For some reason, I always assume other bloggers live in light, airy, pristine houses with white walls and parquet flooring. Maybe it’s the kind of blogs I read. Maybe it’s the photos people post. Maybe I’m just a bit weird. … Well, today I’m coming at you with some home truths (see what I did there?) I’m a blogger now and I’m confessing to you that I live in a tiny apartment with no insulation and a mould problem. I’m telling you the decor is from the 1980s (not my choice) and pretty much everything is brown (definitely not my choice!) Worst of all, I’m admitting that it’s in a right old state.
Even when I was working 48 hours a week, I still kept up with my housework somehow, but after I had my second daughter it all went out the window. When you have a newborn baby, unless you’re lucky enough to have help, you expect the housework to take a back seat. There will inevitably be a pile of laundry waiting to be ironed and dirty dishes in the sink because you have this small person who constantly demands your attention. But I had a newborn, I was working from home from when she was two weeks old and I had depression: things got out of control. I mean, it probably wasn’t a How Clean is Your House situation, but it wasn’t an ideal environment for young children – or anyone – to hang out in. (Still, on the bright side, there’s that germ theory … my kids never get upset stomachs!) Anyway, I went back to work at the office before I overcame the depression and then, just as I was starting to feel good again, I got pregnant for the third time. There was no time to fix the damage I had done to my house until I was on maternity leave. Not the best time to tackle the problem (see the beginning of this paragraph!) but it was a chance and I decided to take it.
However, I quickly realised I was going around in circles. In order to clean up, I had to tidy up, and I never finished tidying up before more mess appeared. It felt like those scenes in the cartoons where someone is trying to bale out a rowing boat which is still letting in water. I quickly realised the problem was twofold: Yes, I didn’t have enough time, but also I had too much stuff.
I knew I had to deal with it, but the task seemed pretty overwhelming to be honest. So I did what anyone would do – I spent a bit of time procrastinating, surfing the net while I was feeding the baby. But my ‘research’ paid off because it led me to Allie Casazza. I totally related to her ideas – it was love at first webinar! Allie is a Californian mum-of-four (who also suffered from post-natal depression) who teaches her own brand of minimalism, specifically for mothers who want to stop living in what she calls “survival mode”. For her, minimalism is not about making your house beautiful – although that’s a welcome side effect! – it’s about freeing up your time to live your life.
Yes please! I’m not a housewife. I’m not a homemaker. In fact, those words give me the heebie-jeebies. I’m the kind of girl who just wants to be outside having adventures with her kids. At the moment it’s summer, and we get home every night way after dark, covered in sand or dirt or a combination of both. It’s perfect.
Almost. Because you know what would be even more perfect? Coming home to a tidy house without dirty dishes and trip-hazards, where I can locate the kids’ medical books without rifling through piles of paper. Having my home looking neat and clean enough so that, when people call and say they’re dropping by in half an hour, I don’t go mental trying to shove EVERYTHING into my bedroom and close the door. I fantasised about this life for a while. I read parts of Allie’s blog, I attended a couple of her webinars, I umm-ed and ahh-ed for several months and then … I finally bought her Your Uncluttered Home course.
Yes, I did. I spent actual money on an actual online course. In fact, I bought two because it was a special offer bundle with Kendra Hennessey‘s Homemakerish U course (shudder – that word again!) But enough is enough. I’m not doing so hot on my own, so it’s time to call on the experts. Plus, I figure if I’ve forked out for the courses, I’d better get some results. There’s nothing like the possibility that you’ve thrown a quarter of your monthly salary down the pan to give you motivation!
Have any of you tried Allie or Kendra’s courses? What are your thoughts on decluttering and minimalism? Any advice is welcome!
Well then, here I go … I’ll be back with an update in due course. Wish me luck!
Look out, tiny apartment, your time has come!