Do you need encouragement to live fully, to save money, or to love your home? Then you have come to the right place. Here you'll find practical tips for decluttering, time management, decorating, frugal living, and inspiration for moms.
Making decisions has not always been a strong character quality for me. When it comes to big life decisions like buying a house and even small things like ordering at a restaurant, I have to weigh ALL the options and make sure I’m making the right choice.
Indecisiveness can be a BIG time waster and cause stress. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that I have to give up the “Fear of Missing Out” and just make decisions and be happy with what I decide.
This is true about our clutter too.
Many times clutter builds up because we don’t know what to do with our stuff. We can’t make a decision because we don’t want to make a wrong decision.
Sell it? Donate it? Hold on to it? Give it away to someone? ….. But most of the time there is not a right or wrong answer.
So today, I’m sharing keys areas in our home that being decisive keeps clutter from building up.
The Clothes Chair
You know what I’m referring to, right? It’s the chair or pile on the floor where you put clothes that you don’t want to put in the dirty clothes hamper but you also don’t want to put back in the dresser.
One day I finally put a stop to my clothes chair. I decided that there is no in-between.
The clothes are either dirty enough that they need washed or clean enough that I can hang them back up or place them back in the dresser. Whenever I take my clothes off, I intentionally make a decision about where my clothes need to go rather than piling them up on the indecisive chair.
Mail used to be one of those things that I let pile up on the kitchen counter during the week. However, when I started embracing routines and decluttering, I realized the best way to deal with mail is right away!
As soon as the mail comes in the house, I decide what to do with it by throwing away the junk, opening up the bills and filing them, and putting away any other miscellaneous mail.
I know that at age three, my son’s paperwork is only just beginning. But he does get a pile of papers each week from children’s church, AWANA, library group, and the homeschool pages and crafts we do at home.
Here’s the way I deal with it. We hang the “fresh” papers up on our display board. Then the old papers are placed in a folder.
Maybe throwing away your kid’s paperwork seems harsh, but are you really going to go through ALL of their papers again? Probably not.
It is better to keep only a few of the ones that you want to look back on rather than a huge stack that isn’t so special.
The kitchen counter is a hot magnet for clutter. amiright?!
It’s the place where EVERYTHING goes. Go look at what is on your kitchen counter at this moment. Go ahead. Okay, what do you see?
I bet it’s a bunch of random stuff that you need to make a decision about. Maybe the clutter doesn’t have a home and you need to designate a place to put it.
Maybe the clutter needs to be dealt with in some way, but you just have been putting off making a decision about it.
The next time you are tempted to put something on the counter to “deal with later”, make a conscious decision to deal with it right away.
Do you have bins, shelves, and closets stuffed with home décor items that you no longer (or never) use? Maybe you thought it was cute in the store, but you brought it home and it just didn’t work, or décor pieces that were all the rage last year, but now you are over it.
I used to have SO many little knick knack décor pieces that I would buy, use for a little while, get tired of it, and then shove in the closet. I finally stopped purchasing items simply because they were cute or on sale.
Instead I got super intentional about how I decorate my home. I clearly defined what I like and started making lists of items I really wanted to add to my home.
When I got decisive about how I decorate instead of just picking up random pieces, that’s when I started really loving how my home looked. I shared a little more about this in this post. Clutter Free Home
Clothes in the Closet
I’ve heard it said that most people only wear about 20% of the clothes in their wardrobe. 20%!
You know what the other 80% is? Indecisiveness!
They are the clothes that don’t fit, don’t make us feel good, or we spent way too much on to let go. We don’t know what to do with them, so we let them take up valuable space in our closets (and minds).
It’s time to decide. Are we going to keep clothes even if we aren’t going to wear them or let them go?
The next time you look around at the clutter in your home, don’t get overwhelmed. Just get decisive!
Make decisions about your stuff so that it doesn’t keep piling up into a heap of indecision.
It is a 5 page workbook and 5 day email series that teaches you how to have a clutter free home! You’ll learn super practical tips for overcoming daily clutter and how you can actually prevent clutter in the future.
Laundry and I used to have a love-hate relationship because I didn’t have a good laundry routine in place.
I loved having clean clothes to wear. However, I hated that it would pile up all week, and I would often end up running out of clothes by the end of the week.
And time and time again, I would forget about a load of clothes in the washer and have to rewash the load to get the sour smell out.
Well, just like I figured out that I needed routines to follow for the dishes and weekly cleaning, I needed a laundry routine.
I know some people like to wash everything on one “laundry day” each week. Some people like to wash sheets on one day, towels, darks and lights all on specific days throughout the week.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to create a laundry routine as long as you do what works for you and your family.
Here is my laundry routine just to give you an idea. As always, I hope it gives you inspiration to figure out what works for you.
Dirty and Stains
My son, husband, and I all put our dirty clothes in the clothes hamper in our master bedroom. Towels, wash clothes, and dish rags are placed in a separate hamper in the laundry room, and the baby’s clothes are placed in a seperate hamper in her room.
Anything that has stains, I try to scrub as soon as possible with my Fels-naptha bar*. It gets out just about every stain. I love using it!
TOWELS: Before washing towels and wash rags, I make sure they are dry and never damp. I also add a cup of vinegar in addition to the laundry detergent. I shared a little about that in this post about how I use vinegar in my home.
Making sure the towels are completely dry and adding vinegar helps take out that musty smell.
As soon as possible, I try to throw the clothes into the dryer. If I put the load in first thing in the morning, it is usually ready for the dryer after I have gotten myself and the kids ready for the day.
Last year I purchased the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and one of the bonuses were these wool dryer balls*. I use these instead of dryer sheets. You can purchase them through Grove Collaberative. This is my referral link which means you can get $10 off your first order and I also earn a $10 credit.
I’ve started using Grove products for cleaning my home and love that I can get non toxic cleaning products for a discount and delivered right to my door.
Next up is folding the clothes and putting them away. I think this is one of the hardest steps for some moms.
Only doing one or two loads a day is my simple answer to getting it all folded and put away. When I saved all of my laundry for the end of the week, I dreaded folding load after load. Now that I only have to fold one or two loads a day, I’m much more motivated to get it done.
I like to fold our laundry on the dining room table. As I fold them, I separate them into piles based on the person and the item of clothing. For example, I have a separate pile for my son’s shirts and his pants since they go in different drawers.
Then when I stack all the folded laundry back in the laundry basket, I place them in order for where the items get put. For instance, when doing the towels, I put the bath towels in the bottom of the basket because they are put away last, and the kitchen towels are put on top of the basket because they are put away first.
My 3 year old is in charge of putting his laundry away. He has been helping me put it away in his drawers since he was little, and now he can do it on his own. Yay!
I try to put the clean laundry away as soon as possible. It only takes a few minutes and I’m always glad when it is DONE!
So there you have it. I hope this gives you some ideas for your own laundry routine!
One of the biggest budget busters is going out to eat. The more you eat at home, the more money you save, and it also is much healthier. You get to decide how a meal is prepared and what goes into it.
Most likely, you know you should eat at home more often, but actually doing it may be another story.
Personally, there were two hurdles that kept me from wanting to eat at home. One, I didn’t know what to make. I dreaded the question, “So what’s for supper?” Most of the time I had no earthly clue, so I would look through the pantry and fridge for an idea.
That led me to the second hurdle which was not having all of the ingredients to make the meal. Maybe I had ground beef, taco shells, and taco seasoning, but no cheese. This happened to me more than I’d like to admit.
When we became a one income family, we wanted to cut back on our out to eat spending tremendously, and I knew I had to figure this eating at home thing out.
I’ve shared before how I keep my meal planning easy-peasy by having a master list of meals that we rotate through and also by keeping the sides super duper simple, but there are a few other strategies that ensure we eat at home even on those crazy nights when we are tempted to go out instead.
Organize and Take Inventory of Your Pantry and Freezer on the Regular
How many times have you gone to your pantry right before supper and realized you didn’t have an ingredient that you needed? Or on the flip side, how many times have you found something in your freezer and thought, “I didn’t know that was in there? We could have had that last night instead of going out for supper.” (I know I’m not the only one!)
One of the best ways to keep an organized pantry and freezer is to not stuff them full. I’m all about stocking up on items when they are on sale, but make sure you are only buying what you need until the next sale and are actually using the food up otherwise you will forget what’s in there.
When you can actually see what you have in your pantry, you are more likely to use it. So take some time every so often to tidy it up.
Have a List of Family Favorites
Hands down the best decision I ever made when it comes to meal planning, is having a master list of meals that my family enjoys. I refer to my list whenever I plan out my meals for the month instead of spending a bunch of time looking through cookbooks or Pinterest. My master meal list also means that I don’t have to come up with meals out of nowhere.
Does your mind ever just go blank as soon as you try to come up with meals? I know mine does. That’s another reason for having a bank of meal ideas.
Most months our meal plan is very similar. I basically rotate about 25 meals and throw in a new meal every once in awhile.
By making the same meals on a regular basis, I’ve mastered those recipes and it doesn’t take as much time to make them as it used to.
If you want a bank of meal ideas yourself, but don’t know where to start, check out my newest Meal Planning Kit available in my Etsy shop. It has over 150 supper, breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas, example menu plans, a blank menu plan, and my favorite healthy tips and time saving tips!
Keep Easy, Go-to Meals on Hand
There are nights when you are exhausted from the day and just need a break from cooking. Or maybe you literally have 30 minutes to get supper ready and eaten before you have to head out the door. Those are the nights when you need to keep easy meals on standby. Here are a few easy go-to meals we enjoy.
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Mac n cheese
Cheese and crackers
Pair these with fresh fruit and veggies and you have a healthier meal than if you had gone through the drive through. Plus there are so many healthy versions of the above mentioned items that you could choose to purchase.
This one thing has saved me HOURS of cleaning a week! Perfection is never attainable. This is especially true when it comes to having a clean house with kids.
Here are some examples of how I’ve kicked perfection to the curb:
I used to move all the furniture when I swept and mopped. —> Now I do a quick sweep and mop and get most of the spots on the floor.
I used to use a toothbrush to clean the nooks and crannies around the toilet lid. —> Now I just wipe it down with a rag and disinfectant.
I used to move everything off the shelves to dust. —> Now I just dust around items or pick them up, give them a little wipe, and set them back on the shelf right away.
I used to fold every little piece of clothing. —>Now I just throw underwear in drawer bins, have all matching socks so that I don’t have to mate them, and stack the baby clothes out flat in the drawer.
Life happens at home. Kids play, learn, and love in your home, and that means that messes happen. Perfection can never be reached because that’s life. Do the best you can, but realize that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Follow Daily Routines
Each day I follow morning and evening routines which allow me to do get a load of laundry done, dishes washed, the kitchen cleaned, and clutter put away.
By doing a little each day, my house doesn’t get out of hand and I don’t have to deal with huge messes that have been built up throughout the week.
I also follow a very flexible weekly cleaning schedule. I don’t stick to a specific chore on a specific day. Instead I have a list of all my weekly cleaning tasks and assign a chore to two or three days in my planner.
I also have a monthly, quarterly, and yearly list of tasks that I write in my Bloom planner*.
I love having a master list to refer to. That way I don’t forget something, and I can easily add it to my planner. Each day as I go over my plan for the day, I see what my chore for the day is and spend anywhere from 10-30 minutes getting it done.
Clear the Clutter
Have you ever put off dusting or vacuuming because there was just so much stuff everywhere?
Then you do finally decide to clean, you have to deal with the layer of clutter that is in the way before you can actually clean. It’s really exasperating!
For instance, if you want to wipe down your kitchen counter tops, that means they have to be cleared off.
Mail should be dealt with right away, not stacked up in a pile.
Backpacks and work bags should be hung up.
Dirty dishes need to be put in the dishwasher or washed.
If you want to vacuum or sweep the floors, toys should be picked up.
Clothes should be placed in the hamper or put away in the dresser.
If you search “organization” on Pinterest, you will find pictures filled with color coordinated bins, glass jars with chalkboard labels, and lots of closet shelves. I love seeing those pictures but —–>
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret! shhhhhh…..
It doesn’t matter how many aqua plastic bins you have, or how much closet space your home has or doesn’t have. Those things don’t make a home organized.
In fact, my home doesn’t have a lot of storage space, and I can’t even remember the last time I purchased a bin for organizing, although (full disclosure) I did just purchase some labels from Dollar Tree that I shared in a YouTube video recently. But I still have a tidy and organized home without taking a trip to the container store.
How? …. HABITS
Over time I have consistently done little things (habits) that have created an organized home for me and my family.
You see, the reason for organization is not to look cute or have perfectly symmetrical bins in your closet. Although, I love seeing those types of pictures!
The reason for organization is simply to make life easier.
Don’t we all want…
Less time looking for items we own.
Less energy spent cleaning and tidying up.
Less stress tripping over our clutter.
I think the answer for most everyone is YES!
So what are the habits that help keep a home organized?
Keys and purse get put away as soon as possible after ariving home.
Mail is dealt with as soon as possible after bringing it inside.
Shoes are put away when taken off.
Clothes are put directly in the dirty clothes hamper or returned to the closet for another use.
Groceries are put away soon after returning home.
Makeup and other toiletries are returned to their containers after use, not left out on the counter.
Supper is cleaned up and dishes are done each night after supper.
Clean clothes are folded and put away as soon as possible.
Trash is thrown away instead of left out.
These are all habits that I have intentionally developed over time. They didn’t happen over night or all at once.
It started when I was tired of searching for my keys and purse every morning before work. That is when I finally decided that I would designate a spot for them and put them away every time I got home. I focused on that one habit for a few weeks, and now it is ingrained in me to always put my keys and purse away.
After that habit took hold, I added other habits.
A couple of years ago, Jen at How Jen Does It, issued a challenge to clean up after supper each night for the entire month of July. I joined the challenge, and although there were nights I really, really didn’t want to clean up, I did anyway.
By the end of the month, I had developed the habit of doing my dishes every night after supper and still continue this habit today. Being completely transparent, there are nights when I clean up the counters and fill up the dishwasher, but I let some of the big pans sit and do them in the morning.
But the majority of the time, I LOVE waking up to a clean kitchen and empty sink!
So before you run to the Container Store or Dollar Tree for another bin, instead think about a habit that you could develop to solve an organization issue in your home!
If you want a printed list of daily habits, sign up for my . I’ll send you the printables below and twice a month you’ll receive more tips from me about how you can be the queen of your household.
As I talk to other women, I hear the same thing over and over.
Motherhood is overwhelming.
They are exhausted.
How are they suppose to keep a clean and tidy house along with getting supper on the table and then still have time to spend with their husbands and kids, let alone have time for themselves?
And I get.
I’ve been there.
That was me a thousand percent!
When I became a mom 3 ½ years ago, I simply survived my days for the first 8 months. Motherhood made me feel tired and depleted. But one day during my first year of being a mom, I decided enough was enough. I was tired of feeling that way, and I just knew God didn’t want me to feel so overwhelmed by the new role He had called me to.
So I searched scripture to see what He had to say about it. I realized the tired, frustrated mom life that I was living was not what He intended for me and other moms. That’s when I started making changes.
I simplified my life through routines and decluttering. I changed the way I spent my time and how I took care of my home, my family, and myself. And slowly I began embracing the role of being a homemaker and I realized motherhood wasn’t as difficult as I had made it.
Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is HARD WORK.
Are there still overwhelming moments? Yep!
Are there days when I can’t wait to lay my head down at night? You betcha!
But that isn’t the norm and it doesn’t have to be that way for you either. You don’t have to stay stuck in overwhelm.
It takes intention and energy to balance all of our responsibilities, and during some seasons of motherhood we have to simply survive. Hello, Newborn Stage!
I don’t think God intends for us to stay stuck in survival mode as moms. I believe He wants us to enjoy it.
My hope is that I can give you the resources, strategies, and encouragement to thrive in your motherhood and enjoy the gift that it is on most days. And on the days when “it just ain’t happening,” I hope that you will find encouragement to not give up.
In Psalm 127:3, God says “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.”
I believe God wants us to view motherhood as a gift to be enjoyed and to thrive as keepers of our homes.
I’ve decided that is what I want my focus to be this year on Queen of the Household. My message this year is “Being a mom doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You were made to thrive!”
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That includes motherhood.
God wants you to prosper. He wants you to excel and to do well even especially when it comes to running your household.
I can’t promise you perfection, but I can promise you positive change if you are willing to put in the work it takes to get there.
So this year, look for content about routines, cleaning, decluttering, simplified living, and motherhood. I have lots of new posts that are super practical, and I believe will help every mom and wife whether you work outside the home, work from home, or are a stay work at home mom.
If you have any topics you would like me to write about, shoot me an email and let me know. Be sure to sign up for my twice monthly email newsletter where I’ll keep you updated with new posts and share even more ways to thrive.
I’m excited to continue this journey with you as we all aim to be the queens of our households in 2018!
Stockings were always one of my favorite things to open on Christmas! I want my kids to be excited about their stockings each year too.
I think my favorite part was always the chocolate.
And actually it probably still is! Ha!
In the video below I shared what we are putting in our kids’ stockings. We have a 3 year old boy and a 3 month old girl. I try not to give “junk”. I really want to be intentional and make sure it is things that my son will both love and use.
I’m pretty sure that he will. Now, my daughter…. she will have no clue what’s going on, but I sure loved getting her a couple of things. Check out the short video to see the frilly headbands and socks that I got her.
After you watch, let me know what you like to put in your kid’s stockings. I love getting gift inspiration from others!
WHAT'S IN MY KIDS' STOCKINGS 2017 || Collab - YouTube