De-clutter the CHAOS!

With a new year brings hope, fresh starts, new chances and a clean slate! Part of my 2018 resolution is to stop being a “momager of chaos.” This means I’m done managing “things” instead of experiences. We fall into the trap of consumerism. I will be the first to admit, we like to enjoy the newest things on the market…electronics, home goods, toys etc. However, it comes with a hefty price tag both literally and figuratively.

The last two months I have spent purging and getting rid of things that do not offer any value. We, as consumers, fall prey to the 50% off advertisements, rolled back prices, lowest prices etc. The theory “if you can, you should” holds true to so many of us. My goal is to use what we have, purge what we don’t use or doesn’t offer value, fix what is broken and when new comes in, old goes out! Remember, if you don’t have the space, it doesn’t have a place!

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the past years. Join me on our journey of LESS IS MORE!

Start Small:

Take one junk drawer or closet. Take everything out. Evaluate each item and ask yourself: Have I used this recently? Does this hold sentimental value? Are all the pieces here? Is it broken? Can it be fixed? Create a toss, donate, keep pile. Do not think about it. If you hold it in your hands and your gut reaction is to TOSS, by god TOSS IT! Also, I have learned that purging toys in front of the kids is counterproductive. Things they haven’t seen or played with in months or years becomes “their favorite item ever!” If they don’t use it, they won’t miss it. If you keep your donated items within reach, they make their way back into the mix and then you’re going in a giant circle.


Being Sentimental is OK, to a Point:

We know that our family is complete. For whatever reason, my mom brain cannot seem to get rid of things they once wore or toys they used to play with. That’s ok. It’s all part of the process. Our children grow and change. Keeping some trinkets of the past is ok. Set aside a small bin or decorative box. Create a memory box with first shoes, going home outfit, sun hat that your daughter wore every summer. Whatever the item is, if it fits into the box or bin, keep it. But beyond that, donate! I am holding onto a handful of clothes for each child. I want to create a memory quilt for them. Well, mostly for me, but some day they might appreciate it. That way, you can combine all of those memories into a keepsake. Blog post coming on that one…some day lol!

Hold yourself accountable to the “if you don’t have space, it doesn’t have a place” mentality:

Everything in your home should provide comfort and enjoyment. If you’re constantly tripping over random toys, bins, pillows etc, it is because not everything has a place. I’m a firm believer that “stuff” creates stress. This goes back to my college days. I had to clean my dorm room before I could study. I couldn’t clear my mind if my physical space was cluttered. Find a space for everything in your home. If you can’t, there is the issue.

A little every day lightens the load:

If your closet looks like this (stock image, this is NOT my closet), take five minutes every night and hang up/purge items. Set a timer if you have to. Get as much done as you can in five minutes. That way, you’re not dedicating your busy schedule to just organizing and cleaning. Five minutes a day is all you need!


Get Everyone Involved:

While having the kids help purge their toys has not proven to be beneficial to us, they can still get involved! They can help go through their clothes and create toss, donate and keep piles. They can try stuff on and help determine if it fits anymore. They can also examine the clothing to see if they are in good enough condition to donate. This makes them feel part of the process and helps them make decisions on some of their things. Also, showing them where everything “lives” will help them keep their space tidy and organized.

While I’m no expert in organizing and I definitely do NOT have “pantry pride,” I will say, lightening the load has created more mental freedom. For me, hanging onto things was more of a sentimental thing. It was hard for me to grasp that the children are getting older, their things are just things and experiences mean more than things. It is ok to have “stuff.” But if that stuff is creating stress, it’s time to let it go! If you have fruit snack wrappers in your shoes and popsicle sticks under your couch (you know who you are and, yes, I am guilty…well, the kids are), it’s time for a reset for 2018! Some day I will have pantry pride. For now, one drawer and one closet at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day!!!!


  1. Charisse Jones on January 29, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Fantastic post, Courtney!! I love how you’re freeing up space in your home and your mind by saying bye-bye to things that don’t serve a purpose or add happiness. The kids will probably feel good about old toys/clothes going to other kids who will enjoy or get use out of them. Decluttering frees up so much time to focus on what you really want to be doing, doesn’t it? ????

    Tim and I (sans kids since they’re now grown and out on their own) have been on a similar journey. We were feeling “heavy” from material possessions, along with the need to keep up with a house/yard and all of the equipment that entailed. I’ve always been good at purging/organizing but stuff kept creeping into the house. Last spring, we watched the documentary Minimalism, and it turned out to be the catalyst that drove us to sell our house, get rid of about 70% of the stuff we owned, and embrace the simplicity of apartment living. Granted, we would not have downsized this far with kids, but freeing our space of too much stuff has done wonders for our mental clarity, time to do activities we enjoy, spending more time with famil and friends, and overall contentment.

    You amaze me with your many talents in homesteading and forward thinking. I love seeing what new recipe you made from scratch and pics of your adorable kiddos and chickens. Keep up the great job you’re doing! We’d have a far happier planet if more people were taking their cues from you and your family. ????

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