595 – Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Energy

Kathi and her guest Deanna Day Young are returning for part three of their discussion on how to design your holiday gameplan! This week they are helping us know what to do when we are low on energy.

Listen in as they share ten ideas that will help us all to:

  • Think through what is most important.
  • Set realistic expectations.
  • Divide responsibility among family members.
  • Take care of ourselves.
  • Use our resources wisely.

Next week Kathi and Deanna will finish the series by talking about what to do when you’re low on money. Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released. Did you miss the first two episodes of this series? You can find them here:

Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space

Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time



The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.

Which tip that Kathi and Deanna gave is most helpful to you when you feel low on energy? Share your answer in the comments.

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Meet Our Guest 


Deanna Day Young

Deanna lives in southeast Indiana on the Young family farm with her husband of 35 years. She and Roger have two grown daughters.

Deanna is the Director of Operations for Iron Timbers, a family-owned custom furniture business featured currently, and for several years, on HGTV’s Good Bones show. Prior to this position, she was a paralegal and managed the international trademark portfolio for 34 years for the Hill-Rom division of Baxter International. Deanna has a degree in Journalism and Speech Communications from Ball State University and a Paralegal Certification from Saint Mary of the Woods College.

Fun Fact – Deanna and her daughter are also Chi Omega sorority sisters!! Hoot Hoot.

You can connect with Deanna at deannadayyoung.com


Kathi (00:04.387)

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am back for part three of our series,

about your holiday gameplan when you’re low on energy. And I have been there, Deanna, how about you? Have you been there? You, you’ve got a broken foot right now. You are healing. Ankle, sorry, ankle, yes. And that, can we just say, when you break a bone, when you break anything, it’s exhausting, right?

Deanna Day Young (00:46.21)

Oh, absolutely.

Deanna Day Young (00:50.318)

I’m glad to work an ankle. I am healing. Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (01:01.287)

Oh, it is abs and for me, not being able to walk is worse. I mean, everybody has a this was the worst. This was the worst. But man, not being able to walk to me is just yeah, it’s pretty tough. So it does zap your energy both physically and mentally to have to go through those things. But I think also for the purpose of our conversation today, sometimes our energy is that because we put too many things into our schedules and we’re trying to do all the things when the holidays roll around. So hopefully we’ll give everybody 10 tips to try and help with that energy.

Kathi (01:30.201)


Kathi (01:38.915)

Well, it’s so true because we have our regular life, which does not stop. And then we’re trying to put this part-time plus job on top of it with holidays. So I wanna talk about this. Okay, so my number one tip is assign everyone a meal to cook for your celebrations. Now, this could be my son who doesn’t cook, this could be him bringing KFC for everybody. I do not care.

Deanna Day Young (01:44.118)


Deanna Day Young (01:50.74)


Deanna Day Young (01:58.976)

Love it.

Deanna Day Young (02:09.759)

I love that, I love it.

Kathi (02:09.931)

Just get some food on the table. That’s what we need from you. Yeah, so, and let me be very, very clear here. I think that this is really important with all of the things we’re talking about to have a conversation with everybody in your household to say, this is what’s important to me for the holidays. I wanna hear what’s important for you to the holidays.

Deanna Day Young (02:15.391)

Right, right.

Kathi (02:40.247)

How can we work on this together? Because I’ll just say, I think it’s really important that everybody in the family participates. Even if Christmas isn’t as important to them as it is to you, they should be, as a family, this is what we do. As a family.

Deanna Day Young (02:59.522)


Deanna Day Young (03:04.81)

And the book that you wrote, The Christmas Project Planner, I love, love that book. And one of the things that you say in there is what is the most important thing for you from a food perspective? Because you were trying to use all your energy to make all the things. And I think you used in that book that like Roger’s cranberry cheesecake or there was some kind of a particular thing that like.

Kathi (03:09.036)


Kathi (03:20.45)


Kathi (03:29.208)


Deanna Day Young (03:33.022)

everybody wanted, but maybe they didn’t want this other thing that you were spending your energy on.

Kathi (03:37.875)

Right. Well, and like, I remember thinking I needed to make homemade stuffing. Can I just say, StoveTop is my favorite food in the entire world. Why would, why mess with perfection? I love StoveTop.

Deanna Day Young (03:48.566)

We do the same. Add a little, yeah.

Absolutely, absolutely. Let me tell you what I do. I do two things of stove, we have, I think there’s 13 of us, anyway. So I do two things of stove top stuffing. I put it in a baking pan. I take some chicken broth, I pour over it, and I bake it. No one knows that it’s not grandma’s recipe. I’ve never, only Roger and I know. Yep, nobody said a word and they all love it.

Kathi (04:09.591)


Kathi (04:15.839)

It’s so perfect!

Love it and you could do that without butter. You just put the chicken broth in there or do you put some butter in there, too?

Deanna Day Young (04:26.522)

I put a little bit of butter when I make it, like when you make it on the stove. Yes, yeah, I make it. Yeah, yeah.

Kathi (04:28.679)

Okay, oh, got it. You put the made, I understand now you put the prepared. Oh, okay. I’m gonna have to try that. Yes. Okay. So yeah, assign everybody. This is what I’m doing for our next thing. And because I will tell you, Deanna, I have a bunch of backseat chefs in my family who want to tell me how to make things. And I’m like, no, you get your butt up and you make

Deanna Day Young (04:53.794)


Kathi (04:58.707)

Yeah, yeah, we’re not we’re not playing that game anymore. So everybody cooks and people love to cook their specialty. And okay, maybe not everybody cooks, but everybody provides. Pick up that bucket of KFC. It’s going to be great. I love it. Okay. Number two, Deanna, you’re talking about expectations here.

Deanna Day Young (04:58.722)

There you go.

Deanna Day Young (05:21.77)

Yes, to set realistic expectations. And in our last podcast, we talked a little bit about don’t try to make it the social media perfect Christmas. And I feel like it’s the same thing from your energy perspective. It doesn’t have to be a picture perfect holiday. Now, you may say, these are all the things I wanna try to do for Christmas, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Put it on a list, but prioritize that list.

Kathi (05:32.035)

Mm-hmm. Right.

Deanna Day Young (05:50.07)

Because when other things pop in that have to be done, you’ve got to prioritize lists to say, man, you know what, driving around and seeing Christmas lights was my priority. So that’s number one. I want to get that done, so let’s fit that into the list. But set those realistic expectations that maybe you can’t do everything every weekend that you wanted to do.

but what are those priorities? And ask your family or those that are involved what their priorities are as well so that together you set those realistic expectations as a family.

Kathi (06:27.891)

Yeah, Deanna, when we first started, you know, every year we go and look at Christmas lights and we had a seven passenger van which worked for our whole family. And it was so fun. I started off by making a big thing of hot chocolate and baking cookies, because you know, we wanted to do that. Now it’s just Roger, me and my mom who go and look at that. We drive through Starbucks. Like we

Deanna Day Young (06:36.727)


Deanna Day Young (06:52.647)


Kathi (06:54.771)

Yeah, I mean it’s more expensive but we can get a cookie we can get a coffee that we want it makes a real difference Okay number three decide in advance what you want your holidays to look like then everybody in the house takes a role So we already talked about that but I it is not up to mom. It is not up to wife Unless you’re single it is not solely up to you what your Christmas looks like. So, you know if somebody wants

Deanna Day Young (06:59.374)

That’s right.

Kathi (07:24.511)

And this is so important. Let me say this, Deanna. So the number of times that I’ve heard of women asking their husbands for help to get ready for a party, and like, you know, I need help dragging out the chairs, I need help setting up the tables, I need help cleaning off the patio, and the husband decides this is the time to repaint the house.

Deanna Day Young (07:50.321)


Kathi (07:53.091)

or clean out the basement? No. Sometimes we have to be very, very specific about what the roles need to be. Okay, number four, Deanna.

Deanna Day Young (07:53.25)


Deanna Day Young (08:06.57)

Number four, clean before you put up your Christmas decorations and then highlight clean. So.

Kathi (08:12.427)

Okay, I’ve never heard the term highlight clean before. What does that mean? I get an idea, but.

Deanna Day Young (08:15.634)

Oh, yeah. So I have done this for years. So you clean really good one day a month, like at the beginning of the month. I mean, really, really good. And then you kind of highlight clean is what I’m saying. So I’ll explain that to you because if, if you are hosting Thanksgiving as I do, I’m cleaning really good right before Thanksgiving. And then the day after we have our Thanksgiving celebration, I’m putting up my Christmas decorations.

So this is my tip based on that. But whatever your schedule is, I would recommend cleaning really good right before you put your Christmas decorations up, to where you feel like people are coming over and I want my house to be really clean. The highlight cleaning for me is I do, I have a schedule. I’ve done this literally for probably 10 years. I think I read it in the Fly Lady book years and years ago.

Kathi (09:10.208)


Deanna Day Young (09:13.186)

And so anyway, Monday is mirror and glass. Tuesday is bathrooms. Wednesday is sweeping the carpet. Thursday is sweeping and mopping the tile. Friday is dusting and Saturday is cleaning out my vehicle, sweeping out the garage. You don’t have to do all those too, but it’s a highlight. So I go in and I say, oh my gosh, those mirrors from people brushing their teeth, I need to just wipe those off real quick. That’s a Monday chore.

Kathi (09:31.776)


Kathi (09:40.424)


Deanna Day Young (09:41.57)

Tuesday bathroom chore, just clean out your sinks and swish a little bit into the pot. It doesn’t mean you have to clean and wipe down the showers and scrub them through the whole month of December. It’s okay. Wipe them down, spray them off, keep a squeegee in the shower. Everybody can do their own as the time comes. With the carpet, maybe it’s just you’re only gonna sweep the living room where everybody is and the dining room doesn’t have to be swept that week. Thursday for the tile, maybe you don’t have to mop.

Maybe that mopping is only once every other week instead of every week. And then just dust the spots that you can see that aren’t decorated. It’s just a highlight dust. And then, you know, I don’t really like, I take everything out of my vehicle when I get out that’s garbage or doesn’t really belong or that needs to go. But that’s a good day to be able to like look and say, I’m gonna get stuff out of my vehicle just because as we go places, we don’t have all this junk in there. I gotta put gifts or I gotta highlight things in there.

Kathi (10:18.86)


Kathi (10:40.899)

Love it. I love it. Yes. It’s just a keeping up because you’ve got enough to do and if you put enough decorations on something You don’t have to clean it for a while. That’s that’s a Okay, here’s number five buy some of the food you’d normally prepare from scratch so I love I think it’s just as Lovely to buy something locally as it is to prepare it from scratch

Deanna Day Young (10:49.93)

That’s exactly right.

Kathi (11:09.759)

So we have an Apple Hill here that has like apple cider donuts and you know, apple cider, all these apple, apple things that our family loves. So why not just buy the apple cider donuts and call it a day instead of? And then it’s so interesting here. Do you have ACE Hardware’s where you’re at? Okay. I don’t know if they do this, but at our ACE Hardware’s.

Deanna Day Young (11:27.316)


Deanna Day Young (11:33.343)


Kathi (11:39.011)

they have freezers that have locally made pies. Isn’t that interesting? Yeah. Isn’t that interesting? And so we recently bought a pie there that we’re gonna be using for Thanksgiving. And exactly, I love it. And then, you know, we have wineries here. Now we don’t make our own wine, but you know, those are great to give as gifts and things like that. Anything you can get locally.

Deanna Day Young (11:43.698)

Oh, I don’t know. I don’t really go into our ACE Hardware. That is interesting.

Deanna Day Young (11:54.739)

That’s awesome.

Kathi (12:08.747)

Is real I consider that so thoughtful you’re supporting local Artesians and you are you’re making you know, and sometimes they can make stuff yummier than you. Okay We are going to take a quick break. We’re going to come back and then number six Talking about energy. Oh, you’re gonna go there. You’re gonna talk about okay. We’ll be right back

Deanna Day Young (12:08.779)


Deanna Day Young (12:20.587)


Kathi (12:35.859)

Okay, we’re back with Deanna. She’s gonna tell us how to have more energy. Go ahead, Deanna. Be everybody’s health fit auntie.

Deanna Day Young (12:42.231)

Well, I just…

Deanna Day Young (12:46.13)

And it’s not that I am any picture perfect of health fit, but I have found these things over the year. Well, that’s true. That is true. And that is so very frustrating because I just started back up with a trainer and I only trained about two weeks. So anyway, it’s okay. We’re figuring it out as we go along. But so my suggestion for number six for us to have more energy is to really

Kathi (12:50.243)

Well, dude, you can’t walk right now, so we’re gonna give you a pass.

Kathi (13:05.059)

You’ll get there.

Deanna Day Young (13:12.194)

Stay active before you know that you’re gonna be eating more carbs and sugar during the holidays, even if it’s just for short walks. So, you know, maybe you say, oh my gosh, my day is just absolutely filled. Can you get up 15 minutes earlier and take a walk around the block or get on the treadmill a little bit? Something that really, and I think, I guess I shouldn’t say that I know that there’s scientific evidence behind this, but I think there is, that if you get something started in the morning, if you go for a walk,

it really does give you more energy.

And the other tip that I just think is so important, when we go, whether it’s at our home or whether it’s to an outing that you have at church, people go through the line and they pick up their food,

then they just go ahead and get their dessert then. Because you’re hungry and everything looks good and you get six pieces of dessert and then you feel bad and you don’t wanna throw them away so you eat them all. Just go through the line and get what you want for your meal. When you’re finished, sit for a few minutes and then go get your dessert. And things won’t look quite as tempting. It’s kinda like going to the grocery store hungry. It won’t look quite as tempting. And so then you’re eating less sugar, less carbs, which in turn gives you more energy.

Kathi (15:02.843)

Okay, okay. Can I tell you my pet peeve about buffets? And my s- okay. You know when you’re setting up the buffet and you put your plates at the front? Why do people put forks, knives and spoons and napkins at the front of the buffet? That- it- it makes me crazy! I need both-

Deanna Day Young (15:08.668)


Deanna Day Young (15:18.316)


Deanna Day Young (15:25.678)

Yeah, that’s true.

But you know what I do? Yeah, I set mine. So I set my table, like my dining room table. If it’s at my house, if I’m hosting, the dining room table is set with the napkins and the silverware. And so all they have to do is get the plates.

Kathi (15:32.555)

What do you mean? Okay.

Yeah, I-

Kathi (15:41.807)

Okay. So if you’re setting up a buffet and you’re putting the forks, knives, spoons, napkins on it, on the buffet table, put them at the end. We don’t need to be messing with those at the beginning. And especially if there’s a long line, we don’t want to have to cut in line to come back and get them. No, no, no. I need both hands for getting my food. I want my food. I want to be scooping, and I don’t want to be dropping my random spoon into the buffet.

Deanna Day Young (15:53.718)

That’s a good point.

I love that.

Deanna Day Young (16:02.626)

That’s good. Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (16:10.125)


Kathi (16:11.663)

Put them at the end, rant over. Okay. Yeah, and so don’t ever buy one of those things that has like, it’s a holder for plates and forks and knives and spoons and napkin. No, you don’t need that. You don’t need that, especially if you’re trying to save space. Okay, number seven, hire help the day before and the day after. Remember, we’re talking about saving energy here, not money, because you have to figure out which of your resources you have the most of. If money is your struggle,

Deanna Day Young (16:14.721)

Good job.

Kathi (16:41.411)

then listen to next week’s podcast because we’re gonna talk about what if you’re low on money. But right now we’re talking about energy. So when I was a teenager, we would always have our holidays with another family, like an extended family, not our family, if they were across the street. And we went to a very fancy Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’m not sure, I can’t remember which one it was, in San Francisco,

with very rich people. And we would go, you know, we would usually just go across the street to their daughter’s house, but this was the fancy one. And they had somebody in a maid’s uniform, remember this was 40 years ago, doing all the dishes. Like they came in, helped set up and did all the dishes. And I thought, that’s the best thing I’ve ever heard of in my entire life. That is genius.

So because we don’t celebrate on the holiday, we could actually do that. We could hire somebody to come in and do that. Or we hire somebody locally. She’s somebody who’s retired and she needs some supplemental income. We hire her when we have retreats to bake cakes for us. She needs the money, we need the help. Could you hire somebody to clean your house? There are…

places that will hang all your Christmas lights, if that’s important to you. There is a college student that could send out your Christmas cards for you. We have a local ravioli shop here, and so we’ll buy Christmas raviolis and make those, or tamales, you know, tamales is a great thing to do for Christmas. So if you have a little bit more money than time, hire somebody to do one of these projects for you. Okay.

Deanna Day Young (18:16.958)

Oh, good one.

Deanna Day Young (18:37.427)

I love that.

Kathi (18:38.619)

Yeah, yeah, and you’re helping people that you love who need some extra cash. Yeah Right Yeah, yes

Deanna Day Young (18:44.3)

And those college kids that are home that really can’t have a job at home during the holidays, perhaps. Yeah, that’s great. I love that idea. Good one.

Kathi (18:51.531)

Yeah Have them have them hang your lights do your you know frosty the snowman decorations do it all. I love it Okay number eight

Deanna Day Young (19:02.646)

Number eight is another kind of healthy one that I wanted us to think about is to drink plenty of water and don’t overdo the coffee and the caffeine drinks because we’re very tempted to do that when we are looking for more energy. But the problem is we may drink six cups of coffee when in reality we only drink one or two. That does make us feel good for the time, but then you crash. The same with energy drinks. You may only drink one a day, but you decide I’m gonna drink one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

So I can stay up till one o’clock in the morning. And that’s just, that’s not the way to do it. Fill yourself with water. I’m not saying don’t drink your coffee, don’t drink your energy drink, but I do think that if we can stay on top of like drinking more water and doing some of the things even like number six that I said about staying active, it’s gonna keep us from having that crash and it’s gonna keep our energy level where we want it.

Kathi (19:54.387)

I love it. Yes. I’ve got an alarm that is set to remind me to drink water throughout the day because I just don’t even think about it. OK. Number nine. Make ahead dishes and fancy paper plates. OK. Let me let me give my justification here. So like one of the things I will make ahead this year is my apple cake because it freezes so well. It’s so good. It’s so dense and so moist.

Deanna Day Young (20:01.829)

Oh, that’s good.

Deanna Day Young (20:19.898)


Kathi (20:22.775)

that it freezes well and you can unfreeze it and enjoy it. But I can make that in November to eat at Christmas time. And it’s gonna be great.

Deanna Day Young (20:32.716)

Oh, will it save that one because I would want to eat it. You might have to make two.

Kathi (20:35.791)

I know. Well, you can see you can chop it ahead and you can just eat all the corners because that’s my favorite part. Yeah, it’s really good. And then I’m not a paper plate user. I’m married to an environmentalist. He’s a deep environmentalist. But I also understand that Roger and I manage 33 acres of forest. So we are conservationists at the holidays. I’m going to use paper plates. So

Deanna Day Young (20:41.214)

Oh, there you go. Yeah, sounds awesome.

Deanna Day Young (21:01.902)

There you go.

Kathi (21:03.699)

Get some nice paper plates that don’t have to be we have one dishwasher like most people in America Lots of people don’t have a dishwasher Use the paper plates when you need to Because I don’t want you crashing after all of this So Costco has a set of paper plates that we tend to buy each year And we just decorate around those and they look great But what can you make ahead of time even if you’re not making your Christmas dishes ahead of time?

Deanna Day Young (21:15.766)

I like it.

Kathi (21:32.495)

Can you make the food you eat that week ahead of time? And that’s gonna make a huge difference. Yes, exactly. Okay, number 10, Dino, bring us home.

Deanna Day Young (21:36.566)

Yeah, right, right. It goes back to meal planning, kind of back to meal planning.

Deanna Day Young (21:45.354)

Number 10, keep your routines as much as possible. Like get to bed early. And I’m not saying earlier, but if your bedtime is typically 10, try to keep those routines as much as possible, especially if you have children, because it’s so very hard for children to get out of the routine, to lose their energy, become grouchy. So keep routines as much as possible, like getting to bed early, your quiet times in the morning for Bible study. Sometimes I think we get so, you know, involved in this time of year that we just don’t even take our quiet time as seriously if we have one of those, if we have quiet time. We don’t take it as seriously. So don’t lose what your routines are. So keep your routines as much as possible. And I think from that, your energy level will stay high.

Kathi (22:33.915)

I love it. Okay, you guys, this is all of our best ideas to if you’re just running low on energy, this holiday season, these are some things you can do to get through, but also keep yourself safe and healthy. That’s what we want most from you. Okay, friends, you’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy, I am Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter-free life you were always intended to live.


Clutter Free Academy Team

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