If you are feeling:
- Overwhelmed by mess
- Frustrated because you can’t find things
- Weighed down by too much stuff
- Like you have to choose between a clean house or enjoying things you love
- Unhealthy because you can’t make time to eat well and exercise
… You need a Skinny House Makeover.
Founder Michelle Loveless will teach you her simple method to slim down your cluttered space freeing you to pursue your passions.
Your house needs to go on a Skinny House D-I-E-T!
I’ve always loved a clean home.
For years I have chased after this ideal by constantly picking up and cleaning up. While most of the time my house wasn’t that bad I felt like I lived in a state of “almost”. My space was “almost clean,” “almost organized”. I felt like I cleaned around the clock. I rarely sat down, I was always “busy,” and yet my house still felt like it was stuck in “almost”.
I hit a breaking point.
I was afraid that my life could be summarized by, “Michelle, the women who wipes, cleans, and organizes things.” What I wanted to be doing was playing with my kids, having lunch with friends, and pursuing creative passions. Instead it felt like I faced a list of chores that was never ever done.
A lightbulb went off in my head when I realized: I am the manager of every object in my house.
I couldn’t manage this much stuff. I imagined myself precariously balancing all of my possessions in my arms and it was way to heavy. Either I had to let go of a lot of stuff or I was going to crash. Every space was overstuffed and bulging with excess.
My house had to go on a D-I-E-T.
I knew that step one had to be D-Declutter. I wanted stuff out of my life. I never wanted to pick it up, organize it, fix it, iron it, or sort it…ever again. I wanted it to be gone for good.
I started with myself.
This was key. In the past I would spend my time fixing what was right in front of me-toys, clothes and things that didn’t belong to me. I never got to caring for my own stuff because mine wasn’t “that bad”. My stuff was put away, but my closets and cupboards were very full and overweight.
I worked systematically through my zones of the house.
I addressed my closet, my bathroom cabinet, the linen closet, my craft space and the kitchen. I had to work through a lot of emotional road blocks. I realized that there was a definite connection between my house being healthy and my whole person being healthy. I recognized that under the clutter there was a lot of fear. Fear of the future, “what if I need this”, and fear of the past “what if I forget this.” I decided that it was most healthy to live in today and I set a whole lot of things free.
My rooms felt lighter and my spirit felt free.
When I walked into my spaces they felt so good. It reminded me of the feeling that you get when you look into the mirror after finally losing a few pounds. You take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I never want to go back to being heavy ever again.” Empty spaces look clean. My solution was not more matching baskets and labels (all though those are helpful), the solution was less stuff.
The next thing that happened in my home took me completely by surprise.
My kids approached me one by one and said to me, “I want my room to FEEL like your spaces.” They had watched the transformation all around them and wanted it for themselves. When it was their idea to D-Declutter their rooms it was an easy process. They realized that they wanted open space to play more than they wanted an excessive amount of stuff. It was a real breakthrough.
With so much less stuff in our lives we were well on our way to a simpler, slimmer house.
Next I moved onto to the “I” in D-I-E-T: I-Identify Trouble Spots. The top spots in my house were the family coat closet, school papers, my desk, bathroom towels, and my night stand.I realized that with so much less stuff (because of our massive purge), I now had empty spots available.I created systems to address these hot spot zones.
I still had to address the issue that I felt like I was in a cycle of constantly cleaning.
I realized that I needed to E-Exercise Routines. Even though I was always busy, I never finished anything. I was easily distracted and forgetful. I needed a plan that could put me on auto pilot. I assigned one main chore to each day of the week. For example: Monday-vacuum, Tuesday-Dust, Wednesday-Laundry, Thursday-mop, Friday-Bathrooms. This has been amazing. The truth is that house work is never really done, but by assigning jobs to a certain day I could check them off of my list and quit the never ending loop of cleaning up. When I see things that need to be done I remind myself that these things can wait until the day that chore is assigned to. This has given me something I had always dreamed of: white space. Now I have the freedom to meet friends for lunch, to blog, to go for a walk and to play with my kids.
The change is working.
The final step to putting my house on a D-I-E-T is T-Teamwork. I live in a house with 6 people. If I am the lone ranger trying to keep this place in order it is impossible. When my kids were smaller (and before we put our house on a D-I-E-T) I used to say that I felt like I worked for the Red Cross going in for disaster relief and hurricane clean up. It is imperative that your whole family be on the same team or you’ll just spend you life chasing tornadoes.
Last night as I fell into bed I savored each moment and experience from the day. I realized that the dream I had been chasing has become a reality.
We started the day by our whole family greeting our exchange student with brownies blazing with 18 candles and the Swedish version of “Happy Birthday” blaring on my bluetooth speaker. I drove to Bible study and met with girls that 3 months ago were strangers, and now are friends. I gave away my coffee maker, because I don’t hold onto material stuff anymore. I ate lunch with a friend. I took my girls shopping and we ate ice cream with our exchange student. In the evening the doors of my house were wide open as car after car filled my driveway and we had a surprise party for our student. Downstairs there were teenagers with loud music and laughter, upstairs my kiddos watched a movie with a neighbor friend. My husband put the kids to bed. When I checked them late at night I asked if he’d “made” them clean up. “No”, he said “they just keep their rooms clean”. It still takes me by surprise. I had been able to extend generous hospitality with out scrambling, or slaving away and staying home all day.
The goal of the D-I-E-T had been achieved.
People were at the center the picture. Our home was working for me, instead of against me. My focus was on relationships and investments in eternity. I had pursued so many of my passions in one day and beautiful memories were made.
It feels so good to live in a “Skinny House.”
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