Declutter,  Home,  Intentional Living,  Minimalism,  Productivity

Creating a Minimalist Home When You’re the “Messy Mom”

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Another evening spent scrolling Pinterest, sighing, and pinning another twenty “inspiration” pins to my “Minimalist Home” Pinterest board.

Some day I’ll get control of my house, right?

I set down my phone, looked around my bedroom, and cringed at the clutter as it mocked me.

You’ll never live in a home as beautiful as those on Pinterest.

You’re too messy.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll tackle the clutter.

I’ll work on getting my life back by taking my home back.

But then tomorrow would come, the overwhelming anxiety would hit, and I’d push off decluttering for another day… again.

Have you been here?

Have you felt that overwhelming feeling of drowning the moment you walked into your home to a mountain of laundry on the couch and toys covering the floor?

How do you even begin moving toward a more minimalist life when you’re a naturally cluttered or “messy” person?

I believe it all starts with baby steps.

When you learn how to change just ONE thing in your life, one habit, one area, you create the opportunity for a domino effect to take place in your life.

So that’s what we’re starting with today.

It’s time to figure out some baby steps that you can implement today in order to move toward a more clean, ordered, and minimalist home, and by extension, a more enjoyable life.

When you learn how to change just ONE thing in your life, one habit, one area, you create the opportunity for a domino effect to take place in your life. #simplequietmama Click To Tweet

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Is it Possible to Overcome a “Messy” Nature?

I’m a naturally cluttered person.

I swoon over all of those beautiful, minimalist, Pinterest-perfect homes, and admittedly my home does not look like that.

At all.

My mom always called me a “packrat.”

I kept everything – ticket stubs, tags to clothing, instruction booklets, receipts, old keychains, junky toys from kids meals, notes from friends and boyfriends, cards… you name it, I kept it.

I was afraid to let anything go because I might need it some day.

Right?!?

WRONG.

Would you believe me if I told you I lived this way up until a year and a half before I started this blog?

Yeah, that’s right.

I brought all of that baggage with me into my marriage.

When my husband and I got married back in 2012, my parents slowly dumped my stuff off to me over that first year or so.

I stuffed the boxes into closets and the spare bedroom until it wasn’t even remotely a guest room anymore.

When we moved in 2014, it all came with me.

Again, we had an entire guest room filled with boxes we never opened or used.

It weighed on me.

I never felt settled in my home. I was surrounded by a ton of stuff, but I didn’t feel content.

We moved again in 2017, and with this move we ended up donating 2-3 trailers full of stuff.

I’m not talking about a few boxes.

I’m talking about donating an entire room full of junk.

We moved into a much smaller home and thus began my decluttering journey and my pursuit of creating a minimalist home… even though I’m naturally a messy person.

I began decluttering and became addicted to it, and while I’m far from being a “true” minimalist, I’ve discovered this:

It is entirely possible to rewire your brain into finding joy in owning less and maintaining a minimalist home.

When I stopped believing that I’d be happy when we got a better couch and that a new wardrobe would solve all my problems, I was able to clear my head enough to see the truth.

Obtaining more stuff never helped me feel better.

I mean, initially, yeah, it’s fun to get something new, but the clutter out weighed that initial feeling and I was left drowning in my own possessions and my children’s toys.

It was too much, so I made the decision to do something about it.

I’m proud to say that by taking the steps I’ve outlined below, I’ve gained my life and my home back.

It’s possible for you, too.

It is entirely possible to rewire your brain into finding joy in owning less and maintaining a minimalist home. #simplequietmama Click To Tweet

Why Messy Moms Need Minimalism

How often do you look around after a busy day at work or home and feel defeated by what you see?

It shouldn’t be that way!

Sure, it’s nearly impossible to keep a totally clean home when you’re raising little ones, but it is possible to keep it under control.

I’m not trying to guilt you here. Please don’t take it that way.

I’m just saying that a few small changes here and there can take you from living in a state of overwhelm to a place that you know you can get your house picked up in a matter of minutes (instead of hours).

If you’re a naturally messy person, you need minimalism.

Minimalism is going to help you combat the very habits that keep you feeling stressed from the clutter.

If you’re thinking that minimalism may not be for you, check out my post on 19 Things You Have Wrong About Minimalist Living.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of minimalism.

Benefits of a Minimalist Home:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety by clearing the visual clutter from your home. Less stuff means less clutter.
  • Gain a sense of peace and authority over your home.
  • Easier to clean, which gives you more time to spend with your spouse, kids, and on the things you love.
  • Create a beautiful space for yourself, even if it’s just a small area. You should have a place in your home that feels like a sanctuary.
  • Gain a sense of accomplishment. Even when life is crazy messy, you know that you’re able to conquer your home because you’ve already conquered an area or a room. Momentum can do a world of good when it comes to decluttering.

Click here for access to our resource library and weekly tips for a better life!

Where Do I Start and How?

You may be tempted to look around at your children’s toys and your husbands stack of books and want to blame them for the clutter.

I urge you to not start with their possessions.

Start with your OWN items.

As your family sees you leading by example, they may follow. And if not, you can’t be accused of only getting rid of everyone else’s stuff and not your own.

Whether you start with an entire room or just a tiny section of your home, it’s good to be strategic in how you approach the space and the goals you have that space.

Take a good hard look at your own possessions and follow the steps below.

Related: How to Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed

The Magic of Toy Minimalism

Step 1: Furniture

Let’s start with the big stuff.

Are there any pieces of furniture you know you’re ready to let go?

What pieces are you holding onto because of guilt, regret, or a sense of obligation?

Which pieces bring you joy to see and use?

Take time to consider each piece of furniture in the space you’re working on.

Keep only the furniture that is necessary and that you love.

Step 2: Floor

Once you have your furniture narrowed down to only the necessary and loved, make it your goal to have nothing on the floor except for the furniture you’ve chosen to keep.

No toys, no books, no papers, no bags, no random piles of things that need a home.

Clear the floor clutter and you’ll start feeling a difference immediately in regards to your mental clutter.

Step 3: Surfaces

Choose one horizontal surface, such as a dresser top or a single shelf, and remove every single item.

Select one or two items that you love and arrange them on that surface.

Find a home for everything else you cleared off.

Don’t just leave it on the floor – you already cleared the floor, dear.

Figure out if you need to trash it, donate it, or find a new home, and then do it.

You shouldn’t have to touch those items multiple times before they are finally put in their new home.

Step 4: Drawers

Tackle one drawer at a time and take out every single item.

Place them in stacks, such as: Trash, Donate, Keep (in this drawer), Keep (needs a different home).

As soon as you go through every item in the drawer, deal with the stuff so that you don’t have to touch it again.

Trash goes in the trash bin.

Donate goes in the donate box.

Items to keep in that drawer go back in the drawer in an organized manner.

Items that you want to keep but need a new home should be placed in their new home immediately.

The purpose of clearing out your drawers is that all of your essential items should be stored out of sight in order to enhance that minimalist and clean environment you’re striving for.

Step 5: Walls

Just because your walls are vertical surfaces doesn’t mean they should be ignored.

Your walls are literally the canvas that surrounds you and your family, so what message are you wanting it to convey?

Cluttered, chaos? Or possibly simple serenity?

Take a serious look at every single thing you have hanging on your walls.

Opt for a simple, tasteful piece of art that brings you joy.

Strive for open space.

By visually decluttering your environment, you’re decluttering your mind as well.

Step 6: Color Palette, Textures, and Specific Spots

By now you may be thinking that if you follow these steps your home will be completely empty of all personality and warmth, but that really doesn’t have to be the case.

Decorate only with the items you love.

Keep only the items that are functional.

Try to stick to neutral, solid colors as you decorate.

Get creative in your use of textures and utilize pops of color in the decorative items you choose to allow in your home to showcase warmth and personality.

Give every item you its’ own place.

Use a list of questions to help you declutter.

Keep It Up (Maintain)

You’ve conquered a room, or even just a corner, and you’re feeling amazing!!

Now you just need to make sure that you don’t let the clutter seep back into that space.

With just a few mental and routine shifts, you’ll become a pro at protecting the home you’re creating in no time.

You’re not finished

As you “complete” each space or room in your home, you’ll probably feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, which is good, but you’re not finished.

Revisit those spaces every few months or so and see if there are any more items that are no longer essential to you.

Make decluttering a regular activity and you’ll quickly find that you do control your home and the items within it.

Commit to some simple, minimalist habits

Create habits to help you streamline and maintain your home.

Each layer of habit you commit to and establish in your life and home brings with it an element of freedom, clarity, and space.

Try the following habits to help you protect and maintain the work you’ve accomplished.

  • Morning Pick Up: Each morning do a quick “reset” to get your home in order.
  • Two Minute Tasks: Take the extra couple of minutes here and there throughout the day to pick up a bit, wash a dish, sort the laundry, or even declutter a drawer.
  • One Touch Mail: Once you bring your mail inside your home, it is either trashed or dealt with. Don’t let it pile up on you.
  • Nightly Reset: Pick up the last of the legos and throw the rest of dinner’s dishes into the dishwasher. 5-10 minutes of picking up each night makes a huge difference in your mentality the next morning.

For more minimalist habits, check out my post: 9 Surprisingly Minimalist Habits That Will Enhance Your Life.

Click here for access to our resource library and weekly tips for a better life!

You Are More Than Your Belongings

This is all about baby steps.

It will not happen overnight, nor should you expect to declutter an area once and be done with it forever.

It’s an ongoing process, a lifestyle change, and you must make the decision daily to fight the mindsets that encourage the clutter.

Make the choice to fight for the mindsets that keep your true goals ahead of you.

You are more than your belongings and you absolutely have the ability to change your home environment and your habits.

You wont become a minimalist overnight.

It’s going to take hard work and probably quite a few tears, but if you’ll keep taking baby steps in the right direction every day, you’ll be amazed at the progress you make in a year’s time or less.

For More About Creating a Minimalist Home, Follow My Pinterest Board: Minimalist Living

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