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Two and a half years ago I read the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. It quickly changed my life in three short days. The book is a game changer. If you’re a working mom who doesn’t have time to clean you must read this book (and join our Working Mom Mastermind Facebook group!).
Here is what I learned. I hope my lessons convince you to find the time to read this book.
A Declutter Space Gives You Time to Solve Problems
This powerful quote was spot on,
‘When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.”
Do you use cleaning as an excuse to not face your problems? I learned that my clutter was helping me procrastinate on solving both little and big problems. Imagine that!
I wasn’t finished reading the book when I felt the urge to donate my three years worth of maternity clothes. You see my youngest was almost two. She wasn’t a baby anymore and I was struggling with the notion that there’d be no more diapers to change. Reading this book was the moment when I made peace with not having any more children. Life changing indeed.
If you’re a new working mom this is an important lesson. Your baby gear has filled up every space in your home, right? You are in between wardrobes so your closet is filled to the brim! Sleep deprivation has you beat and cleaning is the least of your problems.
Know that your decluttering won’t happen overnight. If you commit to doing a little bit at a time and follow the instructions in the book you’ll feel your mommy energy begin to build. Trust me.
The Permission Slip You’ve Been Waiting For
This book is like a long permission slip that says you are allowed to get rid of your stuff! The author goes into details about why it’s OK that you part with that clock you despise dusting. You’ll feel the freedom to purge things in your home!
Going through your stuff and giving it away will not hurt people’s feelings. My family and friends do not remember every gift they’ve given my family. If they notice something in my house that they did give me its only a fleeting thought, then they forget about it. It’s me who winds up taking care of that item.
The person you’re hurting is you. You have permission to purge your home. If you need something in writing, get this book.
The Christmas after I donated my maternity clothes I donated all of my baby gear. The book taught me why it was OK to purge my kid’s toys, which had gotten out of control. This turned into a learning experience for the kids. now, right before the holiday’s, my kids know it’s time to find kids we can give to others who are less fortunate than us.
Only Keep Things That Bring Joy
When you’re working mom things can slip under your radar. For example, people want to help out by giving your kids toys, clothes, and other stuff. You accept them without thinking, “Would this item bring me joy? Am I going to enjoy picking this up off the floor and putting it back in its place?” Probably not and this is the problem.
This book recommends that you purge things according to categories, not rooms. When you can’t decide if you can part with something you ask yourself “Does this item bring me joy?” If it does not, it goes into a black trash bag or big box so it’s out of sight out of mind. This simplifies the process!
Because of this book, I’m on the offense when accepting gifts. Although the item may bring my child joy I am the one who’s going to be taking care of it. I’ve learned to politely decline gifts because I get that how I feel about my stuff matters. Big time.
If You’re Looking to Make A Change Look at Your Stuff
The stuff around your home reflects who you are. Look around your house. What does your stuff say about you? Is it a reflection of who you use to be or of who you are today?
It’s common for new working moms to lose their sense of identity. If this sounds like you then you need a clean slate. After you get rid of the stuff that doesn’t reflect who you are do not replace it with anything. Live a minimalist life. Minimalism is when you live with fewer things which means you have fewer things to clean and organize! YIPPEE!
After I decluttered I had more time on my hands. So I spent more quality time with my kids. We got a puppy (aka the fourth child I always wanted. Funny how that happened.) Plus, I was happier! I began to enjoy being in my home because I had fewer things to clean. Now that’s magical.
This book truly made magic happen in my life. I made a big life decision, became OK with donating things, found the courage to say no more often, and I now enjoy my home more. This happiness spilled into my family, self-care, and business. If you are looking for motivation to take massive action it starts with you and your stuff. Grab a copy of this book and then start looking at your stuff, not your spouses, or your kids. It all starts with you. Then watch how it trickles down to everyone else in your life.
Now go get the book and some black trash bags and cardboard boxes!
Working Mom, Want In?
Do you feel like you could be doing a better job at self-care, family life, home care, or career planning? Then request your invite to the Working Mom Mastermind group!