5 Myths of Decluttering that Hold Us Back From Freedom

“If I have a clean house, I’m neglecting my Kids”

I’ve been there in the throes of balancing a toddler in the flour bin, a preschooler with legos all over the kitchen table, and my eldest painting my bathroom sink with soapy water. While you’re cleaning one mess, another one is being created. When the tornado of kid just ravages through….it can be down right exhausting. But when we start to get rid of the stuff we’re constantly spending our time cleaning, we have less stuff to pick up. And then…you now magically have more time to spend with your kids. Less stuff=cleaner house+happy kids….truly

“But I can’t get rid of this because I may need it someday”

I throw my hands up guilty about this one! Frugal to my core. Between me and my husband, we’d save anything, clip any coupon, find any deal, you name it to save a quick buck. And we could still never get ahead. But there’s this funny thing about gratitude, abundance, and the universe. When we act out of a place of lack, we lose trust that we’ll be taken care of, we don’t give freely of our time and money to others, and we start to hoard. Trust me when I say….gratitude and trusting that you will have all of your needs met is a WAY better place to be. God has always pulled through in some way for me. Holding on to things “just in case” shows my lack of trust in his provision.

“But this has sentimental value…it’s irreplaceable” 

I’m a memory fiend. And I LOVE pictures…so I take a LOT. I’ve found a few simple ways to save my memories through film. But what about those baby books, locks of hair, passed down china? What do we do with those? Some of these things TRULY may be irreplaceable….(like a lock of hair from your baby’s first haircut). But what joy are they bringing you each day? Or what joy will they bring you in the future. We tuck these treasures away. They’re out of sight and out of mind till we stumble across that box full of stuff and then back into the box they go again.  If you really can’t part with it, place it out on display. Make it something you can see and enjoy each day.

“I have to keep it because it was a gift”

When I give a gift, I want that person to love it. And if they don’t, I want them to feel like there’s no hard feelings in exchanging it, taking it back, or passing it along. What’s the point in keeping a gift that you won’t use or love? 99% of the time, the gift giver would rather you love and enjoy your gift than hold onto something just because they gave it to you. Acknowledge that they showed their love to you in GIVING you a gift, not in the actual gift itself. And next time you need to give a gift to someone…re-evaluate if it’s a gift you think they will truly love or if you’re just giving it out of obligation.  If it’s out of obligation…..scratch it and avoid adding clutter to their life.

“It takes so much time to declutter because I have to be so organized and that just ain’t me”

Cleaning takes a ton of time…but decluttering….well, it has a lot of time on the front end but AFTER you’ve created some space and got rid of the stuff that’s filling up random spaces in your home, that’s when you start to realize the freedom you gain. This is NOT about just reorganizing your stuff and having a cutesy little system in place. While being organized is helpful, it has more to do with getting rid of the stuff that weighs you down in the first place. And when you get rid of stuff, you clean less, and when you clean less, you have more time, and when you have more time you’re able to do the things that make you happier, and when you do the things that make you happy, you love life!

What are some of your objections to decluttering?

Have you downloaded my Free 5 Steps to Declutter PDF yet?

xoxo

Renae

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Perfect Gifts for the Mom with Young Kids

Alrighty, we all know that moms usually aren’t the focus of Christmas. We love to give to our kids and others around us. But we love to feel valued too! These have been some of my FAVORITE things this last year and think any mom with young kids in your life will love these gifts this Christmas.

Copy of Copy of Gift Ideas

  1. Instant Pot I never thought I’d need this. It was just one extra kitchen tool. But I was sooo wrong. It has replaced so many other kitchen tools (crockpot, rice cooker, yogurt maker, etc) that it has actually resulted in less clutter and ease. And let’s be real, we all need some easy meals (hence why we love using the crockpot). But have you ever noticed that sometimes crockpot meals just meld together and turn to mush?? When I use the pressure cooking setting on my Instant Pot, it doesn’t turn out that way. But you still get the melt off the bone sort of juiciness.
  2. Roomba Vacuum There have been mixed reviews regarding a robot vacuum because it does take some extra prep work (i.e. making sure no cords or toys are on the floor). BUT with 2 dogs and 3 kids, there is NO way I can keep up with the floor as often as it needs.  So while it may not be 100% effective, I can run it multiple times a day and tackle the ongoing floor mess without having to sweep non-stop.
  3. Bravva Mop Same goes for this one. This has become sort of a nightly routine.  Kids go to bed, toys are off the floor and away, and I turn the mop on and let it do it’s thing.  Then it frees me up to do things I want to do.  Every so often I still love to go through manually and do a mop job with my manual mop but this is so easy to keep up with.
  4. Canon Rebel Let’s be real….I love photos! And Mixbook often gets lots of my business printing up those photos into beautiful photobooks. I love my Canon 6D and loved the versatility (and pricepoint) of the rebel when I first started capturing moments. And our kids grow sooooo fast, we want to capture those moments.
  5. Date Night This is totally new to me but I’m super excited about it. My  first date night is on it’s way to me. It can be so hard for couples to get a night out, or even plan a date night in. So you can make it a priority by having those dates delivered right to you on a monthly basis. They have a Kids Night in and Faith Night in too!
  6. Beachbody on Demand This is THE way to go for fitness and sanity for a mom with young kids. No worries about child care and moms can not only feel better physically, gain more energy, but also create some space for a little self care.
  7. Massage or Pedicure: This always goes a long way with a mom of young kids! Especially if they don’t have to arrange childcare to go!
  8. Brazen or The Miracle Morning or Present over Perfect have been 2 of the most life changing books for me!
  9. Lipsense This stuff is AH-mazing! It’s lipstick that stays on all day long. It makes any mom feel dressed up and yet still totally kiss and snuggle proof.
  10. Wine Club I’m not a huge alcohol drinker but I do love relaxing with my hubs after the kids are in bed and drinking a nice glass of wine. (Discount for Black Friday weekend is 4 pack for price of 2!)
  11. Amazon PRIME OMG! I’m guessing every mom already has this but if she doesn’t it has been such a lifesaver for me. So many times I’ve ordered diapers or diaper cream or whatever and had it at my door the next day without having to load 3 kids in the car. It’s been especially helpful when we get sick and I try to not leave the house. (And the link gets you a discount on the monthly membership…like $5.99 for qualifying members).
  12. Kindle Paperwhite I admit this is one that I do not have but being that I love reading and spend so much money on books I would totally get this one!

And whenever shopping online, make sure you use EBATES. Not only do you get cash back but they’ll search for any coupon codes for you. It’s super awesome!

What would be on your wishlist?

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5 Meaningful & Clutterless Gift Ideas

I have received SOOO many black Friday emails already. It is so crazy! Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened and people are already planning out their weekly shopping. Is your email box full with the deals too?

And while I’m all about being wise and frugal with money, can I challenge you a little bit? Instead of shopping for stuff, can you shop for memory making and adventures? Make a shift in your spending and recognize what you truly want to feel and cultivate this holiday season.

Here are 5 potential things to shop for this weekend without getting caught up in the stuff.

  1. Memberships. Places like the zoo, YMCA, amusement parks (aka Disney!!) & museums
  2. Adventures/Nights Out: gift certificates to things such as kayaking, a getaway, wine tasting, movie tickets, broadway show, mini golf, bowling, or similar (Groupon may be a great option for this)
  3. Self Care: massages, pedicures, hair appointment, health and fitness gift certificates
  4. Restaurants: It’s so fun to go out and have a date night with the expenses already paid for up front!

Additional Tip: Shop with a list. I like to shop with the “something they want, need, wear, and read” mentality but sometimes with all the other people in our lives, it seems that even with just that, our kids receive sooo much. I would much rather give my kids a trip to Disneyland or a weekend away than to buy them tons of toys that lose their thrill the morning after Christmas. So for us this Christmas, I plan to buy each of my kids a few things they NEED and the rest will be fun adventure and memory filled!

And regardless of what comes up this Christmas season, remember…it’s okay to say no sometimes. Sometimes it’s essential to say no to things so that we can make the most amazing memories and totally LOVE the things we are doing!

Remember, the greatest gift you can give your family and the ones you love is the gift of your TIME. Nothing is more valuable than YOU.

P.S.- If you haven’t downloaded my 5 Steps to Break Free from Clutter, you should totally do so! 😉 I want you to fully enjoy this holiday season without having to constantly clean up toys, scramble after the kids, or spend every waking hour scrubbing toilets for arriving guests. Really…that is not what the holidays are for.

 

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

DIY Paper Bag Hardwood Floors

I love DIY projects and before kids, my hubs and I remodeled our first house. Like down to the studs sort of a remodel. But after kids….Let’s be real! Time is just not there. So we’ve been living for the last 6-7 years with half completed projects. But this last month we got all amped up to get some of these projects done. And while I’m being honest, the daily tasks of the household really went by the wayside BUT we made some major progress.

So here’s my most recent project. I had a carpeted front porch that I scraped clean of all the carpet a few years ago and it’s been plain concrete since. But we got a new door and I couldn’t leave it!

 

So….I did a DIY project and am so happy with the way it turned out.

Want to try it out?

Ingredients Needed:

  1. To start, I painted the lighter color on the strips of craft paper and let it dry.
  2. Paint the second color over and follow the instructions on your faux grain tool to make the wood grain. (I had to experiment with this a little bit so give yourself some extra strips to play with.IMG_1352IMG_1357IMG_1359
  3. Once they are dry, mix together 1 cup glue and 3 cups water. Dip all your painted strips into the glue mixture till completely wet.
  4. Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup glue together and paint mixture onto your floor surface. (PS-make sure your floor is really clean before you start this process)
  5. Lay down the strips of paper on the glue and use a squeegy tool to smooth out all bubbles.IMG_1348IMG_1350IMG_1349
  6. Continue process till floor surface is covered and let dry.
  7. Paint a layer of polyurethane over the floor following can directions.
  8. Continue with 8-10 layers (per can instructions).
    1. Tips! Clean each time you do a layer. I had to sand out some bugs and hairs and such. I even got a dirty foot print that I didn’t notice till it was already under polyurethane.
  9. Step back and admire your beautiful floor.

What do you think? Have you tried it? Would you try it?

Secret to Saving Kids Artwork without Clutter

What the heck do we do with all the pictures, drawings, school projects, and little gifts from our kids? I mean, I love them all but my daughter’s love language is gifts.  So we are ALWAYS getting special pictures, drawings, or crafts from her because that’s her way of showing how she loves us.  But I’m on a journey to eliminating clutter from my life.  I want more space.  I want a chance to breathe and not feel like I’m CONSTANTLY cleaning.  Is it wrong to want a clean house AND be able to enjoy time with my kids?

I saw somewhere a picture of a triangle that showed mom’s sanity, a clean house, and happy kids on each of the points.  The meme stated, you can only choose 2, which 2 are you going to choose.  For a long time, hands down, I wanted happy kids and happy mom to be my choice.  But you know what I realized….a clean house was a HUGE contributor to my sanity.  I don’t think you have to choose between the 3. I think you CAN have a balance of all 3.

So in my quest to eliminate stuff without losing the memories (or breaking my dear daughter’s heart), I found an app called Keepy. It’s been amazing.  It has both a free and a paid version (with the amount of drawings we get, I totally bought the paid version).

You can take snapshots of your children’s drawings, crafts, projects, whatever and store them. You can have multiple kids all stored in the same account. You can store voice recordings of your child telling you about the picture or take a picture of your child holding the drawing so you can document age too. And best! You can add “Fans” so grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends can see all the magical drawings and leave messages too.

 

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It’s definitely a timeless way to preserve and capture memories without all the clutter.  And if you did want to print all of it in a book, they make it pretty seamless too with having photobook  and other photo gift options (although I haven’t tried that part yet).

If you haven’t snagged a copy of my FREE 5 Steps to Breaking Free From Clutter, you should totally do that! Breaking free from clutter has changed my life. I finally feel like I can enjoy time with my kids because I’m not spending day in and day out picking stuff up.

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

This post is kind of mortifying to me! I’m literally going to show you pictures of my toilet. It makes me cringe. It’s DISGUSTING! I think part of it is with the California drought we aren’t flushing as often, part of it is that we have hard water, and from some research I think some may be rust deposits. Oh, and I guess I should probably clean it a little more frequently.

But this is it! Disgusting!

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From my research, I saw lots of variations of sort of the same recipe for toilet cleaning. This is what I used

  1. I added 1 cup of baking soda and about 3-5 drops of purification blend essential oil.
  2. I let it soak for approximately 30 minutes and then added 1 cup of vinegar.
  3. I waited roughly 30 minutes again and then used my toilet bowl cleaner.toilet (2 of 3)
  4. It came out cleaner but not like I wanted. So I added all the ingredients again and let it sit for a few hours.
  5. Then scrubbed it a little harder.

This was my final result. Not quite as clean as I would like but WAY better. I’ll probably do this a little more often to keep it cleaner and less difficult to scrub!

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Summer Series: Soothing Sunburns with Essential Oils

Gardening and planting my summer garden is one of my favorite things to do! I just love it! When we finally got our fence done, I feverishly worked on getting my garden boxes done and planted.  It was a cloudy day, my baby was sleeping, and my toddler was helping.  It didn’t even occur to me to put on sunscreen.  I didn’t even realize how burnt I had become until I went to get in the shower.  That’s when I took this picture.
sunburnFortunately, it didn’t hurt too bad but as soon as I got out of the shower, I went to the oils! There are a couple different remedies and options.

Sunburn Soothing Gel

(this is the one I used, and then switched out peppermint for frankincense once it cooled a little)

  • 1 tsp of aloe vera
  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • 1-2 drops of peppermint oil

Sunburn Spray #1

  • 16oz. glass spray bottle
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon Aloe Vera Juice
  • 1/4 cup Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E
  • 8 drops lavender oil
  • 8 drops melaleuca oil
  • 8 drops Roman Chamomile oil

Sunburn Spray #2

  • 20 drops of Lavender
  • 10-20 drops of Pepeprmint
  • 2 ounce spray bottle
  • Fill the remainder with either water or fractionated coconut oil.

(Once the initial sting is worn away, you can trade the peppermint oil for frankincense oil)

  • 1 tsp of aloe vera
  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • 1-2 drops of frankincense oil