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Mental & Physical Decluttering 

Hey there, fellow moms! Welcome back to another episode of the Mom-entum podcast, where we dive deep into the beautiful chaos of motherhood. I’m your host, Tanya Valentine, and I’m so thrilled to have you here with me today.


Can you believe we’ve crossed into 2024 already? Happy New Year to all of you amazing moms out there! It’s incredible how time flies, right?


So, let’s get real about the holidays. I’ve gotta share a recent Christmas experience that got me thinking. As much as I love the festive season, this Christmas was a bit of a rollercoaster, mainly because of clutter. Yes, you heard it right – clutter! I faced a clutter meltdown and thought it would be a fantastic topic for today’s episode because let’s be real, clutter isn’t just a me thing, right?


Picture this – a chaotic Christmas morning, lack of sleep, and the inevitable clutter bomb that exploded in my living room. Wrapping paper, toys, boxes everywhere! Can you relate? I was drowning in it all, and it totally affected my mood and mindset.


Here’s the thing – clutter isn’t just physical; it messes with our heads too! I realized how my thoughts about the clutter impacted my day and decided to share my experience and some tips to tackle this clutter chaos.


I found myself jumping from task to task, feeling overwhelmed and not fully present with my family. I bet many of us go through this when things get chaotic at home. But guess what? It’s not about having a perfectly neat home; it’s about shifting our thoughts and perspectives.


So, let’s talk clutter – both physical and mental. I’ve got tips to tackle both! From decluttering routines to managing your mental space, we’re diving into simple strategies that work wonders for busy moms like us.  So pop in those ear pods and hit “play” to learn more!


And hey, I want you to know one thing – the state of your home doesn’t define you as a mom. We’re in this together, navigating the whirlwind of motherhood. And if you need some help decluttering, I’ve got your back! I’ve put together a super easy, budget-friendly decluttering checklist, specifically for busy moms like us.


Remember, it’s not about seeking perfection; it’s about reclaiming our space and thoughts amidst this beautiful chaos. You can find the free decluttering checklist here.


As we wrap up today, I hope my clutter Christmas story resonated with you. Let’s shift our mindsets, mamas! I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways from the show. Connect with me on social media @tanyavalentinecoaching.


Oh, and here’s a mom-to-mom request – if you found this episode helpful, please share it with another mom who could use some decluttering tips. Your support means the world and helps more moms find this podcast. Don’t forget to leave a quick rating and review too!

Resources Mentioned In Show
  • Need help organizing your time?  A great way to start is by doing a time audit.  Don't know where to start?  I've got you covered! For access to my FREE TIME AUDIT TOOL click here.

  • Click here for your FREE DECLUTTERING CHECKLIST.

  • Click here to join The Mom-entum Podcast Private Facebook Community

  • Please subscribe, rate and review the show to help me reach and support more amazing moms just like you! Click here to learn how.


Welcome back to another episode of the Mom-entum podcast, the show dedicated to inspiring, uplifting and empowering women on their journey through motherhood.  I’m your host, Tanya Valentine, and I’m so happy you’re here.


How was everyone’s holidays? Oh, and Happy New Year, at the time you are listening to this podcast it will officially be 2024! Can you believe it?  I can’t this year flew by!


So by this episode airs, it will have been a little over a week past Christmas.  But I wanted to talk about a trial I encountered this Christmas. Which now was just the other day.  And it’s something that I was really troubled by, and I thought it would serve as a good topic for the podcast as I know I’m not alone in my struggle with this.  So what I am eluding to is the topic of today’s episode and that is clutter.  And I’m going to start by telling you the story of what happened on Christmas as it relates to clutter and that will lead me into talking a little bit more about clutter, what it is, how it can affect you and your psyche,  methods to manage yourself around clutter as well as strategies you can implement to declutter. Stick around to the end of this episode as I’m going to share with you my free decluttering checklist for busy moms.


So to start, let me welcome you to the shadow side of my brain. Full disclosure, I am someone who is triggered by clutter. Maybe you can imagine what that’s like when you have 3 kids ages 6 and under. It can get a little tricky.


 So what happened on Christmas was, first let me explain that Serena who is now 17 months old has not been sleeping well lately. She’s been reverting back to sleeping like she was a newborn, waking up every couple of hours. So I’ve been a little sleep deprived. 


So Christmas Eve, as I was just about to get into bed for the night a little after 11 pm which is pretty late for me I like to go to bed by 10 because I like to get up at 5 am and do my morning routine before the kids wake up. 


Anyway, so I’m about to get into bed and I’m exhausted when I hear it. It’s Serena and she’s crying. I was going to let her cry it out but both Chris and I decided that of all nights this would be a bad idea because we didn’t want her waking up the other two kids, because once they woke up and saw there were presents under the tree it would be really hard to get them to go back to sleep.  So I went in her room until she fell asleep, came back to bed a little after midnight and then shortly after Lucia was up and in my room and you can imagine she was so excited after seeing that Santa had come to the house.  She couldn’t fall asleep and she wanted me to rub her back.  So I gave her what was probably the worlds worst back massage as I drifted off to sleep and then next thing I know its 3 am and Roccos in my room and he’s like “mommy, mommy, Santa was here and look what I got” and he’s showing me a Christmas gift and pointing out that it has his name on it “look it says R.O.C.C.O”.  Now I hear Serena crying so I have to go in her room again until she falls asleep.  I think I finally got Rocco to fall asleep again around 5 am (when I was getting up to do my morning routine) and I ended up snapping on him and I told him he was not allowed to get out of bed until 6 am. So needless to say, like many parents I’m sure, I started the day sleep deprived. 


Fast forward past me still squeezing in my morning routine and showering, the kids were actually very patient while they waited for Chris to wake up before opening any gifts.  And I made the older kids hot chocolate and we played christmas music as they tore through all of the gifts.Rocco at one point had a meltdown because he didn’t get the Volcano experiment that he had asked for for the first time about 2 days prior.  


And once the gift opening was finished my living room looked probably similar to many homes all over the country on this day, it looked like a fricken bomb went off.  I could feel the tension rising in my body as the thoughts came flooding into my brain of all of the things that I needed to do.  But I just stuffed it down and thought I’ve gotta move onto the next thing which is making everyone breakfast. So I made them all homemade waffles, which just added to the messy state of the home, just adding to my frustration and anxiety.  And then I had to make rice balls to bring to my in laws (which is where we were going to celebrate Christmas).  I looked around and there was stuff everywhere.  Wrapping paper, boxes, toys, clothes scattered all over the floor, stuff on the tables, the sink was full of dishes and our kitchen island was cluttered with bowls, utensils, plates, flour and some random toys the kids had brought to the table.  I kept trying to tell myself just take a deep breath and focus on one thing at a time.  But the problem was, I didn’t allow myself to pause and really allow for and process what I was feeling, I just kept stuffing it down because I was thinking I don’t have time for this, I have so much to do, I have to have these rice balls ready in time for us to leave to be at my in laws on time, and the rice balls if youve never made them they are very time consuming.  And the problem with this was it was just making my anxiety worse.  I was resisting the feeling because I was telling myself I don’t have time for this I just need to keep moving, I just need to focus on getting everything done in time.  But in doing so I made things worse.  I was so overwhelmed, so distracted, so scattered.  


I would start picking up one thing and then get distracted and move onto another task, leaving things unfinished.  I’d start folding laundry, then I’d do a little clean up in the kitchen, then throw some wrapping paper and boxes away.  I’d attempt to organize gifts.  And all the while I was not being fully present for my family.  I was all in my head.  I was complaining both in my head and out loud about the cluttered mess all around me.  I convinced myself that it would be better for both me and my family if I stayed at home instead of going with them to my in laws.  


I  snapped at the kids when they were too loud, when they didn’t listen, or when they fought with one another. if I had taken the time to pause and relax my body maybe I could’ve come up with a better way to help them resolve their conflict, but not from this space that I was in.  So I did not respond to them in a way that I’m proud of.  


I spent the rest of the day making the rice balls, cleaning up, while also ya know helping the kids get ready for the day, I nursed Serena and put her down for a nap.  But I also was judging myself for just being miserable, why can’t I just enjoy myself, it’s like I wouldn’t even allow myself to experience joy becuase I was caught in this negativity spin cycle.  I was blaming the kids for how I felt, if they would’ve just slept maybe then I wouldn’t be so grumpy and miserable.


I didn’t do any thoughtwork, which I know would’ve helped.  I didn’t allow or process my feelings, my main focus was just getting the rice balls done in time for Chris and the kids to go to his parents, and I was thinking I needed to focus on getting this place cleaned up so that I could feel better.


So where I was mistaken was thinking that the circumstance needed to change in order for me to feel better.  I thought that the house needed to be clean in order for me to feel better.  But actually, what needed to change was my thoughts.  My thoughts that day were rubbish. Here were some of my thoughts:


There’s stuff everywhere.  This place is a disaster.  

It looks like a bomb went off here.  I’m miserable.  I hate clutter.  Everything is so disorganized and chaotic.  I can’t think straight with all of this stuff everywhere. This is all a bunch of junk  Now I have to find a place to put it all.  


So it’s no wonder I was feeling overwhelmed and scattered.  The truth was that I was choosing these thoughts.  In the moment it felt like the thoughts were choosing me.  Do you ever feel like this?  Like you have no control over your thoughts?  And this is somewhat true.  Sometimes you will get a random thought that seems to come out of nowhere, but ultimately you have the option to believe that thought, to focus on it, or to allow it to pass like a cloud floating by in the sky.  Because that’s what thoughts do is they come and they go.  And we are not our thoughts.


So I know I kind of went off on a tangent there. But i just want to illustrate the effect of our thoughts and although the focus is on clutter today, I do want to emphasize that the clutter is actually a circumstance, and it is our thoughts about the clutter that will determine our experience with it.  And this is true because I know that there are people out there who are unaffected by clutter, who don’t turn into a monster over the sight of things scattered all over the place.  HOWEVER, clutter does tend to have an effect on the brain, in that it is added stimulus that the brain must process.  Everything coming into your senses, everything you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, needs to be processed by the brain.  So clutter does then have this effect of overwhelming our senses.  So let’s then look at clutter as an obstacle.  I thought I could take this challenge that I was faced with this Christmas, learn from it, share what I learned with you all and then create a plan for this obstacle in the future.  I know clutter is something I am triggered by, so next year I’m going to go into it with a better plan.  I think one strategy moving forward could be to buy less.  But also what I would like to plan for next year is to have a dedicated day to go through the kids toys and declutter, that way I feel like I have space for the new things that are coming into our home.


So clutter.  Let’s talk about it.  What is it?  I looked it up and the definition of Clutter is a disorganized collection of various things that are unnecessary, untidy, or disorderly, often leading to a crowded and chaotic environment. It includes items that are out of place, unused, or create a sense of confusion due to their accumulation in a space. Clutter can exist in physical spaces like homes, offices, or even in digital environments where there's an excess of unorganized information or files.Now what I want to add to that is the fact that we can also have clutter in our minds.


Clutter in our minds mirrors the disarray we experience in physical spaces. It refers to the accumulation of thoughts, worries, and distractions that overcrowd our mental space. This mental clutter can be an amalgamation of unfinished tasks, unresolved emotions, excessive information, or conflicting priorities.


Similar to physical clutter, mental clutter can impede our ability to focus, make decisions, and maintain mental clarity. It creates a sense of overwhelm, making it challenging to concentrate on essential tasks or to relax. Just as a cluttered physical environment can cause stress, a cluttered mind can lead to increased anxiety and decreased productivity.


Clearing mental clutter involves organizing thoughts, prioritizing tasks, and practicing mindfulness or meditation to regain mental clarity. Simplifying our mental space helps us focus better, make better decisions, and feel more at peace with our thoughts and emotions. This process often involves strategies like journaling, mindfulness exercises, setting priorities, and establishing boundaries to declutter our minds and regain mental balance.


So to make this as simple as possible, if you get as triggered as I do by clutter, it can help to establish some decluttering routines.  And the best way to do this is to have a plan.  One way to make sure it gets done is by putting it on your calendar.  Once it’s on the calendar, as long as you know you will follow through, then it is as good as done.  So to reduce overwhelm, might I suggest creating a separate plan for decluttering your physical space and one for decluttering your mental space.  So take a piece of paper and a pen right now and I want you to list 7 things you can do to help declutter your physical space.  Make it easy, easy enough that it will increase your likelihood of actually doing it because it is so easy.  Like for example cleaning out a sock drawer. One sock drawer.  Now that you’ve identified the 7 things you will do to declutter your physical space, let’s move on to the mental space.  Can you list 7 things you can do to declutter your mental space? I’ll give you some examples to get you started: meditation, prayer, journaling.  Journaling is actually huge because it takes the thoughts that are stuck on a loop in your brain and it transforms them into something linear, so that you can actually see them on paper and by doing this it creates some space between you and your thoughts.  You get to experience your thoughts as the observer, like you are on the outside looking in, as opposed to being lost in the woods, do you know what I’m saying.  And by doing this you will be able to question your thoughts, ask if this thought is true, and then like decluttering your closet, you choose whether or not you want to keep that thought, maybe even choosing a more empowering one to take it’s place.  For example if your thought was “I’m the worst Mom ever” can you challenge that thought.  IS that true?  Are you really the worst mom ever? I highly doubt it.  Now you can start looking for ways that prove that thought to be false.  Like in what ways am I a good mom? I make sure my children are fed, are clothed, they are bathed, they are safe, I love them fiercely.  Now replace the thought with “I’m a good mom”.


Now moving onto the clutter in your physical space.  Physical clutter can significantly impact our psyche in various ways:


1. Increased Stress and Anxiety: Living in a cluttered environment can elevate stress levels. The chaos and disorganization can trigger feelings of anxiety, making it challenging to relax or unwind at home.


2. Decreased Focus and Productivity: A cluttered space can distract and overwhelm the mind, hindering concentration and productivity. It's harder to focus on tasks when surrounded by disorder.


3. Negative Emotional Impact: Cluttered spaces might evoke negative emotions such as frustration, guilt, or embarrassment. Clutter reminds you  of unaccomplished tasks or contribute to feelings of inadequacy.


4. Impact on Decision-Making: A cluttered environment can affect decision-making abilities. Studies suggest that individuals in tidy spaces tend to make clearer, more thoughtful decisions than those in cluttered surroundings.


5. Reduced Sense of Control: Living in a cluttered space may lead to a feeling of being out of control. It might seem difficult to manage one's life when the immediate environment is chaotic.


By decluttering physical spaces, you can often experience a significant improvement in mental well-being. A tidy and organized space can promote a sense of calmness, increase productivity, and positively impact overall mental health and emotional well-being.


Now I don’t want you to hear all of this and feel inadequate if you feel your environment is disorganized or messy.  It is very challenging to keep your home organized when you have kids.  I struggle with this everyday.  I want you to know most importantly that the state of your home does not reflect your worthiness as a human being.  Rather, if this is something you struggle with, like I do, I want to first know that you are not alone.  Know that you can change the way you think about it, being reminded that just because you have a messy home does not mean that you or your life is a mess.  You have kids.  This is your life right now.  This season of our lives is temporary.  And I think we all know that there is going to come a day in the future when are kids are all grown and out of the house and or homes are all spic and span and we are going to actually miss all the noise and stuff all over the place.


And if you need some help with the physical decluttering process I created a very quick, easy, budget friendly checklist to get you started. I suggest you print it out and keep it in front of you as you start to declutter, I think you will find it very helpful, especially if you tend to get distracted, using this checklist will help keep you focused on the task at hand by providing you with an easy step-by-step method for you to follow. You can access this checklist  from the link provided wherever you are listening to this podcast or by going to the show notes.


As we conclude this episode, I hope my experience shared today has resonated with some of you, especially those navigating the beautiful chaos of motherhood. Remember, clutter isn't just about the physical objects that surround us; it's equally about the clutter in our minds.


Whether it's a disheveled home after the holidays or the overwhelming mental clutter that holds us back, it's crucial to recognize that we have the power to declutter and regain control over our spaces and thoughts.


I invite you to take action today. Start by downloading the free decluttering checklist designed especially for busy moms. This checklist is simple, effective, and crafted with your needs in mind. It's a tool to help you reclaim your space, both physical and mental, in manageable, budget-friendly ways.


Remember, it's not about seeking perfection or waiting for circumstances to change. It's about shifting our thoughts and perspectives. As we tidy our spaces, we untangle our minds, enabling us to be more present, focused, and content within the beautiful chaos of life.


Thank you for joining me today. Don't forget to access the free decluttering checklist and start your journey towards a more organized and peaceful life. Again, You can find the checklist either where you are listening to this episode or by clicking on the show notes. 


And please connect with me on social media @tanyavalentinecoaching. I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways from the show. 


 Also, if I could ask you a favor, if you found this show valuable I would so appreciate it if you would share it with someone you know would benefit, or if you could provide a quick rating and review of the show. This helps more amazing moms like you find the show so they know they are not alone on this rollercoaster ride of motherhood. 


The goal of this show is to help listeners shift their mindset and learn tools and strategies to help them thrive on their journey through motherhood. Because a thriving mom creates a thriving family which ultimately extends into the community. Until next week my friends,enjoy this week with your family, I’m rooting for you and always thinking of you! Goodbye for now!

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