5 Steps to a Clutter Free Heart for Valentine’s Day

5 Steps to a Clutter Free Heart for Valentine’s Day

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Warning: February 14th can be a hard day for any woman not living inside the pages of a fiction novel or in an Anne Hathaway romcom.

We spend so much time here at Clutter Free talking about how to declutter your home, but we all know the truth:

Decluttering starts with our hearts and minds. When we can be focused and intentional about what emotions and thoughts we let in (and which ones we keep from taking up a chair and sitting down for a cup of coffee) it goes a long way to practicing peace.

And yes – emotions are at a high when bad things happen – a death, illness, financial trouble.

But I find that when the world tells us Valentine’s is “supposed” to be a great day — filled with flowers, poems, secret admirers, and declarations of undying love, well—that can set us up for disappointment in a way no crisis can.

This has been a struggle for me in the past.

  • The friend who got 2 dozen roses delivered to work and my total haul was a card I got from a coworker.
  • When I was going through my divorce and wondered if I would ever have someone to love me again.
  • The time the guy I was dating broke up with me on February 13th. (True story.)

Following are five suggestions to help you begin de-cluttering your heart before Cupid’s arrow hits you between the eyes this Valentine’s Day.


1. Avoid the Comparison Trap
– It’s easy to fall into the idea that Valentines’ Day “should” be a certain way. The best way to stop comparison is to disengage from social media, at least for this day. That way, you won’t be tempted to compare your situation with someone else.

2. Take the Air Out of the Holiday

Want a perfect recipe for disaster?

  • Try to get a reservation on Valentine’s Day
  • Pay a babysitter on Valentine’s Day
  • Expect flowers on Valentine’s Day

Why not celebrate your love on a different day?
First, it lowers crazy expectations.
Second, it’s easier to find someone to help you take care of the kiddos.
Finally, you can actually get a reservation somewhere if you want to go to dinner. (Or do like we do, try a great, but cheap ethnic food place for Adventure Dining. All the romance, but my guy doesn’t have to wear a tie!)

Go for fun instead of tradition and make the holiday your own.

3. Practice Peace – Valentine’s Day can be fun, romantic, and yummy (if there’s chocolate involved), but it can also be stressful. Did I get the right card? What time is dinner again? Too many things to juggle and your joy can get zapped. Practice being mindful that God is peace. And since He lives in you, you have peace.

4. Celebrate Life Everyday – We can hype the idea that we are celebrating the day of love. But really? Are we? Showing loved ones love does not have to be on Valentine’s Day. You can show love and appreciation everyday. Celebrate the beauty of everyday joy and love.

And on this Valentine’s, instead of waiting for others to show their love, go out and create some. Bring some candy to the janitor at your kid’s school, take a balloon to your next door neighbor who lives alone, and spend some extra time snuggling your dog.

Don’t wait to be adored. Go out and create loving moments.

5. Practice Being Happy for Others – Someone else is going to have a nicer dress, a cooler card, and the bigger flower arrangement. Be happy for them. This may be exactly what they needed after a really rough time in their marriage or in their life. Practice having an inner attitude of positive feelings and thoughts about others.

If this a holiday that can be hurtful, don’t be hard on yourself. It is for a lot of women I speak to. But, don’t let bitterness ruin your day. Think on these verses that can put your day in perspective.

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If you need a boost and a confidence builder for your Clutter Free lifestyle, Kickstart to Clutter Free is the Kickstart-eCourse-Home-page-Button2perfect way to get started. In just 14 days, Kathi gives you simple steps in getting rid of 500 things. We’ve been hearing from people all over the country that are having great success with the Kickstart eCourse. Find out more here.

Rest and the HSP – Creating a Clutter Free Bedroom

Rest and the HSP – Creating a Clutter Free Bedroom

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Guest post by Cheri Gregory

My Clutter Free journey began in my bedroom.

Like many clutterers, I’d spent decades using our master bedroom as the “just throw it all in there and slam the door” stash-and-dash solution when company was due in an hour.

But discovering that I’m an HSP—a Highly Sensitive Person—has transformed how I view my bedroom.

HSPs are easily overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.

We need to create ourselves a sanctuary, a safe quiet place of refuge where we can seek shelter when the world overwhelms us.

When we ask ourselves, “How can I make my bedroom a true sanctuary for my tired body and soul?” the obvious answer is to first oust every ounce of clutter.

HSPs process an overabundance of disorienting visual stimuli all day every day. The last thing we need are piles of confusing clutter visually assaulting us in the one room we retreat to for safety.

Moving Past Our Stories to Sanctuary

Of course, clutter rarely leaves without a fight. Thanks to our extra-strength HSP consciences, the three stories Kathi says all clutterers tell themselves can feel especially like gospel truth to us:

“I need to keep this just in case”

When you tell this fear-full story, you let fears from your past control your future.

“But so-and-so gave it to me!”

In this guilt-ridden story, people from your past (who aren’t concerned about you, just how you make them feel) are allowed to control your future.

“But I spent so much money on it!”

This shame-filled story allows a mistake from your past to control your future.

As these stories come up, we can respond with compassion and permission.

Compassion for our feelings of fear, guilt, and shame.

Permission to keep only what we need and want.

Making Your Bedroom an HSP Sanctuary

Once the clutter is out of your bedroom, grab a pad of paper, a favorite pen, and sit down on your bed.

Write these four senses at the top of different pages: touch, sight, sound, and smell.

Look around the room and ask yourself, “What do I want in my bedroom? What sensory experiences are especially soothing, relaxing, and restful for me?”

Ponder each sense for a few minutes and write down what comes to you. Here are some questions I’ve asked myself:

Touch

  • What textures do I love?
    • Smooth high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets?
    • A soft blanket, knit with slubby yarn?
  • What temperature(s) help me relax and sleep? Do I need:
    • An electric blanket?
    • A cooler grade of comforter?
    • A heating pad or Thermaphore to ease my back pain?
    • A rotating column fan?
  • What skin products do I want to keep in my nightstand?
    • Hand moisturizer?
    • Lip balm?
    • Nail clipper and file?

Sight

  • What colors are calming for me?
    • Cool colors?
    • Pastels?
  • What patterns — or lack of pattern — do I prefer?
    • Florals?
    • Plaids?
    • Solids?
  • How well are the lighting options working for me?
    • Can I make the room as light as I want it?
    • Can I make the room dark as I need it?

Sound

  • How can I block out disruptive sounds?
    • Earplugs?
    • Noise-cancelling headphones?
  • How can I bring in pleasing sounds?
    • Music?
    • White noise?

Smell

  • What scents irritate me, giving me headaches or making my face flush?
    • Might I want to try unscented detergent, softener, and dryer sheets with my bedding?
    • Could I natural citrus cleaning products?
    • Can I find fragrance-free candles?
  • What scents relax and sooth me?

Make a wish list of what you want and need to add to your bedroom sanctuary.

But no frantic shopping spree to buy a peaceful bedroom all at once.

Reign in your HSP intensity, say “no” to Perfectionism, and commit to adding new items gradually, enjoying them one at a time.

Using Your Bedroom as an HSP Sanctuary

Decluttering your bedroom will not automatically transform it into a sanctuary. Your bedroom will become your sanctuary as you seek sanctuary in it.

This also takes compassion and permission.

Compassion, rather than criticism, for your HSP self.

Permission to be tired, to need quiet, rest, and refuge.

If you find yourself resisting rest, remember that Jesus himself invites you to rest…

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

…and say “yes” by taking refuge in the One who offers true rest.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)

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Wondering if you, too, might be an HSP?
Subscribe to Cheri’s blog and receive your FREE “HSP–Who, Me?” PDF!

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21 Unique Ways to Say “I Love You” on Valentine’s Day

21 Unique Ways to Say “I Love You” on Valentine’s Day

Considering something different this Valentine’s Day?
Tired of giving the same old thing?
Here are some ideas on how to show your love, devotion and creativity this February…


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For Your Best Friend

  1. New gloves. If you live where it is cold, a nice pair of gloves is welcomed. You can include a note, “Thank for always ‘giving me a hand’ when I need it.”
  2. Who can resist hand-dipped chocolate covered pretzels? They are easy to make, just dip in chocolate and add heart shaped pink and red sprinkles. Wrap in a plastic bag with a red ribbon and you have a wonderful gift. Don’t have time to make your own, most grocery stores now offer similar treats.
  3. If you have a friend that collects things, buy something to add to her collection. My friend collects old dishes. You can often find amazing dishes at a yard sale or thrift store, I add some candy or handmade soap to the dish and tie with a 2016-01-20 19.01.17 by Robinfabric ribbon.
  4. Purchase some Chap Stick (my favorite is Burt’s Bees brand in pink grapefruit flavor) tie it with a ribbon and a note
    saying, “I’ll always “stick” by you!”
  5. Put a mini Hershey Bar, two graham-cracker sticks and a marshmallow in a little bag, tie with a ribbon and a note to the top that says, “I need S’more People Like You”.
  6. Find a picture of the two of you over the years and have it enlarged and framed. (I personally love this type of gift.)

 

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For Your Kids

  1. Plan a game afternoon or night, prizes for the games involve chocolate or other valentine candy. You could also use Hershey Kisses or Miniatures as the game pieces.
  2. Spend time together creating a Valentine craft. Instructions for all kinds of fun decorations and skill levels can be found on Pinterest.
  3. Volunteer your time together at a local animal shelter or other community organization that could use some extra help. Most kids love animals and giving of themselves is a great way to give back and learn about love.
  4. How about treating the kids to an experience they have been wanting to participate in. Maybe bowling, roller skating, snowboarding, skiing, or other physical activity. Maybe it is going to the ballet, a movie, concert, or a play.   Experiences make memories and we all want to give our children great memories.
  5. Speaking of experiences, how about giving them their own “Tea Party” complete with homemade heart shaped cookies and hot tea. They can invite a friend or two or just include family and the stuffed animals.
  6. Teenagers love gift cards to their favorite store or how about a new set of ear phones or other tech device. Maybe a new app for their phone.

 

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For  Your True Love

  1. Diamond stud earrings (In case my husband is reading this article….)
  2. A subscription to audiobooks, Netflix or Spotify.
  3. A handwritten letter with the reasons you love him or love being married to him.
  4. Create a work of art for his desk. You can find lots of ideas on Pinterest.
  5. Tickets to his favorite event, sporting match, or game. Whatever he loves, get tickets and go with him and enjoy.
  6. Make a home-cooked meal. Spend time making the food he enjoys and set the table for the event. Make it a special occasion.
  7. Make his favorite snack. Whether it is chocolate chip cookies or homemade fudge, make a batch just for him.
  8. Cover his mirror with red post it notes with reasons why you love him.
  9. Plan a special weekend. Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday. If your budget allows include a hotel. If it doesn’t, no big deal just plan events throughout the weekend the two of you can do together.  But you make all the plans and reservations.   It could include doing something you both love, visiting a place you both have been talking about, eating out, laughing, and just enjoying each other’s company for a whole weekend.

 

Valentine’s Day is a time to show the people you love a little extra attention.   It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Just be sure you take the time to celebrate the “day of love” with them.

*Photo credit to Robin O’Neal Smith


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Want more ways to build up your marriage?

My newest book just came out this week! I teamed up with my friends (who just happen to be relationship authors and speakers) Fawn Weaver, Shaunti Feldhahn, Sheila Wray Gregoire, Renee Swope, Crystal Paine, Michele Cushatt, and others, to bring you
101 Simple Ways to Show Your Husband You Love Him that will inspire you to nurture your man and foster a lasting, loving, and fun-filled relationship.

 

 

Declutter Your Way to a Better Marriage: The Two Most Important Areas to Clean Up Today!

Declutter Your Way to a Better Marriage: The Two Most Important Areas to Clean Up Today!

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When I talk to women about what they want to improve in their lives, so many say something along these lines: “I want to focus on my husband this year. And I want to finally get organized. And lose weight!”

OK – so I may not be able to help you with the weight thing. But what if told you that you could improve both your marriage and your home at the same time?

It turns out that the state of our clutter and the state of our marriage could be more closely tied than we ever imagined.

In my book Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space I site a study from researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) that looked at the relationship between thirty-two California families and the thousands of objects in their homes.

To the surprise of no woman reading this, clutter has a profound effect on our mood and self-esteem. CELF’s scientists found a link between high cortisol (stress hormone,) levels in female home owners and a high density of household objects. In other words:

And we all know, if I’m not happy, that is going to have a profound affect on my marriage- and my husband.

There are some areas of your marriage where it takes two to pull off a big relationship boost – but when it comes to clutter, one person can make a huge difference.

If you are just starting this decluttering journey, let me tell you the two areas to concentrate on right now:

  1. The space that you greets you when you come home.

My hope for every couple is that their home is a haven for your marriage. I want you and your man to walk into your house after a long day fighting the battles of the world, and land in a soft place – your home.

But that only works if you don’t have chaos and distraction greeting you as you hit the door.

Wherever your first glimpse of home is at the end of the day, make sure that is rises up to greet you.

  1. Your bedroom.

If your home is your haven, I want your bedroom to be your nest. That place that blocks out everything from the world and is all about you and your man. That’s hard to do when you have to unbury your bed every time you want to cuddle up.

Don’t rearrange clutter, get it out of your house.

Clutter is anything that hasn’t earned the right to be in your home.

Create a home that is a haven for your marriage.


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Want more ways to build up your marriage? My newest book just came out this week! I teamed up with my friends (who just happen to be relationship authors and speakers) Fawn Weaver, Shaunti Feldhahn, Sheila Wray Gregoire, Renee Swope, Crystal Paine, Michele Cushatt, and others, to bring you
101 Simple Ways to Show Your Husband You Love Him that will inspire you to nurture your man and foster a lasting, loving, and fun-filled relationship.

 

From the Front Row of Finally Clutter Free

From the Front Row of Finally Clutter Free

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You know you’re a die-hard Kathi Lipp fan when you set the alarm for 4:50.

On a Saturday morning.

As my friend, Amy, and I drove several hours to the Finally Clutter Free Conference, I wondered:

Do I really need to hear this? 

After all, I’ve read Clutter Free. (Several times, in fact.) I’ve taken the 2014 Things Challenge. I’ve gone through the Kickstart to Clutter Free eCourse (14 Days, 500 Things, No Mercy) once and am half-way through it again.

But later that morning, I remembered:

Nothing compares to hearing Kathi live and in person!

Kathi Speaking

Here are just a few highlights from the copious notes we took during Kathi’s three amazing Clutter Free messages and Kim Nowlin’s delightful bonus Clutter Free Wardrobe talk:

  • “We can ignore our clutter for a while. But one day, it will bite you in the butt!”  (Kathi tells it like it is!)
  • “When your environment is cluttered, it restricts your brain’s ability to focus.  Clutter competes for your attention.”  (This was powerful. I could sense a difference in my heartrate and anxiety level just looking at “before” and then the “after” pictures.) 
  • “Creativity is on the other side of clutter.”  (The more clutter I discard, the more creative I discover I am!)
  • “Don’t keep stuff — only keep stories.”  (POWERFUL decision-making filter!) 
  • “Get rid of clothes that talk down to you. I have enough negative voices in my head; I don’t need a jacket yelling at me, too!”  (I’m feeling rather smug about the two bags of 40+ closet items ready for the Goodwill right now!)
  • “If you’re crying in the fitting room, the problem is the clothes, not you!”  (This may have had me crying in the front row…!)
  • “Release anything that isn’t serving you so it can bless someone else!”  (After hearing Kathi’s Nike story, I will never again debate giving away “perfectly usable” things!)
  • “The only difference between a project and a crisis is TIME.”  (Now we’re gettin’ personal!)
  • “When there’s a PLAN, I’m taking care of my future self.”  (How cool would it be for my present self to always say, “THANK YOU!!!” to my past self?!?)

FCF St Pauls Women
If you haven’t attended a Finally Clutter Free Conference yet, find a location near you and get your ticket now!

Can’t find one scheduled near you? Find out how you can bring Kathi and her crew to town!

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(Today’s blog post brought to you by Kathi’s co-author, partner-in-crime, and #1 FanGirl, Cheri Gregory.)

Clearing out the Clutter! Don’t miss Kathi today on Focus on the Family!

Clearing out the Clutter! Don’t miss Kathi today on Focus on the Family!

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Too much clutter is a common problem in many families today, and it creates stress and conflict in our family relationships. It is important to remove the clutter from our homes and our lives so we can be freed up to be who God wants us to be.

Today, on Focus on the Family, Kathi encourages everyone to clear out the clutter as a way to start the New Year off right!

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If you’re ready to kickstart the year, try Kickstart to Clutter Free, Kathi’s new ecourse!

 

Don’t Miss the LOWEST PRICE Get our NEWEST E-Course for only $5.99 ends tonight at Midnight !! – Kickstart to Clutter Free!!!

Don’t Miss the LOWEST PRICE Get our NEWEST E-Course for only $5.99 ends tonight at Midnight !! – Kickstart to Clutter Free!!!

Are you ready to change – really change – your relationship with stuff?

“I am so ready for Clutter Free Academy – can’t wait to “graduate!!!” I’ve tried to organize my house so many times, but the clutter keeps coming back. It depresses me and distracts me. It’s hard to sit down and relax because everywhere I look there’s something that needs to be picked up/put away/dealt with. I want to be free. Free to be me and pursue the ideas God has placed in my heart. Let’s get to work.”

Michele

This 14 day E-course will get you kicked off to Clutter Free in the new year!Kickstart-Cover-FINAL-w-Shadow

 

We discovered, after helping thousands of women get rid of their clutter with my book Clutter Free that the people who had the most success were the ones who committed to getting rid of a certain number of items from their house in a very focused amount of time. These are the women who saw long term success when it came to their clutter battle.

 

So we wanted to give you all the tools you would need in order to start your clutter free battle right.

  • 14 motivational videos
  • 14 assignments
  • a bunch of downloadable tools to help you along the way

So now, through Midnight PT January 1, you can get the e-course for $8.99 (that’s $3 off…) but wait! there’s more!

Don’t wait – this coupon expires at the stroke of midnight tonight! THIS DEAL HAS ENDED. BUT YOU CAN STILL GET THE ECOURSE FOR JUST $11.99! 

http://www.kathilipp.com/kickstart-to-clutter-free-2016

 

 

 

3 Days Left Get our New E-Course Kickstart to Clutter Free for the Lowest Price EVER $5.99

3 Days Left Get our New E-Course Kickstart to Clutter Free for the Lowest Price EVER $5.99

Kickstart-Cover-FINAL-w-ShadowOh MY CLUTTER FREE FRIENDS!!! Months in the works, but our team is finally ready to unveil to you (FIRST)…

Kickstart to Clutter Free!!! 14 Days. 500 Things. No Mercy.

This 14 day E-course will get you kicked off to Clutter Free in the new year!

We discovered, after helping thousands of women get rid of their clutter with my book Clutter Free that the people who had the most success were the ones who committed to getting rid of a certain number of items from their house in a very focused amount of time. These are the women who saw long term success when it came to their clutter battle.

So we wanted to give you all the tools you would need in order to start your clutter free battle right.
14 motivational videos
14 assignments
a bunch of downloadable tools to help you along the way

So now, through Midnight PT January 1, you can get the ecourse for $8.99 (that’s $4 off…) but wait! there’s more!

Because you subscribe to this blog, we want to give you our lowest price ever! Just use the code INSIDER and you will get $6.00 off, That’s 50% off the regular price. here’s the link to take you there find out more and get the course for yourself!

http://www.kathilipp.com/kickstart

code: INSIDER

But this offer is just for people who jump on it before the new year, so join us now, won’t you?

Wicked Wednesday: Are you a stepmom? Accept Your Husband

Wicked Wednesday: Are you a stepmom? Accept Your Husband

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Are you a stepmom? One of the best ways not to feel like a wicked stepmother is to accept your husband just like he is. But how can you do it when you may be struggling to accept everything (and everyone) that comes with him?

Accepting Your Husband

  1. Remember that part of your paycheck belongs to another woman.
  2. Remember that his children came before you in time.
  3. Think about whether or not your heart is committed enough to his children.
  4. Remember he carries guilt for his part in a broken marriage.
  5. Remember he has to unlearn old patterns of relating and has to learn to live with you.

You can find more great info in my book But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother!

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 21: Your Personalized Special Project

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 21: Your Personalized Special Project

Christmas Project 21

This one is up to you! What is something you have always wanted to do this time of year but just never had the time? Today is the day to do that thing whether it’s a craft you want to make, a tradition you want to start, or time you want to spend with certain people.

If you can’t think of something, there are some great ideas in the book to give you a jump start. Because these projects have gotten you organized and totally prepared this Christmas, consider this a gift to yourself for all of your hard work. Enjoy!

Assignment: Do That One Extra Special Thing

Think of your own special task that you have wanted to do for years but have never had time for. Today is your day to do that thing.

Not sure what to do for your special project, how about having a party or get-together. Choose your least favorite Christmas job and make it a party with friends. Invite your friends over through a Clutter Free inspired invite from Evite.

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Doesn’t it feel great to have everything done, ready, finished so you can really enjoy those last few days of the holiday season with your family?

Merry Christmas!

For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 110