I am not the first person who has ever written a blog post about decluttering your home. Many of us understand that massive consumerism is a major environmental issue. Maybe that is why minimalism is such a trendy topic right now. I think it’s all a great thing because we are learning that things don’t equate to happiness.
It all seems very cliché, but it all rang true for me. After having my second child, I found myself completely overwhelmed by my house. I felt like I was drowning in laundry and tasks. My to do list was so long yet it felt like I didn’t even have time for a shower. I think that’s pretty common amongst new mothers which is why I wanted to write about how I turned it all around. At the time, Marie Kondo’s book was all the rage so I decided to pick it up. She said something about how clutter can cause anxiousness. Clutter can be a constant reminder of our impending to do lists. She also mentions that clutter can impede the flow of energy throughout our house, contributing to a feeling of being stuck. That resonated with me. I know it all sounds woo woo, but I’m pretty woo woo, so it was exactly what I needed to read.
I decided to make a change. At first, I had to outsource cleaning for a bit. I was sacred of spending the money because I stayed home and it felt unnecessary. I am so glad that I did, though, because it helped me get over the hump. My goal, from that point forward, was to just keep the house straight. If I could try to hold it together in between cleanings, I knew everything would be okay. And, oh it so so was.
Having the house cleaned up some time for me to take care of myself. Before I could declutter anything outside of me, I needed to declutter everything in me. I dedicated 2018 to a year of “Radical Self Care”. That looked like daily meditation, weekly exercise, frequent showers, and oddly enough, peeing when I felt the need. I read a book about intuitive eating and I saw my therapist regularly. Though I loved motherhood, I was overwhelmed and I needed help. I had to learn to set boundaries for myself. I tried to go out more and I finally stayed overnight, away from my kids. I reached out to my women friends for lunch and coffee dates. I participated in a book study dedicated to self improvement. My perspective started to shift and from a healthier place, I had an urge to care for the space outside of me.
My word for 2019 was “exploration”. I wanted to focus on following my curiosity. Interestingly enough, I was really curious in decluttering my home. I had done a bit here and there, especially my closet, since I had already started my style business. This time, I really wanted to get after it and I was going to start with my kitchen. With the help of some advice from Lauren from Upstate Clutter Coach, I was able to get rid of a BUNCH of stuff and organize my kitchen in a way that felt much easier to navigate. Each month, I worked on a new area in the home, getting rid of things that were not being used. I began decorating my house, focusing on items that made me feel good. I also started cleaning my house. I felt called to actually do the cleaning myself. I wanted to actively participate in caring for this home through acts of service. I stopped seeing chores as a burden and started seeing them as an act of gratitude. Instead of being annoyed by the mounds of laundry, I started to have gratitude for being able to use a washer and dryer. During this time, a couple of sites flowed to me and really helped me to continue focusing on the health of my home. The first one was Clean Mama. Her routine was a LIFESAVER. Being able to break down cleaning into daily steps helped, and continues to help, me so much. I never get too far behind because her routine is so easy to follow. Her cleaning recipes are amazing and I’ve been able to work towards having a more sustainable home. I am forever grateful to this site as it has been so beneficial for me and my home. The second site is Chris Loves Julia. A friend of mine recommended their podcast though it was coming to an end. I started following their blog and found them on Instagram. Julia’s style is so beautiful and simple. I am constantly inspired by her design and through her, I have found a lot of other accounts/blogs to follow. One of her design tips that made such a huge impact on me was to style a little bit at a time. I had always though I had to buy everything all at once, to start and finish a room as soon as possible, and it was overwhelming. (Obviously, I am easily overwhelmed). She said that to develop our own sense of style, start one piece at a time. Follow our curiosity and allow a room to develop on its own. That made sense to me because I do something similar with wardrobes I create. I began making mood boards for my dream house and using that as inspiration in each room. Throughout the year, I’ve really only decorated a couple of rooms, so I am taking it REALLY SLOWLY. I’ve enjoyed it so much and I have found a love for creating a home.
When I call a home a “sacred space”, I fear that it may sound a little woo woo, and I mean it exactly in that way. You don’t have to buy a bunch of crystals and start burning sage to make your home sacred, though. When I talk about creating a sacred space, I simply mean, creating a space that reflects you. Your home should be something that calls you to it. An example is our bedroom. My husband created a live edge headboard from wood he cut down in his job (he’s a tree guy). From there, I painted my two nightstands, added some design elements to them, and got new lamps. I nought a rug, some plants, and some new planters. I hung some art work that my stepdaughters painted and now, my room is my favorite place in the house. When I walk into it, I feel comforted. I can’t wait to snuggle up in my bed and read one of my books. I got a new duvet insert and duvet cover as well as some decorative pillows. I look forward to making my bed in the morning and look even MORE forward to unmaking it and getting into bed at night. That space is sacred to me. It supports my quality of life, it helps me feel comforted and at home. THAT is what happens when we put energy into our home.
If you’re in a space where you feel overwhelmed by your home right now, don’t worry. You only have to start one piece at a time. Just take some time to get quiet and ask yourself, what is the next thing I can do to start taking care of my home? Maybe it’s buying a plant for your kitchen. Maybe it’s finally cleaning out that junk drawer. It could be vacuuming your carpet. It’s doable and you don’t have to clean it all at once. I started with Clean Mama’s 5 Daily Tasks. My goal was to finish those tasks every day. The other thing I did was to start putting things in piles that no longer serve me and my house. In fact, I always keep a running pile of things that need to go to Miracle Hill. I try my best to limit what comes into the house so I’m not creating a lot of waste, but the reality is that I have 2 small kids and a husband who is a bit of a hoarder. It’s amazing what has happened in just taking those small steps. I promise you can do it and it will get better. I hope this post has helped you!