Today I have Dr. Laura Froyen back on the show but this episode is unlike any I’ve ever done before because I give Dr. Laura a one-on-one decluttering coaching session. Laura was really open and vulnerable with me about her home becoming overwhelming during the pandemic and asked if I would help her, which of course I said yes! So, if your home is cluttered from pandemic life or if it’s always been cluttered, this episode is for you! Let’s dive in!
In this episode Allie and Dr. Laura discuss:
Letting go of shame
Getting to the root
Decluttering by instinct
Letting go of rules and timelines
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
We’re surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life, the no-time-for-myself life, the hard life. And while it can be hard and full of lots of showing up for others, the idea that being a mom means living a joyless, stale, or shit-show life all the time is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.
I’m Allie Casazza, and I’m about to make your life so much lighter.
I’m the best-selling author of the book, Declutter Like A Mother, and the creator of several life-changing online programs that have enrolled tens of thousands of students.
If you’ve been feeling chronically behind, if you wake up feeling exhausted for a day that hasn’t even started yet, if you constantly feel like you don’t have time for the things that really matter to you, I’ve got you.
I went from being a completely overwhelmed, depressed, struggling mom, of three babies and toddlers who, I’ll be honest with you, didn’t want to be a mom anymore because I felt like I was failing so hard at it every day.
Through a lot of figuring out, searching for help, inner work, and shifting how I was doing and being, I found that the less I had in my way, the more joy, focus, and purpose I brought into my life.
We have to define what is in our way and what is actually worthy of our energy.
I went from blogging about my journey to becoming the founder of a multi-million dollar online business, all based on helping women live better, lighter lives.
Join millions of listeners around the world for conversations that will lift your mood, focus your intention and raise your vibe week after week.
We talk motherhood, lifestyle, wellbeing, and simplifying everything from home to schedule to business.
Listen, this is about not just waking up and reacting to our lives and letting the day run us, but setting the intention, taking ownership of every single day, and making life work for us, making it easier.
Friend, I am so glad you’re here! I’m Allie and you’re listening to The Purpose Show.
Hey friends! Because it’s so important to me that I am able to authentically be myself and I want to speak the way that I normally speak here on my podcast, you’ll find the occasional curse word in my show. So, if that bothers you, it’s not something that you want your kids to hear, grab your headphones.
In the show you’ll also find some episodes with adult themes, just things that are a little bit too mature or hard to process for young ears. So in general, headphones might be a good idea. I love you guys. I’m glad you’re here and enjoy this episode.
Hi, loves! I’m so excited that you’re here with me today! Thank you for making me a part of your day and just hanging out with me.
I love podcasting so much. I love it so much. It’s so cool that I can literally be in your ears, be a part of your day and encourage you, be a part of your life and your motherhood on a free platform like this. I’m extra, extra, super grateful for it today.
Today’s episode is really cool. I have never published anything like this, and it’s really neat for me because this is the kind of work that I do behind the scenes when I’ve done one-on-one coaching in the past for home and decluttering.
I do one-on-one coaching with business still, but I haven’t done a ton of one-on-one coaching in terms of clutter and home in a while. I’ve been very focused on my programs, courses, and pouring my best into those platforms. But I have done it quite a bit and no one really gets to see that I except the person I’m working with.
What’s really cool about today’s episode is this is actually an episode that I recorded on Dr. Laura Froyen’s podcast. She has an incredible podcast called The Balanced Parent. If you are not already subscribed to her show, definitely go and subscribe and add that to your roll because it’s so good. She’s incredible.
I’ve shared before that she’s one of the few people that I follow on Instagram and subscribe to. I love taking in her content. She’s just an incredible human.
She had me on her podcast and before we recorded, she just reached out to me and asked, Hey, can I talk to you? I want to be really vulnerable, share something with you and see what you think.
She shared with me that she’s been really in a hard place since the pandemic with her home, her space, with clutter, and that it really has been a pain point for her, that it’s been really difficult. She feels really overwhelmed. She was feeling bogged down, a little depressed, really struggling.
She asked if we could turn the episode into a coaching session for her, if I wouldn’t mind doing that for her. She said, It’s totally okay if you don’t want to do that. I respect you and value your time and your expertise, and I don’t want to pull from you.
I was so excited. I told her, This is my dream! I’m super over all the basic podcast interview questions, especially after the press tour for the book. I said, I‘m literally lit up right now. I would love to do this for you. Feel free to ask me anything. We’ll work through it together. I’ll just take you through my coaching process.
And that is what we did. And you guys, this is such a gift. Her vulnerability was so beautiful. She was so open.
After we finished this and she told me she was going to air it on her show, I asked her, Can I please have this file so I can air it on my show as well, because you gave the world such a gift with your vulnerability and openness. I would love to share it.
I think it’s so important for people to see the real struggle that comes with clutter. It’s never about the space. It’s never actually about the stuff. It’s always so much deeper and this episode really highlights that. This conversation is such a beautiful, deep dive, and it really highlights what I’m always saying.
Let’s thank Dr. Laura for being here in this space with us and allowing us to be a part of this vulnerable piece of her journey. I know from experience that it is absolutely not easy at all to be this vulnerable and she really was, and she not only shared on her own podcast, but on mine, with millions of people. That’s not easy. Thank you, Laura, for just being a beautiful human and being so open with us.
Guys, this conversation is going to shift you. Please take a screenshot, share it on Instagram, tag me. I want to see it. I want to know what you feel, what you learn from it.
And I would love for other people that are following you to see this and be inspired to go and listen. This is one of the ones that really shifts you and causes a lot of things to click, which a lot of people need. So enjoy this episode, my friends! I love you so much!
FROYEN: Hello, everybody. This is Dr. Laura Froyen. On this episode of The Balanced Parent Podcast, we’re going to do something a little bit different. I’m going to be the one who’s getting coached.
I brought in my friend and amazing colleague, Allie Casazza, who is on this beautiful, passionate mission to eradicate hot mess mom culture. She does this through her courses and programs that I’m a student in. She teaches families how to have a more balanced, simplified home life, family life.
She has a beautiful book called Declutter Like A Mother. If any of you have ever taken her yearly challenge, it’s amazing, and the book is even better.
What we’re really going to be talking about today is how to get out of overwhelm, into action, and create more space in your homes and your family. We’re going to be talking about this in the context of clutter today, but Allie applies this to so many different areas of your life. She declutters everything.
Allie, welcome to the show! Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do, and then we’ll dive in.
ALLIE: Thank you so much for inviting me into this space. I know how hard it is to build a platform that people are actually listening to. It’s easy to make one, but then no one’s there. To build one that people are listening to is no small feat. Thank you for inviting me here.
You said it so well. I love coming into spaces, both physical and metaphorical, that have people feeling really weighed down, just really heavy, and that are affecting them and sometimes don’t even realize it. It’s kind of indirectly affecting their mental wellbeing, their emotional capacity to be present for their families, their parenting, their relationships, their intimacy, their sex lives, their health. It affects everything.
My favorite place to start is the physical space. Your home environment is such a foundation for everything and you don’t realize it until it’s either too late and it’s really bad, or you think, Decluttering sounds cool. I’m not really feeling like that’s a huge burden, but I’ll try it. And then you get to the lighter side and you realize, Oh my gosh, that was really affecting me.
I always encourage people with everything that I do, it’s so big and very general, let’s start with the home environment. That’s the best place to start. And then we can deal with everything else in life from that place.
FROYEN: I so resonate with what you’re saying there. I think that for many of us, we’ve spent the past two years in our homes a lot more than we ever have before. Some people took that chance to really declutter. I’m sure that you saw increased enrollments in your courses because they were focusing on those things.
But I also know that for some of us, we almost had this kind of safety nesting reflex. There’s this thing I think that humans do when we feel unsafe and there’s trauma and stress on our nervous systems that we kind of go in and we bring things close, and that is totally my response to stress is to nest, hold up, and bring everything closer.
My kids are going to be getting their vaccines in just a few days and the world is going to be opening up again. I’m ready to shed it. I’ve been looking around my house and I feel so closed in, so overwhelmed. I’m ready to be loosened up and light, but I feel so overwhelmed on where to start. It just feels impossible.
ALLIE: Thank you for even sharing that that is your response because no one talks about that. It’s easy to just shove things in drawers and under beds. Everyone’s been talking about their weight from the pandemic and that is my thing. What you do with things, I do that with food.
FROYEN: I do it with food too.
ALLIE: My go-to reflex is just comforting. There was a very large period of my life where I learned that food is comfort, so I’m always having to gut check that with myself. Why am I feeling like I need food?
Everyone struggles with this on some level and in some area of life and there literally is no shame with it. There is no room for shame with that.
FROYEN: I do feel some shame, though. I do feel like my listeners have this idea of what my home is like. I feel like there’s pressure to portray this beautiful image on Instagram.
What I’m talking about isn’t as bad as what we see on Hoarders tv show. Some of my friends have relatives that are in that situation and it’s really hard. But there is shame. I think that shame really does thrive in secrecy and I don’t want to feel shame about this anymore, so I’m really glad that you’re helping me with this.
Letting go and knowing where to start, those are my two big struggles.
ALLIE: Please interrupt me, bring this back to you every chance you get, because you are the voice of everyone listening.
How are you feeling right now? Give me an audible list of how you feel when you’re spending time in your home right now as it is.
FROYEN: Distracted, overwhelmed, closed-in, confined, ignoring, like that thing you do when you just aren’t seeing things, like you’re just not seeing it, blocking things out, which doesn’t feel good, fulfilling, whole, intentional or present.
ALLIE: Those are big words.
Let’s take some of those words—confined, overwhelmed, stuck—is there anywhere else in your life that you’re seeing those results?
FROYEN: Oh yes. Oh my gosh, Allie, you’re amazing.
ALLIE: We’re going to go deep.
FROYEN: I feel that way in my business a lot. Some of you don’t know this, but Allie was my business mentor too. I feel that way in my business a lot.
There are lots of things that I’m working on decluttering in the business side of this. I know my listeners don’t get to hear about the business side very much. I make courses and everything, but there are pieces of it that need to be decluttered and shed too.
ALLIE: I just did that in my business. The whole month of September was decluttering my business. It’s really hard.
I just want you to understand that everything is reflecting everything else. When your home feels like that it’s being reflected from somewhere else, always. It’s never about the clutter. It’s never about the stuff. It’s a symptom of something deeper.
Even though your listeners don’t really know the ins and outs of your business, you work, and a lot of them work too. So if you are listening and your home is feeling anything like what Laura was describing, or even if it’s different, if the words you use would be different, get it out on paper. Write it down. Speak it out. Then ask yourself, Where else am I feeling that?
This is my favorite thing about decluttering is that it really is never about the clutter. As we work through this together, Laura, and you start to take action in your home, it’s very therapeutic. And because it’s being reflected from somewhere else in your life, that will also clear.
I guarantee this is going to give you motivation to do it because it does feel extra. We already are limited on time, you’re raising kids, you’re running a business, you have a relationship, you have friendships, and it’s a lot.
I want you to know that when you clear the physical space, I guarantee you, you’re going to have more space to get downloads for your business. Your revenue will increase. You’ll get some new idea. Something will break through because this is a theme in your life right now.
When the problem goes away, when the symptoms go away, when you take care of those symptoms and you pull it out at the root, it has to echo everywhere else that it’s been echoing. Does that make sense?
FROYEN: It makes complete sense. I talk about this exact thing when it comes to parenting. So much of what we struggle with with our kids or even with our partners is just an echo or a reflection of what we’re struggling with internally.
If we’re struggling being compassionate and kind, or respectful to our kids, most of the time, we’re also struggling to be kind, respectful and compassionate with ourselves. I always want my people to start with what’s inside, start where it actually is, so we can reflect what we are actually embodying within. It makes complete sense to me.
ALLIE: You’re always going to be reflecting throughout the different parts of your life. Everyone always wants to know which one caused which. For your situation, was the business like this first and then your environment reflected it? Was the home like that first and then the business reflected it?
But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Sorry. It doesn’t matter. Because if you fix one area it’s going to reflect back.
That’s really freedom for us. You don’t have to sit and do all this crazy deep, draining self-reflection where you are crying and having a burning ceremony. Those things are all great, but you don’t have to do that. You can literally just see the reflection.
The reason I brought that up first is because I want you to see that you are normal, you’re reflecting everywhere, the problems are being projected to different parts of your life. It is heavy, and you’re right that you feel shame. It makes sense that you feel that. It doesn’t need to have space in your life, but it makes sense that it does.
It’s okay that it’s been this heavy and that hard. That is very heavy. It’s very heavy to be running a business, creating jobs, and leading people that are strangers on the internet and the inner workings of that getting really muddled, cluttered, making you feel confined, making you feel stuck and not really knowing what to do. That’s a terrible feeling.
It makes sense that that would reflect in your space or vice versa. It’s okay. I want you to understand that this is here for a reason, every single thing is absolutely happening for you to get that breakthrough.
There’s some big breakthrough, Laura, that’s going to come for your business. And then in turn is going to come for the people of the world that listen to you, that take your advice, that are raising their babies a new way that their family’s past generations have never raised their babies before.
And that breakthrough cannot come if you do not hit rock bottom, or get confined, or get stuck. In the confinement comes the breakthrough. We cannot have expansion if we don’t have confinement.
None of this needs to equal shame. None of it needs to even be bad. Let’s throw out bad and good. And just use “for me.” This is happening for me. Now we’re here and you realize all this and you’re ready for that breakthrough to come through.
The new idea is the space. So to create space in your business for new ideas, new downloads, new amounts of money and impact, we need to create space in your home. That connection cannot be overlooked.
FROYEN: Oh my gosh. Yes. For everybody listening, I was crying while Allie was saying all of that. It was very powerful to be validated in that way. I really appreciate that, Allie.
ALLIE: Of course, of course. And it’s just the beginning because this realization is so small compared to the ideas that are ready for you. The new ways of doing things, the decluttering of your business, it feels so good. How therapeutic.
What a gift that decluttering is. It’s therapy. Getting rid of physical sweaters doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with your business, but it does. It just does. It’s so connected.
FROYEN: I don’t understand why more people aren’t talking about it this way. I feel like you talk about this in such a different, more holistic way, that this is really something that’s about your whole self, your whole work.
ALLIE: It really is. It has nothing to do with things. And that’s my problem with the minimalist niche and why I kind of shy away from the word sometimes, because it’s got nothing to do with that. It’s not stuff for the sake of stuff or less for the sake of less. It’s every piece of you, you got here from being a certain way that’s not serving you. And we have to get to the root.
We’re doing one-on-one coaching, right? You’re in the program, you’re in whatever version of this that I’m teaching you, and for the sake of right now, I’m going to have you set the intent, how you feel now.
I want you to give me an audible list of words of how you want to feel when you walk into your space. Put your business aside because we already know that the words will be the same. Your physical home.
Let’s imagine a typical day for you. I know you take your kids out a lot, little day trips and you go and do stuff, and you’re teaching them along the way. You walk in and you’re pretty done. You’ve got to figure out dinner. It’s that time of day and you walk into your home. How do you want to feel?
LAURA: I want to feel light, have it be easy to come home. I want the kids to be able to have a playroom that they can easily go get immersed in right away so that I can make dinner in a clean kitchen, which is the one area that I actually do a really great job keeping tidy.
Clear is the word that keeps coming up. I want there to be white space. I want there to be visual white space.
I also want it to be beautiful where you can actually see and enjoy what’s there as opposed to there being lots of stuff or things getting in the way. Does that make sense?
ALLIE: Absolutely. Those are great words. So you set that intention—that that’s how you want to feel in your home.
This is my favorite thing to teach with decluttering because yes, I’ll tell you what part of your house to start in. I’ll tell you about the piles—donate/keep/toss/put away somewhere else. We’ll do all of that. But first and deeper is how you want to feel in setting the intention for your space.
Let’s look at this from a financial perspective. Pretty much everyone listening, unless you’ve paid off your home, which is awesome, is paying some amount of money to your house, whether it’s rent or mortgage, you’re paying something.
For most people, that amount of money is the majority of their expenses. Your home is typically the biggest expense. And you’re paying by square footage.
You’re paying based on how much space you have. Is that space even working for you? Do you even like it there?
Right now, Laura, it’s working against you. Technically you are paying the biggest amount of your monthly budget to a space that makes your life harder. It makes no sense. It’s not how you want to live, but here we are.
I think when we get intentional and look at what you want, you know what you don’t want and you know where you are now, and you know what you do want now.
So when we’re going through your space, rather than just doing keep/toss/donate based decluttering or asking if an item makes you feel a certain emotion, which is a very popular decluttering technique that works for some people but not a lot, or asking yourself: Have I used this recently?
These questions can all be helpful, but beyond that and deeper than that is what you just said here: Does this help my home feel light, easy, clear, and beautiful? Does it align with the intention that I’m setting?
I go even deeper. I talk about this in the book, I go even deeper and have people set that intention for each space they’re working on. Every bathroom, every closet, every bedroom, storage closet, their garage.
Every space you’re paying for, you’re giving energy to, this is where you’re raising your family right now. What is your intention for it? How do you want to feel? How do you want company to feel when they walk in here?
That’s such a deeper, more holistic, resonant process than, Well, do I use this? I don’t really know. I haven’t really thought about it. I guess I do. I guess if it was Thanksgiving I would. I don’t know.
It’s just not enough ground to make a solid decision. And because decluttering is literally making decisions, people avoid it because they don’t have a solid foundation for how to make those decisions. So when you say, light, easy, clear, beautiful, that is a much more solid foundation for deciding if something stays or goes.
FROYEN: Oh, it makes so much sense. A few things came up for me while you were talking. One is that I think I am struggling with decision fatigue right now. In this world, it feels like over these past two years with school, kids, travel, safety, every decision feels like it’s life or death right now because it’s so stressful.
I know I struggle with decision fatigue and I know my listeners do too, because this is something that they actually talk with me about. That was a big part of why back to school was so stressful this year for families, because they literally were so exhausted from making really intense decisions. That decision fatigue definitely comes into play.
And when I’ve decluttered in the past, my mode when I’m in decision fatigue is to just throw out everything and that’s not always helpful either because again, it’s not intentional. I love that you’re saying to be super intentional.
I was also thinking about how magical would it be to sit with my girls in their bedrooms and ask them those questions? How does it feel right now to be in your room? What do you want it to feel like? And go with that intention for the rooms. What a powerful thing.
I know you talk about decluttering with kids a lot.
ALLIE: Yeah. The kid’s book comes out in March 2022 and it walks them through that. It walks them through that process, which is so cool. It almost kind of removes so much of the logic. Let’s not put so much pressure on the logical brain thinking through a decision.
It becomes more of a feeling thing. It becomes more of a gut reaction thing, even a body reaction when you are looking at this random item and you’re like, Okay, I want to feel light, easy, clear. I want things to be beautiful. Is this helping me do that?
Your body almost expands or contracts. You just kind of know that it’s just not worth it. It’s your intuition. It’s so much lighter to make decisions based on that than to have to be thinking, When was the last time I wore this dress? Well, now I have to try it on.
And that’s exhausting. You just know, I never grab this. I never grab it. It’s been sitting here for three years. I never grab it. It’s obviously not helping me feel light, easy, and beautiful, so I’m going to get rid of it.
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FROYEN: I think you are speaking to something that collectively as a female population, because most of my listeners identify as women, that we are having this intuitive revolution right now. I think we have been forced for so long to be logical and to use our thinking brain.
Since we were little kids, it has been trained out of us that we have a gut that’s worthy of listening to, of trusting. And it’s so hard. I’m thinking about what a powerful way to learn to trust yourself again and to practice your intuition.
So many of the parents listening, they come to shows like mine looking for the answers, the right way to do things because we’ve been so trained out of listening to our intuition. A lot of my work is helping parents reconnect with the truth that’s within them and trust themselves and trust their children.
That’s what you’re doing. That’s what you’re saying right here. It’s beautiful.
ALLIE: Thank you. I think you’re right. We are in this time of awakening and it’s really beautiful. I think what I have seen, and I know you’re the same, is moms not knowing how to listen to themselves because they don’t even know who they are. They’ve given their identity up to a role so they have lost touch. And that’s terrifying.
It makes sense that you’d be terrified, for those of you listening and identifying with this. It all makes perfect sense. It is all okay.
But it is not your destiny to stay there, to raise your kids from that place, and to live your life from that place.
Decluttering is a cool, light thing to play with your intuition with. It’s very low pressure. Playing with that, noticing Do I even know how to feel my body’s response to this dress? It seems kind of silly, but it will tell you.
FROYEN: I don’t think it’s silly at all. I think it’s incredible. I think it’s always so great to practice a skill on kind of a low stakes thing. I feel like that diminishes what we’re talking about here and it’s not a low stakes thing.
You always say, What takes up your space takes up your time. What is the other phrase that you always say about how you spend your time?
ALLIE: How you spend your days is how you spend your life. Annie Dillard said that.
FROYEN: I love that quote that I learned through you. I don’t think that this is unimportant. I think listening to our intuition, especially as women, is really important.
ALLIE: Absolutely. It is so important. It is everything. And at the same time, it’s like a paradox.
It’s very low pressure. You can get another spatula if you need to. You can get another dress if you need to. It’s a really safe place.
And it’s your space. You would know more than anyone else. I can’t come in and tell you what to keep and what to get rid of. Only you can do that. I can guide you to knowing.
This is about how you want to design your life because you’re spending it here. It’s really interesting how it is the most important, most beautiful gift, big important thing, yet also very safe to play and make mistakes.
FROYEN: That’s beautiful. I think that there’s something there to think about that doing this can help you fine tune your intuition and you can use that skill in other areas. Do you find yourself using the fine-tuned intuition that you’ve developed in your work, in other areas of your life?
ALLIE: So much! There’s always that fear, “What if I need this later?” And for me personally, coming from a past of literally having almost no income and not being able to buy things, if I wanted to buy things, the fear of what if I can’t get this again? Even if consciously it doesn’t make any sense now, it’s still there.
FROYEN: It can be there for generations too.
ALLIE: Absolutely. People pass things on. Things are ingrained in us. It is so deep. It doesn’t make conscious sense almost ever.
But even when that is there, I can still tap into my intuition. I can’t get past that when I’m thinking about this logically. I just can’t. There’s an inexplicable wall that I can’t get past.
But when I go to my intuition, when I go to how it feels, how I want to feel, and what you said, light, easy, clear, beautiful, I know. I don’t need three tripods for my phone for my work. I only need one. I can let this go. I know I can feel that.
I know that I’m resourceful enough to get another one if I needed it. And I get to give this to someone else that does what I do, that’s just starting out. I get to give them that gift and that feels really good.
I get to focus on what feels good rather than overthinking the hell out of every single item. It’s exhausting. No wonder nobody finishes and wants to do it.
FROYEN: It is exhausting. I feel like you were just talking about parts work. Do you know what parts work is?
ALLIE: No, I’ve never heard of that.
FROYEN: There’s a theory that we all have an internal family of parts that are all working together to serve us. Then we have our core self. I was just thinking as you were going through that because that’s a thought process that’s very similar for me, that there’s this part of you that’s worried about, Will I be able to get it again? Should I hold onto it? Will I need it?
And then there’s this other part that has these other worries and concerns, and then there’s your core self where your intuition resides. It’s really interesting to think about it that way. I feel like that will be really helpful for me.
Lots of my listeners are doing parts work as they do their parenting work. For lots of us respectful parenting or conscious parenting does not come easy. It’s not intuitive. Or it’s been so conditioned out of us that we have a lot of work to do to get to that core, compassionate self that is naturally kind and loving. So, we’re doing parts work with parenting and I think this is another place where I can apply that. Thank you for that.
ALLIE: Thank you. I’ve never heard of that. I’m going to look into it. That’s amazing.
It is that way with everything. There’s always going to be a reason to keep it or a reason to not decide something. But if it’s not ultimately aligning with what you really want, you can feel that, and that’s not a logical thing.
You don’t need to have decision fatigue in this. You don’t need to overthink it. You don’t have to have reasons in backing it up and proving that you won’t ever need it again. It’s a feeling thing.
It’s also very seasonal. There are seasons of my life where I feel like, I need another wave of decluttering. I am overwhelmed and it’s echoing everywhere and I need to get extremely streamlined again.
Then there are other times where I feel like, Oh my closet’s a little full, but I’m good. I love having the options. I’m freed up. I’m playing. I love having all these different things and it doesn’t bother me.
It is going to change. Release the pressure from yourself. You know what I mean? It’s a lifestyle you’re living.
I think that the biggest thing for people listening and for you, Laura, is to stop making decluttering mean so much that it feels so pressured. Like I gotta do this thing and get rid of all this stuff or I’m not going to be free, or I gotta get this task done, I gotta tackle it. It’s very masculine and overwhelming.
FROYEN: The masculine energy was the word that was bobbling around in my head.
ALLIE: Yeah. We gotta just let it go. You’re ready. I can feel it. You’re ready to release a lot in your life right now and in your business, for sure. Probably a couple other areas on a smaller scale. You’re in a place of releasing, almost like a spiritual practice to help you through that, you’re going to release some physical stuff.
But there doesn’t need to be rules, it doesn’t need to be a tight schedule, it doesn’t need to be this big thing you’re doing every Saturday morning. You’re giving up your whole weekend to do this big thing. Let it be easy. Let it feel good. Let it flow.
Let it echo how you want everything else to feel. As you’re kind of purging your business, I’m sure you want that to feel easy and light and good, so let this purge feel easy, light, and good because it will always echo.
FROYEN: Yes! You’re speaking so much truth right now. It’s the same for parenting—letting it be easy. Parents come to me striving, grasping, holding on so tight to getting it right, getting it perfect, not causing any damage. They’re so stuck in fear and in scarcity.
What you’re talking about is the opposite. It’s embracing that we have time, that there is time, there is space to go with how this is flowing, that there’s not a true urgency right now, that we can release that and let go.
ALLIE: You’re doing it to yourself. You’re putting that on yourself. You’re assigning meaning to the timeline that you made up.
Some people have the space and they love that I do put some timelines in there for people that want it. They have a move coming in six weeks and they want to go through their whole house. Great. Here you go.
But you have to ask in every single thing, Is this helping me or hurting me? And if it’s hurting you to have a timeline, release it, because you made it up for yourself. There is no time.
There is no time, technically, if we want to go down that path. Everything is an illusion. Everything is being. You’re assigning so much to everything and it’s not helping you. It’s harming you.
I think it’s really about making this work for you. Then from there we can get even more micro with it and think, Okay, but what do I do? Where do I start? How do I do it?
Are you ready to go down that path or is there more you wanted to expand on here?
FROYEN: We can. Absolutely. Yeah. I don’t want to give away all of your craft secrets though.
ALLIE: It’s okay. You have gotten so clear just now. Your body language is shifting. Your face looks lighter. This is why all of that is so important.
There’s even deeper that we could go and I go into it in the book and all of that, but once you’re ready to start, and you’re feeling good about it, start in the bathroom. Literally. We’re going to start in the most inconspicuous of spaces because we want this to be easy. You even said that “easy” is how you want to feel in your home.
If I was coaching you long term, I would say, Okay, so you want to be light, easy and clear then that’s how this process has to feel or you won’t come back to it.
FROYEN: Can I ask you a bathroom question? The bathroom is something that’s really interesting to me.
For the most part, I have a makeup routine that I love that’s light and easy. I really only use four pieces of makeup and that’s it. I love it.
But the creative artist in me loves to play with makeup, so I love having wild eyeshadows. Nobody even ever sees them on me. I just do them for myself like I’m five years old playing in my mom’s makeup with her 80’s blue eyeshadow.
What do I do with that? I have my regular makeup and I have this other makeup that I buy for fun, that I use to kind of paint my face, but that I don’t actually do very often. What do you do with something like that?
ALLIE: I’m like that with makeup and I’m like that with clothes and hair. I’m kind of a girl girl.
FROYEN: I love it. It makes my inner child feel so good.
ALLIE: Same. I love it.
I have this palette that’s super bright eye colors that I never use, but I just pulled it out for my daughter for Halloween. She wanted to be a dragon princess, so we did a wild red, purple, and pink eye. Crazy. And then for this really fun party I went to, I did a bright pink underline. It happens sometimes and I’m glad I have it.
You always want your space to align with who you really are, not your ideal version of yourself, not the plainest, the most tired version of yourself, but who you really are. I’m like you, my makeup routine is very simple, very light in the morning.
I have a little cute basket that I literally keep on my sink with my few pieces of daily makeup in it. But then I have this other bin with a lid that has all those fun things. I also have heavier, not natural, TV makeup for when I have to do something where I feel like the natural stuff is going to make me look shiny.
I have those foundations and powders and then the really fun, playful makeup that I pull out very rarely in a bin underneath my sink. It was underneath my sink. In this house it’s in my closet on the shelf, because my new sink is very tiny.
Just keep it somewhere else. The point is if you’re not grabbing it on a regular basis, it’s in your way. Just get it out of your way. It doesn’t need to go. It just needs to be out of your way.
What I’ve seen in clients and students is they think, Well this is where bathroom stuff goes, so then all of their bathroom stuff is there and it’s like, well now it’s so full. It’s so cluttered.
It’s okay to put bathroom stuff in the closet. It’s okay to put bathroom stuff underneath your bed or in your top drawer in a bin next to your socks. No one’s going to police you. It’s okay.
It’s almost like you have to go in with a big eraser and erase all of the ‘shoulds’. This is the dining room, so we have to dine in here, but you never dine there and it’s wasted space and you homeschool so make it a school room.
This is the bathroom. I have no space and all this stuff is here, but it can’t go anywhere else. Put it on the top shelf in your closet with a little step stool in there for you when you want to grab it. Reassess how the space needs to work for you. That’s actually the first step.
Let’s say we’re going to start in the bathroom. The reason I have you do that is because there’s not sentimental stuff in there. It’s really light, easy, yes and no, decision making feeling space. How do you want to feel in here? How does this room need to work for you? Start thinking outside the box.
What are the problems? I don’t have enough storage, but I have all this stuff. I’ve already gotten rid of what I need to get rid of and I still don’t have enough space. Okay. Then you have a space issue.
We’re problem-solving, brainstorming, becoming an action-taking problem-solving person as I call it, where you’re rethinking things. That also takes the pressure off of making decisions. You’re ideating, it’s high energy, and it feels good instead of, Oh, I’ve got to get rid of stuff.
FROYEN: It’s a creative process. You’re describing a creative process, which automatically feels light, fulfilling, and joyful. That’s beautiful.
So that’s what I have people do. That’s where I have people start.
Then you have your piles. You’re going to get rid of things. You’re going to give things away. Probably not in the bathroom, but in other spaces of your home, there may be things you want to donate.
There may be things that you do want to keep but it just doesn’t belong in there, so that’s the put away pile. You’re making decisions in a way that feels really good and very doable and then carrying that philosophy to all the different areas of your house.
FROYEN: Can we talk for just a second about kids’ toys? Lots of my people who listen are play enthusiasts. We love kids’ toys. I feel like half the toys in my kids playroom are for me and not for them because I love them so much. I have more toys in my playroom because it’s part of my job. I have to have some for demonstrations and everything.
I think that one of the things that people have trouble with, one, is that toys can take on a lot of sentimentality if we see our kids not playing with them anymore, they’ve outgrown them like rattles and things from when they were babies, and, then the other thing that I struggle with is will my kids be using this one day?
My kids go to a Waldorf School. They do a lot of finger knitting. They use their finger knitting to make things like reins if they’re playing pony, or dragons, because they ride dragons when they’re playing. I have all of these lengths of finger knitted yarn that we have.
They can re-finger knit. There’s benefit in re-finger knitting it. If they want new reins for their game. There’s fine motor skill development that happens in making the reins again.
Yet I keep it. I keep it because they made it and they might use it again. Do you have advice for us parents who are struggling with the toy clutter?
ALLIE: Again, it’s all okay. It’s okay that it feels harder than other areas at the house. Kids toys are probably the most asked about things other than wardrobe because it’s not your stuff, really. It’s theirs. It’s hard.
I’m going to pull you back to your intention, which was light, easy, clear, and beautiful. Does having all that stuff make your home, forget the kids for a minute, does that make you feel like everything is light, clear, easy and beautiful to save everything they make?
FROYEN: No. It feels burdensome. Their art is another thing that I just feel so burdened by because I adore kids’ art. In grad school, I used to do a lot of art therapy and interpretive art.
We did a lot of psychoanalysis based on kids’ art. I just love kids’ art. It’s very hard for me to get rid of art. But I feel very burdened by it.
ALLIE: And so the very thing that is beautiful to you is now heavy.
FROYEN: Yeah. It’s such a mind twist how that happens.
ALLIE: Yeah. Totally. Okay. Well I can help you with that, but for the toys first.
So you know that something has to shift, something has to happen. What I would do is sit down with my kids and express that, give them the paradox: I just love this so much. I love these things. I know that you guys love these things. Oh my gosh, look at these favorite things.
Look at the memories, expressing how you feel. And then also say, I’ve been noticing that I feel like it’s just so much to pick up. It’s so much to clean. Just express yourself and show them how you feel and then ask for their take.
I asked my kids for their take and there’s only been one time when my daughter was about 6, that she didn’t echo how I felt. She was anxious and didn’t want to get rid of anything. I know you probably know way more about this than I do, but around that age is a developmental thing where they attach.
Everything has a personality, everything has a soul, everything is so important. She was going through that and I just let it breathe. When she was 8 things shifted and she was more ready to get rid of things. Just let it be. We don’t want to cause any trauma here.
I told my kids, I don’t really want to clean up all the time. I want to play. I want to play with you guys. I want you guys to play with each other. I want you to have space to play.”
I just showed them the problem and then I asked, What would you think if we picked our favorites and then maybe got rid of a few things?
For my kids, it always helps to bring in empathy and say, We’re not just going to throw these things away. With the yarn, that’s probably a different story. But with toys, we can say, There are kids that don’t have what we have.
I always want my kids to be super mindful of their privilege and how much they have. My favorite place to donate is women and children’s shelters. They’re so willing to take things. They’re in most cities, and it’s so much better than a big box donation center.
My kids have been there. They have seen the kids. They have interacted with them and that has stuck with them for years. That was when we lived in Arkansas. That was years ago.
That empathy helps them to see the big picture. Show them the big picture. Be honest with them and help them navigate that and say, We could give this to them and that would change their life versus for us, we don’t really use this very often.
I walk my kids through it. Does that help so far?
FROYEN: Yeah, so helpful!
ALLIE: That’s the main thing and then of course there are things that come up, different personality types, motivations, and things you can do to connect with your kids more.
I have a whole course on that. It’s insane. It’s so deep, so layered.
Just tell them, be honest with them, just have the conversation, show them this conflict. The truth is we don’t want to teach our kids that we keep every single thing because you’re passing down the burden you feel, and I know that’s not what any of us want.
We have to teach them how to have a relationship with stuff just like we teach them how to have a relationship with another person, how to have a relationship with food, how to have a relationship with themselves. It’s the same thing.
FROYEN: Last fall my parents gave me all of my boxes of childhood memorabilia that they’d been saving. I had to go through it and it was very burdensome. It felt very heavy, all this stuff that they had saved and I had to get rid of it.
I really don’t want to do that to my kids. I really don’t want when they’re 35 to hand them their childhood in a box and make them responsible for it.
ALLIE: So why would we teach them that that’s how things work now? It’s healthy to teach them to naturally start to sift and make some decisions and make space. You’re teaching them how to have a healthy relationship with things.
There’s such a big conversation around diet culture right now, and food, and teaching our kids to have a healthy relationship with that so they don’t have to go through what our generation, especially women, went through.
It’s the same thing with stuff. Food is constant. You’re always going to be having interactions with food and drinks. You’re always going to be having interaction with things and consumerism messaging, so we have to teach our kids how to have that relationship.
Let it be gentle. Let it be easy. Let it be slow.
Lead by example. Just talk to them. Show them.
You have to show them and teach them. They can’t just know. I know that’s very general but that is the biggest message that I would say about kids’ stuff.
FROYEN: I love how collaborative that is. I really do. I think so many in the simplicity and minimalism world who work with kids or work with parents and they’re dealing with kid stuff, I hear all the time, Do it while they’re asleep. They won’t even know. They’re 2, they’re 3. They won’t even know.
ALLIE: You went into their space and you made decisions that weren’t yours to make. The lack of trust, the anxiety that I have literally seen that cause is extremely damaging.
If you really want to get down to it, everyone’s all like, “Hoarders, Hoarders!” The recipe for a hoarder is to break the child’s privacy, their right to their things, their relationship with things. Hoarding is really heavy for someone to carry.
I hate the show Hoarders. It capitalizes on one’s deepest pain, and then doesn’t even help them through it. They just go in and do it for them.
You know those homes are all back to that because no one gave them therapy. It’s my least favorite thing. I hate it so much.
And that starts from not having control. You are taking control. It’s really unhealthy.
Sometimes people won’t finish listening to me teach and they will tag me in a post where they’re doing that while their kids are at school. I have a copy and paste book that I message them and I remove the tag.
I want nothing to do with that. That is so damaging. It might make things feel cleaner for a minute, but ultimately you are getting the exact opposite of what you want.
FROYEN: Control is never the basis of a healthy relationship. No healthy relationship is grounded in control, ever, right? Parent/child, partners, bosses, self, none of it. Control is not a healthy aspect of any relationship.
ALLIE: Exactly. I wish people would understand that about this. It’s not about cleaning. It’s not about having less to clean. Those are side effects, happy side effects, that come from this being done well, holistically, non-toxically, from a place where it’s like this is the way you guys live and breathe. This is the way your family culture is as it comes to things.
You have to look at the big picture. You can’t just say, I am so overwhelmed that I don’t want to clean anymore. That will come, but we’ve got to get to the root.
FROYEN: I love that invitation.
Allie, thank you so much. You’re just such a beautiful thing in the world.
ALLIE: Thank you. Same to you. I love when we collaborate. I just appreciate you so much. Thank you for having me.
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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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