Decluttering Tips for Moms

Mar 18, 2024

This is the transcript for episode #38 of the Elevate Motherhood Podcast - if you would like to listen to this episode - CLICK HERE!

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the Elevate Motherhood Podcast! This episode is jam-packed with helpful tips for decluttering your home! We love talking about homes and homemaking here at Elevate Motherhood!

I believe God has given a lot of us moms a special heart for creating and keeping a home that is a blessing to our families and I just love talking about it! And I know homes can  contribute to a feeling of being burdened and I just don’t wan’t that for us! 

Physical items do take up our time to move them store them clean them, so we want what is helpful to our lives but there are a lot of things in this consumer-driven society we live in that may actually be contributing to a feeling of overwhelm instead of making our lives better. So here we go.


 Okay several of you have gone through the Elevate Motherhood Home Organization Master Class lately and it makes me so happy! I pray it is a blessing to you guys and your families! I love hearing the positive feedback so keep it coming my way! One thing that someone told me recently which I loveddd was that decluttering her home through my course gave her ideas of how to really find and identify the special things and make the special things feel even more used and special. And she said she has so much joy from these little changes of using and displaying some things that are really special to her! I just love that. That’s what it’s all about!


So why do we declutter and what is clutter? Well my definition of clutter is anything that gets in the way of your life. Anything you don’t use or love. Messes aren't clutter. Things you use each day aren't actually clutter. Some things make our lives easier! Like, obviously, couches and tables, photos of special moments in life on the walls of our home, toys that our kids play with, items that help us prepare food for our family.


We don’t want to be minimal for the sake of minimal, minimal isn’t the goal. We are intentionally choosing our belongings to make our life reflect our priorities, and sometimes that means getting rid of what’s in the way, and letting things be easy where we can!


When I think of a peaceful, happy home, there are signs of life there. People and things that make a house feel like a home.


And some of you are just following me on Instagram and listening to this podcast and haven’t done the home organization course yet and that’s totally great! I’m glad you’re here! I give out tons of free info here and on the Elevate Motherhood Instagram so stick around if this is your kind of thing! The course is basically just more detailed, more structured, more of a complete “follow these steps” and get all the info in a more concise way. So there have been some good questions coming my way lately so I thought I’d answer those in a FAQ format and share those here on the podcast so we can all learn about common decluttering situations!


So- first tip. I feel like people are afraid to start decluttering because they feel like they are going to have to get rid of things they want to keep and that’s just not true at all! if you want to keep something- keep it! Decluttering is getting rid of things that don’t serve you. Things that you don’t use or consider beautiful or special.


But there are probably tons of things in your home that you actually don’t want to keep but you feel a type of guilt or obligation to keep it. So we’ll talk through some of these scenarios. Hear me out, it’s all up to you! Take any of this advice or leave it. You are in charge of your home and you get to decide what stays and what goes!  You don’t have to be afraid of decluttering, keep what you want to keep!


So up next- I want to tell you that just because someone gave you something… that does not mean you have to keep it forever. The physical items in our home take up our time. They take up our space physically and mentally, and they take up our time which is our most precious resource. You’re either storing the items, moving them, cleaning them, feeling guilt about not using them, spending mental time planning on going through and organizing them, or you’re using items you don’t like and also feeling mad at yourself for not just getting rid of it because you don’t like it.


Let me tell you, people matter more than things. I do not want you to ruin a relationship because you got rid of something. BUT. If you kept every single item any person has given you, you might just have a home full of way too much stuff, especially if it’s stuff you don’t even want. And that is just not reasonable or manageable. If you’re a mom with little kids (and I know most of my audience listening here is…) you probably feel like you barely have enough time to tend to the stuff you actually need and love. Taking care of extra things is just not something most of us have time to do in this season of our lives.

 I love to think about having less stuff actually makes the things we keep more special. So maybe if your mom gives you a car full of stuff every other weekend, you can have an initial conversation with her, hey, I’m trying something new, I’m decluttering our house and seeing what life feels like to have a little less on my plate. So maybe hold off on shopping for me for the next few weeks to help me out! Then we can reevaluate what I need and shop together then! Or something like that to keep it light but also include her on your plans. Anyone who loves you probably wants to help you so including them makes it fun for both people involved! AND in the process you can find several things she has bought you that you LOVE and really display and use those things. And next time she comes over you can show her how much you love those things. Or those kids clothes your grandma bought that you love- make sure you always let her know how much you love it! We can be grateful recipients and honor people’s gifts, but also free ourselves up from thinking we have to keep every single thing someone else has given us. Even if you do like the item, at some point it’s okay to donate something after you’re done enjoying it. Or hand it down to a family member or a good charity that can use it. It’s so much better to think of people enjoying physical belongings instead of having a storage unit full of things no one is ever going to use!

If there is one particular person who keeps giving you things, it would be great to include them on your new plan to keep things more simple, and maybe they could even help you find new homes for the items they’ve purchased, like another family member, or a friend, or a worthy donation center. That way they don’t feel like you’re just trashing things they’ve given you.


My family by now kind of knows that I’m pretty minimal and don’t want just a million things given to me but I also hope they know I really do have a grateful heart and try to really always thank them for the things they give me! And honestly I know this is a personal opinion but wouldn’t it be great if the whole world kind of moved in that direction? Not buying or wanting or gifting things just because it’s a great deal or free. Super thoughtful things CAN be free, but not just like stocking up on home décor, socks, and lip glosses that are 99 cents even when it’s not your style and not a physical need. And on the flip side it is a great blessing to give YOUR things you don’t need or love to someone who may really need and love them! So much better than storage units full of things no one sees or uses. And you’re paying for it to sit there! We can do better!


So someone going through the Elevate Motherhood Home Organization Master Class asked me this recently and I feel like it’s going to be relevant for a lot of you. She said- I’m 100% done having kids but I am having a hard time letting go of the baby gear. She is keeping some sentimental items and favorite toys etc. so this is not about anything really particularly sentimental, this is like 5 different types of large bouncers, etc. You know those things that are handy for a few months but then are like bulky and really do take up quite a bit of space. She’s decided she’s done with it and knows she doesn’t need to save it. But she’s emotional about letting go of it. Which is understandable!


So here are the questions I asked her -

Could you, appreciate it for the time it did serve your family, and now sell it and use the money to buy something that supports your family NOW. ..So you got out of the item what you needed it for and then it continued to bless your family with the resale price that you can now put toward swimming lessons or whatever would serve youyou’re your growing up kids NOW into the next season. And maybe you’re selling it for a discounted price which can help another family who needs it in their current season.


Or could you give it to a foster care agency and feel great about supporting them? Like envisioning yourself as supporting someone who has the capacity to be a foster mom and especially if you know that is an amazing and needed thing, but you don’t feel like you have that capacity right now but maybe you have some resources they don’t right now and could be a blessing by giving them some of these helpful baby items.

Instead of just like thinking of ourselves letting go of something, it helps to think of where that item is going especially if that item can serve someone else more than it can serve your storage box.


A lot of time decluttering gives us a chance to be a blessing!


On that note, if decluttering is your thing, you may have read the book by Marie Condo, the Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve read it more than once I love it. But one of her methods is to hold up each item and thank the item for serving you before letting it go. And I don’t really like talk to items so I don’t do it exactly like that but I do think you could thank God for that item, you could thank the person who gave it to you. I think decluttering with a grateful heart really helps acknowledge that the item was worth it for a short time but it’s not something you have to take with you into the future.


Another common question holding people back when decluttering –


What if I need this item later?

I like to think of it this way for myself- if I can replace it in 20 minutes for $20 or less and I can’t think of a specific time I’ll use the item, I let it go. And these numbers could change depending on your circumstances. But give yourself a limit like that to make the decision process easier. But like for example if I can’t decide if I should keep this black 5x7 picture frame… or those 25 flower vases, or a stack of toilet paper rolls intended for craft days, well. If you really regret getting rid of it- how feasible would it be for you to replace. If it can be replaced in 20 minutes for 20 or less and you can’t even think of a specific time you’ll use the item, let it go. If you haven’t listened to episode #8 of this podcast – scarcity v abundance mindset, give it a listen! Sometimes we hoard things with literally a scarcity mentality. Sometimes there are true physical needs and lack of money, but for many people, those things aren’t even true. You’re holding onto extra things just for the sake of finding security in it. I’m not encouraging carelessness or not being a good steward of our belongings here, but sometimes we need to check ourselves like am I operating under a scarcity and fear mentality when holding onto things I don’t even need.


Also could you borrow it? The independence of owning everything you need takes away from the community of borrowing things so like worst case scenario you need something you either buy it or borrow it. In today’s day and age we think it makes us like strong to not need anyone. Well, that’s not really how we were created. Maybe you have the vacuum that is a carpet cleaner and you let your friends know they are free to use it whenever. But you borrow their inflatable mattress the 1 time a year you need one for a cousin sleepover. Or you have the travel blackout shades but your best friend has the inflatable toddler bed bumpers and you loan them to each other when you travel. A recent bigger example of this because it’s not so easy to just get rid of or purchase – BUT – we haven’t had a storm shelter ever and we live in Oklahoma. So I’m always at my neighbors mercy and trying to find a neighbor each time we move that wouldn’t mind letting us run to their house in worst case scenario with a tornado. So we have a neighbor across the street and we actually did run over there in the rain once but it didn’t end up coming our way and we didn’t have to get in the shelter BUT we made them cookies as a thank you, and now they ask my kids to help collect their newspapers while they are gone and she makes us bread as a thank you, and lets us have some of her freshly picked blackberries. But like if I was just being so independent we didn’t start talking to them or NEED them we wouldn’t have had that sense of community. My grandparents have lived in the same house forever and they know like which tools which neighbors have and they borrow those when needed. My grandpa has all the gardening things but certain power tools he just borrows from his neighbor. This is just a great way to stay in community.


I think especially the bigger the item and if you don’t use it very often- consider if you can borrow it if needed. Another example for us are big party coolers to hold water bottles and drinks and stuff. I could buy one, they aren’t that expensive. But our garage storage is pretty limited and my in laws live close by. They have a few of these coolers. So instead of me buying and storing them, I just borrow theirs every time. Which is a couple of times a year. And on this same note of course we can make sure we are offering to be generous and let other people borrow our things so we can be a blessing too!


This is like turning to a heavier topic but what about items of someone who has passed away. I have been asked this question several times because people know my mom passed away. I honestly think a few special and memorable items get more attention and use and focus and trigger better memories than like 25 tubs full of their things. They wouldn’t want you to be living in the past burdened by all their things, they’d want you living your life to the fullest!  I don’t think surrounding yourself with a million extra items is going to make you feel closer to them. But – if you wear their favorite ring regularly – you may just LOVE it and love that memory. Or if you have a book shelf made by your grandpa – you may just love it and use it and think of him every time you see it. Or your family member’s Bible that you love looking in and using. But if you have his entire home full of furniture you may feel like you’re living in the past and don’t really have your own identity and the chance to live in the present. Especially the larger the item, really consider if it serves you in your future life. You can have a box or two or however many you want – but fill it with truly special things that make you remember their life. I hope these things help. I know it’s a super sensitive subject. And also I’d say don’t get rid of anything until you’re ready. If you’re still really just grieving don’t feel like there’s a certain timeline for you to get rid of those things. You’ll know when you’re ready. Start with the easy decisions and save any hard ones until you’re ready. I think it’s fun to think of special ways to make things you know are super special be used and seen and not forgotten in a box.


If you are truly new to decluttering and just don’t know where to start – which is another question I get a lot – start somewhere easy. You want to start with a quick win. So don’t start with your sentimental items and buckets of family heirlooms. Start with your bathroom or pantry. In these areas, there are likely to be things that are actually trash or are expired. Going through and getting rid of those should be hopefully easy decisions and you’ll start building that decluttering muscle. Then get rid of things that you’ll truly never use, or haven’t used in years. Give them to someone else who may use them. Once you’ve decided to get rid of something, take it out of that space now and plan to get it out of your home in the next day or two. Act quickly. Once you see how much lighter you feel in that space, you’ll encourage yourself that you CAN do this and you’ll be inspired to keep going.


The last question I’ll answer today is – how do I get the rest of my family on board? And honestly – that’s not your business when you’re just starting out. Just do the things YOU are in charge of. If your husband or children ask – let them know WHY you’ve decided to do this. Tell them you’ve decided you want to get your physical items in order to free yourself up to be more present and joyful and intentional. Ask them to support you while you’re doing this. Your husband may react differently if you start throwing out his belts that you don’t like … compared to if you’re asking him to help support you in your new mission when he sees you cleaning out your OWN items. Often times, your family will see the benefits of your decluttered spaces and they’ll WANT to do it. But also if they don’t that’s okay. If you’ve lived this way for years and all the sudden change, you don’t have to expect them to all the sudden change too. Just keep your eyes on your own things and change what you can but let other people manage their own items. I’ve also learned that people have different thresholds of how they are affected by clutter and just because something bothers us doesn’t mean it even bothers them or that they should change.



Okay so if you are a little fired up by this conversation and wanting to get started - I have a quick guide called “10 things to declutter right now” and you can download that for free - CLICK HERE! It’s an easy way to get started!


I also have a home organization master class online course that walks you through decluttering and reorganizing every single room of your home. It’s broken down in an easy to follow format that you can complete at your own pace! You can do it 20 minutes at a time at naptime or you can knock it all out over a weekend or one space per month for a year, it’s up to you! It was made FOR MOMS so it’s not just for decluttering and organizing, I really care more about helping you find ease and joy and lightness at home so you can be the mom you want to be. So it's also full of strategies and  systems and tips for that as well as decluttering and organizing. CLICK HERE for more info!


Podcast listeners get 20% off with code Podcast20. I’m so confident that you will love it and your life will feel lighter – which is what I want for you – that I offer a money-back guarantee. You literally have nothing to lose by giving it a shot and seeing how your life feels~


Feel like you need more help? I’m now offering coaching sessions for clients needing more one on one attention. If you’re stuck or feel like you need another set of eyes – go to and I’d be honored to work with you virtually!

Last and definitely not least, before we go. Id love to say a prayer for you!

Dear Lord, thank you for these listeners, thank you for their hearts for their homes and their families. Please bless the work of their hands. Thank you that your word says your yoke is easy and your burden is light, thank you for meeting us in every moment. Thank you that you’re the healer, thank you for protecting and healing our kids and families. Thank you that we don’t have to live in fear because we trust you. Please let us shine your light to the world, our communities, and especially within our home. We love you lord. In your son jesus’ name, amen!


Thanks for being here friends, until next time, let’s Elevate Motherhood!

Elevate Motherhood Home Organization Master Class


Our online course takes you step-by-step and room-by-room to declutter and organize your house, once and for all! It's for regular moms, just like you. As we declutter and organize, we're making more space for what (and who) really matters. Stop wasting your time and invest it! Let's get your house working for YOU! 

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