Is your calendar too full? Do you get stressed about meal planning? Does social media become a time suck?
Living Clutter Free does not mean just dealing with the physical clutter, but also the emotional and spiritual.
Author Alex Kuykendall embarked on a nine month experiment to see how she could better her home life.
Listen as she tells us about the little changes she made, because small changes are more likely to get done and more likely to be sustainable,yet they created a BIG impact on her life.
by Amberly of Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Team
If you are wasting “thyme” because your kitchen cabinets are “peppered” with too many spices, it is time to declutter. Spices are expensive, and having too many or not having an organized system can be costly. (I’ve been known to buy a spice twice if I can’t find it!)
Follow these eight simple steps for decluttering your cabinets:
1) Resolve to simplify and succeed.
2) Clean your countertops so that all items can be removed and cleaned.
3) Label three boxes: Put Away (items that will stay in the kitchen), Other Room (items that will go somewhere else in the house including the garage), Give Away (think of newlyweds or community organizations that might be able to benefit from your purge. You’ll also want a trash bag and a recycling bag.
4) Remove all items from cabinets. Sort them into the appropriate boxes and bags (see above). Throw away items in an opaque trash bag to avoid decluttering regrets and dumpster diving in your own garbage!
5) Throw all old spices away. They are no longer valuable and take up unnecessary space. Make a mental note of those you infrequently use so you do not rush out to replace them with something new.
6) Before putting items back into them, clean your cabinets and shelves so that your slate is clean.
7) Organize spices in “families”: those you use all the time, those used for specific purposes, those rarely used, etc. and group them in the cabinet for quick access.
8) Once your cabinets are organized, avoid buying bargain spices and/or warehouse-sized spices. Although it may seem to save a few pennies, it will cost you space and sanity.
Decluttering those cabinets can help alleviate stress and expedite your cooking time which is quite a “sage” decision!
Do you want more Clutter Free? Take the 5 Day Clutter Free Challenge!
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by Bethany of Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Team
Although my kitchen is now clutter free, I can still find plenty to feel insecure about. After sixteen years of marriage, my dishes are showing some wear, and our silverware has morphed into a hodgepodge of unrelated utensils. I have become proficient in the kitchen, but not exactly stellar.
It’s so easy to focus on all the things we want to make just a bit better before we invite anyone over for dinner. But this habit can lead so quickly to perfectionism: an unwillingness to do anything we can’t do just right.
Magic happens when people gather around a table to eat and chat together. If we fret about the details and try to cover up the shortcomings that are obvious to us, we’ll miss out on the beauty of communing.
Here are five reminders to help us kick perfectionism out of our kitchens:
- Dinner is not a photo shoot for a magazine.
- A cooking show isn’t filming in your kitchen as you cook.
- A professional organizer will not be present to evaluate your progress in your clutter free journey.
- Your food, service, and decor will not be rated by Zagat.
- It’s all about the welcome, the hospitality, and the food.
Think about the around-the-table moments you treasure in your heart—moments threaded together with conversation while forks clinked on plates. You likely remember these snapshots because those occasions were special and you felt cared for. You don’t treasure these memories because you sat in the midst of perfection; you treasure them because despite imperfect people, the burned chicken, and a wobbly chair, you felt included. This is our aim when we welcome people into our kitchen: to make them feel like they belong.
If this is all true—if hospitality really isn’t about being perfect—then we are all capable of hosting a fantastic dinner party. We are all more than qualified to love on people by inviting them over for conversation and a bite to eat.
So be brave! Go ahead and invite friends over, despite the fact that imperfection resides in your kitchen. Don’t let the goal of perfection warp your idea of what it means to be hospitable: don’t allow it to taint the food you serve. Confidently invite friends and family into your home and decline to feel shame about the imperfect. (After all, every home has it.)
Show perfectionism the door, and make room to welcome people at your table.
Kick Perfectionism to the curb in every area of your life! Check out my book, The Cure for the Perfect Life, where we deal with the 4 P’s:
Embrace your imperfect self and go change the world!
by Sharon Jaynes
Kathi Lipp is the queen of showing us how to de-clutter our lives. And if there was ever an area I needed to de-clutter in my heart, it was in the area of shame. I wonder if you can relate.
One morning I sat on my back porch, wrapped in my fuzzy worn robe—the one that’s twenty years old but I just can’t seem to get rid of. The birch tree leaves shivered in the cool morning crispness and the gerbera daisies that had been sleeping beneath the soil through the winter months, stretched their faces to the sun . . . just a bit higher than the day before.
Then I heard him. The rooster.
ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I’m not sure where he lives, but it’s within earshot.
ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I thought of Peter. I thought of me. I thought of you.
You know the story. At the dinner table, on the night before Jesus went to the cross, He had a chat with his friend Peter. He referred to Peter in his pre-disciple-days name—Simon.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
Don’t you know Jesus thought…sure you are, buddy?
“I tell you, Peter,” Jesus said, “before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
A few hours later, Peter did just that. Denied that he even knew Jesus. Three times. And then the rooster crowed. ER-er-ER-er ERRRR.
And Peter went outside and wept bitterly. He cried and cried and cried.
The next morning, the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered his failure.
And the next morning the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered his failure.
And the next, and the next, and the next.
With every cock-a-doodle-doo came a fresh reminder. First thing in the morning.
Have you ever been there? I have.
I have failed. I have cried and cried and cried. I have remembered.
Shame has poked drain holes in my Spirit-filled confidence and I have hidden behind the wall with Peter…behind the bush with Eve.
And even though I had asked God to forgive me, and I knew that He had, the rooster still crowed in my heart, and I remembered my failure all over again.
Like a trapeze artist who takes hold of the second bar, but refuses to let go of the first, I have hung—dangling over “life to the full.”
Not quite letting go of the life that’s “less than” in order to soar fully and free as God intended.
And God calls to me…Let go. Move forward. Live bold. It’s the only way.
And Paul tells me how… Here’s what I do… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Forgetting what lies behind and reaching for what lies ahead… (Philippians 3:12,13)
And I see it clearly. For me and for you.
When we finally take hold of, grasp, and make our own all that Jesus has already taken hold of for us and placed in us, we begin to experience life to the full—the faith we’ve always longed for.
But taking hold is not enough. We’ve got to let go.
Let go of shame-filled ponderings and and take hold of grace-filled pardon.
Let go of crippling bitterness and take hold of radical forgiveness
Let go of weak-kneed worry and take hold of sure-footed confidence.
Let go of insecurity and take hold of your true identity as a child of God.
Let go of preoccupation with self-doubt and take hold of God’s power-filled promises.
Let go of comparison and take hold of your God-fashioned uniqueness.
Let go of the lies that hold you hostage and take hold of the truth that sets you free.
Let go of paralyzing doubt and take hold of fleet-footed faith that’s ready to dance to the daring rhythm of God’s drum.
I get excited thinking about it and I’m ready. God has placed lavish promises in the safety deposit box of my heart and fashioned a cross-shaped key just for me…just for you. And letting go of shame and taking hold of grace is where it all begins.
What did Jesus have to say about Peter’s failure? Three strikes, you’re out? Not hardly.
After his resurrection, Jesus pulled Peter aside…
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
Jesus removed the shroud of shame hanging from Peter’s guilt weary shoulders, and called him to get back to the ministry to which he was called. And He does the same for me and for you.
Take hold of grace.
But the rooster still crows.
The question is, what will we remember when it does?
Not the sin…but the grace.
Oh friend, don’t let the enemy accuse you of what God has already forgiven you of?
Don’t let him fool you into thinking that the cross was not enough.
Don’t let him clutter your heart with shame and condemnation that God wants to sweep out the door.
Take hold of what Jesus has already taken hold of for you.
And He asks…
“Daughter, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord, you know that I do.”
Feed my sheep.
Is God calling you to de-clutter your heart and let go of something in your life? If so, leave a comment and we’ll pick 5 and give away 5 free copies of Sharon’s book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For.
Sharon Jaynes has penned a passel of books and loves linking arms with women all around the world through the written and spoken word. In her brand new book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold, she reveals the most common reasons we get stuck in a mediocre faith. By sitting fireside with Moses at the burning bush and looking at his four arguments with God, you’ll discover how to let go of all that holds you hostage to a life that’s less than what God intended, move forward into life to the full that Jesus promised, and live bold with mountain moving faith that is filled with expectancy. To learn more about Sharon’s ministry visit www.sharonjaynes.com. To learn more about Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold, visit www.takeholdthebook.com.
by Bethany of Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Team
When I make the choice to control the clutter, I find freedom waiting in the living room. A lot of family life happens in the living room, and I want to make it a point to spend a lot of time in there with my hubby and three kids. But I can only do this well if I keep the clutter from sucking the life out of the living room. Our living room needs to be a place where we connect and laugh together, not trip over junk and shift piles of books to find a spot on the couch.
Here’s what I know: The kids won’t remember if the pillows, couch and rug coordinate but they will remember the tickle fights. Guests won’t remember if clean floors or dust bunnies greeted them when they crossed the threshold of your living room but they will remember your kind hospitality. Why? Because these are the things that actually matter, not sparkling floors and not throw pillows.
Contain clutter and gain freedom to live—really live—in your living room.
Here are seven ideas to get you started.
1. Dance Party
Turn up the volume on some of your favorite tunes and dance until you drop. Learn a line dance together and hilarity will follow.
2. Indoor Picnic
Spread out a blanket on the living room floor and break out the picnic foods, whether it’s 95 degrees or raining outside! Bonus: Dinner is easy peasy!
3. Game Night
Choose a night and invite a few friends over for pizza and games. The invitation and the fun are all that matter. Enjoy your guests. Repeat.
4. Lightsaber Fight
It just doesn’t get much better than a lightsaber fight. Get ready to watch the force in action—everyone is a kid with a lightsaber in hand. For extra fun, make it as dark as possible to stay safe and then record it. Everyone loves to see the action over and over again.
5. Coffee Shop
Make (or buy) a batch of cookies or muffins. Set out books, magazines, and candles. Brew your favorite cup and turn up some background music. Relish the blissful sips of clutter free life with family or friends!
We have a little putting mat that we bring into the living room now and then because…well, why not? Make a game of it and see who can sink the best out of ten putts. Winner gets to choose the snack.
7. Date Night Movie Night
After the kids are in bed, break out an appetizer extravaganza, whether its from your grocer’s frozen section or an exotic array of cheeses and fruit. You pick the food, fancy or fun, and hubby gets to choose the movie.
• What’s your favorite way to live — really live — in your living room?
• How does becoming clutter-free make it easier to enjoy life in your living room?
While you’re at it, how do you connect with your kids? Each of them has a different personality and each has different needs to feel loved. With 21 Ways to Connect to Your Kids, you’ll learn each of his/her personality traits and how to use that information to create real connection.
LEARN MORE >>>
Guest Post by Sherri Wilson Johnson
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being on Kathi’s ministry team, it’s that a clutter free life is the way to go! To be honest, I’ve learned a lot more than just one thing, but that’s got to be the most important concept I’ve learned. When your life is free of clutter, you can become a world changer.
In 2015, I kicked a lot of clutter out of my house and my life and as a result became much freer. I applied Kathi’s principles and increased my business and even got up the courage to become an Indie author, self-publishing five of my Christian romances.
There are many things that are important to me, including the Lord, my family, friends, my church and my clients. I support Stop Hunger Now through my church because I can’t stand to think of people going hungry, and Compassion International because I love to see children being educated and their families being released from the cycle of poverty. That’s a carryover from my homeschooling days.
As a writer and entrepreneur, I work hard and when I’m able to take a vacation, I believe the only way to relax is in clutter free style. Our vacation in 2015 came two weeks after our son’s wedding, the wedding which jumpstarted our empty nest. I was ready to sit back, relax, read some books, work on my upcoming novel…and eat some ice cream. And that’s what I did!
We visited Cedar Key, Florida, the setting of my fifth book, Secrets Among the Cedars. Cedar Key is on the Gulf coast of Florida, down below the Suwannee River. It’s not your typical beach resort. It’s a nature coast with scrubby pines and marshes, lots of dolphins, and the most gorgeous sunsets you will ever see. Only about 700 people live there and everyone you meet is super friendly. It’s a great place to declutter your mind and your schedule.
In Secrets Among the Cedars, my heroine, Kathryn, is in Cedar Key to search for a murder weapon, but she doesn’t forget to eat plenty of the ice cream found in one of the local waterfront shops. Salted caramel turned out to be her favorite and it turned out to be mine too.
With warm weather approaching, I’m going to have to take a break from my 95% no sugar diet and indulge in some more of that great ice cream. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it back to Cedar Key this year or not, so I went searching for some homemade recipes. I pinned a few yummy looking ones to my Pinterest board and I found a super simple one at the Girl in the Kitchen blog. I hope you’ll join me in making some!
I’m giving away one print copy of Secrets Among the Cedars! Please leave a comment below telling me where your favorite place is to vacation and what your favorite treat is to eat when you’re there. Must have at least ten people to constitute the giveaway. Continental U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen Friday, April 8th.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Some secrets are better left buried…or are they?
Kathryn Bellamy is the Assistant D.A. for Perkins County, Georgia. After detectives fail to retrieve a missing murder weapon, she travels to Cedar Key, Florida to find it herself. She finds more than she ever bargained for when she meets Phil Tagliaferro, a former defense attorney.
Phil is drawn to help Kathryn when he learns she’s receiving threats—until he finds out their pasts are connected and his association with her could mean death for them both. Kathryn won’t leave Cedar Key until she has unearthed the secrets…and the murder weapon, but she can’t do that without Phil.
Secrets Among the Cedars brings two people from opposite sides of a case together with one goal in mind: Justice. What else will they find in the process?
Secrets Among the Cedars is available on Amazon in print and ebook!
Sherri Wilson Johnson writes Inspirational Historical Romance and Contemporary Romantic Suspense, and she’s a speaker and virtual assistant to authors and speakers. She lives in Georgia with her husband and her Chihuahua, Posey, and they are empty-nesters. Sherri loves spending time with family, vacationing at the beach, curling up with a good book and working on her current work-in-progress.
You can find out more about Sherri at her website: www.sherriwilsonjohnson.com
Salted Caramel ice cream photo credit