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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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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DIY Wood Floor Cleaner

Sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. It’s been a crazy whirlwind sort of few weeks.  We found out that we are expecting a little boy! We are very excited to add to our family and very excited that we will soon have a daughter and a new little son!   Then I caught the worst cold I’ve had in years. I’m usually up and back to work or working around the house within a day.  But this one took me out for 3 days of work and has me still lingering with congestion.  Thank goodness I have some oils that are safe to use during pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with my daughter I didn’t have that and chose not to use any over the counter meds. (A little side note, I started using protective blend essential oil on my daughter and husband when they started to feel a little cold coming on while I was sick.  Now a week later, they are both still running like a champ! Unfortunate, I don’t feel comfortable using protective blend while pregnant.  I did have it diffusing in my diffuser for the last week though.  If you have questions about why I choose not to use it during pregnancy, let me know!)

Anyway, on to my post. I have a refillable floor cleaner and have been using a variety of items trying to clean my floors.  This is what I’ve found that works the best.  I’m not absolutely in love with it as I feel it sometimes leaves streaks.  But I’m not sure if that’s my mop cleaner or the solution itself. So if any of you have suggestions or recipes you’ve tried, let me know! I’d love to give them a try.

Recipe

Roughly 16oz of water

1 tablespoon of Vinegar

3-5 drops of Essential oil (I chose Lemon for extra cleaning power)

A squirt of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (I added this midway through trying to further eliminate any streaking)

My before photos

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My After Photosseptember2013 (8 of 9) september2013 (9 of 9)

Did you know your bed might have bed bugs or dust mites? DIY- Mattress and Furniture Cleaner

Yesterday my daughter was throwing a bit of a tantrum.  She was in her room screaming and then all of a sudden it got quiet. Any of you parents, know that this is a BAD sign. I walked in to find her staring down as she peed on her uncovered mattress.  I’ve never had this problem before as usually she has a liner on the mattress and I take that off and wash it.  I searched the internet for ways to clean it up and ran across a lot of posts talking about bed bugs and dust mites. Eww! Apparently, cleaning your mattress should be something we do somewhat regularly.  I know that Joe and I have had a mattress for the entire time we’ve been married (7 years). Guess how many times it’s been cleaned? You guessed it! None.

I made a cleaner for my mattress by making the following recipe.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-5 drops lavender oil
  • 2-5 drops eucalyptus (This one because of it’s ability to kill dust mites. See this study’s results.)
  • 2-5 drops purity blend

I added them together in a glass jar and shook until they were mixed. I used a sifter from my daughter’s play kitchen and sifted it onto her mattress.  Because I didn’t need to wash the sheets on our bed or the spare bedroom yet, I decided to use the rest on our couches and use it as a deodorizer and general cleanser.

cleaning (3 of 4)cleaning (4 of 4)I then let them sit for approximately an hour and then vacuumed them up!

It’s probably best to complete this process on your bed and furniture at least every few months or so, especially if you have pets or suffer from allergies.