Diane Boden is the voice behind the top-rated podcast, Minimalist Moms. Through her show, Diane shares her personal experiences and interviews inspiring guests who offer insights and tips on living a fulfilling life with less.

430: Simpler, Happier Parenting Life

Do you feel stressed by your clutter?

There may be good reason for that!

Hunter talks to Diane Boden, host of the Minimalist Moms podcast about how simplifying our lives can create more space and freedom and less stress for both ourselves and our kids. Learn how we process our feelings while processing our stuff and get vital tips to get started. 

Simpler, Happier Parenting Life-Diane Boden [430]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Diane Boden: It's an extra weight that we don't recognize, or a lot of us don't recognize that we're carrying, is the things in our household. Keeping us back, it's an unnecessary weight that if we address, we can start focusing on the mindset part, which we'll get into.

[00:00:22] Hunter: You're listening to The Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 430. Today, we're talking about how to have a simpler, happier parenting life with Diane Bowden.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clarkfields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Press Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Hello, dear listener.

Welcome back to the Mindful Parenting podcast. So glad you are here. Hey listen, if you love the podcast, you should know you can listen to this episode ad free and all the episodes. You can subscribe to Mindful Parenting Podcast Plus. It's an easy way to support this podcast that you love and get ad free episodes and bonus content.

Go to MindfulMamaMentor. com and click on the Podcast Plus link to join. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Diane Bowden, the voice behind the top rated podcast, Minimalist Moms. Through her show, Diane shares her personal experiences and interviews inspiring guests who offer insights and tips on living a fulfilling life with less.

And yes, that is what we are going to talk about, my friend. So, you know, I don't know if you feel stressed by your clutter, there might be a good reason for that. Right? So I talked to Diane about how simplifying our lives can create more space and freedom and less stress for both ourselves and our kids.

And we're going to learn how to process our feelings while processing our stuff, right? And you will get really vital tips to get started. And quickly, before we dive in, I just want to give you a shout out if you did the Mindful Parenting listener survey. Thank you for your feedback. I've been reading through it all, and I really, really appreciate the kind words and, you know, of course, some, some people want it longer, some people want it shorter.

We don't know what to do. Some people are like, rock on. It's good. So, yay. Thank you. Anywho, thanks for being part of it. And now, join me at the table as I talk to Diane Bowden.

Well, Diane, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting podcast.

[00:03:12] Diane Boden: Oh, thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to talk with you. 

[00:03:13] Hunter: Coming on again, I should say, you're like one of the, some, a few repeat guests. So it's such an honor to have you. I'm excited to talk to you again, because I think that, you know, maybe minimalism, but at least simplifying is a big part of mindful parenting, I think.

You know, when I think, so in the Mindful Parenting course. You know, I teach about how to help people ground themselves, understand their triggers, have self compassion, that inner work, and then communication work. And then I could not call the course complete until I had a piece about simplifying. your home and your lifestyle because it doesn't make sense to do all that work of like the communication and your inner work and all of that stuff and then have your home be causing you a bunch of stress.

and anxiety and also caused your kids a bunch of stress and anxiety. So I, I think that it, it just really aligns really well. 

[00:04:18] Diane Boden: So, yeah, no, I totally agree. It's an extra weight that we don't recognize or a lot of us don't recognize that we're carrying is the things in our household keeping us back. And it's just, It's an unnecessary weight that if we address, we can start focusing on the mindset part, which we'll get into, but I agree with you.

[00:04:35] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, it is, it is like, uh, it's like this, this, this added stressor. So, but before we go into this and we talk about some, some ideas of simplifying, simplifying our lives. Pairing things down a little bit and why we should do it, just kind of want to dive into you a little bit. Like, did you grow up in a simple household?

Was this something that you, or did you grow up in a really cluttered household? Like, what was it like for you and growing up and where you were raised?

[00:05:03] Diane Boden: Yeah. So it's funny because right now my parents are getting ready to move from our house, my childhood home, which we moved into back in 1990. So gosh, what is that?

That's like 30 years they've lived there. And, um, it's funny as they're going through all this stuff, they're like, why do we have all this stuff? And when I had my lightbulb moment to start pursuing minimalism, and I'm sorry for guests if I have shared this last time we spoke, but I had a lightbulb moment about 12 to 15 years ago in their basement where my husband had looked at me and said, look at all these things that are now in boxes that were once your dad's hard earned working hours.

And at that point, yeah, right? And so at that point, I was working full time and going to school full time, and I really had nothing to show for all of my hard earned working hours. I had a closet full of clothes. I had a brand new phone. I had just all these fancy things that honestly no early 20 year old needed, but it felt good in the moment.

But that light bulb went off in my brain to say, Oh my gosh, am I working for things that one day I am just going to write off or not even think of? Or do I want to work for things in ex Do I want to work for experiences? Do I want to work for things that I really, really love and use? And so again, I would say I did grow up in that household.

I didn't feel like a cluttered, uh, hoarder's household by any means. Um, I would say that we had an idyllic household, but we probably, um, we were definitely doted on in a very generous way and always gifted, uh, that instant gratification of things that we wanted. Um, which is something I try and combat as much as possible in my household now.

Um, but yeah, I, I would guess, I guess I wasn't raised in a hoarder's house or a decluttered house, but it was just a noticeable difference from the way that I live now, and that moment spurred me to be who I am now.

[00:07:04] Hunter: I mean, what you're describing kind of makes me imagine just like a basic American household, right?

Like where there's so much. Stuff. Like we have so much stuff. Kids have so much stuff. Like there's the piles of toys. There's like the toy bin, right? Like where there's a bunch of stuff in a bin. Sometimes I look at a magazine and I'm like, Oh my God. Like, cause there's just like, there's like, here's a giant bin of toys.

And then there's another corner of shelves with another giant bin of toys. And even if it's all like super cleaned up and nice for the magazine, I always picture it. With everything strewn about the room because that's how it'll like actually be and it doesn't seem so So nice. So, um, so maybe you can just kind of take us through like what are the core principles of?

Minimalism and then and then we're going to talk about how you do it with the fam with a family because that's that's really where We have a lot of interest. I know

[00:07:59] Diane Boden: So, I think with whatever minimalist you're talking to, the core principles might look a little bit different, and again, because I have three kids, I think my lifestyle does look a little bit different from maybe the minimalists, um, who, I think one of them doesn't even have kids.

[00:08:14] Hunter: So, let's just put that out there. They had a documentary, yeah, like they're the minimalists, two, like, guys, two dudes.

[00:08:20] Diane Boden: Yeah. We're also up in Ohio. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, cool. Yeah. So, I know that one of them, when they became a minimalist, They had something called a packing party where they got rid of everything, they boxed up everything in their home, and then over one month, he added back in what he needed and then got rid of everything else.

So I don't expect that from a house listing to your show. We have to be realistic here. So I think my core principle... of what drives me, what motivates me, what I want listeners to take away from my podcast is to aim to get rid of what's superfluous in your life and to aim to love the things in your home and not just like them.

Um, and I always use this example of Marie Kondo. She talks about sparking joy and I'm like, well, I own a hammer and it doesn't necessarily spark joy, but it's a necessity that I have to have in my home. So I think I just like to be as realistic as possible when it comes to living with less, to owning less, but saying what, what is superfluous?

What is not a necessity, like a necessity and do I love it? Because there's a few kitschy items I have in my home. That you might be laughing at that I own as a minimalist, but I love them. And so they're going to, they're going to stay. Um, well, my sister in law just gifted me this little chicken that she got in Paris because she knows I love chicken so much.

He's pretty little, but he's a little knick knack that goes on my shelf and. Um, maybe he causes clutter. I also have, um, gosh, I have a little frog, like, hanging off of one of my flower pots. He might not be necessary, but I just think he's cute and I love animals. I, gosh, this, I do, it's the theme of animals, isn't it?

I just love animals. But yeah, just silly little things like that, that I do love, that bring me joy. And when they no longer do, I'm sure that chicken at some point is gonna bother me. I might pass it along, and that's okay, but it's what do we actually love currently and now, and let's not live in abundance that's unnecessary, that causes that weight that we were talking about at the beginning.

[00:10:13] Hunter: Well, let's talk about that, yeah, because what, I mean, I think people don't realize, like, what it is. that this, how this stuff affects us, right? Like, cause we're so trained by everything, like everything in society says like, more is better, more is better. Get that thing on Amazon as soon as you decide you want it, right?

Like, or, you know, get those, those new clothes for fall or, you know, whatever, like, and I'm susceptible to that too, but like, maybe for the listener, but perhaps slightly selfishly for me, remind me of why we want to decluttered all this stuff. Tell us about the, some of the stressors that it causes.

[00:10:54] Diane Boden: I like to use this example of, well, I'll, I'll talk about the bathroom, but let's first talk about the entryway.

When you come into your house, and your entryway is cluttered, you automatically are just like, gosh, I've left it this way again. I'm returning home to this again. And it's just that little burden that follows you around. You know, you need to address it. You know, you need to clean it up. But I think that that is like an element of where it starts.

You can relate to that anxiety or that stress, even for my house. Like I know what that feels like. So, let's go to the bathroom. It's the same thing. The shoes. Yeah, the shoe. Well, the shoes. Yes. The shoes, the book bags with kids. Um, yeah, just anything that's there. It usually becomes some kind of um, like landing strip for papers, the mail that we don't sort through.

Kids artwork. Um, the bathroom is another thing that I'd like to think of, of where you start your day in the bathroom and you end your day in the bathroom. So, if that space is cluttered, again, it's this unnecessary thing that we have that weighs us down and we don't even necessarily know it. But we know that it needs addressed, and it might just seem too daunting, especially if our entire home is in that way.

[00:12:02] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:12:10] Diane Boden: So I guess, what was your original question again? Why does heat clutter? 

[00:12:13] Hunter: Yeah, or like, what are the stresses it causes us? I mean, I guess like in the brain too, like if you have clutter in your house. your brain is recognizing it as like work that needs to be done, right? Like it's, it's really work, isn't it?

Like when you see that and that adds to stress, which adds to our stress response, which all that, you know, here on out in the cascade of effects. Is that, is that one of the things that we're talking about?

[00:12:37] Diane Boden: A hundred percent. But also I think that it is an inventory of things that we have to maintain and remember and take care of.

And so for me, because I've gone through my things and I have fewer things, I feel like I can easily move through my days knowing that I don't have a huge mess to clean up every day. So it kind of gives me more freedom knowing that I've gone through and decluttered. And I do think that that's something that Um, if I had tons of chickens all over my shelves or tons of little frogs, I'm gonna have to go through and dust and pick up every single one of those chickens and every single one of those.

Frogs. And it just adds time to my day that I could be spending outside with my kids or doing something that I like. I have extra time at the end of my day to go on my evening walk every night because I'm like, Oh, I've easily tidied my, tidied my home throughout my day and I don't have a lot to take care of.

Here we go. So I think it's the time and the freedom we get back into cluttering our home. Yes, it's that freedom from anxiety, but also just managing a bunch of things that we don't really love and we're just. questioning why we still have it in the first place. But I think sentimentality can sometimes, the emotional pull to these things can keep us, um, from wanting to do anything with it.

And that's also something I'm sure we can talk about now or at some point.

[00:13:56] Hunter: Yeah. I mean, well, let's talk about that. I, I actually went through and people might think I'm crazy. So I had a bunch of journals from when I was in high school and things like that. Yeah. And I, I journal because just it's helpful, right?

Like it's a super helpful process. It's, you know, we need to get our thoughts out and process them and things like that. And I had been saving these and sometime last year I started, I pulled it out for like the first time ever in my life and started looking through this and Like, I'm a completely different person now.

I don't, I don't really care about this. And if I don't care about this, my kids aren't going to, they're not going to want to read about it every day of my life. And I doubt my ancestors are going to want to, like, this is just like, if I don't care about it, then everybody else is going to care about it a lot less.

And I actually just. Dump all of them to make some space in my closet because we don't, we don't have a, in our house, we don't have an attic or a basement. Oh, okay. I'm kind of forced to, uh, to, to declutter fairly often, but I mean, I know, I know, dear listener, there's at least some of you out there thinking, I could never do that, right?

Like that's the, that's sentimentality you're talking about, right?

[00:15:13] Diane Boden: So I think that that moment where you went back and looked at your journal, yeah, that can be significant, and you can say, well, I'm, I wasn't who I used to be, but that was a, a moment that you had and you experienced, so it's okay to get rid of them because you think you're going to keep having that same thought for the rest of your life.

So every time you return to these journals, when you're 40, oh, I can't believe I'm not that person. When you're 50, oh, I can't believe I'm not that person. So it kind of is like, Yes, we do keep these things out of emotional attachment, but it's like, why do we continue to keep them after that original moment?

Because we're probably going to have the same feeling. And my dad, my dad, as again, he's going through their house right now and he's 73 and he has a bunch of papers from college that he was keeping. And I don't know why that was a sentimental attachment for him. For me, it's my daughter's clothing because it was my first baby.

She's my only girl. And something that was really helpful for me was when we had moved, she was five, and so I had these boxes in our basement. I went down to them. I was like, okay, I can get rid of a few things, but I'm just, I'm just not ready. And then I went back down a few months later, got rid of a few more things.

Got, and then I went down and I did this like over the period of a year and it was easier to detach myself because I had already like given myself a little bit of exposure to it. And then also, um, again, sorry if I said this last time we spoke, but I think we have to remember that sentimentality is an emotion and the object is a representation of your memory and of that emotion and getting rid of it doesn't mean that we have to get rid of that.

memory or that emotion. We don't, we can, we can hold that if it's a good memory, a good emotion too. We don't want to hold on to the weight of bad emotions either. That's also something I think we could do a deep dive into. 

[00:16:58] Hunter: But, um, yeah, obviously that was one of the things in the high school journals was like, there was some bad stuff that happened.

And I was like, Why do I want to go back and remember this? Like, I don't even, you know, yeah, that's really, that's really interesting. I also had like college papers that I found recently and I was like, Oh, this is interesting. I found a poem I wrote

[00:17:18] Hunter: about my grandparents house and, um, and that was really cool.

And I, but like, I love what you're, sometimes I think of minimalism and maybe, you know, I don't know if other listeners feel like this too, but I feel like Even the word, like, it just, like, demands a lot from me. Like, I'm going to get rid of all of the things and I'm going to be left with this minimal thing.

But I love what you just described as, like, kind of this permission to do it in this incremental way where we're saying to ourselves, yes, I value more freedom, less clutter, more time in my life, less time taking care of, like, objects and, you know, care and keeping of stuff, right? But also, like, you You know, we have permission, like from what you were kind of saying, to just do it in a way, an incremental way that feels good for us, and I think that that's nice, like, because sometimes I feel like, oh, I should just get rid of all of these things, but no, I could do it in an incremental way.

[00:18:16] Diane Boden: Well, I think it also, no, you're right. It's definitely, and you guys don't need my permission. You obviously, you can totally do it. You're strong enough to do it. But I also think sometimes for me, if I'm getting really sentimental and it's something I rationally understand I can get rid of, I will just rip that band aid and get rid of it.

And it's funny because, um, you heard it here first. I think we're moving. I think I just got a message that our contract was accepted. So, dropping that bomb here on them.

[00:18:47] Hunter: I'm sorry, that's a lot of work. We don't have a lot of stuff.

[00:18:50] Diane Boden: We don't have a lot of stuff, but I'm just like, Okay, the stuff that remains in our basement outside of a few holiday decorations, I'm like, can someone just throw it all away?

Because we haven't used it. We still have all this stuff that we haven't used and we've lived here for five years. And so, it's things like that that I'm like, if someone else just helped me do it, honestly, out of sight, out of mind, you don't even know some of the things that you have sometimes that you're holding on to, but then it's like, it's like when you try and take something away from your kids.

And they don't think about that stuffed animal, and they see it in the decluttering bin, and they're like, that, I love that, that's my favorite! And so then you do have this irrational attachment to things, and we know that, we can identify that, but it still does, it doesn't mean it's easy. And so I think sometimes...

Doing it with a friend, doing it quickly, or just really being hyper intentional, bring it to your prefrontal cortex of your brain where you know logically this doesn't make sense so I'm just gonna get rid of it.

[00:19:45] Hunter: Okay. Alright, cool. Let me be like devil's advocate for a minute, okay? But what about kids?

Don't they need lots of choice?

[00:19:53] Diane Boden:  I know that when my kids have had more toys, they play for far less focused time. Studies say that kids will play for a longer time when they have fewer items than when they have the decision fatigue of many items, and I think about that in correlation to my closet. So, when I have had a big selection of wardrobe, of, of, of items to choose from, it is much harder for me to get dressed than now that I've, uh, pared it down to everything that I know looks good on me and that I really love.

And it is, that is hard to do as an adult too, because we have attachments to different clothing items, but for kids, it's the same thing. When there's too many things to play with, they kind of go from thing to thing to thing. I don't know what I want to play with. But when we kind of narrow it down or give them options, I'm really into toy rotating.

So I have some boxes in my kids closets of different types of toys and I'll rotate them down every so often when they seem to be getting bored of those toys. And then when I notice they're not really playing with them anymore, it's kind of time to get rid of it. Um, but also in regards to toys, we live in currently 1, 200 square feet and I would say that we utilize our backyard most often or we're out in nature.

And that just lends to my kids creativity and, uh, I just don't think you need as much stuff as people are trying to make you feel like you do. And I also like to look to other countries and see the way that people are living or have lived. And we, again, I think it's just the society we currently live in that we think it's a need, uh, but it's actually just a what.

[00:21:26] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I couldn't agree more. Like when I have simplified, when my kids were little and I've simplified their toys and I've like put things away and what I like to call toy purgatory, um, then, then, and, and like really gotten rid of, I mean like literally, dear listener, I got rid of 75 percent of my daughter's toys at one point.

She came home. She was too. She came home and she was so happy. She was thrilled. She played for hours in this like totally tidy, lovely space. It was amazing. And now that child is 16 and she's doesn't want a bunch of clutter around the house. She doesn't, she's not a hoarder. It's pretty interesting.

Although I did the same thing with my other child and she is more of a drawer stuffer, so I'm sure there's a lot of room for individuality there. But still, they always loved it when I decluttered. Always, always. I, I agree with that. 

[00:22:25] Diane Boden: Yeah, my daughter who is eight, she Well, her room got really messy there during the winter and when we went through and decluttered it and we cleaned it now She is on top of it keeping it clean because she sees how she can move freely through her room there's not stuff crowding her space to play and again, it could be personality.

I think when we show them like hey just do this experiment with me. Let's pull it out It doesn't have to go away. We can put it down the basement. We can put it in the closet Let's just see how it feels And then, depending on their age, maybe invite them into what they need to, or what they want to long term get rid of, or even not getting rid of it.

I think something that has helped with some of the baby clothes for me is to give it to my sister, um, and my niece, and seeing Charlotte's clothes on my niece has been really sweet because it's like... It's not just going somewhere unknown. I'm seeing it getting loved again. And the, again, it's kind of that like exposure therapy of, okay, I can healthily detach from this, but it's still kind of a part of my life.

I know that's silly, but it means it, our emotions are real and I don't want to discredit that.

[00:23:28] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. How do you, I mean, you're, you're, you've been minimalist for a long time since before you had your kids. Um, do, do you ever have, like, I mean, how do they deal with that? Do they ever, like, go to a friend's house and are kind of shocked, or do, do they have friends who come to your house and are like, where's the pile of choice?

[00:23:46] Diane Boden: Um, gosh, okay, so when they go to friends houses, I think it's a fun thing to do to go to friends houses, especially some of our friends that have some really fun houses. Um, I will say though, I feel like oftentimes we're just outside, even on my friend's properties that they have. We're just going outside and we'll play outside.

Um, but also, I think it makes it more special to go to friends houses because, which I'm like, we'll have to dig that apart or I'll have to think about this because it's like, oh, I don't want my kids to just use their friends for their toys, and I don't think we're at that point. I'm sure that some kids might do that, um, but when kids come over here, I don't know, that doesn't happen all the time.

I feel like we're never home. I feel like we're really never home, and I feel like nature is our playground, and nature is... Again, that could be a personality thing on my part, but I just think with not a lot of stuff and not a lot of space, it's just something that we've drifted to because you can make the toys out of the rocks and the sticks and I, that may sound crazy, but kids will surprise you.

Even young teenagers will.

[00:24:48] Hunter: You know, it's interesting because we, every, like every kid who's come over my house, I almost feel like it's like a rite of passage. We live near a small creek and a little patch of woods, a cul de sac, and I feel like it's a rite of passage that every one of my kids friends will be soaked in the creek at some point.

Like, they will, like, either have to wear one of my daughter's pants or shorts or whatever, like, cause every child eventually gets, like, sort of soaked in the creek. And it's funny, my, when my daughter turned 13 this year, they still went out in the woods. They still, like, went and did this thing, like, it was, like, it's still a fun, great place for them.

I mean, granted, there's, like, the train tracks now that they're a little more interested in, but, you know. Anyway. Um, yeah, I think it can linger. 

[00:25:32] Diane Boden: Yeah, for sure. And I don't want, I'm sure there are people rolling their eyes. I know the 1, 000 Hours Outside is really big right now and people are trying to get outside.

[00:25:40] Hunter: Oh, wait, wait, wait. What is it? I've never heard that. 1,000 Hours Outside. 1,000 Hours Outside. 

[00:25:43] Diane Boden: Okay, so that's Jenny Urich and she has this movement, 1, 000 Hours Outside. I think it's something like, I think she did it because our kids are spending 1, 000 hours. on screens. I can't remember the, the whole basis for it, but she's like, let's match it and get outside a thousand hours each year.

And so, um, she, it's something very simple, but it's gained traction because I think that parents see the need for it and they're wanting to. So it's just a challenge. She has printables on her website to where, um, you can print it out and check it off as you're going along. But, um, what is my point with that?

Oh, I still have friends that homeschool and their kids do not like going outside. They are more indoor, crafty, artsy people. They're into Um, Theater. So, some of the stuff I'm saying, I don't think it's applicable to them. However, I think with the stuff, what was I going to say about that? Oh, I like the cra I like crafting.

I like games. Like, again, if you're going to have the things, make sure you're using them. I'm not opposed to that. And then also have visual boundaries. So, don't buy shelves just to store things. Are you actually using the things? Peace. Bye. Um, I think that's something that we just, uh, we want to organize clutter when really we just needed to clutter first and then organize what we love.

[00:26:56] Hunter: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. And we're gonna go through and I'm gonna ask about some, like, some, a few, like, tips and rules of thumb at the end that I'm really excited about. But like, You've also talked about how minimalism is about this idea of honesty and knowing yourself. So tell me about that.

What does that mean?

[00:27:16] Diane Boden: Yeah, so I think I keep talking about rationality and being honest, bringing it to the prefrontal cortex and I think that I'm 35, so at this point I know myself a little bit better than I did in my 20s, but I think going through and assessing why am I keeping this dress from 25 years old prior to having kids.

Why am I keeping this? And I think if I'm really honest with myself, it's because, oh, maybe I like my body better at 25. Maybe I, I attach this dress to the feeling that I felt then, but also when I actually dive deeper into that, that's not a good feeling. It's not a good feeling to live in the past. So you're just doing all this deeper foundational rooted work that I think that no one really understands.

I think that when you start to declutter these things, you're obviously going to be faced with this sentimentality at some point with whatever it is you're decluttering. And so that, you can turn away from that. You can turn away from the hard that you actually have to start facing. Maybe it is the baby clothes and you're like, I, maybe you've had one baby and you can't get pregnant and it's been 10, 15 years and that weight and that pain still lingers with those baby clothes.

So that's going to be a whole big jumble of emotions and, and mental processes that you're going to have to work through. So I think we don't realize how much our stuff actually affects us, but if you're being honest with yourself. And digging deeper, I think it feels, I just feel very little attachment to my things at this point.

Usually when I leave, I have my most valuable possessions with me. I usually take my computer with me these days, everywhere I go. I have my kids, I have my phone and my AirPods. I'm like, if someone steals my TV, my fridge, my clothes, like I don't, I don't really care. So no one better come rob me now that I've said that.

But, um, I think it's just like, okay, I know why I own these things and I should just never have an unhealthy attachment to them because they are still just things at the end of the day. But again, that work that I've had to go through, like. I'm not saying my things put me in therapy, but I think when you start digging through why you do some of the things you do, uh, I don't know.

It just got the ball rolling for some of these deeper emotions that maybe I was suppressing. Is that really crazy? That sounds crazy. 

[00:29:25] Hunter: No, no. This makes so much sense. I mean, I actually haven't talked or heard, you know, decluttering and minimalism kind of talked about this way. This idea that you're, you know, you're saying this idea that you're, you're processing your feelings.

You're processing your life as you're processing this clutter. And then As you're letting it go in whatever way, you know, you're able to, whether it's by bed, or all in one go, or with a friend, or whatever, like, it's interesting, because that is how we process these pieces of our life, and then If we can get to a place like, like that's like kind of the thing with like those journals, you know, where I, I was able to like go through it and have, um, you know, it had to kind of stay in the closet for a long time.

I mean, it's interesting, even the way we talk about it, right? And then as I processed it, then I was able to let it go and I do feel lighter on the other side. It's like the, it's just like, it's just like the way when we verbalize our feelings, it's a way of processing it. You know, processing the objects, the physical objects of our life, our way, our ways of processing our emotions about our lives.

And then we can be freer and more present, more present moment. oriented on the other side. I think that's a huge benefit. That sounds really cool.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:31:00] Diane Boden: And I think I've gotten to this point now, again, having lived this way for at least 12, 13 years, that yes, I've, I've gone through, I've decluttered the things, and now I'm just left with my thoughts and my mind and saying yes to things. And with your journals, it also makes me think of I've kept a lot of papers in college Materials and I think for me I was like, oh, maybe one day I'll pass this down and my kid will read it Because I put so much effort and work into this and so I can't just let my effort and work be Wasted or maybe if we're looking back at some of those things Maybe you didn't do what you wanted to with your college degree Maybe that was like a highlight in your life and right now you're not living the life that you wanted to so I think again Facing these things can be incredibly painful.

And again, it's not the things it's the emotions But I think that what I like to encourage people with is that the time's going to pass anyways, so why not address it? Don't stay stagnant, like slowly chip away at it and figure it out because I just don't want anyone to be at the end of their life like, well one, weighed down by silly things, but two, like having unprocessed things, unprocessed, um, bad emotions when they could live in so much freedom.

I think that's again, it's really silly that the things have made me get to this point, but it, It's just a ball that I've unraveled, and now I can't go back, and now that again, the things are not as important, though I will say, sorry, this is a one last point, I do love quality items, so the majority of the things that I own, I really like quality over quantity, and I feel kind of bougie in that way, but it's like if I'm going to own things, I want them to last, I want, if I'm going to invest something, I'd rather invest in a nice sweater, um, versus something from Target that's gonna wear on them.

I'm gonna have to go spend that money, my hard earned working hours on something that is not lasting. So, it's all connected. Yeah.

[00:32:55] Hunter: Yeah. And I guess we haven't even touched on, like, the whole environmental aspect of everything in life. Just the whole idea of like when you're, you're going out and getting all this stuff, you're just feeding this like the Pacific Coast garbage patch, right?

Like I don't want to be part of that. I don't want to be part of feeding that. Yeah. I do want lip gloss. Yeah.

[00:33:15] Diane Boden: Um, Poshmark is really great. I will get, um, not necessarily designer, but things that are slightly more expensive for my budget than I'd want. on Poshmark and um, I really am into the label right now and it's sustainable and it's extremely Out of my price range, but on Poshmark, it's a little bit more affordable.

You're even something like free people. You're like, well, I don't know how sustainable free people is, but at least I'm buying it secondhand on Poshmark.

[00:33:42] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. So Poshmark is like a resale kind of consignment website. Yeah. Do you listen? Yeah. Yeah, there's another one that I've checked out from time to time and I got a great gray leather moto jacket on that I'm just like, I wear this constantly.

I'm psyched about it now. It's like the other one. I know a common one. It's like a thrifting online site and I can't remember the name of it. I'm sorry, dear listener. You'll, you'll be writing to me to find out that. Um, okay. All right. So now, so let's talk about like some, some rules of thumb, some tips for people who've missed the past episodes.

They haven't been ready to go back. They're like, okay, I wanna, I wanna maybe have some more space and freedom. I don't want to be bogged down to my stuff. Walk us through some of this.

[00:34:31] Diane Boden: So I think you can just implement a few simple tips and really change your day to day. And I would say one that I do is the one minute rule.

And this is something that I read in a Gretchen Rubin book at one point, but she just said, anything you can do in one minute or so, give or take, do it right then and there, because that will build throughout your day. If you don't wash off your dish. and just quickly put it in the dishwasher or just quickly wash it off in general.

That food is going to get stuck to your plate, and it's going to take laundry at the end of the day, and then your pile is going to build. So the same thing with mail. Just quickly look through your mail. Anything important, put in an important location, and then toss, uh, recycle the rest. Um, my coat, when I come home, I used to just like kind of throw it.

Now I just hang it up really quick because it looks good and it makes me feel good. Um, so that's been really helpful for me just in maintaining, I think the, the clutter and the, the tidiness of my home.

[00:35:25] Hunter: Um, another, my kids would get into the one minute rule on, I know.

[00:35:27] Diane Boden:  I know, right? Um, but the other thing I really like to do is when I am tidying, I will.

Okay, I'm trying to give an example. Okay, right now next to me, I have a book from homeschool from earlier today. This really shouldn't be here. So when I get up, I know I'm going to pass our homeschool hutch. I'm going to put it in there. I'm just going to put it away on my way going to my other room. So just like little things, like you can take things back even if you're not going.

Um, I'm trying to think of something else. Like this sweater. I don't necessarily need it for the rest of my day. It's really hot. I'm going to go put it near the stairs because I'm not going to go up to my closet, but I'm just going to get it as close to its home as possible. So, you're taking these things closer to their homes, and I think everything in your house should have a home, even if that's your declared junk drawer.

Even if you're like, this is my junk space, and I kinda know what's in there, that's okay. Just everything should have a home, or what's it doing there? Again, assess what's superfluous. So, again, uh, the having a home for everything, taking it to its home, or at least as close to home as possible, the one minute rule.

Oh, and then, just simply with decluttering, I always say like, uh, as I said earlier, Uh, The bathroom. You're starting and ending your day in the bathroom, so why not make that be the first place that you feel comfortable in, that you can easily move through, don't have a lot of stuff in there, and honestly just pull everything out as you're going through it, and then see what you can live without for 30 days.

Maybe it doesn't have to go completely away. It can be in that purgatory, as you say, and then pull it back in and see what you missed. But I think oftentimes we just cut it, clutter the countertops in there. Um, I used to clean houses in college and I was just like, why do you have all these knickknacks on your countertop?

This is kind of annoying for whoever has to clean it. Oh, that's, that's me. That's probably why I was so aware of it. This is probably,

[00:37:13] Hunter: yeah, the real,

[00:37:15] Diane Boden: yeah, the root of it all. Um, actually, that could be, I should think about that. Cleaning house in college, how that actually correlates with when I started pursuing a life with less.

But, um, yeah, those are just some quick tips I think that, for me, that helps me maintain. Um, but I think whenever you're going to declutter, pull everything out too and assess so that you can put things back that you know you love. And then you'll have like piles of like, I know I love this. Maybe, and then absolutely not.

And then dispose and disregard as appropriately as possible.

[00:37:50] Hunter: I may, I may be doing this now with my bathroom, thanks to Diane's encouragement here, but I did do that the one time with my closet, I did the whole Marie Kondo thing. I was so thrilled afterwards, I pulled everything out, literally, uh, it's probably, I'm probably do, doing that again, but, uh, thank you.

These are great. I think this is such an important issue that we need to come back to again and again. And, and I truly appreciate it.

[00:38:17] Diane Boden: So a final word of encouragement I'd have for people is that I definitely think you can live with far less than you think you can. And I would never have thought that that would be true of my life, again, back in my early 20s with having nothing to show, a ton of debt, just someone that was really materialistic and superficial.

But again, when you start digging deeper into what motivates you. Um, it's curious what you'll find, so I think that you can live with far less. And also, just look at, look and see what motivates you and why you're doing the things that you're doing, because I think oftentimes we just, again, that comparison trap of social media, I've been thinking about this a lot, and how we'll say, I want this for my home because I saw it on social media, and I want to design my cabinets this way, or I want this.

And what's funny is that, really until recent history, we haven't had access to people's Unless they were our close friends. And now we have access into people's homes all over the world. And I just, I don't really think we were ever supposed to carry that much weight of information, and it's just something that I like to tell people to consider.

Like, what motivates you? Why are you doing this? Are you doing this to post photos of it? Are you doing this for you? Are you doing this to please your mom or your mother in law? Um, just dig deeper into it, why your things motivate you in the way they do.

[00:39:35] Hunter: Thank you. I, I love that. I think that there's so much to be learned by, by doing this process, processing our stuff by processing our stuff.

I love it. I love it. Diane, I always love talking to you. Diane is the host of Minimalist Moms Podcast. If people want to find out more about you, where can they reach out?

[00:39:59] Diane Boden: Yeah, just at Minimalist Moms Podcast on Instagram. I also have a book that I wrote during COVID, so I'm trying to, like, promote it more now because I know it kind of got lost there for a minute, but that's also Minimalist Moms Living and Parenting with Simplicity.

I met personally, uh, at Diane Bowden on Instagram, but I hang out mostly on at Minimalist Moms Podcast.

[00:40:17] Hunter: Awesome. Thank you again so much for sharing your time, sharing your story, sharing a little slice of your day with your family and all that with us. I really appreciate it.

[00:40:26] Diane Boden: Oh, thanks so much for having me.

It was always great talking with you.

[00:40:37] Hunter: Thank you so much for listening. I'm so glad you liked it. This episode, I'm always inspired by Diane to just simplify, so I hope it's giving you the same. One way you can simplify super easy is to Join Mindful Parenting Podcast Plus and get this podcast without any ads. It's a great way to support the podcast.

And you just go to MindfulMamaMentor. com and you'll find the Podcast Plus link. You're going to listen to it in the very same place you're listening to it right now. Just ad free. It's so simple and easy and plus you're going to get bonus content. So, check it out! And it's a great way to simplify. Um, yeah!

And I hope this inspires you to, you know, face the new year with a resolve to simplify the stuff and maybe even the schedules and things like that. So, yeah, I can't wait to connect with you in the new year. We have exciting things coming in the new year. I'm going to be doing a Mindful Parenting Live event.

Uh, that is going to be January 8th through 11th. So I hope you'll be there 2024. Mindful Parenting Live, and there'll be free, I'll be doing free live trainings, kind of like a live podcast. So check it out. You can sign up at MindfulMamaMentor. com and wishing you a great week, friend. I hope you're having a good, I don't know, holiday season if you're listening to this in real time and I hope you're able to rest and breathe and chill and yeah, I'll be working on some simplifying and all that too with you.

So again, thank you so much for listening. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad we can Walk this walk together. So I'll be back next week and I will talk to you soon. Take care of my friend. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it. It's

[00:42:38] Diane Boden: really helpful.

[00:42:39] Hunter: It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better

[00:42:43] Diane Boden: and just, I'd say, communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely

[00:42:51] Hunter: do

[00:42:52] Diane Boden: it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential. When you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working. Or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:43:40] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You will be joining Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindful parenting course.

 MindfulParentingCourse. com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside.

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