you're new here, you found me some way and you don't really know my background and why I do what I do and where it all started. It's really important, integral and really a powerful story that I'd love for you to read.

But I want to ask you to start this off, how do you feel when you walk your home? I seriously want you to maybe press pause, think about it and answer to yourself. Right now. I don't want you to just skip over this part and just think it's a rhetorical question. It's not. I really want you to pause and ask yourself that.

Think about the last couple of times you walked into your home or maybe don't think about that. Think about in general over the span of your motherhood, how do you usually typically feel when you walk into your home? Do you feel happy? Calm? Overwhelmed? Angry? Depressed? Resentful? Blessed? Do you feel like you just don't even have time to give two craps how you feel? Because I've been there.

But I just want to encourage you to really stop for a second and kind of just say out loud the first emotion or thought that popped up for you when you asked yourself that question. How do you feel when you walk into your home typically?

And now I want you to answer this: How do you want to feel when you walk into your home? Do your answers to those two questions match? If not, this episode is specifically for you sweet friend.

I know how you feel because I have so been there, but let me give you a virtual hug and a big, big heaping scoop of hope. It does not have to be like that anymore. Really it doesn't. I promise I'm not going to offer you some kind of ridiculous cleaning schedule or a set of tasks to check off every day that’s unrealistic. I am here to give you something that will last - the gift of less so that you can have more.

All around us magazines and Pinterest graphics are telling you how to get organized and organization is the answer and rearrange the way that you have things set up and they kind of thrive on the fake, fresh-start syndrome.

Think about how you feel when Monday's rolling around. Somehow this week is going to be different even though you haven't really done anything to change how things are going to go and so the week goes the same as all your weeks do. “Tomorrow I'm going to start eating healthy and everything's going to be different.” But you didn't really go shopping, meal prep, and come up with a plan. Do anything different than you normally do. So tomorrow, guess what? You're gonna get discouraged. You're going to probably fail. You're going to feel like a failure and you're going to eat the same way that you always do come the afternoon.

Organization is that way. These magazines and Pinterest articles thrive on that fresh-start syndrome. “This is your solution. You just need to get organized. You don't need that. You just need to rearrange the way you have things set up. Here, let us tell you the ‘secret.’ (These people love that word.) Let us tell you the secrets of what you're doing wrong and this is going to help you.”

All organization is going to do is have you moving things around that you don't even need. They're still in your way. When you move things around and you get organized, you really just rearranging stuff that you don't even really need. It's not working for you.

And what's going to happen to all that organized stuff. It's going to end up back on the floor, back on the dining room table, spread across all the surfaces in your house, back everywhere that you don't want it, that you organized it off of in the first place a week ago.

Because organization is not a real solution. It's a band-aid on a bullet wound. I want you to actually let go of the stuff you have in your home that you 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, more energy and more space. I mean space emotionally, mentally and physically so that you can focus on what really matters.

This is where my story comes in. Again, please head to show notes to read my story if you're unfamiliar. It's super crucial when I talk about this.

I am just here to tell you, it's literally the biggest smile on my face that you can feel at peace, that you can feel happy and relaxed and fulfilled when you walk into your home on any given day. Even if you're kind of out of sorts. Even if your house isn’t perfect. You can still breathe and know that you don't have to run around like a headless chicken trying to keep up, trying to keep things clean, because they just stay cleaner and things are easier and less maintenance when there's less stuff.

You can spend about 30 minutes of your day maintaining your house instead of 4 hours. Truly.

I always say that I spend about 30 minutes every day just kind of maintaining the cleanliness of my house and I've heard that statement echoed in student after student after student in Your Uncluttered Home because when you go all in and you really make this happen for yourself, you really do this, you really declutter, you let me take your hand (virtually) and ‘talk guide’ you through every area of your home, you don't even realize all the junk that's been in your way. All the stuff that was holding you back. You can get things down to 30 minutes or less of regular, just picking up, maintaining your house maintenance every single day. You can spend your weekends enjoying your family instead of catching up on the laundry. How awesome would that be?

I want you to really think about what that reality would feel like for you. I hope for a lot of you listening, it's not far off from what you have now, but if it is far off, I want you to understand that this is real. This isn't some random dream I'm describing to try to bait you. I'm here to help you. This podcast is free. I'm here to help you and tell you there's hope.

And I want you to also think since you kind of thought about what your home feels like for you, what does your home feel like for your family? Maybe you'll be brave enough to ask them today. Maybe you kind of know based on their actions and their words. If you're afraid of their answer, I've been there too. I remember nagging Brian, my husband, about how hard keeping up with the with my role was and just how I wish he helped out more pretty much every night. It was just a constant struggle of whose job is harder, and “Oh my gosh, I wish you would would've come home sooner. It's been so crazy today. I have so much to do.” Spending my evenings rushing around, cleaning up after the kids went to bed, instead of sitting on the couch watching The Office with him, which is what I really wanted to do.

I remember being the mom who yelled. The mom who was always behind, always cleaning up and really never enjoying her family. I want you to know that your home can be a true haven for you and your family and it all starts with you. You set the tone.

If we can get you simplified and feeling lighter, it's going to show on your face. It's going to show in your voice and that's gonna have a massive, incredible, positive impact on the people that you love who share your space.

I think a lot 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 to spend on it.

Minimalism is so much more than a clean house. I mean, that's definitely a perk. I love that part of it, but it's really not about that. It's about creating the time and space you need to be a present mom, to live a purposeful life that you love. It's about getting to your 80th birthday party and knowing you were there. You didn't just clean up after your life. You lived it.

So how do we get there? I really believe it all starts at home. It did for me and I've seen it start there for thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of other mamas all over the globe. I'm super passionate about this. Now that I've built this up for you and made you see the weight of this, the hugeness of this awesomeness that is a minimalist lifestyle that doesn't have to be stereotype, irritating and all white with succulents and no furniture, that you can have a beautiful home that fits your personality and however you like to decorate and it's just about not having extra crap in your way taking up your time and that you feel that. You understand it.

How do you start though? How do you get to the 80th birthday party place? Obviously, you're going to have to do some work to get to that point. I mean, anything that beautiful doesn't come easily. Right?

And so, I want to walk you through just a few of the main areas in your home and how you can start to implement minimalism there. We're going to keep this real basic, real brief. Okay?

All right. Let's start with the kitchen. I don't think any room is as integral as the kitchen. Everything happens here. Even if you're not much of a cook, school lunches are prepared there, their family dinners are made there or unpacked there, if you're a takeout kind of family, coffee is brewed there. This room is basically grand central station for you as the mom in your family.

So start simplifying in here by getting rid of some of the dishes. Most of us have way more dishes than we need and it’s kind of weird. I don't know why we feel like we need three different sets of dishes all the time. Unless you’re the Duggar's, you don't. Take a look at your cups and your mugs. How many do you have? Why do you have so many? What do you really use and love? What kind of a person are you? Do you host a lot? Do you need extra mugs and extra cups? That's fine. Maybe you could store them in a separate cupboard than the ones that your family uses day to day. That way people aren't able to grab so many new ones and they have to rinse and reuse their cups from earlier that day. That's going to create a lot less dishes for you. You could do the same thing with your plates, bowls and your kids' plates. All of that.

Let go of the excess. Why do we have so much?

So just to give you an example, we have gone through many different seasons in our family. We originally had just enough cups, plates and bowls and all that for our own family and maybe a couple spares for if somebody came over. I was in a very, very much survival season of my life. My husband was working 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, sometimes 7. He was gone all the time. It was very much a solo parenting time of my life. I am very thankful to Brian for that time because he provided and I was able to stay home. It was just a different season of our life and I very much needed to simplify it every way possible.

I did not have a spare second to lose. I needed to preserve my energy and be able to be present with my babies. I had four kids under 5. It was crazy. It was total chaos and I needed every single second counted. So I kept everything incredibly minimal. We were on a very tight budget. We weren't doing a lot of hosting. It was survival mode season and my minimalism reflected that.

Now, fast forward about six years later and things are just very different. I have the business. Brian and I are home together all day, kind of running it side by side. We homeschool the kids. Money is different. Our schedule is different. We love to open up our home and host. We invested in the home that we have now, the actual home itself and the way that it's decorated and how much we poured into it because we love to open it up.

We just hosted some friends of ours for about nine days. We're constantly hosting things. I've got a movie night here at our house for my church’s mom's group tomorrow, and then the next day is book club at my house. We are literally constantly hosting. I have lots of extra cups and mugs in my home. They are just in a different cabinet than my daily ones, like I said earlier.

So you've got to know who you are. You've got to know your season. Why do you have what you have? Do you really, truly need it? I know that my extra mugs and cups are going to get used at least once a month. That's bare minimum. If they get used once in a month, that's rare for us. We usually host something every week, so I know that for me.  But before that wasn't how I was. I didn't have all that extra stuff. I just didn't need it. I wasn't there.

Where are you at? Who are you as a mom. Who are you as a family?

And then after that, take a 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. So sometimes you'll find that one appliance has the same features as another appliance you already own and you don't need duplicates. So pick one.

For example, I recently noticed that I had two milk for frothers. I don't really know how that happened, but I did. I had two milk frothers, so I donated one of them and kept the one that I liked and used the most. A lot of people will have a Kitchenaid stand mixer as well as a Kitchenaid hand mixer. Do you really need both of those? Pick one. What do you use the most? It's okay to say, this is an awesome item and it costs money, but I really never use it. I haven't used it in a year. I'm going to donate it or I'm going to sell it.

Let go of what you don't use. Go through your kitchen with this mentality. Re-listen to this episode and play this section again. Why do you have what you have? Do you really need it?

Side note: there is a free guide that goes with this. It's all about decluttering the laundry and the dishes. It's one of my most popular downloads because it's really straightforward, but detailed and helpful for the two biggest time suckers in your home. So head to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/065 and get that for yourself. It's totally free. It's a fan favorite and it's super helpful.  

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Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.

These online classes are always in serious demand and they don't come around too often, so I want you to snag a spot. Make sure you get one and sign up.

You can go to alliecasazza.com/freeclass. It's totally free!

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The next section of your home I'd like to walk you through is your kids' rooms. Most people think that kids equal clutter, there's just not much you can do about it, it is what it is, but I completely disagree.

I think kids mean messes, but not clutter. I believe mothers need minimalism more than anybody and that kids need it too. I think you can start by simplifying your kids wardrobes easiest. A lot of the time, we keep a lot of clothing options and hand-me-downs for our kids just because it feels weird to get rid of them when we “might” need them, but what it does is just gives us overstuffed drawers and extra things to clean because if it's in the dresser the kids are going to put it on at some point because kids change a billion times a day if they have enough clothes to do so.

So, pare down what you know your kids don't like and don't fit in. Keep just what your kids like. What do they fit in? What do they actually wear? What are you okay with them wearing? I'm not a big believer in “play clothes” a.k.a. clothes that are stained and torn and awful that you are okay with your kids getting dirty in. But then when you need to run out to the store or it's time to go to a dinner thing with family members, you have to change your kids again. You just created extra laundry.

So, what I do is I shop for my kids at places like H&M, or Target. I do some “small shop shopping” because if you've hung around my Instagram at all you know that I'm a big believer in supporting small shops, but I'm also realistic and have a budget and I love stores like H&M and Target and things like that that are more affordable, that are cute and stylish but can just be worn by my kids anytime.

And if they get it stained, I've got stain removing techniques. I can try to get the stain out. And if I can't, oh well, it's not the end of the world. I don't believe in having extra clothes that are just totally worn down that your kids can dirt get dirty in. It's way more work for me. It costs double the laundry for me. That's just not worth it in my opinion.

So, I've got my kids’ clothes and they have nicer church kind of clothes. Every Sunday we go to church and the kids will wear a button up shirt and nice jeans. Bella will wear a dress or a nice blouse and skinny jeans, something like that. Sure they don't go on the trampoline or to the park in those clothes, but I don't believe in having disgusting, totally distressed, awful stained clothes that my kids are allowed to get dirty.

I like to get them dressed in the morning, brush their teeth, fix their hair, and that's it. They're ready for the day. They can play outside, they can go to the park, they can jump in puddles. Whatever they want to do. They’re kids. Kids’ clothes are kids’ clothes. Kids’ clothes get stained and they don't last long. I don't want quadruple the laundry just because you know, I wanted my kids to stay in their clothes.

Also, in the past I have had play clothes and you know what happens? Nothing different except extra laundry. The kids still go out and play. Then I feel like, “Oh, don't go out and play because you're wearing your regular clothes. Let's change into these pieces of crap first.” It just doesn't work for me.

I don't see the merit of it at all. If you do and you're like, “Allie, you're the worst. I hate everything about you right now.” Go ahead and do whatever you want, but in my opinion, play clothes just cause more laundry. It's extra work for you. It's not worth it. Let your kids be kids. Get them basic clothes they can wear day to day for playing, for going to school, whatever, and let them be kids. Then have your nicer dinner event, church-type of clothes for things like that. That's it. Really pare down to what you know they like, what you like, what fits them, and what they actually wear.

Next, you can go on to the toys and I know that this is a really sensitive area for some people because a lot of the time there's guilt when it comes to simplifying the toys. But listen to me carefully, my friend. Your kids will play so much better with less to choose from.

Studies back this up. Google it. You'll be so surprised by what you find. Just get rid of the excess. Start by getting rid of what you know isn't played with. Even if it's something that you wish they played with. If it's broken, if it's missing pieces, or just no longer used, let it go.

Keep things positive by talking to your kid about how their toys will change the life of another child who's less fortunate than they are. I find that when I make decluttering about blessing other people, my kids kind of light up and it's a win, win. You're getting rid of stuff you don't need and you're teaching your kids empathy and bringing them into the process of paring down and raising little minimalists. Let your kids be a part of that process. Show them where you take the donations. Make them aware of what kind of kids are getting their old toys and teach them to give.

Okay. Next section I want to talk to you about is the bathrooms. The bathroom is a fantastic place to start if decluttering really overwhelms you and you're afraid to make decisions. It's really easy to make decisions about what to let go of when it comes to your bathroom because typically not a lot of people keep anything that's precious or full of memories in their bathroom. It's typically just old eye shadows and hair tools that don't work anymore. Things that you don't use that are an easy yes or no. This makes the bathroom a phenomenal starting place to build some confidence and momentum so that you feel inspired and ready to move forward.

So, I'm going to list for you, I'm just going to go down the list, some of my top tips for taking on the bathrooms. Can you tell I talk about this all the time? I've just got this on the back burner of my brain.

Okay. First, don't let the kids’ bath toys take over anymore. Choose 2-4 of their favorite bath toys or let them choose and get rid of the rest. Bath toys are ridiculous. My kids mainly bring their normal toys that are allowed to get wet into the bath with them. We don't even have “bath toys” anymore, so set yourself free from that. I mean if you've got a baby that's a little bit different, but still, why do you need more than four bath toys for this baby? What's going on?

I feel like bath toys so easily just run the whole show when it comes to your bathroom and it kind of sucks. So, let those go. Clear out your tub. It'll look cleaner and clearer. It's less for you to rinse off and it just is a good starting point.

Sometimes decluttering is less about, “Well, is it really going to save me time if I have less bath toys in my tub?” And it's more about gaining momentum and living a minimalistic lifestyle.

Okay, next tip for the bathroom. If you haven't used it in the last month, it's probably not something you should hold on to. That's a great rule of thumb.

Also, it's unsanitary to keep old makeup, so use that as your excuse for trashing it and let go of the guilt. It's gross. Let it go next.

Keep what you know that you use regularly, but be honest with yourself.

Next, only keep one of each toiletry. One shampoo. One conditioner. One soap. One lotion. Buy a new one when you run out. You don't need multiples. If you have multiples right now and it's the brands that you use, it’s not like you're holding onto shampoo because you bought it and you shouldn't have when you're never going to use it, if you have bought bulk of the stuff that you use regularly, that's fine. Don't throw them away, but maybe hold off on stocking up so much, let yourself go through what you have and then put it on your list when it starts to get low. That's what I do. When something that I use regularly starts to get low, if I've got a few more days left, I'll put it on my list. Every week I run my errands or I'll order it from Amazon or whatever it is. But you don't need a bunch of multiples, especially if you are in tight spaces in your house.

Okay. Every bathroom dweller has a secret grooming product obsession. This is the thing that you buy multiples of. It's kind of like your fetish bathroom item. Mine is nail polish. When you're faced with more than three of anything in the bathroom. Use the law of numbers. Keep two favorites. Let go of the rest. I will say I have broken my own rule here and I think with nail polish you do need more than two. Two nail polishes? That’s  ridiculous.

So, if you have something like that, like maybe you never paint your nails and you don't care. Me, with painting my nails, I've talked about this before, it's a weird little quirk of mine that I just feel extremely beautiful and put together when my nails are painted. They're pretty much painted all the time. It's pretty rare for me to have a butchered manicure and desperately need one. Maybe like a few times a year that happens. Typically, my main mode of self-care is either painting my own nails or going to get them done. I bring my own polish because I don't like to depend on the salon to have the right color. And also, like I said, I do my own nails very often. So, I have one drawer underneath my sink full of nail polish.

So, sometimes you can break the rule of two (keep two favorites, let go of the rest.) Sometimes with things like this, like the nail polish thing works really well for me. This is my self-care. I do this all of the time. Do you see where I'm going with this? For me, Allie, as a person, having two nail polishes just doesn't work for me. I need more than that.

So, when that happens, you just get a little section. Where am I going to keep this? Maybe it's a shelf in your medicine cabinet. Maybe it’s a drawer under your cabinet. Maybe it's a drawer within your cabinet. Whatever it is, choose a spot for it and then when it's full, you have enough.

So right now, if I wanted to go get a new nail polish, I would have to get rid of one that I have because the drawer is full and I'm implementing a one-in, one-out system at this point. I hope that makes sense.

If you've got a bunch of stuff and you've got way too many of one thing in your bathroom, you can either keep two favorites and let go of the rest if that will work for you. But if it's my nail polish situation, but something else for you, maybe it's eyeshadow for you, whatever, decide where you're going to store it and then when that place is full you may have no more. You have to declutter some. Okay?

Okay. The next section I want to talk to you about, and this is our last section for this episode, is the master bedroom.

So, I'll be honest, I used to use my master bedroom as sort of a holding cell for all the junk I didn't have time to put away. I used it to dump clean laundry that I didn't feel like folding. Basically, at the end of a very long, draining day of mom life, I would climb the stairs and enter an abyss of stress and it was terrible. Sometimes I still fall into this habit, but it's pretty rare now because I'm a lot better at it.

I think your bedroom needs to be a place where you can rest and recharge. It just does. Motherhood is not easy and we need somewhere we can go to be revived and I don't think we should have to leave the house for it all the time. I think we can make that happen in daily life right where we live, and I think that's the main purpose of the master bedroom.

Side note: this is also where the magic happens and the magic (I'm winking at you guys because I know your kids are probably listening, and are going to be like what's magic?) but the magic is a lot more magical when the floor isn't covered in crap, right?

Do yourself a favor and make your room more of a sanctuary. Start by removing all the things that are 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 and you panicked?

Go through there. Really question what's in there. Or use my favorite trick and grab an empty laundry hamper. Put everything that does not belong in your bedroom in that hamper and then take it around the house with you delivering things to their proper homes.

Next, clean up your nightstands. These little tables are serious clutter collectors. I don't know what it is, but myself and everyone I know just struggles keeping these things free of clutter. But you need to create a clean area there on your nightstands because that's where you start and end your day. So, what do you want there?

For me, I've got my Himalayan salts rock lamp. (I don't know if you guys have heard of those. They're awesome for your sleep. I'll link to one.) I've got mine on there and I got this little pretty stone tray and it's got some linen sprays like a lavender linen spray, a candle and a coaster, and the book that I'm reading currently. And that's what's on my nightstand. On Brian's, all there is is his alarm clock. That's it.

So, you’ve got to know who you are, what you need. Make it minimal, make it pretty. Don't put a bunch of crap in there. And if you have a drawer in your nightstand, don't let that be an excuse to keep random junk.

Next, pare down your wardrobe by using the reverse hanger trick. This is one of my favorite tips. After you wear something from your closet, hang it back up and reverse the hanger so it's facing the opposite way of all the rest of the hangers. After a few weeks, maybe put an alert in your calendar for 2-4 weeks from now to remind yourself to check, look and see what is still forward facing. You probably don't need those items as much as you thought you did because you haven't worn it in a few weeks.

This is a great trick for you to actually get a visual and see what you are and aren't wearing. Because most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time and the other 80% is, isn't getting worn. It's not worth keeping. Why would you keep that? It’s total clutter.

I mean there's exceptions, like your little black dress or whatever that you pull out when it's needed, but you know what I'm saying? Your regular clothes that you intended to wear on a regular basis and you're just not. Get rid of it. Don't hold onto it.

Okay, so that's all we're going to cover in this episode. I kind of wanted to just give you like a surface scrape of the main areas in your house, but if you're sitting there and you are wanting to just go all in and totally make over your motherhood through minimalism, you have got to check out my online course, Your Uncluttered Home. It has earned me global praise for the simple, busy mom-friendly philosophy of realistic minimalism for families.

I will take you through every single step, A-Z, room-by-room of minimalism until you come out on 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. What if your husband's not onboard, what if your kids are not cooperating? I've got your back in this course and I'm ready to make it happen with you.

So, go to the blog, check it out! alliecasazza.com/shownotes/065 to learn more and don't forget to go there as well to get your free Guide To Decluttering The Laundry And Dishes. It's going to be super helpful for you if this episode was your jam.


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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 050: How Minimalism Can Steal Your Joy

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I've spent the last six years uncovering something that changed my whole life. And when I first started, I didn't know what it was called or even that it was an actual thing. I was just a desperate girl trying to find a way out of survival mode because I believed in my heart that I was created for more. And that thing, of course, is minimalism. The philosophy of less that comes with minimalism took me from overwhelmed, depressed and fighting, and barely getting by to loving motherhood, thriving in my role and being the mom that I always wanted to be.

For me, minimalism is about simplifying what I have in my home so that have the time and joy to focus on my family, offering my kids and my husband the best of me, not what's left over after I pick up, wash a thousand dishes, fold six hours’ worth of laundry and reorganize all the toys again. Minimalism is all about where my focus is. Not how many items I have, not how many pairs of jeans I have, not how minimalist I appear. I don't want to deprive myself of things for the sake of “being a minimalist.” There are things that bring me joy, make me happy, and fill my life. It's more time in my day, more time for what matters, more time for pursuing what lights me up and makes me feel alive.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What minimalism means to her and how she finds joy in having more of what makes her truly happy.

  • When you focus on asking yourself purpose-driven questions about what you own rather than counting your items and following what someone else says that you're supposed to be doing, you create a philosophy of minimalism that works for you. And minimalism for you will look different than minimalism for anyone else.

  • How minimalism is less on your to do list and more checks on your bucket list.

  • What takes up your space takes up your time. So focusing on the intent behind the stuff in your life will help you fill your time with things that bring you joy instead of make you feel overwhelmed.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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DO YOU FEEL LIKE...

You're stuck in survival mode? The mundane parts of motherhood have taken over? Every time you get something clean someone is making a mess behind you? You’ve tried to get organized a thousand times, but it always comes undone within a few days?

If you're screaming "YES!" at an awkwardly loud decibel while staring at the screen, I totally get it girl. And I have something for you. 

YOU'RE ABOUT TO DISCOVER WHAT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING YOUR ENTIRE #MOMLIFE FOR...


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 sweet friends! Welcome to the show! Today we're going to talk about rules-based minimalism or this sort of “legalistic minimalism,” as I like to call it. This can be a controversial subject.

There are a lot of prominent teachers in the minimalism niche that have popped up over the last few years and many of them would strongly disagree with me on this. I know that because I have received emails. I won't name names because to each their own, but in this way, I think a lot of people disagree and that's okay.

But you know, I'm a mom. I've got four kids. I live a very simple life. I love my home. I love decor. I don't want to live in a cold, stark place that’s not very welcoming and doesn't make me feel filled with joy when I walk into it.

I don't want to deprive myself of things for the sake of “being a minimalist,” things that bring me joy, make me happy, and fill my life. I don't. I just don't want to live that way.

And so, I really want to address this idea of making decisions based on the fact of, “Oh, because I'm a minimalist or I want to be a minimalist…” I want to start out by saying that I've spent the better part of the last, oh my gosh, almost six years, uncovering something that changed my whole life. And when I first started, I didn't know what it was called or even that it was called anything. Even that, it was an actual thing. I was just a desperate girl trying to find a way out of survival mode because I believed in my heart that I was created for more.

And that thing, of course if you know my story at all, is minimalism. And that philosophy of less that comes with minimalism took me from overwhelmed, depressed and fighting, and barely getting by to loving my motherhood, thriving in my role and being the mom that I always wanted to be. I am not perfect, of course not, but so much closer to what I imagined I'd be when I was a girl and I imagined having a family.

For me, minimalism is about simplifying what I have in my home so that I'm a person who has the time and joy to focus on my family, offering my kids and my husband the best of me, not what's left over of me after I pick up, wash a thousand dishes, fold six hours’ worth of laundry and reorganize all the toys again.

The point of minimalism, for me, is where my focus is. Not how many items I have, not how many pairs of jeans I have, not how minimalist I appear.

It's taking power and control back of my time and how I spend my days. It's not about how many objects I have. It's more time in my day, more time for what matters. More time for pursuing what lights me up and makes me feel alive.

You guys, I started this blog before my minimalist journey, but it sat there half dead and getting nowhere. I am a writer at heart. I wanted to have a blog. I wanted to do something, and I didn’t know what. This whole business, this whole everything that I have, was born because I created more time in my life for my purpose and I would have missed it if I hadn't done this. It's so important.

Minimalism is more space in your home, more space in your calendar, more space to breathe and rest and enjoy things and live.

It's less yelling. It's less stress. It's less fighting with your family to just clean up please. Everyone gets that, right? It's less of that. It's less organizing and developing routine because you don't need to rearrange your junk. You need to let it go. It's less crap in your way. Less on your to do list and more checks on your bucket list.

Man, I'm telling you, it's where it's at. It's huge. It's life-changing. Minimalism is more money in your bank account because you're spending mindfully. It's being the mom you always wanted to be but have struggled so hard to find. The mom who isn't stretched incredibly thin every dang day, just trying to get to bedtime. The mom who doesn't resort to yelling because she's not that stressed out anymore.

Think about that. It's amazing. It's such a gift.

As I've gotten to the heart of this idea for myself of minimalism, you know, I've been spreading the secret of less to my fellow women as much as I can and that is what got me up to where I am today.

My message has reached people in Russia, China, Australia, Canada, and honestly, parts of the world I didn't even know existed. It's gotten me on television more than a handful of times. It's landed me on the phone with Jenny McCarthy. It's had my experience spread all over major websites for years. It's been incredibly unexpected and amazing. I love seeing other used-to-be-overwhelmed moms breaking these chains and messaging me that they found a new, purposeful way to do this “mom thing.” They're so happy and grateful.

However, having said all of that and laying the groundwork for you, one thing breaks my heart every time I see it. And it's an almost daily thing. These women missing the point, obsessing over the details and the numbers of the things in their home and continuing to give the power to their stuff, just in a different way.

So, like I said before, a lot of minimalist influencers will encourage this. I think they mean well and they have their hearts are in the right place. I'm not saying there's anything necessarily wrong with it, but you will never find this from me.

If this goes well with you and you want to count your things, and that's the philosophy you want – go. This is definitely not the place for you. I think these people are meaning well, but they're inspiring others by counting how many of each “thing” they own and focusing on the numbers and the things.

There are no minimalists’ rules. There's really no right way to do this and if anyone claims that, I think they've missed the point. I think we'd all agree that the point of living this way is the power.

By removing the excess from your home, you are now in charge of your space. Of how much time you spend on mundane things, of how you spend your days and like my favorite quote by Annie Dillard, she says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

So, shouldn't we be intentional about this? If you're focusing on counting, you've missed the point because your things are still in charge of you. In this case of minimalism, it's still all about the stuff. You're just transferring the way it's in charge of you.

Sure, some people do really well with numbers and they just want a little guidance with what works and that's fine. But there's a big difference between guidelines and obsession. And I think there are people who pride themselves on living with very, very little. I've seen articles floating around about “this guy who lives with less than 20 things.” Okay, well he's homeless and he looks like he wants to kill himself, so, I'm going to go ahead and let go of how many jeans I have and just focus on living an intentional life with my kids. What's the point of that? To me, there's very little purpose there. It's all a big show. It's kind of irritating and it's also kind of unrealistic if you're a parent.

I've shared before that I love anytime the message of minimalism is getting out there. I love it. I love that this has spread like wildfire, become a trend lately. It's awesome. But most of the minimalist leaders are not even married, and those who are, are not parents, or they're dudes. They don't have the mom thing. They don't get it.

I'm happy when anyone frees themselves from consumerism. It's a real problem. I struggled with it for sure like anyone else does, but I can't help but wonder why these other people seem to feel the need to wear minimalism and the amount of items they have in their home like a badge. They show their stark empty houses with their plain, white walls that lack personality and they wear them like a badge, like pointing a big, red arrow to the number of things they own. I can't help but feel like maybe they've missed out on the freedom aspect, and instead you've chained yourself to things with a fresh pair of handcuffs.

You started out with the handcuffs over here to the left and you’re chained to your stuff because you have way too much of it. It's taking up all your space. It’s taking up all your time. It’s stealing your life from you. It's stealing opportunities from you. It's stealing your joy.

Then you find minimalism and you're feeling really good and inspired, but you get a little bit obsessive and you go all the way in and now you're obsessing over, “I really want these black jeans with holes in the knees and this tear right here. They're super trendy and I love them. Oh my gosh, they're so flattering. I have the money to pay for them, but I already have a pair of black jeans. I'm a minimalist and, oh my gosh, I can't. Nope. I'm not going to do it because I don't really need these.” And you leave the store and you can’t stop thinking about those dang jeans and how good they make your butt look.

You missed out on joy! Don't do that. The handcuffs are now on you still. They’re just over here to the right side because your stuff has you chained in a fresh way. This isn't a Spartan race where the most hardcore wins. It's not about comparison or being the most minimal.

It's about getting back what was stolen from us by our own selves by a culture of consuming. It's about more time, more joy, more living, more mothering, more present living, less yelling, less being stretched thin over your life, like Saran wrap over leftovers, where one little pull too hard or poke too heavy and it just falls apart. Your life falls apart. It's about creating white space in your life.

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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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So, what do you do then? This is why I love teaching the art of simple in the way that I teach it, and that is by focusing on the intent. What's the why behind each item? What is it doing for you? Who cares how many you have? It's irrelevant. Why do you have it? Do you love it or need it enough to continue allowing it to take up your space and time? Because the fact is what takes up your space takes up your time. Remember, you buy everything twice. Once with your dolares, your dollars, your money. Then again with your minutes, so that's a fact. Are you okay with that?

I always use this example, but I'm going to use it again because it's amazing. I have a friend, her name is Jen (HERE is her episode). She was my first guest here on The Purpose Show and she's amazing. She does tiny house living and she was moving into her first tiny home that she had named Caroline.

It was a little house on wheels, super cute. She was getting rid of everything. Then she came across the collection of shot glasses that she had collected with her father who had since passed away. So, she's lost her father. She moving into a tiny house. She's letting go of things left and right. She's at the point where she has to really, really, really be intentional about the amount of things that she could have because she only has so much space. (Side note, you only have so much space, so if you have a very little amount of space, of course are going to have less stuff than somebody else. That's good. That's good. Let it motivate you.)

So, Jen's in this situation and she comes to this question of shot glasses. They’re really not necessary. She doesn't need a collection of shot glasses. Where is she going to put it? But you know what? Jen kept that collection of shot glasses because it brought her incredible joy. It was deeply special to her. She toted that thing around all of her tiny houses that she's lived in and she still has it. That's amazing.

It's about what is it worth to you? Every single thing is taking up your space and your time. So, is that worth it to you?

I've shared before about my love of clothing and I lived for about two years with a full-on capsule wardrobe and it was helpful. It definitely reduced decision fatigue, but it kind of left me a little lackluster, because I'm a girl who loves clothes. Fashion has always been my thing. I love putting outfits together. I love having a minimal simplistic style, but I also love having options. I love going into my closet and having all these options and piecing together an amazing outfit.

I don't have a giant closet overflowing with stuff. Everything that I wear gets worn on a very regular basis and I love all of it. It fits me. It's not stained or damaged and I wear it all the time. It’s not like I have a ton of things because if I had a ton of things that wouldn't be true of my wardrobe but it's definitely not a capsule wardrobe and I love it (HERE is that episode).

It's okay if it means a little bit more laundry. It’s okay if it means a little bit more space and time taken up. It’s okay if it’s a little bit more maintenance because that's worth it to me. I feel really unhappy with a capsule wardrobe.

You have to decide what's worth it to you. It's going to look different for you than it does for me. I think it's also important to ask yourself, “Could you live the next 30 days without buying it again?” If so, do you really need it? That's how you decide if something is a need.

When you focus on asking yourself purpose-driven questions about what you own rather than counting and following what someone else says that you're supposed to be doing, you create a philosophy of minimalism that works for you. It'll actually last that way because if it's not making you happy, it's not going to last. If it's not really working for you, it's not going to last.

There are some things that I have chosen to be super minimal with and I'm never going back. Like my kids' toys. We have the one toy bin and we keep our Legos separate in a separate little organizer. My kids have one toy bin and it works great. All the toys fit in there. We've never had more than that. When it starts to get overflowing, we reevaluate what's in there. We get rid of stuff. We have a one-in/one-out policy and it works great. We've had one bin of toys for all four of my kids for five years and it's been great.

I'm super minimal with my kids' toys because I want my kids to have the gift of imagination. I want them to play together and they do. We don't need anything else. That might not be the same for you. This works for me. There's areas of my life where I am so incredibly minimalistic and other areas where I'm like, “Well, this is worth it for me.” I want a little bit more (like my clothes.)

I know that I only need to clean up for about 30 minutes a day to maintain a house that’s clean, beautiful and ready for company to drop by. I know that my day is mine to live - sitting on the floor building Legos, homeschooling my kids, running a business that I love, and snuggled up with my husband watching Netflix  - without the stress of how much housework I will have to catch up on tomorrow.

That is minimalism. That's what it's given me. I've found my “sweet spot” and you will too. I know that I have the things that make me happy and the things that I need to live life well, but nothing else. I want for nothing. I count nothing. I obsess over nothing. Stuff has absolutely zero hold on me and I want that for you too. I don't want you to be bound by the stress of how much is too much or what number of jeans is the magic one that will make you a real minimalist.

I want you to make your own way and do what sets you free. I want you to have less. I want you to have enough less that you notice a bunch of fresh time on your hands. I want you to be free in that way too. I want you to simplify all the way and then see how you feel. If you want even more free time then go again, move through your house and another wave of less in purging.

Find your own magic number and don't you dare count to know what it is and measure it up to somebody standards.

Let go of the stuff and the need to follow the rules because life is waiting to be lived, right? And I want you to take the power from your stuff and put it back in your own hands where it belongs. Don't just transfer the handcuffs from one side to the other.

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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 041: 10 Things I've Done to Simplify My Life

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Life is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes you need to come back to what matters most, but you've got to know what those things are. And once you decide what is most important, you will naturally experience a more simplified life. What matters most? What can you remove from your plate? What is no longer serving you and your family well? These are all great questions that you can think through to help simplify your life. I am excited to share with you the 10 things I have done to simplify my life and how they have impacted me, my family, and my business.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How prioritizing what is important to you brings simplicity to your life.

  • The power of saying “no” even when it is difficult.

  • How having boundaries in order is such an act of simplification.

  • Why alone time is healthy, no matter if you are extrovert or introvert.

  • The ways established routines encourage simplicity.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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WANT TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME?

You buy stuff with your time, not just your money. Less clutter equals less stress and more time. It's as simple as that! Your Uncluttered Home is my most popular, globally-praised decluttering course, designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they clean up after it. It's truly the A-Z of minimalism - every room, every area of your house, totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist mama who's able to be a lot more present for what matters most. This truly is the ultimate when it comes to my philosophy and implementing it into your own life. 


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, beautiful! Welcome to The Purpose Show.

I don't know if this is your first time listening or if you've been a faithful listener from the beginning, but either way I want to say that I'm really glad that you're here! I’m really glad you're listening and I believe you're listening for a reason. I'm happy to spend this time with you.

This episode is all about things that I've done to simplify my life. I sat down with the idea for this episode and I started to write what are some things that I've done, some things that I've put into practice that have simplified my life and really made a difference.

I'm all about asking the question: What can I remove from my plate in the different areas of my life? What has to be done by me? What do I want to be done by me? What's dragging me down? Is it necessary that it drags me down? Is it just a part of life?

Is there a way that I could learned to enjoy this more? Is there a way I could learn to do this more efficiently? Is this serving my family? Is this serving someone else in a positive way? What is going on with each area of my life?

I think that's how you really get intentional.

I sat down and wanted to come up with the list of the things that I've done to bring in simplicity. I ended up coming up with 10 things, which is perfect because all the articles that you see floating around out there, especially the ones that go viral are “10 things to do this, 10 things I've done that did this,” and I always wonder, “Do they sit down until they came up with 10 things or what?”

I always feel I come up with awkward numbers (8 Times That I Was A Great Mom) but this time I really did come up with 10. Perfect. Let's dive in. The first thing that I would say came to my mind about things that I've done to simplify my life is I decided what's most important to me. I would encourage you to do this and to keep your list to 5 or less things.

Life is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes you need to come back to what matters most, but you've got to know what those things are. For me, my list is broken down into relationships because really that's what each area of life breaks down to is your relationship with your priorities.

It's my relationship with God, my relationship with myself, my relationship with my husband, Brian, my relationship with my children and my relationship with my business.

And frankly that's about the order that it's in. The reason that I have it in that order is, well, first of all, God. Not to be cliché, but really He is my most important relationship. And I'll be honest and say sometimes my actions may not reflect that. But in my heart of hearts, that's what's most important to me. That's the relationship that deserves the top priority. And if I feel like my actions are not aligned with that statement, I know that I need to make some changes and some shifts. And I will and I do. That's a constant fine-tuning of sorts.

Controversially, I put myself next instead of my relationship with my husband. I don't know if that's right or wrong, perfect or flawed, or what, but that decision came out of a lot of reflection and a lot of learning in my twenties. I just recently turned 31, so, I’m no  old sage or anything, thankfully.

But I will say that in my almost 11 years of being married to Brian, being a mother and “growing up,” I've learned that if I don't prioritize myself first, I'm kind of a terrible wife, mother, person, friend, sister and daughter, and all the roles that I fall into because I'm an introvert. The way the Lord made me is beautiful and incredible. But it's human. It's flawed. And if I don't prioritize myself and take care of myself at least a little bit, I don't perform well. I don't feel good. I'm snappy. I'm cranky. I'm short-tempered.

Of course, there are times where I feel like that and I've got to suck it up and be a decent person. Do my job. Get through my day. Be a nice wife. Say nice things. Hold back from saying something rude, unhelpful or cutting. But my point is, after my relationship with the Lord, my relationship with myself is important in that I need to make sure that I'm taking care of myself.

I put my husband first in a lot of ways. But all in all, I will say that I will make sure that I carve out a little bit of “me time” before I carve out a little bit of “marriage time,” if that is what it comes down to, it often does not.

I hope I'm getting my point across that I have to take care of myself so that I can be a better wife, a better mom, more available, more patient, kinder, able to respond and be mindfully present for my husband and for my children.

The order doesn't matter as much as you saying what your priorities are.

Friends and family are very important to me, but they're definitely on the outer rings of my life. Not the center ring. They don't come before that other list.

That doesn't mean that I'm selfish. That doesn’t mean that I’m money hungry because my business is on the other list first or anything like that. It just means my relationship with God first, and I've got to take care of myself. I have to make sure that I'm having some quiet time. That I feel OK. That I have taken a shower. That I take a second to myself. That I’m not feeling anxious or like I am lacking something. That I am just not doing good and not able to function. That my marriage is healthy. That my relationship with my kids is going well, or at least it's been taken care of and that I put time into.

My relationship with my business is so important because my business is not just a business. It's my passion. It’s really a ministry of sorts. It is so important and it is my family's livelihood.

When it comes down to it sometimes (a lot of the time actually) I do have to prioritize my business and my work above having coffee with a friend who's going through a hard time. Every once in a while it just comes down to it.

But usually - because I'm an entrepreneur, I work from home and I've got an amazing team behind me to carry the load of the day-to-day stuff - I can say, “You know what, I'm not going to work today. I'm going to finish up school with the kids and I'm going to go ahead and have lunch with my friend because she needs me.” I do that all the time.

But when I'm writing out my priorities, when I am writing out what really matters, that's kind of where my list is. I think it can be really daunting to come up with that list, but I think you should do it. And they think it's important.

If my feelings about a relationship with my main people and my business are suffering, something's going to have to give, because those are my priorities. So that's one thing that I have done to simplify my life is: I called out and said “what is most important to me?” And I made that decision prayerfully and thoughtfully over time.

I've got that list. I know I can come back to it if I'm feeling a little lost, overwhelmed or burdened by all the things. I can come back and look and say, “OK, what are my priorities? What needs to be top of the heap here in this situation?”

Although it can be daunting at first, once I did it, once I decided what's most important to me in my life, it simplified my life. It simplified my decisions. And it simplified a lot of things because my calendar reflects those priorities. My heart reflects those priorities and the way that I make decisions and say “yes” and “no” to things reflect those priorities. So, simplified my life a lot.

Another thing that I did to simplify my life is I learned to say “No.” Learning to say “no” can be so difficult for some people. It is not super difficult for me. It depends on the circumstance. There are some things that I feel like, “Oh, my heart goes out to the situation. I want to say yes, I want to be there to help.”

I am really passionate about giving. I'm getting a little personal here, but in the first year of my business our family was America's version of poverty. It was really, really, really bad. (If you want to hear our story, you can listen to episode six of this podcast.) We came around to the other side. Our business was thriving and went as a business from zero to seven figures in 18 months. It was so exciting and crazy. I have always been passionate about giving and helping others and my difficult financial experiences in my life with my husband definitely fueled that fire.

I became even more passionate about giving and wanting to do good things with this money. I got a little bit too gung-ho about giving and gave away too much to where it was like, “Oh crap, now we don't really have a safety net here.” We probably should have put a little bit more away because that’s what you want to do. I have a hard time saying “no” when it seems good, when something seems charitable, when it seems like it's going to help somebody else.

I definitely think that sometimes self care and prioritizing your own family can turn selfish. I think sometimes it could turn into you're not really “looking outside of your own bubble.” I never want to get to that point. It's such a hard balance. I really think it's got to be some kind of gut check that you have with your own self and a “heart thing” that you're watching and prayerfully keeping watch over I guess, and asking the Lord to point out to you if you've gone too far one way or the other.

In this case, with the money thing, I had gone too far. Too much charity, not enough being careful, wise and a good steward. I wanted to give back after I felt like we had had to take so much and we weren't able to help at all.

I've since learned to say “no” and to be wise. I'm not talking about just with money - that was just in one small example - but in little things like volunteering for something or having coffee with a friend, sometimes you just need to say “no.”

Sometimes it's not a good idea. It's not wise. It's not a moment to be giving. It's a moment to be wise is in the way of, “I know what my family needs today and this isn't gonna work for us.”

There's a lot of talk, from me as well, about self-care and having time away, taking care of yourself, having girls’ nights, going to get a Mani-Pedi every once- in-a-while. That's so great. But sometimes it's the opposite and while this girl's night that I just got invited to is so fun and a great idea, it's a really bad week for me to leave my family and do that. It's going to end up not serving me and actually stressing me out. You may need to say “no.”

I've got a blog post about saying “no” and I'll link to it in the show notes for you guys. It has really simplified my life to have that skill to know how to graciously say “No, I can't do that right now.”

Unapologetically having your boundaries in order is such an act of simplification and it's a habit that will serve you well.

The third thing that I have done to simplify my life is I turned off the things that distract me from my life. I'm talking about Facebook, phone notifications, all those types of things. There's recently been a podcast episode about that and I'll link to that in show notes for you guys as well. It's literally called “Phone Settings For A Present Life” and that is exactly what it is. How to physically set up your phone to stop beeping to you and distracting you from your actual life. It’s so funny, especially being a blogger, there's this pull and this almost expectation to share every moment and to not actually enjoy very many of them.

I feel like I have struck a really great balance of sharing plenty, sharing the fun stuff, the silly stuff, the serious stuff, the family moments, the business moments, the processes behind the scenes, but also really not feeling like I always have my phone. I found that balance I feel like. And I'm really happy with the balance I've struck. I want you to feel like that too. Turn off the things that distract you from your life.

I do not have the Facebook app on my phone. Facebook is on my computer and I can log in and do what I need to do there for work or pleasure or whatever. And then I'm done. It's not carried around with me all day long. I don't think it should be.

Your texts, your phone calls, your social media app alerts. All those things are only in the way how much you let them be in the way. I decided to prioritize (back to #1) and turn off the things that distract me from living my actual life, from being present for my God, myself, my husband, my children, my business, my friends, my family, and all these other things.

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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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The next thing I did to simplify my life is I started spending time alone. This was another thing that totally came out of my 20’s, of me figuring myself out.

I say this a lot, but I'll say it again. Extrovert and introvert is not being hyper or super high energy, or loud versus quiet and shy. It's actually where you get your energy from. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people and introverts get their energy from being alone. There's people that are both, and that's called ambiverts. I don't know many of those but I know they're out there.

I am an introvert, and learning to give myself alone time, oh my gosh, it just restores me in such an amazing way. It's unbelievable what less than 10 minutes of being alone will do for me.

Even if you're an extrovert, being alone is so good for the soul. Just being quiet for a second. Get the kids in bed, check in with your hubby and make sure he's good, and go for a 20-minute drive. Get a Chai latte and go for a drive with the windows down. Don't even turn music on, just be by yourself. It’s so nice to see what good company you are and where your thoughts go. What worries, fears, dreams or joys come to mind?

Another thing I did to simplify my life was I simplified my home. You know, obviously this is what I'm really known for, but my gosh, I had a hard time not putting this first. I simplified my home. I got rid of the clutter. I let go of the drawerfuls of junk and crap that was taking up all the nooks and crannies in the closets, under the bed, wedged in between couch cushions, crammed into nightstand drawers and kitchen drawers. Multiple spatulas, spoons, and bowls that were mismatched. Magazines and random clutter.

I got rid of all of it and I've kept it all away by ruthlessly being the editor of my home over the last six years. It has transformed my entire life more than almost anything. It's been huge.

You probably already know this is what I do. This is what I'm known for. This is where my signature course, my ecourse, “Your Uncluttered Home” came from - this has been my process and my journey and let me teach you how to do it. Simplify your home. Watch your life transform. You wouldn’t even believe it if I told you all the different areas of my life that have changed just from simplifying my home. My marriage improved. Relationships improved with myself, with my kids. I was a lighter person, much happier, less stressed out. I found it so much easier to stop yelling and stop reacting to my life because I wasn't living in this place of constant stress. My life no longer reflected the way that my home was cluttered. It reflected the way my home was uncluttered.

Studies show that the way that we have our homes is a reflection of the way we have our lives. And I really believe that. It's been true for me and true for the thousands of students who have gone through “Your Uncluttered Home.” I definitely, definitely would say that one of the biggest things I did to simplify my entire life was clearing my home of clutter.

The next thing I would say is I established routines, specifically my morning routine. That's also a podcast episode. I am not sure what number it is, but I'll link to it in the show notes. My morning ritual is very important to me. I like to call it a ritual because that's really what it is. I don't like to think of it as a routine. I don't know, it just feels like the word “ritual” is so much richer, better, more spiritual, important and beautiful. And that's how I feel about my mornings.

I hate when something is going on that causes me to miss my morning ritual. That happens very rarely because my morning ritual begins pretty early in the morning. It's only when we're traveling and I have to get up early to leave for the airport for a trip or something like that that gets in the way. I feel the difference in my spirit. I really do.

My morning ritual has transformed my life so much. It has simplified so many aspects of my life.

Another thing that I did to simplify my life is I downsized. Back before all of this, before I decluttered, before this part of my story began, we lived in a pretty large house. It was definitely pretty large for our family size at the time. We only had two of our kids and it was a lot.

It was so much maintenance. It was so much cleaning and it wasn't really worth it at the time because I was so overwhelmed. I was fighting depression and we only had two of our kids. I was pregnant with our third, Hudson, and it was so much extra work. It was so not worth it. We couldn't even afford to furnish all of it. It just felt empty, dull and high maintenance. Oh my gosh. I mean it was awful.

We ended up downsizing and started to live in smaller houses. Nothing super tiny or anything but just pretty small. Small enough to where the potential landlord would say something like, “Are you sure this house is big enough for you guys?”

Friends and family would comment regularly on the fact that we were living pretty small. It didn't feel too small to us but small enough to where it got comments for sure. It was a little bit against the norm, even now when we have four kids. Actually, this is the first time that I'm saying this on my podcast now that it's out, but we know we're going to be adopting and so our family is going to grow even more.

Our house is about 2300 -2400ish square feet. And it's three bedrooms. We work from home, we’ve got an office that's an extension of the garage. So even now our house really isn't that big for a family my size. It's definitely the biggest house that we've had since our big downsize.

I think the original house that I was talking about before was over 3000 square feet and it was just a lot for me, especially at the time. And you know with more space comes more cleaning, more maintenance.

But it's OK; I can handle it now. I've got less stress. I'm not depressed. My kids are older; they help. My husband's here to help. I have a housekeeper that comes once or twice a month and helps. My season is different.

We still live a little smaller than most people with our family size. And it's great. I love a small house. I think there's something really beautiful and there's something to be said for small living. And I love when people message me and they say, “You know, I've got two kids and we live in a thousand square feet and we just love it. We're outside all the time.”

It's so true, you get out and you start to live. You enjoy the outdoors. You really make your little home count, you know? It matters to you more. It's more important to you. It's cozier. I love a small house.

Another thing that I did to simplify my life was I started walking. This might sound silly and you might wonder what that has to do with simplifying, but it really does. I started walking as a way to simplify my health. I think that the health and wellness industry is a money hungry industry of unnecessary advice. And I got sick of it. I just wanted to feel better. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to feel like I had more energy.

I wanted to get moving, but I really don't like to exercise. I just started to walk. What I found was that, first of all, I love walking. I love taking walks, whether my kids come along or Brian's home and they stay with him and I go by myself. I love to walk. I started to let my thoughts wander. I started to get really grateful. Then I started to intentionally think of things that I was grateful for while I walked. I call those my “gratitude walks.”

Sometimes I do that. Sometimes I listen to a podcast or an audio book. Sometimes I listen to music. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I have absolutely no agenda and I just go for a walk and see where the Lord takes me. But walking simplified my health. I lost weight. I feel better.

I do more than just walking now, but I still walk. It's a simple practice that I am really fond of that's really changed my life, that I really love.

The ninth thing that I've done that I would say simplified my life is I implemented a “nothing day.” It used to be once a week. Now I guess I still have a “nothing day” once a week, but really a very intentional, absolutely zero things on my calendar day, once a month for sure.

Sundays I like to turn off social media, at least for the most part. I don't look at my phone much. There's no work, unless I really want to. I love what I do. Sometimes I getting inspired and want to jot down a blog post or something. It's just rest, whatever rest looks like that day for me.

“Nothing day” is when you feel pulled really thin and you just need a break. “Nothing day” is no phone alerts, no phone at all, maybe. No capturing things for social media. I just unwind. Maybe my family will go and do something fun. Maybe we'll just hang out and do nothing at home. That's usually what it is, but it's just a day of “vegging out” and just “being.”

It's something that is so overlooked and not very often scheduled and it needs to be. It's so good for the soul. I implemented a “nothing day” once a week, about 1 ½ - 2 years ago and it was so good.

Now I'm in a season where I don't really need a “nothing day” every single week. We have very restful family days on Sundays, but it's not technically a “nothing day” now because we're going to church, Costco and stuff.

I have a “nothing day” on my schedule about once a month, sometimes more depending on my need. Let the day take you. If you want to leave and go do something, great! But, it's OK to stay in with no bra and no makeup and just hang out on the couch with your hubby and let the kids play games. Just veg. Just be. It's good. It's good for the soul.

Number ten is I simplified my eating. This goes back to the whole thing about the health and wellness industry. But you know, it's overwhelming. We eat at least three times a day and making food can be so complicated. It can really take over your day.

A friend of mine, Amanda Wilson (I'll link to her Instagram account) because she is an incredible Instagram-er for the health and wellness industry. She taught me about food prepping instead of meal prepping. Food prepping is when you prep basic foods so that you can put plates together for meals, instead of deciding what you're going to eat way ahead of time, making the meal, and putting it in the fridge.

Because what was happening for me was I eat by mood, so I would make a meal and put it aside and I wouldn't want that later. What if I didn’t want leftover spaghetti or whatever it is?

Instead, I started prepping basic foods that I know I eat all the time, like grilling up some potatoes, grilling some chicken and seasoning it lightly with salt and pepper, so it can be used for any recipe. Making some cauliflower rice and putting that in the fridge. Things like that. Things that could be made as part of a meal but aren't already a designated meal.

That really helped me. I simplified my meal plans. Maybe we'll do a separate episode on this, but I just simplified my eating. I cut the crap. I stopped trying to be all specific. “Oh, is this exactly Paleo?” I just said, “You know what? I want to eat clean. I want to eat well, but I also want to eat real and not have this takeover my entire life. I want to cook because I want to enjoy the atmosphere that I create my kitchen when I'm cooking, not because I have to.” I wanted to bring some joy into my eating and I really simplified our food in our house and it was so good.

I would encourage you to find a way that you need to simplify your eating, if that's feeling like a point of stress for you. I have a really good friend who just absolutely loves food. She loves everything to do with the creation of food. She would never want to simplify this area of her life. She loves cooking from scratch. She is amazing at it. But that is not me.

While I do enjoy cooking from scratch, I don't want to do that for every single meal. This is an area of my life that it served me greatly to simplify. I found a way that worked for me and our family. I would encourage you to do that if that’s hitting home for you.

And there you have it. 10 things that I've done to simplify my life. I hope that this was inspiring in a different way than my episodes usually are because I'm really just telling you something that I've done and not really telling you exactly how to do it. Which I think can make you be creative apply this to your own life in a different way than usual. So, I hope that inspired you guys.

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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 037: Benefits of Minimalism for Mothers

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When people think of minimalism, I think most of them picture one couch in the living room, cold white walls, no TV, no toys, and plants hanging by the kitchen sink. That's not the point at all. Living with less doesn’t mean being deprived. It means looking at what is creating clutter and stress in your life.

Recently, Brian was away on a trip for a week. During that week, I was reminded how much I love the idea of minimalism and how much it has changed my life. It has given me the ability to take a deep breath and enjoy life more. And remember, minimalism is embracing the idea of less and questioning what you own and allow to take up your space and time. That is the key to changing your life.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The importance of embracing the idea of less and questioning what we own and allow to take up our space and time.

  • How minimalism equals less cleaning (and everyone wants less cleaning!)

  • Minimalism gives us more time + more energy to focus on the things we want to focus on instead of the things that cause us stress.

  • When you remove the clutter from your home, you become a happier person for yourself, your husband, and your family.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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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. I created the Minimalism Starter Kit as a guide to making this change in your life! It is time to start living with intention and purpose, mama! 


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 beauties! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show!

When people think of minimalism, I think most of them picture one IKEA couch in the living room, cold white walls, no TV, no toys, and plants hanging by the kitchen sink. That's not the point at all.

Three years ago, embracing minimalism changed my life and transformed my motherhood from angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed to happy, light, and free of stress. I fell in love with the way of less, and never looked back. My marriage improved drastically, my kids became less anxious around me because I wasn't a yelling basket case anymore, there was no longer clutter everywhere I looked, and I found myself doing things like sitting on the floor building train tracks with the boys, watching old James Bond movies with my husband, cooking more meals, and taking walks with my little girl. Suddenly, I was much less busy, and I was a better person in general. All because I got rid of the stuff I didn't need.

I could go on and on about how minimalism has impacted my motherhood, but instead I'm gonna break it down into a few main points, because I truly believe in two things: Jesus and minimalism. I know it's the answer to the epidemic of overwhelmed, tired, frustrated mamas.

LESS CLEANING.

Do I really need to go on here? LESS CLEANING! I have about two days a week where I do a couple loads of laundry, clean the bathrooms, run the vacuum and the Swiffer, and wipe down the walls and baseboards. That's it. I'm not pulling your leg, exaggerating, building up a false reality- this is my actual life. I have to do the dishes (much less than most people though), make the beds, and pick up shoes, coats, art supplies, and a few toys, but that's it day-to-day.

I don't think cleaning up and being frustrated and overwhelmed is a very good way to spend these precious, short years of raising kids. Minimalism has created an escape from that for me.

I'M ALWAYS READY TO HAVE SOMEONE OVER.

My house could be at it's very worst, and I would still feel okay having someone drop by. Why? Because there simply isn't enough stuff in our house to ever allow it to be that messy. It's so wonderfully liberating.

I HAVE MORE TIME.

We create the life we want, time is in our hands, and I decided to create more time for myself by eliminating the excess. I have so much more free time these days versus my pre-minimalism life. And I have two more kids since then and I work from home now, so really I should have much less time. Minimalism, you win again.

I ENJOY MY HOME MORE.

I don't like to cook, but I like being in my kitchen. I love putting on some music or a podcast and creating a delicious, simple meal for my family. I don't like doing laundry, but I love sitting in my living room while my kids play Legos on the coffee table and I fold their clothes. Minimalism has allowed me to actually love my home and love spending time in it without having to spend hours or days getting it perfectly clean (then having it last all of three seconds).

A BETTER MARRIAGE.

Maybe you don't see the connection between minimalism and marriage, and I never would have either, but it's there and it's really strong. Since becoming a minimalist, my brain is so uncluttered and clear, which made me a happier person, which has made me a more available wife. Brian can't believe how much more I laugh, how much kinder I am in general, how much more available I am to listen to him, be intimate with him, spend quality time with him. Our bond is stronger and our relationship has improved by leaps and bounds since we purged our stuff.

I'M ABLE TO BE A MOM WHO PLAYS.

I've already harped enough on how my mind is clearer and I am a happier, freer person, but it fits in again here. Because of minimalism I'm free to be the mom who plays with her kids instead of saying "go play". I spend a lot of my time in the yard kicking the soccer ball around, dancing to Taylor Swift in the living room, and playing with tiny toy unicorns. I run a business from home and it doesn't put a dent in the quality of my motherhood because I spend no extra time managing stuff.

I'M A HAPPIER PERSON.

I just have a lot of joy these days. I don't really know what else to say on this point, except, life is simple and sweet and good, even when we're going through something hard. Because it's intentionally focused on what matters most.

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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!

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