home, Lifestyle, Motherhood

8 Clutter-Busting Routines For An Organized Home

8 Clutter-Busting Routines For An Organized Home

A Guest Post by Zowie Ashton of Flat Cleaning London U.K.

Edited by: Carmela Granada 

decluttering tips
If you are always frustrated with the never-ending job of making your home look organized and good-looking, you can follow a few simple routines to make your home less-cluttered and easier to manage.

Don’t stress over the clutter.

Studies show that the thought of decluttering actually increases the levels of stress. The last thing you need is to feel bad for yourself. Instead of feeling miserable, take a look around. Start imagining how the house will look after you are done with the decluttering. Concentrating on positive images and thoughts will relieve the stress.

Don’t do everything in a day.

Decluttering the whole house in a day is not just tiresome but also quite unrealistic. Start from a single place and take a week or even a month to finish with the decluttering of every room in your home. Completing the tasks one by one will make you feel less stressed out and you can pay more attention to your family. Plus, when decluttering one place at a time, you will do it more thoroughly and the results will be better than dealing with the whole house in one day.

Make a to-do-list.

Making a list of the places you must declutter will help you tremendously with the procedures. Every time you complete a chore on the list you will feel a sense of fulfillment and you will be able to see the actual results of your hard work.

Decluttering will help you with the cleaning

It is proven that the less time you spend in decluttering before you clean, the easier, faster and more efficient the cleaning procedures will be. Would you organize books or magazines for half an hour before you start dealing with the mess in the living room? Or you would prefer already having it done and start cleaning right away? If you don’t make it easier for yourself, it is highly unlikely someone else to do it.

Follow the rules for the wardrobe decluttering.

The wardrobe is the place which most people always avoid. There are a few simple rules which will help you to make the decision of which clothes you can keep and which you should throw away much easier. Ask yourself if you have worn the piece of clothing in the last year, does it still fit and will you ever be wearing it again. If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, there is no reason to keep it.

Forget keeping things ‘just in case of’.

We are all guilty of keeping useless stuff. If you are honest with yourself, you can make decluttering possible. Forget keeping items in case of something happens. The chances to actually need things which you haven’t use in the last few years are quite slim. Instead, throw away those useless things and free some space in your home. This will give you a good feeling of an organized homeowner.

Make a box for items you are not sure about.

If you are having a hard time deciding for certain items, and you just can’t throw them away, you can store them in a box in which you can put away all the stuff you are not sure whether you will use again or not. But keep track, because if those items do not leave this box in the following one year, you are better off without them.

Make everything easier to find.

Finally, a true quality of an organized person is to know the place of everything in your home. Moreover, assigning a specific place for your belongings is very helpful and you will benefit a lot from it.

Do you think these eight routines will make your life much more organized? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Read Next: 13 Ways To Be Happier In Your Thirties

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Lucy At Home

how to be happier
health, Lifestyle, Motherhood, Self-care

13 Ways To Be Happier In Your Thirties

How To Be Happy In Your Thirties

by Carmela Granada

It Takes A Conscious Effort To Be Happy

Is it just me, or is it harder to be happy when you’re older? Remember when we were in our teens and twenties when life was so much easier? Now that I am in my thirties, I realized that it takes an active effort to be happy. Do you feel the same way?

In your thirties, you may find yourself falling into the comparison trap. You may be taking on a new set of responsibilities. Maybe you have unfulfilled life goals. You may have experienced a terrible loss. Your body is not as healthy as it used to be. Perhaps now, you have higher standards in life, and you are not happy with the things that used to make you feel fulfilled.

My Disclaimer

I want to be a happier thirty-something-year-old. Yes, happiness is fleeting. Yes, happiness is different from joy. But is it wrong to want to be happy? Of course not! So, I did some things that I think made me a happier stay-at-home mom. This is why I made this list, to share some of the things I did to make my life happier. If you are in pain, or in the midst of suffering, please ignore this blog post. It will only make you feel worse and I do not want to trivialize what you are going through. Continue reading if you want to know how I try to be happi(er). Also, I am not a 100% happy person! In reality, I am an angry mama bear. 🙂 I am just someone who wants to seek happiness with intention.

What I Do To “Stay Happy”

1. Identify your source/s of unhappiness.

I don’t know why, but it pisses me off when somebody says, “You SHOULD be grateful that you are____” or “you SHOULD not feel sad because___”. Please don’t tell me what I should or should not feel even if I know that you are just trying to make me feel better.

Are you feeling tired or overwhelmed? Do you have any regrets? Are you feeling insecure? Do you feel the pressure to be successful? Are you stuck with people you don’t want to be with? Do you feel like the energy and love that you give are not reciprocated? Do you feel any resentment towards someone? Are you sick of your current situation? These are all valid reasons to be unhappy. And it is okay to feel sad.


2. Learn how to say a powerful “no”.

A fake yes is a great source of stress! My time and energy are so precious and I cannot waste them on things that will only make me sad/ uncomfortable/ resentful, etc. I am still in the process of learning how to do this right. In my culture, many people do not seem to understand that “no means no” and I am not pakipot (saying no when you really mean yes). For some reason, when you say no, you will be the source of “chismis” or gossip. Also, when you say “yes” one time, it is an invitation for more “yeses” in the future. Therefore, I need to say no like I mean it! I make my “no” more powerful by making my eyes look bigger!

3. Declutter.

I threw away or donated things that have no purpose in my life or are taking up too much space. I have two kids under three and I am in charge of most of the household chores. The constant cleaning can drive you crazy! I realized that to clean our space, I need to remove things that are “in the way”!

A question you can ask yourself is “Does it spark joy? (Marie Kondo)” If it does not make you happy, throw it out. I threw out old receipts, junk paper, broken things and donated unwanted gifts, clothes that I don’t wear anymore, and my children’s old baby clothes. Empty, cleaned-out spaces make me so happy! Do you feel the same way or are you happy being surrounded by lots of things? If hoarding makes you happy, then do the opposite!

4. Unfriend/ leave group/ restrict/ unfollow.

I unfriended those fake friends who unfollowed me on Instagram, the tactless titas/ titas who left snarky comments on my photos, the ghost followers who didn’t interact with me on Facebook, the tita who bullied me, etc. I left groups that I don’t care about/ yung hindi ko na feel. Just recently, I archived a group that I started because it did not work out. That’s okay! If you feel like Facebook is making you unhappy, deactivate! Most of the time people don’t even notice!

5. Keep a journal.

I keep a one-sentence-a-day journal to record happy/ positive things about my day. It helps a lot, at least for me. I remember having a really shitty day and writing “I thank God I am still breathing” on that particular date. I also keep another journal to record all my angry/ sad feelings, rants, and complaints. “My Little Bad Book” is like a private Twitter account with 0 followers!

6. Go outside.

Sometimes, a change of environment is what you need to lift your mood. It has come to the point where I truly enjoy taking out the garbage! I treasure those quiet ten minutes of basurera time. If it is possible to incorporate some outdoor time into your day, then take advantage of it! For new mommies with very small babies, it may seem impossible to go outside. But if you can figure out a way to do it, it may help! If you can’t go outside at all, just ignore my suggestion.

7. Connect with people you genuinely care about.

The best feeling in the world is when you can spend time with the people you truly love! I really enjoy traveling with my husband and kids. Because my true friends live in the Philippines or in the US, I try to carve out some time out of my busy day to send them a PM/ react to their Instastory/ write a nice comment on their post, etc. I have recently found a new group of online mommy friends who can totally relate to my struggles. They are the non-annoying type who don’t give unsolicited advice. I realized that I just needed friends who understand what I am going through! That’s it. Find your tribe/ support group.

8. Find a creative outlet.

I used to be afraid of doing something new because I didn’t want to be judged for it. But now, I have learned to stop caring about what other people think (or at least 85% of the time)! Here’s the fun part: your creative outlet does not have to be connected to your degree/ job! What do you enjoy doing? Is it cooking? Blogging? Crocheting? Shopping? Building Lego architecture? Whatever it is, if you have the resources and that small block of time in your day…just do it.

9. Complete a nagging task.

I got this idea from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. Tasks that are not accomplished can really make you feel uneasy. What task have you been putting off lately? For me, recording my family’s receipts on Excel is such a boring chore. But the feeling of finally throwing out those crumpled receipts from April an May was so satisfying.

10. Post whatever you want to post on social media.

Post that shameless selfie. Baby spam all you want. Show off whatever you want to show off. Post your opinions! Nobody ain’t got time to think about other people’s feelings. They know how to use the UNFOLLOW button.  JUST DON’T POST MOVIE SPOILERS! Ibang usapan na yan!

11. Set your priorities straight.

I got this idea from a good friend Dr. Melvin Sanicas. What are the 5 most important things in your life (in no particular order)? Focus on those things.

12. Find that quiet space/ time to be alone.

This is easier said than done. For me, that quiet time is during my kids’ naptime (there are days when I don’t get this time, tbh). I use this time to read/ pray/ reflect/ listen to God/ write/ do self-care, etc.

13. Make someone else happy.

Last week, I was feeling so overwhelmed and sad. I felt so alone. I literally cried out to God and asked Him to lift me out of this dark pit. Five minutes later, I received a message from a good old family friend! That person validated my feelings and gave me some words of encouragement. My friend was also feeling down at that time but he chose to make someone else happy. I said that I am going to continue the cycle of kindness by reaching out to another person who is feeling down.

Final Thoughts

Now if you are feeling sad and you don’t want to happy now, then why are you still reading this post? Seriously, you shouldn’t be reading “how to be happy” blog posts. It is perfectly fine to be sad. We don’t always have to be happy.

Maybe some of you can relate to this, but it’s my responsibility to be happy. Because of my current situation as a mom of two little boys, my mood inevitably affects everyone else’s. My husband wrote this message on his Mother’s Day card for me:

“You put the joy in this home. You are the emotional leader of our family- when you are happy, we feel it and are happy too!”

So really, the reason why I want to stay happy is because of my husband and kids. I don’t want to be remembered as the sad and angry mom. My goal is for my family to see me as the “light of our home”.

What’s On Your List?

I really want to know. What do you do to be a happier person? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Finally, did you enjoy this post? If you did, will you share it on social media? If you haven’t liked my Facebook Page, please give it a like and follow! You can also follow me on Instagram! 

Check out my recommended book list! I make a small commission if you make a purchase through any of these links with no extra cost to you:

Lucy At Home

Dolce Vita Bloggers Linky, Italy, Language, Literacy, travel

My 5 Favorite Italian Words/ Phrases (And How To Use Them)


First of all, grazie mille to the Dolce Vita Bloggers hosts Jasmine of Questa Dolce Vita, Kristie of Mamma Prada, and Kelly of Italian at Heart! This month’s topic is 5 Favorite Italian Words and Phrases.

Italian Words and Phrases

So, here is my list of favorite Italian words and phrases:




Okay, so I first learned this word from the show Master of None! “Allora” is a filler word (so, well, then, therefore, etc.). Use this word if you hate awkward silence, or if you are still thinking about what you’re going to say. In Filipino, the closest translation I could think of is “bale”.


(Sahl- veh)

My good friend from Torino taught me this word. It is a polite way of saying “hello” without being too formal. It is more formal than the friendly “Ciao!” but less formal than “Buongiorno”. It is interesting to note that in my native language (Filipino), there is no direct translation for “hello”. The closest expressions that I could think of is “kumusta” (“how are you”) and “mabuhay” (“may you live”).



This word literally means “to lose yourself”. Perditi anche tu, divertiti (Lose yourself, have fun). When you are traveling in a beautiful place like Italy, it is so easy to lose yourself in the moment. As a mom of two boys, I often feel like I lose myself (my identity) because I give so much of myself to them. Check out this mantra bracelet from www.perditi.com:

Come mai?


It is synonymous to “perche?” (“why?”). It literally means “how is it ever possible that?”. I like this expression because my Italian tutor said that I should use this phrase instead of “perche”…if I want to impress other people. Come mai?

Che bello!

(Keh- beh- loh)

It means “how beautiful/ handsome”. So many Italian grandmas have come up to my baby boy Lucas to say “che bello”! (Proud mamma moment.)

Mamma and Lucas #mammaebambino #miobambino #filipinabloggers #mammablogger

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Do you have any favorite Italian words and phrases? Share your thoughts in the comments section! Check out the Dolce Vita Bloggers linky to read about their favorite Italian words!


Read Next: How Do You Learn A Foreign Language?


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