Episode 149 of the quiet and cozy podcast.

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Show Notes

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by clutter and the constant need to tidy up? Do you long for a peaceful, cozy space that supports your introverted nature?

In this episode of The Quiet And Strong Podcast, host David Hall welcomes guest Mia Danielle, founder of the popular blog and YouTube channel on creating clutter-free spaces.

Join us as Mia shares her expertise on decluttering, provides valuable tips for maintaining a clutter-free space, and discusses the benefits of having a serene haven for introverts.

From understanding the psychological effects of clutter to implementing effective decluttering systems, you’ll gain practical insights that can transform your home and promote rest, restoration, and recharge.

Listen in and discover the power of a clutter-free space for introverts, because when you create a space that promotes restoration and solitude, you can truly be strong.

– – –

Mia Danielle is a firm believer that your environment is your most valuable asset – not in monetary terms, but in its profound impact on your overall well-being and happiness. At least it could be…

As a content creator on a mission, she has spent the past several years sharing how anyone can create cozy clutter-free spaces that support their daily flow and enhance their life. You can too.

– – –

Visit Mia’s Website:  MiaDanielle.com
Visit Mia’s YouTube Channel

– – –

Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com
Gobio.link/quietandstrong
david [at] quietandstrong.com

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Time-Stamped Overview

02:12 The author’s personal journey into clutter-free living, which eventually turned into a profession, began during a difficult period in her life. She learned the value of creating peaceful environments and stable energy.

06:02 Americans spend 2-4 hours daily on household tasks. Freedom, reclaiming time, and personal growth are motivations for decluttering.

08:49 Too many possessions cause stress, arguments and apathy.

11:57 The text discusses the influence of environment on mental clarity and the benefits of clutter-free living, including better financial management and finding contentment with what one already has.

15:55 Enjoying one’s own thoughts and creative power as an introvert has helped in personal growth and relating to others.

17:43 I need space to recharge, especially after social events.

20:09 Introverts may assume they can’t start a YouTube channel because it requires putting themselves out there. However, introversion doesn’t mean they dislike socializing. Personally, I can connect with people on YouTube but not in large groups regularly.

24:19 Reasons for not noticing clutter: familiarity, mental attachments, limiting beliefs.

27:46 Keeping sentimental items is fine, but too many becomes a problem. I have a memory box as a limit for sentimental items, like cards and trinkets.

31:15 Starting with systems is key for long-lasting decluttering. Heat mapping and awareness systems are useful for organizing products. Group everything together and move used items to another section. After a while, assess untouched items. Data-driven approach preferred.

34:03 Prioritize your environment for a happier and supported life.

37:36 Being an introvert has positives, despite societal expectations for extroversion.

Key Takeways from This Episode

– Having a space that promotes restoration and allows for rest and recharge is important for introverts.

– Clutter-free living can support personal growth, freedom, and a sense of support in achieving daily goals.

– Clutter has psychological effects, hindering flow, impacting well-being, mood, and happiness.

– Introverts need space and time to restore and rest in order to use their strengths.

– Being clutter-free can lead to mental clarity, improved well-being, and financial benefits.

– Mia Danielle emphasizes the importance of systems for long-lasting clutter removal.

– Finding quiet time is essential for introverts, and creating it through naps or leaving the space can be beneficial.

– Mia feels positive about being an introvert and embraces its strengths and benefits.

Podcast Transcript

Mia Danielle [00:00:00]:

Having a space that promotes that restoration instead of a space where, you know, you just got to you know, you just got done socializing, social when I’m when I’m, social when I’m depleted energetically depleted, you know. So it definitely like, it impacts things like my relationships with my family, and having a space that I can rest in and restore in just makes it easier for me to be able to do all of that.

David Hall [00:00:44]:

Hello, life. And welcome to episode 149 of the Quiet Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of quieteststrong.com. It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, we are each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review.

David Hall [00:01:07]:

That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. Mia Daniel is a firm believer that your environment is your most valuable asset, Not in monetary terms, but in its profound impact on your overall well-being and happiness, at least it could be. As a content creator on a mission, she has spent the past several years sharing how anyone can create cozy, clutter free spaces life. Support their daily flow and enhance their life. You can life. Come to the Quiet and Strong podcast, Mia.

David Hall [00:01:45]:

Mia, it’s so great to have you on.

Mia Danielle [00:01:47]:

Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

David Hall [00:01:50]:

So you specialize in creating Cozy clutter free spaces, and you’re also an introvert. And that’s how I came across a YouTube video where you were talking about that, but also just life. Talking about how that was important to you as an introvert. We’ll definitely get into all that, but tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you started doing the work that you’re doing.

Mia Danielle [00:02:12]:

Well, I honestly, my journey into clutter free living, it started as a personal journey that I wasn’t ever looking for way before it became a professional thing, like, where I was writing about it in blog posts. I will say that, you know, like, none of this was planned. It started at a really tough time in my life where I had just gotten a divorce. I was a single mom to 2 toddlers. I lost my job somewhere in the mix there and everything felt really ungrounded. And so, you know, I think in the midst of all that turmoil and chaos, I started looking for things to grab onto, you know, like, ways that I could stabilize. And that’s where I started learning about the value that our environments play and how important they are in bringing just, you know, peace and the types of energy that you wanna experience. So I had my whole personal journey with clutter free living and with creating holistic spaces long before I ever considered trying to make a blog or make a business out of it.

Mia Danielle [00:03:15]:

The blog came later after, just deciding that I wanted to to make my own path. You know? I’ve always had kind of an entrepreneurial spirit, and I thought, well, this is the time for me to share all of these things that I’ve learned. And, and it started simple with the blog, not not making money or anything, just like blogging about it and sharing. And then that over the years has expanded to this YouTube channel and course and, a full on thing.

David Hall [00:03:44]:

Absolutely. And, You know, I’m definitely interested in this subject. I’ve gone through different phases where I was clutter free and really experienced the joy and clarity that brings and And I’m not. You know? So I’ve been in both. But, also, the pandemic was a very interesting time because people were now In their home environments a lot more, and and some people weren’t in great environments, you know, and it was tough. Tell us about your big three reasons that you talk about on your YouTube videos.

Mia Danielle [00:04:15]:

Yeah. So in my experience of working with people and, of course, my own personal experience. Everything seems to come down to 3 reasons why people wanna get the clutter out. The first one, and I put it first because it’s it’s the one that I relate to the most is support. You know, for example, for me at the time of my life where things were really chaotic and stressful and I was a single mom of 2 kids, I was looking for a place that wasn’t gonna fall apart when I needed to take downtime, when I needed to rest and recuperate. You know, as introverts, anytime you have a lot of or for me, at least, anytime I have a lot of visibility or a lot of social interaction action or I’m having to put myself out there a lot, I need to be able to withdraw and to kind of heal from that or recharge, regenerate. And, and in order to do that, I needed to have a space that wasn’t going to completely be becoming a disaster around me while I was taking that time. So that’s where I think, like, you know, support having a space that can support you, not only by not falling apart, but also by helping you in whatever your goals are or whatever your daily flow is.

Mia Danielle [00:05:24]:

You know? If you’re constantly having to move things around or trip over things or look things. You know? It just adds all of these little barriers and hiccups to your day, and it really messes with the flow. And and it can put you in a bad mood and just, like, you know, kind of ruin your day from that point on. So, you know, creating a supportive space is huge to me. That’s where I focus most of my channel on. But where most people, I feel like, tend to come at least whenever whenever they reach out to me, they’re usually at a place of looking for more freedom. They don’t wanna have to be cleaning up all the time. They don’t wanna have to be struggling with their environment and letting that absorb all of their time.

Mia Danielle [00:06:02]:

An American time use study showed that on average in America, we spend 2 to 4 hours per day tending to our homes. And I know a lot of women who are stay at home moms who that’s way more for. That comes to, like, you know, 60 hours which is vacation time. So trying to to reclaim some of that time and find freedom with time and freedom with the things that they were having to pay attention to and to tend to, or just the freedom to be able to get up and go on a vacation, you know, pack the things that you know that you’re gonna need into a backpack and go do what you wanna do without having so many ties. I think that freedom in one way or another, and it can look differently for everybody, is probably the number one reason that I people migrate toward a clutter free life. And then the third thing that I feel falls under the radar a lot a lot is, growth. And I think that people who are looking for for this type of benefit from going clutter free or going minimalist Often don’t even realize that that’s the reason. But it might look like, you know, I’m wanting to go back to college or I’m wanting to start a family or I’m wanting to, to write this book.

Mia Danielle [00:07:11]:

All of these things that they’re really wanting to grow in, some of these life purposes that they’re wanting to expand in, but they just don’t have the space to accommodate that or the mental space to accommodate that because of the state of their environment not really, you know, supporting the growth in that area. And I’ve seen people who don’t even have a plan for a space. And then once they create that space, all of a sudden these ideas and these creations kind of come from that space, which is a really interesting it’s interesting to watch that happen on the other side. Somebody cleans out an area, turns it into an office, and then all of a sudden they’re creating their own course or they’re writing a book because they have the space to do that now. So those 3 things I feel like are are the main biggies when it comes to the benefits of living clutter free and what draws a lot of people to that lifestyle.

David Hall [00:08:04]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And you also talk about maybe you touched on some of these already, but you talk about the psychological effects So clutter, what are those?

Mia Danielle [00:08:13]:

Oh, there are a lot. I have 2 different, 2 different full on articles about that, but there are a lot. I think that the the most obvious is stress. There have been tons and tons of studies that show that we don’t just life, feel stressed for no reason. Like, if you walk into a completely chaotic cluttered space, it’s not just you. There are, like, scientific and biological reasons that you feel that way. And so, probably the most popular study on that was done in UCLA on, 32 American families. And they found that the mother’s cortisol hormones spiked when they were dealing with their belongings.

Mia Danielle [00:08:49]:

They would take, swabs of their mouths and test it for cortisol levels and those would spike when dealing with belongings. And there have been just so many studies like that that show that our our having so many possessions or so many things that you need to tend to and keep up with does cause stress. But it’s not just the stress. I mean, if you look at behavioral effects, when you think of, you know, your home being in disarray or having too much and feeling overwhelmed by that. Just, you know, it can bring on feelings of obviously frustration, irritability, arguments with other people. Why didn’t you pick this up? Why are you bringing more things home? Like, a lot of the arguments that we have, whether it’s with our kids or with our significant other. A lot of that does come down to the space that you’re sharing together. And then on the other end of that, you’ve got things like avoidance or apathy when you feel like it’s just gotten so bad that you don’t don’t even wanna think about it.

Mia Danielle [00:09:45]:

You just wanna check out and watch Netflix, you know. So our behavior and and, you know, I think that One of the biggest and most interesting things for me in general when it comes to our environments is how there’s this whole feedback loop of how you know, our environments impact our mind. They impact our mental state. Just stepping into a space, whether it’s a day spa or a haunted house or, you know, a messy living room immediately impacts the way that you feel. It impacts your mood. It impacts how inspired or energized or exhausted. You know? All of these things are fired or energized or exhausted. You know? All of these things are impacted just by stepping foot into a space.

Mia Danielle [00:10:23]:

And I don’t think that there are too many, things that do that. If you look at, like, exercise, diet, like, a lot of those things take time, there aren’t very many things that work as immediately as stepping into a space. And so when you look at your moods and your behaviors, when you’re inside of a space, it makes sense that there would be such a close tie given how responsive we are to our habitats. Wow. Yeah. I mean but it goes on like productivity, right, activity, right, like loss of focus. So many studies have been done on, you know, distraction and inability to focus and decreased efficiency and all of those things.

David Hall [00:11:01]:

Okay. So on the flip side, what’s the positive effects of being clutter free on our sense of well-being and our mental health?

Mia Danielle [00:11:10]:

Well, on the flip side, when you have less stuff that’s obstructing your vision and taking your attention, well, you have more mental clarity. That’s the biggest one for me. It’s mental clarity. I there are a lot of things that that I can tolerate, but having a fuzzy mind and not being able to think clearly and plan and, you know, feel like I’m optimized, that that drives me crazy. And when things are chaotic, it takes from that mental clarity. So That kinda goes along with the the whole distraction from productivity. Princeton University did a study on that with MIT that, tested, having a certain number of things in the visual line of sight and how much mental processing power that took from their patients. You can see the link to that on my blog post.

Mia Danielle [00:11:57]:

But, you know, things like that, I feel like are just so obvious, but also really interesting that something could take that much of your mental clarity. Things that you don’t think about because we always like to feel like we’re in full control of our mind and our thoughts and the decisions that we’re making, but really we’re constantly being influenced by things that are in our environments. But talking about benefits, I I tend to find that I have a lot, better handle on my finances when you’re not spending as much money to bring things in, when you’re selling things that you’re able to make money off of, which I feel like I’m constantly doing. And when you just when you find this whole sense of peace and contentment with what you already have, which which I think is a big part of clutter free living. It’s finding contentment with not constantly needing more. You find that you have a lot more money. Like, I don’t make as much money as I used to when I would buy a ton of stuff and just, like, try to drown my problems and things. I don’t make as much money as I did then.

Mia Danielle [00:12:59]:

But I seem to have a lot more money, like, in the savings now than I did then. So it’s really a different perspective and mindset shift.

David Hall [00:13:09]:

So I was watching a YouTube video where you were talking about, you know, being clutter free, but you also were talking about being an introvert. And just what you were saying, I’m like, that’s so relevant to us as introverts. Our mental space, that’s where we spend a lot of our time And the clarity that we can have there is so important. So let’s talk about that a little bit. Tell us about when did you figure out that you’re an introvert?

Mia Danielle [00:13:34]:

I think that I figured out I was an introvert, long before I ever knew what the word was. Right. You know, we learn all these fancy words and definitions and stuff as as you get older. But I remember as a kid being a very introspective person. Like, I knew that I enjoyed being in my brain, like, just living in my brain and thinking of stories and creating and imagining in my brain. And I was honestly, I don’t think that it’s a definition or that it It’s a defining characteristic of an introvert to not be social. But at the time, I can say as a kid, I felt much more comfortable in my own brain than I did being out with friends and peers. Like, that was just my comfort zone.

Mia Danielle [00:14:16]:

I it’s like I’ve always been this way. And then as I grew and and learned about introversion and extroversion and how our energy impacts those things or how those things impact our energy. I was like, well, you know, that’s definitely what it is because I can go into show mode, visibility mode, doing a promotional launch or something for the business or going live on Instagram or Anything where I’m in even even things that are really enjoyable, spending time with family, holidays, all of those things. Whereas my husband gets energized by those. He gets so much energy out of just being around the people. I come home and I’m like, I need to take a week off and talk to nobody. You know? I need to recuperate that energy.

David Hall [00:15:04]:

But when did you put a name to it?

Mia Danielle [00:15:06]:

Oh, I was probably, like, in the past 5 years or something that I started hearing more about it out there. It became more I don’t know why it started really becoming more mainstream, like people talking about introversion and extroversion and, you know, books being written. And I remember seeing a TED talk, on a woman. That may have actually been when I when I first realized that it was a thing. And I can’t remember how long ago that was, but I think it was a TED talk about a woman talking about her experiences growing up an introvert and the expectations that, like, her family and people had for her to be like everybody else, but that just wasn’t how she felt, you know.

David Hall [00:15:44]:

Yeah. And you’re right. A lot of it has been In the more recent around 10 years or so times, did you identify strengths that you have being an introvert?

Mia Danielle [00:15:55]:

I did. I’ve always felt I don’t know. I think it’s a special thing to really enjoy being inside of your own brain. And I think that a lot of creativity and, you know, just just creations in general, thoughts, Innovations can come from that space, from spending time in that space. And so where you know, you could definitely get creative inspiration externally too and being around other people and hearing other people’s experiences and being outside and all of that. It’s just a very different and special, ability to be able to spend that much time and create that much, something from nothing and sitting in your own mental space. And that’s probably the biggest superpower that I’ve been able to find as an introvert is I think that it’s gotten me, you know, to where I am just in general to where I’m able to even relate to other people better because I know myself so well. And I know that because I experience these things, other people likely experience and experience them too.

Mia Danielle [00:17:01]:

And so it makes me, in that way, more empathetic and more compassionate and more creative. Not that extroverts aren’t those things, but I do feel like it’s it’s a different version of it.

David Hall [00:17:15]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And, you know, we’re definitely never bashing extroverts, but

Mia Danielle [00:17:19]:

Yeah.

David Hall [00:17:19]:

But we should absolutely, celebrate our strengths because Every introvert is not the same, but I think that’s what we share is that deep thinking. As you and I get to know each other, we might have a lot in common. We might have some things that are different, But it’s that deep thinking and, of course, some great creativity can come from that. And then we talk about the strengths and also needs. Did you figure out needs you had Being an introvert?

Mia Danielle [00:17:43]:

Yeah. So, my that’s one reason where my space really came in. You know? Like, when we talk about finding support in your home space. My need is to be able to hibernate, particularly after big social events. I need to be able to have space. I need to be able to get into my zone without having outside input coming at me one way or another for periods of time, sometimes for extended periods of time. And it really depends on on how much I’ve been pushing myself, and what all I have going on. But the more that I’m in social situations, the more space and time I need to myself.

Mia Danielle [00:18:27]:

And I need to be able to restore and rest, get more sleep, get my mind back to neutral, you know, kinda be able to back into my own thoughts for a while. I mean, that’s that’s probably the biggest need that I have as an introvert is, you know, it being okay with me not showing up to things for a while or with me just resting and drawing back in.

David Hall [00:18:53]:

Yeah, absolutely. And and like you said, that’s that’s a big part of the work that you do because, you know, I definitely heard you say on at least 1 video that This is our kind of sanctuary, you know. We need that space to recharge and it’s not just about recharging. It’s about thinking, being creative, coming up with innovative things, being strategic, but we need that. We need our space to be right for us to be able to either recharge or use our strengths as introverts.

Mia Danielle [00:19:23]:

Exactly. Yeah. Having a space that promotes that restoration instead of a space where, you know, you just got to you know, you just got done socializing and now you come home and you need to tend to all these other things. I find that I’m more nitpicky about my space being out of order when I’m, social when I’m depleted, energetically depleted. You know? So it definitely like, it impacts things like my relationships with my family, and having a space that I can rest in and restore in just makes it easier for me to be able to do all of that.

David Hall [00:20:00]:

Yeah, absolutely. So we talk about strengths, needs, and we do a little myth busting. Do you have a myth That you wanna bust today about introverts?

Mia Danielle [00:20:09]:

I think that there are so many. You know, first of all, I think that most introverts might assume that they couldn’t start a YouTube channel because that’s putting yourself out there. Right? A lot of people, I think, assume that introverts are just shy people or that they don’t like people or they don’t like socializing. You know? And from for me personally, and I think that a lot of it, it it comes down to just personal experience personal preferences. For me personally, I do enjoy every time I go out and I hang out with my friends, I enjoy it. I just can’t do it as much as another person. I am able to put myself out there on YouTube, and I feel like I am able to, relate to people and to empathize with people and connect, really, connect with other people even though I am doing it from the solitude and the safety of my own space. Would I be able to do the same thing if it required me being in a large group of people as I did it every week? Probably not.

Mia Danielle [00:21:06]:

I think that would probably be too taxing. But there are a lot of ways that I’m able to, connect with other people and to be a face of a business, which I feel like a lot of people would not necessarily expect that an introvert would be that great at, you know?

David Hall [00:21:25]:

Yeah. That’s a good one. And, you know, it’s it’s so crazy. We we absolutely do life. Love and need people. We just might need different doses. You know, we might need some time to recharge. We might need to approach things a little bit differently.

David Hall [00:21:40]:

Like, you know, for example, I sent you questions ahead of time. We’re not following a script, but I need to prepare. I’m, I’m on a podcast And I love it. I love talking with you, but, you know, I needed to put out there, like, kind of a general idea of what we wanted to talk about, so I need you prepared. I’m sure you Do your own style of preparation for your YouTube videos, but it’s not that we don’t like people. It’s just we, have certain needs and we also, You know, do need some downtime as well.

Mia Danielle [00:22:10]:

Yeah. I mean, in a lot of ways, I think that that it makes us even better at, Again, being able to connect and empathize and, you know, run a business even when you’re able to spend that much creative space inside of your head and and use the the social connection when you need to just more strategically. Yeah.

David Hall [00:22:34]:

So let’s get back to the YouTube channel that we’ve been talking about. You know, you have a lot of great videos. What made you decide to start that?

Mia Danielle [00:22:40]:

Honestly, I had been blogging for years, and I’d started a podcast, the Mind Your Home podcast. And I wanted a way to draw more eyes to my blog post. That’s really all it was. And I was in this this coaching group at the time, and they said, well, you know, people are having A lot of luck with creating YouTube videos to accompany their blog posts because Google is now, you know, showing preference to, you know, YouTube videos inside of blog post. So honestly, I initially just created the YouTube video. I was just gonna get up there, go through my blog post, you know, connect into it. I was never intending to be quote a YouTuber. But as it turns out, like, the YouTube channel was what ended up taking off.

Mia Danielle [00:23:21]:

And so I ended up having to to pivot my attention, and now I don’t ever write just blog posts, and I don’t ever do standalone podcast episodes. Everything trickles down from my YouTube videos.

David Hall [00:23:33]:

Awesome. Yeah. Is there any content that seems to be more popular on your YouTube channel?

Mia Danielle [00:23:40]:

You know, in general, and this is probably the case for most people’s YouTube channel, it seems to be the listicles that always perform the best. Okay. 29 things people forget to declutter. You know, 50 ways that you know you had to know if you have too much clutter. But Here recently, I did have a video go viral that was what psychologists know about your clutter that you don’t, and it covered many of the topics that we talked about today. That that has now surpassed all of my previous YouTube videos. Yeah.

David Hall [00:24:13]:

And so With clutter, what’s the reasons why clutter might build up?

Mia Danielle [00:24:19]:

You know, there are a lot of reasons. I think that, You know, some of the more superficial reasons that can impact all of us is that you stop seeing your clutter. After a while, you know, it becomes a part of the the normal space that you’re surrounded by kind of like the walls, and so your brain doesn’t recognize it as being important information. So we kind of stop seeing our own clutter if we’re used to living in it for a while. One thing that you could do is take a picture of a room and all of a sudden you’ll start to for some reason, the difference in perspective, You’ll start to see a lot of the clutter that you’ve been blind to, that you’ve been blocking out. But aside from that, I mean, everybody has their own mental attachments. And a lot of it comes down to limiting beliefs, like this is how I was raised or I believe that if I let go of this and I’m gonna need it someday or, you know, I believe if I let go of these memories from the past that I’m gonna lose this time, so I need to hold on to all of them. You know, just whatever you believe about your stuff or about yourself, about your ability to even Maintain a clutter free space is a big one.

Mia Danielle [00:25:24]:

So I I feel like that’s huge. But even beyond that, the reasons that we hold on to things can be It can be so different. It could be a fear of waste. It could be like I hear this one probably more than any other. I bought these really expensive shoes and they don’t fit me or they really hurt my feet. But it’s wasteful to let go of them. Right? It’s wasteful that I know I won’t be able to sell them for the same amount of money that I spin on them so you get this whole sunk cost fallacy. And I think that, it really all comes down to all of these little psychological things to unwind, which I personally find really interesting because it’s like it’s different little pegs for every person.

Mia Danielle [00:26:03]:

You know? There’s some people who have, you know, limiting beliefs and feeling like they need to store up, like squirrels storing up for the winter and maybe that’s because their parents didn’t have anything. And so they’ve been trained and raised to hold on to things because you never know when you’re gonna reach another depression and you’re gonna need those things. So, yeah, long story short, Yeah. There are tons tons of different reasons, but I think in most cases, it comes down to some type of fear.

David Hall [00:26:33]:

Yeah. And I know for me, it’s those sentimental kinds of things. Like my dad always took a briefcase to work, life. You know, large rectangular hard case, briefcase, and my mom recently gave me that, and I’m not gonna get rid of that. I’m not ever gonna use it, but, You know, maybe something else I struggle with is, like, my kids’ toys. They’re they’re not playing with toys anymore. They’re, you know, growing up, and I might think, well, You know, they had so much fun playing with that or maybe we even had so much fun playing with that. And I know I gotta get rid of more of those kinds of things.

David Hall [00:27:04]:

So Do you have any guidance as far as, like, you know, how how to decide what you keep, you know, because there’s gonna be some things that just make you happy and some things that you just need to decide to part with.

Mia Danielle [00:27:15]:

Yeah. So when it comes to sentimental items, I mean, I do think that we all have some kind of a connection. It’s like our our belongings in some ways are extensions of ourselves. They talk about our past. They talk about our goals for the future, our present, you know, life or our present routines and habits and the things that we’re doing. And so it’s not just external stuff all the time. But when it comes to sentimental items, one thing that I always go back too is that if everything is sentimental, nothing is sentimental. So, like, you talk about your dad’s briefcase, for example.

Mia Danielle [00:27:46]:

I would see nothing wrong with holding on to something like that because it has true sentimental value. But if you were to say that same story about, like, a 100 or 200 other items, that’s where people start getting trapped in in where sentimentality starts to become a problem. So I think, for me, I I set limits on things like that, not like number limits, but I have a memory box. So for cards or for little trinkets or things that I’m not actually gonna be using or decorating with but that are sentimental to me, I’ll keep whatever will fit in the memory box, and it’s a good sized memory box. We haven’t even halfway filled it yet. So that is kind of like my spatial constraint. I’m big on spatial constraints being, like, firm boundaries that tell you when this is enough. With my kids’ toy box, spatial constraints.

Mia Danielle [00:28:34]:

They have a really giant wooden chest that was built by their grandfather who’s no longer with us. And the rule has always been you can keep whatever toys you wanna keep your choice as long as they fit in the chest. Because once they’re out of the chest, then they no longer at home and things just starts, you know, swarming and spreading throughout the house. And and they’re not even you know, it’s the 80 20 role. They’re only playing with, like, 20% of them 80% of the time anyway. So that’s that’s how I generally tend to think that tend to be more sentimental. I try to make it to where I’m not just telling myself no all the time or negating the need for some things that are sentimental while still keeping some kind of boundaries in place so that things don’t get out of control.

David Hall [00:29:21]:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s some great advice and we did do that with the kids a long time ago where we said, you know, hey, we’re gonna get rid of some stuff, But I just need to do it again.

Mia Danielle [00:29:33]:

I’m really quick with those things. I’ve found that I’ve become less and less sentimental in general over the years probably, you know, aside of doing what I do. Right? I used to keep a lot more things. Like, if I look 15 years ago, I I would hold on to extra little things. And I still had, like, albums of pictures from high school, and I still had Just all of these different, collections from, you know, showing the years of my life, and I don’t have any of those now. And I honestly don’t don’t miss them. But at this point, you know, I have a 1 year old crawling around. I can’t wait to get rid of some of those toys.

Mia Danielle [00:30:08]:

I’m like, as soon as we reach the next level and buy more, We’re going to be swapping out some of these other toys with the new ones. It’s just, I think, a difference in maybe mindset or perspective or just a difference in personality.

David Hall [00:30:25]:

I know there’s probably a lot of people out there that, You know, want to change, but they’re definitely feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clutter and it’s I’m sure that’s relative to every person, then they just don’t know where to start. So So what do you say to someone like that?

Mia Danielle [00:30:41]:

I’d say the best place to start is with a system. Having systems for yourself on a daily basis is gonna be more powerful and it’s gonna last a lot longer then killing yourself for an entire week or entire weekend getting out the clutter. I mean, that can that can be good too. It’s definitely a good starting place. But like we’ve talked about today, you know, a lot of this clutter is gonna come back anyway because it’s all clutter kinda starts in the mind. Right? You have habits. You have routines. You have reasons that the clutter keeps coming.

Mia Danielle [00:31:15]:

And so starting with systems is a much more long lasting process for making sure that the clutter leads and stays gone rather than, again, just killing yourself trying to get it out. So, you know, some systems that I I like to use are, like heat mapping or awareness systems. So whenever you go to use some products in your bathroom, for example, maybe you have a bunch of facial products, hair products, and your medicine cabinet, I like to do something called heat mapping for those where you shove everything over into 1 pile. And as you use something, you pick it up and you move it over into another section. And then after several weeks or after a month, you go and you see the items that you haven’t touched. I’m really big on data. Maybe that’s my introverted brain. I like to see the data.

Mia Danielle [00:32:02]:

So when I go and I look back at the medicine cabinet and I physically see the things that I haven’t used, Well, then I don’t feel quite so bad with letting those things go. And so when you do this, it’s called organic decluttering. Decluttering throughout your natural process instead of making an event of decluttering. It it just makes it to where there’s a lot less pressure and a lot overwhelm, and it’s not something that you keep having to plan and therefore keep having to put off.

David Hall [00:32:31]:

Yeah. Let’s talk a bit a little bit more about that. So What’s wrong with making it an event?

Mia Danielle [00:32:37]:

There’s nothing wrong with it. But if people find that they’re they’re feeling overwhelmed by it the the thing with an event is, Especially if you have a ton of clutter to go through, it sounds like a drag. Right? It sounds like I don’t wanna do that. That’s gonna take all day. It’s gonna be exhausting. And so because of that connotation and the way that we feel about it, it’s really easy to put it off. Well, I’ll do it later. Well, I’ll do it when we do spring cleaning next year.

Mia Danielle [00:33:04]:

So there’s there’s that whole thing of removing the overwhelm and removing some of the negative emotions that we have about decluttering when instead you make it a part of your natural organic process throughout the day. But, also, A lot of people will put in all of that effort and then because they haven’t they haven’t addressed some of the underlying reasons for the clutter in the 1st place, It just all comes back. And then they feel really defeated and kind of like, why did I waste my time doing all of that? Look at this place. We’re right back where we started a couple of months later.

David Hall [00:33:38]:

Yeah. So you have a big event. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna get rid of all this stuff, But you don’t have a system in place to now that you’ve gotten rid of this stuff, like you said, it’s gonna come back because you haven’t developed your system for for getting Getting organized and creating your clutter free space.

Mia Danielle [00:33:55]:

Exactly.

David Hall [00:33:58]:

Is there anything else that you want to talk about as far as Creating this clutter free space.

Mia Danielle [00:34:03]:

You know, the only other thing that I would say is I know I know the draw to, like, put it on the back burner. I feel like our homes kinda get the leftovers. We’re working on projects. We’re doing things with the kids if you have a family. You know, you have these things that are taking your attention. And everything that’s left over from that, everything that gets in your way while you’re doing that is then, like, just left into your space. Right? This is how we We make messes and and, you know and and so the our homes often get a back burner, but I truly believe that your environment is the most impactful thing that you can optimize in order to give you a happier life, a happier and more supported life with all of the things that you’re already trying to do. It’s one of those that once you get it set, It gives you that return of investment.

Mia Danielle [00:34:52]:

You get more time on the back end. You get more energy on the back end, and you get, ideally, if you do it right, more support and better functionality on the back end. So I just I encourage people who are listening to maybe change the way that they’re prioritizing their home from being a back burner item to being, oh, this could actually give me a higher return of investment for the time that I put into it.

David Hall [00:35:17]:

Yeah. I love that. So it might take a little time to, you know, declutter and get your system in place, But it’ll pay off because you won’t lose things. You just feel better and you can definitely be more productive and that type of thing. And again, as we were talking about, I think it’s very relevant to introverts and I’m really happy that you made a video about that that included your strengths and needs as an introvert and how that impacts How do you find your quiet time?

Mia Danielle [00:35:45]:

Oh, I make my quiet time. I make a lot of it. I’m a big nap person, And I’m lucky enough that even though I have a 1 year old, I also have 2 teenagers. I have a a 15 year old and a 17 year old, and then, of course, my husband, Matt, and we are lucky enough that we both get to work from home. So, we help each other out. You know? Like, if if I need some space, to whether it’s to do something like I’m doing right now where he’s up with Chloe or if I were to need to take a nap, we we, help each other out around the house. So, you know, I’m lucky. There are a lot of people who maybe don’t have that support system, but definitely having a support system is is super helpful.

Mia Danielle [00:36:26]:

Also, you know, sometimes you just need to leave your space. Take a walk, take a drive, you know, go to a park or coffee shop. I’ve been doing that a lot here lately. And I find that I’m kind of reinvigorated when I get out of my zone sometimes and change up a little bit of my perspective, Even my actual visual perspective of the things I’m looking at, it can bring on a lot more energy and creativity and just replenishment.

David Hall [00:36:54]:

Awesome. And so your family and the other people in your life understand when you need this quiet time?

Mia Danielle [00:37:01]:

Yeah. Yeah. From the most part. You know? Sometimes we’ll be taking a nap and one of the teenagers will come knock on the door, but we respect naps in this house overall because good. For naps too. So

David Hall [00:37:12]:

Yeah. I think naps are largely wasted on kids because they don’t

Mia Danielle [00:37:16]:

want them.

David Hall [00:37:17]:

And then when we or adults, we we don’t often have the time to take them. So

Mia Danielle [00:37:21]:

Yeah. We’ve built a culture in this household of being pro naps, so we have nap respect around here.

David Hall [00:37:27]:

Yeah. That’s awesome. Alright. Anything else you want to say about being an introvert in the strengths and how that contributes to the work that you’re doing?

Mia Danielle [00:37:36]:

I just, the only other thing I would say is that I’m glad that I have learned. It’s hard to to see, it’s hard to see that way of thinking and that way of energizing as being a positive when you’re a kid, when you’re supposed to just be playing all the time and socializing all the time and b like, because your kids are expected to be extroverts or there’s a problem. You know? It’s nice to be able to see the positives of it and to understand that it’s not like it’s a a bad thing. You know? It’s not like it’s a negative sentence to be called, an introvert. There are a lot of really great and wonderful things that we can create and that we can do and, and even benefits that we have that other people don’t have. So I think it’s it’s awesome. I’m happy about it.

David Hall [00:38:24]:

Well said, Mia. I love that. So, again, we’ve had a great conversation today. I know it’s gonna be a very helpful conversation for many. If people wanna find out more about the great work you do, how can they get ahold of you?

Mia Danielle [00:38:37]:

Well, I’m most visible over on YouTube. Just, youtube dot com forward slash mia danielle. Mia Danielle is my tag everywhere. My website is mia danielle.com. You’ll see, like, all of my blog posts, the mind your home podcast episodes, my YouTube videos, all of that is kind of embedded there on the blog. And then if anybody is wanting some free resources courses to be able to dive in and start making those changes themselves. On my blog at the bottom, you can get access to my free resource library while I where I keep all of them in one convenient location. Yay, simplicity.

David Hall [00:39:10]:

Alright. Sounds great. I’ll put all that in the show notes. Thanks again, Mia. This has been a great conversation.

Mia Danielle [00:39:15]:

Awesome. Thank you for having me.

David Hall [00:39:18]:

Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at david@quietandstrong.com or check out the quiet and strong.com website which includes blog posts, links to social media, and other items. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free Typefinder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report including the 4 letter Myers Briggs code. I’ll add a link to the show notes. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, so we need those to be understood.

David Hall [00:39:56]:

Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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