This post is written as part of the Unstuffed Blog Tour, which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more about the blog tour and join us, click here.
I was lucky enough to get access to the first two chapters Ruth Soukup’s brand new book, Unstuffed: decluttering your home, soul and mind.
If you don’t know who Ruth is, she’s the mastermind behind the blog, Living Well, Spending Less. You might recognise the name from this post I wrote about taking Beanie’s toys away. Ruth’s blog reaches over a million women worldwide in a month (!) and helps women save time and money, and focus on what really matters to them. It’s full of fantastic posts from home, to saving, to parenting. Check it out; you will love it.
When I got the first couple of chapters of Unstuffed, I could barely put my iPad down (I had to, of course, but I did read all 60 odd pages in one day). There is so much goodness in just these first two chapters that I’m going to share it over a couple of posts. I can’t wait to read the rest of the book, and am hanging out for its release on April 5.
The book takes you through the three key areas of where clutter, or ‘stuffing’, occurs. First, it travels through the practical aspects of stuff in our homes. I read the first two chapters of this, and there are some great tips. There’s also a mega weekend challenge if you’re up to it. For me, that’s not really possible with the littlest one, but I’ve done a few of my own mini unstuffed challenges, and it’s so refreshing to look at those clear and calm spaces!
My favourite quote so far is this:
“The more cluttered and chaotic we are on the inside, the more our homes will reflect that confusion. But the opposite is also true.”
I have to say that I absolutely agree with this. Especially the part about a chaotic home leading to a chaotic mind. I don’t really call my house chaotic, but there are times when there are pockets of chaos, and I definitely feel overwhelmed when I’m behind on the housework, when there are toys, dishes, laundry all over the place. It’s stressful. Even having done my mini unstuffing has given me some reprieve from visual and mental chaos, and inspired me to keep those spaces clean, and continue with the unstuffing.
The first section of the book also looks at some of the reasons we overstuff our lives. It’s not just dealing with the stuff, but it encourages us to examine why we’ve got to the point of over stuffing, which is the first step to becoming unstuffed. It’s a shift in thinking. There are some exercises to help you think practically about your own home: who lives with you; what do those people need; and what do you want from your home (for example, is it a place to entertain, a place to unwind, a place to hide away, etc). The final chapter of the first section (which I haven’t had access to yet) deals with the clutter that constantly accompanies children. Ahh yes. If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about.
The second part of the book talks about unstuffing your mind, by looking at our overstuffed schedules, the accumulating paperwork or e-files and guilt. The third section of the book covers unstuffing your soul – cultivating healthy friendships and letting go of the things that weigh us down in life and finding balance in our lives.
Here are some of the practical unstuffing projects I’ve done:
Cleaned up my dressing table (here’s the after shot and a picture of all the bits and pieces that were sent elsewhere)
Cleaned up the shelves next to our computer (our so-called office space), and filed a whole lot of paperwork (before and after)
Cleaned out my top utensil drawer – an after shot and pics of all the accumulated stuff that ended up in there (eek!)
Cleaned up the under-stairs cupboard (full disclosure is that I only did a half job on this, but the part that you can stand in is useable again, so I call it a win.) There will be a post on this soon.
I am really loving these cleaned up spaces and trying really hard to maintain them, because it feels great seeing these calm and tidy spaces throughout my house.
You can find out more here, and learn how to decluttering your home, mind and soul with Ruth Soukup’s brand new book, Unstuffed. I know I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this book!
<Note: I am not receiving any compensation for this post, and all opinions are my own.>