#608 Should You Declutter When Life is Just too Much?

#608 Should You Declutter When Life is Just too Much?

608 – Should You Declutter When Life is Just too Much?

A life-changing event happens like a new job, a new baby, a change in health, or any number of circumstances. You find yourself struggling with what to do with items in your space and wondering if this is a typical response.

If you have ever felt like that, this episode has the encouragement and strategies you need.

Join Kathi Lipp and her co-host and Clutter-Free Champion Tonya Kubo as they deep dive into decluttering when life feels overwhelming. Tonya recently lost two family members in a short period. She discusses how she helped her extended family deal with sentimental items while acknowledging that everyone has a different timeline when it comes to sorting through these items. Kathi and Tonya give helpful insights into decluttering when life feels like it is just too much with thoughts such as:

  • Circumstances may change, but the clutter challenges are the same.
  • Permitting yourself time to just sit with the items is okay.
  • How the definition of clutter changes based on life transitions.

Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

As Kathi mentioned in the episode, she has a free resource for you! Receive your Checklist for Decluttering When Moving or Downsizing by signing up for her newsletter here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Links:

Sign up here for Kathi’s newsletter or here to receive her Clutter Free Basics Kit!

Clutter Free Resources:

 Has your definition of clutter ever had to change due to life circumstances?

Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious and fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group and the Clutter Free for Life membership program. 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.

 

Tonya Kubo Picture
Transcript

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am here with the co-captain of the Clutter-Free community. It is Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya.

Tonya Kubo (00:44.182)
Hey, Kathy.

Kathi (00:46.653)
And can we just say we have to give Tonya extra props because she’s been sick I don’t know for the last month and We’ve had to reschedule this a couple of times not just not just because you’ve been sick But we were about to hit record a couple of weeks ago and your power

Tonya Kubo (00:54.943)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (01:06.974)
Yes, my power went out twice that day.

Kathi (01:11.485)
Let’s be clear, when Kathy’s power goes out, we’re like, well, that’s just a Tuesday. But when Tonya’s power goes out, and you know what? I’m just gonna say something here real quick that maybe some, this might be of help to some people. Roger just got diagnosed with sleep apnea and he has to wear a CPAP. So yes, I am sleeping next to Darth Vader every single night now, but it’s really helping him. But because of that,

Tonya Kubo (01:16.404)
Right.

Kathi (01:39.797)
In the state of California, we’ve qualified for a program where we can get Tesla batteries on the side of our house absolutely free. Where the Tesla batteries absorb the power at the cheapest rate and then put out the power when we most need it. And to get these Tesla batteries is almost $2,700, no, $27,000, excuse me, $27,000. And there’s a California program where we get them for free now.

Tonya Kubo (01:58.358)
Wow.

Tonya Kubo (02:04.354)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (02:10.242)
That is amazing. I know a lot of people with CPAP, so that’s huge.

Kathi (02:10.433)
So, isn’t that?

Yeah Yeah, so I know a lot of our listeners are not in California But we also have a decent amount because you and I both live in California and a lot of people that we’ve spoken to and met So that has nothing to do with it. Well, maybe it has something to do with today’s Because here’s the thing that’s a life change for Roger and I have to tell you the first thing he did God bless him. He gets the CPAP machine. He goes I need to declutter my side of the bed because now

Tonya Kubo (02:43.232)
It’s big.

Kathi (02:43.489)
It’s not a huge apparatus, but it takes space, especially on his nightstand. So that’s something we need to consider.

Tonya Kubo (02:48.396)
Yeah.

No, that is true. That is true. Brian had a CPAP for a while and his was huge. I’m not gonna lie. His took up the entire surface of the nightstand.

Kathi (02:58.135)
Oh.

Kathi (03:02.501)
Oh dear. Yeah, that makes for an interesting bed partner, doesn’t it? Okay, but yeah, what we’re talking about today, let’s just dive right into it. Tonya, you spent a lot, we both did, we spent a lot of time talking to people in our paid group, Clutter Free for Life, about what their biggest challenges were, how we could help. In our paid program, we do a 15 minute free consultation with everybody who joins.

Tonya Kubo (03:07.698)
Yes it does.

Tonya Kubo (03:20.174)
Hmm.

Kathi (03:30.933)
so that they can ask us the questions that are just for their circumstance. What I came to find out, and I wonder if you did too, is when they said, this is really unique to me, it was never really unique to them. Because the circumstances may change, but the challenges are the same. That was my biggest takeaway.

Tonya Kubo (03:44.29)
That is true.

Tonya Kubo (03:49.502)
Right. Well, and I felt like for them, that was probably like, because I would always ask people at the end of our time, I would say, what was most helpful for you here? And every single one of them would be like, the fact that you knew what I was talking about, and the fact that you said that I’m not alone.

Kathi (03:59.845)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (04:04.92)
Yeah.

Right, right, absolutely. Yeah, it is huge. I would say you got this situation more than I did, but I did get it some, is that people felt like their clutter got so much worse during a big life change. And I was trying to think, did that happen to me? And I was like, yeah, it absolutely did. When Moose was diagnosed with cancer,

Tonya Kubo (04:09.535)
was huge.

Kathi (04:37.185)
I have to say for about six months, I cared very little about the state of my house. I cared very little about what was going on around me. Like guys, I’ve gotten better, but I spent so much time just hanging out with her because we didn’t know what her life expect, all that kind of stuff. But after about six months, I’m like, okay, I don’t want to continue to live like this. And fortunately, I have the tools in my back pocket to be able to say.

Tonya Kubo (04:53.771)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (05:07.317)
Okay, here’s how I recover from this. But have you been through something like that in your life, Tonya?

Tonya Kubo (05:14.806)
Definitely. I mean, I think raising children, like by itself, like even not under extreme circumstances, but every phase of life brings a huge transition that involves clutter in some way. And then of course, as you know, we lost my mom very early in our decluttering journey, but that had a big impact. For us, the most recent was losing Brian’s sister.

Kathi (05:18.735)
Mm.

Kathi (05:30.062)
Yeah.

Kathi (05:41.461)
Yeah, way too young.

Tonya Kubo (05:41.822)
And I’ll share a little bit about this only because it made, it really seemed to have a profound impact on the people I spoke to one-on-one. When we lost Brian’s sister, it was really interesting to see how grief or how coping with grief is different for each person. For her husband, they had sold their home when the pandemic started and they were building their dream home.

Kathi (06:01.198)
Mmm.

Tonya Kubo (06:09.05)
And then she was diagnosed not too long after. So they had this rental that was really wrapped up in her illness that they had been living in. It really was a sick home. And so her husband really threw himself into decluttering because he wanted out of that rental home. Like there was just all sorts of bad memories. But there was this other piece of him.

Tonya Kubo (06:37.206)
What I recognized is he was so worried that there was something that was special or precious to the family that he didn’t know about. Like he didn’t know why it was precious. He didn’t know why she was keeping it because quite honestly, nobody expected to lose her at the age of 44, right? So these are, like he knew she had bins and boxes and stuff in the garage, but he never thought to ask why.

Kathi (06:54.753)
course.

Kathi (07:02.753)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (07:02.806)
So he starts going through this stuff and he wants to give it to Brian’s mom. He wants to give it to us because he’s like, I don’t wanna be responsible for it, right? And it was really soon for Brian’s mom. Like in some ways, I mean, cause that was hard for her, right? Cause she’s just lost her daughter and now she’s being like given all this stuff. And so Brian and I had a conversation. I just said, look, if he calls you and says, hey, do you want this? Just say yes.

Kathi (07:13.387)
Right.

Kathi (07:17.763)
Mmm.

Kathi (07:31.897)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (07:32.998)
We have a decluttering system in place in our home. We have a garage. We can say yes to everything, and we can deal with it later. Because the family dynamics are such, nobody expects us to keep everything forever. So we’re good there. So I said, you just say yes. Our priority was to make the decision easy for him and to trust that we had the emotional bandwidth and the space and the maturity that we could take it from there.

Kathi (08:02.917)
What a gift to him. Even if he didn’t know, what a gift.

Tonya Kubo (08:09.042)
So, yes, and it did make life so much easier, but of course that means that we very quickly had a filled garage with all sorts of random stuff.

Kathi (08:17.302)
Right.

Right, right. Well, so let me ask you, yeah, let me ask you because a lot of people are dealing with the loss of a loved one and having to deal with their stuff. I did with my dad as well. And, you know, we went through a process where there was a first layer of like, okay, we can just donate this or trash it or whatever needs to happen.

Kathi (08:48.029)
And then there was a second layer of like, okay, does anybody in the family want this? And then the third layer of, um, we have to decide if this is the memory we want to keep of my dad. And so it was a three layer process for us, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everybody. What was it for you, Tonya? Or, or have you gone through the stuff yet?

Tonya Kubo (09:10.542)
Also, multi-layer process, yes, because a lot of it was Brian’s dad stuff. We did not realize how much of Brian’s dad stuff Megan had taken until Megan was gone and Jeremy was like, I know this was from your dad, but I don’t know much more. But like one was, it was like, oh, I have a bunch of your dad’s shirts.

Tonya Kubo (09:35.454)
and they were really special to Megan, but the boys didn’t know your dad, so the boys don’t really understand. And so I told Brian, yeah, we’ll take those. We can make a quilt out of them or something. Well, it turned out they weren’t work shirts, like Brian thought. They were racing jerseys. His dad used to race motocross. Motocross jerseys do not make good quilts, by the way, just so you know. It’s just not a good fabric, right? So Brian was like.

Kathi (09:58.996)
No they do not.

Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (10:04.566)
What do I do with this? And I said, well, for now, we let it sit in the garage. And I mean, it was like, I don’t know what you call this, but you know when you go to like Marshall’s and they have the clothing racks that are on wheels?

Kathi (10:15.121)
Yes, yes. Rolling racks. Okay.

Tonya Kubo (10:16.57)
I mean it was on those, yeah those rolling racks. It was like a whole rolling rack of shirts. So that’s still in my garage. Still don’t know what to do with it. But I also don’t feel like that’s a decision I have to make today. I have the available real estate, it’s fine. Now her classroom stuff, she was a teacher, Brian is a teacher. So her classroom stuff, it was very easy to process through all that.

Kathi (10:21.001)
Mm-hmm. Okay.

Kathi (10:30.262)
Right.

Yeah.

Kathi (10:38.902)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (10:44.106)
We said yes to all of it, then Brian went through and was like, oh, I could use this, and then we have teacher friends. So for us, that was the first layer. And of course, as you know, Kathy, the first layer is always the least emotionally connected layer.

Tonya Kubo (11:01.766)
Very easy to release classroom stuff, work stuff, right? But imagine how much space, I mean honestly that classroom stuff was taking up more space in my garage than those work shirts or than those racing jerseys are.

Kathi (11:06.274)
Yes.

Kathi (11:16.905)
Yeah, it makes so much sense. And you know, I think these big life transitions, it’s either we’re going to something new, or we’re letting go of something. And so we’re going to take a quick break, we’re going to come back. And I want to talk about what are some steps that we can do in these transitions, whether we’re going towards something. And even when you’re going towards something new, you have to let go. And I’ll talk a little bit about that.

But, excuse me. But we’re gonna take a quick break and come back to give some really practical steps of what you can do. So hang with us friends.

Okay, friends, we are back and we’re talking about what are the really practical steps when you’re going through a big life transition. This could be a marriage, it could be a death, it could be a birth, it could be kids leaving the house, it could be a divorce, it could be, there are a million different things that, job loss, new job, moving, if I didn’t say that before, and I think that was one of ours.

that was really tough. We had, we moved from San Jose to the mountains. Well, we had just redone the San Jose house. And can I tell you, it was gorgeous. It was exactly, it was everything I wanted it to be. But.

Tonya Kubo (12:40.159)
It was. I visited it. It was beautiful. That bathroom, Kathy. That upstairs bathroom.

Kathi (12:48.985)
It was phenomenal, right? It was phenomenal. Okay.

Tonya Kubo (12:50.746)
Yeah. I just need you to hear me tell you that it was beautiful. You did a great job.

Kathi (12:57.401)
Thank you so much, thank you. Every once in a while I go back and look at the Zillow pictures. I just loved it so much. And, but here’s the thing, I love my new house too, but two completely different styles. Both my style, this one is more rustic, cabernet, that kind of thing. The one in San Jose was more like teals and had a little bit of gold, which sounds weird, but it’s actually, it was gorgeous. And.

Tonya Kubo (13:07.853)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (13:26.029)
Uh, but I couldn’t really take the San Jose stuff to the summer sect. And so I have to tell you, it was a process of letting it go. A couple of things I did, which isn’t going to work for everybody, but some of that stuff that I had in San Jose, we, we also have some space at my mom’s house. So I decorated that space with some of the stuff, like the rugs and things like that, that I just loved.

We also have an RV that we put some of that stuff in. Our kids came and took some of the stuff that was really important to them. But I think the best thing that I did with that transition was just saying, we’re going into a new life and I don’t wanna be carrying this. So we put a few things on Freecycle or Facebook Marketplace.

Tonya Kubo (14:17.27)
Hmm

Kathi (14:23.009)
And we just did free because we had a short turnaround time to move. And this one young couple, they, they finally said, we’re just waiting for your ads to come up because we love everything and we have nothing. And so I just said, uh, okay, here’s the deal. I’m, I’m going to put a post-it note on everything in our house that we’re not taking and you can take it if you want.

There was not one post-it note left after all of that. They said, the woman, they had only been married for six weeks, they were sleeping on their floor. And we basically, in some ways, furnished their whole house. Because of course we had a bigger house than their one bedroom apartment. But there was a purpose.

Tonya Kubo (14:52.609)
Mm.

Tonya Kubo (15:01.455)
Oh.

Tonya Kubo (15:09.407)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (15:13.355)
Right.

Kathi (15:16.677)
And it wasn’t even decluttering, it was giving away huge massive things that were important to us. But I think most of us as cluttery people, if we knew the people things were going to, we would give them the shirt off our back and the racing jersey as well. So, you know, it is, when we know that it’s for a higher purpose.

Tonya Kubo (15:22.861)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (15:42.098)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (15:42.241)
So maybe the higher purpose is to lighten your load. Maybe the higher purpose is to help somebody else. What do you feel like were the lessons you’ve really learned and taken away through Megan’s death, through your father-in-law’s death and your mom’s death?

Tonya Kubo (15:59.642)
Yeah, so something you just said really resonated with me, which is clutter. You had said, you know, it’s not really decluttering. It was releasing things that just we loved, but we had no use for. And I think the big thing with these life transitions, and I think part of what makes them so hard, so emotionally difficult to journey through, is it redefines clutter for us.

Kathi (16:15.301)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (16:29.098)
Because see, typically we say clutter is something I don’t love, it’s something I don’t use, it’s something I wouldn’t buy again. And these life transitions introduce this new definition which is, this is something that I love and I would use, but for whatever reason, given the circumstances that we have, that’s not possible right now. And it doesn’t make sense.

Kathi (16:52.397)
Oh, Tonya, that’s so good.

Mm-hmm

Tonya Kubo (16:56.354)
to keep it because I don’t know when it’s going to be possible again. So going back to the one-on-one conversations that I had with some of our members, there were a lot of people I was talking to who either had some kind of major medical event. So maybe they had a child born with some very extreme medical needs. One of them had an injury or an illness that required, say, in-home health care.

Tonya Kubo (17:24.73)
anybody who’s listening who has had any experience with in-home health care knows that it’s like they bring a u-haul of medical equipment to your house right and it doesn’t matter little babies older adults it’s not always a hospital bed but sometimes the hospital bed and oxygen tanks and feeding tubes and all of these things and those things get added into this house that was already full even if it wasn’t cluttery it was full it was functional

Tonya Kubo (17:54.678)
You have this period, like you don’t want to get rid of your old life. Those things brought you joy, but there’s not room for that in the hospital bed. There’s not room for that in the ventilator or whatever else. And so something I saw my brother-in-law do that I didn’t, like I remember going, hmm, about it when he was doing it. Like they had just gotten a brand new bed and he called us up and he said, hey, by any chance, do you guys want a new bed? And we were like, and we had actually been looking for a new bed.

Kathi (18:04.29)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (18:22.89)
We’re like, yeah, like, do you want us to buy it off of you? He’s like, no. He goes, we’ve had it for three months. We love it. He goes, but I don’t, I would have to go up in size to the storage unit that we’re looking at getting in order to fit it. So that doesn’t make sense. He’s like, and I, they tell us Megan’s going to be better in 10 months, but I don’t know that she is. And when she is better, this bed may not be comfortable for her. So I think it just makes sense to get rid of it now. And I don’t think.

Kathi (18:23.214)
Oh wow.

Kathi (18:36.409)
Yeah.

Kathi (18:44.349)
Mmm.

Kathi (18:50.504)
Okay.

Tonya Kubo (18:53.11)
my cluttery heart would have had that kind of like logical thought process that Jeremy had. I mean, he was he’s so like wise. I don’t even think he knows how wise he is. But I thought, wow, that is really like that’s just wisdom right there to go, hey, it’s not that I expect to be here forever. But I know that when I’m not here, life is going to be so different that the stuff that’s working now may not work then.

Kathi (19:21.797)
As soon as you’re saying, I’m going to have to go up in size on the storage unit, it’s time to reconsider everything. Yeah, when we sold our house in San Jose, we said we are keeping this storage unit for a month. For a month. You know, because this is stuff we want to bring to the house, but we can’t bring it all at once. And we kept that promise. I was really, really proud of us.

Tonya Kubo (19:29.722)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (19:38.957)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (19:52.165)
turns into a year, turns into five years. But we need to make our lives lighter because we can make better decisions when our life is lighter. You know, you and I just had a circumstance this, like today, where you were supposed to come to my house, you can’t, so Roger and I are like, you know what? You know me, if I could, I would adopt every goat.

Tonya Kubo (20:00.27)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (20:21.729)
every dog, every cat, everything. But we have fewer chickens now because that’s just what happens to chickens sometimes. It’s the circle of life. And we have a dog and we’re like, you know what? Tonya can’t come here. We’re gonna go to Tonya. And it’s because we have lightened our life. And sometimes that’s through circumstances we would not have chosen.

Tonya Kubo (20:29.326)
because that’s the circle of life.

Kathi (20:50.189)
but we are intentionally keeping our lives lighter so that we can do the things we wanna do. And that’s something we wanna do. What do you think is the most important thing that somebody can take away from this conversation? Especially after seeing how wise Jeremy has been and how you don’t wanna repeat the sins of your mother and you have this different example. What would you want somebody to take away from this conversation?

Tonya Kubo (20:52.578)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (21:13.816)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (21:19.722)
Well, I think for me the biggest is that certain life transitions do warrant a new definition for what clutter is. What’s clutter today?

Kathi (21:32.073)
I think that’s so wise.

Tonya Kubo (21:35.814)
may not have been cluttered five years ago, and it may not be cluttered five years from now, but because you don’t know that, it makes sense and it is smart and it is wise to treat it like the clutter it is today.

Kathi (21:38.657)
Mmm.

Kathi (21:51.477)
It’s not that the thing is clutter, it’s that the item in the midst of today’s circumstances is clutter and something that you need to lighten your life. This has been such a great conversation, Tonya. Thank you so, so much.

I just think this is exactly what we need to hear. Because when we buy things, we’re like, oh my goodness. This is the most important thing. And I’ll always love it. I’ll always want it. And then job changes happen. And we live in a time now where if you need to furnish your house for free, you could pretty much do it. Because.

Tonya Kubo (22:47.566)
True.

Kathi (22:49.413)
It may not be with the stuff you want. And so we have to decide, do I love it? Do I use it? Would I buy it again right now? Right now, I think that that’s a great question to ask. And one of the things, guys, if you’re part of our newsletter community, we are going to be publishing this week a checklist for decluttering when moving or downsizing. And so,

Tonya Kubo (23:00.086)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (23:14.774)
Mmm.

Kathi (23:16.377)
We want you to, if we’re gonna put all the information so that you can become a part of our newsletter community so that you can have that resource for the next time you’re going through something, whether it’s moving or you just need to downsize, whatever that is, we’re gonna give you that checklist to help you make decisions in, because when you’re moving, you’re already having to make a thousand decisions, let this eliminate another thousand.

Tonya, thanks for being on today.

Tonya Kubo (23:46.85)
Thanks for having me.

Kathi (23:48.565)
And friends, thank you for being here. You’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy. I’m Cathy Lip. Now, go create the clutter-free life you were always intended to live.

#594 What I Learned About Clutter in 2023 that Will Change My Relationship with Stuff in 2024 Part 2

#594 What I Learned About Clutter in 2023 that Will Change My Relationship with Stuff in 2024 Part 2

594 – What I Learned About Clutter in 2023 that Will Change My Relationship with Stuff in 2024: Part 2

Do you struggle with trusting yourself when it comes to living clutter-free?

Kathi Lipp and her cohost Tonya Kubo are here for you! In part 2 of “What I Learned About Clutter in 2023 that Will Change My Relationship with Stuff in 2024,” Kathi and Tonya give us tips #2 and #3 to know and trust yourself regarding your clutter-free journey.

Listen in and learn:

  • The importance of community
  • Kathi and Tonya’s personal challenges with clutter
  • Kathi’s solution to the problem that plagues so many of us!

Kathi mentions the virtual Abundant Home Conference that is a BONUS when you sign up for Clutter-Free for Life. You’ll find that information here.

Want to know tip #1 from Part 1 of today’s episode? Click here.

Be sure to sign up here and be notified when the next episode is released.

 

 

Join Clutter Free for Life Today! 

What if you were able to create a life where you not only got rid of the clutter in each room of your house but were able to stay on top of it?

What if you learned to organize in a way that made sense to you so that once you decluttered, you could find the things that were important enough to keep?

What if you could live in a house that was at peace?

You’ve been thinking about how this will be the year to finally declutter your house and create the home you’ve always dreamed of. One that is filled with peace instead of stuff.

Is the idea of changing your home something you’d like to start working on? Because, right now, I have a plan that will show you how: Clutter Free for Life

The Clutter Free for Life annual membership is on sale right now for $118 (regular price is $299 or $24.99 per month) from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8. It returns to its regular price on Dec. 9, so join today!

Do you have a wrapping paper solution? Share your answer in the comments!

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious and fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group and the Clutter Free for Life membership program. 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.

 
Transcript

(time stamps reflect the recording being one recording edited into two pieces)
Kathi (14:50.978)
Okay, number two, the second thing I’ve learned, and I feel like you’ve been the main instructor to me on this, but I see it coming through in my own life. This is gonna be a mantra in Clutterfree forever, is trust your creativity. Okay, Tanya, I’ll share how it changed.

Tonya Kubo (15:09.708)
Ha ha

Kathi (15:17.507)
my thinking but I want to hear from you first because I really heard this from you.

Tonya Kubo (15:18.261)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (15:23.896)
It’s like…

We’re so afraid. So you have said before, clutter oftentimes is closeted perfectionism, right? We’re so afraid of doing things wrong, right? And so what ends up happening, and I’m just gonna speak from my own perspective, because growing up with a hoarder for a mom, it took a while, but at some point in my mid-20s, I realized I did not have a picture.

Kathi (15:34.41)
Yes, 100%.

Kathi (15:40.33)
Mm-hmm

Tonya Kubo (15:53.724)
of what like a normal house looked like and how that normal house looked normal, like day in day out, right? And so you’re, you know, I’m doing what everybody does. I’m subscribing to Martha Stewart magazine and real simple. And that was back in the days before Pinterest. But you know, once Pinterest came along, I’ve got the Pinterest boards and I’m constantly trying to make every space I live in look like these pictures when I don’t live in a space that looks like those pictures. I’ve lived in two houses now that don’t

Kathi (15:58.99)
Mm-hmm, right.

Kathi (16:17.514)
Yeah. No.

Tonya Kubo (16:22.252)
have like two closets in the whole house. And so the idea of trusting your own creativity came from when I hired a professional organizer at a real, to me, a very outrageous rate. And she came in and she was like, I can’t do anything, you don’t have storage. And so the whole appointment was spent with her and an Ikea catalog going through all the storage solutions I needed. And that was the first time I thought, oh.

Kathi (16:25.09)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (16:51.132)
It’s not me, it’s the space. And then I need to think about how I use this space, how I want to use this space. And you know what, how I use spaces, Kathy, doesn’t look like any Pinterest board I’ve ever seen. But it works for me. So that’s where I came up with the whole, like, okay, I just have to trust my own creativity. And if somebody else has a more creative solution, I am here for it, but I’m not gonna try to live my life according to magazines anymore.

Kathi (16:52.714)
Right. Yeah.

Kathi (16:57.838)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (17:05.514)
No, no, yes.

Kathi (17:11.84)
Yes.

Kathi (17:15.789)
Yes.

Kathi (17:20.042)
Well, let me tell you how it has changed me is I don’t need to keep all the stuff I’m keeping just in case. I don’t know if this is a problem for anybody else or it’s just me, wrapping paper. Why is wrapping paper

Tonya Kubo (17:21.99)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (17:41.916)
No, that is a problem for everybody. Okay, I’m sure there’s like 200 people on the planet it’s not a problem for. But wrapping paper in the US, it’s a thing.

Kathi (17:49.044)
Yeah, okay.

It’s a real thing. And finally, I was like, okay, I feel dumb because I’ve had some of this wrapping paper for 10 years. What is going on? What is my damage? And then I get, that’s the Christmas wrapping paper and then it comes time to wrap a birthday present and I have no wrapping paper, none, none whatsoever. So like one of the things I have done now is I buy red and cream checked paper.

and that if it’s your birthday, you get red and cream checked paper. If it’s Christmas, if it’s Valentine’s, if it’s 4th of July, that is the paper you’re getting. And so I, but I was always afraid of using up the rest of my Christmas paper. And it’s like, no, Cathy, there’s an endless supply of Christmas paper that you will never be without. But also, if I needed to wrap something, I…

I could wrap it in a piece of fabric. I could hide it in a closet with a big bow on it. Like there are a thousand ways to give a gift. I don’t need to have, you know, there are people who have gift wrapping rooms. I don’t give that many gifts. I think I’m a generous person, but no, I do not give that many gifts. And right, right?

Tonya Kubo (18:52.322)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (19:09.27)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (19:15.592)
I don’t have that many rooms in my house.

Kathi (19:19.942)
And so, but I trust my own creativity. I don’t need to have every ingredient under the sun because I don’t have to make that kind of risotto. I can trust my creativity. If I’m making asparagus risotto and I don’t have asparagus, broccoli will work. Like I trust myself to figure these things out. I don’t need to have a hundred different options that I am.

Tonya Kubo (19:39.096)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (19:48.746)
I’m a wise, creative, thinking person. And if I can’t think of another solution, you know what I can do? I can Google another solution. You know, I don’t have buttermilk. Well, I can pour some vinegar into real milk and we’re gonna be fine. Like I can trust myself that I can come, I can solve the issue at hand. And I don’t have to keep everything everywhere all the time.

And I think that that’s pretty genius. Okay, and this is number three. I have to know my challenges so I can adapt. This is kind of like your Ikea thing. The Ikea catalog. You didn’t realize the challenge that was before you was not that Tanya’s stupid, not that Tanya can’t figure it out, not that Tanya isn’t brilliant, it’s that Tanya has no storage.

Tonya Kubo (20:19.677)
Exactly.

Tonya Kubo (20:42.324)
I’m sorry.

Tonya Kubo (20:48.938)
Well, I really thought I was lazy, right? Like, and now organizers like, I don’t know how you’re so lazy, you’re not going to make storage. Like, that doesn’t even make sense.

Kathi (20:50.926)
Right? Yeah.

Kathi (20:56.99)
Yeah, right? So knowing that challenge, you know, right now, I’m going through a little back challenge. And it’s like, OK, you know what? So I’m going to have a really hard time bending over to grab things right now. Well, you know what? I just ordered like a, I did, like an octatigerian. And you know what? There are 80-year-olds who are way more limber than I am.

Tonya Kubo (21:16.845)
You ordered to grab her! You ordered to grab her!

Kathi (21:25.782)
But I ordered a grabber! Because…

Tonya Kubo (21:28.524)
I was gonna order one last year when I had surgery. And if I’d known I wasn’t gonna be able to sit up for two weeks, I totally would have done that. Yeah.

Kathi (21:31.719)
Yes!

Kathi (21:37.01)
Yeah, right. You know what? There will and as a vertically well, no, I’m not vertically challenged I am 5’6 and the national average for women is 5’5 But our homes are not built for the average height neither are women’s pants But that’s another rant that we will talk about another day Yeah, yes But you know what? There are sometimes things I need on the top shelf and right now i’m using extra long tongs

Tonya Kubo (21:56.824)
253, I get it, I get it.

Kathi (22:06.502)
Maybe I could upgrade just a little bit from there. Excuse me. Dude, I have the combo. I have the step stool and the extra long tongs. Like I’ve got it all over. Like to get into my bathtub, I’ve got a step stool. Okay, so recently we went on vacation with some friends, Susie and Robert, and they have a giant truck.

Tonya Kubo (22:06.787)
Hahaha

Tonya Kubo (22:11.42)
I use a step stool. Always have a step stool. I should just carry it with me, because I’m always…

Kathi (22:35.49)
And it’s, yes. So I had to carry around my little step stool all through, every time we stopped at Yosemite so that I could get out. And Moose is looking at like, come on, mom, let’s go. It’s just the stupidest thing, it really was. Okay, but know your challenges. So besides the lack of space, what would you say?

Tonya Kubo (22:35.776)
They do. I’ve seen that truck.

Tonya Kubo (22:41.211)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (22:47.032)
Ha ha ha!

Kathi (23:03.922)
I’ll tell you one of my challenges and I want to hear another one of yours, but one of mine Well, this is one we share we both had hoarders as parents And so, you know we had to we had to relearn what that looked like I will also say one of my challenges and I want to hear yours is That I am not very visual, you know There’s that test that’s been going around on social media when you close your eyes. Yeah, I can’t picture anything

Tonya Kubo (23:29.384)
Yeah, fail.

Kathi (23:33.618)
You know, one is like, I can imagine the whole scene and five is it’s all darkness. And I’m a, it’s all darkness girl. And so I really think that I cannot visualize what a space is going to look like. And that’s a challenge for me. So I have to ask my more talented friends. And I just wish I was hipper, but that’s not it. What do you feel like one of your challenges is?

Tonya Kubo (23:38.962)
Hahaha

Tonya Kubo (23:46.988)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (23:51.518)
Yeah.

Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (23:57.532)
Okay, so this is straight up child of a hoarder is I so I call it living small and I love the fact that I’m married to a man who I was able to explain it to him and he gets it. I there’s rooms I won’t go into for months or like if I go into the garage I will genuinely not see anything in the garage with the washer and dryer because that’s what I went in there for and then one day I go out there and where’d all this stuff come from Kathy lip.

Kathi (24:00.372)
Okay.

Kathi (24:26.338)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (24:26.756)
Why is it like this? And I’m losing my marbles. It had been there the whole time. I just didn’t see it. So like the other day, I go to open a window. I have a window by my bed, but it’s on the opposite side that I sleep on. And up until about, say the bottom of the mattress is just this big pile of clothes and toys. Abby had been over there. She like plays over there. Well, I never go over there. I had no idea.

Kathi (24:38.636)
Yeah.

Kathi (24:55.096)
Ah.

Tonya Kubo (24:57.868)
right? And Brian is just like, that has been a slow building pile for about three months now, Tonya. But it’s like it may as well be the end of the earth, Kathy. I just never go on the opposite side of the bed. And so it’s one of those things that I’ve been working on in 2023 is visiting every part of my- my house is small people, my house is two bedrooms, but making sure I visit every part of my house like at least every other day.

Kathi (25:08.471)
Right.

Kathi (25:18.839)
Right.

Kathi (25:26.398)
Yeah, this is not Wadsworth mansion, guys. This is.

Tonya Kubo (25:29.093)
No it’s not! The other side of the bed is like, you know, I never have to go there. Bray, it’s like, why do you think I like jump from the bottom of the bed? I’m like, I don’t know, I just thought that’s how you like to get in bed.

Kathi (25:46.158)
Oh my goodness. Okay, you’re killing me. You’re killing me. Okay.

Tonya Kubo (25:49.408)
So I just want to point out, I am not just the leader of Clutterfree Academy, I am still a card carrying member.

Kathi (25:56.734)
Yes, but you know what, but isn’t your life better than it was before? Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (26:00.304)
Oh, it’s so much better. Well, you know what? It’s so much better because I’m not alone. I mean, I tell people that all the time when they join Calligraphy Academy because they’re like, you know, I am the only person who blah, blah. And like, no, you’re not. We got like 14,999 other people here just like you who thought they were the only person. I thought I was the only person for years. And yeah. And so I love our community because they remind me how far I’ve come, but they also remind me how far I have to go.

Kathi (26:18.09)
Right. Yeah.

Kathi (26:29.898)
Yes. Now earlier you mentioned that in Clutter Free for Life, which is our paid program, we get a little bit deeper, a little bit more intentional, there’s a little bit more accountability. What really is the difference between Clutter Free Academy, which is our free program, and Clutter Free for Life?

Tonya Kubo (26:36.553)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (26:51.588)
You know, Clutterfree Academy is come one, come all, right? You can be any stage of clutter. You can be on the hoarding spectrum, whatever. You say you have a clutter problem, we believe you. That’s fine. And you can focus on your clutter. You can not focus on your clutter. That’s fine too. In Clutterfree Academy, so that is for, you know, I always say it, I built, you built it too, but you know, I’ve always taken ownership over it. I’m like, I built the program I desperately needed.

Kathi (27:17.037)
Please.

Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (27:20.86)
Um, which is there’s not just a lot more accountability, but we’re pretty blunt about it. We get that life happens, but this is a program for people who are ready for clutter to be a today battle and not a someday battle. And I don’t say like, like we don’t kick somebody out because they broke their leg and can’t move around for six months. And we just had a member who isn’t allowed to put any weight on her leg. Right. That’s not what I mean, but it’s not a place where.

Kathi (27:34.925)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (27:48.204)
people aren’t actively pursuing a different relationship with their stuff. So that’s the first thing. So everybody in there is just as committed to you are. They’re just as focused on progress over perfection. There’s no armchair experts who want to tell everybody else how to live. I mean, we don’t really have that in Clutterfree Academy either, but… And there’s tools. I’m very protective of my cluttery people. You cannot be mean to my people.

Kathi (28:07.018)
We may, but we squash them down and kick them out.

Kathi (28:15.976)
Yes, you are

Tonya Kubo (28:18.624)
But in Clutterfree for life, you know, I get, I get it. I get that you wake up every day overwhelmed and feeling like you have lost before you ever started the race. And so we have a calendar that gives you a focus for every single day. We have tracking sheets for those who like to keep track. You know, one thing that came up in Clutterfree Academy recently, cause we shared one of the members only tracking sheets in there. People were like, oh my gosh, that’s so overwhelming. I don’t wanna count stuff. It’s like, if it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine.

Kathi (28:29.015)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (28:48.576)
But in Clutter Free for Life, we’ve developed these resources that kind of work with every sort of brain type. There’s the people that like to check boxes. There’s the people that don’t want to check boxes. There’s the people who need to be told, this is what you’re doing today. There’s the people who want more freedom. We’ve got something for all of them. And then the other thing that I feel like, so there’s two things, because I’m not a checklisty person. The two things that I think are most valuable is, first and foremost, it’s the community. It’s the other people.

Kathi (29:10.342)
Right.

Kathi (29:17.806)
Hmm

Tonya Kubo (29:18.016)
rolling up their sleeves, doing the same thing you’re doing in a different house, in a different town, in a different state, sometimes a different country at the same time. There is so much community. Like, I mean, it’s like we have men and women, so I don’t wanna say it’s a sisterhood or a brotherhood, but it’s a fraternal organization of cluttering people is what it is.

Kathi (29:25.119)
Right.

Kathi (29:38.142)
Right. Yes.

Tonya Kubo (29:40.72)
And then we have the coaching and see, and that’s where we go deep. Every week we do a coaching session and it’s not the kind of coaching that some people, it’s not like a Facebook Live. We do Facebook Lives a lot in Clutterfree Academy, but we actually all get together on Zoom. We see each other’s faces. We’re in our real life spaces. Some people don’t put their camera on because they’re not comfortable with people knowing how they live. That’s fine, we don’t judge them. But that’s where we talk about like, how do you apply what we’re trying to do here?

Kathi (29:58.99)
Mm-hmm, which is fine.

Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (30:10.504)
in clutter-free academy to the daily ups and downs of life. How do you have a clutter-free home when you have a medically fragile child and that child has more medical equipment than you have space in any room in your house? What does that look like? What does it look like when your water heater blows up and everything that was in your basement now needs to be moved somewhere else? Those are the kinds of problems we solve and they seem silly to some people, but they’re real.

Kathi (30:23.263)
Right?

Yeah.

Kathi (30:29.285)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (30:33.037)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (30:39.676)
and they’re deep and I love the fact that it’s a small enough group that we can serve at that level.

Kathi (30:41.07)
video.

Kathi (30:46.49)
Yes. And so, you know, guys in clutter free for life, there is coaching every single week, you can take advantage of it, or you can do it when you need it. There is accountability. And there are people to cheer you on when you’re making progress and to help you up when you’ve fallen down because that happens too. But in clutter free for life, people are making a real difference, not just in their homes, but in their lives. And it’s incredibly cool to see.

Tonya Kubo (31:12.536)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (31:15.782)
A year membership, well, year membership normally is, it’s normally month to month. The rest of the year it’s month to month, right? Oh, oh that’s right. Okay, so yes, but yes, I got a little confused there, but it’s going on sale. So Tanya, can you give us the deal on that?

Tonya Kubo (31:23.616)
Well, you can buy it, no, you can buy it annually for $299 a year.

Tonya Kubo (31:30.749)
Or $24.99 a month.

Tonya Kubo (31:39.943)
Yes. So from November 28th until December, I’m looking at my calendar right now, December 8th, so November 28th to December 8th, you can get the annual plan for $118. So that is $118 a year. The price.

of the membership when you enroll is the price that you were grandfathered in forever. So it will automatically renew every year at one 18 a year. It’s less than 10 bucks a month. And and I always because I like I’ll be honest, there’s no membership I’ve ever joined Kathy that I have done 11 out of 12 months. Right. So I love the fact that at under $10 a month, you get hurt, something happens and you need to take a few months off. You don’t feel like all is lost.

And we’re so nice. Like you just come back in and you say, hey, I’m restarting. And we’re like, okay, how can we help? Where can we jump in? Let’s do it. And you’ve got a great team there. You know, you’re coaching in person, like in person by Zoom twice a month. We’ve got Deanna, we’ve got Grace, you’ve got me. We’ve got like a whole off Facebook platform. It’s just an incredible time.

Kathi (32:48.45)
Yeah, it really is. And so guys, oh, and we have one other little fun bonus that if you wanna join us.

Tonya Kubo (32:56.504)
Oh yes, why do I always forget that? In March, so you join now, but in March, you get to go to the Abundant Home Conference for free. That is a virtual half-day conference. So about every hour on the hour, give or take, we have a new session that starts and we’re talking about gardening, we’re talking about home, we’re talking about like all sorts of things because the problem…

Kathi (33:01.28)
Yes.

Kathi (33:07.991)
guess.

Kathi (33:15.007)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (33:25.212)
that we discovered early on, right, Kathy, is everybody wants to delay living until their house looks a certain way. And so the Abundant Home Conference is really about appreciating and loving the space you live in during the journey.

Kathi (33:30.698)
Yeah. Right. And.

Kathi (33:40.534)
Yeah, we’re not about that life. We’re not waiting to live until you can eat off our floors. And who wants to eat off of floors anyway, guys? So yeah, not me. So here’s the deal, guys. The link is in the show notes. And you just click over there. You’ll get it for 118. There’s a 30 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee. And guys, it’s…

Tonya Kubo (33:43.208)
Yeah.

Kathi (34:10.438)
it’s changing lives. So we’re really going to encourage you to jump over there. Tanya, thanks so much for hanging out with me.

Tonya Kubo (34:17.085)
Thanks for having me and I’ll say one more thing, my contact information is also going to be in the show notes and if you have questions about the program, if you’re not sure if it’s for you, if you’re worried about anything, just drop me a line, I’d be happy to talk to you.

Kathi (34:30.07)
I love that. You know what, guys, I highly recommend. Talking to Tanya is awesome. So yeah, go and ask her any of the questions. Tanya, thanks so much for being here today.

Tonya Kubo (34:40.876)
Thanks for having me.

 

#593 What I Learned About Clutter in 2023 that Will Change My Relationship with Stuff in 2024 Part 1

#593 What I Learned About Clutter in 2023 that Will Change My Relationship with Stuff in 2024 Part 1

593 – What I Learned About Clutter in 2023 that Will Change My Relationship with Stuff in 2024: Part 1

Kathi Lipp and Tonya Kubo have been decluttering their own homes and teaching others to do the same for many years. But there are always new things to learn! In this two-part series, this decluttering duo discusses what they have been learning this year about their clutter and about themselves. 

Listen in and learn:

  • What kind of language can we use to talk about clutter with those we live with?
  • How can we focus on our own stuff without building up resentment toward others?
  • Ways to discover if your stuff problem is really a relational or personal issue, and what to do about it.

Come back next week for the rest of the conversation, when Kathi and Tonya talk about how to trust yourself and how to know yourself when it comes to your clutter. Be sure to sign up here and be notified when the next episode is released.

 

 

Join Clutter Free for Life Today! 

What if you were able to create a life where you not only got rid of the clutter in each room of your house but were able to stay on top of it?

What if you learned to organize in a way that made sense to you so that once you decluttered, you could find the things that were important enough to keep?

What if you could live in a house that was at peace?

You’ve been thinking about how this will be the year to finally declutter your house and create the home you’ve always dreamed of. One that is filled with peace instead of stuff.

Is the idea of changing your home something you’d like to start working on? Because, right now, I have a plan that will show you how: Clutter Free for Life

The Clutter Free for Life annual membership is on sale right now for $118 (regular price is $299 or $24.99 per month) from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8. It returns to its regular price on Dec. 9, so join today!

How will you prepare to be clutter free in 2024? Share your answer in the comments!

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious and fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group and the Clutter Free for Life membership program. 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.

 
Transcript

Kathi (00:02.262)
Tanya, it feels weird to say welcome to the program because Roger just said, just came into my office and said, do you talk to anybody but Tanya? And I’m like, we haven’t talked in weeks. We have not talked in weeks. We’re making up for all that lost time. But you know, you and I were recently teaching and I just thought, you know, I sometimes wonder, okay, Tanya, we’ve been talking about, I think we’ve been talking on this subject for eight years now.

Tonya Kubo (00:31.964)

Yeah, we have, we have. And there is! There is.

Kathi (00:32.382)
Is there anything left? And there is. You know what? I discover new things each year that are not just aha moments for our memberships, but are aha moments for us. And I just thought I would, you know, as we are leaving 2023 and ringing in 2024 and people are, I know what they’re saying.

Tonya Kubo (00:42.157)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (01:02.094)
I just need to try harder in 2024. I just need to work harder. I just need to buckle down. I need to stop playing around. And that sounds terrible. And I don’t want you to live that way. And so I thought I would share some of the things that you and I have been talking about that made a difference for us in 2023. And maybe these will be, you know,

Tonya Kubo (01:05.1)
Right.

Kathi (01:29.554)
I don’t believe in light bulb moments. I believe in marquees. You know, it takes a thousand light bulb moments for us to make huge systemic change in our lives. But that’s what I want. I want that systemic change. And so I wanna share some of the light bulb moments that Tanya and I have been having this year. And…

Tonya Kubo (01:49.019)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (01:57.422)
Let this be on the way to your marquee where you’re like, it’s going to light your path. Okay. I’ve taken this metaphor a little too far, but

Tonya Kubo (02:05.764)
I was there with you though every step of the way. It’s like when I try to use sports analogies and then I’m like, wait a minute, I don’t actually know anything about sports. Yeah.

Kathi (02:11.564)
Yeah.

Yeah, go sports. Yay Yes, and yesterday you said in the training we were doing you’re gonna give everybody a shot in the arm I’m like want walk cuz I just got my I’m just old enough for my shingles shot And can I tell you it is now two days later and I still can’t raise my arm above my head That is no joke that shot

Tonya Kubo (02:37.08)
I just want to say shingles went through my office space a few years ago, right? So like people like in their mid thirties to forties getting shingles, I can just tell you right now, whatever you’re experiencing, 10 times better than actually having shingles.

Kathi (02:41.047)
No.

Kathi (02:45.006)
Yeah.

Kathi (02:50.218)
This is true. This is what you’re no, and we have a rule in our house. You can’t whine unless you’ve taken your medicine. I’ve taken my medicine, so I’m whining, but you are correct. In the hierarchy of things that are terrible, actually getting shingles. Okay, so this has been a new way of thinking for me this year. You know, people are always saying, how do I get help from my family? How do I? And I,

Kathi (03:20.126)
I don’t want to ban the word help because we all need help. But help is not the word that I feel like we should be looking for, whether it’s with a partner, a spouse, a roommate, older kids. It’s not about help. It’s about we as a living together community agree on a standard of living. And

Tonya Kubo (03:22.604)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (03:46.662)
I wanna know how that hits you, because this is the one we’ve probably talked about the least, but how does that idea hit you?

Tonya Kubo (03:57.708)
So it’s funny is because I get the question on a deep level because I’m still a mom in the active stage of parenting, right? And I understand how moms feel like everything is on their shoulders. And sometimes we get so sucked in to what I’m gonna call the murder feeling, right? That we forget that we can make some changes, right? And so when you were talking…

Kathi (04:03.794)
Yes. Right. 100%.

Kathi (04:11.404)
right.

Kathi (04:18.066)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (04:24.078)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (04:26.832)
recently about this agreement on the standard of living. It just reminded me of early in my clutter journey, just the importance of vocabulary, because I had just been, in my mind, we were living in a small space. It was one of those model homes, which you could tell they actually built for nobody to live in. So it just didn’t, like, everything about that house did not make sense. But it was one of those things where we had, it was such a small space, we had so much stuff.

Kathi (04:48.33)
Yeah. Hehehehe.

Tonya Kubo (04:56.488)
Like we needed to pull stuff out of the house in order to be able to do anything inside the house. And the only place we could put stuff is in the garage, but the garage was overfilled with all sorts of stuff. And for like, we lived there for a year and a half. And I was like, I, we need the garage cleaned up. We need the garage cleaned up. I want to park my car in the garage. And that’s what I kept saying, right? Cause I had this little girl dream of parking my car in the garage. I’ve mentioned on the podcast before Brian did not have the same little girl dream. And so,

Kathi (05:01.794)
Yeah.

Kathi (05:18.786)
Yep.

Tonya Kubo (05:26.096)
You know, he was just like, he was tone deaf. He wouldn’t do anything. And I was so frustrated. And if only he would help me clean the garage, then I could tackle the rest of the house. Right? And so we were at such a stalemate on this and I was getting really bitter, really resentful. And we were having a conversation. I don’t even, I can’t even tell you the whole conversation, but what came up in that conversation is he did not believe garages were for parking carts.

Kathi (05:53.115)
Oh, you guys systemically believe different things from your gut. Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (05:57.972)
We had an yes, we had a different internalized use, ideal use for our garage. For him, garages were your storage space. And for me, they were where you parked your car. And so once I realized that, then I was able to change the conversation from you need to get all this done so I can park my car in the garage to, you know what, you’re right.

That is a great place for us to store stuff, especially since we live in this tiny house. However, the way that stuff is stored, boxes on top of boxes, they’ve fallen over, that we pick them back up, the stuff inside is getting damaged. It’s not a safe place to store our stuff anymore. And that resonated, because he knew he had valuable things in there. And so once I said that, he was like, oh.

Kathi (06:48.886)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (06:52.22)
Okay, you’re right. And then the next conversation, he was like, but when it gets to your stuff, like I don’t know what to do. Like it’s overwhelming. And so I said, well, I can, I, so I walked out with him into the garage and I, there was like 13 boxes that I have been moving since college, right? And I’m just like, I can tell you right now, based on what they look like, that box, that box, that box, they can go. I don’t want to know what’s inside of them. I haven’t looked inside of them since I left college. I’m good. If you find a way,

Kathi (06:58.571)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:15.954)
Mm-hmm. Right. Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (07:21.536)
for them to leave the property, I promise you I will never say a single thing about it. And so that’s how we got the space, right? So we moved my 13 boxes, then we had the space to organize in the way that we needed to in order to do the rest of the house. Very long answer to your short question, Kathy.

Kathi (07:29.389)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:39.03)
No, no, but you know what? This is something that needs to be discussed because it is, you know, sometimes it’s a fundamental difference in language. Sometimes it’s, you know, somebody’s on the spectrum and they can’t make those kinds of decisions. But I think that it’s important to say, it’s to change our language from I need your help

to we have to figure this out together. And I think it’s also important to be able to say, the way we’re living right now is hard on me, emotionally, physically, whatever it is, mentally, and to be able to work towards that. So you did a couple of things. You said you…

Tonya Kubo (08:13.204)
Yes.

Kathi (08:35.002)
you know, when you were first having these discussions with Brian, that you had to focus on your own stuff. Uh, you had to, because I see oftentimes that people are frustrated with other people in their house, where, um, they could be making some room on their own. So how did, how did, how did you focus on your own stuff without resentment? Or maybe you had resentment, I don’t know.

Tonya Kubo (08:40.212)
Yes.

Tonya Kubo (09:02.2)
It’s funny. So, you know, it’s like, what’s your kryptonite? Right. That’s, that’s the start is you like, you got to know what your kryptonite is. And so in our early in our marriage, the kryptonite that we had was that we had both been married before. And oftentimes we did not have a Tonya and Brian conflict. We had a Brian and his ex-wife conflict. I was just the stand in, right. Or a Tonya and her ex-husband conflict, but Brian was the stand in. So and I

Kathi (09:05.326)
Mm-hmm, yeah.

Kathi (09:14.861)
Right?

Kathi (09:20.619)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (09:30.204)
I used to call it ghosts of marriages past. And so one of the ghosts of marriages past that we had was that he had a house, like his ex-wife had a house that she let Brian live in. So Brian had none of his own stuff. He couldn’t make any decisions on what the house looked like. So anytime I said anything about his things, that’s what he heard.

Kathi (09:33.514)
Yeah.

Kathi (09:45.346)
Mmm.

Yeah.

Kathi (09:57.391)
Okay

Tonya Kubo (09:57.92)
And you know, like you’ve been in those situations where you’re like talking to somebody else, it doesn’t have to be a spouse, but you’re talking to somebody and you’re like, okay, I don’t know who they’re mad at, but it’s not me. Cause I’ve never said anything that warrants this reaction. And so as we were going through, so your book, Clutter Free, there’s a part in there that talks about negotiating space over stuff and how it’s easy to see clutter in somebody else’s stuff. And I was like, well, you know, I’m the daughter of a hoarder. I’ve got enough of my own stuff.

Kathi (10:06.964)
Right, I-

Kathi (10:10.402)
Yes.

Kathi (10:17.556)
Right.

Kathi (10:27.116)
Yes.

Tonya Kubo (10:27.38)
And so back to that garage example, what else was in that garage was his like ginormous Star Wars collection. I could have easily said, you need to take those 15 boxes because it’s 15 boxes and you need to put those against the wall and did it did it right. That would have been easy. But I was just like, no, if we’re going to make space in this garage, it’s going to be my stuff that goes first. Right. And, and then it was for him.

Kathi (10:34.507)
Yes.

Tonya Kubo (10:53.156)
It wasn’t conscious, but he was just like, oh, there’s all this space now that Tanya stuffs out of here. Because he has ADHD, he just got on a roll and he was like, let’s make more space. And then his stuff went.

Kathi (10:55.016)
Right.

Kathi (11:05.406)
Ooh, okay, yeah. Okay, you know, this is so interesting to me because I mean, this is probably one of the questions that comes up most in, you know, and I know you said one of the other trends is about not wanting to leave stuff behind for older kids, you know, because our stuff has to go somewhere. So a couple of points is that

Tonya Kubo (11:17.918)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (11:26.769)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:33.422)
I think that one of the things that’s important is in our house, we need to agree on that standard of living. So if Tanya and I were living together and Tanya says, you know what, I just do so much better when the house is picked up, the counters are clear, that kind of thing. And I’m like, yeah, that doesn’t really affect me. Like I can be, I can live in my squalor and it’s just fine.

Tonya Kubo (11:40.524)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (11:57.696)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (12:03.17)
But here’s the thing, I love Tanya. And so I need to figure out why I’m not willing to make my housemate happy. Why I’m not willing to, you know, now also, Tanya may be, her idea of neat and tidy, may be a disorder. Like it may be OCD or something like that.

Tonya Kubo (12:16.14)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (12:30.226)
And so I think it’s really important to understand, is it, you know, we haven’t agreed on our standard of living? Is it a personal situation? Maybe there is a disorder, or maybe I need things really picked up because I have mobility issues. And if I trip over something, that’s really bad. You know, so is it a personal issue one way or another, or?

Tonya Kubo (12:36.884)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (12:59.314)
is it a relationship issue? Because if Roger said, I like things really nice and neat, and I’m like, well, then you do it. Oh, that’s not a healthy relationship. And so, you know, we don’t usually get super deep and clutter-free, but this is the language we have to start using because, go ahead, yeah.

Tonya Kubo (13:11.654)
I… write!

Tonya Kubo (13:18.526)
Eh.

Tonya Kubo (13:22.888)
Yeah, well, I was just going to say, we don’t get super deep in Clutterfree Academy, right? It’s a huge group. It’s like 15,000 people. Woohoo! It’s like 15,000 of my best cluttery friends. But you know, it’s a big group. You just don’t know each other really well enough to go very deep. But we do go this deep over in Clutterfree for Life, our paid membership program.

Kathi (13:32.158)
Yeah, yeah. We’re so happy with that number. Yeah, yes, absolutely.

Kathi (13:43.115)
Right.

Tonya Kubo (13:48.992)
You know, that’s a smaller group, it’s about 300 people or so. And I think this is where you and me have really had the opportunity to see the difference between the relationship issue versus the vocabulary issue versus the medical issue, right? Cause we’ve seen that play out with our members. Our members are always so open and honest with us because we’re open and honest with them.

Kathi (13:49.111)
guess.

Kathi (14:05.047)
Yes.

Kathi (14:08.728)
Yes.

Kathi (14:14.286)
Mm-hmm. Right.

Tonya Kubo (14:17.265)
But I would say like that’s that is a place where we go deep

Kathi (14:21.182)
Yeah, and so, you know, if it’s a personal issue, I need to get personal help. If it’s a relationship issue, you know, you may say it’s just clutter, nothing is just, no, it’s just the physical manifestation of something not working in your life. And so it might take marriage counseling or counseling with you and your kid, and that’s okay because we all have things.

Tonya Kubo (14:35.028)
Nothing is just clutter.

Kathi (14:50.978)
We all have issues, and relationships have issues, and it’s okay to say, hey, we need help to get over this.

#590 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 2

#590 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 2

590 – Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 2

You might have heard of the Circle of Life but how about the Circle of Thrift?

In this part 2 episode, Kathi interviews full-time Pinterest employee and thrifting enthusiast Erin Handley. Erin and Kathi both have a love for a great thrift find and share personal stories about how thrifting has been a real benefit to them and their families through the years. Listen in as she and Kathi laugh and discuss some tips and tricks they have learned about thrifting, such as:

  • There are times of year when people donate certain items. Kathi and Erin share when those times are!
  • How to develop your personal style while thrifting.
  • What is the Circle of Thrift?

Bonus: Erin shares her super secret thrifting tip of where, when, and how to find those special items you’re looking for!

Haven’t listened to 589 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 1? Click here.

Join the free Clutter Free Academy group on Facebook

Be sure to sign up here and be notified when the next episode is released.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do feel about thrifting? Share your answer in the comments!

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Erin Handley

Erin Handley is a passionate member of the Lead Bold Team and is fortunate to be their podcast coordinator! When she isn’t serving alongside awesome women ministry leaders, she works full-time at Pinterest and has been in Talent Acquisition and HR for over 10 years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be found most weekends with her husband and pup at a thrift store, flea market, antique mall and more – no garage sale is safe. Visit her at leadingboldpodcast.org.

 
Transcript

#589 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 1

#589 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 1

589 – Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 1

Can thrifting and staying clutter-free go hand in hand?

Kathi Lipp and our podcast guest today say YES, IT CAN!

Meet Erin Handley: San Francisco Bay Area resident, full-time Pinterest employee, and long-time thrifting enthusiast. Kathi and Erin discuss how thrifting is not acquiring a bunch of items you don’t need. Thrifting gives us a chance to give something a new life or at least a second look.

Join them as they dive into the trade secrets of thrifting with a purpose:

Listen in for:

  • Three questions to ask yourself before you buy a treasure
  • The one house rule that will keep your house decluttered
  • What not to do when thrifting

Join the free Clutter Free Academy group on Facebook

Be sure to sign up here and be notified when the next episode is released.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do feel about thrifting? Share your answer in the comments!

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Erin Handley

Erin Handley is a passionate member of the Lead Bold Team and is fortunate to be their podcast coordinator! When she isn’t serving alongside awesome women ministry leaders, she works full-time at Pinterest and has been in Talent Acquisition and HR for over 10 years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be found most weekends with her husband and pup at a thrift store, flea market, antique mall and more – no garage sale is safe. Visit her at leadingboldpodcast.org.

 
Transcript

#588 How to Eliminate 1000 Clutter Pieces in 30 Days: The Clutter Free Academy Method

#588 How to Eliminate 1000 Clutter Pieces in 30 Days: The Clutter Free Academy Method

588 – How to Eliminate 1000 Clutter Pieces in 30 Days: The Clutter Free Academy Method

What is Kathi’s favorite thing in Clutter Free Academy? The 30 Day 1K! What is the 30 Day 1K, you may ask? It is a challenge to eliminate 1000 pieces of clutter over 30 days. If this sounds daunting, listen in as Clutter Free Academy queen Tonya Kubo answers common objections to the 30 Day 1K. 

Do any of these resonate with you?

  • There’s no way I have 1000 things in my house to get rid of.
  • I have so much clutter that 1000 things won’t even make a dent!
  • I don’t have time to declutter 1000 things.
  • November is so busy. I can’t possibly tackle this challenge then.

Tonya also shares her secret to making the 30 Day 1K work in her home.

How do you join the challenge? Easy – join the free Clutter Free Academy group in Facebook! In November, group members will receive a printed action plan for the month with simple tasks, weekly live coaching workshops, and the encouragement of nonjudgmental friends. This is going to be a life changing 30 days, and we hope you will join us as we get control of our stuff together!

Be sure to sign up here and be notified when the next episode is released.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there an area of your house that you are going to really be concentrating on during this challenge? Share your answer in the comments!

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious and fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group and the Clutter Free for Life membership program. 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.

 
Transcript