Clean Laundry How Tos … (AND an Amazing Freebie Just for My Readers)

Clean Laundry How Tos … (AND an Amazing Freebie Just for My Readers)

clean laundry

Whether you’ve been doing laundry for 50 years, or your mom just finally gave up on doing yours, I think we all need to revisit the basics every once in a while. Here is the Clutter Free Guide to having clean laundry every single day. (And don’t miss this offer from Grove.co for their free laundry kit. Squee!)

Clean Laundry How Tos:

Remove Stains

The most important thing to know about stain removing?
Do it right away.
The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get that stain out.

I keep a bottle of stain remover right by our laundry basket so I can spray as dirty laundry goes in.

If you have some really tough stains? Here is my sister-in-law Lucinda’s Sure Fire Stain Removal System if you need a little inspiration. I can attest to her method.

Sorting

Each family has it’s own unique sorting piles. Here’s my system:

  • Anything that wrinkles (my hubby’s work shirts, my cotton shirts and pants, etc.)
  • Whites
  • Colored underwear, socks
  • Delicates (I use these mesh lingerie bags to keep hooks from getting caught on other items or in the washer.)
  • Jeans, sweats and towels
  • Everything else (t-shirts, tank tops, pajamas, dishtowels) sometimes combined with jeans, etc.
  • Sheets

Find the Suds You Love

Laundry pods are a gift from the heavens.
I love just throwing them in the tub and letting the magic go from there.
And these Method pods are perfect for my hubby who hates a strong smell and for me who can be sensitive to soaps.

clean laundry

First, grab this free set of method free & clear laundry packs + Grove wool dryer balls + free shipping & 60 day VIP trial [insert your referral link] with your first order of $20 from Grove Collaborative.

clean laundry

 

Summer is the Time for Drying Racks and Clothes Lines

I line dry a lot of my stuff most of the year round (that is the wonderful thing about not having kids at home – we have a bathroom with a tub that is never used. OK, one of the wonderful things…) but in the summer, I move my operation outside so that I can take advantage of the fresh air and sun that makes drying faster.  I’ve used this Amazon Basics Foldable Drying Rack for years and absolutely love it (and it folds up pretty flat for times it needs to be put away.)

When You Do Need to Dry Things: Experience the Magic of the Wool Ball

OK – these things are magic.

MAGIC. They left me with soft clothes, no static cling, and no added chemicals or weird, chemically smell. And they last for 1000 loads.

What!?!

Oh – and I can just leave them in the dryer between loads?

I am a wool ball convert.

Clean Laundry

You just throw the three balls in with your load in the dryer and they act the same as dryer sheets. Only better for the environment, less expensive, and awesome.

OH – and if you want a little fragrance? Customize a laundry scent that will make you smile every time you get a whiff of your clothing. Just pick your favorite essential oil and apply a few dabs to your wool dryer balls for a fresh load of laundry.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

 

The Secret to Clean Laundry – Putting it Away (and why that is the hardest part to actually accomplish)

Laundry isn’t done until it’s put away. For years I was great at the wash, dry and fold… and then well that’s when I pooped out. Because:

  1. It felt like I’d done enough.
  2. Honestly, putting the clothes away was the hardest part.

What I realized was that I resisted putting the clean laundry away because my drawers and closet were already so jam-packed, there was no place to put the clean clothes. It was so much easier just living out of a laundry basket.

But it really wasn’t.

What changed my whole attitude about putting laundry away was cleaning out my drawers of all the things that I wasn’t wearing – you know – the layer at the bottom with the t-shirts that aren’t cute, the sweats that don’t fit, and the PJs that are uncomfortable, but you keep, just in case you’re on vacation and all your favorite pajamas are in your luggage that gets lost on your trip to Chicago (we cluttery people are the best at worst-case scenarios…)

So before doing your next load of laundry, unload your drawers of all the clothes you don’t wear on the regular. Your last step, “put away” will be so much easier.

Spend a few minutes now to make your laundry a much more enjoyable experience every single day. (And think of me while you’re doing it, just feeling so satisfied in the fact that you kinda like doing laundry now that it’s not scattered all over your bedroom…)

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Episode #308: God’s Plan for You- Embracing the Girl Who Loves the Hustle

Episode #308: God’s Plan for You- Embracing the Girl Who Loves the Hustle

Do you ever feel guilty for loving what you do (work, ministry, volunteering)?  Dose the lingering feeling of “My_________ (relationship with God, my husband, my kids,) should be enough” haunt you as you do what you love?

If you have experienced these feelings in the past (or are right now!) you won’t want to miss today’s interview with Crystal Stein, author of Holy Hustle. She is the expert on the guilt-free hustle. I know this is a problem for me and my friends, and many of my listeners – we love our families, but we long for more. Well Crystal is going to give us the inside scoop on hour to put the Holy in your Hustle and not feel guilty about wanting to accomplish great things outside of your family.

In this jam-packed interview, you will learn how to:

  •  balance work with holy rest
  • bring your family along for the adventure
  • stop feeling the guilt of the world’s (and your own) expectations

I’m thrilled to have Crystal on the show – so buckle up those kiddos, grab your phone and let’s dive in.

HUGE GIVEAWAY!!!

Want to be entered to win the Harvest House Holy Hustle On the Go Kit? Head over to the blog and enter to win!

 

 

 

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter,Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now .

Special thanks to Crystal Stein for joining me this week. Until next time!

Meet Our Guest

Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine

Crystal is a coffee-loving self-proclaimed “digital missionary” who loves creating a space where faith and friendship come together. She started her blog as a private site where she could journal, post thoughts from her day. In 2009, God put it on her heart to make that blog public and begin using it for His glory. Her passion is to encourage, equip, and inspire women. Learn more at crystalstine.me.
You Can Officially Stop Apologizing for Loving the Hustle: 5 Ways to (finally) Make Peace with Being a Super Achiever

You Can Officially Stop Apologizing for Loving the Hustle: 5 Ways to (finally) Make Peace with Being a Super Achiever

It was one of those conversations that feels like it comes along once in a lifetime.

I was online with four other women who all run businesses from home or work in a corporate office. We were talking about work and raising kids and the conversation veered toward the same topic that it always does when women are gathered together: guilt.

But this chat took a different turn than the normal mommy-guilt bend I usually hear. Instead of us talking about feeling guilty because we had to work, we all felt guilty that we loved to work.

“I love my job. I’m way better at my job than I am being a room mom.”

“I wish that I loved sitting at soccer games. I love my kids, but I need something outside of my family.”

“I love hanging out with my kids. I also love crushing it in my job and talking to grownups.”

My people. Super achievers.

It was an honest, raw and life-giving talk. These were people who love their families, but also love their work and were unashamed to say so. They didn’t apologize for utilizing their giftings, and their passion for their work fueled my own passion.

I adore my kids.

I’m wild about my husband.

But. It’s not enough.

(There. I said it.)

It just isn’t.

Recently, I’ve been reading a book that talks exactly to this. In ‘Holy Hustle: Embracing a Work-Hard, Rest-Well Life’ author, Crystal Stein talks about how the desires to love well, rest well and work hard are not contradictory desires. I love that.

 

It’s not enough because God did not design it to be enough.

 

The drive I have to work is not placed in me just to make me successful. It’s there to glorify God. That fact raises my work to a whole new level and allows me to fully be, unapologetically me.  How crazy is it that fully being me and living out my potential glorifies God?!

There is something about a super achiever that says, “Yep – I’m not just working to pay the bills. I’m working for a higher purpose.” You can see it in the results of their work and in their attitude as they work. This kind of work is the work that changes the world. You can always spot a super achiever at work.

I’ve seen it happen over and over again: That insurance agent on the phone is a super achiever. She is going above and beyond. After a few minutes, the conversation goes to what I do for a living and she finds out I’m a Christian and drops just enough hints to let me know that she is as well. But you know, I already suspected as much.

Here is my definition of “Super Achiever”:

Someone who, no matter their circumstances, is always working to make, create, do or be something.

If I were stranded on a desert island, I would write a book in the sand, create a line of clothing out of palm fronds, and would line up a bunch of coconuts for a leadership conference. Those coconuts would never be the same.

It’s how God has made me – and location, circumstances, time or money will not change that.

 

It’s time to stop apologizing for how God has made us and not only celebrate, but recalibrate our own , and the world’s expectations of what we should be doing and how we should be behaving? Do you think there’s no way you are one? You might be surprised…

 

The qualities of a super achiever:

1. You work hard at being great at what you do.

I was in line at a writer’s conference behind Patsy Clairmont.

The Patsy Clairmont.

I was thrilled – and confused.

“I didn’t see your name on the faculty list!” I gushed. I would have remembered that.

“I’m not here as a teacher. I’m just attending.” Patsy said.

I loved that. And I was taken back by it. If someone who has written as many books as she has is still learning, should’t I be as well?

Ever since then, I’ve attended one writer’s conference and one speaker’s conference every year, not to teach, but to learn.

2. You work for a high authority.

Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Friend, that “whatever” is key. I don’t know what your “whatever” is, but it’s time we started to take that more seriously. Because any work, anything we do to serve others, lead others or love others, when done with excellence, will honor God.

 I refuse to feel bad about working hard. Whatever I’m doing, I want to do it with my full heart. I love the movie Chariots of Fire, and quote it often when I’m talking about work. One of the lines that doesn’t get as much attention in that movie, but resonates more and more with me each day, is when Eric’s father is letting him know that it’s okay to run in the Olympics (as opposed to his sister who sees running as frivolous and wants him to skip the Olympics and hurry up and get on the mission field.) Dad reminds his son, “Eric, you can glorify God by peeling a potato if you peel it to perfection.”

Anything I do can be done to the glory of God if I am working hard and getting better at it. Why would I apologize for bringing glory to God by being faithful to what he has placed within me?

3. You love people, but you have to be purposeful in making time for them.

As a super achiever I could work on my blog, create a new plan for world domination, and cook a month’s worth of freezer meals while filming it on Facebook Live and spend all day doing it and loving it. It would only be as I crawl into bed that I realize I’ve had no human contact all day.It’s not because I don’t love my humans – I’m wild about them. But it’s so easy to go into achieving mode that I forget that I need (and they need) a little love along the way.

This is why I have to be purposeful in carving out time that is all focused on people I love. Not checking my phone, not sneaking in work on my computer. But if I get an idea for a blog post for decluttering your kitchen while I’m making Asian stir-fry with my husband, you better believe I’m writing it down. Why? Because that is living out my passion, both for my family and my work.

4. You have to be careful that the glory is going to the right place.

As a super achiever, it can be tempting to believe that you are just built stronger, faster and better than those around you. That would be a lie, friend and a dangerous one at that.

God has equipped each of us so uniquely and differently. We must absolutely recognize that the credit goes to God, who has gifted us, equipped us, and assigned us for the work. When I really think about this, my attitude to my work shifts and my goal is to glorify God, not pursue success for myself. This also gives me freedom to leave results up to God, I am freed from the pressure to produce.

5. You make the world a better place.

One of the best things I’ve learned as a super achiever?  I must refuse to lessen myself so that others can feel more important. I won’t apologize for how God has made me. Instead – I will work to raise everyone up. I will help everyone around me see that all the work that we do, inside the home, outside of it, for giant corporations, or for our home business of one, can be worthy and valuable and honor God. When we embrace the way God has made us and leverage our gifts, we lead others to do the same. Contrary to what some might say, we don’t need less super achievers – we need more. Imagine what the world would be like if there were more people leveraging their gifts to honor God.

The “mommy wars”, “woman wars”, any “wars” that don’t build up other women who have made other choices? End with me.
Home full-time with the kids, working full-time, or somewhere in between? Every family’s choice of how they will work can be prayed over, decided and lived out with holiness.

 

Why the world needs super achievers

I’m grateful that there is a book like Holy Hustle that recognizes, and honors, the way that God has designed Crystal, and me, and hundreds of other women in my life to be.

Because the world needs women like us. The ones who get up early, push projects forward, love hard, and get up and do it all again the next day.

The world needs women who, while moving those things forward, are also bringing others forward to accomplish great things.

The world needs women who are great at what they do, and know where that greatness comes from.

The Holy Hustle "Everyday I'm Hustling" On the Go Gift BagWant a chance to win the Holy Hustle “Everyday I’m Hustling” On-The-Go Basket?

Just tell us below one way that you were designed for the hustle – or how you know you aren’t! (God makes all kinds of people – we love that!) And you will be entered to win our gift pack or one of five copies of Holy Hustle. Drawing ends June 19th.

 

Thank you to Harvest House Publishers for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions represented here are my own. Please see my disclosure policy for any questions.

 

 

Being Kind to Your Future Self How the Art of Learning to Plan Ahead by a Whole Month Can Make You More Fun at Home, Smarter at Work and Help You Live Clutter Free Everyday

Being Kind to Your Future Self How the Art of Learning to Plan Ahead by a Whole Month Can Make You More Fun at Home, Smarter at Work and Help You Live Clutter Free Everyday

I am not a plan ahead girl by nature. I resist anything that has boxes, list or deadlines.

Structure? Is not my jam.

But, what I’ve come to understand is that planning ahead has so many benefits. It was something I knew I had to incorporate into my real life. People around me would call me a planner, but I know my secret identity: the kid who did her homework on the way to school.

Spontaneity is great for going to the movies or taking a walk, but most good, healthy or fun stuff needs to be planned for.

I now have planning sessions for three time frames:

  1. The Month Ahead
  2. The Week Ahead
  3. The Day Ahead

In this article, we’ll be talking about planning for the month ahead and what you need to do to make the most out of your planning time.

Benefits of When You Plan Ahead

When you plan ahead it:

  1. helps you save money.
  2. gives you something to look forward to.
  3. means less crises in your day.
  4. means you get to include more people that you love.
  5. will save you time.
  6. will save you energy.

 

So, how do you actually plan ahead for a whole month? Here are a few key things to  focus on as you learn to become a plan ahead person.

 

When to Plan ahead:

I have a few “Plan Ahead” times scheduled on my calendar:

One day a month is my “Plan Ahead” Day for our personal “stuff.” Yes– I take a big portion (maybe two hours) and plan ahead. But here’s the thing: On my Plan Ahead day in June, I’m not looking at June – I’m looking at July, and maybe some of August and September.

What am I planning ahead on that day? Here is my checklist of what to look at:

  1. What are our work/school schedules?
  2. What events do we have coming up? Do I need to do anything in advance for them?
    • Send a gift
    • Plan a party (family birthdays, events, etc.)
    • Do any travel plans need to be made?
  3. Are there any appointments that need to be made?
    • Doctor
    • Dentist
    • Car maintenance
    • House maintenance
    • DMV, insurance, etc.
  4. What do we want to do?
    • Go away for a weekend?
    • Make improvements on the house
    • Work on a project?
    • Getting together with friends.
  1. Meal Planning

Meal planning a month out may seem crazy, but since I’ve started planning meals a month in advance, we’ve saved time, money and trips to the grocery store. Yes, plans change, but boy, knowing what we want to cook saves me a whole lot of time and trauma.

What is involved in meal planning?

  • Taking an inventory of what you already have
  • Picking meals
  • Finding recipes
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Prep

Next month I will be sharing my strategy for how to plan ahead for the coming week. If you’re not subscribed to the blog, do it now so you won’t miss that article.

Do you have any plan ahead tips? If so, share them in the comments below. If we use one of your ideas we will send you a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life!

Episode #307- The Top 5 Ways to Declutter Your Car: Car Organization Ideas That Keep You Clutter Free and Give Your Ride that New Car Feel

Episode #307- The Top 5 Ways to Declutter Your Car: Car Organization Ideas That Keep You Clutter Free and Give Your Ride that New Car Feel

Like the rest of us, you’re busy. You’re running kids to soccer, baseball, and ballet. Some days it feels like you’re living out of your car and well, it looks like it too. How can you declutter your car on the go? Is this even possible? Kathi and Tonya are here to give you car organization ideas and some very practical tips how to accomplish just that. Tune in now!

Click to download this handy at a glance checklist: 5 Ways to Declutter Your Car Download

Check out this awesome caddy I use in my car for all my items.

 

This is the car hook I use to keep my purse close by but out of the way.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. She and her husband, Brian, are raising two spirited girls in the agricultural heart of California. She writes about fighting the demons of comparison, clutter and compulsion on www.tonyakubo.com.

Get Rid of It: The One Surprising Reason You Will Want to Declutter Half of Your Things and Live Clutter Free

Get Rid of It: The One Surprising Reason You Will Want to Declutter Half of Your Things and Live Clutter Free

Earlier this week, I was so proud of myself. I finally decluttered my jewelry.

Why is this such a huge deal?

Because I love jewelry. Love it. And to get rid of it? Is so very, very hard for me. (Like Sophie’s Choice hard for me…)

For most of my life, I loved clothes. They were my passion and my weakness. And I still do love clothes, but as an adult I always loved shoes and jewelry more because, let’s face it, shoes and jewelry always fit.

That is, until I got plantar fasciitis in both feet and my shoes weren’t comfortable anymore. Then jewelry became my main source of joy. But my jewelry game? Had gotten out of hand.

I had so many chunky earrings and huge necklaces that it was getting harder and harder to actually use them. They were just giant clumps of tortoiseshell, gold and plastic all hanging together, unusable. It got to the point where I was just picking one of the same three necklaces and couple of pairs of earrings every day because untangling the mess of other jewelry was just too much.

So I finally had to deal with it —dive into this pile of crazy and start to untangle the rat’s nest. But as we all know, organizing is not enough. You have to get rid of it: what you don’t use, love, or wouldn’t buy again.

Get Rid of It – How I Learned to Love My Stuff More By Having Less of It

My goal? Get rid of half of my jewelry.

Now, if you have recently decluttered your jewelry, I would not advise letting go of half your pieces. But for me, who apparently had the same hoarding tendencies as a squirrel before the apocalypse, it needed to be done. I couldn’t just organize my jewelry. I had to get rid of it.

So I started to make piles based on the Clutter Free 3 Questions. In one pile: what did I love and use, and what would I buy again if I lost it. In the other pile: things I hadn’t used and wouldn’t buy again, that I liked, but didn’t love.

And of course, there was the undecided pile.

As I sorted, I realized that my undecided pile was bigger than the other two piles combined.

It was time to make some hard decisions:

I picked up each piece and got tough.

  • I had another pair of earrings that I could wear in place of the pair I’m holding in my hand? Get rid of it.
  • I don’t wear this necklace because it scratches my neck? Get rid of it.
  • I bought this bracelet because I thought it would go with everything, and that’s why I never wear it—it doesn’t feel special. Get rid of it.
  • Someone gave me this pin as a white elephant gift. It is so not my style. Get rid of it.

It was hard. Really hard. I love my stuff. Truly.

And when I was done, I squeaked by with having just half the jewelry that I had before. VICTORY!

But of course, that is when the doubts set in:

  • What if I got rid of something I will miss?
  • What if I buy a new shirt and I just gave away the necklace that will go perfectly with it?
  • Didn’t I just waste a ton of money?

And those doubts stayed with me—until the next morning.

When I got dressed and went to pick out my jewelry, I felt overwhelmed, but in a good way.

I now had so many great options. And I could actually see them. I was excited about picking out jewelry again. And that is the number one reason to get rid of half your stuff. It instantly doubles your choices.

How does getting rid of half your stuff actually double your choices?

  1. You can actually see what you have. When you have too much stuff, it’s easy to lose some of your favorite things in the process. By getting rid of half your stuff, you uncover your hidden gems. If you need a great way to see all your stuff, I just bought this jewelry organizer from Hobby Lobby and I can’t even tell you how much I’m loving seeing my stuff displayed. Glory be!
  2. You are not overwhelmed by the amount of your stuff. Several times in the past when I’d go to put on jewelry, I would look at the tangled mess and just give up. Now, I am no longer overwhelmed by my choices.
  3. You keep the best and get rid of the rest. This is a great opportunity to really curate your style. If you bought a necklace with feathers because it seemed good at the time, you can reevaluate who you are and what you love and keep only the things that fit and support your current lifestyle.
  4. You know what you still need. When you are brave enough to get rid of half your stuff, you will see some holes. My favorite turquoise earrings have now become earring (singular). The necklace I wore daily a year ago is tangled beyond hope. It may be time to find the new pair of turquoise earrings you love, or replace the chain on that favorite necklace.

Get Rid of It: Other Categories to Cut in Half

Now that I’ve done this halving with my jewelry, I’ve done it in other areas that were out of control:

  • Makeup
  • Scarves
  • Shoes
  • Bowls
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Towels
  • Linens
  • Pens
  • Office supplies
  • Cleaning products

And can I tell you—in each of these categories where I’ve gotten rid of half of my stuff? I haven’t missed one little thing.

Plus, with giving away half of my things, I know I’ve made it possible for a single mom to have something new for herself for the first time in a long time.

Hmmm…keeping it unused at my house, or loved at someone else’s house? Why is this even a question?

 

 

Creating the Closet You Love: Declutter Your Wardrobe with These Seven Closet Solutions to Help You Get Dressed and Out the Door Every Single Day

Creating the Closet You Love: Declutter Your Wardrobe with These Seven Closet Solutions to Help You Get Dressed and Out the Door Every Single Day

Closet SolutionsAs much as I know you want closet solutions, I know it can be incredibly challenging to actually give things away. Here are some ideas that will help you love what you own, cut down on what you don’t, and have more choices without being overwhelmed.

Closet Solutions #1: Go through your closet at the beginning of every season.

When is the best time to donate Christmas decorations? In November when you’re unpacking your own decorations—that way, some other family will be able to decorate their tree on the cheap and enjoy their holidays. The best time to run a donation of summer dresses, flip flops and cotton shorts to your favorite charity is when you declutter your wardrobe at the beginning of spring. That way, some other mom can have something new and cute to start off her spring.

Use the Clutter Free 3 Box, 2 Bag System to make your twice-a-year closet decluttering system fast and effective.

Closet Solutions #2: Make Donations Easy

One of my favorite decluttering solutions is to have a donation bag right inside my closet. If I try something on and it doesn’t look as great as I thought it did, has a stain on it that I can’t get out (donations centers will take stained or ripped clothes and sell it by the pound), or doesn’t fit anymore (it happens), I can drop it into the bag. When the bag is full, I take it down to the car and the next time I’m driving by my charity, I drop the bag off there.

If you have to have a new plan every time you want to donate something, it’s probably easier to just leave that piece of clothing in your closet—leading to clutter. Make getting rid of clothes that don’t pass the clutter free test easy.

Closet Solutions #3: Turn All Your Hangers Backwards

This trick is the best way to have hard evidence whether I’ve worn something or not. In case you haven’t heard about this system, let me explain: At the beginning of a season (I do this in the Spring and in the Fall), hang up everything in your closet backwards. As you get dressed, pull clothes out with the hanger. When you go to hang up clothes again, hang them up normally. At the end of a season, if I’ve never taken that hanger out of my closet to wear, that means that I really, really don’t wear that piece of clothing and I can donate it guilt-free. If you still can’t decide, use the Clutter Free 3 Clarifying Questions to decide fast.

Closet Solutions #4: Create Outfits You Love From What You Have

When most of us are looking for closet solutions, it’s because we have all these clothes and nothing to wear. And that’s because we’re trying to get dressed in the few minutes before we get out the door. The worst time to try to put an outfit together? When you need to put an outfit together. Spend some time pulling a few outfits together now when you have the time, brain space and creativity to do so.

With all the talk of a capsule wardrobe, many of us are told we have to dump all our clothes and start over with some basics that can mix and match into a thousand different outfits.

Not true.

When whittling down your wardrobe, the most important thing is to start with the pieces you have and already love. Pull out the things you love, wear and make you feel fab. Then start seeing what you need to do to make those pieces work for you. Do you need to refresh some of your t-shirts to make your jeans and trench look fresh? Maybe you have been ignoring your jewelry game and it’s time to get a couple of standout pieces to tie things together.

Remember—clothes are supposed to be at least a little bit of fun. And all the closet solutions in the world are not going to fund a shopping spree for a new capsule wardrobe…

If you are not having a little fun putting outfits together, I want to give you permission to loosen up a bit and let your creative juices flow. I think this is especially important for any of us (raising my hand here…) who struggle with not loving the state our body is currently in.

If you’ve spent very little time thinking about how you dress (except crying in front of your closet, on your knees, praying up a miracle), it’s time to get some inspiration. Go on Pinterest and create a wardrobe category. Look at the clothes you already love in your closet and then look for pins that have outfits with similar pieces. Get inspired by the women who think about clothes 24/7 and then just borrow their genius (because who has time for that).

Try putting together “looks” for the coming week and figure out how you can make your clothes work double time both for work and for weekend, running errands and going to church.

I challenge you to put together seven days of amazing outfits—shoes, jewelry, bags, the whole bit. Have fun with your clothes again and get a serious game of dress-up going.

Closet Solutions #5: Create a Shopping List

Get the scene from Pretty Woman out of your head. We are not talking a shopping spree here. Now is the time to create a list of a few items that would tie your wardrobe together.

For instance, I have a pair of tan pants with tiny white polka dots that I love. But I realized that I wasn’t wearing them because the shirt I have to go with them is on the warm side and I want to wear these in hot weather. A lightweight, flowy white shirt would go perfectly with these pants.

But, a lightweight, flowy white shirt would also go with a lot of other clothes that I love, so a lightweight, flowy white shirt is going on my list.

Last year, I wanted a pair of olive green cargo pants more than I wanted to be on Trading Spaces. I put them on the list in April, and kept looking and looking for the perfect pants. The problem? I couldn’t find them. Anywhere. It was like all the shops in the world conspired against me to keep clothes out of my reach.

Finally, I had to go international in my search. In July, my husband and I took a trip to Canada and while I was in a department store there, I came across the perfect olive cargo pants. It may be the one time in my life I didn’t look at the price tag; I was just so excited to find the pants that I would have spent about any amount of money on them.

And no, they weren’t on sale, and yes, they were more than I normally pay for a pair of pants. But I have worn those pants at least once a week during the fall and spring since I bought them. Other clothes that I’ve bought on sale? Those have lingered in my closet for months. Best Canadian money I’ve ever spent.

So keep a little list. I’ve got one on Evernote on my phone. The other advantage of keeping a list? I go into a store (or online) and look for what’s on the list, not getting distracted by all the shiny things that are out there trying to rob me of my money (and my closet space).

Closet Solutions #6: Know When to Invest and When to Have Fun: Anchor Pieces vs. Fun and Frippy

Every closet should have the basics: the jeans that make go with everything, the black jacket that you can throw on with any shirt you own, the white tailored shirt that makes you feel like a million bucks.

But you should also have a few things that are fun and fab. A few of my favorites? An olive-colored tank top with tiny owls on it, a grey T-shirt with the words “Blah, Blah, Blah” in black sparkle (for when I’ve used up all my words), and a pair of navy Toms shoes with moons and stars on them.

Here is the key to having a closet you love: Invest in the anchor pieces and have fun with the frippy ones.

Anchor Pieces: These are the basic workhorses of your wardrobe you wear all the time and go with everything. Depending on your lifestyle (working in a corporate job outside the home, running a freelance business from your spare bedroom, raising small humans) your basics are going to be very different.

As someone who works from home and could get away with yoga pants and slippers most of the time, I had to put together a working wardrobe so I wasn’t embarrassed to go on a Zoom call or answer the door when the UPS guy showed up. But I don’t have to look like I’m ready to take a meeting in the city everyday either. I keep my anchor pieces in neutrals with just one accent color (Neutrals: black, white, cream, olive—Accent: coral) so that almost everything mixes and matches. Here are my anchor pieces:

  • Blue jeans
  • White Jeans
  • Black jeans
  • White cotton pants
  • Cream cotton pants
  • Black cotton pants
  • Olive cargo pants
  • Black tank top
  • Cream tank top
  • Olive Tank top
  • Black T-shirt
  • Cream T-shirt
  • Olive T-shirt
  • White T-shirt
  • Coral T-shirt
  • Denim shirt
  • White button down
  • White and khaki striped shirt
  • Olive jacket
  • Coral cardigan

These are the pieces that I could dress with every day. But where would the fun in that be?

And that’s when the fun and frippy come into play.

These are things like:

  • Camo
  • Florals
  • Patterns
  • Prints
  • Kimonos
  • Graphic Tees

I tend to do most of my fun stuff in shirts and accessories. These are the pieces that express our personality and make dressing fun again.

Closet Solutions #7: Keep the Clothes You Actually Wear

Get rid of the rest. (Guilt free!) We’ve all done it—bought the jacket with feathers on it, decided that epaulets are back in style, bought a shirt that looked cute on our daughter, and then realized our daughter should be the only one who is young enough to wear it.

One of the most important closet solutions is to understand that we all make mistakes, but we don’t need to hang on to them. (Yes – this is a closet solution, but it’s also a life solution).

Maybe you were supposed to own that butterfly T-shirt for just a season, and then get it into the hands of the person who will love it for the next five years. I love how God can use us to help other people get what they want, even if it’s though a mistake of ours.

 

Make your clothes earn the right to be in your closet. There should be nothing in there that you don’t love, use or would buy again.

 

 

Episode #306 Is a Balanced Life Possible? Finding Peace in the Busy

Episode #306 Is a Balanced Life Possible? Finding Peace in the Busy

Is a Balanced Life Possible? Finding Peace in the Busy

Do you spend your days rushing from one task to the next, frantically checking things off your list? It’s easy to become so consumed with keeping it all together that you forget to seek God’s plan for your life. He has a much better vision for you—fulfillment and peace that only His grace can provide.

Join Kathi and author, speaker, and radio host Susie Larson as they discuss how to help you find balance within your hectic life. You will learn that being at your best doesn’t mean taking on every task, and meaningful satisfaction can’t be bought with a completed to-do list. Be inspired to move past halfhearted living and second bests into a kingdom of rejuvenation, health, and eternal nourishment.

Is a Balanced Life Possible? Finding Peace in the Busy one small win

 

Giveaway

Susie is giving away 3 copies of her book.  To be entered, please leave a comment telling us an area you are struggling in and one thing you can do today to help yourself in this area.

In Over Your Head

*US residents only

Meet Our Guest

Susie Larson

Susie Larson

Susie Larson is a bestselling author, national speaker, and talk radio host. She connects with thousands of listeners each and every day on her show, Live the Promise with Susie Larson. She’s been married to best friend and husband since 1985; together they have three grown sons, three beautiful daughters in law, one adorable grandson, and a really cool pit bull named Memphis.

Episode #305 How to get to an absolute Zero Inbox Once a Week & Live Guilt Free Every Single Day in the Process

Episode #305 How to get to an absolute Zero Inbox Once a Week & Live Guilt Free Every Single Day in the Process

Is your inbox overflowing?  There’s hope for a cluttered inbox and Kathi and Erin MacPherson are here to help with simple steps to show you how to get to an absolute zero inbox once a week and live guilt free every single day in the process.  Listen in to find out 9 easy steps to help you bring peace to your inbox and your online life!

Links Mentioned

Unroll Me

Erin’s sister’s AirbnB

Meet Our Guest

Erin MacPherson

Erin MacPherson

Erin MacPherson lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Cameron, her sons Joey and Will and her daughter Kate. She is the author of “The Christian Mama’s Guide Series“, a staff writer for Dun & Bradstreet and a freelancer for publications like Thriving Family Magazine, MOPS MomSense, FamilyLife Magazine, Daily Guideposts and BEMag. She blogs about her life, her kids and her faith at ChristianMamasGuide.com.

How to Declutter Your Home Fast: 3 Clarifying Questions You Must Ask

How to Declutter Your Home Fast: 3 Clarifying Questions You Must Ask

Standing in front of my closet that is packed like one of those Pillsbury biscuit cans (careful…careful…), yet magically contains nothing to wear, I think to myself, “This is it! I’m going to totally become a minimalist, have a capsule wardrobe and never be stuck in this kind of indecision again.”

You want to know how to declutter your home fast. I get it. So do I. So I start to dig in and declutter. I ready myself with donation bags and an attitude that says, “Get out of my way. I’m DECLUTTERING!” And away I go.

The first shirt is easy. It’s my camo shirt and I wear it anytime it’s clean. (For me, camo is the new floral.) No brainer. It stays.

The next shirt – well, that one’s easy – for all the wrong reasons. It was a promo t-shirt an acquaintance sent me for her book launch. (I’ve noticed one thing about giveaway t-shirts: people order Smalls through Extra Large to send out. If you are bigger than an XL, well, you get an XL—and you’re gonna like it. Friend, next time, save the postage.) Out it goes. This decluttering stuff is so easy!

And then, sometimes the decluttering is not so easy…

Shirt number three. It’s my olive-colored tissue tee I bought at Target. I love the shirt, except it hits me in a funny place, making me wonder if my reflection in the mirror is fourteen months pregnant. I can only wear the shirt with a cardigan or a zip-up sweatshirt. I do have another olive shirt that I like better, but this is a perfectly good shirt. And what if something happened to my favorite olive shirt? I would need a backup. I put it in the maybe pile.

Shirt number four. It’s cute, but I don’t have the right pants for it. But I will find them. Someday. Maybe pile.

And in the next 40 minutes, I’ve got seven shirts in the keep pile, two in the giveaway pile, 24 items in the maybe pile and the rest are still hanging in the closet because it’s all just too much.

You want to know how to declutter your home fast, but the problem…

Because you see, the biggest problem with your stuff isn’t space, or time or money. It’s decision fatigue.

I know you want to declutter your home fast, but I also know that you get to a point in decluttering when you are so tired of making decisions that you just…can’t…do…it… anymore…and it’s too hard.

It helps to remember that we are not supposed to own things for the rest of our lives. Yes, it’s great when we have that throw pillow we use and love for 15 years or that pair of PJs you wear every week for a decade.

But for many of us, we love to change things up, and when we do, it’s important to make way for the new by handing down the old.

Because here’s the thing friend: You don’t get any gold stars for having the most clothes.

And this isn’t just a problem for people with a lot of extra money. I remember when I was unemployed and under-employed as a single mom. I still had friends who would give me their hand-me-downs and instead of buying clothes I loved, I would buy clothes I could afford at cheap discount stores.

As a result,  when I look back at my past attempts at decluttering, I’ve finally come to this conclusion: Clutter is indecision.

So how do we get over the obstacle of holding onto things that are crowding our lives? How do we regain the power to make decisions?

Give yourself these 3 Clear Questions if you want to know how to declutter your home fast:

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Do I use it?
  3. Would I buy it again?

 

If you answer No to two of those questions, I’m guessing that item is truly clutter and it’s time to get rid of it.

Shirt #3 The Olive Shirt

  1. Do I love it? No. I don’t want to look pregnant.
  2. Do I use it? Occasionally, when I’m desperate.
  3. Would I buy it again? No, it doesn’t look good on me.

It’s clutter. Time to go.

Shirt #4 The Shirt I like but it doesn’t go with anything

  1. Do I love it? Yes.
  2. Do I use it? No.
  3. Would I buy it again? No.

It’s clutter. Time to go.

For me, the closet is the hardest place to make these decisions. If I can do it there, I can do it anywhere.

So, how do you make the 3 questions work for you when you want to figure out how to declutter your home fast?

  1. Write them down on a Post-it note. Having the 3 questions in front of you while you’re decluttering will help you stay focused.
  2. Give yourself a goal. Recently, I was going through my jewelry. I hadn’t gone through it in years and there were a lot of things I no longer wear. I gave myself the goal of getting rid of 30 pieces of jewelry.  Because I had a goal, I got rid of some pieces that I might have been tempted to hold onto, “just in case.” But the best part of getting rid of the 42 (yes, 42 pieces!) was that I actually rediscovered some pieces I really love and have started wearing again. So not only do I love them (question #1), now I use them (question #2).
  3. Think about the next owner. I think about when I was broke and shopping thrift stores. When I found a shirt I loved that actually fit, I was so grateful to find something in my budget I could wear or that my kids wouldn’t be embarrassed wearing to school. If you are having a hard time parting with something you like but don’t use, picture the person who will be wearing it in three weeks—how that jacket you never wear is now one of their favorite pieces of clothing. Or how that blazer made it so they could walk into a job interview with confidence.

I Promise – You Can Learn How to Declutter Your Home Fast

The next time you are ready to declutter, arm yourself with the 3 questions, a couple of plastic bags, and a prayer of determination.

You can declutter. You can make decisions. You can love your stuff again.