Allie Casazza Talks About How to Reduce Stress and Clutter: Tips from a Minimalist | EU 2846 min read

August 31, 2020

How do we get back to ourselves when the to-do list is through the roof? Where and how do we start the decluttering process? How will it help us to reconnect with our intentions and ourselves? In this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros speaks with Allie Casazza about how to reduce stress and clutter and shares […]

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How do we get back to ourselves when the to-do list is through the roof? Where and how do we start the decluttering process? How will it help us to reconnect with our intentions and ourselves?

In this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros speaks with Allie Casazza about how to reduce stress and clutter and shares some steps you can start taking today!

Meet Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza is the host of The Purpose Show – a top-rated podcast – and the creator of online courses that have earned her international attention for her fresh, practical lifestyle strategies for moms.

Known as ‘The Life Minimalist’, she encourages and inspires women to pursue abundant life by creating space for what matters most. Allie and her husband, Brian, live with their four young children in Southern California wine country.

Visit Allie’s website, connect on Instagram, and listen to her podcast.

Click here for a freebie from Allie.

In This Podcast


  • Admit that the situation is happening
  • Commit to a hard reset then keep the ball moving
  • Come back to your emotions
  • Show up for yourself
  • Start with one room

Admit that the situation is happening

I had this, like, situational depression and I knew that I wasn’t sick just because I was sick. I knew there was a cause, a root, and I didn’t want to mask it. I wanted to pull it out.

Many people put off recognizing the impact of the situation at hand in fear of having to let go of it, because letting it go can mean uncertainty and being unsure in your life is frightening to anyone. However, this fear of uncertainly blocks all the possibilities that lie before you. With letting objects and clutter go makes physical and emotional space for you to create a new lifestyle, and that uncertainty transforms into possibility.

I realized that I have so much in my life that is so unnecessary, I don’t even need it or want it. It’s in my way, it’s blocking my purpose.

Blindly rushing through life in fear of addressing an underlying issue may cause you exponential harm than rather taking a minute to pause, breathe, and listen to what may be underneath. Taking the time to see yourself is the very first step in decluttering your space and yourself, because, inevitably, they are deeply connected.

Commit to a hard reset then keep the ball moving

That pressure comes from the outside from society, but it also mostly comes from our ourselves. So when you stop – there is so much power in pause – you can look at yourself and admit where you are, and get honest with yourself.

Reset. Share and process these feelings and desires with someone that supports you. It is not one momentous change and then you carry on as normal. This process is a gradual yet constant shift where you will make steady changes away from the lifestyle you wish to leave behind. The reset is the breaking of the knee-jerk habit of cluttering and pushing forward, the process and the shift come from keeping a daily practice.

Come back to your emotions

What takes up your space, takes up your time.

This is where it becomes important to notice your feelings. When you start feeling agitated or find yourself moving towards a ditch again, reset. Go for a walk and focus on your breathing to clear your mind. Remember your intentions and try again. It may not be easy at first, but this is work that rewards you throughout your lifetime. Decluttering is emotional work because most of our clutter has sentimental value. Lean into your insecurities about throwing old things away and challenge those thoughts. Perhaps they link you to old memories or childhood traumas that you feel guilty releasing. If so, then they do need to be released. Work on giving yourself permission to let go. Most of the time releasing those emotions and decluttering that space is far more freeing than we may realize.

Show up for yourself

It’s not about the clutter in the corner, it’s about your life.

Make it a fun date with yourself to reframe how you view the idea of decluttering. We can easily become distracted by kids, a phone call, something happening downstairs. Treat decluttering like a fun-yet-professional meeting with yourself by:

  • Turning your phone on silent
  • Putting on some music
  • Turning your email notifications off
  • Setting boundaries around this time and telling your family to give you a personal moment to dive right in and enjoy getting it done.

Make a date with yourself to clear out your home and set out your life, because it is not only about decluttering the space, it will ultimately lead to you decluttering your life.

Start with one room

How and where to begin can be daunting. The best tip on where to begin is the bathroom. In there are easy yes’s and no’s, such as throwing out old shampoo bottles, the broken hairdryer, expired makeup, and unnecessary old bath-time toys. Starting small and clearing out one room will show you that you can do this, and will help to build momentum so that you can move onto another room tomorrow. Work with the idea that these old things in the clutter have served their purpose. If you have not used it in the past six months, it has served its purpose.

This philosophy will help to give you permission to let things go and will let you move through conflicting emotions. It is common for people to feel some guilt when throwing out things. Lean into that feeling and sit with it for a while to understand where these emotions may be coming from. This emotional attachment and guilty feelings add more stress. Give yourself judgment-free permission to let it go.

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life. So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist. Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Podcast Transcription

[VERONICA]: Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts that changed the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Imperfect Thriving, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network. Have you ever thought, how did I manage to lose myself? Being a mom is so hard, especially when we’re feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create this perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your marriage and your kids, without the stress perfectionism brings. I am going to teach you how to identify who you are, outside of all of the roles you play. Hi, I’m Veronica Cisneros. I’m a wife, mother of three, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I am on a mission to teach women just like you how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl gang. Hey ladies, welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host, Veronica Cisneros. Today’s guest is the host of The Purpose Show, a top-rated podcast, and she’s also the creator of online courses that have earned her international attention for her fresh, practical lifestyle strategies for moms. Known as the Life Minimalist, she encourages and inspires women to pursue abundant life by creating space for what matters most. So, please help me by welcoming Allie Casazza. Hey, Allie. [ALLIE]: Hi, thank you so much for having me on. I’m super excited to talk with you. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. So, I was, like, totally reading your bio, and I’m like, we’re totally neighbors because I also live, like, wine country’s right in my backyard. [ALLIE]: Really? [VERONICA]: Yeah. For real. [ALLIE]: Like, Southern California Wine Country? [VERONICA]: Yeah, I’m in Temecula. [ALLIE]: Oh my gosh. Okay, we obviously have to have lunch. [VERONICA]: Duh. [ALLIE]: I had no idea. That’s so random. [VERONICA]: Right. Well, I’m so super excited to have you on. I made sure to go ahead and do a whole background history of you and just really get a feel of what you do for women, and it’s absolutely amazing. [ALLIE]: Thank you. [VERONICA]: I am so inspired by, like, your authenticity, and there’s a couple episodes that you had recorded and you were just sharing about your life and, like, you know, times where it got really difficult with marriage and just being a mom overall, and it really resonated with me, and I really, really appreciate how raw and open you are. [ALLIE]: Thank you so much. Yeah, that’s something that I’ve carried with me over the years of growing what I have now, in my business and even in my personal life, and I think one thing that’s hard about it is some people can’t handle it, or something. Like, they feel like, “If you’re being like that, then now I’m convicted, because something that you said really struck a chord with me and now I feel like I have to change this thing that you shared, you were struggling with, you called me out by calling yourself out” and it’s funny because I don’t know you, like, I didn’t know you were there. I don’t know, I’m just sharing. Because sometimes it can be difficult, I don’t even know if what I said makes sense, but in my experience, that’s kind of the reaction I get sometimes, when it’s negative it’s very, like, people get, like, upset that I’m calling myself out and just being honest, and they’re like, “Well, now you called me out, and I feel like I have to change this, and how dare you” and it gets real. [VERONICA]: Well, the thing that happens is, in that moment, somebody is experiencing, the person you’re talking about, is experiencing a level of insecurity that was just exposed. And you’re right on when you say like, “Dude, I wasn’t even talking about you, I was totally, like, just reflecting back and sharing my experience”, but it provides them with this sense of shame and guilt. And when we’re exposed, when that feeling of insecurity is exposed, we don’t know what to do with it. So, right away, we go to, like, whatever defense mechanisms we have, which is like, “Well, I have to throw it back on you because it’s your fault.” [ALLIE]: Right. [VERONICA]: Yeah. [ALLIE]: Totally. [VERONICA]: Totally. So, I know about you because of the research I’ve done. However, can you give us a little bit about, like, your story? Because I definitely want our audience to hear about you. [ALLIE]: Yeah, for sure. So, what I do in my business is, I really am helping women lighten, I always say like, you know, I’m here to lighten your load, because it goes through everything; I can do that in business, I can do that in your home, I can do that in your motherhood and marriage and relationships, like, I’m here to help you lighten your load, wherever it feels really heavy. And where it feels heavy is gonna kind of change and shift as life goes on and as you evolve as a person. So, what it started with was decluttering, like, physically decluttering your home, in my life, that literally shifted everything for me, which is so funny because you would never think that getting rid of excess like crap in your closets would change your entire life. It just, you know, it feels good. It feels good to have less to clean, it just feels good. But it really, I mean, it really did. At that point in my life, this was about maybe about eight years ago, at the time that we’re recording this, that at this point in my life when I had three babies under three, and I was home all the time by myself. My husband is a gem of a human being and he was working his butt off at a crappy job to make ends meet, he was gone about 14-hour days, six days a week. We never saw each other, and I was at home. Honestly, I was truly struggling and truly miserable. I woke up every morning with this feeling of dread. And at this point, I had no idea just about, like, abundant life and experiencing joy and that, you know, we are deserving of joy. We are joy, we’re just not opening up to that, and I had no idea of any of these things that I’ve learned, you know, since then. And so, I was just waking up with this feeling of dread, kind of reacting to my kids, reacting to my day, reacting at everything in my life, instead of coming from this place of openness and joy and responding. And so, I was not the mom I wanted to be. I was snapping at my kids, I was nagging at my husband all the time, like, I literally was the picture of the woman that I had always sworn I would never become. I was so ashamed; I really carried a lot of shame in those days. And so, very long story short, I really kind of had this, you know, kind of, like, a come-to-Jesus moment where I just was in my bathroom on the floor, crying, and just, like, I’m done, like, I don’t want to do this, what is wrong with me? What am I missing? Like, God? Are you even there? What do I do here? Like, what am I doing wrong? Because this is what I always wanted in my life – to marry my husband, to have kids, to have a great life, but there’s this void, this lack of fulfillment, this depressive cloud hanging over me. I was about to go to the doctor and get medication for my depression which, you know, if that’s what you need there’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what I needed. I had this, like, situational depression, and I knew that I wasn’t sick, just because I was sick. I knew there was a cause, a root, and I didn’t want to mask it, I wanted to pull it out. And so, I really had that moment, and this is just how God works with me. My thoughts were immediately redirected. It wasn’t me, like, I think this is how we get spoken to in this way. My thoughts were, like, immediately redirected to, like, what exactly are you doing in your days? And I could see myself, like, I almost had this, it was very much a spiritual moment, it was so much, I’ll never forget it. And I could see myself going through my day, reacting, reacting, cleaning up stuff I didn’t even need, snapping at the kids to get out of my way so I could catch up on housework, like, constantly just reacting in my day, and I just saw myself doing that and I realized, like, I have so much in my life that is so unnecessary, I don’t even need it or want it, it’s in my way, it’s blocking my purpose. [VERONICA]: Yeah. [ALLIE]: And it was very therapeutic and symbolic for me to get up off that bathroom floor, wipe my tears, I finished the day with the kids, I got them in bed early after dinner, and I physically purged my space. It was very therapeutic, super symbolic, and that night I stayed up almost all night just gutting my house. And honestly, there was just piles of junk in every closet, every drawer, and so I continued to do that over the next few weeks, and my life completely lightened. My depression lifted and it didn’t come back, I didn’t feel that way anymore. I started to notice that I was just happier, I felt lighter, I was praying more, meditating more, taking walks with my kids, I felt excited about my life, I started to blog and that blog turned into this empire that brought my husband out of his crappy job and is creating jobs for other people. Like, it literally changed everything, and so, it’s this idea of what is essential? What do you need? What lights you up? Why do you even have anything else in your way? Why do you have a bunch of crap that so-and-so relative gave you for your wedding and you’re afraid to get rid of it because you’ll hurt their feelings? It’s in your frickin way. What takes up your space takes up your time. Like, same in your business; Why are you doing things the complicated way? What if it was fun and easy and light? Do it that way, screw all the, like, complicated formulas. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. [ALLIE]: I mean, this really goes for everything. It goes for wellness, it goes for marriage, it goes for relationships, it goes for everything. [VERONICA]: Yeah. How do we get there when we’re feeling invisible? How do we get there when we’re slaves to the checklist? You know, you had this moment where you’re in the bathroom, you know, you’re on the fence about going to, you know, a psychiatrist or maybe even your doctor to get medication, and you’re here, in this space, recognizing all of these things are happening, and acknowledging that this isn’t the life you want to live. For some women, it’s letting go and accepting that and moving forward that they’re just so fearful of, and I hear it so many times, I hear it in my private practice, I hear it with women I coach, “The minute I let go of this, well then I go down this path of uncertainty and that’s too damn scary. So, I’m just going to continue to be imprisoned.” [ALLIE]: Well, I think, like, what you said first really stood out to me; when you feel invisible, like, what do you do? And I think that it resonated with me because that is how I felt, and I’ve actually never put it that way, but that is exactly how I felt. And I think when you feel invisible, you have to first see yourself. And I think what that looks like, cuz I don’t want that to sound like some fluffy, cute cliché, like, I think what that means is, we suppress so much. We suppress, we push through, we have to get it together, we have to stop shitting around, we have to go, go, go, go, go. That’s what most women feel, that pressure, and it comes from the outside, but it mostly comes from our own selves. And so, when you stop, like, there is so much power in pause, and you look at yourself, and you admit where you are, and you get honest with yourself, “This is how I’m feeling. I am broken. I am a shell of the person I want to be. I’m so far away from where I want to be. I don’t even know how I would get up from here, let alone make it as far as I think I should be right now. I’m so behind.” You just admit. It’s this, like, pause and admission that makes you see your own self, when you do that for yourself. That’s what I did on the bathroom floor. That’s what was happening. It wasn’t even just, like, “God, help me”, it was an admission of what I was suppressing and ignoring for so long. It’s like sweeping a dead body under the rug, like, there’s a giant bulge, like, you know there’s something there, you can’t walk around it and host a party around it. You have to get the root problem out. You have to stop avoiding. You have to admit and see yourself. No one’s coming to get you, no one’s gonna see you if you don’t see yourself. [VERONICA]: Bingo. [ALLIE]: And so, yeah. That’s the main thing, I think, the first step, if anyone’s listening and feeling like, you know, before-Allie is resonating more than after-Allie, you know, so to speak, to really make it black and white like that. [VERONICA]: Yeah. [ALLIE]: Then I think you have to first see yourself. [VERONICA]: I think another thing, too, that… because listening to your story, in so many ways, I can relate. I’ve been, you know, I’ve been in my bathroom, looking at my mirror, and saying, “Who the hell are you?” and “How did you get here?” you know, “How are you, you know, 15 pounds heavier?” “How are you, you know, with your mom bun?” – not that there’s anything wrong with a mom bun because I’m wearing one right now – but just, like, where that was like it, that’s as far as I went. The sweats, like, the yoga pants. [ALLIE]: Right. [VERONICA]: I was just a shell. Would you agree that that reset, that pause, has to happen more than once? [ALLIE]: Absolutely, yes. [VERONICA]: You have your a-ha moment, right? You have your a-ha moment, and then, I was actually talking about it today, you know, with, I need to reset, I’m recognizing that all of these things are happening, and it’s literally consuming me. And so, I have to reset right now. I have to go out and share and process what I’m experiencing with somebody that supports me, not somebody that’s going to judge me. And I really have to just ride this wave of discomfort, because if I don’t, I’m just going to fall deeper and deeper into this hole. How do you do that in your life? [ALLIE]: Yeah, I think it’s such a good point to say that it has to happen over and over, and I think that it’s the level of how bad it is or how much you need it that changes. So, it’s not like, “I fixed my life, and I never have to go back there again”. Absolutely, I have, but it hasn’t been at that level again. And so, you level up and you move on and you evolve. And then you kind of, like, “Oh wait, I’m kind of running myself into a ditch here again, what needs to be pruned? What do I need to let go of?” [VERONICA]: Bingo. [ALLIE]: Yeah. And so, I think really, like, really coming back to, it’s how you feel. I think that, again, it goes back to suppressing our feelings. Our feelings are so important. Your body will speak to you. When you start to have, you know, I was speaking with a woman the other day and she was telling me about how she has, like, irritable bowel issues and she was, like, just talking and talking, “Oh, I’m so sensitive to food, but no doctor can figure it out” and I was talking with her, we ended up landing on, she is anxious. She has anxiety because she’s overdoing it, she’s running herself into the ground, and the only reason I noticed it is because she is me at different points in my life. And when she feels, you know, on Tuesdays, she would always say, “I always get really bad tummies on Tuesdays.” / “Well, what are you doing on Tuesdays?” / “Well, that’s my really, really busy workday.” / “Okay, this is emotional, like, your body is talking to you.” So, our bodies talk to us, our minds are always racing, and we’re trying to get these messages, and we just suppress, suppress, suppress because the calendar is full, we have to move forward, things have to get done, and we have to carry everybody else. And it’s such a lie. It’s such BS. It doesn’t need to be that way unless you say it does, so stop saying it does and listen to your body. Tune into how you’re feeling. So, for me, it’s about, okay, I, you know, notice how I’m speaking, I notice how I feel like everything is energy, everything is vibrating. How are you vibrating? Are you low? Are you high? Where are you at? Everything is energy. How is your energy today? If it’s low, it’s not just because I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. There is something going on, even if it’s small, like, practicing EFT, tapping, like, leaning into where am I at? How am I feeling? And then, “Okay, I feel like there’s some negativity here. I’m feeling really stressed. I noticed that I looked at my calendar for tomorrow and I felt the feeling of dread and avoidance.” Why? What is it? And lean into it, and then make decisions out of that, like, it’s the simplest things, like realizing, “I have an interview tomorrow with this podcast, and I just I looked at their message and I just really don’t feel aligned with it.” Cancel the interview, like, whatever it is, you can even continue and you can show up to something you were previously dreading just because you worked through the emotions and you realize there was, like, a limiting belief or a thought or a worry that was blocking you from enjoying your day tomorrow. Like, does that make sense? It’s really all about coming back to your feelings. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. I agree. Being able to identify what you’re feeling emotionally, what your physical sensation is, and being able to go ahead and lean into the insecurities and challenge those thoughts. 100%. I love that you used EFT, emotionally focused therapy, like, being able to go ahead and tap into your body and what you’re really experiencing and giving yourself permission to say no, no. So, the life of a minimalist… Like, where do we start? [ALLIE]: So, for me, I think, because this is the thing that bothers me about minimalism and the minimalist community. It’s like, minimalism for the sake of minimalism. It’s less for the sake of less. It’s like, “Look at me, I only have three pairs of jeans: black skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, and bell bottoms. And that’s it. And I’m amazing. And if you have more than this, then you’re not doing it right.” This is why like, a lot of people in that community don’t really like me very much, and that’s okay, because to me, like, who cares? [VERONICA]: Yeah. [ALLIE]: Literally, I don’t give a rip about stuff, or how much there, or the numbers, like, I don’t care, because minimalism, for me, is only a means to an end. It’s a way for me to get to more abundant life, to more focus on what matters to me, to more energy and time and space for my kids, for my business, for my purpose, for the reason I’m here. I don’t care how many things I have. I don’t care. I know that I can decide, is this worth time for me? What takes up your space takes up your time, so is this worth it to me? Yes, it is. No, that’s not. And it’s gonna look different for every person. So, I think when we talk about minimalism, we first have to deal with the internal stuff, the ‘why’, the foundation of it all, like, again, let’s go back to feeling. How do you feel about your home? Do you feel like it’s taking up way more time than it’s worth? Most people pay the most money in their monthly budget to the place they live, whether it’s through rent or a mortgage, typically, that’s what people do. You’re paying the most amount of money that you spend, typically, in your budget, on the place you live in. Do you even like it there? Like, is it even serving you? Is your house working with you or against you? Like if it’s taking time and taking energy from you and it’s a constant maintenance game, something has to give. You got too much stuff, and you got to decide what you want with your time and the days we have here on this earth. So, it’s so much deeper than just, “This is how many books you should have” and “This is how to line up your vegetables and your crisper so that it looks really aesthetically pleasing”, like, I don’t care. I just want to live on purpose. [VERONICA]: Bingo. I think that’s also the three jeans, the everything-being-aesthetically-pleasing, that’s a check in the box, and it’s a complete band-aid, and you’re still not gonna live the way you want to live. I guess, the only example I could really give is, we had our house completely done by an interior designer, and I remember when all of us – I have three girls – so, when we all came in, it was like, “Don’t touch anything!” Because, you know, it’s like, white and creams, and it’s like, “Oh, crap.” You know, she knew we had three kids. And then I realized, wait a minute, you know, my kids, my little Brookie, my monkey feet, she has this chair that she always sits on – mind you, the chair’s, like, a year or two old – and there’s already a tear, and I remember getting so upset because it’s like, “Oh my god, this is the furniture and it’s new, and I don’t want to talk about how much it costs for this dang chair.” And I remember cleaning up my house and realizing, holy crap, you know, she’s nine, but when she’s like 19 and she’s moving, like, I want that chair there. I want that rip there. And it’s just, I don’t know, it’s my home. She’s a part of it. You know, I think about like the batches of stuff that you know, we have along the house and I’ll be the first one to admit, I have, like, sections in my house where there’s like a bundle of crap that I will eventually get to, but that’s, like, totally a lie, and when you’re saying, you know, yes, we can clean it up, but there’s something that we’re avoiding, hence the whole reason why there’s that batch of, you know, unopened mail or, you know, folders of things that you need to file or, you know, memories or things like that. Why do you think that is? And I’m putting myself underneath the bus? Why do you think that is? That we have all of these sections of where we don’t want them, they’re there as a reminder, eventually we’re going to put them away. Why do you think we do that? [ALLIE]: I think it’s because humans always opt for the path of least resistance, and deciding, amongst everything else that you have going on, right, deciding to sit down and go through and make decisions, like, decisions are exhausting and we already make, I forget how many decisions it is a day, but there’s already a ton of decisions a day, and moms get even more, like, and then business owners get even more. You and I are all of those things, we have the most decisions to make. And the other thing, too, that I want to say is, like, just to give everyone a giant scoop full of grace. These are not just, like, can I have cereal? Yes or no? Like, the decisions that I make in my day are really big. There’s the little ones, and there’s also like, “Hey, we got this…” like, this happened the other week, “… we got this message from a white supremacist and this is what she said. How do you want us as your team to respond?” Like, I don’t give a rip about the corner full of clutter right now, like, I’m dealing with, I mean, we’re running companies, we’re raising the next generation, I am cultivating a happy marriage with my husband, like, there’s a lot going on. And so, of course not. Of course we don’t care, of course we want to just avoid it. But we have to look at, especially like, from a business perspective, like, I’m always looking at, like, what’s the return on investment of everything I do, not just with, like, investments and money and business, but time and energy, like I am a well of energy, and I have so much time in the day, and I know that my energy is sacred and to be protected. So, how can I get most done with the energy I have for today? Where does it need to go? Do I need to quiet work and focus on my family? Like, do I need to do the opposite? Like, what needs to happen? And so, when we declutter, you have to understand the massive ROI that happens when you get rid of stuff. Studies show us that it literally can cause depression to have clutter around your home. It is literally making us sick. It’s not good for us. Look up the study that was done by the UCLA center for families. They did a study on women and they did a saliva swab and tested their cortisol levels and found that their level of cortisol – the stress hormone – was literally equal as they had more clutter in their home. So, the more clutter a person has, the higher her cortisol was, and when the clutter went away it lowered. It’s literally connected, especially for us women, because we are intuitive, we feel, we know, our brains are like spaghetti noodles; everything is wrapped up in itself. So, if you have a cluttered bedroom, do you really think you’re gonna be, like, super turned on and, like, ready for intimacy with your husband all the time? No! [VERONICA]: Yeah. [ALLIE]: A guy probably could, but you’re not, because you’re spaghetti and you’re amazing and intuitive and you feel everything. So, we have to look at the return on investment when we say, “You know what, today, I’m doing this. I’m getting rid of this pile. I’m gonna pour myself a glass of wine, turn on Netflix, and, like, make it a date with myself to clear clutter out of my home and out of my life, and it is going to lighten me and I am going to be a better person tomorrow.” [VERONICA]: Bingo. [ALLIE]: Literally, that’s what it’s doing. And yeah. Just do it. Make it and decide what you want. Decide that you’re not okay with status quo. Because most people have clutter in their homes. Most people have, you know, giant houses full of crap they don’t even need or want, plus a storage unit, plus junk in the trunk of their car. They open the car and, just, shit spills out everywhere. Like, this is status quo. This is normal. So, it’s allowed, it’s okay. But is that what you want? You want to be status quo? You want to settle? You want to have your brain foggy when you’re building a company and raising kids and you’ve got a purpose on this earth? Like, no! Show up for your life. Get rid of the stuff that’s bogging you down. That’s what we’re focused on. It’s not about the clutter in the corner, it’s about your life. [VERONICA]: Yes. I love that you said that, showing up and paying attention to your ROI, your return of investment. I love the example that you gave. Hey ladies, if you’re enjoying this episode, stop what you’re doing, take a screenshot, and share it on your social media. Do not forget to tag me. I will share your share on my Instagram stories. I absolutely love hearing from you all and seeing the positive changes you are making in your life. So, okay, we’re watching Netflix, we have that glass of wine, we start to go ahead and work on what section? Because, I know for most of us moms, we start working on one section, a kid calls us, then all of a sudden we’re helping them clean up their room, and then all of a sudden we end up, “Holy crap, it’s dinnertime”, we’re downstairs, we get a phone call… like, how do we stay in one section and why is it important that we stay there, complete it, and then move forward? [ALLIE]: Well, okay, first of all, it’s important because if you don’t, like, you just said what’s going to happen, and we all know that’s true. And then there’s going to be piles, it’s going to be out, somebody walks in, “Oh, I’ve been looking for this toy that I haven’t cared about since I was zero, but all of a sudden, it’s the most important thing in the world to me, and I want to keep it.” Like, you know, it just gets undone. So, we have to treat this like anything else. And this doesn’t need to get blown out of proportion, or perfectionistic, like, let’s just treat it like anything else. If you have a deadline on a work project that you’re passionate about, what do you do? You probably put your phone on Do Not Disturb, you probably shut all the other windows on your computer, you probably turn on some music or something in the background that’s gonna help you focus, and you enjoy just getting it done. And the kids are not allowed to interrupt you. This is mom time, like, you’ve set boundaries and parameters around it, whatever that looks like for the season of life you’re in. [VERONICA]: Yeah. [ALLIE]: So, do that. It will get done so fast if you just do that. And then, in terms of where to start, you know, if you’ve got a pile somewhere that’s bothering you, it’s okay to just start there, but create enjoyment. Like, I’m all about creating enjoyment and rituals that make us look forward to things that aren’t the funnest thing in the world. So, that’s why I mentioned, like, get the glass of wine, like, play music, turn on The Office, like, whatever you need to do to just enjoy it and make it something for yourself. Like, this is self-love, to clear clutter is self-love, and you’re making more space for what matters the most to you. You are literally taking that priority list that you say you live by, but you really haven’t been… more, you say your priorities are, you know, your husband, your kids, your business, whatever, but really, your priorities are everybody else’s feelings, what’s happening on Instagram, like, we know what our priorities really are. When you declutter, you are literally aligning your days with that priority list that you really want to be your priority list. So, make this an act of ritual, like, make it happy and enjoy it. But if you don’t have a specific pile, like the one you mentioned, and you kind of just feel like, “I’m overwhelmed, like, Allie doesn’t realize how bad my house is, she would freak out if she saw it. I’m so embarrassed.” Start in the bathroom. The bathroom is the best place to start, because it’s not full of sentimental items, like, it’s easy yeses and noes, it’s old makeup, you know, a broken hairdryer that you felt weird throwing out for some reason, like, it’s momentum. You can easily build momentum and know, you know, “Good job. I did it. I cleared clutter. I made myself lighter. I’m more focused on what matters just a little bit, but I am more focused.” And you get that momentum, that feel-good, endorphin rush to keep going to another area tomorrow. [VERONICA]: One thing you have said in the past, I don’t remember when you said it, but you had said, “It has served its purpose”. And for some reason, the minute you said, “It has served its purpose”, I thought of all of the things that I have in my garage and it was like, holy crap, it’s served its purpose, I can let it go. I don’t have to carry it. And it wasn’t necessarily, you know, mom guilt, it was more of, well, this is just the way it happens. You have a whole bunch of crap in your garage, you know, and that’s just where we store everything. And I realized, well, wait a minute, no. It has served its purpose. So, when my husband tells me he’s going to the junkyard and he’s going to drop everything off, and no, we’re not going to try to sell it on whatever because that never happens. [ALLIE]: No. [VERONICA]: It’s just gonna be gone, or we’re going to donate it, or family’s going to come over and they’re just going to have a field day with whatever is back there, whatever is in there, but it was like, holy crap. I love that analogy. It’s served its purpose. Why do you use that? [ALLIE]: Because people struggle with guilt. They struggle with it. You know, I actually really resonate with this because of my past of being so broke and living beneath US poverty line, like, that was really, really, really, really hard. It really sucked. And so of course, like, I resonate with people that are, like, “Well, what if I have to buy it again?” Even now that I’m not financially there anymore, I have those, like, kind of, like, little triggers, like, little trauma triggers, and it’s real and you’re allowed to feel those things. You’re a human being, it’s okay. But, when we feel those things, we have to peel back for a second and ask, “Is this serving me? Is it serving me to allow my trauma, my financial reality as it is right now, to affect how much time and energy I have for the people in my life? Is that what Want?” No, it’s not. So, it’s not serving you anymore. So, then we have to shift the perspective from lack and scarcity and “what if I have to buy this again?” and “I can’t afford that.” and “Will this cost me $50?” and “I just feel so wasteful.” Waste, waste, waste. Maybe you were wasteful when you bought that item because you didn’t actually use it and that’s where the guilt trips are coming from. [VERONICA]: Yes, yes. [ALLIE]: Then be real with yourself, like, “I’m not wasting this by clearing it from my life so I can live better. I wasted money when I bought it. Lesson learnt. Thank you for this lesson. I will be more mindful. Donate.” And then if it’s not that way, it’s just that you used it, you just don’t like getting rid of stuff. That is some serious internal issue that’s got to be dealt with. Why are you not letting go of things? Why do you feel like you need to keep everything? Go back to your childhood, look at your parents. how did they handle stuff? Is there any money stories? Is there anything there? Because everything is happening for us, right? [VERONICA]: Absolutely. [ALLIE]: It’s not happening to us, it’s happening for us. So, what can you learn from this? This is why, like, I’m so sick of the typical minimalism culture. It is so deep, and no one is talking about it like this. This is so much deeper. This is a money story, this is a limiting belief, and if you can allow this item in your garage that you’re struggling with to unlock this door to these stories and you can rewrite them, you literally can create more money, more abundance, more joy, more time, more energy in your life, and that is very, very, very heavy and good. So, when you’re looking at that item, asking, “Why am I struggling with this?” And I say what I say about “It’s served its purpose” because, usually, that’s the tipping point for somebody to really understand like, hey, money comes in and money goes out on the things that we need. You bought this, you used it, it’s served its purpose. You no longer need it, because you’re a human being and you’re evolving as you go and as you grow and get older, so it’s served its purpose and that’s what you bought it for. There’s no guilt in letting it go to somebody else now, like, you have to look at it for what it really is. [VERONICA]: Absolutely, and the emotional attachment that you have towards the item, it sounds like, only provides you with more stress, anxiety, and all other emotions, maybe resentment, you know, because it’s like, “Dammit, I shouldn’t have paid this amount for this item and I never used it”, feeling, you know, like how you said feeling guilty for making that purchase… Really being able to go out and challenge that and allow yourself to give yourself permission to let it go. In return, what are you teaching your children? You know, by doing all of these great things, with letting things go, and recognizing, okay, maybe that wasn’t a wise purchase and, you know, this has served its purpose. I’m ready to, you know, remove it from the house and organize this. You’re now teaching your children some form of structuring discipline, which they will be better for, versus you carrying around all of this resentment, which it sounds like is happening. [ALLIE]: Exactly. People don’t realize. They just feel a negative emotion, it kind of, like, I feel like it kind of happens subconsciously. It’s not, like, a conscious thought where you realize, “I can’t believe I’m thinking all these things about this stupid item.” Like, it’s all subconscious, so you have to lean into it to notice it, and I think it’s important to give it a name and recognize, “What is this emotion that I’m feeling? Where is it coming from? What part of my story is this stemming from?” And then, yeah, you can pass on this healthy approach to material items to your kid. Because, as a minimalist, I’m not teaching my kids that things are bad. “Be careful when you buy things!” Like, things are fine. Things are to be enjoyed, like, enjoy your life. But, why? Why are you buying it? Why are you struggling to let it go? So, it’s something that we need to teach ourselves and then we can pass it on, and I hope the next generation is much more mindful about their thing. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, one question – we’re going to go ahead and wrap up – that I love to ask all my guests is, what are you personally doing, Allie, right now to live the life you want to live? [ALLIE]: Oh, that’s such a good question. So, right now, I have been, just, kind of, like, how can I describe this? In the last, like, year, I’ve been wanting to shift my business and talk more about business and really unleash all this stuff about living this abundant life as it pertains to those of us who are moms and run businesses as well. And I’ve been holding myself back because, well, like, I built this business and it’s about minimalism, and home, and motherhood, and it’s not going to go well, and I’ll just keep it to my private clients. And then, I really have ditched it. I really have just shaken it off. I created my business membership – I’m in launch right now, as we’re recording – and it’s so good to get women in there, it feels so good, it’s so aligned, like we’ve been talking about; I leaned into the stories I was telling myself about that and I rewrote them and uprooted what needed to be uprooted and just opened up to what it was that I was feeling aligned with and really wanting, and just did it. And have I lost followers that only want me to talk about home? Yeah, sure. But I’ve also gained thousands of women who are so thankful for my approach to business, because it is different. And the thing that’s pulling at you is always the next right step, and I stopped suppressing that and opened up to it. So, it’s been really, really good. [VERONICA]: Oh, I love that. I love that. This is always great to hear, when women are just going after, you know, although you’ve done this for so long, being able to go out and pivot into something new, I love that. [ALLIE]: Yeah. [VERONICA]: Right, second question. What advice would you give to the mom who feels stressed and disconnected if she was, like, literally standing right in front of you? [ALLIE]: You’ve got to get into your feelings. We’re going to go back to that, it’s always going to go back to that with me. Because you have been trained to suppress and we have to untrain ourselves, just stop suppressing, and notice, like, I would tell you: go in your closet, stand in your bathroom, take a shower, whatever you need to do, go for a walk, go for a drive, and breath, and just focus on your breathing for, like, a minute and then ask the question, “What am I feeling in my life right now?” And immediately, even as I say it to you, I can feel things coming up. And right now, they’re good, but sometimes, they’re not good. So, just asking that question, you unlock a door and you allow your inner self to feel and you give yourself permission that you needed to be a human and to feel things and notice that. Then, from there, you can kind of ask, “Do I need to make any decisions? Do I need to prune anything from my life?” Like, “Do I need to have a conversation with somebody?” And you’re just giving yourself permission to be a human being. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. You’ve given us, like, so many crazy tools and steps to go ahead and start moving forward and implementing them into our life. I have to ask you, how can we find you, first? And then I’ll go to the freebie. [ALLIE]: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think, you know, the best place to connect with me, and I do have someone on my team that helps me answer all my DMs, but to connect with me and see what I’m doing day-to-day and kind of get a taste for what I’m about, is probably going to be Instagram. So, if you just search Allie Casazza on there, it’ll come up. I’m the one with the blue badge. There was some crazies doing some weird stuff with other pages recently, but that one’s me. And yeah, I mean, my website, if you want resources, you can go to my website, but to connect, I would really send everyone to Instagram. [VERONICA]: Awesome. So, what freebie will you be giving? [VERONICA]: Okay, so, I was thinking about this as we were talking, and this is what I’m feeling that all you amazing, beautiful listeners need. I’m going to create a landing page and I’m going to have decluttering freebies for you. And then I’m going to have a business freebie for you as well, and you can just kind of take your journey, take them both. The business one is normally like 30 bucks, but I’m going to make sure it’s for free for you guys. And I just want you to know, like, wherever you are, however you’re feeling, whatever has been a struggle for you, like, you are not alone. Like, you are not the first person to deal with this. You are not going to be the last. So, if you can overcome this in yourself, and you can lean into your feelings and get to a better place in your life, not only are you going to step into more abundance, but you’re going to learn lessons that you can pass on to other women who will be drawn to you, that need for you to share that lesson you learned in yourself. So, keep going, keep showing up, like, you’re already doing an amazing job and it’s only better from here. [VERONICA]: Allie, like, I totally fell in love with you right now. I love this. [ALLIE]: Thank you! [VERONICA]: And we’re totally going out. [ALLIE]: Yes, oh my God, please. [VERONICA]: Thank you so much. You’ve given so much information, like I’m looking at the pile right here to the right and it’s like, alright, you’re getting done. I’m feeling motivated. [ALLIE]: Good! Good, good, good. [VERONICA]: Thank you so much for coming on. [ALLIE]: Thank you for having me. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. What’s up, ladies? Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you, guys. Many women lose their own identity in the shadow of being a mom and a wife. We are a community of women who support each other. We leave perfectionism behind to become empowered and unapologetic. I know you’re ready for the next steps. If you want to become empowered and unapologetic, get my free course, Unapologetically Me, over at empoweredandunapologetic.com/course. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests, are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

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I'm Veronica, your new relationship mentor with no filter and no BS.

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

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