#373: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part 2)

#373: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part 2)

If you need to declutter your to-do list, you are in good company! In this week’s podcast, Kathi continues her conversation with Tonya Kubo, grand poohbah of all things Clutter Free Academy online, about how to declutter your to-do list.

In Part One of this episode, Kathi and Tonya shared their own proven tips for managing an overwhelming to-do list and resetting when things feel out-of-hand. Today, they discuss how to use your calendar instead of a to-do list to bring wisdom and peace into your days.

Psalm 90:12 (KJV) says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” This powerful shift helps us to follow those words. You’ll discover how using a calendar to declutter your to-do list:

  • Helps you prioritize
  • Teaches you to guard your time
  • Can bring peace to others around you
  • Allows for relaxation in the midst of busy seasons
Check out Tonya’s new Facebook group, The Secret to Thriving Online Communities.
 

We would love to stay connected. To share your thoughts:

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

 

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com or  www.GreatMoms.org

#372: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part One)

#372: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part One)

This week, Kathi is joined by Tonya Kubo, fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group, to discuss strategies for dealing with an overwhelming to-do list. They share their own proven tips for making an overwhelming to-do list manageable and resetting when things feel out-of-hand.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to declutter an overwhelming to-do list through:

  • Developing realistic expectations for what you can accomplish in the time you have
  • Prioritizing the most important tasks
  • Breaking larger items down into doable steps

Make sure you listen in next week to hear Part Two of “Declutter Your To-Do List”, where Kathi shares how to use your calendar as your to-do list and find some sanity in your schedule. Better yet, subscribe below and have each Clutter Free Academy episode delivered to you!

Check out Kathi’s book with Cheri Gregory, Overwhelmed, to learn more about how to quiet the chaos and restore your sanity.

To stay connected with others like Kathi and Tonya do, check out the Voxer app.

We would love to stay connected!

To share your thoughts:

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

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com and www.GreatMoms.org

EMPTY NEST FULL LIFE: Kids and Stuff Go Hand in Hand

EMPTY NEST FULL LIFE: Kids and Stuff Go Hand in Hand

Kids and stuff go hand in hand.

There are school papers and toys and permission slips and awards and backpacks and treasures and art projects and…the list goes on and on.

Having to manage their stuff while they’re living under your roof is to be expected, but what about when they’re NOT living under your roof anymore? You now have an empty nest and a full house. What do you do with your adult child’s stuff that they haven’t taken with them?

We have five young adult children. Three are married, but they all live out on their own. At one point our nest was empty, but our attic was not! It was full of our adult kids’ memorabilia, awards, sports equipment, and even some furniture.

As you walk towards the clutter-free life, what do you do about the stuff that belongs to your adult kids? Here are nine strategies we’ve found helpful:

Identify their status: are they in transition or settled in?

When you have an adult child that’s in transition, you might choose to give a little grace until they are in a more settled place. Our second oldest daughter’s husband was in the Army for four years. She moved home twice during each of his year-long deployments, so we gave some grace on keeping some of their items in our home until he left the Army and settled down. One of our sons is currently living abroad. He has two small pieces of furniture he couldn’t take with him but he didn’t want to get rid of that he asked us to keep in the attic. We were okay saying yes to that.

Give a warning.

You’ve likely been thinking about this for a while, but your kids probably have not—out of sight, out of mind—right? Every child is different, but especially if you have a “saver,” it’s important to give them a heads up that you’re going to need them to deal with their stuff in the near future.

Set a realistic deadline.

Let them know that you’re renovating the bedroom/cleaning out the attic or garage/having a yard sale on a certain date. Ask them to come get what they want to keep or sell themselves by that date. Let them know that anything that’s theirs in your house after that date will be sold, donated, or disposed of on that date. (And you’ll be keeping the proceeds from any sales!) Then do exactly what you communicated you would do.

Be prepared for your own emotional responses.

It may be hard for you, but you have to keep your eye on the target—to live light, free, and not weighed down with stuff. Getting rid of things doesn’t get rid of the memories. You always have those with you, and you don’t need their things to remember.

Adjust your expectations.

The items you thought were important to save may not be important at all to your child. That has to be okay. You have to allow your child to have differing priorities than you do. They have to have the freedom to assign a different meaning to stuff than you do. Resist the urge to try to convince your child of why something should be important to them. He or she is different than you and that has to be okay.

Understand today’s young adults.

In general, millennials (born 1981 to 1996) and GenZ (born 1997 to today) are disposable generations. They are a generation or two away from a direct influence of the Great Depression where you learned to save everything and use it in some way. Many of today’s young adults are minimalists and not very attached to their stuff. One of our daughters and her husband have sold everything and traveled full time not once, but twice! They are not attached to things at all. While I treasure some of my great-grandmother’s antiques in my own home, I may be the last generation in our family to do so, and that’s got to be okay. We have to resist the urge to pressure our kids to value something because we value it.

Use your phone.

As you are decluttering, take photos of questionable items and text them to your kids for quick decisions. Accept their answers. Remember, however, there may be special items (NOT EVERYTHING!) none of the kids want (such as their Dad’s train set) that you might choose to keep because your adult kids may not be at the age or stage of life where they might use or appreciate them. You could wait on those few things until they are further down the road of life with children of their own.

Have a plan for sentimental baby items.

Maybe you brought each of your children home in the same outfit and you’re not sure what to do with something like that. Could you frame it and put it in a wall photo collage with each child’s baby pictures? Things in boxes aren’t enjoyed. Is there a way you can enjoy the things that mean the most to you?

Think about future generations.

We’ve gotten rid of many toys over the years, but I kept my kids’ Rescue Heroes, Little People, and Legos as well as some books and other small toys they all enjoyed. Now our grandchildren are enjoying those classic toys when they visit, and they are vastly different than the toys they have at home.

One of the best parts of the empty nest is being able to reclaim the use of your house in a way that fits your passions and interests. With a little bit of communication and effort, you can make sure you’re not tripping over the past on your way to the future you’re creating.


All images © Michael Gowin Photography, 217-737-7908, www.gowinphotography.com, Lincoln, IL. Images may not be printed, copied, reproduced, or distributed without written permission from the photographer.

Jill Savage is the author of fourteen books including her newest book Empty Nest Full Life: God’s Best For Your Next. You can find out more information about Jill and her resources for empty nest or close-to-empty-nest moms at www.EmptyNestBook.com.

#371: When His Stuff Drives You Crazy, Absolutely Crazy (Or The Other Way Around)

#371: When His Stuff Drives You Crazy, Absolutely Crazy (Or The Other Way Around)

Kathi sits down this week with bestselling author, Proverbs 31 speaker, and boomerang friend, Karen Ehman, to discuss how to cope when someone else’s stuff drives you crazy. Clutter is a major source of conflict in relationships, especially since clutter-prone people often live with people who are not. If you have someone in your life whose stuff drives you crazy, this episode is for you!

 In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Three common reasons behind all relational conflicts and how to successfully address them.
  • How to navigate getting your spouse on board with your decluttering goal.
  • A powerful one-sentence sermon you can tell yourself when someone’s stuff drives you crazy.

You can get your own copy of Karen’s book here: Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy.

If you’d like a chance to win a copy, comment below letting us know: What is one thing that you could take away from today’s podcast to help you in your clutter struggle with your spouse or someone else?

We would love to stay connected. 

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Karen Ehman

Karen Ehman

Karen Ehman is a New York Times bestselling author, a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker, and a writer for Encouragement For Today, an online devotional that reaches over 4 million users daily. She has written 14 books and Bible studies and been featured on numerous media outlets including TODAY Show Parents, FoxNews.com, and Redbook.com. A wife and mother of three, she resides in the boondocks of central Michigan. You can learn more at karenehman.com.

#370: Practical Steps to Take Care of Your Future Self (Even When You Don’t Feel Like it)

#370: Practical Steps to Take Care of Your Future Self (Even When You Don’t Feel Like it)

Join Kathi as she chats with friend and frequent guest Tonya Kubo on this week’s podcast. They will discuss everyday, practical ways to take care of your future self like unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, and planning ahead with your calendar. These simple tasks take care of your mental and emotional health while also empowering you to take care of those around you.

In this episode, we’ll learn that when you take care of your future self you also:

  • Save yourself the stress of scrambling last minute
  • Help yourself save money
  • Give yourself more options to choose what works best for you

We would love to stay connected. 

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com or  www.GreatMoms.org

#369: Decluttering Your Way to a Better Marriage (Really!)

#369: Decluttering Your Way to a Better Marriage (Really!)

This week, Kathi returns to her first love: helping you have a happier, better marriage. Kathi is joined by frequent guest and host of Clutter Free Academy online, Tonya Kubo, to discuss several ways that decluttering can help you build a better marriage. 

One of the most frequent questions Kathi is asked is, “What do I do about my husband’s stuff?” in this episode, you’ll learn more about her top three answers for that question:

  • Deal with your own stuff before you deal with your spouse’s stuff.
  • Don’t argue about stuff. Agree on space.
  • Discuss the reasons behind wanting to live a more clutter free life.

You’ll also learn how decluttering makes a better marriage by:

  • Reducing conflict
  • Giving you the opportunity to focus on ways to bless your spouse
  • Helping you see your spouse’s strengths
  • Even upping the level of romance in your relationship (really)!

To read more practical ways to build a better marriage, check out Kathi’s book, The Husband Project.

Learn more about Kathi and Roger’s favorite show to binge watch at the Red House, American Pickers.

We would love to stay connected. 

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.TonyaKubo.com and www.GreatMoms.org.

#368: Feeling Like a Decluttering Dropout? Here’s the One Thing You are Missing in Your Clutter Free Goal

#368: Feeling Like a Decluttering Dropout? Here’s the One Thing You are Missing in Your Clutter Free Goal

Feeling like a decluttering dropout when you struggle to reach your Clutter Free goal? Kathi Lipp and special guest Tonya Kubo, fearless leader in the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, know exactly what that’s like. They also know how to move you from zero to hero in your Clutter Free journey and help you reach your decluttering goals.

Have you read the books, listened to the podcasts, participated in Clutter Free Academy, and yet you still feel like you’re falling short of the Clutter Free life you want to make for yourself? Listen to this week’s episode to find out the one thing you might be missing in the pursuit of your Clutter Free goals.

In this week’s episode, you’ll learn…

  • What discourages Tonya on her journey
  • The one thing that’s made all the difference for both Tonya and Kathi
  • Hear real-life stories of people who have taken steps to reach their Clutter Free goal
  • How you, too, could kick clutter to the curb once and for all

Links:
Join us in the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, the kindest corner of the internet.
To learn more and to sign up for Clutter Free for Life, click here.

We would love to stay connected. 

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com and  www.GreatMoms.org

3 Ways to Fight Clutter When You Feel Stuck

3 Ways to Fight Clutter When You Feel Stuck

So many people are talking about decluttering lately. Maybe you’ve caught the bug, too, but after a promising start, you hit a wall. It feels like there’s too much and no way to tackle it all. Sound familiar?

I recorded a live training on Facebook that shares 3 Ways to get unstuck when you just want to throw in the towel. But really, then there’d just be another towel on top of the clutter.

I have been there—on a roll and then the clutter tries to roll back over me. It takes more than determination, it takes community. You don’t have to fight clutter alone.

I have created a free group that surrounds you with others committed to finding freedom from clutter. It’s on Facebook and it’s called Clutter Free Academy. This is the kindest corner of the internet. There is no
shame in our game. Here you will find others seeking to tackle their cluttered chaos and find freedom from clutter in your head, your heart, and your home.

For those ready to go deep and get truly accountable and committed, we’ve created a private membership group called Clutter Free for Life – Members Only. Watch the video above for details on that or click this link to find out more.

Are you ready to join Clutter Free for Life? You can sign up to register here. Registration will only be open for a limited time.

If the idea of finding freedom from clutter is still new to you and you just want a first step, that’s okay too. You can join thousands of others on the clutter free journey by joining Clutter Free Academy on Facebook here.

5 Ways to Kick Start Your Clutter Free Journey When It Feels Overwhelming

5 Ways to Kick Start Your Clutter Free Journey When It Feels Overwhelming

Are you tired of moving your clutter from one surface to another in your home? Tired of feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff? I get that. And you’re not alone.

The age-old question of “where to begin” plagues many of us. That’s why I recorded a live training on my Facebook Page this week that tells you where start when you don’t know where to begin.

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Confession time: I have not always lived free from clutter.

This journey has been a process and it’s one that is ongoing. Clutter is never one and done. But the good news is that you can find freedom from your clutter. And you don’t have to do it alone.

I have created a free group that surrounds you with others committed to finding freedom from clutter. It’s on Facebook and it’s called Clutter Free Academy. This is the kindest corner of the internet. There is no shame in our game. Here you will find others seeking to tackle their cluttered chaos and find freedom from clutter in your head, your heart, and your home.

For those ready to go deep and get truly accountable and committed, we’ve created a private membership group called Clutter Free for Life – Members Only. Watch the video above for details on that or click this link to find out more.

Are you ready to join Clutter Free for Life? You can sign up to register here. Registration will only be open for a limited time.

If the idea of finding freedom from clutter is still new to you and you just want a first step, that’s okay too. You can join thousands of others on the clutter free journey by joining Clutter Free Academy on Facebook here.

How to Tackle That Summer Decluttering Job

How to Tackle That Summer Decluttering Job

Pool Toys and Sunglasses

Every year when that big yellow bus pulls away for the last time, school children everywhere fly home with that exhilarated feeling of freedom. It’s time to toss away the backpacks and drag out the pool floaties and other hot-weather essentials.

Summer stuff, as I call it. Outdoor grilling, beach trips, and epic water gun wars make for a huge pile in the garage (on top of last year’s cornhole game, sports equipment, and the treadmill you plan to sell).

Or the looming family reunion that sends you up into the attic, digging through boxes to find photos for the slide show you’re in charge of.

And what about all the bins of clothing you stored last year, in hopes that your growing kids (or their younger siblings) could get some wear out of shorts sets and swimsuits.

Any of these projects can make you forget just how far you’ve come, even if your living room is 90% clutter free and you’re tackling that kitchen counter daily as part of your evening routine. But before you get discouraged, we’ve got five tips to help you keep your momentum going on your decluttering journey.

Be okay where you are.

There are a lot of shame-inducing circumstances we find ourselves in surrounding our clutter. Even if we’ve been decluttering for a long time, we can discover an area that’s overrun by stuff we no longer need, or stuff that goes someplace else, like all those boxes in the attic we stuffed there “for now” (years ago).

Or, perhaps during a busy season, we let our routines go and now we’re faced with having to re-conquer areas we had worked so hard to declutter. That one dresser that you let pile up, or the bin of toys in the playroom.

Whatever the reason for your dismay, the worst thing you can do is to allow shame to pile up like clutter. Be gentle with yourself as you assess your situation and accept it. Wasting time and energy beating yourself up takes away from your ability to remedy the situation.

Remember, all you have to do is set a timer for 15 minutes. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in that short time. Set a timer on your phone, and then rinse and repeat the next day, and the next.

Before you know it, that area will be decluttered and feeling like new again.

Set small goals.

Instead of dreading that big job in the garage, tackle one shelf or one corner.  If we wait for a whole day to magically open up on our calendar for garage cleaning, we might see a couple different presidential administrations before it happens.

You want to choose an area that’s small enough to complete in 15 minutes. In some cases, that may be only one box, one drawer, or half of a shelf. If you have more than 15 minutes to work on it, great! Keep setting the timer until you’ve either finished that area or run out of time.

Accomplishing small goals adds up to big goals achieved. Task by task, decluttering a bit at a time will eventually lead to an entire closet or garage completely decluttered.

Remember your “why.”

Why did you want to declutter in the first place? Often there’s an event that makes a cluttery person finally decide to get rid of all their unnecessary stuff. It could be the death of a parent (and the clean-out process of that parent’s house), or it might be an embarrassing visit when someone appraised the dresser with raised eyebrows. (Ahem…Not that any of us here at Clutter Free Academy have experienced any of those things personally, mind you.)

We may have had a unique catalyst for our clutter-free journey, but one big reason for us all to keep at it is this: God created each of us for a unique purpose and getting rid of the clutter frees you up to do what He made you to do.

Celebrate your wins.

Who doesn’t love a good celebration? Looking forward to a fun moment (or three) when you accomplish a decluttering project will help you across the finish line.

If you’ve finished clearing off the game shelf and gotten rid of those Hi-Ho Cherrio and Chutes and Ladders (and your kids are in middle school), play a game your family still enjoys, maybe one you rediscover after reclaiming that space.

Or reward the kids with a trip to the pool for helping you bag up winter clothes that are too small. It doesn’t have to be a big deal—just something to mark the accomplishment.

Keep your 15-minute decluttering routines.

In the summertime, it’s easy to lose our school year routines. But the future you—the one packing next year’s school lunches and buying backpacks filled with #2 pencils will thank you for the 15 minutes you spend each day decluttering.

It may not seem like much, but your efforts add up to a big payoff.

Like Jen Babakhan says in her new book, Detoured, “All the little things you do over and over every day are seen by God. If you could watch your life like a movie on fast-forward, you would see that the dishes, laundry, books, snuggles, tantrums (by you or the children), and even the socks you pull out of the corners of the couch on a much-too-regular basis add up to a life of authenticity and love.”

Giveaway Time!

Thanks to our fabulous friends over at Harvest House, we are able to give a few of you a free copy of Detoured! 5 people will win a copy of Detoured!

And one Grand Prize winner will receive:

      • Detoured
      • Lunch Tote Bag
      • Reusable Ice Packs
      • Outdoor Blanket

Leave a comment below to be entered to win. What is the summer decluttering job on your list?

* Giveaway for US residents only.