Hello and welcome!

On this episode I share about my tendency to be a clutter bug. I accumulate and store things for various reasons, and it really impacts our daily life. Especially while living in a small space and working from home. I talk about my desire to minimize and share some of the tips I’ve learned that have really been helping me to work towards this goal.

Main Topics included in this Episode

  • My personal experience being a clutter bug
  • The challenges I have faced when trying to downsize
  • Tips I’ve learned that are really making a difference in my minimizing efforts and that may help you to do the same

Connect with Alysha

Music Licensing Info

Music by Eli Lev - Dancin' on the Lawn


Episode Transcription

Hello and welcome back to the Messy Mompreneur podcast. I'm your host, Alysha Sanford, and I'm so happy to have you here. Before we jump into today's topic, I have a confession to make. A deep, dark, dirty secret. I'm a clutter bug. I hold on to things that I know I'll need later or that were just too good of a deal to pass up. I absolutely love going antiquing and thrifting to find unique pieces and stash them away for our future home. I also battle inattentive ADHD and have tons of unfinished projects and supplies sitting in closets in the garage and on shelves. My husband would go as far as calling me a hoarder, and he has many times. We live in a small, crowded space and it really affects our daily life. Working from home is also more challenging because of it. That said, I want to change this. I've been binging the organization and tiny living TV shows and have been listening to a lot of minimalist podcasts to find inspiration and tips on downsizing. I want less stuff. I want more room, I want less items to have to clean. I want more time with my daughter and less time having to constantly tidy up and organize. I want our items to have a home and a purpose as opposed to sitting in storage or collecting dust. Luckily, it's yard sale season. We just wrapped up our yard sale. At my in-laws last weekend, during their annual citywide sale, I am so relieved it's over. Every year we agree that we're going to skip selling at the next one because we shouldn't have as much stuff to get rid of. And yet, each year I can still pull totes and totes of items and clothing to rehome between our house and my photography studio, but this time, we swear we're not going to let ourselves accumulate enough to justify. Having a sale next year, we swear it. We'll see how that goes. I have faced a few personal challenges in regards to organizing and downsizing items. The first one is the inattentive ADHD. It presents quite a few challenges of its own lack of focus. Impulsivity and distractibility are common traits of ADHD, and they can hinder organization efforts. People with inattentive ADHD I often struggle with decision overwhelm, time management and procrastination as well. Another struggle is letting go of sentimental or nostalgic items, especially from my childhood or the high school days. It felt like I'd be erasing those memories as if the memory solely existed in that item. But I'm learning to separate the memory from the item, and I'm gradually allowing myself to part ways. I struggle with downsizing items because the boxes in waiting just feel like they're adding to the clutter. I have to remind myself that sure, this stack of totes is in our way, but an X amount of weeks it won't be. There's a bigger picture if you're needing help to downsize in your home, here are some tips that I've come across and am working to implement in my life. The first one don't try to tackle too much at once. Decision fatigue is real and it has stopped plenty of my projects before they even began. Start with smaller projects and smaller areas such as. The kitchen junk. Drawer or a linen closet. Set a timer if needed, and put on some fun music or a favorite podcast while you work. Prior to each gift giving holiday, have your family take some time to go through their own items and collect what they're willing to rehome in order to make room for the new incoming items. It's easier to do it ahead of time as opposed to afterwards. Share your desires of a more minimalist, less wasteful lifestyle with your friends and family gifts and the thoughts behind them are wonderful. But I've learned that a lot of times the gift is more about how it makes the giver feel, as opposed to how it will be useful to the recipient. And I'm guilty of this. I love gift giving. Some items tend to be more filler gifts, such as items in a gift basket. Some items are very seasonal and useful only during that small time frame of the year. So gently express your desires and offer ideas of what you, your family or your kids would be thrilled to receive instead. For example: adventure gifts, activities, outings, contributions to a child savings account, homemade items, favorite food dishes, etcetera. Speaking of food, my absolute favorite food is eggplant parmesan with a side of Italian meatballs made by my father-in-law. I also love the peanut butter. No baked cookies that my mom has made since we were little. If I could receive trays of those every year for Christmas, I would be in. Heaven moving on. Do you have a lot of extra clothing? Ask your group of friends or family to schedule a clothing swap event. I've done this once with coworkers in the past and it was really fun to see who fell in love with new items to them that I was just hoarding in a closet. They had a new life with an owner who appreciated them, and I even found a few new pieces. That maybe went with more items that I already had as opposed to what I was giving away. If you're struggling with the idea of letting go of sentimental items from lost loved ones, exes, etcetera, but you would like to be able to do so, you can ask a trusted family member or friend to sit with you and allow you to share the story and importance of that item. Then ask if they will lovingly rehome the item on your behalf. Without telling you what they did with it. This way you can feel that you've honored the item and the memory by sharing its story with somebody else. Another tip is to allow each person in the family to have a sentimental tote in the garage. Once the tote fills up, you ask that they remove items to allow space for more important items in the future. It kind of becomes a capsule tote, if you will, and if there are kids moving out of the home, they can take it with them. Keep a donation tote in your home in Plainview. Add to it as you go throughout your days and have family do the same. Make it a habit to donate or resell these items monthly or more frequently, as opposed to allowing them to build up and cause you overwhelm. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few favorite tips, but these have really helped me to make decisions and to clear out what we don't need. At our yard sale last weekend, I had many conversations with shoppers who were excitedly sharing their ideas for uses of the items that they'd found. Some would bring a pile of items to the table to pay, and they had an obvious theme, color palette or style. I'll admit I had a few moments of sellers regret, but instead of letting that feeling build, I allowed myself to enjoy watching the shoppers find treasures new to them. It was so fun to watch others light up over the pieces that had previously. Just been sitting at my house. I was also impressed with the amount of kids who were practicing budgeting and decision making with their purchase. As we wrap up, I'm determined to be more intentional about the items that I'm bringing into my home. This won't be an overnight habit change, but I look forward to tracking my progress towards becoming more minimal. I hope to revisit some of the details in this episode at a later time to share more about this journey. I'd also love to. Host guests who are in more of an expert role to share their thoughts and advice on this topic. I hope that you've been inspired to try one of the tips that we shared prior to declutter your own home and that you are finishing this episode feeling encouraged.