When I started my journey to decluttering my home, I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it happen. At the time, I could only find help with organizing clutter, not clearing it – and I wanted to clear it out! I learned a lot along the way which is why one of my main missions is to help you declutter faster, quicker, and more effectively. I want to take you all the way to the other side of simplicity and experience the joy and freedom in half the time. So here are the 5 biggest mistakes I see people make (and I have made myself!) when it comes to ditching the clutter.
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
Where her decluttering journey began and the things that were frustrating at the start.
How you can use the feeling of overwhelm as a catalyst to motivate yourself to declutter.
The best place to start in your decluttering journey that will help you sustain motivation.
The balance between taking decluttering too serious and not serious enough.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
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.
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!
Hello, beautiful friend! Happy Wednesday (If you’re listening to this on its air date or a different Wednesday) I’m so glad you’re here! Truly, I’m so, so honored that you’re choosing to spend some of the time out of your busy day to listen to me. It really means a lot to me. It means a lot every time. I just love you and I’m super glad that you’re here.
I’m extra excited because we get to talk about clutter and the act of letting it go, which is one of my favorite things to talk about, and I get to do it in a way that is my favorite because we’re going to talk about the 5 biggest mistakes moms (or really anyone) make while trying to ditch the clutter. This episode is going to give you a kick in the butt and that’s my favorite thing to do – give you a kick in the butt.
So disclaimer…this episode is not meant to make you feel worse about yourself, make you feel dumb, or make you feel ‘less than.’ The tone here is not like ‘these are the five biggest mistakes that I see mom’s making when they’re trying to let go of the clutter. They don’t even know how and I know how, and I’m going to tell you how.’ That’s not what I mean at all.
It’s more like…girl, these are the five most common hurdles that hold people up and I know because they held me up at one point. I see them holding people up every day because it’s my job and I talk about this stuff every day, all the time, and I don’t want you to get held up. If you are held up, I want to show you what the problem is and help you overcome it and we’re going to do this together.
This is meant to be very helpful, hopeful and encouraging. The type of episode that you want to share all day, tell your friends about because it’s amazing and it helped you see the truth. It helped you overcome something that’s been holding you back because the fact is that this stuff matters, right?
It’s not about having a clean house. It’s not about having a nice space for the sake of having a nice space. It’s not about legalistic minimalism. It’s not about less for the sake of less. It’s about less for the sake of more of what matters. It’s about ditching that massive task list and just simplifying your space so that you can simplify your life. Then you can be the type of mom you want to be because you’re less stressed, there’s less overwhelm in your life, there’s less clutter taking up your time and your space.
Having said all that, let’s get into this awesome episode that I’ve been super excited about for weeks.
My own personal journey into decluttering and becoming a minimalist mom was about six years ago. I really wanted to get to a lighter place with less overwhelm, less clutter and more time to be the mom that I wanted to be. Actually be with my kids and enjoy their childhood. Not be one of the moms that says, “Oh, it goes so fast and I wish I would have been more present. I missed so much of it.”
I think there’s always going to be some aspect to that, but I just wanted to live a life where I knew that I had done all I could. That I was there. That I didn’t yell all the time, which I was doing before this. I just wasn’t the mom I wanted to be. I was depressed. I was anxious. I was making myself sick because I was so overwhelmed in my life.
The first piece of the puzzle to undoing that was decluttering. I remember in the beginning of my journey wishing that there was someone who wanted to help me clear the clutter, not just organize the clutter.
In our society, in magazines, and on Pinterest, organization is seen as the cure-all. I always say organization has its place, but when you’re trying to use it to fix your life and your home, it’s really just putting a Band-aid on a gaping bullet wound. It doesn’t work. It’s not a solution. It’s a side note.
At that time that’s all I could find…how to get organized. I didn’t have anyone to coach me through it and I made a lot of mistakes.
There are actually 5 big mistakes that I made and that I see women making over and over again as they’re trying to declutter. They just want to get this done. But they’ve got kids, work, husbands, cooking, other stuff on their plates, and their minds are just not there. They’re not seeing it with the 20/20 vision that I have, this aerial perspective that I have because this is my job and I do this every day. So, I want to help you learn how you can avoid them or get out of it if you’re in one of these.
I wasted a lot of time on my journey figuring out how to make it happen, especially with little kids in the house and my husband’s crazy work hours. I was all by myself trying to get to this other place that I wanted to get to so badly. It took me way longer than it needed to. One of my main missions now is to help you declutter faster, quicker, more effectively, and get you all the way to the other side.
I always say that Your Uncluttered Home (which is my course if you’re new here) is the A-Z of minimalist motherhood. I want to help you get to that. You’ve done A-Z. You’re done. You’re on the other side and you’re experiencing the joy, freedom in half the time.
We’re going to dive into 5 of the biggest mistakes that I see women making when they’re trying to ditch the clutter and get to that post-Z point.
The first one is I see them letting overwhelm keep them from taking action. This is super common. I experienced it myself, in this area as well as other areas of my life since then. And it makes sense, but we don’t have to let it be our story.
People let overwhelm (and I’m using that as a noun on purpose. I realize that it’s not, but it’s something that I do) keep them from taking action. You got to this point – where you need this, where you need less and you’re craving simplicity – because you’re overwhelmed.
You know, you’re listening to this podcast because my website or something on it, or something that a friend said, a recommendation, intrigued you and got you here because you’re in an overwhelmed place. Now, ironically, the process of simplifying your home and letting go of the clutter is incredibly overwhelming all on its own.
That feeling of overwhelm – you know, how am I even going to get through this house? All of this stuff, every countertop, every drawer, every closet, every shelf, every room. There’s no way I can do this – that right there – that overwhelm rises up as you stand in your living room and you look around. It makes it feel like it’s never going to happen and you get so overwhelmed you can’t move forward.
The good news is that’s a totally normal feeling to have. The bad news is that so, so, so many people, so many beautiful moms with a story, a mission, and a purpose that are just bogged down, get sucked into that and they just end up doing nothing, and they think, “Well, I’ve gone this long. I’ll just do it later.” Or maybe they start to do a couple little things that they think are a good idea, but they get discouraged because nothing’s happening. They don’t see a difference. They don’t see any changes right away. It’s like dieting. If you don’t see the results right away, it’s hard to keep going.
The solution to this is to use that overwhelm that you’re feeling, that bogged-down overwhelming feeling of “Ugg!” as a catalyst. Use it to your advantage. This is a trial. It doesn’t have to end in the story of you saying, “Well, next time.” Use that overwhelm as your personal catalyst into change. Don’t let it bring you down. Don’t let it be the thing that keeps you from moving forward. Clear it. Realize that it’s there and say, “No, this isn’t going to hold me back. I know where I want to go. I know how I want things to be. I’m going to get there. It’s not an option. I’m going to get there. I’m going to close my eyes and just start.”
And I mean that pretty literally. I want you to go into a room where you’re going to start decluttering – a closet, a drawer or whatever – close your eyes, put your hand out, pick up an item, open your eyes, look at that item and make a decision. Keep, Trash or Donate. Put it in the according pile. You just started.
You can’t overthink this stuff. Just decide that you’re going to start, close your eyes and do it! There is no magic trick. Just do it!
#2 in biggest mistakes is I see women starting in the wrong place. I realize how this sounds. I don’t want to sound like, “Oh, you did it wrong. I’m an expert.” No, that’s extremely annoying and if I ever sound like that with somebody, buy a plane ticket and come slap me. I give you full permission. What I mean is this can be detrimental to your journey into minimalism and it’s a bad idea to decide that you want to simplify and declutter and then start somewhere that’s just full of emotion and sentimental value.
For example, a box of your daughter’s old baby clothes, or your shelf full of photo albums. If you start at a place like that, it is kind of the wrong place. It’s incredibly overwhelming. You don’t need to even touch those things for quite some time. Just leave it for later. Wait until you’ve built up some confidence and some momentum in the decluttering process.
The right place to start is somewhere emotionless. Maybe you’re feeling feelings of overwhelm, but you’re not feeling like, oh my gosh, I don’t know how to make decisions about this stuff because it’s just loaded with emotion. This is my late husband’s closet or the stuff for the baby that I was buying that we miscarried, or somewhere like that. You can’t do that. Start somewhere more emotionless.
The bathroom is a great place to start. I don’t know a lot of people who store photo albums and baby clothes in the bathroom. When you start somewhere simple like that, you allow the process to just begin without all the heart wrenching emotions. Okay? You won’t struggle to get rid of old eyeshadows, old hair products, old ponytail holders and things like that. It’s likely at least (I guess I can’t speak for everyone because I don’t know your house) but it’s likely that you’re going to feel good about the progress you’re beginning to see right there in front of you because you’re making these easier decisions like “this is trash, this is old, this eyeshadow is older than my daughter and this is unsanitary.” You are making these easier decisions. You’ll get this momentum built up and then it helps propel you forward. It’s a snowball effect for sure.
So even though it was a small victory, it was still a victory and you wouldn’t have seen that victory if you had started somewhere more complicated. So, don’t start in the wrong place.
Mistake #3. They don’t take the process seriously. Look, this is a big deal. It’s a big project. I’m not gonna lie to you. You’re taking on this huge task of trying to simplify your entire life and declutter your entire house so that you can have more intentional free time on your hands and be able to live a fuller, more abundant life. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Heck yeah, it does!
But it’s not going to come easily. Nothing that good comes without trial. You’ve got to treat this like it really matters. My suggestion is making an appointment with yourself in your phone. Look at your schedule. Look at what times you need to be at work, when you’re at home, when you have to take somebody to a playdate, to school, to soccer or whatever it is that your week looks like, and carve out some really intentional times. Even if they’re small spaces (because you’re just that busy; it’s okay) and put them on your calendar.
For example, Monday and Saturday mornings for me in the beginning of my journey, were dedicated to decluttering. I called them ‘purge appointments.’ (This was before the Purge movies came out where everyone slaughters each other in America, so I wouldn’t call them that now because seeing ‘purge appointment’ in my phone might make somebody call the cops.) This is when my decluttering really got kicked into high gear and I really started to make progress really quickly. I realized that there was something to taking this more seriously and treating it like it actually mattered. So, look at your calendar, check out your schedule, see what you can do even if it’s just 30 minutes once a week or a collective six hours a week. Whatever you can do. Make it happen.
Hey friends, if you are not one of my students in the Your Uncluttered Home community, you have got to get your booty over there. Your Uncluttered Home is my signature online course and it is changing mom lives all over the globe. I’m super, super proud of it. It is the next step into real action for you if you want to go all in with living in an uncluttered home that allows you to spend your time focused on what matters. And that’s what we’re always talking about, right? Don’t just take my word for it though. Listen to these words from one of my beautiful Your Uncluttered Home students.
Hey guys! This is Nina from Oklahoma. Instead of our house looking like a tornado had gone through it, now when we walk through the door, we feel peace, rest, and happiness. Your Uncluttered Home course has changed our lives by giving us the gift of time. The course gave us the tools to accomplish what we’ve always dreamed of…a place of rest, a manageable, clean home, and most important, more time with our families. Thanks Allie!
To join the Your Uncluttered Home party go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter. Enter code PURPOSESHOW at checkout for 10% off. That’s for listeners only.
I can’t wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos.
We have the time that we make. If you need to get something done and it was like, “If you spend three hours a week doing this, you’ll get a million dollars,” you would make it happen. You would. This has a return on investment that you don’t realize how big it is until you’re in it.
Obviously, the more time you dedicate to this, the quicker you’ll work through this. Do what you can, but just realize that this is important. Take this seriously. Treat it like it’s any other important appointment that you wouldn’t cancel unless you absolutely had to. Put it in your calendar. Make it a date with yourself. Don’t cancel it unless you must cancel it. I’m talking like you’ve got the flu and you’re just vomiting every two seconds. Okay?
Mistake #4. People take it too seriously, so it’s coming at a different angle from #3.
You can declutter as you go about your day. It doesn’t have to be this huge ordeal every time. You don’t have to declutter only when it’s one of your appointments on your calendar. You can make progress while you’re waiting for the water to boil for your dinner that night. You can do things as you work through your day. I did a lot of decluttering as I did my regular cleaning. If I was having my Saturday morning pickup session, I would declutter some stuff, throw some things out and put some things in the donation bin as I went. Progress is progress, big or small.
We’re doing Declutter Like A Mother right now (if you’re listening to this when it airs). January is Declutter Like A Mother. That’s what the whole premise is. It’s just a few minutes a day, every day, for 30 days, because progress is progress.
If you’ve set aside big chunks of time during your week or your month where you’re dedicated to decluttering your house, that’s great. You should take it seriously and do it that way, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t declutter the kitchen cupboards while you wait for your dinner to boil. You see what I’m saying? So, balance it.
You’ve got appointments, you’ve got times where you’re like “this matters to me, and the results of this are just too big to screw around with, I’m going to make this happen, and you’re balancing that with, ‘hey, while I wait for my tea to brew, I’m going to declutter the junk drawer.’ Balance.
#5 in the 5 biggest mistakes I see moms make when they’re trying to ditch the clutter is they don’t follow through. I think this might be the biggest mistake that I see again and again and that is that people don’t follow through when they are decluttering an area of their home.
What I mean by this is they get in there, they pull all the things out, they sort all the things into piles – Keep, Trash, Donate – and then they walk away and they leave the pile sitting there. Or they think that magically shutting the door to this room is going to keep everyone out. Things don’t get bagged up. They’re still sitting in the house. The job is not yet complete.
What happens is somebody is going to come in and undo your piles (because kids and pets or husband) or they see something in there and they’re like, “Hey, I’ve been looking for this!” (Even though I haven’t known it existed for the last three years.) And all this precious time you spent decluttering is wasted and the job gets undone.
You’re not done with the decluttering session until you have bagged up the trash and taken it to the trash can outside of your home, you have bagged up the donations and put them in the back of your car ready to be taken to a donation center, and you have put the things that you are keeping in their new home. Okay?
Also, don’t forget to set an alert on your phone to go off in 2-3 days to remind you that this is your deadline to take those donations to the donation center. Be sure you really follow through. When all of this has been completed, you’re done decluttering that area. Girl, you’ve got to follow through, especially if you’re a busy mom, because things will get undone and you don’t want to waste your time. If you do these things, avoid these mistakes and follow through, I know you’re going to have serious success and it’s going to be quick.
These can be really great shortcuts for your decluttering process and get you to the other side a lot faster. And you know what? The fact is if you’re struggling – if this is good for you and you’re like, “yeah, I’m going to overcome these things, I’m going to do these things” – the fact is these are great decluttering hacks, but if you want to follow all the way through and go all the way you need some skin in the game. Okay?
This is the very reason that 3½ years ago I created Your Uncluttered Home. It’s everything. It’s literally everything. Decluttering – it’s not just about your house. It’s a lifestyle change. When you’re going against the grain, when you’re saying ‘no’ to excess and ‘no’ to clutter, stress, and overwhelm, you are literally going the opposite way of our society and what our culture says motherhood has to be.
You’re saying ‘no’ to that lie and walking down a different path. It’s brighter and happier, more fulfilling, more joy filled. It’s abundant life and that’s going to upset some people. You’re going to make some people feel super convicted just by the way you’re living.
Problems are going to come up. What if your husband is having a hard time and he just doesn’t get it? What do you say to him? How do you navigate that? What if your kids are giving pushback? How do you get them onboard? You’re changing your family’s lifestyle. You’re changing the fabric of your guys’ family culture. It’s a big deal.
What about when holidays roll around and it feels like all your hard work is being undone because there’s an influx of stuff coming in? What about birthdays? Does this mean they’re joyless now and you can’t accept any presents? What kinds of gifts do you get for your kids? How do you raise them to be focused on the right things?
How do you actually declutter your office? What about the homeschool room? What about the garage? Is there even a system for storing things in a way that serves your family?
How do you decide what stays in your kitchen? What if you absolutely love to cook and you don’t want a super minimalistic kitchen? Is that okay? What kind of things do you put in there? What kind of things do you say ‘yes’ to? What kind of things do you say ‘no’ to?
How do you get into maintenance mode when you’re done? How do you make sure this doesn’t get undone? How do you set goals and follow through and make it happen?
All of this stuff is in Your Uncluttered Home. It’s 50+ short, to-the-point, powerful lessons of this is exactly what you need to do. I’m taking the brain work out of it. I’m giving you the answer. I’m giving you the shortcut. I’m giving you exactly what you need to become a minimalist, intentional living mother in the way that fits who you are, for your family.
That doesn’t exist anywhere else. I created this and I’m so passionate about it because it’s one-of-a-kind. It’s changed more than 10,000 lives. I’ve got the testimonials to prove it and the emails that I get pouring in every week that fill my heart to the brim because this is my passion. This is what I was meant to do and I know that.
So, if you want to get some skin in the game and you want to commit and go all the way, you’ve got to get into Your Uncluttered Home.
This isn’t something that I just pulled out of nowhere and said, “I’m going to make this and charge for it.” This is my life’s work. This is my wisdom, my experience.
Do you guys know that when I was creating this course, I took money that we really didn’t have and I flew back home to California (I was living in the Midwest) and I decluttered 5 houses with friends and friends of family. I studied and took notes. I worked with one woman who was so emotionally pent up about letting go of her stuff. She had a lot of emotional issues and she really struggled and I studied her. I helped her. I learned what was making her emotionally tied to things for the ‘Sentimental Items’ lesson in Your Uncluttered Home. I physically decluttered rooms and full homes – toys, books. I found some of the funniest and saddest things in these people’s homes with them and worked through it with them.
I’m not just sitting here from my desk claiming to be an ‘expert’ and charging you money for nothing. This is, like I said, my life’s work and I believe in it. If you enroll in this course and you go through it, your life will never be the same.
You’ve got to get in there if you want some skin in the game and you want to make things happen. Okay?
So, I had to say that because I want you to understand what it is that I do. I want you to understand why I create the things I create and why some are paid and why some are free.
If you want to learn about Your Uncluttered Home. There’s a ton of information on this page that I created about it. You can read my story, my process and all about the course. What’s in it. The benefits. You can look at a preview of the curriculum. You can watch testimonial videos. All of that good stuff. Get the pricing and all of that. It’s http://alliecasazza.com/nomoreclutter.
Okay guys, that’s it. I hope it’s encouraged you greatly. I hope you feel like, oh man, 1,2,3, or 4, even all of these hurdles just really spoke to me and I know exactly how to overcome them now because that’s the goal, that’s what I’m here to do, and that’s how I want to help you.
So, your action step for this episode is identify which of these big mistakes (or which several of them) are your hurdles. What did I say about that specific hurdle? What spoke to you? What are you gonna do about this? Don’t just let yourself get all inspired and then go make lunch and forget about this. How are you going to take action? Set a reminder in your phone for later tonight after the kids are in bed to revisit this episode.
Maybe just read through the show notes. Every episode is transcribed so you can read through it. If you go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/094 you can just read through and skim this episode’s content.
What are you gonna do about this? Don’t let this bypass you without taking action.
And action step #2, if you’re really wanting to, like I said, get some skin in the game and make this happen, just go to that webpage and just look. If you have a question, email my team. Ask questions about the course. We’re here for you. We don’t want you to feel like you’re purchasing this mystery product. We want you to understand how amazing it is. We want to answer your questions and give clarity.
To check out Your Uncluttered Home it’s alliecasazza.com/nomoreclutter. And if you want to email my team, just email email@example.com and ask your questions. Kena will get your email and she’ll respond within a couple of days and you’ll get your answer.
We’re here for you. We love you. Everything that I’ve built, everything that this company does is to support you on this journey to less. So, just know that we’re here and you’ve got my support.
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!