My friend, Jessica Dahlquist from the Extraordinary Moms podcast had me on her show and the interview was so good I asked if I could share it here. She asked such great questions and I shared things with her in a really organic and different way than I’ve shared before and I can’t wait for you to hear it! Let’s dive in!
In this episode, Allie and Jessica discuss:
- Decluttering your house
- Decluttering your life
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
DECLUTTER LIKE A MOTHER
Discover Allie Casazza’s powerful and proven method for clearing the clutter in your mind by first clearing the clutter in your home, the place where transformation begins.
Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality 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 friends! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show podcast. I’m so excited to be hanging out with you today!
This is a great episode. It was actually an interview that I did on another podcast, the Extraordinary Moms podcast with my friend, Jessica Dahlquist. The interview was so good.
She did such an amazing job asking really great questions and pulling things out of me that I don’t feel like have been shared in this way on my own show before. I reached out to her after the interview to ask if I could actually get the audio and reshare this on my own show.
First of all, Extraordinary Moms is a great podcast. Please go listen to it. Jessica is an amazing host and really a gem of a human being. You definitely want her in your life. If you love podcasts, I highly recommend that you listen to hers.
This episode is really great! So thank you to Jessica for asking amazing questions and fostering and cultivating this amazing conversation. I hope you guys enjoy it.
We talk about all kinds of things. It’s really, really good. I think it’s really going to help you all. We cover some really great topics. Enjoy!
JESSICA: I’m so excited to be chatting with Allie Casazza again today. Hi Allie!
ALLIE: Hi! It’s so good to meet with you again. This is super fun.
JESSICA: I know you’re on episode 79 of my podcast, and when this episode comes out it will be in the 360’s for The Extraordinary Moms podcast, so it’s been a while. I first met you and connected with you after you had a viral post. I think it was your first big article, and it went crazy. How many years ago was that?
ALLIE: That was in 2016.
JESSICA: Oh my gosh. Five years ago. That is wild.
ALLIE: And good for you for keeping going with your podcast!
JESSICA: Thank you. People keep asking, “Are you still doing the podcast? Are you still doing the podcast?’”
Because I think it is kind of surprising. A lot of people start a podcast and then either burn out or lose the regularity.
And you have a podcast now, Allie!
ALLIE: Yeah. I had one then, but no one knew about it because I was terrible at doing everything the right way. I was figuring it out.
Then I actually started a podcast with Kelsey van Kirk, a friend of mine. And then in 2018, I went out solo and had The Purpose Show. So I’ve had it since then.
JESSICA: So fun. And are you enjoying being a podcaster?
ALLIE: Oh, it’s the best. I like it so much better than writing, especially now with writing books. I think I would probably just pass out and die if I was writing a blog and books.
With podcasting, I’m able to sit down in the middle of the night in my closet and talk and it doesn’t matter how things look, how it’s written, or if anyone can get my tone right. I feel like I come across better. I enjoy it more with podcasting.
JESSICA: For sure! I think so many people have “write a book” on their bucket list. And it is really exciting to write a book, have that in print, and see it on a shelf. That’s a huge accomplishment.
And at the same time, you could have so much influence, you could spread your message so much quicker via podcast, or even just on social media. The point is: if you have something to say, just say it. You don’t have to wait to have a formal book to get that message out if you’re passionate.
ALLIE: You don’t have to have anyone’s permission with podcasting. You just do it and there you are.
JESSICA: Yeah, create your own job. I love it. Well, that’s awesome.
For people that didn’t listen to Episode 79 way back when, will you give a little background on yourself and your family, and talk about that viral post from so many years ago?
ALLIE: Oh my gosh, that was so crazy.
What I do online is I help women, especially mothers, simplify everything. I think that there’s clutter—physically and metaphorically—in our lives, and I think that in stereotypical mom culture, it’s just expected that it’s going to be crazy. It’s always going to be chaotic.
It’s a total crap shoot all the time and there’s really nothing you can do about it. But you better just “carpe all the diem’s” because it goes so fast. There’s this very chaotic, very stressful, mixed messaging that wasn’t working for me at all.
I had been on my own journey years ago when my son was a newborn, and he’s 9 now. So I started that journey when he was a baby and figured this out for myself. I had this moment where I just realized that all I was doing was reacting and I wasn’t really present.
And so, I started by removing physical clutter from my home, just because to be honest I didn’t have the mental space to think beyond that. But I could put things in trash bags, make decisions, and clear clutter out physically. Then, that led to everything else.
I started sharing my journey on my blog and ended up studying this, doing tons and tons of homes for free, working with widows, handicapped people, a mom with 11 kids that homeschooled in Utah, all these different people. And by doing that, I developed my method and my framework.
My method starts at home and goes through your calendar, how your life is feeling, your wellbeing, your mental and emotional health, your relationships, boundaries, and literally just decluttering your entire life.
When you and I met, I had written that viral blog post and I was at a point in my business where I thought, “Okay, I’ve got this down. I can see where it’s going, but I don’t have any eyes on me.”
I had a few hundred followers and that was great, but it was too slow. You know when you’re ready for big surge energy? I was ready. I knew this would change the world. I needed them to see it.
I had this idea of writing a viral blog post, so I started to wonder what causes virality. I started to study it. I wasn’t looking at silly virality, but I was studying stories that go viral. As I was looking, reading, and noticing the themes, I thought, “Well, this works because this is actually my life. My story is like this. I just need to tell it in a way that generates a lot of momentum.”
I spent months studying that and then I wrote a blog post and put it out there. Sure enough, it went viral after about two months. We were trending over the Trump/Hillary debate in 2016. And that’s when you and I connected.
JESSICA: I loved the content of the piece. It really connected with me. I didn’t know it was going to do that and neither did you.
You wanted it to go viral, but this was beyond. Within a month you were really somebody online. You were everywhere. And I thought, “Dang, that’s the same girl that I sat in my bedroom podcasting with.”
And you’re right. It connects at your core when you can really help people with this information. I think people are just so desperate for actionable steps.
I feel like so much information we get is just surface level, but we don’t know what to actually do to make change in our own lives. We just know we’re discontent, or our house is a mess, or we’re not cooking dinner, or we’re not present with our kids.
We can label the problem, but then what? I feel like you really helped to nail it down to what those next steps are. I think that’s why it resonated.
ALLIE: I think you’re right. And that’s my job. That’s how I see my job.
I’ve been there too. I had to climb out and it took me forever. I’m telling this story like it was a week, but it was years of struggling to figure it out.
The books that I read and everything that I was taking in at the time really wasn’t working. The message I was getting was that I could use some life-hacks to make things easier, but this is pretty much the way it’s supposes to be. It was like every mother on the planet decided that this is just the way it is and rolled back into a submissive position.
Maybe it’s my personality or something, but that wasn’t fun and it didn’t feel good. So I couldn’t get behind the belief that that was just it. That motherhood was all servitude all the time.
I wanted to play with my kids. I wanted to be present, be happy, shake the depression that was hanging over me, and not wake up each morning full of dread that I had to do it all again.
I’m all down for keeping the house together. My husband worked outside the home at the time (now he runs the business with me), and I was all for making sure he was good to go and being in that more supportive role. That was fine for a season.
But it didn’t need to be taking over everything all the time. The house should be the side note part of life. But the side note, the mundane pieces, had become the main event, all day, every day. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be.
And so, my job is to help the mom who doesn’t know how to change that. I want to get in the dirt with her, get down where she’s at, and tell her that it doesn’t have to be this way for one more second. And not only that, but she don’t have to struggle for years like I did, and so many others have.
I’m going to give her the shortcut version for her life and her home. That’s what I do. That’s my job.
JESSICA: That is so exciting. Here you were on this years-long journey to get to this point where you’ve decluttered your own life and developed these methods. And then in working with other people, I’m sure way more learning comes from that as well.
I’m curious, how does your life look different today? How have you decluttered even more? How have things evolved for you now that you’re years into this versus when you were in that initial gangbusters stage of whipping your home and life into shape?
ALLIE: I think I didn’t fully grasp exactly how much could change and how therapeutic it is to shift your house. I used to think it was all about “minimalism” and “decluttering” and those buzzwords.
Now, I’m actually in a place where I don’t even really call myself a “minimalist.” I don’t really care about the labels. I don’t care about the rules. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a ton of friends in that niche who seem to want to vibe with me very much.
JESSICA: Marie Kondo is not on your speed dial?
ALLIE: Not at the time. But you do whatever works for you. This message needs to get out there one way or another.
Sometimes the traditionally minimalist way isn’t relative enough. Whether it’s because we’ve got a lot of kids, a house that’s expansive, a lot of stuff going on in our lives, the rules and the check-ins and the keeping count of how many pairs of jeans or books we have just doesn’t work.
You’re a beautiful, wild woman. You live in your climate with your own family, your own lifestyle, your own eating style, your own everything. Who am I to tell you what you should have and what’s enough and what’s “minimalist”?
I threw all of that out maybe three years ago. I threw it out because I decided I was done with all the labels. Starting in the home is still the first part of my framework because I really believe it’s the best place to start. But it’s really a means to an end.
This isn’t to get organized. This isn’t for your house to always be clean, although those things will get so much better and that will happen. It’s more about the energy you get back, the time in your life you get back, the feeling that you’re raising your kids and you’re doing it so counter-culture. You’re the one that’s vibrant and alive and feeling so much better.
It gives you time to find what the other pieces to your purpose are. Maybe you are an author and you didn’t even know. Maybe you take up home educating and you really like it. Maybe you start taking care of your body and feeling better physically. Maybe you work on your marriage, bring sexy back, and improve all the things that have felt lifeless.
I feel like decluttering is so beautiful because it seems like it’s about one thing, but it opens up the sky to the possibilities of who you are that you didn’t know you could be. And that is such a gift. I have really shifted from the belief that decluttering is all about the home and aligning it with what you want it to be to the belief that aligning your environment with how you want to feel is a gateway into changing your entire life.
JESSICA: You are so gifted at speaking about this. Usually this topic brings some overwhelm and dread, but now I’m thinking that I can’t wait to go start. And that’s how you want people to feel. You want people to feel like it’s not just something to add to their to-do list.
It’s a matter of revising what you do in a day that literally brings you joy and is crafted in a way that is really living, not just going through the motions of living. And that’s what you’re all about.
ALLIE: Exactly. I want to help wake women up. I want to help them feel aligned with that best version of themselves. Remember when you were freshly, newly in love, everything was so sunny, and you felt so lifted up? There’s science behind that.
I’m in a program where I’m studying The Honeymoon Effect and how it changes our brains and how we can experience it all the time. I want to help women do that. I want to help them experience the feeling that they’re amazing and their family is beautiful and there’s so much more room for improvement and they have the energy to do that now.
Not that it’s all butterflies and unicorns but the things that need to change, the improvements they want to make, the things they’re unhappy with in their lives, they now have time and energy to do those things instead of just sitting down exhausted, being miserable that it’s not changing. I want to help women kick the dread and the drudge.
JESSICA: Exactly. Oh, I love that so much.
You have created lots of resources—online courses, coaching, mentoring, etc. Your newest project is your book, Declutter Like A Mother. It really walks you through this process. So, depending on how you like to consume media, there’s now something for everybody.
Let’s talk first about decluttering the physical space and then we’ll talk about where that will lead you. Let’s leave people with some tangible, actionable steps today.
So, something I have a problem with is I feel like I’m always decluttering. How do I always have trash bags of stuff to donate? I feel like I just did this. What are the fundamentals of decluttering your home space?
ALLIE: There are a lot of things I could say, but I’m going to focus on a little bit of grace. Of course there’s always stuff to declutter. Think about being a mom.
I want to make it clear that I have no intention of putting anyone down, but a lot of people in this space that I teach in are bachelors and don’t have a constant flow of chaos coming in. That’s why traditional minimalism doesn’t work for everybody. It doesn’t really work for moms.
Mothers have a constant stream of things coming in. Not just physical items, but decisions to make, questions being asked. It’s just constant. The output doesn’t match the input and that’s where overwhelm comes in.
Let’s focus only on the incoming physical clutter—stuff from school, paperwork, toys from the dentist office, toys from grandparents and loved ones, rewards for things, Sunday school things, baseball flyers. Whatever it is, things are constantly coming in. And that’s just from your kids. We’re not even talking about stuff from you, and things like the mail.
How many times do you pull into your driveway from being out all day and your passenger seat is loaded with things? Think about it. Every water bottle, every notepad, every new planner you’ve tried and didn’t finish, but feel weird throwing away because it was 50 bucks. Every package, every wrapper, everything.
It’s not you. You’re not bad at decluttering. It’s just that the input is constant because your life is constant.
But there are things you can do. You can put yourself on the ‘no junk mail’ list. You can literally just take pictures of every flyer your kids bring you and then throw them away in the trash. You can set it aside and sort through it on Sunday nights, which is what I do. You can figure out how to lighten that.
But even doing those things, I have items that come into my space on a regular basis just because people bring them to me, or they get delivered. Even now, in this Airbnb there are six packages from Amazon that I have to sort through. And if they just sit there, it gets super cluttered. So later today, I’ll have to sort through that.
This is where decluttering and rhythms go hand in hand. Here’s the thing, I’m super Type B. I am not a naturally organized person at all. I’ve had to learn all of this.
Because I’m Type B, I like to be spontaneous. I like to play. I don’t want structure. I rejected structure for so long.
But I’ve had to learn that having structure in key areas is the only way that I actually can go play, have fun, just work on my business when I’m inspired, take my kids to Legoland on the spur of the moment, etc. Because if not, there’s no clean underwear to go to Legoland. There’s no food to eat when we get home the next day.
It falls apart. And then I’m depressed, struggling, and always running myself into the ground. A little bit of structure in key places, bringing some rhythms in, which is basically just habitually doing the things that keep things running smoothly, the things that must happen.
You must have clean clothes for everyone to wear. You must have clean dishes to eat off of. You must have food to put on the dishes. You must check your mail and pay your bills.
The things that must happen are set into weekly rhythms or daily rhythms, whatever’s necessary for you. They’re reoccurring. That’s something that I teach in The Unburdened program.
Do you see how the framework comes together? It’s not just clutter. We’ve got rhythms. We’ve got your calendar. You’ve got your days going a little bit more smoothly. There’s no clutter.
Life and chaos can always be coming in, but the output is so much more automated and so much more full of ease and flow that you can handle it. You’re not stretched so thin all the time to where if one family drama occurs, it’s all over because you were already so stressed out.
Now, you have breathing space. You’re sitting in a meditative open palm position, (metaphorically). And when things happen, it’s okay, because you’re not already overwhelmed. You can deal with your mother-in-law issue. You can deal with your child having a really bad day at school and going to the principal’s office, because you’re not constantly like this.
JESSICA: That’s so good. I’m missing rhythms. That is what I’m missing.
I’m super good at getting rid of the stuff, collecting the stuff, and putting stuff away. But you’re right, as long as life keeps going and things keep coming in, things are going to need to keep going out.
And it’s getting your family on board with those rhythms, too. It’s not just me, right? I feel like I’m taking all ownership of the whole house and that is just not sustainable. It’s so draining. We need to get our kids involved, we need to get our husbands involved.
Loves, my first officially published book. Declutter Like A Mother is officially out! It’s not just pre-order, it’s not coming – it is here!
You can get it on Amazon. You can get it wherever you buy your books. You can get it at Barnes & Noble. You can get it at Target! You can get it at friggin’ Target!
It’s here! I am so, so excited and emotional! Declutter Like A Mother, a guilt-free, no-stress way to transform your home and your life is officially available for purchase everywhere books are sold!
Thank you guys for being with me in this, for being excited with me and for me, for pre-ordering the book, for buying it now, for buying it for your friends, for giving it for holiday presents this year. For everything that you have done and will do, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Thank you so, so much!
If you don’t know already, this book is going to change your freaking life, friends. It is so full of heart, soul, information, inspiration, practical tips, life hacks, and home hacks that are going to make you have so much more space, physically and metaphorically, for the things that really matter to you.
I could not be more proud of this book. I can’t wait for you to get it. Go get it wherever books are sold. It’s out now! Declutter Like A Mother. Let’s friggin’ celebrate this!
Make sure you take a picture of yourself with the book. I want to see your beautiful face too. And tag me on Instagram @allie_that’sme so we can celebrate together that we did it! The book is out and you’ve got it in your hands and we’re going to do this thing for real.
I love you guys so much. Thank you for being excited with me. Go get your copy or two or three or more of Declutter Like A Mother – the book! It’s officially out now!
JESSICA: Everybody needs to get onboard, be invested, and talking about what types of rhythms or systems would work, right? Not just saying this is the system and making them do it, but having them have input. Is that part of how you approach things?
ALLIE: Yes! One of the things that I teach all the time is bringing this into your family culture. For example, you right now have a family culture that’s unspoken, that everybody’s partaking in, around the way you guys eat. Your family culture around the way you eat could change as you discover food allergies and things, but everyone has their own.
I use this example all the time: I was watching a show called The Middle with Patricia Heaton. In that show, every single night the mom walks in from work and she has her arms full of McDonald’s or whatever fast food. She drops on the table and she yells, “I made dinner,” and the family comes in and eats. That is their family culture around food.
It would be very strange if Frankie Heck all of a sudden came in and made an amazing home cooked dinner. Her amazing dinners are takeout every night and that’s their family culture.
My family culture is different than that. Your family culture is different from mine.
These unspoken things, we have them around faith, we have them around the way we dress and it’s all unspoken.
You also have an unspoken family culture around the way the house runs. And from what you’re saying right now, it’s probably mostly you until you hit your wall, your energetic maximum, where there’s an explosion of mom-nagging, ranting, and yelling. Or some moms just suppress forever and they get super resentful.
There’s usually two types. I’m the yeller and my energetic maximum is real low.
JESSICA: I’m the resentful one. I’m the slow boil.
ALLIE: Either way it’s not working, right? Awareness is the first step to change. Awareness of your family culture. And then having the conversation, sitting down with whatever family members are old enough to know what’s going on.
My six-year-old is barely there, but all the other kids are plenty old enough. They all understand they need to help. And of course your spouse, if you’re married. Have those conversations.
Sunday night prep can be any night. I just call it that because that’s our night. This is when I pay all the bills. I’m looking at the mail. I open those photos I told you about—all the papers that I’ve snapped pictures of that were “to-do’s” throughout the week. I’m just looking at what’s going on that week. Baseball, pizza party next Saturday, etc. I’m just gathering.
Sunday night prep meeting is with the family. Brian and the kids all sit at a table with me and we go over what’s going on. Do you have anything to tell us? How is your schedule looking?
Is there any overlap? Do we need a sitter on any of the days I am working? I have this and need the house quiet for this interview. What are you guys going to do?
Okay, you’re going to go on a field trip. You’re going to do this. Bella has ballet, but Leland has baseball here. We need to tag-team. We’re going over everything.
Then we’re also talking about rhythms, chores, how things are going. Let’s look at the chore chart. Who’s missed out? Who’s not getting paid this week for doing their part? All of the things get handled during this hour-long session after dinner on Sunday night prep.
This brings in togetherness and teamwork to your family culture rather than the mom literally carrying everything and everyone for eternity and being so resentful. This stuff makes people physically ill. It’s not healthy.
JESSICA: Absolutely. I have four boys, but three that can talk. All three boys asked me different times what time something was. The first time I was nice, the second time I was a little less nice, and by the third time, I’m like, “Didn’t I already tell you?”
I hadn’t actually told that one, but I’d already said it three times. I can’t blame the one that wasn’t part of that conversation, but I was done so I also didn’t feel like I could blame myself, but I guess I could.
What you’re saying is everybody’s on the same page and that that’s going to save you so much time and energy. It might seem impossible that you could all get together at the same time. How can we devote an hour? We don’t have an hour. Well, think about how much time you waste during the week.
ALLIE: Yeah, you’re already doing it. You’re just usually in front of the TV or something.
If you have kids that are under 10 years old, we have time when we ‘touch base’ in the morning. I have so many tips, but I’ll start with this one. In the morning when everyone’s having breakfast I’ll say, “Okay, here’s a reminder that this is what our day is looking like: we’re going to have lunch together, not dinner. We’re going to do this and this and this. You’re getting babysat today at seven.”
We go over it one more time. And there’s a rule: If you didn’t hear, then you’re along for the ride.
I’ve got one kid that’s very Type A and needs all the details. He needs to understand everything and he will drive me up the effing wall if I don’t have boundaries. So I say, “Just a reminder, this is what we are doing.”
And I just need to say this for whoever needs to hear it: All of this stuff going on in my life that you see—my business, the book, the homeschooling, the wellness—you need to know that something in my life has to give all the time.
For example, breakfast is so lax in my house. Everyone’s on their own. My daughter, Bella, is 12. She does cereal. We get nutritious cereal, but it’s cereal.
I usually order a smoothie or make a smoothie. I don’t really do a big breakfast. Lunch is similar with snack plates, protein plates full of random things that they put together, or sandwiches. Dinner is where I really pour in, and even that sometimes is takeout.
You have to know where to put your energy. If you’re a mom with a special needs child that has to have a very specific diet that requires you to cook every meal from scratch, your give is going to come from somewhere else.
I always want to throw that out there, that it’s not like, “And then everything was perfect. And I just did everything wonderfully.” You’re picking and choosing and there’s always something that will give. Your power is that you get to decide what that is.
When you’re in reactive mode—you’re stressed out, you’re way too overwhelmed, you’re putting way too much on you—you’ve given up your power. Now you’re just reacting to everything day-to-day. Snapping at your kids, snapping at the UPS guy because he rang the doorbell when you were trying to do something quiet. And you hate yourself.
But when you’re in a responsive mode, you’re in charge. You’ve got structures where you need them. You’ve got rhythms supporting you. Your house isn’t working against you, it’s actually working with you.
Then, you’re in your power. You’re responsive. And you’re the one deciding what gives and what doesn’t give.
JESSICA: The fact that you had to learn this for yourself and that this doesn’t come naturally for you will give a lot of people a lot of hope, I think. It’s one thing to see these organizers with all the bins and everything and that’s their passion. That’s their strength. That’s what comes naturally to them. And that’s great. That’s great for them.
A lot of the time, natural strengths work for us. But we can’t pretend that those things aren’t hard for us because there are other things that are, and then we can’t feel like total failures about the other part.
So I love that this mattered to you, getting your life in order in this way. It’s a snowball effect. It really is because it’s infiltrated every part of your life.
But it’s through a lot of intention that you were able to craft this culture, this life, and then in turn you have been able to grow your business, be present with your kids, and on and on. I think that’ll give a lot of people a lot of hope that you don’t just have to be naturally good at these things. It just takes intention.
ALLIE: It doesn’t really have anything to do with natural skill. Those with those natural skills are here to teach us and we can learn from them, but sometimes what someone is teaching isn’t going to work for you. But that doesn’t mean you’re just doomed to always be a crap show.
You just need to take the end result the person with natural skills is getting and find a way to get there yourself. It’s really about being open to learning and growing. And I’m here for those people. There are other options. There’s always another way to figure it out for you.
JESSICA: I heard from a mom whose goal for the year was to cook a hot breakfast every morning. And I thought for one split second, “Should I be doing that? Are you better because you do that or does that really, really matter?”
It was literally a split second because then I thought, “Oh no, I don’t care. I don’t care about that. But I do care about blank and this is how I’m gonna spend my time instead.”
But if hot breakfast matters to you and that is a real meaningful family time, then do that! But you really get to decide.
And a lot of what you share too, I think is so great because I think we do things naturally sometimes that are working for our families and we think that’s just the way it is and it’s nothing special.
But like you said, just having a system, like eating cereal where your 12-year-old can facilitate that. Just sharing that, a lot of people listening are probably like, “Oh, well that’s what we do. And it’s working great for us.”
But just by saying it you’re giving people permission that that can be a system and you can be like, “Amazing, breakfast done!”
ALLIE: Yeah. It’s a system because it works. I love that you shared that about the mom with hot cereal because we don’t know what her situation was.
Maybe she realized because of her work schedule or her husband’s work schedule that they’re never going to have family dinners. It’s just not going to happen. And so she’s like, “Okay, this is my life hack. We’re going to have a hot breakfast every morning.”
I’ve done that when my husband worked and he would go in early or so late and then be gone all night. We can’t compare. We have to just be inspired by the fact that she’s taking ownership of her life and changing something and making a goal, and realize, “I realize that I’m feeling self-conscious because I’m maybe jealous that she’s doing that and that I feel like I should, but I don’t want to do that. However, I have been really annoyed that I never get a chance to do yoga. So I’m going to find a way to fit yoga in every day.”
You know what I mean? We can take our jealousy or whatever we’re projecting onto someone else or the insecurity it brings up in us and use it grow.
JESSICA: Those triggers and defensiveness are a great learning tool. Okay, this is bothering me for a reason. What is it?
And if you can do cold cereal for your kids and you can do yoga instead, or you could do hot breakfast in the morning and have that bonding time because everyone’s going a thousand directions at night, it’s all good. It’s all good.
That’s why I love what you teach so much. I feel like for a lot of systems that I’ve tried in the past, we are so good for a few days, a week, maybe a little bit longer, but then it fizzles and people start backsliding.
So, what happens with the backsliding? What’s the problem? Is it the weekly check-in that’s going to help us to stay on top of it? How do I not backslide?
ALLIE: I like that you brought that up because that is my favorite thing about the Sunday night prep. This is the thing, you’re kind of changing a lot at once, which is tough. And everyone says to just work on one thing at a time.
Well, you can’t really, because it’s all connected. Mom’s lives are like a plate of spaghetti. Every noodle is touching the other noodles.
And if you change one thing, it affects something else. And that’s actually good. If you change one thing, it’s affecting all the other things.
But it can be overwhelming at the same time because your norm has shifted in pretty much every area. What I love to teach is to just determine and decide right now that you’re going to do the Sunday night prep and put it in your calendar.
My Sunday night prep in my calendar. I haven’t ever changed it from when I first set it. It goes off relentlessly.
I have it set for Saturday night to remind me that tomorrow is Sunday night prep. It goes off five hours before, three hours before, two hours before, 30 minutes before. I can’t get away from Sunday night prep. I had it like that when I was forming the habit nine years ago and it just still does it. We never, ever miss it.
If we do technically miss it, it just moves to Monday morning because I don’t work Mondays. There’s that wiggle room. It’s very easy for me to just do Monday morning. But either way, weekly prep always happens. If you could just do that, then you’ve got that cemented and then eventually you’ll see how much better you feel.
One of my daily rhythms is every night as the kids are getting ready for bed, I start a load of laundry so that I can change it in the morning and then finish it after lunch. So every day there’s a load of laundry getting done and I’m never behind. And if I do go on a trip or get sick or fall behind, it’s not catastrophic because I usually am on it.
Things like that will come into play naturally because you’ve already taught your brain, tricked your brain into it with your calendar. I’m at least doing this weekly thing every week. If you’re doing check-in and there’s nothing to check in on, you’re going to be realize that you better start doing your stuff. Then you can go from there and create rhythms.
Exactly how many rhythms to start with, how many daily, how many weekly, and exactly what to do because you can life hack it and basically be someone who’s habitual, even if you’re not naturally that way. You’re getting the benefits of being that kind of personality without having to change your personality.
JESSICA: And like you said, by having systems in place and holding yourself to them, it creates a freedom, right? You can still be that spontaneous, fun mom that you want to be and have that flexibility. But before you were so frazzled, running late, and not prepared that I bet even those fun times felt burdensome.
ALLIE: And it’s not worth it. For example, if we go to Legoland for a day and I know the whole time I’m there that I am going to have to pay a price for this and the price is being so overwhelmed, having to catch up, being pissed off at my family the next day, shooing them away from me, putting them in front of the TV, running the clock trying to get it all done, it’s not worth it.
There are always going to be catch up days. But when you’re living a life of always trying to catch up, it’s exhausting. You have no breathing space. It’s not sustainable.
JESSICA: Yes! I love your point of prepping for the prep meeting, right? If you just show up on Sunday night and you don’t know what you need to talk about, that’s not productive, right? You’re not using that time well.
But when you know that tomorrow night you’re going to check in, you can make sure that you have everything you need to be ready for that prep meeting. What do you want to address? What systems aren’t working? What do you need to bring up?
I always say to do at least one thing the night before that will set you up for success the next morning. My kids sleep in their school clothes. I have all boys. They literally wear pajama type athletic wear to school, so it’s easy. They don’t sleep in pajamas; they sleep in their clothes and that’s great.
Whether it’s packing lunches, whatever the systems are that work for you, do something to set yourself up for success and don’t be caught off guard. There’s so much that’s repetitive in our lives, there’s no reason to be caught off guard.
ALLIE: There’s not. The caught-off-guard moments, those will come. But then you’ll be able to handle it. When you’re making yourself susceptible to catching up every day, it’s not sustainable.
And the thing is something will give. It’s just the law of nature. And guess what it’s going to be?
It’s going to be your mental health. It’s going to be your emotional wellbeing. It’s going to be your relationships. It’s going to be the most important things to you because you didn’t take the most important things, that inner priority list, and put it in the external reality of the way you’re living.
So, those things get hurt first. You’ll be running around, getting all the laundry, getting all this stuff done, but you’re going to be struggling in your priorities. And those are the things you need to be protecting the most.
JESSICA: What is a rhythm or system that has been the biggest game changer in your life and in the life of your family?
ALLIE: I don’t know if this will apply to everyone, but it’s the switch I made to have my mornings open. I don’t do any work, any PR until 11 in the morning. I have the whole morning open.
I call it my morning ritual and it’s my favorite rhythm. It’s a daily rhythm. Every morning I do some movement. I love Pilates. I finally found a workout that I don’t hate.
My rhythm is waking up. I do Pilates. I hydrate. I have a cup of mud water, which is like a coffee replacement, an herbal thing.
I take it slow. I read a book. I’m with the kids. They’ll have cereal over there while I’m sitting here.
We’re together and just talk. We’re going over the day. It’s an ease and flow start to the day.
It is a rhythm because the things I’m doing are rhythmic but the shift really happened when I started blocking out my mornings instead of waking up and opening up my email and basically letting whoever emailed me, texted me, or sent me a message on Voxer, decide how I start my day. I took that ownership back.
JESSICA: I totally get it. Sometimes it’s just making that chunk, blocking it off and making it to where nothing else exists here besides whatever I decide to put into it. That is so good.
Where do you put your phone at night?
ALLIE: Well, we’re at an Airbnb right now so it does just charge next to my face right now, which I hate. But normally, my husband charges his phone on the side of our room and mine is downstairs, away from me.
JESSICA: I figured. Mine is next to my face. Okay. We’re going to work on that.
Allie, this is so good! Declutter Like A Mother the book, where can people find it? And where can they find all the other courses and everything that you have to offer?
ALLIE: All the resources that I’ve spent years developing, the method and everything is outlined in the program, you just go to alliecasazza.com and browse there in the shop. The shop is all online products. There’s nothing physical.
Everything is in my framework. It’s going to change your life. Just say yes to what fits.
The book is available everywhere books are sold. It will be in Target. It is an audio book that I recorded myself. There are different things in the audio book. I changed some of it as I was recording, as I was inspired, and added things. It’s exclusive and different than the other books.
It’s on Amazon. Whatever works for you, it’s available for you and ready to help you get lighter.
JESSICA: I love it. I find it interesting that you dedicated your book to your younger self, which is awesome and the perfect way to end this podcast. I always ask my guests one final question: What would you tell your pre-motherhood self?
ALLIE: That is so emotional. At this point in my life, speaking to her now, I would tell her not to buy into the belief that you have to do this the way that everyone else says you do.
JESSICA: That’s so good. Thank you, Allie. Congratulations on your book! I’m going to go check out your website today because that Unburdened program sounds like what I need right now.
Thanks Allie! It’s great to have you back. Congratulations on all your success and let’s hear it for a great school year for all of our kids!
ALLIE: Amen! Thank you.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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