BE THE GATEKEEPER YOUR FAMILY NEEDS AND GAIN THE PEACE OF MIND YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED
Ever feel stressed when you walk in the door at the end of the day? Is home not the peaceful, serene place you hoped it would be? Wonder how all that stuff wound up there? Wonder what is in the stuff that wound up there? Need more peace of mind?
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Lately I’ve noticed on social media and in real life a lot of people being more aware of things; aware of the fact that their home is not a source of peace, their finances are a hot mess, or they’re just fed up with all of the extra stuff they don’t understand listed on the label of the products they use every day in their home.
I also see a lot of people who seem to think that is just how it is. These are common excuses I hear and read.
- How it is isn’t good enough!
- They’d like to get more organized, but they have so much stuff and they “need” it all at some point so why get rid of it?
- Everyone is in debt, so at least they’re not alone in their situation. Non-toxic products cost so much more money, why try.
- The government should just write off our student loan debt
- While we’re at it they should ban certain ingredients (no disagreement from me on this one).
- Besides, with those student loan payments, there’s no way you can afford non-toxic, cleaner products. It’s just not true friends.
What if I told you that I have three simple (notice I didn’t say easy) tips to help you with all three of those problems? Give you peace of mind in your home, your finances, and your health? You have the power to do that yourself.
I’m going to let you in on the big secret. Maybe you already know it or maybe you never thought of it this way, but you are already the gatekeeper of your home. You just need to learn how to be a better one.
1. BE MORE MINIMAL
I’m not saying sell everything and live on a bus, although being a skoolie does look pretty amazing (no plans for that here). I am saying you need to bite the bullet so to speak and start decluttering. Sell it all but the kitchen sink if you have to. We’re after counter space. Breathing room. Find a little of that and you’ll find a little peace of mind.
This can be a daunting task, but you landed in a great spot to find more information on minimalism, decluttering and even organization. It happens to be a passion of mine. Sometimes in order to be a better gatekeeper, we need to kick some stuff out of the gate. A lot more stuff in some cases than others. That’s okay. Start small, see how it feels, and then go from there.
2. READ THE LABEL – DON’T BUY WHAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND OR DON’T TRUST FOR SOME PEACE OF MIND
Before you put anything in your cart read the label. If you don’t understand what’s in it Google it. If you don’t like what’s in it don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that. It’s your job as the gatekeeper to keep anything you deem harmful, inappropriate, or contradictory to your goals out of your home and budget.
This is one of those times Google is your best friend; google every ingredient, process, or item you don’t understand. Check a product with the Environmental Working Group prior to making the purchase if you’re not sure about the ingredient list. You’ll be amazed at how much you don’t buy when you pay attention to the labels.
If the labels with items you do approve of come attached with a high price tag weigh your priorities. Are you willing to spend more money on products you know will meet your standards or will you spend time to DIY some solutions of your own? Be sure you budget your time and money accordingly. You can also check out my post Keeping a Non-Toxic Home and search the Frugal & Oily category for more info. I also have some frugal and non-toxic DIYs. I mix my own dish soap, hand soap, as well as face and body wash using non-toxic bases and a few drops of essential oil.
3. NO IS A VALID ANSWER. USE IT.
Start saying it more often. It is amazing the freedom that comes with one simple word. Don’t want it in the house? On the kids’ calendar? Don’t want to keep spending money like you’re in congress? Then don’t.
The hard truth is that every, “yes,” is a “no,” to something else. Choose your yeses and nos carefully. You don’t get more time back with your kids when you overload the schedule, you don’t build up your emergency fund when you max out the credit card every month, and you don’t pay off debt unless you quit adding to the total. It’s a hard mindset shift for sure, but it does get easier with time.
Choose what matters most to you and your family. Prioritize around what matters most and say no to things that don’t align. Adjust the budget, clear the schedule, and hold fast as a family. One shift in thinking, one decision made more intentionally, and then the next. Slowly but surely, one step at a time you will feel yourself becoming the gatekeeper your family needs at home and peace of mind won’t be too far behind.