When we decide to declutter our home, we want to get it done. We often start off strong. We feel an urge to get rid of all the things. We fill up bags full of stuff and our house feels different. Lighter. Once the obvious items have been decluttered, it can start to feel difficult. It can become overwhelming. It can be easy to have motivation but we can lose momentum.
Why not learn from the brightest and the best in the business? Most of these authors started off just like you and me. They were surrounded by excess stuff and wanted a change. They needed to do something different. They learnt by doing and figured out strategies to help others do the same.
Many were parents who felt suffocated by all the things in their home. It was making them feel crazy. Something had to change. Something had to go, and it couldn’t be the kids. As toys tend to be a big part of the problem, they become a large part of the process.
It’s one thing to ditch some plastic junk that you are sick of stepping on and putting away. It’s another to involve your children. Getting your children on board with decluttering is an important step. When we come alongside them to sort out what they don’t love or use, and find new homes for them by donating or selling, we help them to form new habits.
Below are my favourite books on decluttering that might be useful to you too.
1. The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
The Minimalist Home is the inspiration you need to start decluttering. Joshua does a deep dive into each room of the house and gives you steps to follow and questions to ponder. This helps you to reduce the inventory so you can focus on what really matters. Joshua has a comprehensive blog, YouTube channel and has published a number of other titles.
Messy Minimalism is for the messy folk out there who aren’t typically good at organising their homes. She takes a judgement free approach to decluttering and is permission giving that your house doesn’t need to look perfect. Rachelle has strategies and solutions that you can implement to create a purposeful home. She runs the Abundant Life with Less online community.
3. Declutter like a Motherby Allie Casazza
Declutter like a mother is written for mothers who are overwhelmed with all the stuff and are desperately seeking a change. Allie understands that season and openly talks about how seriously she struggled with this in early motherhood. In her book she motivates women to take charge, to get rid of the excess and to make a change for the better. Allie has a popular podcast, runs decluttering challenges, a book for children and has a huge following online.
Minimalist Moms is for mothers who seek to live intentionally. Diane gives a convincing argument for why reducing the stuff can have a positive impact on our lives. She gives practical steps to help you declutter your home. She also talks about the benefits of slowing down and saying no to extracurricular activities, and how this can help family life. Diane started with a podcast and has a community of like-minded individuals who strive to do more with less.
5. A Simpler Motherhoodby Emily Eusanio
A simpler motherhood empowers mothers to live life on purpose. When we declutter our homes and make a conscious effort to slow our schedule, it can have enormous benefits for our family. Emily unlocks the secrets to a simpler and more intentional life, and delves into marriage, parenting and faith. You can find Emily at The Simplified Mom on Instagram.
6. Love People, Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
Love People, Use Things speaks about the power of reducing what we have in our homes and simplifying our schedule. When we take steps to do this, it can change the trajectory of our lives. Known as The Minimalists, they took decluttering to a radical level and couldn’t help but share their journey. You can find Joshua and Ryan on their website, listen to their podcast or watch their documentaries Minimalism and Less is Now on Netflix.
7. Project 333 by Courtney Carver
Project 333 encourages readers, especially women, to consider how many outfits are in their wardrobe and how many of these actually get worn. Getting ready in the morning can be stressful and partly because we have too many options. Courtney writes about how you can manage with just 33 items in your closet for 3 months, and learn to love it. You can find out more on her website and Instagram.
8. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying upby Marie Kondo
The life changing magic of tidying up takes readers through an expert guide on decluttering. Marie explains the order that she uses to tackle each area of the home. She has a particular way of folding and storing items so that they are visually appealing and are stored neatly. Marie is a multi million copy international bestseller, writes more about her KonMari method on her website and has a series on Netflix.
In closing, these titles are packed full of ideas to get you inspired to start decluttering and practical steps you can follow. I love that these books not help you to get rid of the physical clutter, but help you to become more intentional with the time that we have. Life is short and the time we have with our children is precious.
Books can make great gifts. I know I have so many that I’d love to receive. Why not add a few that catch your eye and save them to your wishlist. You’ll be supporting a hard working author and you can always give them to a friend when you are finished.
These are available to purchase on Amazon or your favourite bookshop. Many are also available to borrow from your local library and can help to save you money. If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, apps like Libby and Borrowbox enable you to borrow titles for free.
I’m so excited for you as you begin your decluttering journey or seek to minimise your home even more. I know that as you reduce the clutter, you’ll gain more space, increase your focus and give you back more time. I’d love to hear about your journey and connect with you on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Before I had kids, I never got into decluttering. The stuff didn’t bother me. In fact I had so much stuff. I had 2 DVD racks filled to brim of alphabetised movies. I had 4 bookshelves full of novels, biographies and uni textbooks. I had a wardrobe stuffed full of clothes, including over 60 dresses. I loved collecting things and felt happy looking at our full shelves.
Fast forward a few years and we were blessed with a little baby. It was wonderful. We were blissfully happy. I loved staying home to take care of him.
That’s when it hit me. I was suffocating in stuff. Drowning under the sheer weight of it all. What I hadn’t realised pre-kids was just how little time you have once they are born. The saying goes, sleep when the baby sleeps. What if they never want to sleep without you, too alert in the daytime and wake with every sound?
That was my experience. I clearly remember feeling trapped under my sleeping baby. It was wonderful and lovely yet it was also really hard. It was hard to see the house unravel. Toys lying on the floor. Board books scattered everywhere.
Gifts from well wishes needing to have tags cut off and wrapping away. Bathroom needing a wipe over. Piles of washing to deal with. Breakfast dishes still in the sink. Dinner not prepared and no idea what to cook.
Stuff was stressful. I couldn’t see past it. My eyes were drswn to it and my heart seemed to beat faster in my chest. It bothered my husband a bit but he could quite easily ignore it and focus on the task at hand. Me? Not so much. I think most women feel the same way.
There were the piles of things to do and the stuff to find homes for. I thought that maybe if I bought some new cute baskets it would help to organise it all. After spending too much money on storage that I didn’t really need, I realised that organising wasn’t the problem.
The excess needed to go. I started going through everything. Nothing was safe. I read books, listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos while I decluttered so I could be motivated and inspired. It felt like I had company. Someone to cheer me on along my decluttering journey.
There are many articles and books out there that are super helpful when it comes to minimising your home. Some people love the KonMari method of going in order of categories and getting everything out. For others you might devote an entire weekend or holiday week to it.
You might work like crazy to get it done. For some you might only have tiny snippets of time due to your young family, work or travel commitments, health issues or energy levels. For others, parting with things can be really hard. It takes a while to build up the decluttering muscle and get strong with letting go.
I like the onion analogy. You might look through your wardrobe and find a few things to get rid of. You see a jacket that you haven’t worn in years. Your logical brain tells you that if you haven’t worn it in ages, you probably won’t start now. Yet your heart still loves it. You remember when you bought it and the plans you had to wear it. You remember how much it cost you and it feels a waste to donate it.
A few months later, you look back in your wardrobe on a decluttering mission. You feel good after going through so much stuff. You get the sense more quickly whether the item in front of you should stay or if it should go. The further you get into decluttering, the more layers you start to peel off.
You become more ruthless. You can make decisions faster. You have accepted that the day you bought the item was the day you spent money. Keeping it unused in your wardrobe doesn’t get you your money back.
There is no one size fits all. There is no right way to declutter. You have to find the right way for you. In the end, the only thing that matters is that you declutter your home. It’s the end result that counts.
If you’re after my advice? Start with what bothers you. Pick one area of your house and go for it. Here are some pointers.
Is your wardrobe so tightly packed with clothing that it’s hard to move the coat hangers across? Are there items in there that you haven’t worn in years? Does it bother you having so many choices for outfits in the morning when you get dressed? Is the washing out of control? Clothing might be the area to start decluttering first.
Start going through your clothes. Pick a section at a time to focus on so the pile on your bed doesn’t get so high and so it’s not too overwhelming. Plus, when it comes time for sleep, you will actually be able to sleep on it. Hold up each item individually.
If you’re not sure if you still love it or if you will wear it again, try it on. Yes it will take you longer, but this way you can really see if it’s an item that fits you, looks good or you can see yourself wearing. Take a few seconds or minute to decide, then either put it back in your wardrobe or in your drawer, or throw it into your donation box. Consider having a box of items to sell if you have time to do so.
Does the sight of toys make you feel stressed out? Do you step on them and worry you’ll fall over? Does it make you panic when your kids pulls out a toy box and dumps it on the floor? Do you children pull out every item and then go to the next toy, without playing properly?
Does the toy collection cause fights? Do the toys with a million loose parts cause you anxiety? Do you dread birthday and Christmas time because it means that there will be more toys for you to manage? Perhaps this is an indicator that you need to start decluttering toys.
If you’re children are very young, you can most likely do a lot of the decluttering without them. You know what they love and use, and what they could probably do without. I love what Dawn suggests from The Minimal Mom. She recommends putting some toys in quarantine. Put the ones you think your kids won’t miss into a box, label it and hide it away in the shed, garage or attic. Put a reminder in your phone for 3 months time (or whatever time frame you’re happy with).
For slightly older kids, try to get them involved in the process. Ask them what toys they no longer play with, and could go to another child who doesn’t have much. For children who find it hard to part with stuff, consider letting them sell some of their toys.
I’ve heard of people paying their kids for items that don’t have a resell value but you’d really like out of the house. I have done this before and let me tell you, it works. It’s a good way to help with decluttering toys and keeps both parent and chid happy. I love lots of ideas here if you’re looking for more detail.
Another idea is a toy rotation. Put at least half of the toys away so there is less out on display. Children often do better when they have fewer options to choose from. They experience less overwhelm, tend to play more imaginatively and the fighting over toys decreases. To avoid having crazy amounts of toys entering your house after a birthday or Christmas, consider writing a list of ideas for relatives that might help them choose from.
Do you feel stressed out in the kitchen? Are your cupboards packed to the brim with appliances? Do you have too many Tupperware containers without lids or takeaway containers taking up valuable space? Is your pantry difficult to navigate? Do you find yourself spending too much on groceries because you don’t really know what you already have? Maybe the kitchen is the place for you to start decluttering.
We spend a lot of time in our kitchens preparing meals and tidying up. If we feel overwhelmed in this room, it will affect a big part of our day. The first thing to do is reduce the inventory. Go through cupboards and drawers one at a time. Be realistic about how much you use each item. Be harsh with appliances and consider donating those that have a singular use (eg. waffle machines and pie makers).
If it is something that other people use but you don’t ever seem to (like a rice cooker or electric frying pan), you don’t have to keep it. If you bought an item on a craze (think air fryer) but it’s big and bulky and you hate storing it, it’s time to go. If your ideal self would use this (bread machine or icecream maker) but you hadn’t got around to it yet, you can always declutter it and repurchase it later, in a season where you might have more capacity to use it.
Once you’ve gone through the drawers and cupboards, take time to look through the pantry, fridge and freezer. This will take some time. Ditch anything past its use by date, that looks questionable or you don’t remember how long it’s been there for. This is a time where buying some storage containers to display food can be a smart idea. It will looks neater and more appealing, keeps food more fresh, keeps creepy crawlies out and is easier to see at a glance what you need to top up.
Set up routines for doing the dishes, putting on the dishwasher and unpacking the dishwasher. Make sure other members of your household pull their weight, including children. Have set times when you meal plan, check the inventory of your food, order groceries or do a shop and meal prep
Another thing to think about is how much stuff is on the kitchen bench? It can easily be a dumping group for paperwork and a storing spot for appliances. Look at what is there right now. Consider what actually needs to stay there. Coffee machine? Of course. Kettle? Yep. Toaster? Probably not. Tea and sugar canisters? Probably not. Soda stream? Probably not. Be ruthless.
Try removing everything from the bench top. Find a spot in the cupboards or somewhere else for now (however keep in mind if you need to keep all of these things). Take note of what you use multiple times a day. A thermomix might be used 3-4 times whereas a blender or food processor might only be used a few times a week. A kettle might be used multiple times a day but a toaster only used once or twice.
Is it worth having the visual clutter and the reduced bench space just so you have convenient access to something? Think about what is more important to you. I used to have so much on our bench. For a small kitchen, it was actually ridiculous. Now we keep our kettle and coffee machine on our bench, and a drying rack for dishes. That’s it. Everything goes away until it’s time to use it, except for a loaf of bread and my to-do lists (I admit, I have a problem!).
Is your clutter problem in the bathroom? Do you have too many products? Are there items that have run out or you don’t use anymore? What is on the bench that doesn’t have to be? Perhaps decluttering the bathroom would be a useful place to start for you.
Take a minute to examine what you have in there right now. Are there some items you can throw away right now because they are empty or you don’t use? Do you have lots of sample products from hotel stays? Do some products react with your skin? Do you have make up that is old or you haven’t used in years? Go through and throw away any of the above.
Use up the containers that you can’t bear to part with, but give yourself a time limit. Take everything off the bathroom bench and put into the cupboards. If they can’t fit, you either have too many products or you need to store them somewhere else.
Be realistic about how often you use items, how often you do your make up to go out and how often you wear different types of perfume or nail polish. Know yourself and how many hair elastics and bobby pin clips you need. Go through the hair sprays and leave in serums. Hair and beauty products can be replaced relatively easily and cheaply so keep this in mind as you declutter.
Paper work, books, garage, shedand photos
These categories are big ones. For many parents feeling overwhelmed with their stuff, it’s mainly about the excess that they see everyday. They are the areas worth tackling first. If you are motivated to go through some of these items though, by all means, go for it! File paperwork at night in front of the TV and enjoy shredding documents that you don’t need to keep anymore.
Go through your books, section by section, and figure out which ones you want to read, read again or declutter. Ask your children to help look through their collection. Items in the garage or shed that you are decluttering can be high in value, so it is worth listing on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree. Save photos to do last as it is such a big and often emotional task.
Know that starting is the hardest. Deciding to start and actually starting is the hardest part. Depending on your financial situation and how much a rush you are in will determine where you send the items. If you need the cash or know that it will help you part with things, sell as many items as you can. People will buy just about anything.
Do your best to avoid landfill. Join your local Buy Nothing group and enjoy the benefits from sharing and taking what you need. Donate to a women’s refuge or homeless shelter. Find an op shop that donates it’s proceeds to a charity that aligns with your values. For clothing that needs repairs, find a seamstress who can fix it. For worn down shoes, find a cobbler.
Volunteers at repair cafes can teach you how to fix up broken items. Old electronics can be recycled at Officeworks and Bunnings. Old phones can be sent to Mazuma mobile and they’ll send you money in return.
If you’re looking for some additional resources to help you on your way to decluttering your home, here are some books that I’ve found helpful on my journey.
In closing, when you become a parent, it can really feel like you’re suffocating in stuff. For the stay at home parent, often mums, it can be so overwhelming. In the end, it doesn’t really matter where you start, as long as you start. Figure out what is causing you the most stress and begin decluttering there. Fill up bags and boxes and get them out of your house. This will bring you a lot of satisfaction as you take a step back and admire your clutter free home.
It won’t be a one-off job. Clutter has a way of infiltrating our lives. We are given presents, our children come home with party bags, we go to shows and seminars and get take home bags. We need to make a conscious effort not to bring more excess into our house. Stop it at the front door.
If it is something we love, need or will use, find an items to take out of your house to even it out. If you want to keep on decluttering and seeing progress, make it two or three items (or even more) that you remove before bringing in something new.
Going forward, be intentional with how you do gift giving. Put limits on how much you get. Write a list of ideas. Opt for more experiences rather than things, especially for children. You get to decide what comes into your house and what stays. By decluttering the excess, you will help to reduce the overwhelm. You will make space for what really matters, and you’ll be so glad you did.
Selling secondhand items has never been easier, thanks to the many online platforms we have available. We can post virtually anything for sale and almost always find a buyer. Selling on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree can be a brilliant way to both part with your excess stuff and make quick cash. What more could you want!
When I shared my financial story recently, I mentioned that I’ve always had a lot of stuff. I loved collecting things as a kid – feathers, rocks, shells, postage stamps and chocolate wrappers. As a teen, this turned into CDs, DVDs and books. I studied to become a teacher and began collecting resources. When I got married and moved into my hubby’s unit, I realised how much we both owned.
Now as a mum of three, we own a lot of stuff. Some of it just comes with the territory. Kids have clothes, shoes, toys and books. They grow out of things fast. It just feels overwhelming.
I’ve been going through it all like a crazy person ever since I had my first baby. Reducing to one income meant that we needed to be a little savvy with the money we had, so any extra I could make would be super handy.
One way I could do this was by decluttering our excess and listing it online. It wasn’t easy, it still isn’t easy. It would be quicker to take it all to the op shop to donate. However, I know that it’s one way to earn good cash so I make the effort to do it.
Over the last five years, I have sold an estimated $10,000 worth of gear (I wasn’t joking when I said we had a lot of stuff!). One year I sold $1,300 alone with the motivation of surprising my hubby for his 40th birthday. I secretly arranged an AFL Grand Final experience. I didn’t want to use any money from our account so worked hard to sell dozens of items and kept the earnings aside.
I’ve put together some tips to help other people have success with selling as I believe that if I can do it, anyone can!
Selling Tip #1: Take Good Photos.
A good photo will grab the attention of an interested buyer. Find a good location to take the photos with as little distractions as possible. Make sure there is adequate light and the photo is clear. Take as many photos as you can to show different angles. If in doubt, take more photos.
As I write this, I realise that my phone camera is pretty terrible. It’s not ideal and needs replacing. However, I still do my best to take clear photos in well-lit places of my home to help the buyer decide if the item is right for them. It also reduces the amount of questions that I get asked. A little more time taken when posting can reduce frustrations later on.
Selling Tip #2: Have a Long Title.
Include as much information as you can in your title. If you are listing clothing, include the type of garment, brand, size, gender and condition. If you are listing furniture, list the type, brand name, colour, condition. The longer the better and the more it will show up in searches.
Selling Tip #3: Write a Detailed Description.
Take the time to write a detailed description in your ad. Include:
if you are open to negotiation
pick up suburb with postcode or delivery and if there is a fee for this
smoke free / pet free home?
mention if it is listed elsewhere
I often copy and paste a description from a website if it provides detailed information, and would be helpful to a buyer.
Selling Tip #4: Try Listing Everything.
It is hard to know what will sell and what won’t, so I recommend giving everything a go! Sometimes the most random things sell and sell quickly, and those things that I presumed would go fast, end up sitting there for ages. It is worth taking some photos and listing your excess items and seeing what happens.
Selling Tip #5: List in Multiple Places.
I normally list on Facebook Marketplace first, and list in other groups on there. I choose groups that are close by to me and target specific ones for things like baby items. This means that buyers looking for specifically baby items will be more likely to see your ad. Once I am satisfied that I have Facebook covered, I then copy and paste the listing into Gumtree as well.
For higher end items of clothing or more valuable items, I sell on eBay instead. I find that it takes longer to list ads, they charge a fee and having to go to a post office takes time and effort. It can be a great way to earn money and reach a far bigger audience. I personally have had the most success selling locally on Marketplace and Gumtree and feel that it is easier to do.
Selling Tip #6: Offer Delivery.
This doesn’t mean that you have to deliver it. It just means that your ad might appeal to a wider audience. For those who don’t have transport, it can be really difficult to purchase second hand items. You can charge extra for delivery (to areas you are happy to go), meet half-way or wait until you are going that direction. It can help make a sale if you are willing to be flexible.
Selling Tip #7: Price it Higher to start with.
It’s worth putting the price up a little higher than you think you might get for it. Sometimes people surprise you and buy items more than they are worth. Buyers don’t always do the research beforehand. I know I have overpaid on items before and didn’t realise how cheap things were knew. Other times buyers might just not care. They want something, you have it, they’ll make it work.
Selling Tip #8: Leave Items by your Door.
I don’t know about you, but I hate having to wait around for people to pick up things. It often messes around with our plans or ends up being in the middle of nap or bath time. This won’t work for everyone but for items lower than $50 in value, I offer to leave them by our front door for collection. If the buyer is happy upon inspection, they can leave money under our doormat or letterbox.
I’ve done this hundreds of times. I love not having to waste time waiting around. Only twice have people not left money, so I politely contacted them. They either transferred it or dropped it off apologetically. I’ve had multiple things sold on the same day, where people only took what was theirs and didn’t take the other money under the mat. Most people are very honest (otherwise give them a bad rating 😉).
If you’re worried about security, you could pretend you’re home but say the baby is asleep, hubby is busy studying, you’re in the backyard / resting after night shift etc.
Selling Tip #9: Be Prepared to Negotiate.
I don’t love negotiating but it is often part of the selling process. Being open and willing to negotiate can help you make a quick sale. If you are not open to negotiating, make sure you put that on the ad or reply to any offer with a reminder about this.
I recently sold a breast pump. I first listed it at a high price, curious to see if it would sell. I then relisted it at a lower price ($200). I had someone ask if I’d accept $100. I replied that it’s worth over $500 plus accessories so I wouldn’t go lower. He replied with a sob story about how they couldn’t afford new so needed me to reduce it. I politely declined.
Hours later he offered $130. I said that I could go as low as $180. He then offered $150, then $160. I wasn’t in a rush to sell so played hardball once more. This morning he asked for my address. He was happy to pay $180.
I don’t mind negotiating if:
A) The buyer is polite and reasonable
B) I’m in a rush to sell
C) I’ve had no other offers
On this occasion I knew it was an expensive pump so was happy to hold off if they weren’t going to pay enough. It was a good sale and I was pleased that I was able to negotiate without losing a huge amount. (I didn’t tell the guy that I had bought the pump on sale and then claimed it back on health insurance extras 😉 I may have just made money. 😆)
Selling Tip #10: Reduce the Price, Renew, Delete and Repost
Sometimes simply reducing the price can attract new buyers to your post. Even as little as $5 or $10 can be useful. The ad comes up higher on the grid, and appears like they are getting a bargain when they can see the original price. Every 7 days you are able to renew your listing for free on Marketplace. This bumps up the ad and helps you find a buyer.
If the ad has been up for a while with no hits, it can be a good idea to delete and repost. Facebook saves the ad for you so you don’t have to type all the details in again. Often by trying one of these three things, it can help get your listing seen by more people and hopefully have some inquiries about your item to get it sold.
Selling Tip #11: Be Prepared for Stupid Questions.
If I got paid a dollar every time that someone did the following, I’d have a heavy piggy bank.
Asked, “is this available?” (Then never replied.)
Asked, “where are you located?” (When it’s in the description.)
Commented, “I’ll give you $10”, on an item that is listed for $50.
Asked for the dimensions when it’s in the description.
Asked for the size when it’s in the description.
Said they were going to collect and never showed up.
It can be incredibly annoying but hopefully if you have put some time and effort into your photos and description, it should reduce the amount of silly questions. By leaving items by the door, I save myself time and energy not having to wait around for people too.
Selling Tip #12: Have Patience.
One thing I’ve learnt from selling hundreds of items on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree is that it can be the right product, the right description, right photos, right price and you just haven’t found the right buyer yet!
If you are patient and happy to wait a little, often the buyer just hasn’t seen it yet. Some items I’ve had put aside for a few weeks (even months) and out of the blue, someone will ask to buy it. It can be a little frustrating but it’s one way to ensure you get a good price.
Questions to ask yourself before selling:
Is this worth my time to list this? Is it worth at least $5?
Would it be better to bundle some items up and sell together?
Is my focus getting some of the money back that I spent on this or is it to get rid of it quickly?
How long am I prepared to hold onto this before getting rid of it?
You need to decide if you prefer to get things out of your house quickly or get the most money you can.
When you figure out your why, your what and how is easier to do.
Sometimes it is better to pass some items onto a friend, offer up in your local Buy Nothing group or just fill up your boot and take it to your nearest op shop for donating. If the focus is to get rid of the excess quickly or you don’t have room to store them, just get them out of your house.
If the focus is to sell them to make some cash, do your best to sell them. If they either don’t sell fast enough or you have a sudden urge to get them gone, it’s okay to delete the listing and donate them on the spot. Sometimes you just don’t know until you try.
Turning selling into a side hustle:
Learning how to sell on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree can become a lucrative side hustle. You can turn an everyday hobby into a hustle that earns you big dollars. Canna Campbell has some more ideas about how you can earn quick cash to put towards your financial future in her book, The $1000 Project.
In the end, whatever you can do to keep items out of landfill is a win for the planet. The secondhand market really is amazing and someone is always looking to buy something. My advice is to always give selling a go – what a great way to both declutter your home and earn some cash at the same time!
The longer I’ve been parenting, the more I’ve realised that by reducing the clutter, it brings more calm. The less inventory we have to manage, the happier we feel. Although my name highlights being savvy with money, if you’ve been around here a while you’d know that it’s not all that I’m about.
I’ve been on a journey of minimalism over the last few years. When I became a mother five years ago, I was suddenly aware of how stuff bothered me.
How it would stress me out. Distract me from the task at hand. Overwhelm me. Make me feel anxious. Dominate my time. Steal my joy.
Speaking to many parents, I’d hear a common response- ‘you’ll get used to it.’ The gist was that kids just come with lots of stuff. It comes with the territory.
Learn to live with it because it ain’t going to change in a hurry.
However, not all responded like that. Some were like a breath of fresh air.
‘It doesn’t have to be this way.’ You can be a parent and have less stuff. You don’t have to spend your days picking up after your kids. You don’t have to have constant washing baskets all over the house. You don’t have to have toys scattered everywhere. It doesn’t need to be this hard.
This was a relief to me. It made sense to me. It was permission giving and empowering.
By learning how to live with less, I started decluttering what we didn’t need or love. This reduced the excess in our home, helped us to focus better and freed up space.
Selling the excess allowed me to fund better quality, open ended toys (think duplo, Lego, train sets and Connetix tiles). We have less stuff that gets played with more often.
We utilise the local toy library. This helps us to have a fresh rotation of toys, games and puzzles as often as we like. It keeps our boys engaged and reduces how much we need to own ourselves. Toy libraries reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment by not creating more items and also disposing of less.
I have more space in my house and less items to manage. This means less furniture to store toys on, less baskets and boxes. My children focus better on their play and use their creativity and imagination. They don’t get as distracted from what they are playing with because there is less choice. Packing up doesn’t take as long as it used to. I no longer spend my evenings tidying up and sorting out all the things. It means I can be more present in the daytime too and actively play with my boys, rather than stressing about the mess and cleaning up after them.
Becoming more minimal has improved our financial situation. We avoid shopping centres and junk mail catalogs that tell us we need more. We unsubscribe from pesky emails alerting us to new products and items on sale. It saves us money and means relatives don’t need to spend lots of cash on presents. Whatever we don’t use or love, we sell to fund toys that we will. We get outside more and enjoy free activities, or pay for fun experiences instead of lining shelves with more toys.
As I’ve continued to declutter our home, I’ve had more energy and brain space to begin some side hustles. This has turned mere hobbies into income streams.
Reducing our stuff has helped me thrive in my season of motherhood. I am more happy and present, able to live in the moment. I feel more calm. My children play better together and argue less about which toy is theirs. Being a mum doesn’t mean it has to be hard or have your days spent managing all the things.
Money, Minimalism and Motherhood is so closely intertwined for me. I can’t help but write about each of these things because one affects the other.
I love seeing women embrace and thrive in their stage of life (especially if you’re in the season of motherhood), manage their money well and live with less.
Thanks for being here and being part of this wonderful community. I’m so very grateful for you all.