“Hi my name is Kathi and I am a clutterer.”
Maybe you can relate? Kathi and guest, Tonya Kubo, discuss what they have learned about common traits of those of us that struggle with clutter. Often those of us with clutter struggle with boundaries. We say yes to too many things and put ourselves last. Then because we don’t handle the clutter correctly we are mean to ourselves. We just try to do too much and set ourselves up for failure.
Kickstart to Clutter Free
Kathi has broken the process down into tiny steps that everyone can complete in her online eCourse, Kickstart to Clutter Free and is offering at only $5.99 with coupon code CFPODCAST17 through September 22, 2017! Our challenge on the Facebook group will start September 5 and we’ll go through each of the 14 Days of the Kickstart together through September 22.
Listen in to learn more and kick clutter to the curb!
More resources mentioned in the episode:
Clutter Free Bible Study – What Jesus Has To Say About Your Stuff
Join the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group
Chock-full of tips to help us survive in the rugged terrain of the dogged morning routine, Author, Speaker and Clutter-Free guru Kathi Lipp guides us with many failproof strategies to get out the door with a smile on our face. And, yes, we can get up and going even with kids. Links to the resources Kathi uses are in the podcast post on our website. Listen in today and comment to be entered for a free giveaway of the book, “Overwhelmed”. In the words of Kathi, “Be the wise woman who gets focused and gets out the door in a powerful way each and every day.”
***GIVEAWAY: What is your best “get out the door” tactic?
Comment on the podcast page and one commenter will win a copy of my book Overwhelmed.***
Ever feel like you will never get a handle on your breakfast routine? Kathi Lipp guides us in this episode to developing strategies with several practical tips that will help you to eat healthier and be less stressed for breakfast.
Get unstuck with a variety of different tools to aid in easier cooking, recipe ideas, prep ideas for ahead of time, and storage ideas that Kathi shares to take the hassle out of breakfast. Come on in and get your breakfast time rejuvenated!
*Bonus: GET A FREE DOWNLOAD of 30 breakfast ideas from Kathi!*
My friend Kevin’s mom was famous for explaining away any purchase she wanted to make by saying, “But, it on SALEEEEEE…”
For most of my life, I was just like Kevin’s mom. If there was a deal to be had, that was all the justification I needed to make the purchase.
Cheap goods are never without a cost.
As I’ve gone deeper into my Clutter Free life, I’ve come to understand a core truth: Cheap goods are never without a cost.
1. Cheap goods cost us space.
Cheap goods we don’t need but justify because they are on sale (or already cheap), take up room in our houses. We need a way to store these things on top of the other things we’re already keeping.
2. Cheap goods cost us time.
If clutter is a problem, then the minutes every day you spend looking for lost items, moving stacks, and dealing with clutter are slowly chipping away at your life.
3. Cheap goods cost us money.
A dollar here and there adds up. I’ve noticed a correlation between those who struggle with clutter and those who struggle with spending. We stockpile things we think we’ll need in the future, while not stockpiling what we will really need—money.
4. Cheap goods cost us our integrity.
Many of those cheap goods are produced on the backs of others—slave and child labor in foreign countries. Since I’ve stopped buying lots of clothes (I’ve bought five items in 2017,) I’ve been able to buy better quality items I know aren’t made with slave or child labor. As a practicing Christian, I need to be aware that I may have slaves working for me, even if they are half a world away. What is my moral obligation?
As I go deeper into my Clutter Free journey, these are the things I need to consider.
I’m not saying that bargain shopping is bad. Quite the opposite. The biggest bargain is not buying things you don’t need.
Break the Cheap Goods Habit
So if you’ve developed an addiction to cheap goods, how do you go about breaking it?
1. Shop with a list.
Always know what you’re going into the store for, and come out with just that. When Roger and I go shopping at Costco, we have a massive list. (We only go once a month and buy most of our food there.) At Costco, we do allow ourselves one indulgence, usually through the samples that are pushed like drug dealers.This month it was the prepared chicken salad. Oy. Vey.
The list rule applies for Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, or any other store we might be tempted. Bring a list. Stick to the list.
If you know you struggle with sticking to your needs, ask a friend (or the Clutter Free group) to keep you accountable. It’s so much easier to resist temptation if you know someone is going to be checking up on you.
If you’re saving up for something bigger and better, it’s easier to say no to the nonsense. We use the You Need A Budget (YNAB) app and love it. We remind ourselves that we can have anything we want, as long as we budget for it.
4. Realize it’s OK to have nice things.
We didn’t bring home any souvenirs from our recent vacation except books, a nice shirt for Roger, and one thing for me. In a little shop in Victoria, there was a woman selling handmade soaps. I found an orange and ginger soap that smelled like heaven. I fell in love.
Normally, I’m a basic soap girl. We have a large container of Soft Soap that we use to refill all the soap dispensers in the house. Cheap and easy. But I realized a few things:
*I loved this soap and would enjoy it while it lasted.
*I was supporting another woman’s livelihood.
*It isn’t clutter. When it’s used, it’s gone.
I bought the soap.
I love the soap. Guess what, I use the soap. And I don’t feel guilty about the price tag because that little piece of soap lines up with my Clutter Free values. And that? Is worth every penny.
I started wading through the clutter in January. One week later I was disheartened. There was still a lot to do. I shared my dismay with my brave friend who had come over and worked alongside me for a bit, she said, “It will take a year.” She reminded me this was a process and that it would take more than a weekend to declutter. And here I am today, still working on organizing, decluttering, de-junking my house. I have made some progress and have discovered some surprising clutter.
The piles of toy parts, the box of notes from high school, and the bags of stained baby clothes, I expected. However, I was surprised to discover hidden pockets of clutter of a different variety. These were things I thought I would never misplace or lose track of. I unearthed encouraging words left unsaid, found compliments piled in the corners like stacks of magazines, and discovered a hoard of fun under the couch.
I found a box full of family time that still had the packing tape on it from our last move. Nothing really prepared me for the waves of regret that quickly eroded my pride in the progress I had made. The cost of clutter had not really hit me until that moment; clutter steals and hoards what we are capable of giving to others.
I had not realized that my disheveled closet was hoarding confidence or that the chaotic art room had my children’s creative tendencies squirreled away in half empty crayon boxes and dried up paint bottles. I started to think that maybe we just weren’t as creative, fun or as kind as we used to be, but it was just that the clutter had taken over and obscured these attributes from our hearts and minds. My creative, kind and fun-loving family was there all along.
It was just that we could only see the mess.
It didn’t take me long to realize I could not hold on to the the regret that came along with this discovery. I certainly could not afford to stockpile regret, so out it went and in came a new way of living and loving.
How to clear out the surprising clutter
As we clear the clutter, we discover that our hearts expand to give more generously to those we love most, and isn’t that what we all want? I don’t need the old train table the kids played with years ago or the 20 reusable grocery bags that have taken over my side entryway, I do need every bit of my capacity to encourage my children and to love my husband well.
My words of affirmation and kindness must be said, otherwise they are just as useless as the boxes of VHS tapes in the basement. The fun hoard, along with the dust bunnies and dog toys, needs to come out from under the couch, so that our home can be a place of joy.
Clearing the clutter allows our hearts to be tuned into what is most important — the people we do life with. As I continue to declutter my home I am now more excited about what I will gain. An expanded heart ready to jump into joy, fun and love versus what I will lose.
You can read more from Bethany Howard at bethanyhoward.com. She writes about finding fuel for joy and growth in the details of the daily. Her greatest leadership exercise has been her roles as wife and mom to three. She is a graduate of Leverage: The Speaker Conference.