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Simplifying with a Foster Family

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

Nothing makes us happier than helping families create a more simple and easy home so they can live out their missions! This family and their mission have our hearts. After you learn more about them, we think they will have yours too! Read on to find out more about their journey as we check back in on them nearly a year after completing their whole home decluttering and simplification....

Who are you? Tell us about your family...

I’m Jane, and I have been married to my husband Judah for over six years. We have a two-year-old daughter, but we are also foster parents. We have had four babies come through our home in just the past year!

How were you feeling about your home before simplifying? How does it feel now?

Before we simplified, I often felt frustrated and overwhelmed with how quickly the clutter built up. It seemed that no matter what I did, our house was always a mess. As foster parents, this added an extra level of stress, as we often have caseworkers coming to our home on short notice. Now, our home feels much less chaotic and stressful. I don’t have to worry about messes accumulating. It looks generally neat and orderly, which gives all of us a more peaceful feeling.

How important was creating a vision for your home in helping you to get through this process?

Creating a vision for our home was really helpful in getting through the simplifying process. We knew that we wanted our home to be a place of peace and safety for anyone who came through our door, but especially for the children who would be living with us. Whenever the process became difficult, we could press on when focusing on our end goal.

What areas of the house make you the happiest?

For my husband, that would be the kitchen, especially the spice drawer. As silly as it may sound, such a simple thing can make cooking so much easier and more joyful. We also love our master bedroom. As foster parents, we are required to have all children sleep in our room until age one, and when you have multiple children coming in and out of your home, that can be a long time! Before simplifying, the room felt like it had been taken over by baby gear, but after decluttering, we were able to create a space that was baby friendly, but also a peaceful retreat for us.

What things do you enjoy doing as a family or individually that you weren't able to do as often before you simplified?

We are able to spend a lot more quality time together as a family. Because our toys and books are a lot easier to take out and put away, I’m less worried about making a mess, and more ready to get down on the floor and play or read with my kids.

This sweet two-year-old understands the toy library rule of returning what she's

checked out before borrowing something new.

What has had the most impact on your day to day life?

Editing our wardrobes has made picking out clothes every morning much easier and faster. It’s also a lot easier to keep our kitchen clean, since we don’t have extra gadgets and other unnecessary things taking up valuable space.

Kitty shirts make her happy!

Are you still using vertical folding a year later? Why?

Yes! And I’m never going back! My dresser drawers stay so much neater and it’s easy to find the clothes I want for myself or my kids. When I originally started vertical folding, I didn’t think I would keep it up because it seemed more time consuming. But after a bit of practice, it doesn’t seem any harder than regular folding. Even our two-year-old daughter has been watching me, and is able to fold a few things on her own.

What was your biggest fear before you hired Dwell Happy? Did it come true? If not, what happened instead?

We were worried about getting rid of too many things and regretting it later on. Almost a year later, we really don’t regret anything.

What, specifically, was your favorite part of working with us?

Amy! Having someone come into your home and see your worst messes can be really intimidating, but Amy was so fun and non-judgmental. Not only did she make the process more enjoyable, but she really helped to change our mindset, and empowered us to make our own decisions about what we value in our home.

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