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I didn’t want to be a minimalist, it just kind of happened and is still happening. While I was sitting on my couch feeling overwhelmed, I realized I didn’t want to feel this way anymore.
I was sick of spending my weekends “catching up”. The endless list of to-dos was stealing away my time and my joy. When the kids wanted to go outside and play I wanted to be excited to play with them! Instead, I felt guilty about all the other things I needed to get done.
I wanted more family time and less time cleaning up after my family.
I wasn’t always a minimalist and I’m not completely there yet, but I’m learning to live with less and I want to help you stop feeling so stressed and overwhelmed too.
Why You Need Minimalism
See if this sounds familiar. Every day I would come home to a messy house. I’m not just talking there were some-toys-on-the-floor-messy. I’m talking, there were dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter, random things covering every surface- the table, coffee table, and kitchen counters we covered in some sort of clutter. There were even things strewn across every inch of the floor. Oy! It was a pigsty. Walking into my house stressed me out.
My house was constantly a mess and I was so sick of it, but I didn’t know where to start, so I did what any 21st-century momma would do. I turned to the internet. I started researching and reading and that’s when I found minimalism. Specifically, I found Allie Casazza. Her story resonated with me and I found every fiber in my being saying, “Yes, yes, yes! I want this, but how do I get there?” That’s when I found her course Your Uncluttered Home. ($30 off just for you!) It’s a game changer mamas! I felt like she was right there with me, cleaning out every cupboard, closet, dresser, and drawer. Her words lifted me up and helped me to push through.
I still have a ways to go, but minimalism was the answer I needed to slow down my motherhood and start living again. Sometimes we just need a kick in the butt to get started. Thank you Allie!
What is Minimalism?
I believe minimalism is learning to live with less so you can spend more time doing the things you love! This short and sweet definition has really helped me to put my stuff into perspective.
I was drowning in stuff and as a working mom I just couldn’t keep up. Minimalism has helped me to think about what really matters in my life, by thinking about the things that take up my time.
I want my family to be the ones taking up my time, not my stuff.
Are you there too? Are you sick of the mess, but don’t know where to start? Here are some of the things I’ve learned that can help you start right now, even if you only have 5-10 minutes a day.
How Do I Start?
It all starts with you. Do you want this? Do you really want this? Are you sick of constantly coming home to a messy or cluttered home? Are you embarrassed to have friends over? Do you find yourself tidying up ALL THE TIME?
When you have a lot of stuff it feels like you are always putting it away. What would it feel like to come home to a clean home? How would it feel to walk in the doors and just sit down?
Minimalism starts with your mindset. Do you think you can do this? Do you desperately want to stop drowning and start living? You have to want to change and my guess is if you’re here, you are already on that path.
What Do I Do First?
Change your mind, change your life! Minimalism is about living with less so that you can have more time for the things that you love. The first step to minimalism is in your mind. You have to decide that you want to live with less and commit to changing it.
According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, “Nearly half of Americans report that their stress level has increased over the past year, with as many as 30
percent rating their average stress levels as extreme (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale where 10 means “a great deal of stress”).”
My stuff was stressing me out! As soon as I started downsizing and purging I immediately began to feel less overwhelmed.
I hadn’t really realized that I was drowning in stuff, I just thought I needed to be better at organizing.
Are you a busy working mom? Then you know how hard it can be to stay on top of things. I totally get it! If you’re thinking you can’t do this, I want you to know that you can, it will take some time and effort, but momma, believe me when I say, you will never look back!
Becoming a minimalist doesn’t mean giving everything away, well to some people it might, but I want your journey to be about lifting the burden, rather than just throwing everything out. Minimalism is about living a life with less so that you can spend more time doing the things you love!
Momma, you deserve a break! Minimalism is your ticket to thrive in your motherhood not drown!
How Can I be Successful?
Don’t overthink it! Start minimizing today!
Start with 1
Beginning to purge your life of all the excess stuff is a major process and it might seem super overwhelming because it can’t happen overnight, so here’s my advice. Start with one thing. Pick up something, anything, something laying on the floor or counter next to you.
Ask yourself: First, is this mine? If, yes, Ask: Do I use this? Do I need this? Do I want this taking up my time and space?
All the things in your house take up time and space.
Here’s an example of how something as simple as the mail can get out of hand…
When you leave mail on the counter, chances are you have to move it a couple of times before you actually deal with it. The longer it stays on the counter the more time you have to invest in it. You have to move it so you can use the counter, you have to spend time searching for it when you can’t remember where you moved it to and you have to spend time going through it. The longer it sits, the more time it will take. How much time do you want to spend on the mail?
Now, I go through and recycle all the junk and then pay any bills immediately. I do this because I know it saves me time in the long run. I don’t want to spend any more time than I have to on the mail.
Another way to start this process of getting rid of the excess is to set a timer for 15 minutes. Walk around your house looking for anything you don’t need or want. Make sure to only purge your own stuff. I put my husband’s random things into a box and leave them on his side of the bed. Someday, he’ll get sick of searching through boxes and go through his stuff.
Make a donate box and put it in your closet or in the garage. I’ve found that it’s best if the box/pile isn’t visible, because you might go back later and decide you really do want that dress you got a year ago, but have never worn, because it’s so pretty and you paid money for it, and you will definitely wear it this year. You won’t! Get rid of it!
Pick 1 place
Pick one location in your house to work on. This will help you to feel successful in one area and will build momentum to work on other areas in your house.
I started in my kitchen because I spend time prepping and cooking meals, and I wanted it to be a space I liked being in.
Here’s how to start:
- Clear off the counter spaces Ask: Is there anything that could live in the cupboard instead of on the counter? Do you really need your toaster out all the time? Clean counters feel amazing!
- Choose one cupboard or drawer
- Pull everything out… Yes, everything!
- Go through each gadget, kitchen utensil, or food item
- Make 3 pile: Trash, Donate, Keep
- Ask yourself: When was the last time I used this? Is it expired? Do I really need this?
- Put everything back in that you are going to keep
- Organize using baskets or small containers
How Do I Know If This Is Right for Me?
As a working mom, it’s so hard to find extra time to do anything, but I’ve found that investing time into minimizing has helped me to have more time. I’m not constantly cleaning up anymore because there is way less stuff taking up our space.
Why would I want minimalism?
Every working mom wants this, she just doesn’t know it’s possible to overcome all the clutter. I was so stuck in keeping everything up that I didn’t stop to ask myself, what am I so busy doing? Can I get out of this vicious cycle?
I was buried in stuff and I didn’t even realize it.
I want this for you more than you know! You are worth it! You work hard all day long you and the last thing you should come home to is more work–i.e. piles of laundry, dirty dishes, stacks of mail, and a constant state of chaos.
Your home should be a retreat from work, not make you want to go back to work. By minimizing your life you will create more time to do the things you love. You’ll finally be able to pursue that hobby you’ve been thinking about or actually sit down and play with your kids.
Minimalism is what I needed to feel successful as a mother. Minimalism has changed my life and it can change yours!
What is one way you can start minimizing today?
12 Replies to “The Beginner’s Guide to Minimalism for Busy Working Moms”
I love your tips!! So true about the mail…. I have recently started purging and it’s really saving me so much time in clear up 🙂 Now for those 50 thousand little piles of legos…
I helped my kids purge their toys this summer. It has been crazy to see that even with way fewer toys they seem to play more! I love legos, but I know they can be everywhere! We currently have several totes and we’re trying to figure out the best way to store them. We might need to purge some of those too. Best of luck with those piles, the struggle is real!
I need this so badly and I know i do because I don’t even have time to breathe in the chaos that is my life. I wish this wasn’t such a long process. It would be more motivating if it could be done in one weekend lol
I completely agree! I wish I could just snap my fingers and have everything sort, organize, and get rid of itself! I’ve been working at this for at least 2, possibly 3 years now and I think that the process is part of how you make progress. Keep at it! You can do it!
I started out with the intention. To get rid of “stuff” without looking to be minimalist. But, the more I get rid of the the more I go in that direction. It is so nice to not be cleaning up “stuff” constantly!
Exactly… I started out just getting rid of things too. I was tired of the constant messes. Now I want to get rid of all the things! Hahaha… Ok, not everything. But it feels so good and I feel so much lighter.
This is such a great and truthful post! I am doing a 40 day declutter for Lent this year, because I don’t like how “things” steal my joy and time. I agree that you just have to start with one thing, and then continue on from there.
I think sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the clutter that we don’t know where to start. That’s when we end up doing nothing. I started small, but I’ve seen huge changes. I’m excited to continue on this road towards less. It’s changing my life!
I do regular decluttering of stuff I dont need. i havent really had to do a big dehaul
I’ve been working on continuing to declutter so that I don’t have to do my entire house over again. It really helped to do one area at a time. That’s awesome that you’ve been able to keep up on it! I keep a donate box going so that when I find something I don’t need or want, I just toss it in.
Stuff, clutter, messes gives me anxiety! I feel like my whole outlook has gone towards more being minimal over the last year or two. My question would be how do you know when if enough is enough? When will you feel like the amount you’ve gotten rid of will be/feel good enough? Maybe this may be an individual question based on one’s needs?
Over the years I’ve been getting rid of things or selling them if they are worth the time and value. But I feel that I still have too much and I am constantly cleaning up. I would like to have all that free time with my family, but hard for me to enjoy it at times bc I have so much housework to do. I like a clean and tidy home and any mess stresses me out. I also have no problem purging my kids toys yet at the same time I think what if they want it down the road or ask for it? I know they don’t need that much to play with, but then I’ll get in my head and start to think what will happen if we do get rid of these things/items?
I totally understand! I have struggled with the same questions! Clutter also stresses me out. One of the biggest things I’ve done to lighten my load was to help my kids start to put their things into perspective. When they get new things, I ask them to look for things they don’t really play with and to put them in the giveaway box (we ALWAYS have one). I keep it in the laundry room close to the garage door so we can load it up and get it out when it’s full. Clutter is hard for me because my daughter is constantly getting things out! I put one, kind of rustic looking box in our livingroom and I also call it a giveaway box. This is where I put kids things that have been left out. I let them know that those things will move to the laundry room giveaway box if they are not put away by such and such date. Once they go into the laundry room box they cannot be taken out. If they don’t remember they’re gone, they won’t miss them. Usuall they are pretty good at getting out the things they want and leave things they no longer want to clean up.