Guys, I have to tell you something.
I used to be a grade A hoarder.
I used to have so. much. stuff. It’s embarrassing to think about the days when my closet was overflowing with clothes I only wore once and a desk filled with thirty-six notebooks that were only half-used (why, WHY can I not resist a pretty new notebook or planner?!).
A few years ago, I got serious about eliminating all of the physical stuff from my life so that I could focus on things that mattered. I mean, I was so busy cleaning up and putting away and decluttering that I was exhausted when it came time to make a healthy and satisfying meal for my family.
It was time to change a few things, and while I’m still a work in progress, I’m really happy with how far I’ve come in terms of not over-purchasing and sticking to my staples. Less stuff in = less stuff out.
Here are the five areas of my life that I cleaned up in order to un-complicate motherhood:
I stopped going to Target.
Listen… I know how terribly cliché this is. But I’m no different from you, my friend. Joanna Gaines’ little section of Target proved irresistible every time I walked through the doors of Target. And the “dollar” section? Impossible to not find at least three items that my kids would love for five minutes and then forget about.
I wasn’t shopping mindfully or with the intention of bettering my home, I was just collecting clutter that I would one day toss into a bag to donate. I was spending all of my time picking up or dusting or moving the items I had purchased in order to love my home more, but it was backfiring. And for me, the only way to quit buying the crap was to go cold turkey and keep away from the store. And you know what? I don’t miss it one bit.
I picked one makeup brand and stuck with it.
How many eye shadow palettes does one woman need, really? When I realized that my make-up bag was causing decision fatigue, I knew it was time to cut myself off from browsing the aisles of Sephora. I discovered Merit a couple of years ago- their “five-minute make-up” ad sucked me in and I was an instant fan. Every first MERIT order comes with their signature bag which makes me feel pretty darn fancy if I’m telling the truth. All of the products are noncomedogenic, which means they are formulated with ingredients that will not clog your pores. Basically, this brand is a ten.
Recently, Merit was kind enough to send this mother-of-five a new way to look even more put together without breaking the five-minute make-up promise. Their new solo shadow is a buildable, cream-to-powder shadow for just a wash of color (you won’t look like you’re heading to the club when you’re actually heading to Aldi). It also came with the perfect soft brush to apply it with.
I’m really hard to please when it comes to make-up (probably why I have 32 different brands represented in a bag shoved under the bathroom sink), but Merit has checked every box. Seriously, you need to try it if you’re looking for clean make-up that doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to look put together. Click here to see for yourself!
I created a reusable grocery list.
You wouldn’t believe how hard I resisted this one when my husband and I discussed it for the first time. Now I’m wondering where I was before the day we created our list of staples from each store and stuck to it. Perhaps we will try a new item here or there, but for the most part, we stick to our laminated list of must-have food items and dry goods and we don’t sway too much. It’s saved so much time (grocery aisle wanderer here!) and stress because I always know what I can make for dinner with my staples.
I implemented a 48-hour rule.
That Amazon one-click button used to be my closest friend… or so I thought. I tired of my online purchases just months after buying them, and then I would feel like I had to go back for more. I no longer have the Amazon app on my phone, and if I add something to my virtual cart, I make myself wait a full 48 hours before entering my credit card number. And truthfully, I don’t buy the thing in my cart about eighty percent of the time. No more regretful purchases, no more overflowing donation bags every month.
I lowered my expectations.
One day, I realized that I would never be the kind of mom who could throw Pinterest-worthy parties or bake the perfect loaf sourdough. I would never have the most clean or perfectly decorated house. I have five kids, I have this blog, and I am tired (ha, JK… sort of).
I chased the idea that the only way to create the best memories for my kids was to do it all and do it really well. But that just made me stressed out and bitter. My kids don’t get fancy cakes or big parties on their birthdays, but they do get to spend the day doing things that are slightly out-of-the-ordinary, like ice cream for dinner. And our Christmas season is humble, with just the lit-up tree and stockings for decor.
If you had told me five years ago how very simple my life would be in the year 2023, I wouldn’t have believed it. But I’m so much more peaceful, and dare I say, enjoyable as a mother, wife, and person after eliminating so much of the extra from my life.
What about you, mama? What’s one thing not on the list that you could share with me for simplifying my motherhood and life?
(psssst…. this post includes affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link. But don’t worry, I only tell you about the things I absolutely love and adore.)