With a brand new year, the desire to downsize, live with less, and declutter starts to take over. More often than not, we as mothers, roll with it, fully intending to get rid of things, donate, and have that garage sale. In the midst of it all, sometimes overwhelm creeps in and we lose sight of what it is that we want. Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite tips to help you start to declutter your life.
So... here you are, finding yourself overwhelmed to no avail, and I’m sure you feel like your home looks like a hurricane just blasted on through. Don’t worry, I’m going to help you tackle the mess, and even help you tackle those tiny toddler tornadoes that spin out of control all over the place!
One of the first things I wanted to share with you, and probably the most important thing I am going to share with you, is to give yourself grace throughout this journey. I can’t help you out if you aren’t going to be kind to yourself in the process. This means that if you are starting on one of your projects, you simply cannot allow the negative voices to become your peanut gallery, or anti-cheerleading section. It's time to tell that negative voice in your head, the one that tells you you're not _____ enough or your _____ is too big, or too small... you know the voice... it's time to tell her to get a life. You don't need to listen to her negativity anymore.
Think about it. If your best girlfriend was sitting next to you, and she was telling you out loud... all of those negative things that you tell yourself, would you still want to be friends with her? I don't think anyone would want to stay friends with someone that was constantly crushing their self worth and self esteem. So why do we continue to do this to ourselves?
I hope you look your beautiful self in the mirror today and tell her how much you love her. I mean it. Go look yourself in the mirror. See your beautiful eyes... they have seen so much. See your smile... your smile has brought joy to so many people in this world. You are an incredible woman and you deserve to feel, love, joy and happiness. Can you see how vital this is to your success in taking care of the things going on around you? I used to think that “Self Care” was so hard, and that I didn’t have time for any of that stuff. I had so much to do and not enough hours in the day to get any of it done.
In reality, I would be productive, but I was stressed out, I was grumpy, and I wasn’t truly able to serve my family from a place of gratitude with all that grouchiness I was carrying with me. As soon as I realized what a difference it made in my own happiness, and of course my family’s, I made a promise to myself that I would never cut out my self care again, and that I wouldn’t let negativity plague my mind anymore. I committed to tea, quiet time, reading inspirational texts, journaling, devotionals, coffee, a yummy breakfast, vitamins, lighting candles, yoga and meditative breathing. I don’t do all of everything, every day, but I do the things I know are going to fulfill me and bring me the energy I need to take on what my planner says. I also doing beat myself up when things don’t go according to plan. I cannot even begin to tell you how terrible a habit this was for me. I definitely have glued on the perfectionist hat before, and still to this day I’m prying off pieces of that hat from my head. It’s totally ok to see your self care for the day as taking a few deep breaths, sleeping in for another 20 mins, or a quiet soak in the bath tub.
Don’t turn your self care into a chore. When we stop and really think about it, and think about where we are limiting ourselves, and putting up road blocks, we can get a clearer vision of where we can begin our self care.
- Are you more prone to negative thinking?
- Are you more prone to procrastination?
- Are you making excuses for why you cannot do certain things?
- Are you limiting your self with your beliefs about what you can and cannot do?
If you identify with any of this, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Is this serving me in any way?” Recently, I had a morning, facetime coffee visit with my mom, and we were chatting about this topic in particular. Seeing as my mom has been around 28 years longer than I, I know and truly value the wisdom she has to share. It was obvious then, that I share some of her insight on this topic.
Here is what my mother Martina had to say,
“When you are looking to overcome your own obstacles inside your head as to why you cannot do the things that are ‘overwhelming’ you... you can come up with all these reasons why you can’t do these things. BUT, all you need is to find one positive, to drive you forward. Don’t concentrate on the act of doing something, concentrate on the result. Stop making excuses, and stop giving yourself all these reasons why things are hard. Why can’t you make it fun or enjoyable? Once we stop making a mountain out of a molehill, things begin to flow.”
And it is so true, it all begins inside. If you were expecting some crazy organization techniques today, to help you declutter your life, I'm sorry to disappoint you. When it comes to decluttering, it needs to start from inside of us. I can’t tell you that it is going to be easy to rewrite old thought patterns, and the negative programming you have lived in before, but I can tell you that it will be worth it once you are on the other side of that. Don’t you want to see what that woman looks like?
The woman who wakes with ease and energy for her day...
The woman who can happily tend to her children when they need her...
The woman who can be strong and supportive of her spouse...
This can be you. It all comes with starting from the inside. Mind you, you don’t need to show up as this woman every day, but I’m sure if you show up in this way 90% of the time, you and those around you are going to find so much more to be grateful for.
Let’s talk about some practical steps you can take to work on framing your positive mindset, and starting a morning routine that will set you up for a successful day. I’m going to lay out the foundation of my morning routine for you, so you can add to it, take from it, and make it your own. Remember, this is a foundation, you don’t have to do things the way that I do them, or even remotely similar. The key here is to tackle a few little chores (makes you feel productive) and of course your self care (makes you feel good!) so that you can take on whatever lies ahead.
- Make the bed
- Tea/Coffee/Honey Lemon Water
- Inspirational Reading/Devotional (1-2 pages)
- Check your Planner/Calendar Get fully dressed (shoes included!)
- Face care/make up (if you wear it)
- Swish the toilet bowl(s)
- Eat Breakfast
- Empty your dishwasher
- Start a load of laundry
- Move your body (yoga/walk/exercise)
Maybe this seems like a big list to you. Maybe it seems completely feasible for you right now. Whatever the case, I want you to put something together for yourself that you feel comfortable with. Remember you don’t need to do all of this at once.
It actually took me a month to filter all of this into a regular working schedule. To be honest, this doesn’t take more than 90 minutes of my morning. If you are fortunate enough to have late risers in your home, you can get it all done before they wake up! If not, you have the option of getting up early for quiet time to yourself, or letting everyone know that mommy is going to do her morning routine and you can help when you are finished. Because this routine doesn’t take me very long, it also gives me the ability to stop and take care of my hubby or son if they need something.
Do what works for you, but you gotta start somewhere. I hope this list has given you a tangible starting point so that the physical decluttering flows into your routine more easily. Remember, be kind to yourself. If you are still getting into the swing of things, give yourself grace. “I may not have done everything on my list, but I am taking care of myself, I am taking care of my family, and I am an incredible woman.” This is not about inundating yourself with more things to do, it is about finding peace of mind in getting clutter out of your head, out of your home, and establishing a routine so you can enjoy being a mother.
Don’t let those negative voices get you down, and if they do, remember that I believe in you.