Creating Space to Breathe

Do you ever feel like the world is closing in on you? You know, your surroundings seem so chaotic, the only way you can describe your life is overwhelming, exhausting, and maybe even suffocating. You feel like you can’t breathe. It’s funny, as I was typing out the first two sentences of this post, my puppy and my daughter’s puppy were running around and barking like crazy. I actually found myself holding my breath as I was typing out the words of the very emotions I was currently experiencing and wanting to write about. For the life of me, I couldn’t focus on the mission that was right in front of me. It was chaotic and totally overwhelming. The noise was closing in on me, cluttering my thoughts, and stealing my focus. How fitting to be experiencing “clutter”, because it’s what I want us to talk about as we begin our journey together. You did know we were going on a journey, right? Yep, by reading this you pretty much are signing your life away to one of the most epic adventures.

Can I tell you a random fact about my life? I love to travel. Going to new places and exploring the world brings me great joy. Do you know what brings me even greater joy? Taking my friends and family to the very places I fall in love with. I can’t tell you how many times Jeremiah and I visit a new place and I am instantly planning a trip to bring my parents or kids back to experience. I want them to take in the beauty and experience the same epic adventure. This is how I feel now as I beg you to pack your bags and join me on a journey of removing the clutter in our lives and creating space to breathe. I ventured into the world of decluttering a couple of years ago and it made such a profound impact on my life. What started off as tidying up the kitchen and a few rooms of my house, turned into an extremely emotional experience that drastically changed my life. I realize that sounds super dramatic, but I am serious. I want you to experience this as well. 

I began my obsession with decluttering after writing the book, 21 Days Of Prayer For Your Business. While in the process of writing, I could not, for the life of me, write while staying in my own home. I woke up one morning, packed my bags, and told my husband I was going to the beach and not coming home until the book was finished. Once I was at the beach, I had crystal-clear clarity and was laser focused. I did the same thing when filming the video series for the book. We spent a month at the same beach, and again, the videos just seemed to flow effortlessly. It became an ongoing joke over the next couple of years, that anytime I had a project to complete, I felt the need to flee my home. One day Jeremiah, my amazing husband, asked me what it was about the beach that appealed to me. It was more than the soothing sounds of the ocean and the beautiful scenery. What was drawing me? All I could think about was the beach house. There was zero clutter. The drawers and cabinets weren’t packed with random things. The closet held the few outfits I brought, which surprisingly was more than enough for our lengthy stay. As I sat and thought about the house, I took in a deep breath. Wait a minute, that was it. I felt like I had space to breathe. I wanted to experience that same feeling in my own home. 

I would love to tell you the process of decluttering my home was easy, and now, two years later, every square inch of my house was astonishingly tidy. That would be fake news though. I can tell you I am leap years from where I started and extremely proud of the progress I made and continue to make on this journey. I like to call this a journey. I believe that word is what has helped me be successful and stick with the process of decluttering. We have been conditioned in our society to want things quick and instant, when in reality, I’m not sure that’s always the best for us. The process of decluttering became a very emotional experience for me. I wasn’t expecting tears to fall down my face and turn into deep sobs as I took pieces of papers and dropped them in the trash. Somehow purging tangible items, brought emotional clutter to the table that needed removing as well. The longer I stayed on the journey, the more things I discovered that needed to be removed from my life. The more I continued to remove, the deeper I felt I could breathe. I’m an open book, so trust me, I will be sharing many of those stories with you during our time together. 

I will be completely upfront and honest with you. I don’t have a major game plan or itinerary for our travels. I have an overall view of where we are going. I know the destination we are aiming for, but not sure of all the twists and turns we will take in getting there. Whether you declutter one junk drawer or tackle your whole house, my prayer is your eyes are opened to how clutter can suffocate our lives. I guess the real question is, do we ever truly arrive? If perfection is what we are searching for, then no. We will never be able to fully remove all clutter and distractions from our lives, however we can be more mindful and intentional at what we allow to take up precious space in our lives. Will you take this first step with me? Will you start the ball rolling? I’m in this for the long haul with you. I can’t wait to see where the adventure takes us. 

Here is how you can prepare for our adventure together. Make sure you are subscribed to our email list. I promise not to be crazy spammy. You will get at the most, one email a week. If you aren’t an email type person, I get it. Just make sure to check this website often for the most recent posts. I don’t want you to miss one step of the journey. Over the next couple of months, we will begin creating tons and tons of space as we declutter our surroundings. It’s going to be glorious. I would love to hear about your progress in the comments. If you want to kick it up to another level of fun, make sure to stay connected to my Facebook Page and/or my Instagram account. This will be a fun way to show off your progress and meet others who are along for the journey. Man, we are going to have loads of fun together. I hope you are just as excited as I am. 

So, who’s with me? Let me know in the comments. Oh, and if you want a million gold stars, which you want them, they aren’t clutter, I promise, tell me in the comments how clutter makes you feel. What emotions aren’t brought to the table? Also, if you are an overachiever, on a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you for this adventure? Game on. Let’s do this!

88 comments On Creating Space to Breathe

  • Girl, clutter just makes me feel so overwhelmed and crazy. I’ve been working on decluttering for about 2 years now. And I still have a very long way to go. I am so excited where this new journey is going to take you and your family and so blessed to be along for the ride.

    • It is such a process and I am so glad you are going to keep on keeping on. I feel the same way. I’ve been doing this for two years, but I see much more progress that needs to be made. We are going to go on this adventure together and we are going to create even more space to breathe. We can do this!

  • Thank you for this! I have been struggling with clutter for years but this past year it has overwhelmed me. You don’t know how much I needed to see this! Thank you so much. I am ready to do this with you & others.

    • Game on. Game on. I am SO glad you are on this adventure with me. We are going to have loads of fun and get so much accomplished. I just know it.

  • Cluster makes me feel caged, focusing so much on finding a way out, that I failed to see why I was there. This past year I have realized that I have a lifetime of clutter (physical and mental) holding me back from moving forward. I have purged the mental clutter, starting on the physical clutter from my home.

    • Hey Leslie. Ahhhh, yes, caged is a really good word. I also LOVE how you are already thinking and processing clutter. It is such a game changer when we can see it for what it is. I am so thankful we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to see all the process you make this year.

  • So so good!!! I am looking forward to this. 2019 I saw a Pinterest pic with a 52 week house declutter plan. It was so gentle and easy. 1 week was the utensil drawer, another week the the spices and baking items, another week was the pantry, another was the master dresser top while yet another was the master dresser drawers, etc. 2020 I was able to clear a lot of clutter and restarted the plan again in 2021 and have found more to clear.

    Maybe that’s why I like to travel. Less stuff. Less clutter. Room to breathe.

    I can’t wait to see the twists and turns on your new site.

    • I really do think it’s why I like to travel. For real. I love the plan of just doing a little here and there rather than exhausting yourself and throwing in the towel. Such a process. I am so glad and excited we are taking this adventure together.

  • I am a purger. If anything ever came up missing the running joke was “well your mom probably threw it away”. But I do have areas that I do need to declutter and I love seeing it neat and organized. Just need more time to do it.

    • I LOVE IT. Yes, it becomes addictive purging LOL. My kids get so mad at me because I throw random drinks away on the counters if it is sitting there more than a few minutes. Hahaha. Oh my. Well I am glad we are on this journey together.

  • I am looking forward to this journey with you.

    • I’ve tried to declutter so many times before, but I really struggle with it! Part of the problem is finding the time to actually make progress. Homeschooling 5 kids, working 2 part time jobs and running our little homestead takes up so much time! The other hard part for me is that I find I have sentimental attachment to most of our stuff or I feel like I need to save it to use it again down the road. I am so excited to jump in with you all in this and look so forward to being able to breathe inside my home again! ❤

      • I am so glad we are taking this journey together. I hear you on all you said. Finding the time when our schedules are full can be challenging. We will make progress though, it’s a process and we are going to walk it out together. I also hear you with the sentimental things. Everything doesn’t have to go, I for sure held on to a lot, but I found the more I let go of, the easier it got as time progressed. It is a struggle, but we are going to link arms and battle it out together.

    • Woooohoooo. Game on!

  • When I think of clutter the first word that comes to mind is: chaotic. Then disorganization. I am a person who loves organization so clutter just gets me all out of sorts! I am SO excited to take this journey with you. First of all, any journey you are involved in COUNT ME IN but I feel like it is another step in personal growth that will propel me toward my goals.

    • Awwww, I’m glad you are all about adventuring together. Let’s do this. I hear ya with the chaotic. It’s exactly how I feel. Ugh. We are going to make loads of progress. This is going to be the best year ever.

  • I chose decluttering as my Lenten sacrifice last year amid COVID and loved the feeling. I had a less cluttered space and all my extras were given to those who needed them most. I’d like to restart that journey with you.

    • I LOVE THIS. Wow, how amazing. Well let’s keep on keeping on. It’s a process we have to keep being intentional with. Game on. Glad you are on this adventure!

  • I just love Gold Stars!! They are my love language!!

  • This is exactly what I need at this point in my life! Clutter makes me feel weighed down and heavy and like I’m stuck. I can’t wait to go on this journey.

    • I am so so so glad we are taking this journey together. I can’t wait to see all the progress we make as we are intentional on this journey.

  • Clutter is my middle name; oh wait…it’s more like my first, middle and last!

  • Oh my goodness! Have you been hiding in my house listening in??? This is so right on time for me! We just moved for the first time in 13 years! We have waaay too much stuff! As I’m unpacking seems like the perfect time to make sure we don’t ever move this much stuff again! I am all packed (literally) and so ready for this journey! Along with all of the tangible stuff, I need to unpack a ton of spiritual stuff! I am so excited!!!!

    • Hahahaha. Yep, totally listening in on you. 🙂 This is the PERFECT TIME FOR YOU. Game on. I am seriously so excited and can’t wait to see all the progress you make over the next several months. Here we go. We can do it.

  • Clutter makes me stressed out and unable to focus, but also feels like a constant struggle to keep it from returning. I’m so excited to come along this journey!!

    • I hear ya. We will cover this in our time together, but I found once I did this major major purge, it was much easier to do these mini tidy ups, but you are right, we have to be so mindful to never allow it to get out of hand again. The process of taking my time and really diving into all the emotions of it, helped me keep it from getting out of control again. Oh, but trust me, I still have loads I can keep working on. LOL. I’m glad we are in this together. GAME ON.

  • Man! I have been feeling the need to do this for some time now! It affects everything in my life!! This is the kick I needed to get it done! So excited!!! & can’t wait to fully exhale and feel the weight lifted!!

    • Yay. GAME ON. Let’s do it. We are going to create that space and you are going to throw those hands up in the air and scream FREEEEEEDOM. Yes, it’s happening.

  • My life has been in the “clutter” for many years from unexpected curveballs. How I would love to get my home back to like when we first moved into our house. I’m excited to join the journey with you!! Help!!! I’m drowning in clutter!!

    • Those stinkin’ curve balls. Ewwwww. I hear ya. Well, I am glad we are on this journey together and you WILL get your home back organized, I am confident of it. I believe in you. GAME ON.

  • I modified a tracking sheet from 1,000 hours outside page and renamed it “1,000 items out of my home”
    Now that we are done having children I’m excited to get rid of all the things as our youngest grows. While still cherishing the time he is little.

    • What a smart idea. I love it. And, oh all of the precious seasons we walk as parents, I know you are going to soak in and cherish each moment!!!

  • Clutter makes me anxious! We are moving into a new home and I am looking forward to purging what we had shipped!

  • So excited for this!!! We are in the process of buying a house and the first thing I thought of is I don’t want to take all this junk with me. I have no idea how we accumulated SO much!!! My husband is a closet hoarder. He hides things and stuffs thing all over so it doesn’t look like there is an issue but I assure you there is!! I just want to have a clean and organized house even if things in my life are chaotic or a complete mess. There is something calming to the spirit when you aren’t surrounded by or drowning in clutter!!!

    • Ahhhhhh, closet hoarder, LOL. It’s true though, we do that, right? I remember when we first got married the little coat closet we had in our tiny apartment was a DANGER ZONE if you were to open it. No telling what would fall on you. Oh the stories I have about stuffing things in random places around the house. It’s going to be fun airing my dirty laundry as we walk this path together. Oh my. I’m so excited you are along for the journey. Let’s do this!!!!

  • I don’t believe I have much physical clutter…it’s more emotional I think. I will say I find my husband’s clutter overwhelming!!! Saves EVERYTHING!!! Papers, clothing, “things” that could have a use later!! I just need a dumpster😱 Kidding, that wouldn’t work! Those are his things. So, I’ve begun the process myself with whatever I can physically declutter expecting he will notice and join in. I am recognizing I must learn to walk that fine line of
    “ this is my home too and I am overwhelmed by all the stuff!” I hope to find a compromise.

    • Oh I hear you. We have actually rented a dumpster when we moved from Utah back to Alabama. Haha. I also understand about walking through the process with your spouse. Jer has a thing for t-shirts, sooooo, I had to be okay with those bringing him great joy. LOL. I’m glad you are along for the journey. We are going to have loads of fun.

  • Clutter is paralyzing for me! Ugh! I just stare at it and completely overwhelmed. I’ve been trying for 5 years, yes 5! Honestly I’m done with it. I know I can’t move forward into God’s plan if I stay in the clutter. Help!!!

    • Well this is your year. I believe it. You are going to see major progress. Maybe not perfection, but progress. I’m so excited.

  • I have been living with and dealing with overwhelming clutter for years. I am guilty of some but so much was my husband’s. My husband was a hoarder. I lost my husband of 50 years very suddenly in an accident 18 months ago. At first I could only handle a couple of minutes working on the piles of stuff but gradually that is lots better. To saw this involves both emotional clutter and physical clutter is a huge understatement. With the help of my 3 adult children and The Lord I am slowing dealing with all of this. Monique, I am looking forward to your thoughts and input in this journey with you. God bless you for doing this.

    • I am so very sorry to hear about you husband. 50 years, wow. I am thankful we are all on this journey together and I know this has got to be a very emotional journey for you. I will be praying the Lord gives you grace and strength as you walk through this process Cindi.

  • I’m excited about this journey, a 10. I have piles of paperwork and try to get rid of it or just put it in a box for later. I feel when we’re more organized, than life is more organized. However, that doesn’t mean there is not going to be any bumps in the road because God is in charge of our journey.

    • Yes, PAPERS, oh my WORD. That can get out of hand so quickly. Well I am excited you are on this adventure. Game on. We can do this!!!!!

  • I’m a retired nurse. At work I was always organized and had everything I needed at my fingertips. Fast forward to being a single mom with three children. When I got home everything was chaotic, nothing where I had left it. The kids stuff everywhere. I was so overwhelmed that it made me a wreck. I never enjoyed my kids but didn’t realize the problem was my OCD. I just couldn’t take all the normal childhood rivalries and the mess they always made. It wasn’t till all the children was grown and had their own families that I realized why I was always so stressed. Now at 65 my husband and I are living with my daughter and her family in a small house. To say I need to declutter is an understatement. The one plus I can say is now I understand why I’m the way I am. Looking forward to this journey.

    • Wow. I’m so glad you shared all that. It’s so eye opening when we discover how clutter makes us feel emotionally. I am crazy glad you are on this journey. We are going to get loads accomplished this year. I just know it.

  • Thank you for this invitation to go on this journey with you. Clutter makes me want to run away from home! It is overwhelming. It stiffles the life out of me. There are gifts/ talents, that God has given to me, that I put on hold! You described it so well when you had to get away to the beach in order to finish your book! Thank you for the invitation to travel with you and others on this new journey.

    • Yes. Yes. Yes. It ultimately clutters all that God has before us to do, and THAT is why we are going to take this seriously so we can thrive in body, soul, and spirit. I am so thankful you are on this journey!!!

  • i am allllllll in on this ♥️ i often escape my home to work or write too – writing my book has been the most challenging thing i’ve tried to do. everything is extra distracting then, i think!

    we’ve purged lots over the years having to move so often, but i am willing to purge more before moving into our new home. my goal for our house was a clean slate, a safe place for us to let everything go.

    • It’s so fun watching you guys build your home. Oh the memories you will make there. I am also so happy you are writing a book. I LOVE IT, oh and i love you.

  • Clutter makes me tired… and I can’t rest properly when a room is not in order. Last week I finally de-cluttered my closet it was so freeing…I took a whole trunk load of stuff to the Assistance League that had been collecting in our extra bedroom…I too space was amazing. I too have a husband who saves every scrape of paper….slowly I am working with him to get rid of it…slowly, slowly, slowly he is finding paper he can part with. I look forward to this journey with you… Have been thru 21 days of prayer with you several times….you inspire me.

    • Yay. So glad you have already started the process. High five. We are going to keep on keeping on and create more space each day. GAME ON. Glad you are on the journey with us.

  • Last Wednesday we moved my parents into an assisted living community 😪 we weren’t sure what they needed there so we just packed the basics. It felt so cozy and organized when we unboxed everything. Stuff gives me anxiety but I never know where to start. This is perfect timing for me.

    • Ahhhhh, yes, there is something about stepping back in that clutter free space and taking in a deep breath. I’m so glad you are on this adventure. We are going to get loads accomplished. Game on.

  • Clutter makes me feel crazy. I can’t focus, I can only focus on all the stuff around me and everything that needs to be done. I have to clean before I can feel productive.

    • Yes, all of those things…..well, I am so glad we are going to go on this adventure together and I can’t wait for you and I to create MORE SPACE TO BREATHE! Game on.

  • May I keep my books?

    • Why of course. I have to say, I love love love books. I did go through and declutter, are you ready for it…..1000 books. WHAT? I totally did. Now, a lot of that was books from our days of homeschooling, but I still kept many of my favorites and those that had sentimental value. I have since bought many more books for a library of some sort we are creating out at our land, but books make me very happy, I’m just now intentional at holding on to those I really really need and want.

  • I guess maybe my clutter makes me feel tired. But I physically am tired as soon as I walk in after work every day. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Yes, tired is a very good definition. It’s true. It’s so psychological but with that, we feel it physically. It’s totally the truth. Glad we are on this journey together. Game on.

  • I am intrigued. In June we are moving back home where we will be living in a fifth wheel camper for a year or two while we build our house … There’s SO MUCH stuff to go through and weed out as we head into this new chapter of life. I am excited to downsize and de-clutter our lives and I am excited to go on this journey with you!

    • Oh my word, how exciting and what perfect timing. This is going to be great for starting a fresh and a new once you move into your new home. I am thrilled we are walking out this journey together.

  • Excited to follow along and participate in the process! I’ve been working on decluttering those places people don’t see…drawers, closets, cupboards, etc. I find one of the most difficult challenges is the items that were passed down or given to me by my grandparents. Which is the reason I have 6 pancake turners/spatulas!! 🤦🏻‍♀️ For some reason there is that emotional attachment to those type of things!?!? Oh, and I do like gold stars!😉

    • Yay for gold stars and so glad you are on this adventure. You know, it’s totally fine to hang on to things that make you happy, as long as you don’t have so many of those things it stresses you out and doesn’t create that space to breathe. Hey, if those pancake turners are special to you, keep them, maybe highlight them somehow, have a nice little utensil holder to place them in and set them on a shelf. I think what I discovered is by decluttering, it allowed me to find those things that were hidden that brought me joy and I then could enjoy them more.

  • Clutter makes me feel stressed… and I’m a stress-shopper so then I buy things that clutter up my space eve more, and it’s just a bad cycle 😩

    • Hey, knowing is half the battle. These are the kinds of things we can see and understand the root while we are in the process of decluttering. We then work on uprooting that issue and moving forward in a new direction. One thing I saw, was my closet was so messy, I could never find anything, so when packing for a last minute trip, I would find it easier to just buy something new once I arrived to destination, rather than searching for things in the moment. That’s so lazy and I can’t believe I’m even saying it, but wow, I really did begin to see what some of my root issues were as decluttering. Now, I think about that and work hard at never having to buy once I get to destination. It’s also made me think about all the things I bring back with me while traveling. You’ve got this Jen. I believe in you. So glad you are on this journey.

  • Overwhelmed and depressed. So I sleep. And pray.

    • Well Karen, we are about to kick it into high gear. You are about to kick clutter to the curb. So glad you are on this journey!!!!

  • Clutter makes me not want to be in the room and shuts me down.

    • Well game on. We are about to tackle this epic adventure and you are going to SOOOOO enjoying being in every room in your house. Wooooohooooo.

  • Clutter is exhausting and overwhelming yet I seem to atteact it😳. So excited fir my stars 😉 and this journey🥰

    • Sigh. I am glad you love the gold stars, that makes me so happy. I am also thrilled you are on this journey. Game on. It’s going to be epic.

  • I’ve needed this journey for a LONG time. I’ve joined challenges and read books but it’s that pesky “start” and “consistency” that I’ve struggled with. I have a million reasons and yet, a thousand excuses hold me back. I know just what you mean about the physical triggering the mental…in both directions. I often say that I can’t think for all the physical clutter in my environment. And at the same time, I struggle to purge because I can’t think straight. Very excited level 10 but also very nervous to walk this out with you!

    • I know, crazy right. We can’t think straight because of the clutter, and that focus is what we need to begin. Ahhhhhh, well we are going to link arms and take one baby step, then another, then another and we are going to OWN IT, and ROCK IT. Oh yes we are!!! Game on!

  • I am for sure a 10 on the excited scale!! I despise clutter even though I have quite a bit of it in my home and in my head lol! Anxiety is the feeling that comes to mind! I can’t get anything accomplished when my house is cluttered! When I try to start something I’ll say I’m just going to tidy this area really quick before I start and that turns into wanting to “clean” this other area and then it just keeps going until before I know it, the day is gone and I have not accomplished anything! Plus I have stuff all over the place from the areas I wanted to tidy up!!! Can’t wait for this journey!! Thank you Monique!!! 🥰🥰🥰

    • I am SO EXCITED we are on this journey together. I hear you on ALLLLL you said in your comment. We are going to be consistent and do a little each day and we are going to stick with it, oh we are….I can’t wait to see how much space you create to breathe on this adventure. It is going to be EPIC.

  • Clutter gets me feeling so overwhelmed. I am definitely one of those that needs to make a mess to clean up a mess and I have been trying to declutter over the last year but there always seems to be more.

    • It really is a constant journey. Oh and many times it does have to get worse before better. YIKES. You’ve got this though. I believe in you and we are going to link arms and walk it out together and will create TONS of space where we can breathe! Game on.

  • Clutter makes me crazy. When cooking, the kitchen has to be in order before I can start, same with my craft room. I feel so unproductive when it’s all messy. I’m so ready for this declutter adventure. I have so many things I want to do and just feel held down. Thanks so much for sharing yourself!

    • Yay. I’m so excited you are along for the adventure. We are going to create tons of space to breathe. I love that you can already tell how clutter plays a huge part of you feeling or being productive. It’s such an eye opener once it’s all neat and straight how much freedom you feel to go conquer things. LOVE IT.

  • Clutter is so stressful! It just reminds me of how much chaos is in my life. I am glad this came across my feed this morning, as I am needing this in my life right now. On a scale of 1-10, this is definitely a 10 for my excitement!! Thank you for what you bring to us, whether in 21 Days of Prayer, or Creating Space to Breathe!

    • YAY KATHY! I am so excited you are along for the journey and I love that you walked through building a foundation for your business on Jesus. BEST FOUNDATION EVER. Well, we are about to get this party started and create TONS OF SPACE TO BREATHE. Game on!

  • I definitely need this! After decluttering family members’ houses after they passed away, I don’t want my children to have to deal with this. Plus I get the freedom myself now! Thanks!

    • It’s amazing how many people have mentioned this in the comments and I have to say was a huge thing for me as well as I’ve been watching my family have to deal with the items my grandmother has stored up when she moved to an assisted living place. I’m just so glad you are on this journey. GAME ON.

  • I am very excited to go on this journey!
    I had a few months of living pretty close to clutter free and then my stuff arrived! I was stagnant for months!
    I really want to ditch the clutter….it is stifling.

  • Clutter! I “shutter” at the very mention of the word. 😉 I am very overwhelmed by clutter. The problem is it isn’t mine. My dear husband holds on to everything. I have tried communicating with him how much it drags me down. Unfortunately I now have one child that does the same. Pray for me girl because this journey is gonna be a challenge with the 2 of them. I can not seem to get them to embrace a clutter free life. I loved the way you explain it – about being able to breathe in Your own home. I have always had this nagging feeling about my home but I just couldn’t put words to it. Thank you for writing how I feel. You really have been blessed with a gift. ❤️

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