4 Ways to be Prepared for any Crisis, Big or Smalll

4 Ways to be Prepared for any Crisis, Big or Smalll

My friend, Susy, told me an interesting fact about astronauts. “They don’t prepare for disaster. They prepare for multiple disasters all happening at the same time.”

I bet for many of you, that is how the last few months have felt.

It wasn’t just fear of a pandemic. It was that fear, on top of taking care of kids or aging parents, sometimes remotely. Plus, possibly taking over your kids’ education. And, to top it off, trying to find basic necessities like eggs and toilet paper.

Read the entire article over at Girlfriends in God

 

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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.

Envy and Clutter: The Connection and the Solution

Envy and Clutter: The Connection and the Solution

Every day, the email shows up …

“Create the perfect pumpkin landscape!”

“When stripes and paisley collide …”

The headlines, the stand-up-and-take-notice headlines, greet me every single day.
I subscribed to these emails because I adore my friend who is sending them. She is crazy-gifted, super creative, and incredibly generous with her time and talent.

The whole package, really.

I love to open the emails and look at the projects she’s working on, the colors she’s chosen, and how she is growing her business.

 

Until one day, I didn’t want to open the email.

 

I felt a poke. Not a pang or twinge of envy. Just a poke of … something …

I knew it wasn’t jealousy. I don’t enjoy painting bookcases or haunting garage sales for the next perfect piece of milk glass. As the Clutter Free girl, I’m not into any of that. I didn’t covet her living room (we have very different decorating styles) or even her laundry room (which is adorable).

So what was it?

 

I realized that I did envy her.

I wasn’t jealous of her stuff, but I envied her life.

Why does she get to be the make- it-cute girl, while I’ve struggled with clutter my whole life?
Why does she get to have a house that is inviting and adorable, while for decades, I was the one that you needed to give a week’s notice before coming over for a cup of coffee?

And for a while? I stopped opening the emails. They made me feel less than who I was.

And then I figured out, it wasn’t the emails making me feel that way. It was me.

It was me rejecting this path that God had sent me on. The path of recovering from clutter, which taught me so much about myself, about who God is and about how to serve his people.

 

If you asked me if I would trade in my journey, I would tell you, “No! Not in a million years!”

But if you compared it to someone else’s journey, I start to think, “Well, maybe I could just try it on for a while …”
I was jealous of what it must feel like to have a house that people walk into and just fall in love with.

 

So, what did I do?

I bought a new throw pillow.
I bought a decorating book.
I bought a few decorating magazines.
(Oh, don’t you hate when old habits that you thought were dead spring back to life?)

Nothing earth-shattering. It wasn’t exactly a binge.
But it was a blip … A definite indication of something being off in my life.

Buying stuff out of discomfort is familiar territory. So now, when the pangs (or pokes) pop up, I have a plan to get me back to a place of peace and joy.

Here are the steps that get me back to where I need to be:

 

Identify the feelings for what they are.

Understanding that I’m feeling envy used to send me into a spiral of shame (and I would envy women who didn’t have these feelings). Now, I recognize that feeling for what it is: a dissatisfaction in my own life.

When I realize it’s not about the object of my envy, but about what is going on for me, I instantly shut down anything that comes between me and that person. It is not about our relationship, it’s about how I’m relating to the world around me.

 

Feast on some truth.

When I get to that place where my heart is bruised, it’s time to get some truth in front of me. My favorite verse when it comes to envy (one that I can quote you on the spot – that’s how much I need it) is 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Lately, I’m also loving Seeing Green: Don’t Let Envy Color Your Joy by Tilly Dillehay. She says the way the way to the jealousy-free life is not by suppressing envy, but by embracing love. Not by shaming ourselves, but by loving others.

 

Practice being happy that someone else has what you want.

In Seeing Green, Dillehay talks about our reactions to other people’s blessings. She asks, “What if your first response was joy?” I love that question.

In the book, she talks about how to change the direction of our first impulse, response, and reaction toward joy for others. This is where I strive to be: genuine joy for others before calibrating the event to my hopes and dreams.

And if we wrestle to love deeply even when our initial reaction is to feel our feels, what we will see is that our reactions, for ourselves and for others, moves to a place of joy.

A place our hearts long to dwell, no matter where our circumstances may take us.

 

Enter to Win

Enter to win a copy of the book Seeing Green by Tilly Dillehay

PLUS

this fun gift box filled with green goodies! 

Simply leave a comment below. One winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.

How to Find Your Decluttering Motivation Again

How to Find Your Decluttering Motivation Again

My friend Lyneta Smitth shares how to rediscover your decluttering motivation so you can live a clutter free life.

 

I flew home from a conference in 2016 with a signed copy of Clutter Free in my hands. By the time I landed in Nashville, I’d finished it and determined that from then on, I would give away or throw away five pieces of clutter per day.

Slowly my house turned from a haphazard dumping ground for all-the-things into an organized, functional home. My daily five, as I started to call the declutter routine, became habit. Eventually, after parting with thousands of items, it became difficult to find five each day.

During those two years, I started buying less and making do with what I had. I put a moratorium on scented candles because we have enough to burn until 2025, and created a strict makeup policy in which I could only buy more if I threw some away.

Needless to say, Kathi’s Clutter Free system has worked great. We were at a happy equilibrium, or so I thought.

Until the other night while I was cooking dinner.

 

The Hidden Decluttering Project

I had two spice-heavy recipes going at the same time. Each needed six or seven different spices and I was trying to measure them all without burning something.

My biggest problem was finding the spices I needed. I kept them in a storage tote in the pantry, which meant I had to pick each one up to see it. What should have taken five minutes took me fifteen.

I must have sighed a little too loudly or slammed the bin lid on a little too hard, because my husband came downstairs from our office and stood just outside the kitchen with only his head poking through the large arch door. “Is everything okay?

Yep. Great.” I might have pushed the pantry door closed with unnecessary force.

At this point, he was probably regretting asking his hranky (hungry and cranky—like hangry only with exhaustion added in) wife any sort of question, let alone implying that she might not be okay. But he bravely forged on like a man whose evening (and more importantly, dinner) was on the line.

“Everything sure smells good.”

I nudged the refrigerator door closed with my foot and carried an armful of salad veggies to the counter. “The spice bin is not working for me. It’s really dysfunctional. I need a real spice rack.”

Still hiding behind the wall to the side of the arch, he said, “Okay, let’s get one. You decide what you want, and I’ll build it for you.”

In case you’re wondering, I do realize I have a nicer husband than I deserve.

He was rewarded for his valiant effort with a little smile. And a big dinner.

The next day, after a good night’s sleep, I researched spice racks and ordered one from Amazon. Then I sorted through my bin to see what I could toss out before the big move. (Goodbye, mostly-full jar of coriander, dated 2012.)

I always joke that Clutter Free is the best marriage book I’ve ever read. But truly, learning to cull unneeded items and keep the ones I don’t need in cute containers has saved a lot of stress and frustration in our household.

Just like marriage, decluttering isn’t one and done. It’s a continual process of growth and tweaking. No matter where you are in your decluttering process, there’s always a next step.

 

How to Find Your Decluttering Motivation & Your Next Step

If you’re in a lull, or just don’t know how to figure out your next decluttering project, here’s a few questions to guide you.
 

What’s your biggest pain point?

Sometimes we get so busy, we don’t realize clutter is causing us extra stress. It’s become part of our home, like the furniture. As an empty nester, cooking isn’t as high of a priority for me, so I hadn’t realized how out of hand my spice situation was.

But when an urgent situation hits (like being late because you can’t find your keys or not finding that special, essential fall decoration in the attic) you realize it’s time to do something about a certain area.
 

Where do you waste the most time?

If it’s trying to find school-appropriate clothes in dressers jam-packed with swimsuits and tank tops, you already know your morning routine has way too much stress. Fifteen minutes a day (or one drawer at a time) can fast track getting your kids ready for school.

Or perhaps you’re like me, and you waste too much time searching for things in the kitchen, and spend too much money buying things you already have, but are hidden in the refrigerator or pantry. Tossing out all the outdated or unusable things (like the soy flour from your gluten-free phase six months ago) will save you time and cash.
 

Which area do you avoid?

Many of us have sewing rooms or other hobby areas we can’t create in because clutter is taking up too much space. Does your church’s preschool program need that can of buttons or leftover bag of pomp poms? Do you know a sewing 4-H leader who could use yards of practice fabric? It’s a win-win. You get more room to create something special, and bless others with your excess.

Another trouble spot is the garage. I can’t count how many times we’ve gone to buy a new sprinkler at the beginning of summer because we can’t find the one from last year. Same for bike tire pumps, canning jars and garden tools. When you realize you’re avoiding an area because clutter has made it dysfunctional, the decision about where to declutter next is easy.

 
Now That You’ve Figured Out Your Next Step…

What project are you going to tackle next? Let us know in the comments!