This conversation comes from The Connected Mom Life podcast, hosted by Emily Siegel. Emily has been in my audience for several years. She’s just an amazing human being. This is not a surface interview. We go really, really deep. You are absolutely going to come out the other side of this episode feeling lighter. You’ll have new ideas for taking action in a way that feels good and isn’t stressful. Let’s jump in!
In this episode, Allie and Emily discuss:
- Decluttering your home
- Decluttering your brain
- How decluttering giving you space for connection to yourself and others.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
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, love! Welcome to The Purpose Show podcast. I’m Allie. I’m so happy to have you here with me today.
It means so much to me when you guys make me a part of your day and take time for yourself to listen and get inspired. And this episode is definitely going to get that done for you. I’m so excited to share it with you!
This is another one of the times where I did an interview on someone else’s podcast and they just did such an incredible job asking questions that not everyone asks and bringing out a beautiful, intentional conversation. It was just too good for me to not pass it along and share it on my own show so you can benefit in the fullest way possible as well.
This conversation comes from The Connected Mom Life podcast, hosted by Emily Siegel. Emily has been in my audience for several years. She’s really, really just an amazing human being. I really loved connecting with her.
I’m telling you, she knows how to lead a conversation, bring out really good points, draw out what needs to be drawn out to make the conversation so intentional and so beneficial to the listener. I really, really respect people who can be really great interviewers, honor my time by asking questions that go deep and are not the stereotypical questions everyone else asks, and really make it so beneficial for you, the listener, and not a waste of your time.
This is not a surface interview. We go really, really deep. We dive into a lot of different things. We do talk about clutter, but it’s in this light that’s my favorite way to talk about it.
You are absolutely going to come out the other side of this episode feeling lighter. Your brain is going to be working. You’ll have new ideas, new ways of doing things and taking action in a way that feels good and isn’t stressful. You’ll just be releasing expectations.
We cover so much. We cover friendship. We cover connection to self. We cover marriage. We cover so much.
This is such a good episode. Thank you Emily, for having me on The Connected Mom Life podcast. Guys, go listen to her show if you love podcasts as much as I do. And enjoy this conversation!
EMILY: Hey Allie! Welcome to The Connected Mom Life podcast!
ALLIE: Hi Emily! Thank you so much for having me on and sharing your platform with me.
EMILY: I’ve been following you for a few years and I’ve just loved your heart. I loved your mission. I loved everything that you were shouting from the rooftops on your podcast, on Instagram, in your courses, and now in your new book. I’m super excited for those who listen here to get to officially meet you.
ALLIE: Thank you so much.
EMILY: I want to dive in today and talk with you about your mission and your heart for women, because obviously I love that. One of my favorite things is that in every episode on your podcast, you say, “I am on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. Stop the mom guilt and shame game…” (Yes, please!) “And stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it.”
Oh, I just love it! I want to know: how did you get here? I feel like all of us who are super passionate about spreading any kind of message have all had our own level of breaking points with that message.
I’d love to hear about what brought you here. What brought you to this place of spreading this from the rooftops?
ALLIE: Yeah, you’re right. I think the most passionate people with the loudest messages, their messages come from pain. And that’s why, even if it’s healed pain, we’re so all in.
For me, that comes from being a mom of really little kids and really feeling like, “I don’t want to be a mom anymore, and that scares me. I didn’t know it was going to be like this.”
I felt stuck. I felt trapped. I felt controlled by expectations, both from my own self, other people, and the culture and society I live in.
I felt panicked. I was trying to seek help, read online, read books. I asked other people that were ahead of me in life, It gets better, right? Do you have any tips? This is really, really hard.
And, of course, I was watering down the level I was at to be socially acceptable. What I really was saying was, I’m absolutely depressed. I don’t want to wake up in the morning. When I do wake up, I’m full of dread. I am exhausted for a day that hasn’t even started yet. And that’s a really bad feeling. I feel resentful toward my husband and my children. Could you please help me?
Of course we don’t really say that, but that’s what I was feeling. The message that I got from everywhere was that this is motherhood, and good freaking luck. It’s just coffee til wine, and then it’s nine and the kids are in bed and you get a minute.
We just stay up super late and sleep deprive ourselves. That’s our only form of silence and peace. And then you do it over again. And then it gets even worse when they’re teenagers, so just you wait. But at the same time, carpe diem! Because it goes so fast.
It was this message of hopelessness. Everything is a crap show all the time and there’s no escape from it. So, of course, I got deeper in depression, hopelessness, and despair because that’s the messaging from motherhood.
Even hot mess mom culture jokes about all of that. When things are funny, it’s because there’s truth to it. I think it’s a deflection strategy to laugh because we’re all just not showering, not peeing alone, and not taking any time for ourselves because it is considered selfish.
We’re just trying to get through it so we have to have this comradery and laugh about it. We have to have this hot mess mom stereotype that we all subscribe to because what else are we going to do? I don’t know if it’s my personality type or just where I was at in life or what, but I got really angry about that.
I remember literally making a decision. I remember digging my heels into the ground and thinking, “No! I’m not going to subscribe to that. I will find another way. I believe I’m here to live abundantly. I believe I have a purpose inside motherhood and outside of it that can co-exist together. I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s not being a disaster, cleaning up after a life I’d rather be living, and counting the minutes until bedtime, which means I’m basically counting down the minutes till the next time my kids are away from me.
We all have those days, but you don’t want to set up camp there, raise your kids there, do marriage there, do your life there. If you are listening to this and you are not sure or you don’t agree, open up and look and you will notice it. You will see it.
It is the messaging in the media. It is the messaging in movies, TV, in our society, at the park with friends, even at church groups. Things that are supposed to be full of hope are full of gossiping, full of negativity, full of despair. It’s so heavy.
It’s so heavy. And we’re all just carrying that while we are supposed to be fine, stay fit, keep our sex drives up, and maintain everything perfectly. And we can’t mess up because it will be our fault for sure. But we also need to enjoy every moment.
I had had it with that. I solved that problem in my own life with really practical things that I’ve figured out and really hard, deep, inner work. I started with the practical things because I didn’t know what else to grab at that point. That was almost ten years ago.
Now, there’s a business and a method that, with hindsight, I’ve developed for women to not have to do all of that. I’m giving them a shortcut to make things lighter and make sense for themselves.
EMILY: As you were talking, I was just thinking about how I have a daily affirmation I say and it’s, I am a present and patient mom.
For years, I thought that I was technically present because I was there physically. But I really did that deeper inner work of asking myself, But mentally, what am I thinking about right now when I’m with my kids?
Sometimes I’m thinking about the next time I’m going to be away from them. And I think those times are always really good clues for me that something’s probably a little off here.
ALLIE: I love that you brought that up. Can I just dive into that for a second? I want this to be so practical for listeners.
First of all, thank you for saying that. I feel like a lot of times when I do interviews, I’m the one admitting stuff and the other person is withholding because it’s hard and vulnerable. They’re so withheld and I can feel it.
Let’s just share together. What are the thoughts that you really are having? It is so hard. We’re not all past the hard part. Sometimes we’re in it or it still comes up. I love that you shared that.
Here’s the thing. I have those thoughts right now. I normally homeschool my kids. They literally are going to school now and I am so happy that they’re not here.
It’s all good. We’re not getting rid of the stress and grabbing onto the carpe diem part of that hot mess mom message. It’s okay.
It’s normal to have those thoughts. It’s normal to want those breaks. It’s normal to want space. It’s normal to be agitated. It’s normal to get resentful. But what we do with those things?
Let me give you an example… If I’m having that thought, If I’m literally counting down until the next time they are away from me, why do I feel that way?
Well, I’m launching a book. I just moved across the country. I’m not eating any of my normal foods that make me feel good. I feel like crap. I’m exhausted.
My mattress is still on the floor. All of my dressers are back ordered. I can’t put my clothes anywhere. Everything is a mess and my environment affects me. That’s what I do. I know that. It’s affecting me.
So, of course, I’m wanting my kids to be away. I want a break. My kids going somewhere else represents a respite, which I desperately need. I understand that. That makes sense for me.
I love and accept myself and who I am as a mother. I understand where those feelings come from. I didn’t even try to change it. I noticed it. I’m observing it and accepting myself despite that.
Do you see the difference there versus that unconscious judgmental mother inside of us who is thinking, You shouldn’t feel that way. You’re supposed to be soaking it up.
It’s not about that. It’s about what you do with it.
EMILY: I love that perspective because typically that is a sign that I need rest. And that maybe there’s too much going on in my life. I need to see if there is a way to create more space. I’m physically here, but I’m not mentally here.
That tells me I have a lot going on. Every time I think that, I’m like, Okay, now what do I need to solve? There’s too much going on so I need to remove things.
I think there’s a time and place for that and that there’s also a time and place to be like, Yep, there is a lot going on and that’s why my brain is doing this. But I actually can’t do much about what all is going on. It is what it is and I’m not wrong for feeling this.
EMILY: You mentioned that you started with the tangible, whatever you could grab onto, because that was all you knew before all the deeper inner work in your process and journey. So, where did you tangibly start? What was practical for you when you were in that depth of despair?
ALLIE: I also want to say that survival mode is normal. There’s a time and place for it. You just don’t want to do life there.
Most moms are setting up camp and raising their families in survival mode pretty much every week. There might be some good days, good little mini seasons, but they’re pretty much doing life in survival mode.
When I get into survival mode, I go right to the same thing because it just works. It’s so therapeutic and easy. When we get to this time, we need ease and flow.
I started with my physical environment. There was a day in that time, 9/10 years ago, where I just was like, I’m done. What do I need to do? God? Hello? Universe? Look alive! I’m drowning. And I hate this. What am I missing? What’s going on
I wanted to have an aerial perspective so I could see clearly and I felt like I got that. I saw myself just cleaning up all the time, reacting to everything, reacting to everything that the kids did or needed, reacting to the house.
I felt like I was working for my house and I’m paying for it, so that’s off. This is supposed to be a space that supports me. I just kinda got mad because it was so practical.
It wasn’t philosophical. It wasn’t this big epiphany download of just getting closer to God or getting closer to the inner you. I was literally constantly cleaning up and not even living my freaking life.
And so, I was half annoyed that it was such a practical realization and half relieved because I could do something about it. That night I got my kids in bed, grabbed a box of trash bags, and I just started getting rid of stuff, putting stuff in the bags that was useless.
What is this random McDonald’s toy from God only knows how long ago? Why is it not only here in my house, but on the floor in the way? One of the kids got this out and they don’t even know it’s here.
My oldest was three and I had three under three at that time, so it was just needless toys that were hindering their imaginations, keeping them from playing. They’d walk into the playroom, dump everything out, come out two seconds later, bored. It wasn’t working.
So, I purged mostly kids’ toys. I also did some of my wardrobe that night. I just got rid of stuff that wasn’t serving us anymore and I continued to do that.
The next day was so much lighter. I physically felt it. There were some key differences in how my day went that next day—how the kids played, how I felt—so I knew that I was onto something and I just kept going.
I had a blog. I was sharing on the blog and other people said, “I tried this too, and this is working.”
I addressed the environment first. This is what I do. I have studied this. There’s scientific studies, there’s data. Now I understand it.
Dealing with my environment first really created space for all the other stuff. Without creating physical space, I would not have had metaphorical space to go to therapy, to pray, to meditate, to find that I love Pilates and yoga.
I find that when I move my body in that way, I feel so good. I often will process things that are hard in my life through that movement. How would I know that as a mom of really little kids? I had four born in five years. How would I? There’s no way.
The act of creating physical space creates all the other space. And so, that’s where I have people start—the physical environment.
There’s a quote by Marshall Goldsmith that says, If you do not create and control your environment, your environment creates and controls you. That is exactly what happened to me all those years ago. That’s what I figured out slowly, the hard way. My environment was a mess, so I was a mess.
It is not about organization or even really minimalism. Throw out all the buzzwords. Just look at it. Are you working for your house or does your house work for you? What’s going on?
Clutter is nothing more than unmade decisions and a physical manifestation of what’s going on internally. It’s a reflection. So what is it telling you? Do something about that and then you are beginning to make space to clear up all the other stuff. Does that make sense?
EMILY: Yeah, it does. I think back on some of the early days in our marriage, my husband would often, all of a sudden, have to clean the house that minute. It took me a couple of years to understand what that was. I finally realized he has some stress and the best way to take care of it is to have a cleaner environment, or a more clear environment.
Now I actually function the same way. I wasn’t quite there pre-kids, but I am now that we have kids.
ALLIE: It will bring it out of you. I also wanted to say that I love when people bring up what you just said about your husband. That happens a lot. They’ll notice that about their spouse because we can observe others so much better than we can observe ourselves.
When your husband is like that, it may seem messy. It may seem angry and aggressive. But people like that are actually more in tune with what they need.
And it’s often with men, which I think is so interesting. Women tend to just think, It’s just kind of all messy. I feel like crap and I just need everything to be better. I don’t even know what it is.
But a lot of the time women will tell me that their spouses do that and have to like clean up right then. It’s interesting because that’s what you naturally need. You’re being affected by your environment, even if it’s subconsciously.
To have the clarity to naturally know you’re gonna feel better if your environment is different, on some level, don’t we all feel that way? Nobody loves living in a disaster zone. It’s interesting that some people are more like, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m going to start here and everyone’s going to help me right now.
I’m like that. It’s just like right away I need that quick hit of feeling like I won something. I got something cleaned up. And even if everything else is a disaster, that feels better.
EMILY: He’s going to love that. I’m going to tell him that because he’s going to say, See! I’m in tune. Because I’m always saying, Okay, I think something else might be going on that maybe we should talk about.
ALLIE: Studies show it over and over and over again. They try to disprove it like it must be something else. The environment is just a reflection. And when we deal with that first, it brings waves of therapeutic rest from what was going on. It is so good for you to declutter.
EMILY: We also now have a routine on Saturday mornings. We both work normal corporate jobs Monday through Friday. On Saturday mornings I make coffee, we sit down and enjoy it. Then we do a sweep through the house because it just sets us up so much better for the weekend. I’m a huge believer in decluttering.
So, one other thing that I have found to be kind of an ah-ha moment around this concept of decluttering is originally when I found you, I was like, Oh no, Allie, I’m good. You should see underneath my sinks. I have these beautiful shoe box containers, those clear shoe box containers that are labeled.
What I realized was that basically every time stuff feels out of order to me, I buy more tubs to organize. And you say, No, this isn’t organization. We actually have to get rid of stuff because you still have to maintain the things you’re organizing.
That has been a huge ah-ha for me. Do you find that a lot with the women you work with?
ALLIE: Oh yeah. Look, you just did it again. You’re doing the same thing that your husband does, but you just do it differently. You need things to look pretty. You want it to look better because the visual is affecting you.
If anyone listening has a personality that really loves order, you really love organization, more power to you. I am not. I’m spontaneous and messy and very Type B. I don’t mind a mess.
I just don’t want it to be clutter. Things can be out, but I don’t want clutter in my house. It’s not good for you.
We want to look at the habit and ask, Is it helping you to organize everything instead of really looking at what’s staying? Maybe not. Let’s take that habit you have when you feel like, Oh my gosh, I just need everything to look better. Let’s make it look better.
I love a good aesthetic, but also we don’t want to be organizing junk, because what takes up your space takes up your time. You’re spending time organizing things you could’ve gotten rid of but you just didn’t feel like exerting the energy to make decisions about it. Clutter is just unmade decisions. Now you’re just organizing things and you’ve wasted that time.
You’re still going to be spending the same amount of time, if not more, because you still have the same amount of stuff. But now you feel like you have the expectation to organize it into all the pretty bins you’ve got. We could have just cut that time out altogether, giving you that time back.
Time is the non replenishable resource. You could’ve gotten more of that in your life, organized what’s staying in bins that look pretty, saved time, and liked your space better, which is a win/win/win versus win/lose/lose.
EMILY: I’ve definitely felt the win/lose/lose, particularly when I was putting all those nice McDonald toys in one of those shoe boxes. I thought, Okay, maybe this is a limit.
ALLIE: So much grace for everyone. You’re just learning. Maya Angelou says, You can’t really do better until you know better. So, know better do better.
It’s all a process. Motherhood is a beautiful process. Life is a beautiful process. And we’re all just here doing our best.
I’m just here to say, Hey, I have a hack for you. It’s literally gonna rock your world and change the way that motherhood goes for you in the best way.
For anyone listening, there’s no need to feel like, Oh, I should have been doing this. Or, how dumb of me to not realize that. Everything I’m saying is hindsight.
EMILY: You talk about how decluttering started changing everything for you. It was the first step. This show is all about connection and I’m curious, how did you notice that when you started decluttering? How did that start impacting the different relationships in your life?
ALLIE: Oh, I love this question. Thank you for asking it. I think the biggest thing that I noticed and the quickest thing that I noticed was my relationship with myself.
I was just talking to my husband about this this morning. We were talking about how we resist stillness because it’s scary. But in stillness, clarity comes and things can release.
I feel like I created stillness in my life and I noticed right away, even that first day. There was a big difference right away. I was introduced to a little bit of stillness. And for a mom that is told that your worth is in how much chaos you’re handling and how well you handle it, which we’re all told by society, being still was terrifying and riddled with guilt.
I didn’t know what to do with it. I did not know myself at that time at all. I had such a far journey to walk with that. That was only the first day. I went months and months and kept creating this lightness in my life.
I noticed right away a need to fill the space. I started overeating. I started wanting to fill the days, fill the moments, fill the cracks with something, anything.
I’m pretty self-aware. I stopped doing that and noticed, Okay, I have stillness. What am I going to do with it?
That was when I started meditating and praying more, connecting with myself more. That’s when I found yoga. That was when I really threw myself into blogging and obviously that changed my life.
Because of my relationship with myself, my connection with myself, because I had space to get stronger, the next thing I noticed was my relationship with my husband. I can just paint a quick picture of before and after for you guys.
Brian, bless him, he worked 14-16 hour days, six days a week, sometimes seven. If he could physically keep going, he would take overtime and keep going. He worked so much to support our family. And I would mentally think, Okay, he’s gonna come home. This is how I want it to go. This is how I want it to be.
I would get myself together. And when he would walk in the door he was so safe for me, everything would just come out. It would be the opposite of what I dreamed up in my mind.
I would say, Are you seriously going to sit down? Can’t you see that I’ve been going all day? Can’t you see that I need help?
I would project and throw up all over him, obviously metaphorically, and just lose it. And then I’d realize that that’s not what I wanted to do. That was what it was day after day.
And then after I realized, Oh my God, all of my stuff is processed because I had a minute today. Or if I didn’t get a minute, because kids are still kids. Decluttered or not, it’s still chaotic. I was still able to be present, mindful, and aware as I went through my day, rather than just running the clock to the next thing.
I was a whole human being. I talked to God, connected with myself, moved my body, took a walk with the kids, and then ran around, got them food, made them snacks, and changed diapers. I did all the things, but I was just so much more breathing and grounded, I guess.
I noticed when my husband would come home, it wasn’t that I wanted to be like the little wife and do anything for him. I really was hungry for connection and so was he. The chaos of our home and our life before stole that from us. Now I had space for that.
We started eating dinner together really late when he’d get home. I even had mental space to think, Oh, I don’t have to make two meals. I can just put it in the Crock-Pot at lunch. It’ll be ready by the time he gets home late and we can eat together. I can serve the kids earlier. Oh my God!
I just had the mental space to figure it out and make my own self lighter. We would watch The Office together and talk and hang out. It all got better because of that original connection to myself that I got back.
EMILY: It’s like night and day, and all because you are literally creating space. Not just figuratively. It truly creates that mental space.
ALLIE: Yes, exactly.
EMILY: Yeah. I felt that so much too.
I love how you talked about how he was safe, so you were able to unleash all the junk that was happening. I think a lot about how our homes are our nests and we want people to feel safe there and then go out into the world being the best selves they can be. But it can sometimes be such a tricky thing because home is safe, so sometimes we find ourselves not bringing our best there.
It’s like I need to take my best and do that at work, or do that out in public. This is a safe place for me to process. But at the same time, if we can take care of ourselves and find the ability to do that, we can bring our best to both places.
And then our home can fill us up to be the best for others out there too. But it’s hard. It’s hard to figure out.
ALLIE: Yeah, it is hard. And it’s okay that it’s hard. Let’s simplify it.
What is the one next right step you could take that would make a little bit of lightness come into your life? When you feel lighter it trickles to your family and your other relationships. So what’s just one thing you could take it off your plate, delegate, or just let it go because maybe it doesn’t need to get done and you’re too hard on yourself?
What’s just one thing you could simplify that would bring in lightness? And then, once that’s down, do one more next thing. One little nibble at a time.
You don’t need to do it all right now. I didn’t do it all in one day. It’s just one next step to make things lighter.
EMILY: I think that’s so important to talk about. I mentioned to you earlier that I talk a lot about friendship. I think people get overwhelmed thinking about all the steps it takes to make a friend, the amount of consistency that it is going to require in the midst of busy mom life.
We think, I’m just not even going to start trying because it’s another thing. But just take that next step.
I think a lot about how decluttering can change everything in our relationships. I have felt that in the same ways—reconnecting with myself, my kids, my husband. The other thing I found is that it does help with my friendships too, because I have the mental space to even think about who I would invest in and how. I have the ability to send that text. It really does change everything.
I think about my friends who have a harder time reaching out or keeping our connection alive and I’ve just taken it on. And I’m fine with that. But I also look at their home life and it is so chaotic. My husband would often joke in a nice way, I hope, after going to some of our friend’s houses that they’ve got a lot of stuff and their life also sounds very chaotic.
I always want to come over there with trash bags and tubs and make this better for them. This doesn’t have to be your normal.
ALLIE: I don’t know if this actually got cut from the book or not, so forgive me if I say this and it’s actually not in there, but I believe in my book there’s this analogy about a child pulling a wagon, adding a boulder, and trying to go uphill and it’s like, just ditch the rocks! You know what I mean? We do that to ourselves.
We add these boulders to our wagon and we’re going up the hill and it’s so heavy, but we think it’s more impressive if we have all these boulders in there. It’s more impressive if I have a big house full of stuff.
It’s more impressive if I accomplish all of these things all the time, versus just having a season where you hustle and then rest. We do this to ourselves.
I think people also don’t have the self-awareness to know that it’s okay to just not, because that’s how they were raised or that’s how their house has always been. Or, people don’t even realize this and it’s totally unconscious, but they believe that their worth is wrapped up in how chaotic their life is because that means they’re able to handle it. It’s hard to watch once you realize. Once you’ve healed.
EMILY: I don’t know if you’ve seen this but there’s a blog post that circulates every once in a while and it’s like, Yeah, my house is messy, but I’m present with my kids. That one gets me every time. And I think, Am I a bad mom because I prioritize keeping a clean house? I don’t judge you for your messy house, can I just have a clean house and be a good mom too?
ALLIE: It’s my least favorite thing, because it’s just perpetuating the message that you’ve got to pick. And there’s going to be an absolute disaster in your life somewhere. And good for you that you’re such a good mom, such a good martyr that you picked the house.
No! No, to the disaster. No, to subscribing to the mess. No, to saying, I’m a mess. My environment is a mess. Everything’s a mess. But I’m present. No, you can’t be present when your environment is a mess. It is scientifically impossible.
I’m glad you brought that up because it upsets me. I get all riled up because this is the messaging. I get messages all the time from women fighting me and saying things like, Hot mess mom culture is funny. Just relax.
Well, it’s funny because it’s true. Of course it’s funny. But just because you’re laughing at something doesn’t mean you want to subscribe to it, move into it, set up camp, raise your babies in it, and have it be your reality every day.
Or they’ll say, Well, it comforts me. It makes me feel like I’m not alone. Well, you’re not alone because you’re not alone. But I love you too much to be like, Yeah, good luck. No!
Let’s brainstorm together. Let’s talk together. Let’s be in survival mode and then let’s get the hell out of there. Let’s not stay.
If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. And my message is certainly not for everyone. I’ve seen that over the last five years, more than anything, and that’s fine. But I will not stop saying that we have to unsubscribe from the I just have to make the choice and, look, I made the holy choice of my kids.
You are going to be so much better if your environment is supporting you. And it is not about messy. It is not. It is about clutter. About crap that is just in your way, needlessly, that is subconsciously sending you messages every time you go into your closet, every time you open a drawer, every time somebody comes over, every time anything happens because you are surrounded by things that are not serving you.
Your environment is a reflection of your internal environment. So what does that say about you? How can you grow? How can you learn?
How can you open yourself up to be better and lighter? Because you deserve that. You deserve that.
And then from there, your kids benefit. Their life is better because kids are overstimulated by too much stuff and it’s not good for their brains. It’s not good for their development. And that’s what you really want, so let’s make that happen.
Decluttering is a tool that moms have available to them that they can use to get the life they want. You want to be a present mom? That’s super important to you? Great. This is a tool to make that a reality, instead of you sitting in the midst of to-do’s, disaster, and stress.
Studies show the more stuff in a physical environment, the more the woman’s stress hormone goes way up. Look up the UCLA study guys, because it’s amazing. They turned it into a book.
It just validates everything you’ve ever felt. It’s so validating. Let’s get that out of the way so that you can be actually present. It is physically, mentally, emotionally, and scientifically impossible to sit in a space that is literally screaming at you, that you hate it because it’s full of clutter, full of stuff to do, and be present for anyone.
Forget the kids. What about you? How are you doing? Because when you’re doing terribly, you can’t parent well. If you can for a minute, it’s going to fade because eventually you’re going to crack.
Your mental health and your wellbeing is so much more important than being like, Oh, it’s just a disaster. I’m just going to choose something to let go of, and good for me, it wasn’t my kids.
What about your mental health? What about how you feel? It’s just another something that we grab onto trying to justify where we’re at because we’re lost, scared, and stressed. It just doesn’t need to be that way.
EMILY: Preach, Allie! This is why I listen to your podcast every week. Tell me all the truths. Tell me all the truths that my brain and all the rest of the messages that I think we all get as moms are not saying. They may be some partial truths, but not the whole truth there.
It’s obviously really clear that you’ve done a lot of deep inner work, post decluttering. What has that journey looked like for you?
ALLIE: Considering my relationship with my husband and my kids, I think that is the biggest thing and the best gift that removing physical excess has given me.
I went on a whole journey, a spiritual journey, and I’m still in it. We will always be in it as long as we’re here. I really discovered so much about who God actually is, what that means, and the connection that I feel to everything—to myself, to God, to other people—has intensified and expanded because I have had space to figure things out.
For a business-owning mom of four kids born in five years who homeschooled up until this year, to think, wonder, and read, that’s unheard of. Unheard of. I’m very thankful for that.
I’m very thankful for the counterculture life that I’ve created. I’m very proud of it. I’m very passionate about every other mom on earth getting to that same place if she wants it.
EMILY: I find myself often sitting with my hot coffee with my kids and I’m torn between feeling so proud of how we’ve figured out how to live a life where I can sit as a mom with ten kids, and also wonder if I gave them too much iPad time to create this experience.
I appreciate you saying it’s still a journey in some ways. You get some stuff down, but sometimes those guilt messages can still creep in. Figuring out how to combat those is so, so helpful I think.
ALLIE: We are our own judgmental mother inside of us and she comes out in stillness. But what a gift so you can understand yourself and notice those thoughts like, Why do I create guilt about the iPad time during this beautiful moment of stillness? Why is that coming up?
What is actually true, Emily, is that the iPad is amazing and it is a fricking gift. I have three of them in my house and more power to you for putting your kids in front of it. Yes to hot coffee and a freaking second! And no, I will not stand in this fake truth that it is a negative thing. That there’s something else I could have done that would have been better for my kids.
The truth is they’re happy. They are so happy. They are probably overjoyed that you said, Go ahead. Go play games.
That’s what I say. I’m like, Go play games. And that means iPad, Nintendo Switch, whatever.
I’m getting a minute. And you know what? Every single thing in that, through and through, is perfect, good, and helpful. The thing that’s not helpful is the thought that you’re having.
Get in those moments and think, What’s going on here? Let’s talk to the judgmental mother and deal with her so she can start to be a little more quiet. And the more you deal with that, the more you will be receiving pleasure—the pleasure of a peaceful moment. Women need to get so much better at receiving good, you know?
EMILY: I could not agree more.
Allie, thank you so much! You have a new book called Declutter Like A Mother. Could you just share with us as we wrap up, what do you hope women take away from this book, knowing and feeling?
ALLIE: Thank you for asking me that. I hope they know that if it is not serving you, if this is not working, it does not need to be that way for one more day. It doesn’t need to require a bunch of effort for you to make change happen.
It is so right in front of you; you’re just in the weeds. And it’s my job to come in and give you that aerial perspective that I got years ago and make it easy for you.
I hope you take away from it absolute radical uplifting change to where you feel like so many others in my community do now. That feeling of, I can’t believe it’s this good. I can’t believe that I have these hard days, but it’s no longer a hard journey. It’s not this constant crazy.”
I hope you are so uplifted in yourself and grounded at the same time because there’s space. You just needed space, friend. That’s all. It was too much.
EMILY: I love that. As someone who has been a part of your community for years, I definitely have taken that away from you and have enjoyed those feelings of, Oh my gosh, this is great. I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way technically.
I love that you’re shouting. I love that there’s a book so that even more women can find you and find this message.
Where can people connect with you and buy the book?
ALLIE: I would love to connect on Instagram. That’s where I show up day-to-day. You can just search Allie Casazza’ on there. It’s got the blue check mark.
You can get the book wherever you get your books—Amazon, Target. It’s everywhere.
I would love to get to be the one that comes alongside you and shows you a lighter way.
EMILY: Allie, thank you so much! It’s been so great talking with you. Thanks for coming.
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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