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How do I live with LESS with KIDS?

 

As we approach the holidays, I have the perfect guest here to share all things intentional living and minimalism!

Deanna Yates is the founder and CEO of Wannabe Clutter Free and the host of the popular podcast, the Wannabe Minimalist Show, where she helps busy families learn how to let go of the stuff holding them back so they can enjoy more time together, stop spending their weekends cleaning house, and wake up excited for the day ahead.

IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVERED...

  • Deanna's journey to becoming a "wannabe minimalist"
  • What it looks like to create an intentional lifestyle that meets your values + family's needs
  • Why you do not need to get rid of everything to be a minimalist

And the power + freedom that comes with living with LESS!

DON'T MISS-

  • How you can use a vacation to create your capsule wardrobe
  • The routines she swears by to keep life running smoothly
  • Her favorite ways to help kids declutter

 

// CONNECT WITH DEANNA YATES//
Website: wannabeclutterfree.com
IG: @wannabeclutterfree
Podcast: Wannabe Minimalist Show

I believe in you & I'm cheering you on.
Come say hi!  I'm @parent_wholeheartedly on Insta.

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*FREE* MASTERCLASS: Learn how to CONFIDENTLY parent your strong-willed child WITHOUT threats, bribes or giving in altogether so you can BREAK FREE of power struggles + guilt
www.parentingwholeheartedly.com/unapologetic 

 


TRANSCRIPT


Deanna Yates:  

Really, I think the essence of it is just letting go of the stuff that you know you don't love. The stuff that makes you feel guilty, the stuff that makes you feel bad, the stuff that just makes you go in, you know, life is too short to feel EH. I don't wanna feel EH, I want to feel awesome! And so this can be physical stuff. I think that's what we usually think, right? Most of us think of the physical stuff, the clothes, the mugs, the papers, the kids toys, all of the physical stuff. But we can also do it with emotional stuff with relationships. It doesn't do us any good to dwell on negative thoughts, or to keep negative people in our lives. We take on these tendencies about, you know, people around us, when we live around healthier people, we are healthier, when we live around happier people, we are happier. And so it's important to know that stuff isn't just physical. And so you need to just really think about the kind of life you want to be living and be willing to minimize those relationships.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean? I have too much anxiety. Not enough patience. Too much yelling, not enough play. There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. This is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up. And you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann. And each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities, her fears, your failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough and you're not alone. I hope you pop in your buds somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend. We're so glad you're here. Hey, it's Danielle. As we approach the holidays, I have the perfect guest in which I got to pepper with questions about all things intentional living and minimalism. Deanna Yates is the founder and CEO of Wannabe Clutter Free and host of the popular podcast, the Wannabe Minimalist Show, where she helps busy families learn how to let go of the stuff holding them back so they can enjoy more time together, stop spending their weekends cleaning house and wake up excited for the day ahead. Deanna's podcast is packed with helpful advice, tips and tricks. I was on it as well. And her course, helpful guides and free giveaways have helped 1000s of women all over the world discover the freedom that comes from living clutter free. In this episode, I get to dive into the whole backstory behind Deanna's journey from overwhelm to becoming a wannabe minimalist. We covered how she used a vacation to create her dream capsule wardrobe and how you can too, the routines she created that were a game changer day to day, why you don't need to get rid of everything to be a minimalist, how to live with less with kids, and help them declutter too, and the power and freedom that comes from living with less. Deanna was one of those people I could talk to you for hours. I'm so glad to share her story here because I truly feel like she is a relatable example of what it looks like to slowly but surely create a more simple, sustainable and intentional lifestyle that truly meets your values and your family's needs. Now let's jump into this episode with Deanna. Welcome to Failing Motherhood. My name is Danielle Bettmann. And on today's episode, I'm joined by Deanna Yates. Hi Deanna. How are you?

Deanna Yates:  

Hi, Danielle. Oh my gosh, I'm super excited to be here. This is a lot of fun.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yes, we just talked two days ago on your podcast. And so we're just continuing the conversation over here on Failing Motherhood and I'm so excited.

Deanna Yates:  

Yeah, me too. We couldn't stop talking. So I'm just excited that we get to do this again.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yes, yes, we already decided offline. We're gonna be friends. So our girls don't know each other yet, but they'll figure it out. It'll work. So I shared your bio in the introduction, but go ahead and just introduce yourself to my audience. Who are you and who's in your family?

Deanna Yates:  

Sure. Hi, my name is Deanna Yates. And in my family, it is myself and my husband and our daughter who is nine. Yeah.

Danielle Bettmann:  

And where do you guys live?

Deanna Yates:  

We live in San Diego, California, but we have lived all over so I I'm originally from here and my husband is from Iowa. And our daughter was born in Colorado. And we have lived in five states. And we have traveled, she has traveled with us to 15 countries, and we've been to a few others without her. Yeah. Wow. And all over.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah, I'm jealous. Most of my life has been spent in the Midwest, which is not a lot to speak of. It's okay.

Deanna Yates:  

Sorry. There's, you know, yeah, we lived in the Midwest for a while. So I got you.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's got its pros and cons, like everywhere.

Deanna Yates:  

Everywhere does absolutely everywhere does. yeah,

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah, I just want to see more of the world. So that's on our bucket list. We're getting there. So I was on your podcast, the Wannabe Minimalist Show. And so I wanted to then prequalify to see if you're a good fit for our show. Have you ever felt like you were Failing Motherhood?

Deanna Yates:  

Oh, I mean, yeah, on a daily basis, right. I mean, I think that's just, I think we're our own worst critics. And so we definitely, I think are difficult on our own selves the most. But there were definitely big times in my life where I had moments of like, this cannot be all there is, this cannot be what the rest of my life is going to be like, this isn't what I thought life was going to be. And you know, even over on my website, I'm a pretty open book. So I really just tried to put it out there because I don't think it really helps when people see an image or, you know, get one persona of you, and they don't see all the stuff that has gone into it. So I mean, there was a time when I was super overwhelmed. And I couldn't get my house together. And we spent hours cleaning on the weekend, you know, we didn't have any free time, dinner was an afterthought. I was so busy and things were just going on. And so, you know, now I'm blowing my budget. And I'm stressing out and we're eating takeout. So it's not good for my wallet, for my waistline, you know, stuff was taking over. At the time, we were living in Iowa. And we were just in this cycle of letting life happen to us. Instead of taking control. We had bought a house. It was an old house, it was built in 1904. So yes, it needed a lot of work. And so we spent time fixing it up, and we were working on the yard. And so we had very little time on the weekends, you know, we would spend our weekends going to Costco and getting the stuff and fixing a project. And, you know, it just felt like it was never ending. And our daughter at the time was a toddler. So she was two and three. And you know, so she's in a busy time where she needs a lot of attention. And so I just felt pulled in so many directions. And you know, I had never been a big fan of grocery shopping. So we'll get back to buying all that takeout, right? I've never been a big fan, I'm still not a big fan. And so I put it off. And it just led me into the habit of just, oh, we'll just pick up the pizza or we'll just you know, get those burritos, we'll just go takeout or, you know, or fixing the food that just wasn't really that healthy for us. But it was prepackaged and pre made. And yeah, just started to not feel great. And we weren't diligent about what we brought into our home. Like, the really weird part about this is we had just gotten back from traveling. So prior to moving to Iowa, we had traveled for six months with our daughter. And at this point, like I said, She's two three. So we had traveled from the time she was just over a year to about a year and a half. And we traveled in Europe, we did six different countries for a month at a time. It was fabulous. We had moved from Boulder, we sold 90% of what we owned. So you're thinking like what the heck happened? Right? You know, like, here we had been I do that a lot though. I kind of pendulum swing a lot. And so we had gone from just kind of a regular, you know, life, you did the normal thing, right? You went to college, you got the job, you did the thing, we had actually started a business. So we've done a little off the path. But we got married, we had the kid, and then we looked around and went, what the heck, like we could do this from anywhere we wake up, we go to the office, which is next door like the den. And then then that's it like and then we make food and we go back to bed like yeah, we take walks outside, we go to the park, but we could do this anywhere. And so we did. But then when we came back, we just kind of settled in to the thing, you know, and we got into the trap of thinking that we needed to fill this house that we bought and you know, it just kind of it was a mess. And then all that stuff put me into a constant state of cleaning. And so yeah, did I feel like I was failing at motherhood? I sure did. And so then when I got an offer from my previous employer in Chicago to go back and open a brand new property in downtown Chicago, we leapt at it we're like yeah, it gets us out of this. It's great. Let's do it. You know, we kind of wanted something a little bit more exciting and So we went, and it was great for a little bit. But again, right, I'm pretty extreme, can you tell like I just didn't like, I'm gonna do this, don't do that. And we got smarter on the amount of stuff we had. It was a small two bedroom apartment. So we couldn't have as much stuff as we had not that that three bedroom, you know, old house for 1904 was big, but it had a basement and it had two living areas. One was a playroom and one was a front room. So you don't have a lot more rooms than we had when we moved to Chicago. And so again, you would think I finally got it together. But this is actually when I started to feel like I was failing even more. Because now all my time was spent working right now I went the other way. So instead of working from home, now I was working out of the home. And that Job was so stressful. I've gotten into like, I don't know, it was just was really stressful. And there was one time we were hosting a resident party, I remember. And these were young, like it was a lot younger, right? So here I was married with a family. And the demographic was probably 10 to 15 years younger than I was. And so they're all single, you know, and they're all mingling around, and my husband had picked up her daughter from daycare, and she just came running in and gave me the biggest hug. And you know, it's just one of those moments where like, Oh, this is awesome, I love it. And then one of the young guys said, I've never seen anyone light up and be so excited to see their child the way you are. And that was the moment where I was like, Yeah, this chasing money thing, like, this isn't what I want to be doing. Like that was what I loved, right. And that was the stuff that lit me up. And the fancy apartment and this life of you know, quote unquote, culture that we were, you know, chasing in downtown Chicago, didn't matter if I didn't get to spend it with the people that meant the most to me, in the world. And then movers broke a sprinkler head on the 19th floor, it was like the universe was like heard my heart and was like, Okay, I'm gonna give you the kick in the behind that you need to get out. And it was awful. I mean, it was. So just stressful. I've almost blacked it out. Like I almost can't believe it happened. And that we made it through it. And I mean, we had damage to over 50 apartments we had to move people in it was the middle of July, it was like the busy season, two of my three elevators were out. It was chaos. So we got through it. And I went, I'm done. Like no way, we packed up again. And we ended up this time traveling Europe for a year and a half. And that was really where I was like, Okay, I'm burned out, I have no more choice. Like I can't do this anymore, I am not going to survive. Like there were days where I would like get out of bed. And I would get her to daycare. And I would get back because we lived in the building. Like that was another thing, like I lived and worked and everything was all in one place. So I would get back and my husband would be working from home. And I would come home before I went down to the office. And I'd be like, is this really all there is like, I don't know if I can continue just going through these motions day in day out with no light at the end of the tunnel. And so you know, we kind of just as a family decided like, okay, let's figure this out. I mean, this isn't what we want life to be like, it's too short. And she's only going to be little for a little bit. And so we decided, we learned we discovered kindergarten was not required in a lot of the states that we would eventually live in Illinois, one of them California, one of them, Iowa, one of them. And so we kind of said, well, wherever our family is, and where we, you know, can see ourselves living. They don't require kindergarten. So what if we went to explore and kind of tried to find ourselves and, you know, we had work that we could do online, I'm very lucky that my husband's in it. And so he had contract work that he could do from anywhere. And that's kind of where we started to find our you know, find our mojo and get it back. So that's a really long answer to your story. But the answer is, yes. As a mother, I definitely have felt like I've failed in my life at times. Yeah. And I've also tried to redeem myself. Right, so and not stay there.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Well I think it's important to hear the whole backstory, because for everyone that has a journey towards intentionality, and minimalism and you know, just more of like the choice built into your lifestyle. I think it's for a reason and we want to be able to understand the why that way we can resonate with how you might resonate with that and what you find through that journey, because those gems are so valuable. And so for you that's what it looked like and for you know someone else it might look totally different, but eventually it brings you to a place of asking the hard questions and may making risky decisions and you know, questioning your values and your time and how you're spending it. And I think that's so powerful because without sometimes that pressure cooker of like getting to that place, you know, you end up spending decades without that level of intentionality behind it. So after you came back from traveling, how did you make the decision to like not go back to where you were in Iowa?

Deanna Yates:  

Yep. Well, let's just say I hope other people don't have to go through that entire saga to get to the life they want. I definitely don't think we have to go through the wringer. And if you do, just know that it's possible to get out. But we had to beat it on we weren't sure where we wanted to end up. And we had thought maybe we would stay in Europe, we had looked at Germany, we looked at Spain, I studied Spanish in high school, my husband studied German, and we thought, well, maybe we'd have a leg up on one language. No, anyway, that's another story. We'll go there somewhere else some other time. Okay, but you know, we ended up doing a visa reset with our friends, we had traveled from like May through September, October timeframe. And we needed to do a reset, because we only had, you know, there's only so many months, you can only stay three months in kind of the most of Europe. And we had done like Croatia and Montenegro to kind of get out of that part, but still be in Europe. And so we were like, Okay, well, we got to go back because we can't continue to stay here. So we came back for the holidays. And we met them in San Diego. They're like, You know what, we're on fall break. We're gonna go on a trip somewhere. Would you guys like to join us in San Diego? And we said, well, that sounds fun. You know, we haven't spent a ton of time there. And we absolutely fell in love with San Diego. So that was how we decided honestly, it was just kind of one of those things where you know, when you try a piece of clothing on and it just fits, and you feel amazing. That was it. Like we were just like, Okay, we've been traveling all over the world, trying to find something that would fit trying to make these, you know, pieces come together. And it's like, this place is pretty awesome. And we kind of loved it. And we wouldn't have to go through visa hoops. And we wouldn't have to, you know, go through all this stuff. And so we're like, Okay, so once that was solidified in our mind, we went back to Germany, we did go back, and then we were there for about eight months. But we knew we'd come back here eventually. But how did I not get all the stuff? Right? Well, we just like we wrote down our values, we wrote down what we really wanted out of life. And that made it easier to stop being a slave to the marketing messages. And you and I talked about this a lot like you ended up moving from your two bedroom apartment to your house. And you know, you haven't even bought much stuff. And I think we're very similar. The house we're in now it's a rental, you know, the market is crazy. I wish I could have afforded this place or bought this place 10 years ago, but that's not the life path I was on. And that's not my reality. So here we are. And I'm okay with that. So we've come to terms with that. The landlord's fantastic. I'm hoping that we'll be here until our daughter graduates high school. Honestly, she's nine. So that's like a decade, which is the longest we've ever been anywhere. And so when we tell our family and friends, they're like, Okay, yeah, sure. Let's see what happens. But I'm like, no, no, no, see it. Yeah. And so for us, this kind of feels like our forever home. And so we are trying to be very intentional about what we put in here. We've moved a couple times since coming back, because we were in different condos and stuff. And so we really didn't buy much every time we move we kind of pay attention to what we have. And we have since moving in here, we've only bought a couch and like a nice big comfy sectional couch. We bought bunk beds, like a loft bed for my daughter because her room is tiny from the last place we were at. She was not happy about that. And then I got a desk off of Craigslist that I fixed up. But those are literally the only pieces we have purchased in the nine months we've lived here. And so you know, we're just kind of making it work with the stuff we have. And just making sure that you know we wait like we don't try to make those impulse I have a lot of routines in my life now that helped me run my buys. life and my home smoothly. So remember, I hated grocery shopping. Well, I created a meal plan kind of in Germany, because you know the culture in Europe is to go grocery shopping every day. Well as somebody who hates grocery shopping, and the entire process was very stressful for me because again, I don't speak the language. The way they bag their groceries. If you've ever been to Aldi, that is how they do their groceries. You know, like after the checkout, there's nothing like there's nothing and you are in charge of bagging your own groceries and it's just like You know, they're speaking to you in German. And I'm like, I don't understand, I'm sorry, I'm really trying, you know, like, I would say one thing, like, you know, I greet them in German, and then they'd speak back to me. And I was like, I'm sorry, I don't actually speak German. And, you know, so that whole process was really stressful. I digress. But what happened was, I discovered how I could make I made like a mix and match meal plan, kind of like a capsule wardrobe. But for grocery shopping. So I would now pick very similar ingredients. So we'd get chicken and turkey and all that kind of stuff. And then I would just change the flavor every week. So one week, it would be Mexican, and when we get when we tie in, when we get would be American, and barbecue, whatever. So it just made it easier for me to shop for very similar ingredients every week, but still change up the flavor. Because I could be doing burgers on Tuesday or Taco Tuesday and burgers on Monday, and you know, that kind of stuff, and still get different flavors and not get bored with them. So those kinds of things, getting really creative about like, Okay, this is what I hate, how can I make it better. And then moving on and just trying things out for a while, cleaning routines were really great, I have a really great morning and bedtime routine, both for myself, and for my daughter, like bedtime is very important in our house, she gets a lot of sleep. And so it's really important that we do that. And these routines give me the discipline to do the things that I don't necessarily want to do. But they make my life better in the long run. So it's a little bit of that delayed gratification, you know, it's not getting to scroll my phone. But when I do that, I don't feel so great after like it didn't help me doesn't make me actually feel better in the long run. And so it's just having these routines in place where they're almost non negotiables. So I don't have to make the decision. And it's just part of what happens, it's part of my day, and they make me feel better, they move my life forward. And then I still get time to scroll Reddit or look through Instagram or whatever I want to do. Because I have built in a little bit of buffer so that I can do the things move my life forward. And actually it gives me permission to do the stuff that I you know, want to do and slack off if I want or go paddleboarding if I want or whatever it is, you know, it's just kind of gives me that space.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Hey, if you're new here, I'm Danielle. My company, Wholeheartedly, offers one-on-one and group coaching programs to help families with strong-willed kids aged one to seven, prevent tantrums, eliminate power struggles, extend their patience and get on the same page. It's kind of like finances, you can read lots of info about what a Roth IRA is and how the stock market works. But if you really want to get serious about paying down debt or growing your wealth, you go see a financial advisor who can give you very specific recommendations based on all the unique facets of your situation. I'm your financial advisor for parenting. And I've designed the way we work together to give you nothing less than a complete transformation. While we work together, I'm able to help you figure out why your child is losing their mind and why you are losing your mind and guide you to master effective long term solutions through three main focuses. Number one, my cultivating cooperation guide teaching you the tools of Positive Discipline. Number two, managing your mind by working through my triggers workbook. And number three, establishing your family's foundation by writing your family business plan. My coaching is comprehensive, practical, individualized and full of VIP support. So if you struggle to manage your child's big emotions, if you and your partner's arguments seem to center around parenting, especially if one of you is too kind and one of you is too firm. If you struggle to stay calm and be the parent that you want to be, it's possible to stop feeling like a deer in headlights when a tantrum hits, effortlessly move through simple directions and care routines without an argument and go to bed replaying the way you handle the hardest moments and feel proud. If you have a deep desire to be the best parent you can be. And your family is your greatest investment. Find me on Instagram, send me a message that says SANITY. And I'll ask you a few questions to see if we'd be a good fit to work together. I can't wait to meet you back to the show. Yeah, so did you at the time, know that you were becoming a minimalist? When did you kind of come across that entire concept and when did you start your business?

Deanna Yates:  

I think it started with packing. So that second time we did the European travel we did those first five months with you Just carry on. And so I think that's where it started for me is how can I, you know, have everything I need, but just higher quality stuff, stuff that works together. And stuff that I love, right? When you go on a vacation, you don't pack the crap, right? You only pack the clothes you love. And so it's actually one of my favorite hacks to help people when they're like, I could never live in a capsule wardrobe. And I'm like, Have you ever been on vacation? And they say yes. And I said, well, then you lived with the capsule. Because you took it with you. I mean, literally, that is kind of the definition, right? You put it in a bag, and you carried it with you in a little container. And so, you know, I think we can do it if it's something we're really interested in. And so yeah, I would say that that's kind of that was my gateway drug to minimalism was the capsule wardrobe. And then it kind of just as we traveled, you realize you didn't need as much stuff as you wanted. And then I wanted my home to have that feeling of the Airbnb when you come in. And you know, you come in for the first time and everything is in, you know, it's neat, orderly, the, you know, housekeeping service had just been there, and it was all clean and great. And you just bring in your personal items, right, your clothing and your toiletries, and you put them away. And guess what you have everything you need, you can go to the grocery store for the food, you can buy something if you need to, if it's you know, if you forgot something, or you want something different, you know, the fact that we don't need it in our house to have access to it is kind of a new concept, right? Like, oh, yeah, you'd let the stores be the warehouse, right? You can get it if you need it, and you probably don't need it. So I think that was kind of really my Yeah, what led me into the foray. And it took me a long time. I mean, my show was called wannabe minimalist for a reason. Like, I did not feel like a minimalist for a while. It kind of took me a long time to feel that way. But I definitely feel like I am now coming around and kind of coming into my own and being like, yeah, you know what? I kind of am. And I'm alright with that.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah, yeah. Subscribing to the identity. Yeah, exactly. So you asked me this on your podcast, so I have to switch the around. What does minimalism mean to you?

Deanna Yates:  

Yeah, I asked this of everyone. It's one of my favorite questions. So for me, I think it is letting go of the stuff that's holding you back. Because I don't think stuff is the enemy. I don't think I'm not one of those minimalists, that only has 100 items, we have more than one plate per person, you know, yes, I have a capsule wardrobe, but my husband doesn't. So there's lots of different ways I think minimalism can come about, but really, I think the essence of it is just letting go of the stuff that you know, you don't love the stuff that makes you feel guilty, the stuff that makes you feel bad, the stuff that just makes you go, you know, life is too short to feel EH, I don't want to feel EH, I want to feel awesome. And so this can be physical stuff. I think that's what we usually think, right? Most of us think of the physical stuff, the clothes, the mugs, the papers, the kids toys, all the physical stuff. But we can also do it with emotional stuff with relationships, you know, it doesn't do us any good to dwell on negative thoughts, or to keep negative people in our lives. We take on these tendencies about, you know, people around us, when we live around healthier people, we are healthier, when we live around happier people, we are happier. And so it's important to know that stuff isn't just physical. And so you need to just really think about the kind of life you want to be living and be willing to minimize those relationships. I'm not saying you have to cut people out, I get that, right. Like, you might have a family member that is near and dear to you. And they're very negative, and you just don't really know what to do about it. But you just kind of minimize your interactions with them if you can, or if you have to see them on a you know, more regular basis. And you have to spend a lot of time with them. Just have the right mindset when you go in and just say like, that is their life, that is their circle, I do not need to bring that into my life, their opinions or their opinions, and they get to keep them, you know, they can have them, I don't need to take them I don't need to take those opinions on into my life. And so, you know, yes, even if we can't cut those people out if you can, by all means cut them out, because you're not going to be able to save them and bring them into a happy place. They're just going to bring you down. But if it's somebody that you can't cut out or you don't want to cut out, then you just have to kind of give yourself the ability to say like okay, well I'm gonna really manage my thoughts around this before I go in right and know that I need to put up my own walls. Maybe I need to listen to a good song before I hang out with them. Or when I'm done, I need to just say like, okay, they said this, do I really feel that way? And if the answer is no, then put your own opinion back in your head.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah, which kind of goes back to what you were talking about with the values of like, once you know your values, it's easier to kind of like, create that environment around you. But same for your relationships. So when you know, really who you are, and what's important to you, then you can more easily let go of other people's opinions or their interactions and take them personally and, you know, give them their own space to be their own person while you just go be you. And I think that defining of ourselves, and we'll continue to create ourselves and learn more about ourselves as we go. But just being able to sit with it a little bit longer. So that we feel a little bit more clarity, that can be so powerful.

Deanna Yates:  

Yeah, I agree. I'm 100% on board. Thanks for clarifying that, because I do sometimes ramble. But yeah, exactly.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Oh you're doing great. I'm just always bringing it back to my work too, because it connects so much. And I used to do some decluttering with clients, because their environments are either working for them, or against them as a parent. And there's so much of our parenting that is related to the space in our brain that is taken up by all of the stuff around us, and how much time and capacity we have to spend with our kids, because we're cleaning and maintaining, you know, and all the things and so those toys are everywhere, and we're overwhelmed. And so when I have families write their Family Business Plan, which starts with kind of defining their end goal and then deciding together their core values, and then really getting clear on how are we going to spend our time and money. I think they wrestle with it in a really good way. Because it's not as clear as we may have thought, or there are just so many options, and you can't do them all. No,

Deanna Yates:  

NO, yes. Actually, yeah, I'm 100% on board with that, because that is true, right? You can do anything you want, but you sure can't do everything. It's just not possible. And so you kind of have to figure out what's the priority? What is your number one? Like? What is it that lights you up? What lights your partner up? What lights your children up? And, and work together and communicate and figure out like, how are we going to do this? We're a team, like, we are all on the same page. And I have a lot of people that come to me and say like, how do I get my husband to declutter? And I'm just like, well, here's the thing. You're really only in charge of you. And so you have to make sure that your own house is in order, right. And when I say house, I mean like your stuff. Personally, you inside your side of the bed outside. Yeah, you you're part of the dresser closet. Yep. And then when you are really living into that like and you're really going in and you're giving it your all and you're living your value and your purpose, it will shine through, like other people will see it and then they want to be a part of it. It's like you can't nag somebody into changing you have to example you have to be the leader and show them what you want and how you're doing it yourself in order for them to come on board.

Danielle Bettmann:  

So same for your kids,

Deanna Yates:  

I'm sure absolutely. Even more so. Yeah. I mean, they'll follow you. Your spouse might just be like, Oh, that's cute. Okay, great. Glad that works for you. You do you. And at that point, you just say, Great, that's your half of the closet, leave my half alone.

Danielle Bettmann:  

And if we're moving and you're hoarding of all the things and you're responsible for packing them and moving them.

Deanna Yates:  

Here are your boxes.

Danielle Bettmann:  

My husband, I love him. He could live out of a cardboard box. He owns like five shirts. He is so low maintenance. But he's hoarding everything he's ever owned from his childhood.

Deanna Yates:  

Interesting.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Drives me crazy.

Deanna Yates:  

Interesting.

Danielle Bettmann:  

We can psychoanalyze him next episode. Love him love him. But you know, you have a daughter? Yes. And you know, she's growing up through this journey. And the stuff keeps coming every age. Every holiday, every birthday. The stuff keeps coming. So how would you handle that with her? And do you have tips for helping kids declutter?

Deanna Yates:  

Oh, sure. So I would say the biggest thing is to really watch the inflow. Because once something is in your house, it is so much harder to get it out. And so I know the problem right now, everyone's sitting here going, Okay, that's great. But have you seen my kids room? It's a mess. So I know, I know that the current stuff is the problem. But we don't ever like generally when people are first starting out. They don't actually look at the stuff that's coming in. They think Well, I got rid of three bags like three Giant garbage bags where the stuff that they don't realize that the birthday is around the corner, or they went to Target. And they bought two more bags of stuff. And so you're really kind of neutral. And so you're never actually making progress. And so in order to really work on the stuff that's already there, we just need to pause. I'm not saying you can never buy anything new. But it's just really helpful if you put a pause on it before you tackle what's already there. Because it also helps figure out what you really love. Because kids always love the new thing. Adults always love the new thing, who is not going to love the new shiny toy that is fun. So we need to stop the new shiny toys from coming in. So they can figure out which of the old toys they actually like, and which ones they want to play with. There's a couple of different ways that we can do this. I am very fortunate that my daughter has a summer birthday. So we do two big declutter sessions a year. And for us, it's I try to keep it fun and simple and not like this long, big thing. So it's like, Hey, can we just look through your dresses real quick? While we're getting ready today? Like okay, so you're picking up this one? Do these ones still fit? Do you still like these ones? Like, I see you haven't worn this one in a long time? Is there a reason? And she's like, Oh, it scratches? Well, okay, I'm gonna get rid of it. So you can get a different one. She's like, Oh, okay, right. Like, it doesn't have to be this long, drawn out thing. It can just be part of the daily process. And we can do the socks. Hey, do you have any socks that have holes in them? Like, could you pick those out for mommy? Like, could you find five things that you really don't like wearing? And don't worry, it's okay. Even if mommy thinks it's cute. If you don't want to wear it, you don't have to wear it. Because I think that some of it too, like our expectations. They don't want to let us down. And so if we second guess their decision, it makes it really difficult for them to trust themselves to let stuff go. So if it's something that I'm not ready to let go have yet, but she's like, I don't want that. I'm like, Oh, fabulous. And I put it in my stuff. And then when I go through my stuff again, I can be like, Okay, do I really need to keep that? No, I don't. Okay, let's get rid of it. Yes. And so we can't second guess our kids. If we think that there's going to be something that they want. I had somebody on my show once who told me about she had two daughters. And they were very close in age. And they had to have the same thing. Like they each had one like a different color, right? And she said the younger one was like, I don't want that anymore. And she's like, ah, your sister still has hers, I think you're gonna want it. So she just put it in the garage. You know, I mean, I think we have to use our judgment, we are the adults. And if our kids are saying like, I don't want that, and you're like, I think you are, there are very few things that you're going to want to put off to the side. But other than that, I really think you can let it go. I mean, if they make the decision, they made the decision. And if it's not something that's expensive, it's a really great lesson to to learn. They're like, okay, maybe I'm a little more discerning with my stuff. So if they're that kid, right, I love the container method. So you give them a box to put all their treasures. Because what kid doesn't come home with the junky plastic little treasures from the birthday parties in the class parties and the rocks they find at the beach and all the things so all the things. So you give them a box or a place to put it right and then that's their treasure box, you could get crafty with this. If you want you can decorate the thing and do whatever you want. You can have a shoebox you can have a plastic bin, it does not have to be fancy. If you're not into it, just somewhere that is the home, right? And here, they just get to put all their treasures in it. At the end of the day. You're like, Hey, what is this? Oh, it's my treasure. Great, go put it in a box. And when the box is full, that's when they have to declutter it, right? You're like, Oh, look at the boxes overflowing. Oh, no. Well, in order for this thing to go in there, is there something in there you're willing to let go of. And so this can stay. And again, the shiny new thing, right? The kids want the new thing, they'll get rid of the old thing. And so that's a really good way to do it. And you can do containers for everything. You can say, here's the number of shirts, you have the fit in this box. Here's the number of toys that fit over here. And so that makes it really easy to have a way that they're in control. You choose the container, you choose how much space they have, they get to choose what stays.

Danielle Bettmann:  

I love that. We definitely have done that. And the setting of that expectation early helps so much. Because we did that when they were like probably three and four. And they just each had one and that was how we handled, you know, the influx and then I created kind of Amazon wishlist for upcoming birthday parties and I taught my extended family. How to stick to the list.

Deanna Yates:  

Yes, yes, gifts are Another crazy one. So yes, the list is fantastic. We've definitely done the list. Because again, kids love stuff they do, they really do. And it's a way for them to feel autonomy and to feel in control of something because there's so much in their life, they're not in control of. And so, you know, we have to be cognizant of that. But they also do learn better when they're not playing with all this crap. And they have less stuff. So there's that too. It's a balance, but experiences are one of my favorites. So we will ask for gift cards to places will ask for, you know, a contribution to get the zoo pass or, you know, ice cream out, or if your family is close, or if they're going to be in town, you know, asking for something for them to do with that loved one is amazing. Because they can go and do something with just them. Right? Do they have a cool, you know, aunt or uncle they want to hang out with or, you know, going out with Grandma and Papa or whatever, you know, for the day. It's just a really special time for them. And then they get to feel like ooh, I'm Biggie, I get to do something. Oh. And so experiences we really love pushing for those as well.

Danielle Bettmann:  

The other way I feel like minimalism connects to parenting is patience. So do you feel like when families have less than they have more to give their kids?

Deanna Yates:  

Yes, for sure. Because I don't have to spend my time cleaning. I was telling you before we hit record, that we have a friend in town. And you know, he's traveling around right now. So he's kind of making his way around to see his friends before he goes International. And we had about a week notice. But I was busy last week, my daughters and guards. I've got lots of podcast episodes. I'm recording like, I've got lots going on. So it wasn't like I had time to really prepare. But that's because I didn't have to prepare, right like so now I got to have somebody come over. And he said to me, I was so so jazzed. I was like, yeah, it's working. He's like, your guys's house is so clean. Like you just spend a couple other houses with people with kids. And I'm not into comparison by no means, but it was just like, all right, like what I'm doing is working right. Like you said, your house is like, really clean. And I was like, you wonder the best part. I just had to give the bathrooms and extra wipe down. Like I didn't do anything extra. Like I just was like, yeah, like we're living it right. And so I think that's it right? I don't have to spend my time cleaning up. My daughter knows the routines when we come home. So again, I just mentioned she's in junior lifeguard. So come home from the beach, and she is Ace, any mess. We shower off. You know, we do the whole routine, we get it all done. But it's a process, we have these processes in place. And then we get to chill, we get to have fun, and we get to do our stuff. And so I think that is a lot of it. It's instead of this constant To Do List running through my head, I have times when I'm doing these tasks, and I set them up so that I can have then mindless time. You know, I have time that we can just play and do other things. And I'm not sitting there going, Okay, shoot. Okay, what did I have to do later? Okay, I forgot. Okay, what's going on? Oh, we've got this going on. And that going on? Calendars are fantastic. I put everything on my calendar so that I can turn my brain off. Because otherwise, that silent to do list is a killer. It's a killer. Yeah, you know, and I try to not have my phone with me. You know, I try to put it off to the side or on the charger in my desk so that I'm not having it constantly. That constant pull, right? Like, even if we're not looking at our phone, I used to feel like this tingle of like, okay, did I get any emails? Did anything happen? Like Did anything happen with my business? Does anybody need something from me? And, you know, putting it away, so that I can have time with her and just for myself to like, not even just her but like my own time is really helpful.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah, yeah. So to lean into that? Is there one, kind of like, quick to apply game changer? That is one of those like beginner steps that just helps so much, whether that's a routine or a step to declutter, or something that's just in your mind, perspective wise, that you always recommend as one of the first steps.

Deanna Yates:  

Yeah. All right. So let's see, what's the most important number one stuff I'd give you? No pressure. Yeah, no pressure. So one thing that we love to do in our family and I talk about this a lot, so it's, we definitely love to do this. It's the five minute well for us, it's five minutes now, I would start let's set the expectation for 15 minutes, right? Okay. Um, you're going to do a power tidy around your house. So at the end of the day, before you know life kind of gets away from you in the night gets away from you. So we do ours after dinner. But before we get to do something fun, right before we watch a show or play a game or eat dessert, so gives us a quick little time like okay race so we can get to the fun stuff. And so I generally do the cooking in the house, just how it works out. I enjoy it. So that's how it is. And then my husband usually does the dishes. So he'll clean up the kitchen. And she and I will race around the house and clean up as much as we can. So we put as much stuff away that we can. And in 15 minutes, it is quite remarkable how much you can do. And then you make it a competition so that your kids actually want to participate. And you make sure they win the first few times. And they get to pick the show, or they get to pick the dessert, or they get to pick the game you play, they get extra sprinkles, whatever it is, make sure they have a good time, right. And then it makes it so much easier the next night where you're like, hey, we're gonna do that 15 minute power tidy again. And the good part about it is I no longer stress about a mess in my house, right? Like we live here. This is life. Like we play games, we do our projects, we make a mess. Sand is everywhere in my house right now. And I just don't worry about it. Because I know at the end of the day, we're going to have that moment of time where we clean up together as a family. And it doesn't take us a lot of time teamwork makes the dream work. And we can just get it done. And then we can sit and relax. And you turn it all off. And it just gives you that moment of like peace and relaxation, and you can breathe. So both before because you know what's going to get handled at some point. And after because it's already done. And you say, Well, you know, whatever it didn't get done. We're gonna work on it tomorrow. No big deal.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah, that is such a game changer. And 15 minutes goes a long way. It really does. Really does. Yeah. And even if you do need to start small, because you have really young kids, you know, and they help you're sure minutes. Yeah, or you just work together on the Legos,

Deanna Yates:  

if 15 minutes is too much, five minutes, absolutely. Five minutes is a huge deal. When you have three, four or five people working concentrated for five minutes, that's 1520 25 minutes of manpower, or get power or woman power. People Power working on a project. So you know, I definitely it really does compound. And so it's a game changer for us, too.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Yeah, because the compound interest of that small routine, built up day after day after day gets you to a totally manageable place to not only get to but maintain. Yeah, so that's so much peace of mind. I love that. Yeah, we need to get back to that as well. Because this summer has been, you know, routines all over the flow. But this will come out in the fall. So we'll be much more gearing up for all the Yeah, we've done back to school, but we'll be getting ready for you know, the all the holiday. Oh, yeah. So grounding. So for the mom listening that is currently overwhelmed and wanting to be a minimalist, but not feeling at all that she's arrived yet. What takeaway would you love for her to hear? Or what do you feel like she needs to hear? So I

Deanna Yates:  

think we often have this idea that we need to be perfect. And I just don't think perfection exists anymore. I just don't think it is a concept that works. Because in my own life, when I have reached a goal, there's always been something else after right? Yep, there's never a moment when I'm like, Alright, I'm done. Okay, you know, there's always something else. So I think if we understand, that is the reality, and we can give ourselves a break that we're not striving for perfection, we're just striving to be the best we can and give ourselves a little bit of grace. And just make tiny steps, those tiny steps, they add up so much. So it doesn't have to be this giant declutter, you don't have to take everything out of your garage and do a giant sword on a Saturday and Sunday, it's just going to wear you out. You can do one box at a time. Actually, one of my favorite things to do is to go all out on something. So let's take holiday decorations, for example. Because this I think, is a pretty easy one for people to get around. We all have a box of holiday decorations. maybe two, maybe three, maybe more. So take all the decorations you want and put them up in your house and go all out. Don't think oh, I'm gonna try to make it small because I know I'm not supposed to have so much stuff. No, don't do that. Put everything out that you love. And then inevitably, there's going to be something that's left in that box. And you can just say, Okay, I really went all out. I did everything I wanted my house is how I want it to be I love everything that's up. This stuff can go because I'm not going to miss it. Because I didn't put it up this year, which means I'm not going to put it up next year. And it's just those little things that you can do along the way that really help and they make a big deal. Friends, and so just give yourself the permission to say like, I'm going to keep what I love. And I'm going to let go the stuff that I don't and I'm not going to miss it. And if I do, it's okay, it's at the store, I can get it again. Or I can borrow it. Or I can find a different solution, because most likely your brain would come up with some creative solution, because it's amazing how it does that when it's stuck in a corner. And that's like, but I really needed that can opener be you know what? I bet you by YouTube it, I'll find a way to open this darn bottle without it because my can opener broke, right? Well, okay, so there's ways to do stuff, we just need to be creative about it. And so just know that there is no such thing as perfection, everybody's doing the best we can. And when you get to a point, the next step, you're gonna want to go a little bit further. And the next step, you're gonna want to go a little bit further after that. And that's not to say that like, it never stops. But it's just to show you that like, we need to find happiness where we are right now. Because we can't delay it, right, don't delay it for some time that might never come, because there's so much good stuff along the way.

Danielle Bettmann:  

I love that because I picture it like a spiral staircase, where you go around, and then you go around again, a little bit deeper. And then you go around again, a little bit deeper. Because that's been my minimalist journey is like the first one was very surface, like how do I get this house up, ready to sell? And then the next round was like, Well, what do I really love and want to put up? And then the next round was like, Okay, how can I really get less toys, less books, less kid stuff? And then you know, like, there's always another round or like, layer to go into or down further, but like, celebrate the progress totally celebrate where you're at on the stairwell? Absolutely. Yeah. I love that.

Deanna Yates:  

I love that spiral staircase. That's really fun.

Danielle Bettmann:  

So yeah, you can take that, but so tell us more about Wannabe Clutterfree?

Deanna Yates:  

Oh, yeah, great. Well, yeah, so my website is wannabeclutterfree. And I have a ton of resources and guides there I have something called the Power Purge, it helps you declutter over 100 items in less than an hour, or I have a French inspired capsule wardrobe. So if you would like to, you know, kind of have that gateway drug like I did, and start with a capsule wardrobe, you can do that I show you how to make over 72 outfits with just 12 pieces. And then if listeners are looking for more help, I have a course called Tidy Home Academy. It walks you through the nuts and bolts of basically how to create that vision, how to start with that vision in your home. So then you can declutter, organize and sustain it, which of course is covered in that course. And then, like you said, I have a podcast. So if people are listening to this and want more, you know, podcast goodness, come on over. It's called Wannabe Minimalist. And like you said, you were just on the show. So I have lots of amazing guests like you and I can't wait to share that episode. It was a really fun one.

Danielle Bettmann:  

It was, yes, go at least connect with that one. And then you know, find all the other episodes that will resonate with you for where you're at. I highly recommend it. Okay, so then that brings us to the last question I ask every guest that I have on, how are you, the mom that your daughter needs?

Deanna Yates:  

So I'm working on listening to her wants and needs because like I said, I'm by no means perfect. I don't think perfect could exist, right? But I'm trying. So one of the things I'm working on is to ask her a question, and then keep my mouth shut to listen. Because I'm just trying to be comfortable with that silence. I am not comfortable with silence. So I'm trying really hard to get better at it. But I learned one way that she likes to show love is through touch. Like that's one of her love languages, for sure. And it is definitely not one of mine. And so in order to do that, we have tickle fight Tuesday. And so she absolutely loves tickle fight Tuesday. We set 10 minutes on the timer and she gets to tickle me as much as she wants for 10 minutes.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Oh my god, I love it.

Deanna Yates:  

It's a tickle fight. So I tickle her back. But yeah, it's just it's one thing. She loves it. She loves Tickle Fight Tuesday. She looks forward to it. She's always like coming up to me and like pretending she can tickle me. And I'm like, it's because I know it's not Tuesday. I'm not actually tickling you. So she loves it. I don't know how much longer she'll want to do it. But yeah, it's been really fun.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Oh my gosh, I love that. It's so cool how you can like put a boundary on it and respect your needs while also respecting her needs and wishes and creating a space for that to be a yes. Like that's so ingenious.

Deanna Yates:  

Oh, thanks. Yeah,

Danielle Bettmann:  

yeah, very cool. So you She's so lucky to have you creating that time with her that intention, that space that presents and, you know, tickles on Tuesdays as well. That's so cool. What a fun childhood.

Deanna Yates:  

Thank you. Yeah.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Well, thanks again so much for taking the time sharing. So honestly, getting into your life story. It's such a joy and an honor for us. to come alongside you and hear from it and learn from it. So thank you for your time.

Deanna Yates:  

Yeah, thank you so much for having me. This has been really fun, Danielle, I really appreciate it.

Danielle Bettmann:  

Of course. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms note they are not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong-willed child, and invest in the support you need to make it happen. Schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on.

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