Society & Culture
EP055: Decluttering changed her life: Marieke Staub on the magical powers of facing our "stuff"
So many of us feel like we’re drowning in stuff, in expectations, in all the “shoulds” that can weigh upon mothers. Marieke Staub was no exception. While Marieke’s pregnancy and her daughter’s birth were idyllic, she was crippled by post-natal depression for months afterward.
Marieke was able to find her way to a healthier way of being thanks to her family, friends, therapy and lots of support. Even though she was feeling better, something still wasn’t right: her overcrowded apartment, filled with all the objects we’re told we need to be “good” mothers, was a source of frustration.
When her sister gave her The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marieke got to work and changed her whole life. She now lives in a space that supports her in all ways: in living her best life, in a close and happy relationship with her daughter, running a business she adores. She curated her belongings to create the life she wanted, and she couldn’t be happier.
Marieke and I talk about the pressure mothers feel to have all the things for their kids (spoiler: more stuff doesn’t make you better… it usually causes more stress), the disproportionate importance we place on our belongings, how the home we live in can support or hinder our lifestyle and happiness, and how we’re all fully capable of living without so much of the stuff we accumulate.
I was fascinated to hear Marieke talk about how decluttering our stuff is never only about the physical objects – it’s about facing our regrets, our grief, our memories, our guilt, celebrating our joys and making decisions about how we want to live moving forward. She also really struck a chord with me when she said that teaching our kids that they're not defined by what they own is one of the greatest gifts we can give, especially in our consumerist culture. YES to that!
I’ll be calling on Marieke and her sister to help me declutter my house, and I’ll keep you posted on how that goes over in the MamaFuel Virtual Village, our free online community, so make sure you jump in to follow along. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m feeling nervous, but I’m going to do it!
To find out more about Marieke and see that photo of my overstuffed house (circa 2010 when my kids were toddlers), click here.
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