Tuesday Talk: Unstuffed

Happy Tuesday!

Once a month, I linked up with Ashley and Erika who host Tuesday Talk.

For this link up, you are supposed to chat about anything and everything.

In January, we chatted about whether or not I should keep my home phone.  (You overwhelmingly told me TO keep it!)

In February, we chatted about preparing for sitters at your house.

And today, I thought we could chat about a book I read last month called …


This was the first Ruth Soukup book that I’ve read, but I’ve already bought another one (31 Days to a Clutter Free Life) because I loved it so much!

Now, I don’t want to give too much away about the book because I truly think you should read it too…so, I thought I’d share just a few takeaways I have from reading it (ones that I immediately started applying to my life) and then pose the question to you…HOW ARE YOU UNSTUFFING YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?

The book is divided into three sections: decluttering your house, your schedule, and your relationships (more or less, these are the three main areas of conversation).

So, here are a few things that I’ve been doing after reading this book.  I’m not sharing every single tip and change I’ve made because once again, I think you should read the book instead of just reading my post about the book:

Decluttering my house:

1. I’m making the kids take more responsibility in removing their own clutter from their rooms and closets.  Let’s be honest, it’s easier for me to just go up there and clean out their stuff while they’re at school…but as she points on, what am I teaching them by doing this?  Nothing.  How will they grow up and know how to purge/donate/clean/toss if I’m always doing it for them?

2. I need to stop buying things to organize my house and instead, just get rid of stuff.  This was a BIG one for me.  I’m the queen of running to Target or The Container Store to buy all sorts of bins and baskets to organize all of the stuff…when in fact, I should just have less stuff.  THIS WAS A LIGHT BULB MOMENT FOR ME.  Instead of buying four bins to organize Barbies, Princesses and such, maybe my girls just don’t need so much of that?  Maybe that’s the problem (not the lack of bins for organizing)?

3. I need to stop buying hangers.  If I buy something new and do not have a hanger, then that forces to me to edit my closet and donate something, so that I free up a hanger.  I did this!  I removed all of the spare hangers in my closet and now, if I buy something new, something old has to be donated to free up that hanger for something new.

Decluttering my schedule:

1. I ended last year exhausted…and it was mostly because we knew Manda was so sick.  Manda took a really bad turn the first week of December and after that, all of my energy and focus shifted to her and her family…and it left me physically, mentally and emotionally drained.  After Christmas, we went to New York City as a family and I decided right then and there that I needed to declutter my schedule and make some changes.  Now, some changes, I was able to make quickly and immediately, but some will take time because I have already given commitments to people that I cannot change and must see through to completion.  That being said, for the most part, you probably won’t ever know what I’m saying no to because it doesn’t affect this little blogging world, but just know…I’m saying no.  I have also sharpened my focus on what things are the most important to me and where I want to spend most of my energy (Mix and Match Travel Agency) and what things I want to cut down on if not remove altogether.

2. I’m not replying to every email I receive.  I hate even telling you this because I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I just cannot keep answering every single email in my inbox.  Soukup discusses this in her book, and I was really convicted.  Erika tried convincing me to stop emailing people back last year, but because I’m a pleaser and am so grateful that people even contact me in the first place, I have a very hard time not replying, but the truth is, I could probably spend a solid hour or two a day replying to email…and I just do not have that kind of time.  It’s hard because you would probably tell me, don’t answer the emails that are just fluff (like “what color lipstick are you wearing in the first picture on today’s post?”)…but those are the EASIEST emails to answer because my response is as simple as “Bobbi Brown’s Taffeta”.  Bam.  That email is done.  It’s the emails that are the most meaningful that take the longest to reply (infertility, adoption, faith)…so, I can’t really not respond to those…but they’re very time consuming.  See my dilemma?  Anyway, Soupkup makes a point in her book to say that just because people reach out to you via text/email does not demand your response.  So…I’m still going to answer most emails, but it’s not fair to my family, my clients and my sanity to answer all of them.

3. Unsubscribe to junk email.  This tip is so simple and yet, I was one of those people who instead of unsubscribing to email that I’m not interested it, I would just hit “delete” really quickly and move on…and then have to do it again that next day.  And the day after that.  And so on…because I continued to just delete instead of taking the extra three seconds and unsubscribe.  Now, you can actually go online and use a website to unsubscribe to all…but some emails I still want (hello Pottery Barn!), so didn’t want them all to go away, just the ones I selected.  After three days of doing this, my inbox is now perfectly unjunked and I’m a happier camper because instead of seeing that I have 15 unopened items (five legit and 10 spam), I now only have five.  Glorious.

Decluttering my relationships:

What I learned the most from this section is that I only have a certain number of minutes in my day, so I better spend them on those people that matter most and not on just anyone who crosses my path.  We all just can’t be everything to everyone…so, I really need to make sure my focus is on the right people in my life and not waste my energy on people/situations that are draining.

So…needless to say, I really liked this book.  A lot.  I mentioned this when I did my original review, but at one point while I was reading this, Smith was like “mom, stop reading that book” because I was so inspired!  And by that, I mean…Smith was cleaning out his closet, organizing his shoes, making a donation pile and having to toss all of the trash stashed around his room…my enthusiasm was putting him to work 😉 .

What are you doing right now to declutter?  I am just barely scratching the surface here on this book…it’s loaded with other ideas that I found very helpful!  It’s the perfect thing to read to get you in that spring cleaning kind of mood 🙂 .

Comment and share!  Happy Talk Tuesday!


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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 18, 2017 at 4:49 am

    It’s great that the kids are doing their own jobs – you’re a great example!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • ELizabeth April 18, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Such a great reminder today! I need to work on decluttering my schedule and make time for what is important!
    Xo, Elizabeth

  • jamie April 18, 2017 at 5:06 am

    GENIUS: stop buying more containers! just ordered the book from amazon. hurry folks, it is on sale for $7.38 {regularly $16.99}. i also bought a {wellie wishers} book. do your girls have these, shay? from the american girls collection. i never want to forget manda and her beautuful testimony. thank you for mentioning her sweet name this morning. i discovered the song “even if” because it was playing in the background in one of your friends’ instastories and then, of course, i heard it via manda’s memorial service. we listen to it all the time now. my 13-year-old son is playing drums in big people church for the first time this month and that happens to be on the playlist!

    • Kristen Hardison April 18, 2017 at 5:42 am

      I did the same with “Even If” when I heard it on Andrea’s IG! I also heard “I Have This Hope” from Tenth Avenue North (also thanks to Andrea I think) and have it on repeat, too!

      As far as decluttering…one thing I did this year is say no to all sports for my boys. They’re 6,4,2 and although I know the older boys would enjoy things right now, I had to say no to make more time for family. Church and school and work (I teach kindergarten) keep us busy enough! It has been a really good move for my family this season! ???

  • JAmie April 18, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Love this, Shay! Already halfway through the book and I’m making some major changes. Thanks for recommending it.

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt April 18, 2017 at 5:32 am

    I’ve got to stop saying yes to everything people ask me to be involved in because it’s taking time away from my family and what I want to focus more on–great advice! I will have to work to implement that 🙂

  • Erika Slaughter April 18, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Hahaha! I feel like I must clarify my stance on not emailing everyone back. Like you said, you get so many emails a day that you could spend two hours just replying to emails. I’m saying choose the most important and spend thirty minutes a day on emailing. I have no doubts my girl, Ruth, would agree that’s one way to “unstuff” your life. 😉

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 5:37 am

      Hahahahaha! It was GREAT advice that I needed!

  • Anna April 18, 2017 at 5:36 am

    The best tip I have ever received in regards to cleansing items is to look at the item and say “this doesn’t belong to me anymore” – so simple yet a game changer when torn between keeping or sending on its way.

  • Sheaffer Sims April 18, 2017 at 5:36 am

    I was up in our playroom last night with Carter, and my goodness it was making me twitchy! Carter has an emotional attachment to things (we’re working on it) because he always remembers when he got it (ex. Christmas, Mimi gave this to me when I was sick, when I completed my first chore chart) and who gave it to him! SERIOUSLY. He remembers it all. That being said, we need to figure out how to do a good purge without him needing therapy! 😉

    • Melynda April 18, 2017 at 7:19 am

      My kids are the same way and I’ve found that they will get rid of things much more easily if they’re being given to someone who really needs them or to a friend they know would love them. Maybe he has some younger friends or family members who would love some of his hand me downs? Or perhaps someone you know well is raising money for a cause he’d want to help with and he could sell his things in a yard sale and donate the money?

      • Corinne Wright April 18, 2017 at 9:48 am

        I have two strategies for this. My oldest child is 5, and she’s the same way. She remembers EVERYTHING! So, for some items, we box them up to give to “kids who need them” or hand them down to other kids. OR I tell her they are going to sick kids in the hospital. I know it’s a lie, but she is learning to give back, and I’m getting rid of clutter. It’s a lie I can live with.

        Alternately, I will box up stuff to go to the attic for a while and we’ll get it out later. Depending on what the “stuff” is, sometimes it really does go into the attic, and sometimes it goes to Goodwill. Usually, once it’s out of sight, I dont hear about it again. Of course, if it’s something I didnt actually put in the attic, they will ask about it precisely 2 months after it’s been donated. I always say, “I’m not sure where we put that. Hm.”

        • Carol April 18, 2017 at 2:52 pm

          What website can we use for junk email?

    • Kelly Franks April 18, 2017 at 7:40 am

      This is so me! I’m 34 and can remember things from when I was little like 3. I remember everything and I have the hardest time getting rid of things for this very reason. If you find a good resolution let me know.

    • jennibell April 18, 2017 at 9:49 am

      His love language might be gifts. . .it’s how he feels loved and may feel like he’s abandoning that person by giving it up (just a thought). Maybe offer to take pictures and then print and put in a book that he can look at? You may find that he’s just as happy to show Mimi the picture of the item as he is to HAVE the item. . .

      • Sophie April 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm

        I think that this may be the case, one of my love languages is words of affirmation and I have years worth of cards that I struggle to get rid of, so I have started scanning them into a file on my computer (this way I can still have the words without having the object) and I try to only keep really special ones (the ones from my husband or friends with particularly encouraging messages). It’s a work in progress.

    • Amanda R April 18, 2017 at 9:54 am

      My daughter is like this too! She loves her things and really does play with them all. That being said, I don’t think it is healthy for her to have too many things. In her, it seems to breed a desire for more things. So, I have her make piles of things she loves, and things she likes. This wasn’t an easy thing to teach, but its worth it! She keeps the things she loves and then can choose five things from the “likes” pile. The rest, we pass on, in hopes that someone else can love them, because everything deserves to be loved!

    • Jillian Rosmon April 18, 2017 at 10:30 am

      I can totally relate to your son! My friend and I were talking about this a while ago, because we are both guilty of being overly sentimental. She said years ago when she still lived at home, before she got married, she was cleaning out her room and a little snow globe her mom gave her fell and broke. She said she was so upset because her mom gave it to her and she didn’t want it to hurt her moms feelings, but when she went in the kitchen to tell her mom what happened, her mom did not even remember buying her the little snow globe! Haha Good luck to you and Carter on your purging!

    • KC April 18, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      That is so funny because both of my children are the same way. They remember who gave it to them and when. They always say how special it is because Mimi, Poppy, and aunt or sibling gave it to them and they love it. I’m not sure if it’s sweet or if they are just playing with my emotions because they know I’ll let them keep it because it’s so “sweet”. Either way, decluttering is always fun over here, 😉

    • Amy S. April 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      My daughter was the same way. We ended up making memory photo books for her – we took pictures of everything and then we typed out where it came from and/ or a special memory of that item and then ordered the photo book through Shutterfly. Then she could look at the books whenever she wanted without having the items cluttering up our house. We also made an effort to give things to people she knew when we could – so parting with her favorite princess dresses that were now 3 sizes too small was made easier because she gave them to one of her friends little sisters who she knew would love them. It was more work than just dropping it all off at Goodwill but I was just happy to get the stuff out!

  • Lindsay April 18, 2017 at 5:54 am

    I read this book in a couple of days, after you suggested it. I absolutely LOVED it. For me, I have ‘friendships’ that aren’t truly that. This really made me think about quality > quantity. The decluttering your house section–especially the parts about emotional attachment to items just because someone special gave them to you, but they have no meaning– hit me between the eyes!! Such an awesome book! Thanks for recommending.

  • Stacy April 18, 2017 at 5:55 am

    So I bought this book after your March review and I’m just getting into it!! ( I’m sad I bought the kindle format– I want it in paper back) !! I just have to say I think March has been one of your best book reviews because I want to read all of the books from it!!!

  • Courtney April 18, 2017 at 5:55 am

    I love the part about the containers and baskets! Ah! It seems like such a simple concept, yet we always think we need ‘more stuff’ to help organize. I feel like my biggest clutter is papers. How do you organize papers so they are still visible (so you don’t forget about them), but so they aren’t on the dining room table or kitchen counter?


    • Melissa April 18, 2017 at 7:53 am

      ^I would love to know!

    • Chelsea Selbig April 18, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I also had this issue, and after some Pinterest searching, ended up created laminated pockets/pouches for each category of mail I needed to keep handy, and used 3m stickies to adhere them inside some of my upper kitchen cabinet doors, that way they’re still accessible but off the counters. I like that I can’t fit too much in a pocket, so I have to regularly sort through stuff. Here’s a link to someone else who made them: http://www.organizinghomelife.com/how-to-create-a-kitchen-command-center-part-2-organize-your-kitchen-frugally-day-20/

      • Kati April 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm

        LOVE THIS IDEA! Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Amber Smith April 18, 2017 at 5:56 am

    There is also a great service called Unroll.Me for managing emails…it’s free and genius. You can unsubscribe or roll all the “spam” into one email for your review daily. It’s amazing! I just got the book and can’t wait to dive in!

  • Stephanie April 18, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I’ve read this recently, too, and there were so many of those light bulb moments for me. It never occurred to me to get rid of something if I didn’t have space for it or that not everything little thing deserved all of my attention. It’s been very freeing.


  • Sarah April 18, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I need this book!!! I’ve been on a decluttering mission lately and it feels SO GOOD!! I want every single room and item to serve a purpose. If we don’t use or love the item, it’s gone.

    I’d love to know more about what she has to say about decluttering and organizing your schedule. While I do seem to accomplish all my tasks every day, I’m not sure if they’re always the best use of my time. I also tend to waste a lot of time simply because with three kids if I get 5-10 minutes to myself, I’m not quite sure what to do so I end up on Facebook haha.

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • emily @ a little bit of emily April 18, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I finally took the time to clean out my email, too, instead of just deleting. Makes a world of difference!

  • Eileen April 18, 2017 at 6:06 am

    I must read this book. What a simple concept – stop buying organizers and get rid of the stuff. Brilliant! I am totally guilty of this! A few years ago I added 2 email accounts, making 3 total. Although it seems like it’s more work to check 3 accounts, I feel like it’s actually so much easier. I have one strictly for junk and ordering online, so all of those sale emails don’t go to and clog up my main email account. I set up one for my kids’ stuff. This is the email address I give to their teachers, the school, coaches, activities, etc. I check this one most often because it’s the most important. Plus anything I need to know for them – schedule changes, meetings, reminders, etc. – are all in one place. Again, when an email comes through in this account, I know I need to read it ASAP because it’s definitely not junk mail. Finally, I have my original email address. This is the one that friends and family have. Again, if I get an email in this account, I know to check it. This really saved me so much time. I only check the junk account every few days. Also, within the junk account, I have folders labeled for each vacation so that when travel emails (plane confirmations, hotel confirmations, etc.) come through, I move them to the corresponding folder so I always know where they are. I do need to take the time to unsubscribe to a lot of the junk – it would make email even less time consuming.

    • Adrienne April 18, 2017 at 8:57 am

      I do the same thing! I have an email address solely for store ads, catalogs, etc, that I don’t even get notifications for. But I know I can go there before going shopping to check for sales and coupons! One for when I need to sign up for things that I KNOW will start sending a ton of junky spam. And one that’s “first name.last name” that is only given to personal contacts and important reservations, etc. That’s the only email address that I receive notifications for, because I know those will be important!

  • Lesley McFarland April 18, 2017 at 6:10 am

    This book just went into my Amazon cart???? We are moving in a month so I am so pumped to unclutter and perg 90% of our stuff.
    Also with that over the last year of 2 I have really learned to say no and focus on my family and the things I can do 100%. With kids in so many activities and a husband being a coach I had to learn to say no fast if I wanted to keep my sanity. I must say it is sooooo hard to say no to the fun stuff….but everyone is happier.

  • Jenny April 18, 2017 at 6:15 am

    One way that I was able to help my daughter, when she was younger, “purge” her room was with the idea that we would have a garage sale and the funds from her items were all hers. Now my neighborhood has a secret resale, recycle site on Facebook. Only folks living in the neighborhood can participate. I have sold, but mostly given away, items that I have no need for. My neighbors joke that my house must be empty! There is something freeing to me to not have clutter in my house and to have the ability to clean my house quickly without having to clean around that clutter. I still will pick up this book. I remarried a bit over a year ago and have combined households with my dear man (a widow of cancer) who has 30 years of stuff from his family of 6! Challenge accepted! I mention that my husband is a widow of cancer because my heart feels deeply about the loss of your dear friend Miranda and her sweet family. I’ve seen up close the journey during and after the loss. Still praying for her family and you, her dear friend!

  • Narci Dreffs April 18, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Okay, I love this post! I bought this book on your recommendation, and I can’t wait to start it! I love the tip about the hangers! So smart!!

  • Rebecca April 18, 2017 at 6:17 am

    What website can you go to that will unsubscribe all the junk emails?? I need that in my life!

    • Melissa April 18, 2017 at 8:21 am


  • Mama V @ Snowflakes & Coffeecakes April 18, 2017 at 6:28 am

    Another little ah-ha moment came when I realized that I was saving so many things for my 5 daughters – kitchen and household items, holiday decorations, thinking it would help them out when they moved to the college dorms, first apartments or first homes, but the surprise was that they REALLY wanted to pick out their own new stuff. Same was true for baby and childhood toys – I now only keep the really meaningful ones for “Grandma’s House” and don’t even think about sending them to their homes. It made it much easier to declutter once I realized this!

  • Kelly S April 18, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I’ve been working on all of this too. I LOVE unsubscribing to junk emails. It’s my new thing. It takes 2 seconds to do it, and rather than just delete the emails, now I make a goal to unsubscribe to at least 2 junk emails a day (dumb goal, but it works). And I no longer give out my email to places like Bath and Body Works at the check out. For whatever reason, not getting a ton of junk/spam emails makes me feel more on top of life. I also got rid of beloved books to let others enjoy them.

  • Andrea April 18, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Great ideas! A while ago I switched out all of our hangers to the velvet ones and was SHOCKED at how many we needed. I purged and purged and have vowed to never buy another hanger!!

    • Jill April 18, 2017 at 9:14 am

      I have the velvet ones too (if you’re talking about those slim ones that are everywhere now). The only problem is they aren’t indestructible like plastic or wood hangers. Every year I lose probably half a dozen hangers. The hanger cracks where the metal hook connects to the velvet area while I’m tugging to get the item off the hanger. I still love them and they’re worth having, but you may have to eventually replace some if you don’t also downsize your wardrobe 🙂

  • Sonia Limon April 18, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Wow….I literally spent 4 hours last night in my teenage daughters room uncluttering her closet and dresser…filled 5 trash bags of things to donate and it felt so good! It was hard to get her going, but once we got in full swing she was chunking things left and right….seeing the end result was amazing!!

  • Jennifer April 18, 2017 at 6:44 am

    I have two personal email accounts beyond my company work account – one for friends, family, confirmations of purchases/vacations, etc. The other is everything else aka all the spam. Lilly Pulitzer, restaurant discounts, SheIn, even Facebook notifications. It’s helped dramatically in cutting through the junk to the quality stuff I need/want to see. Whenever I give my email address out now, it’s the spam account unless it’s a bona fide friend/connection.

  • Megan April 18, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I have lived by the one thing in, one thing out rule in my closet for years. Truly life changing. I absolutely despise clutter and the stop buying containers was so convicting. Sounds like a book I should put in my list.


  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life April 18, 2017 at 7:02 am

    That book sounds like just what I need in my life right now!! xo

  • Susie LaBelle April 18, 2017 at 7:03 am

    what is the name of the website that unsubscribes my email? I need this TODAY!!! 🙂 I’ve tried hitting “unsubscribe” at the bottom of emails and they keep showing up 🙁
    THANK YOU! Going to order the book!! 🙂

    • Melissa April 18, 2017 at 8:25 am


  • Erin April 18, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I’m at home with small kids all day, which I love, and work as a full time professor mostly in the evenings (and I consult from home on the side.) That leaves exactly 4 minutes a day to shower ; )
    Through experience, I learned that email was my biggest time drain. Truthfully Shay , you may want to remove an email from this blog, leaving one for your travel agency only. When I made sweeping emails changes and enforced boundaries, I got back to doing real work that I enjoy.

  • Tricia W April 18, 2017 at 7:23 am

    This is a must read! I’m so much a people pleaser as well, and need to learn that the word “no” is okay. It’s not a bad word! And the idea of the hangers is brilliant! This book may be a needed gift for all the girls in my family! Thank you!! Love your blog…it’s my morning ritual as I’m eating breakfast!

  • Lauren Boswell April 18, 2017 at 7:24 am

    I can’t wait to order this book. When you talked about her section of saying No it reminded me of the book Thr best yes! It’s bye lysa Terkuerst. I can’t remember if you have read it by some of your book reviews, but if not buy it today on Amazon. You will not be disappointed!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 7:26 am

      That’s a great book!! Loved that one too!

  • Tamara R. April 18, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Ugh, I need this book! So I commend you on the email thing (and I feel your pain as I get hundreds of emails from clients at work every day!) but I have to say, as someone who has emailed a blogger before and gotten no response, it is hurtful and discouraging. I have quit reading blogs when I have sent a meaningful email and the blogger doesn’t bother to respond. Of course I know you are so thoughtful and would never want to hurt someone’s feelings and I understand it’s a fine balance and you have to draw the line somewhere. However, I’m sure lots of readers email you because they want a way to connect directly with you, whose life they are reading so much about! Just something to think about!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 7:39 am

      It’s so hard, Tamara! I totally understand that which is why I spend so much time emailing people back…but I get so many that it can consume so much of my time (that I need to devote to other things!). It’s so hard to balance and navigate.

      • Tamara R. April 18, 2017 at 6:07 pm

        Okay so I think I got a taste of my own medicine because I struggled over whether to reply to your reply! haha. You are right, it is SO hard. You have such a good heart; I know you are doing your best! xoxo

  • Ranisa April 18, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Love this post. It reminds me of “The Best Yes”. The email part really hit home.

  • Jenna April 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I cannot wait to read this book! I am all about decluttering and like that this book talks about different areas to that in. Thank you for sharing.

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams April 18, 2017 at 8:04 am

    What a great topic! I may need to pick up Ruth’s book. Decluttering the technology in my life and my use of it was my focus for lent these past few weeks. Now that it’s over I’m still going to keep going with it because it does make me feel so much better. I like the part where you don’t answer every email. I’m a pleaser as well, but it sucks so much out of you.
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Lee Ann April 18, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I need to put this on my list! I started fostering twin babies in February and am still trying to figure out all the hacks to keep my house manageable. The main thing I do is walk around and pick up and clear surfaces every night and I’ve noticed when I do this faithfully I’m throwing more and more junk away. Mail, magazines, Sonic cups, etc. These things would normally sit around until a deep cleaning day over the weekend but throwing the day’s clutter away every day makes me feel so much better!

  • Becky Dern April 18, 2017 at 8:12 am

    I am on a list at my local library to get this book! This is so my mindset as of late and I think I will find so many truths in this book. I also wanted to let you know I listened to your podcast with Jamie Ivey and just loved your heart in it so much. I have downloaded tons of her episodes to listen to while I work, and I am so thankful you have exposed us to her! Don’t respond to this comment–just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your posts and what you share with us! 🙂

  • Natalie Clark April 18, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Just ordered the book! I am currently in decluttering/cleaning mode like whoa! We are preparing for baby #2 and need to move my 2 year old to her big girl room and change the nursery. Also, while I am a pretty tidy person, my husband is not and my 2 year old obviously isn’t either. I realized that each day I spend WAY too much time picking up after them, so I have been trying to get rid of the “stuff.” For years I feel like I have just felt like my home just needed to be more organized, but I am realizing that it just needs less “stuff.” Can’t wait to read this book to get even more inspired!

  • Jennifer Furrey April 18, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I haven’t read Unstuffed but I have read Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp and it for sure changed my life! She says clutter=indecision and I am the most indecisive person on the planet so that explains a lot about me! I’m trying not to hang on to every little art project my kids make and not keep things I don’t love just because I feel guilty letting them go. Sometimes I also tell myself “If Jesus came back today I would no longer have this and it would not matter!” 🙂

  • Lisa D April 18, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I despise clutter, as many here do, but it certainly has a way of creeping in! I have the hardest time with the emotions attached to things….. I don’t want to throw away my daughter’s high school pottery projects, my son’s soccer trophies, old toys my children once loved, etc. but the truth is that my adult kids do not have ties to these things anymore. The question I use is “does this item bless me or does it stress me”. This really helps me to move away from those things that I don’t have to have in my life anymore. I would rather have time for the people I love than waste time on things that only suck energy from me! I really like what someone wrote in the comments, “this doesn’t belong to me anymore”. I’m going to write that on a note and stick it in my closet as a reminder!

  • Jenny April 18, 2017 at 8:27 am

    I cannot wait to start this book. I like that it looks at all aspects of your life not just organization.

    For us my kids are a little older but I demand they help clean and purge. It is not their favorite thing. By cleaning they earn screen time, a movie or their phone back. They get it done really fast if they want their phone back. But again one is a teenager. The one thing is they love how it feels when they get it done. And it makes my life less stressful. I have time to take care of other things if I am not managing their things.

    I also have done the hanger or with shoes the same thing. If I get something new or a new pair of shoes then I have to donate vs making more room. This helps so much. I want less things and can only wear so much.

    I am working on saying no and I need to go on the website to get off most of the junk emails I get. It is the worst since I then have to delete them in multiple spots!

    Thanks for your recap and suggestion for this book!

  • Cat April 18, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Shay, I’m curious if this will spur you to eliminate any duplicates from your own closet (in addition to the one-in-one-out rule) despite your recent closet renovation to expand your clothing and accessories storage to accommodate your extensive wardrobe! In past photos you’ve shared, for example, you’ve shown 5-6 pairs of tan platform wedges lined up neatly! Will you be donating lightly-used duplicates to your church or elsewhere?

    Also curious whether your recommendations here will shift from clothing purchases to other types of posts, in line with the Marie Kondo/Unstuffed principles? Or perhaps a post on how you reconcile the different principles of items vs. time — for example, you save time by purchasing 12 lunch boxes and pre-packing them early in the week, but that’s obviously more “stuff” in your home!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 8:35 am

      I’ve always been a declutterer…I just realized (thanks to this book and Kondo’s) that I’m probably not doing it correctly. Their ideas have really turned my natural love of purging/cleaning/being tidy into something more efficient. That being said, I do donate at least once a season from my closet. As for my neutral shoes…I love them because they go with everything, so I don’t have to spend money on shoes that are of a certain color ;). I’m probably still going to post the same content as before…because that’s just me being me, but I really loved how this book just encouraged and brought to light some great ideas to help the tidy person inside of me :). And those 12 lunch boxes…it’s 12 more things but a lot more sanity every afternoon, so that’s a major WIN!

      • Mary April 18, 2017 at 9:47 am

        I love your blog post of your clothing purchases and everything else you blog about. Please don’t change! God only made one of you that’s what makes you special:) I always tell my son it would be a very boring world if God created everyone the same. Thank you for being who you are!!!

  • Brittany April 18, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Use Unroll.me for your email. It takes all “junk” email and rolls it up into ONE email that’s sent once a day!

  • heidi April 18, 2017 at 8:45 am

    I don’t have kids your age any more ( insert me sobbing ) butc one thing I had to do for my time and sanity at their age was cut some things. Did my 4 yr old really need to be in dance, a sport and craft corner.. nope. She was 4. She was happy going to kindergarten and playing at the park. She wasn’t ‘ left behind’ in fact she’s super sporty but people need to decide what is important to their family and not worry what other families are doing. I need to work on letting my kids purge..haha

  • Teri K. April 18, 2017 at 8:46 am

    What’s the website you use for managing junk email? I need that!

  • Kristin Tate April 18, 2017 at 8:49 am

    If given the chance to redesign our home….I WILL NOT HAVE A PLAYROOM!! That is a huge mistake for me and a great way to clutter up a space with toys/stuff that is never touched. A small space in there bedroom to house things they love vs. a cluttered room is all they need.

  • Melissa April 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Will you be posting some of the kids stuff for sale on a page like what Andrea does?! Im sure so many of us readers would be interested in that! Also, just ordered the book! For our daughter (shes a toddler) I’ve been known to buy a million different pairs of shoes for her each season….instead to avoid a closet full of shoes, we have bought her only 5 pairs for spring that are functional but cute! (one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of Natives, one pair of Mini Melissa’s, one pair of Sun Sans and one pair of Hunters). It has definitely saved on clutter of having random shoes around our house!

  • Mary April 18, 2017 at 9:28 am

    This is seriously my favorite topic. I love this post.

  • Bernadine April 18, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Decluttering my relationships: I have always been a huge fan of the saying “quality over quantity”… More REAL friendships is what I am all about. Great post, Shay!

  • Naomi April 18, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Love this topic. Sounds like a great book. I read a book a while back called “The life-changing Magic of Tidying Up”. It’s very methodical and I didn’t have the time to invest in doing it full force, but there are a lot of similar tips and advice to tackle all the clutter. My take home message was when you are going through things and on the fence about keeping an item or not, ask yourself “does it bring me joy?”. Answer with your gut and move on. Quickly! Don’t overthink it ( my problem!). I’m trying to put this simply for the kids too since their rooms and playrooms quickly get out of control.

  • Laura @ Laura Likes Design April 18, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Okay, so as soon as I read about this book in your last book review post, I immediately downloaded the audiobook! It seriously changed my life! Like you, I’m a very neat and tidy person but I didn’t always apply that mindset to my schedule and relationships. Such a good read and definitely one that I will be applying to my life from here on out!

  • Ariadna April 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    After reading all the comments, two tips that people left behind struck me, that maybe you could think about. Regarding your email, I’m not a blogger but I’ve emailed other bloggers before and it feels great to get a response back. However, I try to understand your point of view that you don’t have time to answer everybody back. Somebody said to just remove your email from here, which I think it’s a great idea. Just don’t make a big deal about it, and see if people slowly stop emailing you. We can still connect with you via these comments or instagram or facebook, but maybe those don’t take so much time? After you take your email off of here and then give yourself the deadline of finishing answering the emails that you get until the end of the month. The ones that come in after May 1st, you don’t have to respond anymore. Then just take 30 minutes a day to hack away at your emails. Does that make sense? Just a suggestion, I honestly don’t know how you do it all with 4 kids, I only have one and feel like I can’t keep up. I need to pick up this book, thanks for being so honest with us!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 10:56 am

      I love these suggestions! Thank you so much Ariadna!!!

  • Alice H April 18, 2017 at 9:52 am

    We had a slab leak in our house at the end of November and we had to remodel the whole downstairs basically. So that gave me time to declutter everything downstairs!! I cleaned out my closet and got rid of clothes and shoes and bags I haven’t used in years. Cleaned out all of my drawers and limited myself to about 15 t-shirts (because do I really need 80 of them?). I cleaned my bathroom drawers/closet and got rid of anything extra that was partially used lol. Anyway, my house just got put back together at the end of February and I was able to clean my garage and walk-in attic too. My 16 year old son and 18 year old daughter are not so good at decluttering and giving stuff up but my 7 year old son loves to donate things and throw stuff away!!

  • jennibell April 18, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Shay, I have to say that your comment in a post recently has been a great positive change in my life so far (the book is on order for me right now). You said that you are easily distracted when doing a task and sometimes don’t finish anything so now you make a list (cobwebs in the corner! crumbs in the drawer!) and come back to it when you have time. That was REVOLUTIONARY for me. Just today I found myself doing three different things and stopping, going to my list, writing two of those things down (empty laundry room trash, refill TP) and finishing up the task at hand, which was folding clothes. YEA! Thank you for taking the time to communicate what works/doesn’t work for you so we can all learn 🙂

  • Patty Anderson April 18, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I decided as my girls became adults that it was time to say “no” to things if at all possible. I think my kids sometimes don’t understand this. I’m a stay at home wife/mom, yet the kids now have their own lives in another state. They can’t imagine what I could possibly DO all day! Yet when my husband goes on a trip for work, I have the time to go with him if he asks. When my youngest and her husband recently had preemie twins and asked if I could come, I was able to be with them for as long as they wanted my help. It’s ok to say no if it means saying yes to those you love! This is especially important during the CHRISTmas season when there are so many demands on my time. That’s when we first learned to say no to social things so we could focus our minds on the birth of our Savior!

  • Tanya April 18, 2017 at 9:59 am

    I am listening to the audio book of this right now, thanks to your recommendation. I love it! I am guilty of having lots of baskets and bins, and thought it was so insightful to say that means you have too much stuff. We downsized a lot when we moved to the UK a few years ago, but feel the “stuff” creeping back into our lives now that we are back in the US with convenient shopping and low prices. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Sarah April 18, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Literally loved this blog post — just your few takeaways from the book are so helpful and inspiring! I love, love, love reading about your family and your life but this was one of the most enlightening posts this far! Thank you!!

  • Shelly April 18, 2017 at 10:11 am

    So interested in reading this book! One of the things I did with my kids when they were young was assign them one box with a lid for art work, special items from school, etc. When the box got too full they were in charge of deciding what to keep and what to toss. It really did help them learn to manage the paper stuff!

  • Danielle Rigg April 18, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Shay…amazing tips! I feel your guilt with responding to emails. However, any more time you can have with your precious kids and family – it will be so worth it! I have even been doing this with my cell phone. I just put it away in my purse and the ringer is off & don’t look at it. I just spend 100% no tech. time with my family. It is wonderful. If it is a real emergency, they have my house line to call. That was one way to just declutter. I felt I was always looking or answering a text.
    I need to get this book and put it to work!!!

  • Alexis deZayas April 18, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Loved so much about this, Shay! You have me sold on reading this book 🙂

  • Angela Ellingson April 18, 2017 at 10:24 am

    So good. I’ve had such a strong desire to declutter lately and have been working on it. Unstuffed is next on my book list!

  • Jennifer April 18, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Do you have a web site for your travel agency? I’d love to check it out. Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 10:55 am

      You can just click on travel agency at the top of this site!

  • Marion April 18, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Loved this post! If you like her books I highly recommend her blog. She has amazing free “Spring Cleaning Planner” on her page right now. If you download the planner you can get a digital copy of 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life plus a few more downloadables for only $7.

  • Melanie S April 18, 2017 at 11:09 am

    It really sounds like this one goes along with Marie Kondo’s book, the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I loved it, so maybe I’ll love this one too!

  • Robin April 18, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book. I will probably check it out from the library and see if I can pick up any organization tips, we can all use more ideas I’m sure.

    My biggest tip is just to stop buying stuff! I haven’t bought anything (other than groceries) since the first week in November. This includes no new clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. Not bringing in new stuff generates an appreciation for what you already have and helps you focus on organizing current possessions and practice gratitude for the blessings you already have.

  • Karen April 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Have you ever thought of a virtual assistant?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      That’s been suggested to me, but I feel bad having others answer my emails. I don’t want to mislead anyone with another person answering for me.

      • Amy Johnson April 19, 2017 at 11:32 am

        I would think the virtual assistant would be able to weed out the “you should reply” versus “color of lipstick” type emails, and perhaps even just compile a list of 25-50 questions a day for you to answer them quickly of the simple ones. I know if I emailed you asking for a nail polish color or where you found a pair of shoes from a post 2 years ago and it wasn’t you responding, but I got the answer, it wouldn’t be offensive or misleading (I mean, I would expect the assistant to sign with their own name, and not yours). But if you could narrow your responses down to only even maybe SEEING 10 emails a day instead of having to weed through 200 emails to FIND those 10 emails, that’d be a huge time savings for you. Just make it clear that you OR your virtual assistant would be replying so that expectation would be up front. Just my two cents 😉

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World April 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I put this book in my Amazon wish list because I am dying to do the same. The email thing that you discussed TOTALLY hit home with me! While I probably don’t get NEAR the amount of emails that you get every day (I can’t even imagine getting more than I already do), I do still get a lot and I currently respond to every single one. I’m SO thankful for all of the people who take the time to comment/email on my blog, but at the same time, it’s exhausting, and responding to all of them is becoming a little ridiculous. I will have to take the time to evaluate how long I’m spending on them each day and rethink what I’m doing.

  • Lara M April 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I am really good about cleaning out my closet, but the hangers “trick” is genius! Like you said, a total light bulb moment for me when I read it. I will definitely be implementing this!

  • Nicole D. April 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    This is so my husband. He’s very sentimental about everything and remembers when and where he got things. He won’t even let me throw away one of my pajamas I was looking to get rid of for example, because he loves them meanwhile they’re old and have seen better days haha. I definitely have to tell him about this book!

  • Melissa April 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I checked this book out from the library on your suggestion and am about halfway through (so not to the relationship part yet.) I think quality over quantity is essential, and yet how do you reconcile that with the process of actually making friends? I know you’re constantly asked about your tight group of friends, so it’s probably a repeat. But for my husband’s job we’ve moved quite often. After a move I always feel spread thin because on top of all the moving stuff (getting settled, finding new doctors and such, learning a new area, helping three kids adjust) I am also desperate to make connections, so I say yes to every invitation, and extend many of my own. Sometimes it can feel very draining to spend a couple of hours with a new acquaintance, only to realize it won’t be going deeper. But if you don’t keep putting yourself out there, life gets lonely fast. It’s such a tough balance. Would love your thoughts the next time you blog about friendship!

  • Rachel April 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    This doesn’t really have to do with this post, but do you still use hot rollers on your hair? Do you recommend them?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 18, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      I do not. 🙂

  • Erin Port April 18, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Wow such good reminders! Lysa TerKuerst book the best yes really reminded me that saying Yes! Because no one else was or out of guilt was not a good yes! I love the people part as I am a pleaser so I spend way more time than I should on people that are not my priority! I need to learn to let more go 😉 people pleaser recovery!!!!

  • Angela Stoeffler April 18, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I just also want to say that I think that it is just plain polite to respond back to an email, phone call, or text. I think that anyone would expect that courtesy of a response. However, I do understand how many you receive. I guess maybe don’t give out your email to everyone? Maybe just respond via this comment board and then anyone who has truly deep questions about faith/adoption/etc is the exception? Just my thoughts. I just can’t get over the not responding to communication as being polite. 🙂

  • Lisa April 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    “I need to stop buying things to organize my house and instead, just get rid of stuff.” OMG…this is totally me. I consider myself somewhat of a minimalist so I really don’t think I have a ton of stuff but when it comes to my 2 yr olds stuff…toys/clothes/whatever I have such a hard time getting rid of it. I mean, she is TWO and we must have 20 bins worth of her stuff that I just can’t part with. Time to START donating and STOP buying bins! 🙂

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick April 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Just hearing about all the decluttering makes me want to send Craig and the boys to Louisiana for a week, close down the Etsy shop, turn off my phone and get to work!! I hack away at it little by little but I want to do a big sweep. And I totally understand about the emails! I know how much you want to be able to answer everyone but there are only so many hours in the day. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    That Inspired Chick

  • Kelly April 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I’m on chapter 2 thanks to your last book review! I have a question for you…is Andrew a de-clutterer? Does he purge? I’m very much like you, and my boyfriend is the opposite (I’ve been sharing ideas from your post & the book and the look of horror on his face, ha!). He (and his family) are very much sentimental. I mean boxes filled to the brim in the basement of old stuff. But more importantly, everyday stuff…”This was the first pair of Jordans I ever bought with my own $$.” “Grandma bought that for me for my birthday. ” etc etc. But I feel like you can find some sentimental value in everything and never let anything out the door. Is Andrew/any of your kiddos that way? Any advice? I want a clutter free home!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 19, 2017 at 4:55 am

      In this department, Andrew is EXACTLY like me! He is great at purging and decluttering!

  • Teresa April 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Do you find you are buying less clothing after starting this? Or items in general??

    As for your emails, can you just copy and paste your adoption story or direct people to your blog? Seems like it would get repetitive after a while! But maybe New readers haven’t read certain posts.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 19, 2017 at 4:54 am

      This is probably the most reasonable idea! Thank you!! And I think this book really just shaped how I was organizing everything. I truly was the queen of bins and baskets but that’s not really eliminating the problem, right? My closet has never stressed me out (I keep that very tidy!), but my kids’ rooms and play room can totally get out of control.

  • Megan Butler April 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Such good advice! I love the part about teaching the kids!! Decluttering is my weakness. I would probably hate the book like smith!. And by that I mean I would learn soooooo much!!! Ha!! The hangers thing is goood too!! My mil lives by a “one in – one out” rule. So the same idea applies!

  • Whitney Pegram April 18, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    The email thing, yessss!!! I need to get this book! Thanks for sharing!

  • Becky Carl April 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I’ve been constantly getting rid of stuff for the last 10 years. Mainly because of my parents passing away and I had a huge 2 story house of stuff from a stepdad who was a hoarder. Then my brother passed away and he didn’t have much but it had to be dealt with. Then we moved, 3 times in 5 years. I’m so sick of stuff now that we are picking up our brand new 40 ft. motorhome in 2 weeks and living in it full-time. That pretty much commands you get rid of everything. You will figure it out when those kids get grown and out of the house! It’s hard to let go and I cycled through the same stuff year after year because I couldn’t let it go but once I realized it was only stuff and did not define my wonderful memories of those I loved, I was ready to see it go. And I sure do not want to leave my children with what I had to deal with. Meantime, I have made a lot of money on Ebay and Craigslist!!

  • Laci April 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    These are great suggestions! I am “unrolling” all my junk mail today! Love your blog and your heart for others!

  • Jennifer April 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    How did this compare to the the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up & which did you like better?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 19, 2017 at 4:52 am

      This book is geared more towards families and with an emotional element. Life Changing Magic is very straightforward, no-nonsense ideas to use in your house. It’s very practical but just not emotional (or family related).

  • Jaren April 18, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    The more kids we have, the more stuff we have! It just keeps spiraling out of control to the point that I feel we don’t appreciate things as much as we should. It’s been on my mind for the last few years actually. This book is in my amazon cart right now! Thanks!

  • Victoria April 19, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Some email providers will allow you to create templates for emails so you don’t have to type the same stuff every time. Then you could have templates for “thanks for reaching out, “my faith”, ” that item is ___ from ___”.

  • Jenny April 19, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Great post. I really need to work on this in my life. It’s a little intimidating getting started though!

  • Amy Johnson April 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I will say one huge de-cluttering of the MIND thing I gleaned from a Priscilla Shirer Live Simulcast from a couple weeks ago was to stop cluttering my mind with other peoples’ problems. I can write down a prayer list, pray for them (don’t miss that part!), and then stop filling my mind with worries and carrying their burdens. This has been revolutionary for me! Leave the burdens and worries with the ONE who really CAN make a difference, do what you can feasibly do, and then move on. At first, it seems so impersonal, and obviously if the Lord lays a specific way to help on your heart, you do that. But you aren’t supposed to fix other peoples’ problems. Sometimes they need to struggle through something to grow in the Lord in those times or to learn something.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 19, 2017 at 11:39 am

      This is HUGE! I love this!!

  • Ashley April 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    LOVE this topic! I use unroll.me which takes all of my subscription emails and rolls them into one email that is sent to me at the same time every day. This way I am not missing a great promotion at my favorite store but I have the convenience of scrolling through one email instead of twenty.

  • Heather L April 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve declared 2017 the year of “no” to try to declutter and focus on what’s MOST important in my life. You’re right, you can’t be everything to everyone!

  • Sara April 22, 2017 at 7:29 am

    An extra email/inbox tip…..set up folders for the recurring emails (Pottery Barn) and then set rules for them to automatically go to those folders. This way, when you want to look for Pottery Barn it’s all in one place.

  • Kristy Best April 27, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Have you ever listened to the God Centered Mom podcast with Heather MacFadyen (she’s a TX girl, too)? It’s one of my favorites for the car or when I’m running/exercising. I feel like you would enjoy it. She did a recent interview with Ruth Soukup about Unstuffed and it was so good! You should check it out for further inspiration. 🙂