Declutter Before and After: Heather’s Story

Declutter Before and After: Heather’s Story

Get motivated to declutter YOUR home with this declutter before and after story.

Heather Prong started 2017 completely overwhelmed and knew she needed to simplify her life. She struggled with depression and felt like the walls were closing in on her. When she sat down to relax, she was filled with anxiety because all of the stuff around her. She saw a Facebook ad for the Clutter Free Lenten Bible study and ordered the book. Little did she know what was in store!

In the beginning Heather faithfully read and learned some strategies. Knowing she was not alone in the struggle against Clutter was a relief, and some of the shame and guilt slowly faded.

The turning point came on a March morning when she thought she didn’t have a lot of time to declutter before leaving for work, but decided to do something.

She started with the front room where she sat to watch TV.

I thought I’d just straighten the speaker and chair sitting right in front of me. It felt so good, so I kept going each day choosing small sections — a table, a shelf, a drawer — something I could compete in a small amount of time.”

Friends, this is what small wins look like! Can I get an “Amen!”?

 

A Strong Why Helps Clutter Go Bye-Bye

About a month into decluttering, when Heather had seen some success and had a bit of momentum, she and her husband got a call from family members who were moving back to the United States. They needed a place to live for a few months. She says, “I knew my ‘why’ and was able to pick up the pace so we could help out our family.” In Clutter Free, Kathi talks about the importance of connecting to your “why,” the dream or goal that motivates you to get rid of clutter.

Heather started in February, and by June she and her husband had cleared a ton of clutter out of the house and built a room in the basement for family to move in. That’s incredible progress, and a huge change from where she started. You can do this, friends!

Heather said, “We were also able to donate at least fifty boxes of things we weren’t using to some of our favorite charities, and honestly, I haven’t missed anything.”

Heather took a lot of before pictures to remind herself of how far she’d come, but this photo of her chair and speaker represents the moment she was able to overcome that feeling of too much stuff, and start the magic of consistent, small decluttering.

 

Declutter Before and After

declutter before and after

BEFORE

 

declutter before and after

AFTER

She says the process wasn’t always easy, “but I kept my love of helping others front and center to keep myself motivated and loved the encouragement from the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group.”

Heather has come a long way from where she began her journey to getting Clutter Free. She feels so grateful to have found Kathi and the Clutter Free Academy group, which celebrates her ongoing progress. “This year, I’m so much more relaxed and am enjoying some hobbies that I didn’t have as much time for when I was feeling so overwhelmed by stuff!”

What are you missing out on because Clutter is overwhelming you?

 

Check out more Clutter Free Success Stories HERE.

Eps. #313: How to Organize Like a Pro with Major Mom of Major Organizer

Eps. #313: How to Organize Like a Pro with Major Mom of Major Organizer

Have you ever started to declutter and just quit halfway through the job because you didn’t know what to do next?
If you have experienced these feelings in the past (or are right now!) you won’t want to miss today’s interview with Angela Cody-Rouget, better known as Major Mom of Major Organizer. She is the expert on the professional way to declutter someone’s home.

And Major Mom is going to give us the secrets to decluttering any space:

In this info-filled interview, you will learn how to:
• make the most of your decluttering time
• understand when you need to call in a professional
• stop feeling the guilt about all that stuff

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

Insider Bonus
Want a free ebook for how to keep your car clean and organized even with kiddos crayons, nugget crumbs, and toy cars? Download your free Kid Friendly Car Organizing ebook from Major Mom here.

 


Thanks to Our Sponsor: Duck Pack and Track


 

Thanks for Listening!

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 .

 

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Meet Our Guest

Angela Cody-Rouget is the founder and owner of Major Organizers™, a residential organizing company. She has been building the Major Organizers brand (formerly Major Mom) since November of 2006 and currently has a team of 22 employees in Arizona and Colorado. She was featured on the military episode of Shark Tank on February 5, 2016. Angela spent 14 years dedicated to serving her country in the US Air Force as a satellite commander and missileer. She attained the rank of Major and her husband nicknamed her Major Mom after their first child was born. After her son was born in 2005, she resigned her commission to be a better wife and mother to her two children.

Angela earned a BA in Speech Communication at Indiana University and an MBA from University of Colorado. Angela is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and Faithful Organizers, and has served as the President of the Board of Directors for both organizations. She volunteers her time to her veteran community and church on a regular basis.

She is currently in the process of franchising her brand in order to create more jobs and opportunities for veterans and military spouses. She has one franchise location in Columbus, OH.  Like most women, she sometimes feels torn between kids and career and the balancing act is difficult, but she’s thankful for a husband who is supportive. She also has kids that cheer her on because they believe in her. Angela was born to create order out of chaos. She is on a mission to raise up an army of Liberators so she can restore order to the world, one household at a time!

 

Episode 312- How to Actually Enjoy Cleaning (and an Amazing Free Offer Just for Our Listeners)

Episode 312- How to Actually Enjoy Cleaning (and an Amazing Free Offer Just for Our Listeners)

Do you wait until your home resembles a frat house after a two-night kegger to actually get the gumption up to clean? It’s time to take some delight in getting your space clean.

We all want a clean house, but so much of the time cleaning is the least enjoyable activity on our to-do list. It’s time for that to change. From changing our attitude about cleaning to changing our cleaning products, it’s time to make cleaning something you will actually enjoy (or at least not dread.)

Why You Should Listen

In this jam-packed podcast, Tonya and Kathi discuss:
• how to use your five senses to actually enjoy cleaning
• how to partner with the people you live with to keep your house clean
• how to change your thinking about cleaning to make it a Clutter Free experience

And now – here is the offer that I talked about on the podcast – I love that just as we were talking about loving cleaning – this AMAZING offer comes along:

I’m thrilled to get to offer you, my favorite Clutter Free people, exclusive access to these amazing Mrs. Meyer’s kits through Grove Collaborative. (Do you know about my all out obsession with Lemon Verbena? I can’t even stand how awesome this all is!)

Here’s what new Grove Collaborative Customers get with their first $20 purchase:

• Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
• Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
• Mrs. Meyer’s hand lotion
• Grove enamel cleaning caddy (isn’t that the cutest thing ever?)

Click here to learn more & get your free Mrs. Meyer’s kit.

In order to get your free kit, simply order $20 worth of household items from Grove (and they really are less expensive than going into the grocery store.)

When you click over to Grove, you’ll be asked a few questions and your cart will auto-fill with $20 worth of product as a suggestion. But of course – you pick what you want. You’re the boss baby…

Try out different scents if you’d like – I use Lemon Verbena (did I mention that I’m obsessed?) but then, I like to mix things up in our bathrooms and laundry area (Honeysuckle is a personal favorite.)

Not only do you get three Mrs. Meyer’s full size products in the scent of your choice, the super-cute cleaning caddy, and free shipping, you’ll also get a trial of Grove’s VIP membership. That means for 60 days you’ll get free shipping on all your orders no matter how often, super fun little gifts, exclusive sales and personal service. I love grove.co and I know you will fall in love with them too.

And if you are already a Grove customer, you still get freebies (WHAT?!).

Existing Customer Offer

  • Free Grove walnut scrubber sponges will be added to your next shipment when you click here.

Other Links for Mentioned Products in this Episode:

Norwex Towels: https://amzn.to/2Ko1u31
Tazo Tea: https://amzn.to/2Kr6Cnd
Roomba: https://amzn.to/2yNjvXh
InstantPot: https://amzn.to/2Kv7kzW

More info on Our Sponsor

Duck Pack and Track

Thanks for Listening!

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 .

 

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  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

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.

Why Clutter Is Like Every Bad Boyfriend You Ever Had

Why Clutter Is Like Every Bad Boyfriend You Ever Had

 

My friend Sarah (not her real name,) is out there. “There” being the dating world. And after hearing about her adventures out there, it makes me doubly grateful for my husband Roger.

Because while Roger is one of the good guys, there are a whole lot of bad guys.

A whole lot.

Like the guys who told her, “Oh, I thought maybe you’d lose some weight since you took your profile picture.”

A whole lot of bad guys…

But as she was telling me some of the worst points about the guys she and her friends have dated, it started to feel oh so familiar.

“He’s never around when I need him.”

“He’s lazy. He just sits around. I never get to do what I want to do.”

 

Since writing my book Clutter Free, I’ve heard every complaint about clutter, but for the first time, I started to see the correlation between the things that women say about bad relationships and the clutter that is ruining their lives.

“I can never find anything when I need it.”

“I would be able to get so much more accomplished if I didn’t have to deal with so much clutter.”

 

And when we start to see our clutter in the light of a bad relationship – the need to break up with it becomes oh, so much clearer.

 

Clutter, wants to make sure you know that you’re not good enough for anything better.

That boyfriend discouraged you from going for your degree or getting a better job. “You don’t have enough time for me – what makes you think you’ll have time for that.” He kept you from dreaming about the better life you could have and wanted you to settle. Clutter does the same thing. It convinces you – YOU! – you bright, intelligent, passionate woman, that you can’t handle your life and that you should just settle.

 

Just like a bad boyfriend, your clutter is constantly jealous.

Clutter doesn’t want you going out – it wants you stuck at home, tending to it. Clutter is lazy, and wants you to do all the work.

 

Clutter is a liar.

Clutter calls you lazy even though your coworkers always tell you what a hard worker you are. Clutter tells you that you will never change. Clutter says you’re not creative, not smart, not passionate. Clutter lies to you every chance it gets.

 

Your friends and family hate it.

My mom hated my first boyfriend. Hated him. I spent less time with my family and my school friends, and started to change my personality to accommodate him. Clutter makes the same demands – isolating you and making you bend to its will.

 

So how do you break up with clutter?

Here are a couple places to start:

 

Get as far away as possible.

It’s so easy to revisit your clutter- putting it in a box to look at later. Putting it in the garage so it’s out of site, until you can turn around in the garage… Make a clean break from your clutter. Don’t just put the donations in the back of your car, drive straight to the donation station and dump that clutter (anything that would be useful to someone else, but is no longer taking care of you, that is.)

 

Refuse to let clutter come through the door.

The best place to stop clutter is in the store- don’t buy it in the first place. Know your clutter weakness areas – the Dollar Store, the office supply aisle at Target, thrift stores, antique malls – and make a plan with exactly what you’re coming home with.

 

Get some accountability.

Have you ever told a friend, “Ask me every day if I’ve called him!” Well it’s the same with clutter. Have a friend ask you what you brought home that day- or better yet – what you got rid of! Challenge each other to get rid of 100 things (and no fair checking out each other’s stash to see what you may want to bring home.) Get rid of it, once and for all and celebrate each other’s success!

 

I would love to hear your story of how you’ve broken up with some of your clutter- give us specifics – we need some hope from those of you who are living free!

 


 

Break up with Clutter in just 14 days! Get Kathi’s Kickstart to Clutter Free eCourse today and kick that clutter to the curb sister!

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Why Kickstart to Clutter Free?

  • Find peace in your home
  • Feel comfortable inviting people to your home again
  • Guaranteed results
  • Guaranteed results (money back guarantee!)

Green-Purchase

Episode #311: Plan Ahead for Your Next Instant Party – How to be Ready to Celebrate at a Moment’s Notice

Episode #311: Plan Ahead for Your Next Instant Party – How to be Ready to Celebrate at a Moment’s Notice

Who doesn’t love a good get-together with friends or family? How do you make an instant party when you don’t have time to run to the store and you haven’t done a deep clean in awhile?

Kathi and her clutter free expert, Tonya Kubo, join in on this fun episode full of tips that make your next party stress free. They share their favorite party recipes, cleaning ideas and ways to let your guests help out so they feel like they are part of the fun. No one wants a stressed out hostess and with these tips you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your guests instead of worrying about tiny details (you know, the ones that probably don’t really matter!).

Recipes mentioned in the show:

Kathi’s Macaroni Salad recipe for Instant Pot
Tammy’s Maltby Cake Recipe
Kathi’s recipe for “really quick chili”
Tonya’s Icebox Cakes (2 recipes):
https://averiecooks.com/boston-cream-icebox-cake/
https://thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-no-bake-icebox-cake-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-202104

Tonya’ Cowboy Caviar

Ingredients:
2 15-oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-oz bag frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced (taste first to check heat)
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (optional)
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

Dressing:
1 Tbsp olive oil
Juice from 2 fresh limes, about 4 tablespoons (lemon works too)
Dash of red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside. Mix salad ingredients in a bowl stir in dressing to blend. You can serve immediately but it’s even better after 2 hours in the fridge.
Notes: This can be made the night before. You can sub the black beans for any type of firm canned bean. Black-eyed peas and pinto beans are great substitutions.

Share your favorite tips! Win Kathi’s What’s for Dinner Solution!

To win:
Leave a note in the comment section below. Tell us what your favorite cleaning tip or recipe is for your parties. Winner will be chosen on July 10, 2018.

*Giveaway is for US residents only.

 

 


Thanks to Our Sponsor: Duck Pack and Track


 

Thanks for Listening!

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 .

 

To share your thoughts:

  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

 

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.

How to Build Your Daily Routine: The Morning Edition

How to Build Your Daily Routine: The Morning Edition

I have one job in this post – to convince you that creating your daily routine is possible.

Even if habits are not your thing.

Even if you are not a morning person.

Trust me. This is possible.

We’ve all tried to create habits that would make us be more efficient, keep our homes clean and clutter free, and would get us out the door in the morning and into bed at a reasonable time.

Here is the first thing I want you to know: I am the least “routine” person you’ve ever met. My approach to each day was fresh and new (read random and chaotic). So, if I can do this, your daily routine is totally within reach.

The second thing I need you to know:  I have never been a morning person. My mom, when signing me up for kindergarten, told the teacher if I didn’t get into the “Late Birds” group, we would have to change schools. There would be no “Early Bird” class for little Kathi. She didn’t want to physically drag me out of bed every morning.

But as an adult, I realized that if I want to get stuff done in life, I need to get up before the rest of the world. (Or at least my kids.)

I really believe having a morning routine is one of the most powerful ways to not just change your day, but change your life, because we give ourselves more permission to go deeper in the morning than we do at any other time.

Having a morning routine means deciding in advance what you’re going to do, so you can spend your mental energy focusing on what’s really important for the day.

 

How to Create a Daily Routine for Mornings

Here are six steps to creating your morning daily routine.

 

Make a list of everything you do in the mornings.

Go into detail, and leave nothing out, no matter how small. Here’s an idea of some things you’ll want to include:

• Brushing teeth
• Showering
• Making breakfast
• Finding car keys
• Getting kids ready
• Quiet time
• Making coffee
• Putting on makeup
• Laundry
• Getting dressed
• Eating breakfast
• Packing your computer bag
• Making lunches

 

Evaluate your list. 

The next morning, if you remember things that aren’t on the list, write them down. I want you to get an accurate reflection of what you can accomplish and see where the stress is in the morning.

Are you a morning person? Awesome! Load up your mornings, but load it up with the most important stuff.

Are you a night owl? Do everything you can to prep the night before so you can get the rest you need. I will do a whole other blog post on having an evening routine, but the bottom line is…PREP, PREP, PREP.

If it’s not working, brainstorm ways to make it work. Maybe you need a longer prep list the night before, or you might even need to plan earlier in the week. Making a big pot of oats to heat up in the microwave or putting together your outfits for the week can make your mornings go more smoothly. I’m a big fan of a prep and plan day to set you up for success for the rest of the week.

 

Set Up a Staging Area

This is everything when you are trying to get out the door each morning. Staging is the act of having everything ready to go when you are. Putting everything by the door will save you tons of time and stress. You could even place a chair or table there for that purpose.

Items to place in your staging area:

  • Lunch boxes
  • Jackets
  • Keys
  • Computer Bag
  • Backpacks
  • Homework
  • School or work projects
  • Travel mug or water bottle
  • Cell phone
  • Dog Leash

You can even have a list of the things you need to take in that area so you are sure not to forget a thing.

 

Complete Tasks By Location 

This is one of those tiny tricks that will absolutely save your mornings.

As much as I need to get in the steps on my Fitbit, I was all over my house as I was getting ready in the morning. Going up and down the stairs a dozen times was taking up a huge chunk of my morning.

So now, I break up my morning by location.

When creating your daily routine, I want you to think about what rooms you use in the morning (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, upstairs, downstairs, etc.) and figure out all the things that need to be done in that room.

Kitchen:

  • Make breakfast
  • Make coffee
  • Pack lunches
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Eat breakfast
  • Have quiet time
  • Load dishwasher

Bedroom/Bathroom:

  • Shower
  • Dressed
  • Makeup
  • Sort laundry

Front Door:

  • Keys
  • Computer bag
  • Travel mug
  • Handbag
  • Cell phone

I’m a “go downstairs first thing” kinda girl, so I get all my kitchen stuff done, move to my bedroom, and then, if I’m leaving the house, move to the front door and prep to leave.

 

Time yourself to see how long things actually take.

We are time optimists.

We think it takes five minutes to put on makeup, but it really takes ten. Time yourself so you know where you can save time, and where to schedule more. You’ll have a realistic idea about how long your morning routine takes and reduce your stress level getting out the door.

 

Print out your list so it’s easy to follow.

Put it up in the kitchen, your bathroom, the bedroom, or wherever you’ll see it. Practice, practice, practice.

When I did this, I learned more efficient ways to get my list done faster. Since I normally eat oatmeal for breakfast, I got to where I could unload the dishwasher in the 3 minutes and 33 seconds it takes to cook in the microwave.

The first couple of weeks are discovery. After that, it’s execution.

 

Adjust as you go.

By sheer accident, I discovered that my oatmeal turns out just as good if I only cook it for 3 minutes, so I had to think of new strategies to unload the dishwasher 33 seconds faster.

Sometimes you’ll have to change your routine as circumstances change, like for a new job or school schedule. Keep adjusting your routine so that it continues to work for you.

One of the best things that will come out of this is you’ll continually be thinking about how to save time and make your daily routines more efficient. Here are some of my favorite tricks:

  • For the dishwasher, I learned that loading things in groups (plates, drinking glasses, knives, etc.) saves me time in unloading.
  • Set up your coffee the night before. I want to hug myself when I come downstairs and smell coffee.
  • I leave my walking shoes by the front door so when it’s time to exercise, I don’t need to go upstairs to get them.
  • I leave my computer charging downstairs so it’s ready to go in the morning (and fully charged.)
  • I make lunches the night before, and have bought these great salad containers so we can prep the night before (or even two nights before. They are that good.)
  • I have a hook in my bedroom where I hang the next day’s outfit.
  • I sleep in a cute pair of leggings, a tank top, and a sports bra, so I’m ready for exercise the next morning.

 

One More Tip

By the way, there’s one other thing that can keep us from a happy morning: Clutter! (You knew I had to go there on a Clutter Free Academy blog post.)

If you haven’t already joined our growing community on Facebook, click below to find an encouraging, shame-free place where you’ll get the support you need to get the clutter out of your house.

 

CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW!

 

Peace is possible in the morning, I promise!

 

How to Not Lose Things: 7 Ways to Keep Track of Absolutely Everything

How to Not Lose Things: 7 Ways to Keep Track of Absolutely Everything

Learn 7 simple ways to not lose things so you can stay organized.

 

My contention for years was that I am powerful, I am amazing, and I can change the world – if only I could find my car keys.

I was a loser.

I would constantly lose things: keys, headphones, purse, phone, cash, important papers, and one time, a $900 check. It had slidden down the back of a desk and landed, upright, on a ledge against the wall, like a magic trick. (It was missing for months.)

After being late for lunch with my own daughter because I couldn’t find my car keys, it was time to take bold action. I researched how to stop losing stuff all the time and actually be a grown adult who could find things on the regular.

 

How to Not Lose Things

And now I share with you my best tips for how to get organized so you won’t lose things.

 

Minimize

You knew I was going to tell you to declutter at some point. Having less stuff means that you have less to keep track of, and you won’t lose things in your mess.

I had a friend who owned three sets of keys so she would always be able to find them when she needed them.

(What!?!)

The problem was, she could never find any of them. Ever.

So much better to have just one of what you need and not worry about having backups of backups (which, by the way, just cause more clutter).

 

Become Basic

For years, I was trying to come up with clever new systems to store my stuff so I wouldn’t lose things. I had a little drawer for my keys (so they would be out of sight and not mess up the look of my house) and a shoe rack behind my couch that you actually had to be a troop member of Cirque du Soleil if you wanted to be able to put your shoes away.

I would “stash and dash” my stuff when people were coming over to all my favorite hiding places.

The problem?

Things were so well hidden that I could never find them again. Two years later I’d be cleaning out a drawer in the coffee table and find the Bed Bath and Beyond gift card that I knew “I put somewhere.”

It’s time to stop living such an exciting life. Routine is the key so you stop losing things once and for all. You must have a place where you put your basic items every single day so they won’t go missing.

Here’s my list:

Keys: In a basket by the front door

Handbag: On the coat closet doorknob

Phone: Charging on my nightstand

Laptop: Charging on my office desk

Journal and pen: Under the coffee table

 

The beauty of being basic is that you eventually start to get uncomfortable if your stuff is not in the correct place, and that’s a great thing. You want to feel a bit of discomfort at things not being where they should be so you can stop losing things.

You know you’re hitting master-level organization when you pause a TV show and go put your keys away because that’s the only way you can truly relax.

 

Find the Perfect Containers

I have containers that are THE PLACE to store THE ONE THING.

Let me give you some examples:

  • The bookcase in my office: books I’m using for work and studying
  • The bookcase in my bedroom: my “fun” books (memoirs, fiction, journals)
  • The Rolodex in my bedroom: all of our gift cards
  • The desk in my kitchen: mail to be sorted
  • A labeled bucket in my laundry area: batteries
  • A shoe box on the top shelf of my closet: travel-sized toiletries and packing cubes
  • In a drawer by the front door: pet bags

 

Having a place for everything so that anyone in the family can tell you “That goes THERE” will go a long way to help find things when you need them.

 

Develop a Long-Term Storage System

Back in the 90’s I attended a seminar on how to keep track of all the things you put in long-term storage. There were binders and tabs and cross referencing.

My head exploded, and I decided that my method would be much more like “throw everything into boxes and pray we never need it again.”

That is, until I found the magic that is Duck Pack and Track Moving and Storage Labeling System.

What!?!

This is the best thing ever. Seriously. You guys? How have I never had this in my life before?

I fill up a box, put a label on it, scan the label with my phone, and then list the contents.

When I want to find my ski parka, I just type “ski parka” in the search function of the app and it tells me exactly what box it’s in and where that box is.

Magic. (And couldn’t we all use a little more magic in our lives?)

Check out my post Organize me Now! The Ultimate Storage Organization Guide and enter to win the Duck Pack and Track Gift Pack.

 

Make Your House Like a Giant Kindergarten Room

I believe in labeling absolutely everything.

Everything.

(OK, I don’t have a label on my label maker that says “Label Maker” but I’d lie if I said I wasn’t tempted.)

Why?

1. It helps you find your stuff.

2. It helps other people find their stuff.

 

When you have more than one person in your house, where people should put stuff away is obvious – to one of those people. (Trust me. As someone with two kids who combined households with someone else who had two kids, well, let’s just say the Battle of Waterloo was more peacefully negotiated than where to keep the Scotch Tape in the Hunter/Lipp household.)

Don’t be afraid to label where everything goes. Think like a kindergarten teacher. She wants the kids to be able to easily put away the books, games, puzzles and puppets at the end of the day.

Even though some of those kids can’t read, there are picture labels so that the kids know where everything goes. That way, it’s not one person (teacher/mom) who has the secret of where everything belongs and is ultimately responsible for putting everything away.

 

Make Technology Work for You

My Roomba is the best thing that’s happened to me since my husband proposed. I love Rover (our Roomba) more and more each day – and not just because I have lines in my carpet every morning when I wake up. Rover also forces me to pick up our living room each night to make a clear path to do its magic.

This means, the sneakers I kicked off? Go by the front door so I’m ready to walk the dog in the morning. My bag I threw by the front door? Gets put on the doorknob so I can actually find it the next day.

Being on a routine yourself — and having your tech on a routine — help greatly so you don’t forget anything. When I need to pack a lunch for the next day, I tell Alexa to remind me of it in the morning.

 

Create a Front Door Launch Pad

Having a space by the front door – a table, a chair, a basket – where you put everything you will need the next day – is the best trick I know to get out the door in the morning. I will put my coffee cup (so I don’t forget to fill it up), my computer bag, my purse, my sunglasses, my jacket everything on that table so I don’t forget anything.

The one thing I don’t put there?

My keys. I put those in the fridge.

Hear me out.

If I’m taking breakfast or lunch the next day, I’ll get it ready, and then I’ll put my keys on top of the lunch box. That way, I can’t forget my lunch. (I also do this with guests who are taking leftovers home – I’ll grab their keys and put them in the fridge on top of the leftovers they are taking – works every time.)

At your front door launch pad, you get bonus points if you have a charging station there so you can charge your phone, tablet and laptop overnight.

 

You can stop being a loser. Set up systems in your home that work for you so you can stop losing things (and your mind), again.

Episode #310: NECESSARY ENDINGS- 4 Reasons to Say Goodbye to Clutter and Hello to Freedom

Episode #310: NECESSARY ENDINGS- 4 Reasons to Say Goodbye to Clutter and Hello to Freedom

There is season for everything. And we, as a society, are terrible at letting things end. Our stuff is no different and can frankly, be the most difficult, yet necessary, ending. How do we say goodbye to clutter, when we have feelings of shame, attachment and doubt attached to it?

Kathi shares deep insight into the reasons why you and I should and can let go of our stuff. We only have so much space, time, energy, and money to use in this lifetime. Kathi wants you to use all of those finite gifts to the best use in your life. How free can we be if we let go of that one thing? Join us this week for four reasons we should say goodbye to our stuff.

Thanks for Listening!

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“Organize Me Now!”: The Ultimate Storage Organization Guide (& a Chance to Win!)

“Organize Me Now!”: The Ultimate Storage Organization Guide (& a Chance to Win!)

Organize Me Now! Discover 8 genius organizing tips plus enter to win my new fave organizing tool!


 organize me - storage organization guide

 

When I first started on my clutter free journey, I imagined my life would be so far removed from “stuff” that I would never need any type of storage again. (I also dreamed I’d win one of those makeover shows and someone would come to my house, organize me so much that my home would look like a minimalist lives there — and I would never have to organize again. I have a rich fantasy life.)

 

Yeah, that’s not exactly how things worked out.

 

While I work hard on living a clutter free life, I am not a minimalist. I’m more of a maximalist. I like to have Christmas decorations dripping from my tree in the winter, camping equipment for the summer (with a few glamping items thrown in – campfire coffee maker is a necessity), gardening equipment for the spring, and home improvement stuff year round. I also love to cook, but I have a tiny kitchen, so many of my favorite appliances, tools and dishes have homes outside of the kitchen area.

 

Those things, plus other stuff I love, require storage.

 

If you’re like me, but your storage is taking over your life, and you constantly look around and want to scream “Organize me now!”, just know that it is possible to be organized and clutter free.

 

Even with my deep love of stuff, living in a 1300-square-foot house, and running a business from home (with a ton of inventory), I have never used a storage unit except when moving, and when I was a single mom living with my parents. (By the way, if you”re living with a storage unit — and that ugly monthly payment — your first goal should be to either eliminate that unit completely, or scale down to a smaller unit as quickly as possible. This post will help with that.)

 

But even if we don’t have a storage unit, most of us need to have some kind of storage system in our homes, whether it’s a tiny closet or an area in our garage or basement. And our goal must be to keep that area as contained and organized as possible.

 

Confession time: my storage area has been the most out of control place in my house. Because it was in the garage, I haven’t given it the Clutter Free love it desperately needed. That ends today.  All I’m doing today is applying the same Clutter Free principles to storage that I’ve applied to the rest of the house.

organize me - storage area before 1

BEFORE

organize me - storage area 2 BEFORE

 

When Your Stuff is Screaming “Organize Me!” 

 

Don’t try THIS at home:

The worst thing you could do is to start packing up random cardboard boxes, labeling them “STUFF” with the intention of “dealing with it later” (when does “later” ever seem like a good time?) and just keep piling boxes up.

 

Do try THIS at home:

Here are my best organizing tips to creating clutter-free storage you can actually use.

 

Determine Your Storage Space

It’s important to determine what space you will use first, and then decide what you will keep and what you won’t. If the “storage” area has three shelves that hold two storage containers each, you know your maximum storage is six containers. That will help you be selective in what you keep and what you toss (as opposed to most people who just keep buying more storage containers and looking for places to stash them.)

 

Choose Sturdy Shelving

Piling your stuff not only looks chaotic, it makes accessing what you need a true challenge. If you’ve ever wondered whether the item you were looking for was under the pile of clothes in the corner or in the cardboard box behind the lawnmower, you need a better plan.

Purchase some great, sturdy shelving to make your storage so much easier to use and access.

 

Buy the Right Storage Containers

Cardboard boxes are not your friends when it comes to storage. I like a lidded clear bin so you can see the contents. Be sure to measure your shelving before you invest in a bunch of bins. There is nothing more deflating than filling up all those containers, only to discover they don’t fit on the shelves. (Ask me how I know. Go on…)

 

Declutter

It’s vital to ask yourself the 3 Clutter Free questions as you declutter:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I use it?
  • Would I buy it again?

 

If you can’t answer “yes” to any of those three questions, it’s time to get rid of that item. You must be ruthless. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to manage, keep track of, and store. Your goal is to keep your storage contained and small. Declutter along the way so you can stop being overwhelmed all the time by your stuff.

 

Group Like Items

Make your storage make sense. As much as possible, group like items together. There is nothing I love more than going to one box and finding all my spring decorating stuff in one place rather than having to dig through a half a dozen boxes to make it happen.

 

Make Your Stuff Accessible

Make it easy to get to the stuff you need. If you have storage boxes with long-term projects (like putting together grandma’s photo albums) those can go into less accessible spots (attic, bottom row of shelving), while boxes you want to access on a regular basis (“Gardening Supplies”) can be placed up front.

 

Make Your Stuff Findable

You have to have a system for not only putting things away, but finding them again. In my head, as I’m packing stuff away, I’m always asking the question, “How will I find this again?”

 

My new favorite trick is using Duck Pack and Track.

We have this corner of the garage I have basically been ignoring for a couple of years. It had too much stuff. I was overwhelmed. And it was easier to just pretend it didn’t exist (until I had to find my summer clothes from last year and would have the tiniest mental breakdown…) This is what Duck Pack and Track did for me. My corner of despair went from this…

to this…

 

Guys, this stuff is magical. Truly. Everyone I’ve shown it to has oohed and ahhed over it. It just makes sense.

This video explains it all (watch it – I promise it will change your life…)

 

 

Now I know where all my stuff is at all times. When I’m looking for my blue winter coat in the fall because we’re taking a cruise to Alaska, I can find it quickly by just asking my phone and the app will tell me what box it’s in and where the box is.

Genius.

You can find Duck Pack and Track at Walmart. (We are currently Pack and Track obsessed and “Tracking” our whole house.)

 

Keep Reducing Your Storage

Finally, remember that your goal is to keep only what you use, love, and would buy again.

Therefore, keep curating your stuff, even after you’ve created storage for it all. Any time you can get rid of a storage box because you’ve condensed your storage enough to do so — that’s a day to celebrate.

So how do you decide what to keep in storage?

One of the questions I ask myself when I’m going through my storage is, “Would I pay to store or move this item?”

If the answer is no, and I don’t plan on using the item anytime soon, then “organize me” becomes “donate me” and out it goes.

 

And here’s how the garage looks now:

organize me - storage area 1 AFTER

AFTER

organize me - storage area 2 AFTER

 

One of the side benefits to getting my garage organized (besides being able to find things on the regular) is that now I actually don’t dread going into my garage.

That, my friends, is the best advantage to living Clutter Free.

 

Organize Me Now Giveaway (This giveaway is now closed…)

 

organizing tips for storage -- win these

 

Is your stuff screaming,”Organize Me Now”?

Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Duck Pack and Track by leaving a comment below about what area of your home you desperately need to get organized. We will be choosing one grand prize winner this week!

Thank you to Duck Pack and Track for sponsoring this post. Please see our disclosure policy for any questions.

 

Clutter Free Success Story – Grace Church

Clutter Free Success Story – Grace Church

We’ve got another Clutter Free Success Story from the amazing Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group today. Grace Church is an active member of our online community, often sharing her Monday Morning Musings about clutter struggles with the group.

Grace discovered Clutter Free through Facebook in January of 2015. When an old friend posted something about the 21-Day Challenge, she was intrigued. The friend sent her an invitation to join the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and she was hooked. With the 2000 Things tracking sheet in hand, she got to work.

We asked Grace what the impact of Clutter Free has been for her:

The impact has been enormous and life-changing — but not all at once. It’s happened layer by layer, over time. At first it was simply about decluttering “things” (for me, mostly paper) and getting myself organized at my desk. A side benefit of that was that once my desk was organized and my responsibilities taken care of…I had a lot more bandwidth for my writing projects. I could work on them freely and without distraction, knowing that I was taking care of the basics.

Then, I started noticing that I was enjoying my play time more and was more present when I was out and about, rather than worrying about what I should be doing at home. That was huge…because it was a little taste of the freedom Kathi talks about.

This year, I started with a simple plan to take one step on my backlogged to-do list every day during the Lent study — but wound up going even deeper into the “why” behind the things I hold on to (physical, mental, and emotional) and discovering big connections to core questions about self-worth and boundaries!  

The biggest lesson Grace learned on this Clutter Free journey?

We are thrilled to celebrate Grace’s success with her and so happy she’s an active part of our Clutter Free community.

If you haven’t joined the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group yet, what are you waiting for? There’s freedom to be found in this kindest corner of the internet. And there’s something so empowering about taking the journey along with others, one small win at a time.