#389: Clutter Free for Life: Accountability

#389: Clutter Free for Life: Accountability

This week, Kathi concludes her conversation with Tonya Kubo, founder and fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, about three key ingredients to forming lasting clutter free habits. Previously, they talked about the importance of routine and realistic expectations in becoming clutter free. In this episode, you’ll hear about how accountability will help you live the clutter free life you’ve always wanted.

Maybe accountability seems like a scary or negative thing. Kathi and Tonya tell us this week that accountability is far from the harsh scolding you may anticipate. Instead, it means having friends who lovingly remind us of the commitment we made to ourselves. You’ll also hear how accountability:

  • Brings us out of isolation
  • Offers a different perspective
  • Gives us people to cheer us on every step of the way

If you’re looking for practical ideas and encouragement with managing day-to-day clutter, check out the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, the kindest corner of the internet.

If you’re looking for something a little deeper, Clutter Free for Life is for you!

Clutter Free For Life

Hey Friends, are you excited about tackling clutter in 2020? Maybe you’ve thought about a routine that works for you and set realistic expectations, but do you have a team cheering you on? That’s where Clutter Free for Life can change your life!

Clutter Free for Life is full of personalized, hand-on help and accountability! As a member, you’ll receive tons of valuable exclusive content: monthly action plans, coaching twice a month from Kathi herself, access to a private, VIP Facebook group, and tons of gentle encouragement and guidance on how to move forward on your clutter free journey.

If you sign up for Clutter Free for Life today, you’ll save 60% off of the monthly price. You’ll get a full year of support on your clutter free journey for the unbelievable price of $118.

Don’t wait! This offer expires TONIGHT and will disappear. Make the commitment to yourself today and make 2020 the year you become Clutter Free for Life!

 

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.

Transcript

Read along with the podcast!

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #389

Clutter Free for Life: Accountability

<<intro music>>

Kathi – 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. We are back with one of my favorites, Tonya Kubo. Hey Tonya!

Tonya – Hey Kathi!

Kathi – She is the leader of Clutter Free Academy on Facebook. Eighty five hundred members. That’s kind of amazing.

Tonya – Yes! I thought you said 85-100 members and I was like, “Wait. What happened?”

Kathi – No no no. We are within shooting distance of ten thousand people.

Tonya – We are.

Kathi – That’s a little crazy to me. That’s a lot of people who are dealing with clutter.

Tonya – Remember when you were going to be really excited when we had a hundred people?

Kathi – I was really excited when we had a hundred people. Now, it’s amazing to me. Here’s what I’ve learned about clutter. Clutter makes you feel all alone.

Tonya – Well yeah! ‘Cause you don’t want anybody to come over to your house

Kathi – Right. We’re going to talk today about the secret sauce. So, we’ve already talked about the barbeque sauce and the honey mustard. Today is the ranch. The ranch is the good stuff. I’m sorry. It would be a tossup between barbeque sauce and ranch, for me. I think a good ranch, made with buttermilk. Lunch is very soon and I’m dying, apparently. So here’s my question. How has accountability made a difference? ‘Cause this is one of the secret sauces. We talked about having a realistic outlook about your clutter and then we also want to make people understand that you need a routine to finally, once and for all, deal with your clutter. Accountability is a huge part of all of this. Can you talk about how accountability has made a difference for you?

Tonya – Well, anybody who listens, who has gone over to Clutter Free Academy, you see a boat load of accountability over there. If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I can get Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs. My schedules goes crazy. I lose my mind, but what I love is that, on a Monday, I know that a member of my team has posted Meal Plan Monday. So, if I have not got stuff together on my meal plan, that little reminder reminds me that I have a promise to myself that I am going to plan out our meals every week. When we do Wash Wednesday, it reminds me, “Hey! Did I unload the dryer? Is my washer empty, or is there something getting smelly in there?”  So, that sort of accountability. So often we think of accountability as a negative, like people are going to scold us, but really, it’s very loving and it’s very kind to be reminded of the commitment I’ve made to myself.

Kathi – Yes! I feel like accountability is, in so many ways, the most important thing we do in Clutter Free Academy. You know, it’s a big group. You can do a lot of things in there and it can feel like the Wild, Wild West. I still encourage people to get over there, because you get to see what other people are doing. The accountability isn’t just for you. It’s also for you to help other people and cheer them on. Accountability gives us a few different things. The first thing is: I feel like clutter is the most isolating thing. Unless you have the bubonic plague, clutter is so isolating, for a myriad of different reasons. One of the things is, you don’t want to have people at your house because it’s cluttered. You don’t want to talk about your clutter because it’s shameful. To a world that feels like you should have everything together, clutter is that shameful secret that many of us don’t talk about. It’s interesting. We’ve had people join, then unjoin, because people they knew were in the group.

Tonya – Oh my, gosh. Kathi, that happens all the time. I do appreciate that a lot of times, I’ll get a private message, or someone will say, “I saw Kathi speech, she told me to join, but then I saw a post from this lady who goes to my church.”  Because I’ve been there, I know it’s not appropriate to say, “Well, if the lady who goes to your church is in the group, then she has the same problem you have.” Because I remember being gripped in the same fear. Even thinking that somebody is at the same Clutter Free event is me? “They were just there because they think they have clutter. They don’t know what real clutter is!”

Kathi – But we don’t know what’s behind someone else’s closet.

Tonya – And you don’t know what’s in somebody else’s head.

Kathi – Or their heart.

Tonya – Exactly. And I think that’s the big thing, when you talk about isolation. I remember, for years, getting all worked up in my head, how my house was the worst house that ever did exist in all of the houses of the entire world.

Kathi – It’s so interesting that you say that, because you actually had been in one of the worst houses in the world. You grew up in one.

Tonya – Right? Yes! My mom was a hoarder, and as a married adult, my mom would come over and tell me I should be so grateful that my husband didn’t divorce me, because my house was a pigsty. And my house never looked anything like my mother’s house, but it’s that isolation.

Kathi – It’s that isolation and shame.

Tonya – So much shame. The other thing I have found, when we started, going way back to the beginnings of Clutter Free Academy, people would post pictures of their home, and people would be so brave, right? They’d be “I’m working on it.” And they’d be so defensive, and I’d look at their house and in the back of my mind, I’d think “That doesn’t look too bad!” I’d be like, “Wow! I can tell you worked really hard. There is clean surface on table.” They’d posted the picture because they didn’t know where to begin, so you can say, “You know, there’s some clean surface on that table. Why don’t you just finish that table?”  They’d be shocked. “Oh, you’re not going to say bad things about me? You’re not going to call me names?” No, because I don’t want to be called names.

Kathi – Because, what we’ve done is, we have said is that picture from Pinterest, in the magazine, on HGTV is the median, and it’s just not.

Tonya – No!

Kathi – That’s just not how real people live.

Tonya – I hope people listening already know that. I hope this is just validation and reinforcement.

Kathi – They know it in their heads, but it hasn’t translated to their hearts or their actions. So, I love that it’s less isolating, but also gives you a perspective.  The worst person in the world could join Clutter Free Academy, but here’s the thing: We know there’s hope for them. We know there’s hope for the person who hasn’t got rid of a newspaper. Now, it’s different if you’re a hoarder. A hoarding mentality is different than a decluttering mentality. Hoarders need different help than what we can give them. People will say, “I’m a hoarder.” No no. If you’re a hoarder, you’re not telling people you’re a hoarder.

Tonya – We do have a few people who are in recovery, but most hoarders are unaware. My mother had no idea.

Kathi – She would look at other people’s homes on TV, if Hoarders was a thing and say, “How could they live like that?”

Tonya – My mom was just oblivious. Now, I know not every hoarder is my mother, either, right? But for those of us who have clutter, we are the ones who are hyper aware, and we’re the ones that blame ourselves.

Kathi – Don’t you think that a lot of clutter, it’s the fear, guilt and shame, but it’s also processing issues. For me, it’s a processing issue. What do I do with this? I don’t have good routines. That’s what I’ve had to build into my life.

Tonya – It’s managing that natural ebb and flow of stuff in our lives.

Kathi – Right. Exactly. Okay, so accountability gives you less isolation. It gives you perspective. Finally, and this is the thing I don’t see in other programs, it gives you people to cheer you on.

Tonya – Well, definitely. We are the kindest corner of the internet. I think because we all are in different parts of our journey, there’s always at least 20 people who have been where you’re at, and are still close enough to that to remember what a big accomplishment it was to see a flat surface in a kitchen that just didn’t have anything. Or a sink free of dishes. That is huge.

Kathi – It is huge. And to have that and feel that peace that goes along with it is kind of an amazing thing. Today is the last day. Today is the day. We’ve been talking about this for two weeks now. Today is the last day, because we have Clutter Free for Life. Now, if you’re just trying to get on top of a little day-to-day clutter, Clutter Free Academy is totally the place for you. But if you need a change in your life, and you want to see a change between January 1st and December 31st of 2020, I’m going to really encourage you to get over to Clutter Free for Life. Clutter Free for Life is our twelve month program. Can you tell them what they get over in that program?

Tonya – Well, you talk about accountability, but also, I would say, some hand holding, over in Clutter Free for Life. So, in Clutter Free for Life we understand that you can’t just read a blog post, or listen to a podcast and that’s all you need for the rest of your life. You’re just magically cured. We really do understand the daily process. But we also understand the need to see progress over time. Because Clutter Free for Life is such a smaller program, you get your digital download, and we talk about that a lot. We talk about the digital download, the deeper dive into practically living clutter free, the encouragement for reflection. There’s even a spot in your download where you can put before and after pictures to remind you how far you’ve come. In my opinion, the tangibles are nice to have, but if you never downloaded a single one of them, you would still experience life altering change, because it’s the accountability; it’s the loving encouragement from the group. Being cheered on because you culled twenty stuffed animals from your kids’ room, and there were no tears involved. Right? Or, you had a water heater leak. We had three people get a water leak. One person was just new in their journey, and they talked about, “Well, this wasn’t my focus room, but it is now. My water heater blew.” But there were two people who were on the other side of their Clutter Free journey.

Kathi – It was beautiful to see.

Tonya – They were like, “My heart didn’t even beat faster for me to call a repair guy, because that spot had already been decluttered. Yes, some stuff was damaged. The carpet’s got to be dried out. This and that. But I’m not, in the back of my head, going ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to go spend two hours down there, fixing things so that the repair guy doesn’t judge me.’” That’s huge!

Kathi – Right! It’s such freedom to live in that way.

Tonya – And, I keep forgetting to mention this, but they get two live coaching sessions with you. I learn more in those session than I learn in all the times I’ve sat in the audience and heard you speak. Not because you say something totally different in the group than you say publically, but because you do such a great job of helping me understand how to apply those principles to every different aspect of life; every little situation. You do a really good job of that. I take notes! People think, “Tonya, you know it all.” No! I’m learning all the time.

Kathi – We are all constantly learning how to do this. Our life changes and we have to be agile and we have to be able to flex and function with changing things. The more tools you have in your tool belt – not duplicate tools, ‘cause we don’t want you to be clutter-y with them – but the more you can address all that.  Clutter Free for Life, you can enroll anytime in the year and it’s $299. But wait!

Tonya – There’s more!

Kathi – Today is the last day. We’ve been running this special since December 17th. If you purchase it by midnight tonight, instead of being $299 for the year, it’s less than half. It’s $118. It’s way less than half. That’s less than $10/month, which is amazing to me. Plus, you get our video course Kickstart to Clutter free, which is how to get rid of five hundred things like this. Normally $49, you get it for free when you sign up. It’s an amazing deal. You get over $350 worth of tools and accountability and downloads and live coaching for $118, less than $10/month. It can be life changing. We’ve seen it change lives in the group. It’s been really exciting. Today is December 31st.  My hope for you, in this clutter free journey, is that you see hope on January 1st, and you see results on December 31st of 2020. That’s what my hope is for each person who’s in this clutter free journey. I would love for you to join us there. Tonya, thank for being on with me today.

Tonya – Thanks for having me.

Kathi – Always! And friend, thank you for joining us. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life, this year, you were always intended to live

<<music>>

*see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items

 

 

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

#388: Clutter Free for Life: Realistic Expectations

#388: Clutter Free for Life: Realistic Expectations

This week, Kathi continues her conversation with Tonya Kubo, founder and fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, about some of the key ingredients to forming lasting clutter free habits. Last week, they talked about the importance of routine. This week, you’ll hear about how realistic expectations will help you live the clutter free life you’ve always wanted.

In this episode, you’ll hear three realistic expectations that are critical for your clutter-free journey. You’ll learn how:

  • Clutter is never one and done.
  • We live with humans.
  • It takes time and resources to make a lasting difference.

Clutter Free For Life

If you’re ready to invest the time and resources into making 2020 a turning point in your clutter free journey, now is the time to check out Clutter Free for Life.

Clutter Free for Life is full of personalized, hand-on help to have realistic expectations! As a member, you’ll receive tons of valuable exclusive content: monthly action plans, coaching twice a month from Kathi herself, access to a private, VIP Facebook group, and tons of gentle encouragement and guidance on how to move forward on your clutter free journey.

If you sign up for Clutter Free for Life today, you’ll save 60% off of the monthly price. You’ll get a full year of support on your clutter free journey for the unbelievable price of $118.

Don’t wait! This offer expires on December 31, 2019. Sign up today and make 2020 the year you become Clutter Free for Life!

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.

Transcript

Read along with the podcast!

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #388

Clutter Free for Life: Realistic Expectations

<<intro music>

Kathi – 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. I am super excited, because here we are with part two of How to Create a Clutter Free Life. This is the secret sauce. So, last week, all about creating routines, that was the honey mustard of the secret sauce. Today it’s the barbeque. It’s like the good chipotle barbeque sauce.

Tonya – So it’s spicy.

Kathi – That’s right. Not too spicy, though, you know. ‘Cause I can’t do too spicy. You just heard Tonya Kubo. She’s the founder of Clutter Free Academy on Facebook. We’re talking about ‘what is the secret sauce to being clutter free?’ So, today, what we’re talking about, is the second ingredient to creating a clutter free life. Everybody says they have them, but I don’t see them in action very often. It’s Realistic Expectations.

Tonya – Oooh.

Kathi – Okay, so can we talk about what we’ve seen in Clutter Free Academy and the discussions online and stuff like that? You know, it’s really interesting when somebody new comes into the group. I’ve never seen them post before and they’re showing before and after pictures. Especially of their garage. When they show me a before and after picture of their garage, I’m like, “Where did you shove all the stuff?” I don’t even understand? So what have you seen with people coming in with unrealistic expectations?

Tonya – First of all, if I can be totally blunt?

Kathi – Please.

Tonya – People come in and they think we’re going to scold them.

Kathi – That’s true.

Tonya – So they come in with this expectation that we are the decluttering militants or they’re already planning for us to tell them that they’re lazy and stuff. So they come in, and very defensively, state their intensions of “I’ve set tomorrow. The husband and the kids are going out of the house and I’m not going to go to the bathroom or eat until I have dug my way out of my garage!”

Kathi – Oh, that sounds terrible.

Tonya – Well, it does! I’m always like, “Whoa! Do me a favor. Get a timer. Just set the timer for 15 minutes.”

Kathi – They can’t do it for fifteen minutes, ‘cause in their brain it has to be two hours.

Tonya – It has to be a million hours and it has to be until you can eat off the floor. What is the truth? The truth is: Your house did not get to the condition it is in overnight.

Kathi – Right. And let’s talk about why saying, “I’m going to declutter my entire kitchen/garage/house today!” is such a bad idea. One, I really believe that clutter is the physical manifestation of decision fatigue. It’s having to make one more decision. When you start off in the morning, you are chucking things left and right. Things are going to the garbage. They’re going to the dump. They’re going to Good Will. You’re making all these decisions. But the later in the day you get, you get serious decision fatigue. So, what starts to happen is, you start to put it in a pile for later. What you’ve just done is created another clutter pile. You don’t think you’re going to do it, but it happens to absolutely everybody.

Tonya – And the reality is, not only do you do that, but you’ve exhausted yourself so much that going back to it? You don’t go back to it tomorrow. You don’t go back to it next week. You need three weeks to recover and by the time you’ve recovered, that pile of clutter invited all its friends over to play.

Kathi – Right! And your kids have gone through that pile of clutter to say, “Oh my, gosh! I haven’t seen that in twelve years but now it’s my favorite thing!” Here’s the thing I hate the most about it. It’s so punishing. “I’ve been such a bad person. I need to be punished, so I’m not allowed to leave/eat/drink/pee until all this clutter is gone. Your clutter didn’t come because you were a bad person. Your clutter came because, maybe you didn’t have any routines in place. Maybe there was a life event that changed everything. I don’t know what it is, but your clutter didn’t happen in a day. Rarely do I find people who are clutter-y who are lazy. What I find are people who are clutter-y who are serving everybody in the world and they just get scraps from the table.

Tonya – Yup.

Kathi – It breaks my heart that people are so punishing. So instead, we want you to set realistic expectations. So, one of the most common phrases in Clutter Free Academy and Clutter Free for Life is “It’s not one and done.” What does that mean, Tonya?

Tonya – Well, it means that you don’t clear off your table and then never have to revisit your table again. It is normal to have your hands full and to set something on the table. It’s normal to say, “I just came in from outside. I’m carrying my mail. I’m carrying my laptop bag. Oh my, gosh. I’m going to put this on the table so I can go to the restroom.” Then, get distracted when you come out of the restroom. Right? At the end of the day, to be like, “Wow. How come that stuff is still on the table?” That’s normal!

Kathi – That’s just every day.

Tonya – You just have to have a practice so that that table gets cleared off and stays cleared off, daily. Only if you’re focusing on it. If you expect to be able to enshrine it in Plexiglas then that’s a different life than I live.

Kathi – Right. So clutter is not ‘One and Done’. What it means is, “This is a process you have to live every single day.” By the way, clutter is a natural part of life. Your kids are going to bring stuff home. You’re going to bring stuff home. We got a Yellow Pages delivery on our front step. I’m like, “How is this still happening?”

Tonya – What year is it?

Kathi – Exactly. People are bringing stuff into your house that you have to deal with. And you’re bringing stuff into your house that you’re going to have to deal with. Every time you have to buy a new dish towel, you have to decide to get the old dishtowel out. Or, whatever decision you’re going to make, but it’s a process every single time.

Tonya – That is exactly the point that I think every listener needs to really internalize. It’s a process every time. Just because you did it once, even if it took you fifteen hours, doesn’t mean you’re never going to have to do it again. It is a process every time.

Kathi – Yes. Okay, so clutter is not ‘one and done’ and here’s the other thing that butts up against our realistic expectations. We live with humans. Here’s the other problem: We are humans.

Tonya – I don’t know why you have to such low blows like that.

Kathi – I know. It’s ‘cause I’m a mean girl. What can I say? I love to tell the story about our boy’s tennis shoes. They’d just kick them off all over the house. I bought a cubby at Ikea, and I said, “Okay! Mandate for everybody in the house. We are all going to put our shoes in the cubby when we come home. So, we’re going to come home and you’re going to go behind the couch and you’re going to put your shoes in the cubby.” Only one person in our house did it. You know who that was?

Tonya – You?

Kathi – No. It was Roger. ‘Cause Roger has the investment of keeping his wife happy. I couldn’t even do it. I could not be bothered to do that every single time. So, realize that we need to create paths in our home that work for real human beings. Now, when I put a basket by the front door, 50% of the shoes made it into the basket. The other 50% I could just throw in there and it didn’t make me hate everybody I lived with all the time. We have to understand that real humans live there and we have to be kind to the humans and be kind to ourselves. That doesn’t mean we don’t institute programs, that we don’t say, “Here’s what we’re going to do.” You’re allowed to have boundaries in your own home. How do you get to the place where you can accept living with two little ones and a husband who is amazing, but may not always be living the clutter free life that you want to live?

Tonya – So anybody who has been listening to this podcast for more than a minute knows that I’m the person who leaves the laundry all over the place. I just get undressed wherever I’m at, and that’s where the close live. Now, I don’t do that if I have laundry baskets. Now, my husband grew up in a home where clean laundry goes in the laundry basket and dirty laundry goes in a pile. So, we’ve spent years in this push/pull where I’m putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket and he’s frustrated because he goes to put that laundry away and it’s not clean and la la la. So, finally, we’ve had to come to terms. So, we have tall laundry baskets that are for clean clothes and then we have short, horizontal ones that are for my dirty clothes.

Kathi – Interesting. Okay.

Tonya – And, you know what? It works for us. I will tell you, honestly. I took a year fighting this. “I shouldn’t have to buy extra laundry baskets. You should just do things my way.”

Kathi – Any time you think “I shouldn’t have to” really examine that statement.

Tonya – Here’s the thing. I bought two extra laundry baskets. I don’t think I even did it on the same pay period, ‘cause I’m crazy like that. We have so much more peace. We don’t fight about this anymore. Then, I can’t help be embarrassed that this was worth arguing about to me, a year ago.

Kathi – Trust me. People have got divorced over stupider things, I promise you that. Okay, so: Clutter is not one and done. Clutter happens ‘cause we live with real people. Finally, because of clutter, it took years to get this way, give yourself a year to make a lasting difference. Right? We want instant results. We love to watch HGTV, where they go in, the house is a mess, and in 30 minute it’s all done. What we don’t know is that there were twenty seven people working on that house, 24/7 over the course of a month. We just saw the before and after.

Tonya – They tidy up in 45 minutes, if you fast forward through the commercials.

Kathi – Right. Exactly. So, we want to give you a way to make a huge difference in your house, in the space of twelve months. This is a program we run all year long. It’s called Clutter Free for Life. It’s an investment, but the investment is because we want you to see results. You never get results unless you make an investment. So, why don’t you explain a little bit about what they get in Clutter Free for Life, when they join our program?

Tonya – So, when you join, and the reason that I love that we focus on the twelve months, you can become a month-to-month member, but what I find is, I shouldn’t say this, but I know for myself, when I do something month-to-month, in the back of my mind is, “I can always exit.”

Kathi – I can leave whenever I want. Whenever it gets hard.

Tonya – Yeah. I’m not as invested. But our annual members really do stick with it. Some people are members for four months and they’re just observing, right? They’re planning to plan. Then they go for the gusto and it’s the crazy HGTV transformations in a month. It’s funny. You get a monthly digital download that has everything from a deep dive into how do you practically live, day to day, clutter free? How do you make those milestones while you’re juggling life and school and kids and spouses and roommates or families? People who come to your house, out of the blue, and stay way longer than you expected them to. So, we have this monthly deep dive. We have some reflection. We encourage you to look ahead. What do you want to feel and how do you want life to be 30 days from now? Then we encourage you to look back. I find that we clutter-y folks do not give ourselves enough credit for the progress we’ve made, which is why I’m so happy that you have fully invested in the suggestion that we take a year. We really take a year. We go into it knowing that we’re going to take a year. It’s going to get better every single day. Honestly? My house, because I moved to my housed a little bit before we launched our program, it does not look like the same place. I will admit, I have redone my bathroom four times, because I try to live with what I do, then I’m like, “Oh, that sounded really good in theory. Not so much in practice.” So, you get that, you get a community. You know, I’m not awake 24 hours a day, but I’m awake a fair amount of hours a day.

Kathi – You are! You need less sleep than most human beings I know.

Tonya – So, we’re in there. We support each other. We talk about real issues. We talk about real things. “I need my nightstand to have nothing more than my phone and a cup of water, but my spouse doesn’t mind a whole lot of other things on theirs. How do I handle that? What makes the most sense in our house?”  Not what makes the most sense in your house, ‘cause those are two different places.

Kathi – Right. So, understanding that and saying, “Yeah, you’re going to see a difference in a month, but you’re going to see a different house in a year.” That’s going to affect you in a different way. We’ve seen this happen over and over again. Give us a year and you can get your house back.

Tonya – And, if I may, your relationships change.

Kathi – Yes! It’s so true. ‘Cause clutter is an agitator.

Tonya – It is.

Kathi – Yeah, so being able to live with less clutter means less agitation in your life, day to day. It really does. It’s so interesting. You can either start with your house and it’ll change your mind, or you can start with your mind and it will change your house. So, that’s what we love to see here. We’re going to help you with those routines. We’re going to help you with those realistic expectations. This program is $25/month. Now, that’s normally. However, we have an open enrollment with a huge discount. From the 17th of December to the 31st of December of this year, 2019, you can get the entire year of Clutter Free for Life for less than $10/month. It’s just amazing to me that we can do this. What we want to do is, we want to get everybody up and running at the same time each year. When you go together, you grow together.

Tonya – Right. I find that we clutter-y folks, we assume everyone has it more together than we do, so when you’re one of ten people who comes in to an established group, that can be intimidating, but when you’re one of fifty, you go, “Oh! I’ve got my own people here! We’re all starting.” We know that everybody’s mileage varies. If you’re trying to declutter a studio apartment, life’s going to look a lot different for you, than if you’re trying to declutter a six bedroom home.

Kathi – Yes. It’s so true.

Tonya – But you know what? You’re at the same level of overwhelm when you get started.

Kathi – Right. Everybody is at their own challenge. So, we’re really going to encourage you to sign up when it’s $118. It’s still an investment, but we want you to invest, because investment brings return, and that’s what we want for you. As a little added bonus, which I’m really excited about, we will also give you our program, Kickstart to Clutter Free, which is normally $49. You get it for free when you join. This is, so that, in the space of just a little bit of time, you’re going to get rid of 500 things in your home. Super quickly, just to help you feel like you’re making a difference. It’s surface clutter, but that’s okay. It feels really really good. So, sign up. Go to our show notes. Go to our link below, and you will get to join our posse. You get the downloads, you get time and attention from Tonya, you get two free trainings with me each month. Twice a month is great and we have a lot of fun. It’ll change your life. It has changed so many lives. It’s been so great to see the transformation, the before and after pictures, the changes in people’s attitudes. It’s my favorite place to be. It’s been super fun guys. Okay, you guys, thanks so much for being with us. I hope you’ll join us over in Clutter Free for Life. It’s such a special thing. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

<<music>>

*see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items

 

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

#387: Clutter Free for Life: Creating Your Routine

#387: Clutter Free for Life: Creating Your Routine

This week, Kathi chats with founder and fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, Tonya Kubo, about some of the key ingredients to forming lasting clutter free habits. Once upon a time, Kathi was in a perpetual panic, just surviving and trying (but not succeeding) at managing her clutter.  Years into her clutter free journey, she knows the importance of a routine in staying clutter free.

In this episode, you’ll learn three secret ingredients to help you create a routine to lose the clutter. You’ll hear:

  • How to put your house on a schedule and keep moving forward in spite of setbacks
  • The one key to any lasting clutter free system
  • What you need to get started today (hint: you already have it!)

Clutter Free For Life

If you want more personalized, hands-on help Clutter Free For Life is for you! As a member, you’ll receive tons of valuable exclusive content: monthly action plans, coaching from Kathi herself, access to a private, VIP Facebook group, and tons of gentle encouragement and guidance on how to move forward on your clutter free journey.

If you sign up for Clutter Free For Life today, you’ll save 60% off of the monthly price. You’ll get a full year of support on your clutter free journey for the unbelievable price of $118.

Don’t wait! This offer expires on December 31, 2019. Sign up today and make 2020 the year you become Clutter Free For Life!

To learn more about a decluttering routine, check out Kathi’s upcoming book, The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life, available for pre-order on Amazon today.

If you’re looking for a magic sauce recipe similar to the ranch/honey mustard/barbecue one Kathi described, 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

Transcript

?Read along with the podcast!

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #387 

Clutter Free for Life: Creating Your Routine

<<intro music>>

Kathi – Well, hey friends! Welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, do-able steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. Here with me today is founder of Clutter Free Academy, the Facebook group online is Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya!

Tonya – Hey, Kathi!

Kathi – Okay, so I’m very excited. We’re here at The Red House; the almost clutter free Red House. You know, everything is in transition and stuff.

Tonya – You’re so cute. As if anybody else sees the clutter.

Kathi – You know what? I know. I know.

Tonya – ‘Cause it’s 60% clutter free.

Kathi – I think it’s probably more than 60% clutter free.

Tonya – 85%?

Kathi – I’m thinking, yeah. Yesterday, when we were in the kitchen, and we were just talking, and I got to just clean out a cupboard? It made so happy. I don’t have a lot of ‘clean out cupboard’ time. I feel like, “I can do that while I’m chatting with a friend.”

Tonya – Doesn’t chatting with a friend make it so much easier?

Kathi – Oh my goodness, yes. I don’t get stuck in my head with certain decisions and things like that. I just make it happen. I think about where I was fifteen years ago and where I am today when it comes to clutter free. It’s really interesting because, my house has changed, but really what has changed is my day to day life.

Tonya – Right.

Kathi – It’s like, how I get up and operate. I used to be in a panic all the time. The only time my house got “clean”, and I’m using heavy quote marks here, was when people were coming over. It wasn’t clean, it was Stash and Dash.

Tonya – Do you feel like you have more structure to your day, now?

Kathi – Oh, 100%! I was just surviving back then. There wasn’t a plan. There wasn’t intention. So, that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Creating routines. If you’re looking for the magic sauce? We’re going to give you the three ingredients to the magic sauce. I was watching a show the other day, and they had bbq sauce, honey mustard and ranch, and they said, “Combine them all together.” It’s like, “That’s weird!” and somebody dipped a French fry in that, and it changed their lives. I feel like we have the honey mustard/bbq sauce/ranch combo.

Tonya – Can we get that one the show notes?

Kathi – We’ll have to try it. I’m trying to think. Do we have that stuff here? We could make this happen.

Tonya – Do people know we’re in the same place at the same time?

Kathi – I know. This rarely happens, but we’re all at The Red House right now. We’re up in our bedroom. Roger’s in bed. He’s on top of the bed. He’s working in bed. We’ve got little Moo at our feet and we’ve got Ashley, the cat, sitting on the desk. It’s very Kumbaya happy family moment. We want to talk about the three secret ingredients to staying clutter free. So, the first thing we want to talk about is routines. Now, how have your routines changed since you started being clutter free?

Tonya – Oh my gosh! The thing is, my LIFE has changed. I’ve been on my clutter free journey now for going on five years. In just a few months it’ll be my fifth anniversary. I’ve lived in three different houses ranging from a thousand square feet and two bedrooms all the way to twenty four hundred square feet and four bedrooms. I had a baby. I’ve worked full time. I’ve worked multiple jobs. I did grad school.

Kathi – Hey! I had a baby too!

Tonya – You did. Your baby is a lot different than my baby.

Kathi – Yes. She’s teething, so when she goes outside and runs around, she comes back and you get chewed on. My baby is a puggle. She came to us sleeping through the night. That’s not what happens with most human babies.

Tonya – Yeah, mine still isn’t sleeping through the night and it’s been five years. So, for me at least, and I always say this is a ‘we, the people of the clutter situation’. The slightest hiccup. I watch people and they just weather storms. No big deal. They don’t miss a beat. The slightest hiccup and I’m upside down. I forget on little aspect, and I know I’ve talked about this before, like dishes. I have to run the dishwasher before I go to bed at night. So that when I wake up in the morning, I can unload the dishwasher and it’s empty and then I can go about my day. That affects how my after work life is, right? If that dishwasher doesn’t get run, it is three days before I can course correct.

Kathi – Right! It’s so true. That doesn’t mean that when problems come along you can’t fix them. We can fix them. We have the capacity. Here’s the thing: You know how valuable that routine is. You know how much better it makes your life. I’m the same way. After dinner, Roger does dishes, I clean up the rest of the kitchen and the dishwasher is going. So, first thing in the morning, I get up and I can unload the dishwasher, so as the day continues, I can be putting things in there. We’re not dealing with piles of dishes all day long.

Tonya – Right. And I think the other thing that I’ve learned is the non-negotiable aspects of my routine and then there are the ‘nice to haves’. So, I love to organize my girls’ clothes for the week every Sunday night to make mornings easier, but you know what? If it’s between that and getting those dishes done? Getting the dishes done has a way bigger impact on my day to day life, than whether I have an outfit picked out for both girls in the morning.

Kathi – Yes. It makes all the sense in the world. So, let’s talk about the ways to create a routine that can help us live clutter free every single day. One of the things we will be talking about in my new book that’s coming out, The Clutter Free Home, is a schedule for your house. Putting your house on a schedule. It’s not just about you being on a schedule, it’s your house being on a schedule. So, each room has a different day where you’re going to be touching it and getting it clutter free. Now, I know you live by this principle, too. How has that helped? Or has it helped? I guess I should ask that.

Tonya – Well, I think that it does help. So, we’ve talked about this before. I’ve never been interested in cleaning my baseboards unless I have a deadline. Right? I’m not interested. So, it’s very easy for me to just spin myself in a circle in my house. “I need to do this in the bathroom! Oh wait! I need to do this in the bedroom!” So, now, if something bothers me in the bathroom, I just wait until the bathroom day. If something bothers me in the bedroom, I can put it on a Post-It note, tack it to the back of my bedroom door, and now I have a task to focus on when that comes up in rotation.

Kathi – Yes! Because otherwise, you have twenty five competing first priorities.

Tonya – All the time!

Kathi – Yeah! Because every room you’re in, there’s a mess in that room and you want to go and dig it out and you want to take care of it. But you know you can’t do that, so instead, you just let everything lie.  When you have 25 first priorities, what it means is you have 25 last priorities.

Tonya – Exactly.

Kathi – This gives us a way to say, “I’m only going to do fifteen minutes. I’m going to do it in my bedroom today. I’m going to make a small dent somewhere.” Then, as you’re going the rest of the week, you can clean up and tidy and do all the things you want to do, but the next day, you’re in your living room and that’s where you’re going to focus. Now, once a week, I want you to dig into a room for an hour and really clean it out. Get some momentum going in that room, but it’s not every day. That’s overwhelming and you can’t live your real life.

Tonya – So true.

Kathi – Okay, so everyday a different room and every day 15 minutes. It’s actually 20, but 15 minutes sounds so much kinder to ourselves. It’s 15 minutes of decluttering and five minutes of putting stuff away. We do this little routine every single day. Now, how does that manifest itself in your house?

Tonya – First of all, I think that fifteen minutes to declutter and five minutes to put stuff away is still so much less time than I would think certain things need to take. One thing I’ve discovered: I can make a huge amount of progress in my bathroom in 15 minutes. I can do a lot in my bedroom in 15 minutes, if I focus on an area like my closet. There was a day, not too long ago, seasons were changing. I was able to sack up four trash bags of clothes to donate, between me and my husband, just in fifteen minutes. Then, I didn’t need 5 minutes to put stuff away. I just needed 3.5 minutes to get stuff to the trunk of the car.

Kathi – Right. Exactly. That makes all the difference in the world! Knowing that I have this allotted time and I can get something done. It doesn’t seem like it would be magical, but it kind of is.

Tonya – So, if I may, what’s really magical, just using my clothing example, right, is that I take everything out, and when I walk in, there’s a big dent. My closet is noticeably lighter. That feels good.

Kathi – That makes you want to keep it lighter.

Tonya – Exactly. Then, to know, “Oh wow. All I have to do is come back here in a week.” And now, I can color code my clothes (not that I’m that person, let’s just be honest) but if I wanted to, I could set that as my priority for the following week.

Kathi – Yes, absolutely. Okay, so everyday a different room. Every day, fifteen minutes. You and I were talking. People are often looking for the perfect system. This is why we have people who want to take a little Clutter Free and combine it with a little Marie Kondo.

Tonya – Kondo and a little bit of minimalism and a little bit of this. Let’s just be very honest with each other. I was that person. I had the two book shelves of different organizing and decluttering and whatever because I was looking for the book that would somehow make my house do it all by itself. I’m not going to lie. It’s true.

Kathi – So, I think all of these systems can work, and do work, for certain people. There are a lot of Marie Kondos out there that are just crushing it. That’s amazing. There are a lot of minimalists out there who are just crushing it. I feel like, what our program is, is really centered for the person who has kind of gotten out of control. Whether other people have noticed or not, you know that you feel out of control.

Tonya – And I feel like, for me at least, this is the first time I’ve been able to unbury myself from overwhelm. We talk a lot about decision fatigue. We talk a lot about just feeling suffocated. I think that is what this system does.

Kathi – The perfect system, and you said this: The perfect system is, what?

Tonya – The perfect system is consistency. It’s doing a little bit every single day. Rinse and repeat, time and again.

Kathi – What I see a lot of people do is, “I’m going to tear up my house. I’m going to rent the dumpster. I’m going to do all the things.” Their house looks great for a while, but here’s the problem. A vacuum cannot stay void. We’re going to fill up those spaces unless we’ve created a plan for what we’re doing.

Tonya – We see that all the time in the online group. People talk about, “I work so hard to get this space clutter free, and I don’t understand why it’s like this again.” It’s because they didn’t follow that up. They didn’t close up that loop to keep stuff from invading the space.

Kathi – I am not saying you shouldn’t get a dumpster.

Tonya – I get one every year, you know that.

Kathi – I do! I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. I’m saying that a dumpster is not the answer. It may be one of the steps in your solution. For me, I’ve never had a dumpster. That’s never been where I needed to be. For me, it’s so much better to consistently, every single week, get stuff out of my house, and to limit what I bring into my house. That’s the secret sauce for me in all of this. Then, the other thing hear about is, “I’m just waiting for the right time. I’m waiting for the right time when my family will be on board. When I have the energy.” To me, waiting for the right time means you’re waiting for something that you don’t already have. I believe you have everything you need, right now, to start decluttering. Now, you may not have everything you need to declutter your entire house, but you have everything you need to declutter your sock drawer.

Tonya – I think where that feeling comes from, really, is this perception that we have more time in the future. You have said this. The future version of you never has more time; never has more energy, but we’re so good at telling ourselves, “When the kids go back to school.”

Kathi – When it gets easier.

Tonya – It will get easier.

Kathi – So, here are our things: The right time is right now, is what it is. Every day is a different room. Every day is fifteen minutes. The perfect system, for anybody, is consistency. The right time is right now. So many of you tell us that you listen to the podcast while you’re decluttering.

Tonya – I love that.

Kathi – It makes me super happy, it really does. Once you have your decluttering routine, those routines can spread out into other things. We have out decluttering routine, then we create our morning routine and our evening routine, and it starts to do all of this. Now, one of the things that I absolutely love, one of my favorite things we do as a business and as a ministry is something we started last year. It’s called Clutter Free for Life. It’s taking this every day routine and speaking it into your life. It’s helping it become part of your language; part of your routine. We help you live out this routine. Tonya, tell them a little bit about what they get each month, because it’s just incredible.

Tonya – Well, every month, you get a digital download that has a deep dive into the practical application of living clutter free. It takes into consideration that you have challenges and obstacles in the month of May that aren’t present, or that look differently in the month of August. Really diving deep and really having just, step-by-step, how do you apply this into your life? Also, a calendar to help you stay on top of this consistent practice. I think there is more in the download, we do a “Look ahead. This is what I want to accomplish in the month. This is how I want to feel at the end of the month.” Then we do a look back. We have a Facebook group that’s there for you 24/7.

Kathi – The Facebook group is amazing. It helps you get brainwashed.

Tonya – I love my people.

Kathi – Yes!

Tonya – I know they’re our people, but I love them.

Kathi – The brainwashing is super-important, and I mean this in the most wonderful way. But to start to think about your life as a clutter free life, and start to get things out; start to change your thinking around stuff. It’s hugely valuable.

Tonya – You have a member, and what she does is, she takes those reflection questions and the last day of the month, she answers them in the group. Nobody else has to join her, but more and more people every month have started to join her in that look back. She shares it in the group for accountability, because she needs to be reminded how far she’s come. It has helped me so much. I’m not always thinking, “Oh! How has my thought process changed in the last three months?” But she’ll post them and I’m like, “I used to think that, too!” Then, I’m trying to think about when I stopped thinking that way. What I do know is that once I embrace the daily practice, and once I embrace the fact that it’s not one-and-done. I’m going to have to go into my bathroom and declutter something all the time, because I live with people.

Kathi – And those people will just kill you.

Tonya – They’re just people.

Kathi – They’re just people. So, you get the Facebook group, which is amazing, you get the downloads. You also get two trainings each month. I love doing these. These are about a half hour. It’s just answering questions in the group. If you’re struggling with something that has to do with clutter? I mean, I’ve been there, done that. I have too many t-shirts. I declutter them, though, so it’s okay. I know the answer to that clutter issue. We have a Facebook Live twice a month, where we go in and answer all those questions.

Tonya – Let’s be clear. That’s with you.

Kathi – That’s with me!

Tonya – Our listeners who are with Clutter Free Academy are used to seeing me on Facebook Lives, but in Clutter Free for Life, that’s you. They get their time with you.

Kathi – Right. So, this is a paid program. Normally, it’s $25/month, so $24.99, but here’s the beautiful thing: Because we want to on-load everybody at the same time and we want to get you in there, we are running a special between now and December 31st. If you sign up, and we’ve got the link right here in the show notes, if you sign up, it’s $24.99/month. It’s normally $299/year. However, if you sign up with the link today, you’re going to get the entire year for $118. It’s so much easier to on-load everybody at the same time. That’s what we want to do. We want to get your all at the start. We want you to see a difference in 2020. We want you to see a difference in your life. How does your year start and how does your year end? So, we want you in there to experience the freedom that everybody has. So, not only do you get the entire program for less than half. $118. That’s less than $10/month.

Tonya – I will believe you, because we all know that math is not my strong suit.

Kathi – Yes! The only reason I know that is because it would be $120/year for $10/month and this is $118.

Tonya – Oh yes! ‘Cause you add a zero. Gotcha.

Kathi – Yes, exactly. So, not only do you get the $118/month price.

Tonya – Not a month!

Kathi – Oh, I’m sorry! A year! It’s worth $118/month! No.

Tonya – It’s worth it to me.

Kathi – You know what, it is worth it, if you clean out a storage shed that you’re paying for. We have one member, it’s cool, every month she posts a picture of $70.

Tonya – Yep! In cash!

Kathi – In cash! That’s going to her vacation fund, instead of going to her storage unit. It’s beautiful. But, in addition to the $118/year for the entire year, all the downloads, getting to be in the group, you also get our online course Kickstart to Clutter Free. This is seven days of getting you down and dirty; getting you up and running to get stuff out of your house. I want you to get 500 things out of your house in one week. I know you can do it! I know you can do it with Kickstart to Clutter Free. So that is normally $49, but you’ll get it free, and you’ll get lifetime access to that for free when you buy the year at $118. So, December 17, starting today, through the 31st, sign up and you’ll get all of this. We will really help you with creating routines. That’s a huge part of what we do in this group.

Tonya – I’m in there every day and part of what I’m doing is helping. How do you apply this to your life? Some people have small children. Some people have teenagers. Some people have kids who have a million and one activities every night. Right? The routines look different, so we’re able to help you figure out what works for you. All you have to do is show up and consistently work that routine in your home.

Kathi – It’s a beautiful thing. Tonya, thanks so much for being on with me today.

Tonya – Thanks for having me.

Kathi – Friends, thank you for joining us. I hope you’ll join us over on Clutter Free for Life. It’s my favorite place to hang out. Thanks for listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

<<music>>

*see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items

 

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