How to Make Room For What You Love When Too Much Sparks Joy

The Inspired Room - Entry Hooks

There are plenty of things we tend to hang onto in our home that we know is just unnecessary clutter. The problem those of us who are home and decor lovers face (I’m guessing you are a probably home-lover since you are here at The Inspired Room) is we also tend to have too much that might not look exactly like clutter because it sparks some measure of joy.

If we are overwhelmed by stuff, we might be hoarders of junk or simply very disorganized. Let’s be honest, we might be both of those things. But while I’m not a hoarder of dead cats, or ugly trinkets that clearly do not spark joy, I tend to keep too many things that actually “spark joy” now or might at some point.

At least I used to keep ALL THE THINGS. I’m working on overcoming that tendency, in spite of myself.

Sometimes in our efforts to create a home we love, we aren’t sure yet what sparks actual joy, or we don’t want to let go of what might spark joy down the road or at least be of use to us in the future.

How to make room for what you love when too much sparks joy / The Inspired Room

Home-lovers might have an extra challenge that perhaps would not qualify as true hoarder-status, but it might need an intervention nonetheless. It’s called DESIGN CHAOS SYNDROME. And yes, it’s a THING even if it’s not a technical one.

Inspiration from the new book - Make Room for What You Love - by NYT Bestselling Author Melissa Michaels

What exactly is DESIGN CHAOS SYNDROME?

DCS tends to be complicated and impacts people who:

  • love many beautiful things
  • are indecisive or lacking in focus
  • aren’t sure what their design direction is
  • loves many styles and colors and patterns and neutrals
  • don’t have a clear plan or purpose for their home
  • recently moved
  • are in the middle of remodeling
  • hope to remodel or move someday
  • are in transition in any way
  • have had more than one style or size of home
  • have piles of extra decorative pillows and accessories
  • shop at yard sales and fill their garage with future projects
  • love to buy craft supplies just in case the urge to craft ever strikes
  • have a long list of projects to get to that require spray paint or slipcovers
  • would rather get something new to decorate their house than file and shred papers
  • would rather shop or look for pretty ideas than actually declutter those bins
  • enjoy pinning organizing ideas to Pinterest more than completing actual decluttering tasks
  • are perfectionists and procrastinators
  • love to start new projects and have several going on around the house at all times
  • have a small house but a lot of things they love
  • have a big house and plenty of room for things that sparked joy
  • have so many things going on, even things that spark joy, they can’t keep up with it all

If any one of those qualities or situations describe you (or maybe all of them and more) you are likely struggling with more than just ordinary clutter, you might have too many things you love or not enough time or space for everything you love.

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Can you see how any of those tendencies or the resulting pile ups of stuff can cause you to be overwhelmed? I have ordinary clutter issues, too, don’t get me wrong. I can pile up papers with the best of them. But I definitely feel the impact of the design-related issues. If you do too, you (and your house) might have DCS (design chaos syndrome).

It’s a THING, but the good news is YOUR STUFF doesn’t have to OWN YOU. I finally had an epiphany and realized why I had so many issues. I wasn’t lacking joy, I was lacking focus. I totally get that you should keep things that spark joy, that’s a helpful concept, but I could have JOY SPARKING everywhere and yet still couldn’t seem to keep up with, declutter, organize or streamline ALL THE THINGS.

Y’all. The struggle was real.

Decluttering and Style - Make Room For What You Love by Melissa Michaels

I wrote Make Room for What You Love because I want to help people who struggle with ALL THE THINGS. The ordinary obvious clutter, the design-related clutter and everything in between.

The book actually isn’t even about sparking joy or interior design or even only for design-lovers, but it is for anyone who just feels overwhelmed and wants to refocus and simplify their home and life.

I hope this book won’t just tell you what to do, I hope it will also speak to your heart so you’ll be inspired with hope of lasting change and results you can see and feel.

Today is the official release day of the book and I’m so excited for you to read it! 

While I still don’t have it all together, at least I know where I’m going and have a plan to get me there. It feels so good to finally have strategies that actually work for me and my home, instead of my habits working against me! Whatever your challenges are, this book offers encouragement, hope and realistic tips to help you get where you want to go.


The giveaway is now closed and winners were contacted.

My friends at DaySpring kindly offered The Inspired Room readers a giveaway to celebrate the launch day! Yay!

I think this gift bundle sums up perfectly how I feel as I’m writing books. I’m sharing my heart, stories and solutions with good friends like you who resonate with the real purpose, joy and challenges of making our home our sanctuary. Thanks for being such an encouragement to keep on sharing!

Dayspring is giving away 5 sets of the adorable items in the graphic below (I have them and they are really cute). Five winners will be contacted on May 5 and will need to provide a U.S. address for DaySpring to ship the prize pack!

The Inspired Room - Giveaway

Home is where you are welcome pennant // Good friend good book mug // Journal set

Leave me a comment below to enter the giveaway! If you are ready to SIMPLIFY ALL THE THINGS, you can find more info on the Make Room For What You Love book page.

Finding More Hours In The Day {Meal Planning}

The Inspired Room - Blue Apron Recipes

This post was prepared in partnership with Blue Apron

The past few weeks have been a little crazy around our house! Between being book writing and book launching seasons, all the house projects I have going on and church stuff we are involved with, our family has been in one of those extra busy times. Those come along now and then (or a lot) for most of us who have a lot on our plate and if we want to stay sane, we have to get really good at juggling if we want to try to find some sense of “balance.”

I wrote a lot in my new book about how I have learned ways to create a more peaceful home and how I attempt calm the chaos of life. The good news is, I know it IS possible to juggle a lot and not feel totally frazzled at all times.

Juggling the plates well doesn’t mean you live a life of domestic bliss or that everything will be easy peasy, because perfect doesn’t really exist. You just have to know what to trim out so you can focus your energy on what really matters to you. That’s my thing. I am learning and training myself to be pretty deliberate about where I spend my time and how I can do what I really love in life and not feel like I’m dropping too many balls.

Blue Apron Fresh Ingredients - The Inspired Room

One of the areas I try to streamline as much as possible now is time spent on meal prep and shopping. We stick to our basic tried and true recipes that we can prepare easily and we know what to shop for, so we can buy mostly fresh produce and meats to keep our meals healthy and simple. I try to simplify our activities and schedules as much as possible because I want to have the maximum amount of time with our family. I just hate to waste any of it by being disorganized. Time is precious and how we spend it matters!

Panko Crusted Chicken from Blue Apron

Yet, I find that when we are extra busy and we dropped the ball on a plan for those days, we end up going out to eat more than I wish we did. Because it is easier. And we are hungry. And no one thought about dinner for that night until everyone is starving and crabby.

Usually my teen son is the first one to venture out to the kitchen and notes that no one is making dinner! Ha. He can cook for himself, but as a teen boy he’s always hungry and looking forward to the next meal. That’s something that matters to me, that we have family meal times and no one is eating on their own all the time.

Blue Apron Recipe Instructions Card

Those super busy days come every single week at our house, I’ll be honest, so they shouldn’t be a surprise. Yet if we treat them like a surprise, we will realize too late that we are hungry and we have to go out, or we will eat eggs again. Those situations happen because I didn’t plan for an in-between option. That is, planning on something for dinner that would be in between eating eggs again and going out.

Ingredients - Blue Apron

I learned years ago that if I wanted to save time and money, I absolutely had to plan for in-between options. In my dreams I would prepare food in advance for busy days and always be on top of my shopping game, but in reality with my schedule I’m not always able to set aside time for that, nor do I love shopping and cooking enough to make it a big priority every week. But if I plan for easy in-between options, it always saves the day and saves us money in the end because we didn’t have to go to a restaurant in order to eat well at home. And we didn’t have to resort to take out!

Blue Apron - by The Inspired Room
Meal services are the best invention. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried Blue Apron, but I love it because they deliver farm-fresh quality ingredients for a wonderful meal right to your door in a refrigerated box! You get to enjoy a delicious meal that you still prepare fresh at home, but all the indecision is out of the way so you can get right to preparing.

Blue Apron - Dining Room - The Inspired Room blog

It’s easy! Everything you need is ready to go, the recipe cards tell you exactly what to do and within a short period of time and just a little preparation, you are sitting at the table with your family eating something yummy for your tummy. I love getting to try a new recipe too. The meals are all delicious and I always come away with a new favorite recipe I never would have tried on my own.

Blue Apron Recipe - The Inspired Room Dining Room

Ordering even just one meal a week can be the perfect in-between option so you have a plan for for your busiest day, or even give you a day or two off every week of wondering or shopping for what you’ll eat for dinner and stressing out that you have no idea and no time to deal with it.

You can order just what you need with a two-person meal or a family plan. Each meal takes under 40 minutes to prepare. Check out their yummy chef-designed recipes here!

Best of all, you can give yourself a break! Sound heavenly? It is! Blue Apron nights could even be your favorite night of the week and something to look forward to (in addition to binge watching Fixer Upper, of course).

Want to try it for yourself? 

  • The first 50 readers to sign up will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order!

  • Just click here to get started! There is no commitment and you can cancel the service at any time.

What are your tips for finding more hours in the day?

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