Everyone knows it; the house that everyone despises..the hoarders haven in everyone’s hometown. We all know the one I’m talking about. The one that has broken down cars in the driveway, home appliances that were replaced, lawnmowers that stopped working several seasons ago, trash, and piles of junk.

When you drive by, you may even wonder what the inside looks like. You often hear that the outside is better than the inside, so you could only imagine the filth that the people live in. I hate to admit that I, myself, try to judge these types of homes on how I think that family lives. I see bikes in the yard and imagine what kind of kids they are raising and what habits they are forming.

But when I point my finger, I see three of those pointing back at me. Who am I to judge their home? Especially when every flat surface of mine is cluttered with things I haven’t put away? I have kids that have over cluttered play areas, dirty towels on the bathroom floor, and dishes piled in the sink. We often live in a state of chaos and mess that reflects our habits, not our cleanliness. Your home should make you feel good in it; it should feel inviting. Not necessarily a showpiece for social media, or an unexpected guest, but it should serve you and your family, because that’s what it’s meant to do.

I recently found the world that is Allie Casazza, and her audiobook, “Declutter like a Mother.”

If you have 4 hours to listen, it is worth it. She lit a fire under my butt to take hold of my space; to weigh out if every item in my home was worth having. The main idea is that everything that takes up space, is taking up time. When you clean, the more things around, means more time cleaning. I have carried out advice and accepted challenges to take hold of my home. I hope that my sharing, invites you into this world of freedom from stuff as well. 

One room at the time, I put things into “Keep”, “Donate”, and “Trash” piles. I ridded myself of anything “extra”. Man, does it feel nice too! My house is far from done or perfect, but now I can sit in my home and relax without the overwhelming worry that if one toy comes out of the playroom, my entire house will immediately seem untidy.

Before I started to declutter, I was watching all my friends, working full time jobs, kids in extra curriculars, and taking weekend vacations. And here I was struggling to switch the wet clothes to the dryer before they soured. I thought for a moment that something was wrong with me. That my messy home reflected how incapable I was as an adult and as a mom. The negative thoughts sounded like I was lazy, couldn’t manage my time, or didn’t know how to clean. When I knew all along that those things were very untrue.

If this sounds like you, I have some news for you, IT CAN CHANGE. And when you do lessen the clutter, you’ll feel different! The bad news is that your habits got you here. The good news is that your habits can change. So many people struggle with clutter, but so few talk about it. If you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone. You are worthy just because you are worthy. You don’t have to have a clean or perfect home to earn your worthiness.

If you don’t know where to start, I’ll list a few of my go-to’s:

-Spend 15 mins a day in a room to declutter. Pick up something and immediately decide to keep it or toss it. When the timer goes off, put up the keep items and toss the others. Don’t put up, while you’re decluttering because you’ll become distracted by leaving the room.

-In everyday life, live by “Don’t put it down, put it away.”

-Keep drawers, cupboards, closets, etc. 50% full. This makes it easier to put away items

-Wash, dry, fold and put away one load of laundry a day. Don’t let it sit in the basket, on the couch, or in the laundry room.

-This comes natural to me, but MAKE YOUR BED EACH DAY. It’ll immediately look neater.

-Don’t wear shoes indoors. Make an area to remove shoes at the door and it’ll instantly become easier to keep floors clean. 

-If you have stairs, keep a basket at the bottom of the stairs then you take up each night and put away the items that belong upstairs. I don’t have stairs, but I do this with my kids things that get left out. I grab a basket and anything out of its place, I put in the basket. I’ll then have them put away the items in the basket; each item where it belongs.

-Put the house “to bed” at night. Fold throw blankets on the couch, fix the pillows, wash the dishes, take out the trash, put away anything out of place, wipe down the kitchen counters, and get the coffee pot ready to brew at the programmed time.This way, you wake up to a tidy home and a pot of coffee ready. We call it "Nighty Tidy.” 

I've enjoyed learning that small habits create big change. If you need help, or encouragement, feel free to reach out. I’m far from "pro," but I don’t mind helping. There’s also, so many cleaning tips, tricks, articles and advice out there. Find what works best for your household and lifestyle.

xoxo- Karen