288: Letting Stuff Go (with Allie Casazza)
Our stuff plays a big role in our moods and happiness. Not only do “things” take up our space, but they also drain our focus, energy, and time. For moms who are constantly feeling exhausted and maybe even wake up with dread each morning, learning how to let go of your stuff can be life-changing.
My guest today, Allie Casazza, is an expert on how our stuff relates to our happiness, anxiety, and depression. She built a multi-million dollar online business that teaches moms and families how to approach minimalism, deal with their stuff, and find more joy in their lives.
Listen in today as Allie shares the psychology behind letting go of our stuff and how it impacts our happiness. We talk about her goal of eradicating the “hot mess mom” stereotype and why understanding your family members' unique personality types will help you have empathy when they struggle to let things go. Everything that takes up your space takes up your time and energy, and Allie is sharing how we can get more of both.
If you’re ready to do something BIG and amazing for yourself, I invite you to enroll in the next session of the Vibrant Happy Coach Certification. Starting this September, you will meet weekly with a group of 10 and learn how to think and feel about your life in a different, higher vibe way. Click here to learn more, and I can’t wait to see you inside.
What You’ll Learn:
- Where Allie’s exhaustion and dread was coming from.
- Why there are no rules in minimalism.
- How minimalism can work for the fun mom and the burnt-out mom.
- What to do if your partner struggles to let go of stuff.
- The 5 personality types and how they respond to decluttering.
- Where to start if you’re interested in decluttering and minimalism.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Follow Jen: Instagram | Facebook | Email
- Follow Allie Casazza: Website | Personality Quiz | Instagram
- Declutter Like a Mother by Allie Casazza
- 115: Intentional Simplicity with Allie Casazza
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hi, I’m Jen Riday and you’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast episode number 288. We’re talking about decluttering and minimalism and how both can make you happier. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey there my friends. It’s Jen and I’m excited for this episode because we’re going to talk about our stuff. Stuff, it can steal our energy, drain our focus and kind of take away our time, every little thing we own not only takes energy but it takes a piece of our time. And I’m excited because our guest today, Allie Casazza, is an expert of how our stuff relates to our happiness, how our stuff relates to anxiety and to depression. And how we each have a story and even an attachment or a style related to how we deal with stuff.
So, this is a very informative episode. I want you to think about your stuff. Do you love it? Is it comforting? Does it give you security or do you wish you could get rid of it? Do you feel overwhelmed by areas you need to declutter? Or maybe you like me, decluttered some things during the pandemic. But the funny thing is there always seems to be more — more broken pencils, more junky toys lying under a bench, or under the table, or under the couch. Oh my gosh, the things under the couch. Don’t even get me started.
And sometimes I look at this stuff and I think where did this come from? Where does this stuff come from? I feel so liberated when I can let it go. So, we’re going to talk about with Allie how you can more easily get into the psychology of letting things go so it’s easier. So, you’re going to love this one. Before we dive in I want to read our review of the week. It is from Kristen Pierce who is one of our Vibrant Happy Women coaches. And she left this review and I saw her name and I wanted to read it. Hi, Kristen from Phoenix.
She said, “This podcast has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. Opened my eyes and heart to so many amazing topics, guests, books that have helped me learn and grow into a healthier and happier human being. I can’t thank Dr. Jen Riday enough for the work she is doing to make a difference in this world. Her podcast and the Vibrant Happy Women Club and coach certification are amazing gifts.” Hey, Kristen, thank you.
You know, I feel the same. This podcast allowed me to meet so many amazing people, not just the guests but those of you who listen. I have met so many of you at the Vibrant Happy Women retreat. I’ve met so many of you in the Vibrant Happy Women Club or the coach certification and I adore it.
When I think about what I love to do with my time, what lights me up it is interacting with you, you the listeners, you the people who like me are on a journey of growth, a journey of becoming, a journey of liberation, a journey of finding greater freedom to truly be your authentic self and I love it. So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening. Thank you, Kristen, for that review. I love you all. Today it’s a little bit of a love fest and I want to send you my love.
Okay, well, let’s go ahead now and learn about the psychology, the mindset and the relationship between our clutter and our mood. Let’s dive in.
Jen: Hey everyone, I’m talking with Allie Casazza today. She’s on a mission to eradicate the hot mess mom stereotype by empowering other women. Allie has built a multimillion dollar online business based on her proven family oriented approach to minimalism. Allie is also the host of The Purpose Show, that’s a podcast. And she thrives on helping women discover their own abundant life. She has just released her first book, Declutter Like A Mother: A Guilt Free, No Stress Way to Transform Your Home and Life. It sounds amazing.
And Allie lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband Brian where they homeschool their four young children. Welcome back to the show Allie, I had you once before, I’m glad you’re back.
Allie: Yeah, thanks for having me again, sharing space on your hard-earned platform. I know that’s a big deal and I appreciate it.
Jen: Well, thank you. I’m glad you’re here. So, what a book title, Declutter Like A Mother. Tell us more about your book.
Allie: Yeah, I’m so excited. So excited that it’s out and women can get their hands on it and really just be uplifted. I think what I love about the book and my message in general is that it’s so different from so much else that’s out there about, I guess, just all of it, simplicity, minimalism, organization, all those kinds of subjects. It’s got so much heart and depth. And in the beginning I really want to make women feel seen. And I really wrote it in a way that shares the really ugly raw parts of my own story of being a mom and just some of the thoughts I struggled with and issues that I ran into.
And then really just the realization that while there is layers to it, a lot of it was really just practical shifts I could make which was great news. I think it’s great news for any of us because to physically go with your hands and change something in your environment. And then get emotional health and mental health from that is, it’s very tactical. You don’t have to always do a bunch of deep work. That’s part of it.
But let’s just start by aligning your environment with who you really want to be. And that makes a huge difference and is the official starting point in the Allie Casazza method. We start at home because your environment affects everything.
Jen: Ooh, I love it. So, I was just listening to a fellow coach out there in the world, I won’t say who it was but she was saying a lot of us get stuck thinking we have to be motivated before we can take action. But it’s the other way around, action begets that motivation. But you’re also saying it changes our emotion and our mindset. Tell us a little bit more about how you discovered that.
Allie: Yeah, absolutely. So, for me and my personal story, it was a really hard thing to go to. And I won’t take up an hour, give all the details. But I talk about it on my own show and in the book. But it was really good that I went through what I did. I was absolutely depressed. I basically just woke-up every day feeling like my gosh, the sun is out. It’s time to go again. And just this feeling of dread. And it didn’t add up because I wanted my life, I wanted my kids, I wanted my husband, I wanted what I had. But that dread was just undeniable.
And I kind of had to do a lot of sifting and as I said, the story is so much longer than this. But I really had to sort through where it was coming from and become aware of the source of the dread and the source of this exhaustion. And everyone told me, “Well, you have three really little kids, babies and toddlers, of course you’re exhausted.” It’s just expected.
And I had this thing in me where I just couldn’t accept that as truth, that if this is just all motherhood is. And basically, everyone’s telling me it’s going to get even worse when they’re teenagers and just soak it up because it goes so fast but also it’s kind of terrible, because this would be the message that I was getting. And everyone, all the mothers in the universe had just simultaneously agreed that this was it.
Jen: Yes, I agree, it’s not enough, it’s not okay. I’m so glad you’re changing this, yeah.
Allie: Yeah. And so that wasn’t okay with me. And I felt alone in that, even books that I read kind of just, they built up this camaraderie around the fact that they still believed that’s what motherhood was. But you just have to find the sweet moments and carpe diem. And I just didn’t want to live like that. I really wanted to be different. I wanted to do motherhood a different way. I wanted to be present. I wanted to have my own life. I wanted to have my own things to do. And I wanted to build something that meant something and really live a loud beautiful life.
And I didn’t feel like the programming around motherhood was allowing me to do that. And so, I broke it. And as I was breaking it, I was blogging about it. I had a blog for years at the time already. And I just was blogging and sharing and it was attracting other moms because we need this and we need each other.
And so, with the way that that went for me and the way that I’ve seen it happen for tens of thousands of women that have gotten to the programs and that have already read the book and all of this, this whole thing I’ve built, it’s really cool. Because yeah, the action brings the motivation. And what motivates you is not that now your bathroom is uncluttered, honestly who cares about that? I really don’t. I’m not type A at all. I don’t care. This is a tool that I can use to better my life. It’s a means to an end, the means is simplifying everything so I’m not so exhausted every frigging second.
That I have more time, and energy, and space for what actually matters. And the end is living that full intentional abundant life. Having options, options are power. And I have options. I don’t have to constantly maintain my house, no matter how big my house is, no matter how small, I’ve lived in a camper for a year and toured the country. I have lived in a 1,000 square foot house. I’ve lived in a 700 square foot apartment. I’ve lived in a 3,000 square foot house. I’ve lived in a 4,000 square foot house. I’ve done all of it. It doesn’t matter because it doesn’t own me. I own it. I am in charge.
And I have options of what I do with my time. I am not ruled by my things. And then we can move on. And you can go and grow your empire, start your business, start dating, work on your marriage, work on your body, work on your health, work on loving yourself. Focus on your kids, homeschool them, travel. You can live your frigging life. So that is the benefit that comes from all of this.
And that’s what I really want to focus on. We can get super detailed and practical and tactical with exactly where to start and what it looks like and how many things is too many. Even though I’m going to tell you an answer you probably don’t like to that question. But let’s focus on the end. But let’s focus on the end. Let’s focus on the goal and why we’re even here in the first place. And if that’s not motivating I don’t know what is.
Jen: Yeah. So, let’s say a mom comes to you like, “Allie, help. What do I do? I know I need to declutter. I’ve heard of this minimalism thing.” Where would you start her out?
Allie: Well, I would first, to get super technical, I would first talk to her about, I want to hear where she’s at. I want to hear how she’s feeling. I want to notice the words she uses to describe how she feels about her life right now. And really show here where the holes are in that. And get her to get super excited and hopeful about, it doesn’t need to be that way for one more second. And how beautiful all the possibilities are to really get her in a positive place. And then practically speaking, I mean there’s really no right or wrong place to start. That’s the good news. There really, there just isn’t.
And other teachers that teach minimalism, this is the reason it’s got all these stereotypes around it and people are turned off by it. So maybe we just need to ditch the word altogether if it bothers people. Because it’s like this is how many books you should have and this is how many pants you should have. And if you have more than this amount of pillows you’re doing it wrong. And who are you to tell me? You don’t know my life. This needs to be relative to me and who I am. So, there’s no wrong or right way to do it. But I will say I’m all about creating ease for mothers.
I want you to dare to try to make life easy. That’s a loaded word for moms because I think they even feel guilty asking for that because it’s so counter mom culture. But what would make things easier is if you started in your house versus digging into all the deep stuff going on inside of you when you’re already overwhelmed day-to-day with cleaning and maintaining.
So, let’s start with the home and beyond that let’s start in the bathroom because there’s not a lot of sentimental stuff in there. It’s a very easy yes or no area. It’s somewhere you can get a quick hit of I did it, I’m done. That was pretty easy. And that will give you some momentum that you need to keep going to maybe some of the harder places. So not wrong to not start there, not right to start there but it might bring a little bit more ease and flow if you did start there.
Jen: Yeah. It makes sense to take care of your home first because I can’t tell you the number of women I know with depression, their biggest stressor causing factor in their depression would be the clutter. That has totally overwhelmed them and how much happier they feel just to get started with that decluttering and minimizing track. Yeah, it makes sense.
Allie: Yeah, for sure. For sure. It’s so impactful and it’s ironic too because you come into this because you’re overwhelmed. And then getting it going can be so overwhelming. It’s very easy to just shove it to the side and never do it. But I want to encourage everyone listening that this is kind of return on investment. This is that ROI on your time. You put in a little bit more time, for some people let’s be honest, a lot more time, into your home. And you’re going to get that return on investment for forever.
You’re constantly going to be gaining more time back, more energy back, more space back metaphorically and physically. I think it’s just so important. We can talk about all the details of it but we’ve got to focus on that big goal or you’re going to poop out and give up because you’ve already got a lot going on. That’s why you’re here.
Jen: So, in your book you talk about the fun mom and the burnt out mom and how minimalism can work for both. Tell us more about that.
Allie: Yeah. Well, I think the burned out mom is she’s just so exhausted. She almost doesn’t care to keep going. And I’ve been there. Where you’re just like, “I know things need to change and I want them to change so badly.” Almost kind of ‘I wish someone else would just come in and change it for me'. And you’re just kind of almost just lying in your own filth just like I’m just too tired to get up. I don’t even care. Let’s just, this is it. And I think that it’s okay to get there sometimes. Usually, people call that kind of living survival mode.
And survival mode has its place for sure. If you’ve just got divorced, or you just moved and your stuff hasn’t come yet, which is my situation right now. And you’re just trying to get through to the next season. It’s okay, it’s valid. But when the burned out mom is living there, she’s set up camp and she’s raising her babies and trying to do every day in that place. That’s where it’s a problem. Not because you’re wrong or you should feel ashamed but because that is not what you’re here to do. That is not your purpose. That is not aligned with why you’re here on Earth right now.
Raising kids, doing life, starting a business, working wherever you work, in the relationships you’re in, that’s not what you really want. And if it’s not what you really want then it’s not for you. So, we want to get out of that place. So, this can work if someone is really just in the mud, really stuck in there. And then the fun mom is the one that is just kind of super spontaneous and doesn’t really want any structure, doesn’t really want to be organized, get organized. She doesn’t want to do any of the work.
She just wants to enjoy everything but, and this is also me, I feel like I toggle between these things in different seasons of my life. When I was depressed I was the burned out mom for sure. But other times I’m this mom. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Enneagram, are you?
Allie: Okay, cool. I’m an eight with a very strong seven wing. And the seven wing kind of rules most of how I live. So, I am spontaneous, drop everything and go do something fun, forget structure. I fought structure for so long because I felt controlled. There’s the eight. I didn’t want to feel controlled. And so, I found though and this is what the fun mom struggles with is when you refuse structure because you think it’s not fun, you actually are allowed to have much less fun or you have fun at the expense of everything else. You have to catch up big time when you get home.
So, if you get a little bit of structure and get the stuff out of your way, clear the clutter, put a little bit of structure where it matters then you actually will get way more time and you can actually go ahead and have fun. And not have to go out, have a great day with your kids.
For me with homeschooling one of my things that I love to do is just cancel my appointments for the day, cancel all what we were going to do for school. And just pack up and go on a nature hike or go to Legoland for the day, or go see a movie, and then go to Barnes & Noble and they’ll get all the books and something like that. I know that I can do that really often. I could do that every day for a long time if I wanted to and things just wouldn’t have the availability to get so piled up that I’d be punished for having fun. You know what I mean, that price to pay?
Jen: Yeah, that makes sense.
Allie: Yeah. So, I guess the message is the fun mom she can benefit from this so much because she can be more in her power, that fun is her power. She can be more in that if she gets the stuff out of the way and doesn’t have so much to do. All the mundane stuff isn’t going to take over anymore. And the burned out mom, this is her hope. This is that lighthouse calling her in.
Jen: Yeah, that makes sense. So, it works for everyone in other words?
Allie: Yeah, totally.
Jen: So, what – I appreciate you sharing that, makes sense. We do want to have more fun. I used to do kind of visualization work and ask myself the question, what do I really want? And it’s funny. I didn’t want to go out and have fun or be stressed out of my mind. I just wanted to lay in a pile of pillows and cuddle with my kids. So, I’m glad you said earlier that we can have as many pillows as we want and still declutter and be minimalistic.
So, your method just frees up space physically but then mentally. Because don’t you feel like everything we have to take care of takes a piece of our energy?
Allie: Yeah, for sure. Every single thing that takes up your space just by the law of how things work, taking up your space takes up your time, everything. So, it’s actually really refreshing because if there’s a mom listening to this that just thinks, maybe you’ve had the story in your mind that you’re just bad at this or you really need to get it together. Or you’re just really failing. You’re actually not. It’s actually really just simple math.
Think of every throw pillow, every lamp, every pencil, every water bottle, every book, every old magazine, every pair of shoes and flipflops, and every snack wrapper, and every trophy, and every photo album. Everything in every closet, and draw, and space, and surface in your house is just because it exists, taking up your space and also your time. That’s a lot. That’s a lot for anyone. It’s not you, it’s your environment. You’re only mirroring your environment and your environment is mirroring you. But change one, change the other.
Jen: We know that anxiety is on the rise. Hearing you talk like that, putting it in perspective, are there any stats, or studies, or stories you’ve heard of, the relationship between anxiety and the amount of stuff we own? Because it seems like it would be related after what you just said.
Allie: Yeah, for sure. There’s so many, particularly the last I’d say two or three years, there’s been an increase in scientific studies trying to figure out why clutter affects us so much or why some seem unaffected. And the studies always show they actually are, they just they process it differently.
Allie: One of my favorite – everyone is affected by their environment. Everyone is affected by clutter. And most of the time, and this is, this part that I’m about to say is my experience working with so many people one-on-one in the past. When people say they don’t mind clutter, they’re messy it’s usually a protective – I’m blanking on the word, it’s like a protection thing. They are using it…
Allie: Yeah, thank you, a protective mechanism. They’re using it to keep people from coming over or just from getting close to people. I met one person that used it as an excuse because her spouse was very controlling and really put her down a lot. And he always looked for like, what are you doing? I’m working all day. What are you even doing? So, she purposely had a very, very messy house to give her something to always do and always clean up so she could earn her worth to him.
So, I have never met anyone that truly, maybe they would say it at first, but they never actually really love sitting in mess and having stuff everywhere. Maybe you have a maximalist house design taste, that’s fine. A shelf full of books and little knickknacks everywhere and you don’t mind dusting them because you love it. That’s different. That’s not clutter if that’s your style. But no one loves clutter.
One of my favorite studies that I mention all the time was one that was done several years ago at UCLA. They have a center for family and home study. And they did this study that showed that – they did it on women. And they were in the Los Angeles area and they did 60 something different homes and different women and families. And it showed, they did a saliva swab on the inside of the cheek of these women. And it literally showed a direct link to the amount of clutter and the level of cortisol, which is the stress hormone which contributes to anxiety. So, it literally is more stuff, more stress.
Jen: Okay. Does this apply to the number of kids we have? Because you have four and I have six, we must be really stressed if we’re counting it item by item. I’m teasing.
Allie: It’s so funny. I don’t know how you manage with six. Your goals – I’m working on adopting a fifth right now and I’m so excited. Because I feel like after three who cares?
Jen: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true.
Allie: And you kind of get – I don’t know. I feel like I’ve gotten more relaxed because it’s just like you kind of – I don’t know. I’ve got three boys and a wild girl. And somebody’s always falling and hitting their chin on something, or bleeding, or hitting someone. It’s just crazy. I feel like I had to chill out otherwise I would be a psycho all the time.
Jen: Yeah, for sure. Well, and for me, I had to start adopting a mantra, clutter – there are studies out there, I don’t know if they’re true based on what you just said — but clutter breeds creativity. I think that’s just maybe another excuse. But I believe that, just to let myself let go but we do get it cleaned up once a day after dinner, thank goodness, so I can breathe again.
Allie: Well, I think too, we also – this is one of the things that bugs me about stuff like that. Because we have to look at it, people say, “Clutter, it breeds creativity.” Well, it’s not clutter if it’s the things that you use that you just left out. That’s just a mess. Clutter is things that are, you know, you do not use that, you just feel bad that you spent money on it and it’s just sitting in the back of a closet somewhere or it’s ‘sentimental’ which means special. But you’ve just got it in a box shoved in the attic for 15 years. Clutter is clutter.
Stuff being out is just that you haven’t picked it up yet, who cares? I’m messy, too, in that sense.
Jen: Yeah, okay, that makes sense.
Allie: There you go.
Jen: So, I think I’m kind of like you. I enjoy letting things go. I mean for you does it give you a thrill to donate something am I guessing?
Allie: Yeah. Well, and I didn’t used to be like that though. Now I am because I understand it and I know I am obsessed because now I know it is literally decreasing my cortisol. It is so good for my mental health. And I do struggle with, I’ve had depression and anxiety in the past overlapping really bad. And now I really don’t. So, I know I am literally clearing space for more joy. I am literally increasing my mental and emotional wellbeing. So yeah, because I know all of that now I feel that way. Some people are naturally like that though. You sound like you’re naturally a get-rid-of person.
Jen: Yeah, I was born that way I think. Because there are stories of me as a five year old doing this. So, well, it’s a funny thing. As a mom of six one of my biggest mental health strategies is once in a while, at least quarterly, to go to a hotel and just be alone. And the story I thought was happening is I just need solitude, I need alone time. But we just got back from a vacation all eight of us. And it was super relaxing and I was thinking okay, but my kids are here, it’s not solitude, what is the thing? And I think it’s the lack of stuff in the hotel room, stuff that I’m responsible for.
But the lack of stuff in my car, it’s just so minimalistic to travel. So, my quarterly break I think is really more related to minimalism than solitude, which is fascinating to me.
Allie: Absolutely. And you know you’re only going to be there for, what, a few days, a week? Someone else is going to clean it. You’re living out of your suitcase so you don’t have as many choices. I’ve said that often. Going on a trip is a taste of the life you actually want. And of course, don’t get rid of everything you wouldn’t take in a suitcase, you don’t have to. People do that but you don’t have to do that. But just it’s a taste of, this was such a respite. Is there any piece of this that I could take with me back home?
Is there things I could implement at home to make my regular life a little bit more like this? We can learn from that feeling.
Jen: Yes. Well, I don’t know if you – do you know Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Big Magic?
Allie: I know who she is but I have never read any of her books though.
Jen: Well, her books aren’t really relevant to this story necessarily. But she traveled for a really long time, maybe the year prior to the pandemic. And she took essentially one backpack. It was awesome, six week trip, one backpack. It was a cute black dress that doubled as athletic and also kind of cute, you could eat out in it. And she just washed that thing every night. And she did it. And she said it was so freeing. And ever since I saw that I kind of want to live like that. I could live out of a backpack, I’m telling you.
Allie: That’s brilliant.
Jen: But I have this husband, totally the opposite. He’s attached to his sense of place. He’s attached to his stuff. Every object is a memory and an emotional attachment. I have seen him have even almost a panic response when we’re donating things. Or on cleaning day he’ll – well, I don’t want to make him sound bad — but he’ll look through the trash to make sure we didn’t throw away anything he thought was important. It borders on a little obsessive. What do you do in a relationship like that? Or what do you recommend for people who are listening who are like that?
Allie: Well, I just want to first address the qualities that he has. So, in the book I go over, there’s five personality or motivation types. And we’re actually talking about kids in that section. I developed this whole method, uncluttered kids method with a child play therapist named Amy. And we came up with these five different motivation types of kids. But really I love it because you can use it for anyone. So, your husband’s type is the emotional and attached. So, he is motivated by keeping which is really hard when you’re trying to let go of.
And so, what’s helpful for us in this conversation is that my oldest daughter is also that personality type. And my husband is also that personality type. So yeah, and my husband has completely, he has evolved and grown so much. At the root he still is who he is and he still has the tendency to keep things. But he’s just grown so much and learned from me. I mean this is my job so we talk about it a lot more than the average couple would. But he just knows, I’m going to get rid of this. I don’t need this. I’d do better with less clothes.
I have no problem getting rid of that or no, I want to hold onto this one and I’m going to put it here. He just knows now. But having said that, it really helped him and it helps me when I’m coaching to get people to get to the root of why they’re like that. So, for my daughter, it’s funny that she’s like that because she’s my daughter. And this has been my job since she was three. So, it’s interesting. And she’s really just talked to me about how her stuffed animals, she just believed that they were with her in life. And they were talking to her and she had a relationship with them.
And everything has a soul and she’s just got this, she’s like this very creative artistic type. And her mind is literally never in the conversation happening in front of her. It is always making up paintings and stories in her mind. So, when you do that you get attached to the things that are involved in those stories in your mind. And so, she’s explained that to me so now I can understand her brain and have empathy. And even though I’m the type that’s motivated by money and I’m competitive. I just want things out of my way so I can live my life and do my thing.
I can understand her and not be frustrated. And my husband’s story is that in childhood his parents would come in and take his money out of his piggybank, take his things, get rid of them without asking. And he has got, straight up, he had straight up hoarder tendencies because he felt he needed to control his environment and guard it because someone was going to come in and ransack it and take his stuff. And decide that he shouldn’t have this jacket anymore and just chuck it even though it was his favorite.
So, you’ve got to get to the root and understand it. Then you can – like we were talking about the Enneagram. So, I’ll use it as an example. Just because you have a type doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to be a jerk or be really overly dramatic about everything, and it’s fine. But you know when people use it as a crutch or something? Well, I’m just an eight so it’s just the way I am – like – we’re supposed to use it to grow and to understand ourselves and evolve, not use it to hide behind it. And so, this is the same thing.
Brian is the emotional attached type of personality but he wants to grow. And he’s seeking to make everyone else happy and himself to grow. So, growing out of that fear, that’s an old scarcity mindset from childhood. He doesn’t want to live his life there. And also, my boundary is it’s really not working for me when you’re keeping every screw, every piece of everything. Do you know what I mean? Going through the donation pile because you’re afraid that I got rid of one of your t-shirts.
So, we’ve had to have those conversations and come to compromises. And I really just let him do his own thing but still keep my boundaries, picking up the house, I’m not going to just pick up your junk because you won’t get rid of anything. So, does that make sense? Finding your own balance and having your boundaries but understanding and having empathy for the different types that are different than you.
Jen: Yeah, absolutely. And the way we’ve worked it out is he has spaces where he can put things. And they look horrible but I just never ever touch them and it works.
Allie: Yeah, there you go. Everyone has to find their way. And I think too, hope for anyone that is just like, I don’t want to be patient. They’re just making a mess everywhere. Speak your truth, put your boundaries up and also lead by example. After about two years of me figuring this out for myself my husband completely came around. He actually cost us about a $1,000 extra in a move because he had so much stuff. And ever since then he really – I didn’t say anything, he just really realized. And he had been seeing me live really minimalistic for the last – for two years before that.
And he just was like, “Man, you’re right. I just don’t want to do this anymore, for what? I’m carrying all this around from house to house for what?” And he just was never the same. Now he’s possibly more minimalist than I am because he’s just really – just doesn’t let stuff have a hold on him like it used to.
Jen: That’s so cool.
Allie: So, they can come around.
Jen: Yeah. And what are the other types? So, say that type again that my husband is and what I am, what are their names?
Allie: So, there’s competitive, there’s motivated by money and things, that’s me, and more money than things. But I have a child who’s that type as well. And he’s more things which is funny because you’re getting rid of things. And in the book there is tips on what to do about each thing. And there is a whole quiz you can take online and tons of resources for you guys. And you can use it for adults. You don’t have to just use it for kids. And then emotional and attached. I’m blanking on the other two. But there’s five.
Jen: Yeah, we’ll have to take the quiz. Where do we go to take your quiz?
Allie: If you just go to alliecasazza.com/kidsquiz.
Jen: Okay, I’m on this. This is exciting. I know all about attachment theory but it kind of feels like this relates a little bit to attachment but it’s related also to stuff so it’s kind of cool.
Allie: Yeah, and it’s cool because the quiz, you could use it for anyone, you can use it for adults. And then when you are learning about your kids, it’s not just as it relates to stuff. It’s like a parenting resource of what motivates your child and how to communicate to them in a way that actually sinks in. So, it’s really helpful.
Jen: Awesome. I will totally do that. Well, this has been enlightening. Everyone grab Allie’s book, Declutter Like a Mother. Before we go, Allie, I’d love to ask you your personal favorite top decluttering tip. Can you even narrow it down? Let’s see if you can.
Allie: Yeah. I would say make it fun. You’re not going to come back to it if you hate it. My favorite thing to do is pour a glass of wine, turn on The Office or some music, something that’s going to just keep me engaged and make it feel like I’m not punishing myself because I’ve got to get through this. And just really bring light into it, invite a friend over, buy a pizza for them and just, I don’t know, celebrate that you’re evolving. It’s not even about decluttering. You’re evolving into the next level of you and the next level of your life.
And you’re making things so much better. And I know you’re probably trying to squeeze it in amongst a really busy life so make it fun and celebrate that you’re getting better, and smarter, and wiser. And you’re living a beautiful life.
Jen: Yeah, and you’re freeing up time which we all want, yes. Okay, to learn more where should people go to follow you, see your website?
Allie: You can get the book anywhere that they sell books. You can get it on Amazon. You can do all of those things. I’d love to hear what you think. And maybe you could tag on Instagram or you could DM me there. You just search Allie Casazza, it’s the account with the blue check mark. And the website is kind of like a choose your own adventure situation. So, tell me on there how can I support you? What do you need help with? What do you need to lighten? It goes so much more beyond home too. There’s just your life calendar, your business, whatever you need.
Jen: Nice, thank you. Okay, I love that idea, choose your own adventure website. It makes me want to go there. Well, Allie, this has been fantastic. I have a lot to think about. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom with us today.
Allie: Thank you for having me.
Hey, I hope you found Allie’s wisdom as inspiring as I did. The question that comes to mind for me is does my home, does my stuff allow me to do what’s truly important to me? And let me ask you the same thing, does your home, does your stuff allow you facilitate your ability to do what’s really important to you? Our stuff like Allie said in this episode, each item takes a piece of our time. I hope you feel a little bit of that inspiration as I do to let go of even more stuff. There is something to be said for the vibe we all get when we’re on vacation, when we have less stuff to be in charge of.
What would it look like to feel the feelings of a vacation in your home more often, more time for the fun, more time for the cuddles, more time for reading the books, and playing the games, and inviting the friends, whatever that looks like for you. Think about it, feel it now, envision it and then let that feeling motivate you to take some action. You’ve got this. Go declutter something, start with that bathroom like Allie talked about and I will see you again next time. Until then make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.
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Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.
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