Allie Casazza is a blogger, a businesswoman, and a mom to four adorable kids.
But parenthood hasn’t been without its ups and downs.
When Casazza first became a mom, she struggled with postpartum depression, and felt like she was in “survival mode,” according to her website.
Facebook / The Purposeful Housewife
The situation she describes will ring familiar to many moms.
In the “Get Uncluttered” section of her site, she explains, “My day was spent changing diapers (I had three kids age three and under, so that took up a lot of my time), washing endless piles of dishes, folding mountains of laundry, constantly trying to keep my house just somewhat picked up, as the kids ripped through like a mess tornado behind me.”
She was trapped in the never-ending, monotonous cycle of housework and mommy-hood that is so familiar to so many of us, and was barely keeping her head above water.
Finally, after a particularly chaotic and stressful day, she had had enough.
She decided to get rid of all the stuff bogging her down. (Pictured above is the massive decluttering operation of another family influenced by Casazza.)
At her wit’s end, she thought and prayed hard about what was really bogging her down and keeping her from enjoying motherhood.
She realized it was all of the unnecessary stuff — particularly the excessive piles of toys in her downstairs playroom.
The kids’ playroom (like most playrooms) was a never-ending mess that simply wouldn’t stay tidy, no matter how often Casazza picked up after her tots.
Moreover, her kids didn’t even play with most of the toys, or they got bored of them in no time flat.
So she took a critical eye and a boxful of garbage bags into the playroom and got to work.
“I had the thought that if my kids were going to have a minimal amount of toys and only play with some of them, they should be the ones that inspire them to use their imaginations,” she explains on her website. “I kept only the constructive play toys (trains and tracks, wooden blocks) and imaginative toys (my daughter’s baby doll and dress up clothes). It all fit in a few small bins, and everything else got bagged up and taken to the local donation center that week.”
That decluttering left her with just a few handfuls of toys her kids truly loved, and a remarkably less hectic life.
She quickly realized that while getting rid of extra stuff might seem like a small step, it was having a huge impact on her energy and motivation, and her ability to enjoy motherhood in a brand-new way.
The effects of the massive toy purge appeared almost instantly.
First of all, Casazza found herself with tons of energy and free time not spent on the circular task of trying to keep the playroom picked up.
“I noticed my kids’ relationships with each other started getting better,” she writes. “They were playing together, creating imaginary scenarios in the backyard together, and getting along!”
She decided to keep the momentum going and applied the same decluttering principles to the rest of her stuff.
Before long, she noticed that her kids (these days numbering four!) were happier and had more active, imaginative lives.
She also realized that her relationship with her husband was benefiting from the lack of cleanup stress, and that her life was happier overall!
She credits her decluttering system with making her world a happier and mellower place. According to an interview with ABC, she even says it “saved my motherhood, my marriage.”
Now she wants to share the skill with other moms overwhelmed by the day-to-day.
In a phone call to LittleThings, she explained that one easy step that everyone can take to kick off the decluttering process it to “get out of your head” and “try to avoid thinking about the task as an insurmountable process.” She recommends starting with “something emotionless, like the bathroom,” where you aren’t going to have too many sentimental connections that make it hard to clear stuff away.
For more decluttering tips, you can check out her free minimalism starter kit here, and check out her website the Purposeful Housewife for even more minimalist lifestyle solutions!
And don’t forget to SHARE her awesome insights with all of the hardworking parents in your life!