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:
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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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.
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 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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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.
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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.
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.
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!