#619 Decluttering Sentimental Items: Transforming Loved Items into Meaningful Displays

#619 Decluttering Sentimental Items: Transforming Loved Items into Meaningful Displays

619 – Decluttering Sentimental Items: Transforming Loved Items into Meaningful Displays

Welcome back, our sentimental decluttering friends!

In part 2 of the Clutter Free Academy series on decluttering sentimental items, Kathi Lipp and Tonya Kubo explore the art of curating and displaying emotional items in a meaningful way. Throughout the episode, they emphasize the importance of being intentional and selective in your curation process, ensuring that each displayed item truly reflects your heart and brings joy to your space. Listen in as they share insights and inspiration about sentimental items, such as:

  • How to transform your emotional clutter into beautiful, intentional keepsakes
  • How gallery walls, shadowboxes, and themed displays can be used to honor your loved one
  • How sharing the narratives behind sentimental items can enhance their value and significance.

With their insights and inspiration, you’ll be well-equipped to transform your sentimental clutter into beautiful, purposeful keepsakes. So, grab a tissue (just in case) and join us for this heartfelt conversation!

Did you miss Part 1 of this series? Here it is for you. #618 Decluttering Sentimental Items: A Step-by-Step Guide

Click here to be notified when the next episode of Clutter Free Academy is released.

Also, stay up to date and sign up here to receive our newsletter.

 

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.

Links Mentioned:

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and access a copy of the Decision Tree for Letting Go of Emotional Items that Kathi mentions in this episode.

Clutter Free Resources:

Can you share some of your favorite creative display ideas for sentimental items?

Share them 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

Kathi Lipp [00:00:08]:
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 we are back for part two of. Yeah, I think that we are going to be referencing this podcast over and over and over again in our free group, in our paid group. And just as people are struggling to, they don’t know what to do with their sentimental items, whether they were passed on from a loved one or something from your childhood that you are just having a hard time. Like, do I keep it? The song should I stay or should I go? Keeps going through my brain. And we’ve got somebody here who’s going to help us decide. It’s Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya.

Tonya Kubo [00:00:54]:
Hey, Kathi.

Kathi Lipp [00:00:55]:
Well, I just want to dive back into this conversation that we are having about getting rid of sentimental items. So you also think that we need to talk about the space and lifestyle considerations.

Tonya Kubo [00:01:11]:
There are some things that are absolutely ginormous, and there are some things that aren’t ginormous, but they’re bigger than the space you have. And so I think you have to think about, you know, does this item align with my current lifestyle and my current space? And, you know, if the answer to that is yes, then by all means, find a suitable place for it or repurpose it. So I think of, I didn’t do this. I got rid of it. But remember, when I bought this house, it came with everything in it, which sounded like a deal, until I realized that really, it was just a bunch of stuff that I had to take to the dump.

Kathi Lipp [00:01:51]:
But one of the things, including the stove. Right, right.

Tonya Kubo [00:01:54]:
I’m gonna talk about the stove.

Kathi Lipp [00:01:56]:
You know, I’m gonna talk about the stove. The stove is what I can’t forget.

Tonya Kubo [00:01:59]:
Yes, right. 1949 Wedgewood gas stove. I mean, the thing restored would have been gorgeous. And the family had driven three states over which we live in California. It takes a very long time to get to another state. This isn’t like going from Massachusetts to a neighboring state. So they’d driven to another state. They’d paid several thousand dollars, but they had to rent a vehicle cause it weighed a ton.

Tonya Kubo [00:02:25]:
Four grown men were required in order to lift it out of here. But when they turned this house into a rental, they put it in the garage. Critters had taken up habitants in there, but they were really caught up in, like, no, we pretty much gave you a $4,000 gift here. Like, we covered your closing costs with this stove. And I’m like, yeah, and I’m just, like, looking at it. But eventually we kind of got to the point where, I mean, we knew that we were going to sell it. Once we saw how heavy it was. We’re like, we’re not going to be able to get that into the house.

Tonya Kubo [00:02:57]:
No, we’re gonna sell it. We tried for three years to sell it. Couldn’t find a buyer. Now, if I had deep sentimental attachment and some skill, which I don’t have, by the way, let’s just be clear there. I could have probably turned it into, like, a really cool, succulent planner, right. Because it had, like, all these cool compartment y things, right? I could have done something really cool with that. I could have repurposed it into some kind of storage unit, because, again, it had these neat little compartment y things. I could have made it like a decorative fixture, right? I could have put some kind of, like, plastic acrylic thing across the top and made it almost like a coffee bar.

Tonya Kubo [00:03:41]:
I coulda, woulda, shoulda Kathi done a lot of things with it if it meant that much to me. But just telling you all the things I could have done with it makes this, like, anxiety bubble up in my chest. That makes me so grateful that I posted on Facebook free, but you gotta pick it up.

Kathi Lipp [00:03:59]:
Yes. And which, by the way, yes. We had somebody deliver just our. Our fireplace, and it about killed the two guys who were doing it. And your stove was so much bigger. So, like, I can’t even imagine. Yeah. So it did not align with your lifestyle.

Tonya Kubo [00:04:20]:
It didn’t.

Kathi Lipp [00:04:21]:
And.

Tonya Kubo [00:04:21]:
But if it did, let’s just say I really was attached to it. Right? Like, I was the person who drove three states over to bring that into my house.

Kathi Lipp [00:04:28]:
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo [00:04:29]:
Then you know what I could have done? Like, I could have taken a picture of it, and now with AI, I could have uploaded that and had some warhol style, like, portrait made of it that I could have framed and put in my house.

Kathi Lipp [00:04:43]:
Right.

Tonya Kubo [00:04:43]:
There are ways to preserve the memory, the good feelings, without having to keep the thing if the thing is no longer practical for you.

Kathi Lipp [00:04:55]:
Yes. It’s so true. And, you know, I appreciate, like, we had a relative who put together a book of my mom’s family history, and I’m doing some genealogical research right now. And I’m so grateful, one, that I don’t have to keep all those pictures, and two, they’re available on ancestry.com. And, oh, my gosh. I mean, what a gift, right? So what are some other ways to. Okay, so AI could have taken a picture, some other ways that we could preserve things like that. You know, my dad’s paycheck is schlacked to a piece of wood, and it’s cute, and I love it, but I love the idea of taking pictures of things and putting that up in your house.

Kathi Lipp [00:05:46]:
I think that that’s a great way of doing it. I think one thing not to do is to say my kids have to take it. Cause I don’t want it, but my kids have to take it.

Tonya Kubo [00:05:59]:
Well, I think you can’t. Yeah. You can’t make anybody take it is my point. Because we see that with kids. We see that with siblings, right? I see that a lot in clutter free academy. Right? Like, I am the only one of my siblings who has a garage, who lives on property, and therefore, my siblings have all decided, I have to take this. And it’s like, you don’t have to have to do anything, actually.

Kathi Lipp [00:06:23]:
Right, right. No, I mean, we just had a discussion with Roger’s brother, who. He’s the oldest. He lived closest to everybody, and all the photos ended up with him. And he was feeling such tremendous guilt, and he said, I’m sorry, I have to give these to the other brother. We live on the other side of the country, and it’s like, no, there should be no guilt involved in this. You know, it’s. We can only do what we can do.

Kathi Lipp [00:06:51]:
And if it starts to weigh down your life, I’m hoping that your parent, your relative, your grandparent, that’s not the legacy they wanted to leave for you. Okay, so you’ve answered no to all these things. Like, no, it doesn’t fit my lifestyle. No, it’s not super sentimental, but I think my mom would be really upset if she found out I threw away this cookbook or. How do you get past that feeling?

Tonya Kubo [00:07:25]:
Well, that’s. I mean, that’s really hard, right?

Kathi Lipp [00:07:29]:
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo [00:07:30]:
Because. Well, you know. Cause first of all, it’s like, okay, so is mom alive or dead? Because people. I mean, and I’ve even been that way. Right? Like, I held onto a lot of stuff after my mom died because my mom would have a fit if I got rid of it. And, you know, there was a point where I was like, okay, how long am I gonna make decisions based on fear of my mother’s ghost haunting me? Right? And, I mean, I can laugh about that now because I’m talking about my relationship with my mom.

Kathi Lipp [00:07:57]:
Right.

Tonya Kubo [00:07:57]:
I would never laugh somebody else. But no, you know, if it’s no. All the way down and your concern is what other people will, think what you’re really saying is you’ve got a boundary problem. Right. And we’ve talked frequently in past episodes about how clutter is a boundary issue. But there’s a lot of, you know, boundary issues that we have in our relationships that manifest through stuff. And, like, all I can say is, I can acknowledge that it’s hard. I can also acknowledge that it’s not helpful for me to be like, we’ll just get rid of it.

Tonya Kubo [00:08:34]:
Right? I mean, your emotional connection with somebody is your emotional connection. But I do think there is a way of working through that. And part of that, I think, Kathi, is you have to separate the act of decluttering sometimes from the emotional thought. Work around the decluttering.

Kathi Lipp [00:08:55]:
Hey, Tonya. We’re going to take a quick break. We’re going to talk to our sponsors, and then we will come right back. Okay? We are back continuing our conversation with Tonya Kubo about sentimental and emotional items.

Tonya Kubo [00:09:10]:
When you’re holding the item in your hand, there’s a lot going on.

Kathi Lipp [00:09:15]:
Mm hmm.

Tonya Kubo [00:09:16]:
Right. Internally in your head. It’s exhausting. Sometimes what you have to do is you have to put that item down and come back to it another day. Or rather than coming back to it, just put that item down for now. Set a notification. I’m a big fan of 30 days from now. I’ll make that decision, but then actually schedule some time.

Tonya Kubo [00:09:35]:
Sit down, journal it, think through it, but, like, think through all the questions, and then, like, okay, so, like, if. If my mom were to find out that I got rid of this, and, like, would she actually say something? If we’re talking about my mother? Yes. Yes, my mother would have. Okay, if she said something like, what’s the best case scenario? What’s the worst case scenario? Like, walking through that. Because all those emotions are going to bubble up just as you’re thinking about these eventual cases. But you don’t need to also be holding the item in order to be working through that. That just adds more stress to the whole scenario. So separate yourself from the item.

Tonya Kubo [00:10:15]:
Go through the questions. Really think through, like, what’s the worst case scenarios? How bad can it be? Scale of one to four. How much can I tolerate these potential outcomes? And then once you make that decision, I’m going to give you a very unpopular opinion. Popular opinion would say, once you make the decision, go take care of it right now. I say, once you make the decision, close your notebook, whatever it is, take a deep breath, go reward yourself because you just did some hard, stinking work and come back to handling the item when you already scheduled yourself to handle the item, but you’ve done the hard work of the thinking?

Kathi Lipp [00:10:54]:
Yes. Okay. Yeah, I love that. It’s to process the emotion. And I think the thing I have to remind myself is my loved one is not in this item. I have a couple of things that, when I look at them, they make me happy, and we should only keep things around that make us happy when we look at them. And that another thing that I’ve had to do, a couple of, like, hard things I’ve had to do, is tell my kids, hey, you’ve got stuff here. If it’s sentimental to you, I need you to pick it up by this date.

Kathi Lipp [00:11:44]:
And if you can’t, if you choose not to, I’m okay getting rid of it. And that may seem really, really harsh, but it’s just not. If I can’t, I can’t be a caretaker for somebody else’s memories. Like, these things. These items mean nothing to me. And so we. That, and we had Jeremy at our house at 1145 one night going through stuff, and he picked out what he wanted, and he said, you can get rid of the rest. And that’s.

Kathi Lipp [00:12:17]:
That’s all we needed. The other thing that I’ve done before is saying, here is this item, extended family. If nobody wants it, I’m going to get rid of it by June 1. And because somehow, sometimes we are held by emotional blackmail by other members of our family, it’s not important enough for me to take, but you should keep it. And that is gaslighting. That is gaslighting in its finest form, to say you’re a bad person if you don’t do what I also refuse to do, and it’s just not true. If you can curate the things that are important to you, and only you can decide what’s important to you, don’t let other people decide what should be important to you, what feelings should be attached to things. It’s emotional blackmail, and we don’t do that around here.

Kathi Lipp [00:13:19]:
If we’re getting rid of clutter, we’re also getting rid of useless feelings.

Tonya Kubo [00:13:23]:
Exactly.

Kathi Lipp [00:13:24]:
And so to put a date on something and say, you know, and this happened with my mother in law’s stuff, my brother in law sent messages to Rogers and his stepfather’s family and said, hey, we’ve got this item. Does anybody want it? He didn’t hear back from anybody. And so three months later, he got rid of it. A year and a half later, somebody said, oh, I’d actually like that. He’s like, it’s gone. It’s gone. And here’s the thing. If it was really important, there’s a phrase going around, at least on TikTok.

Kathi Lipp [00:14:02]:
If he wanted to, he would. And what that means is, if they wanted that item, they would have acted on it. If they were. We can’t be healthy for other people, and so we have to have our own boundaries. And my brother in law felt guilty at first that he got rid of this item. I’m like, you gave them every chance in the world.

Tonya Kubo [00:14:25]:
Yeah.

Kathi Lipp [00:14:25]:
No, no, no. Yeah. We’re done. We live. We are deciding on our own health. Okay, Tonya, anything that you think we have not said that should be said on this subject?

Tonya Kubo [00:14:39]:
Yeah, I think so. I’m just gonna say three more things. Thing one, okay. Is. And this is the hardest part. So what I will say is, give yourself grace. You want to be as honest and objective as possible when you go through the decision tree. Okay.

Tonya Kubo [00:14:57]:
It’s hard. It’s going to feel hard. That’s okay. But, you know, be as honest as you can be. The other thing I will say is take breaks, which I already kind of talked about. Separating yourself from the item sometimes really is beneficial. And then this is the big one that I don’t feel like people like. Hear me when I say, but gosh darn it.

Tonya Kubo [00:15:18]:
Celebrate your successes along the way. Okay. Maybe you have a box of 25 things, and you were only able to part with five of the 25. Can we celebrate that rather than talk about how only five things?

Kathi Lipp [00:15:39]:
Yes, Tonya? I think as we heal, as we do the work, these items come in layers, and sometimes there’s obvious stuff. It’s like, oh, I never have to see this again. It’s fine. And then as we do the work, we become healthier and understand that our relationship is not in these items. We curate the things that were meaningful to us. We are not holding on to things because other people in our life say they should be important to us. And that decluttering that box may come. You may be able to declutter it the first day.

Kathi Lipp [00:16:24]:
It may take you years, and it’s okay. I will tell you this. When I finally take things out of the box and I get rid of six things, and then there’s this one thing. I’m like, you know what? I want that displayed in my house. I don’t want it to be in a box. I I want it to be someplace where I can see it every day and recall the good memories with this person I love. Or, you know, this animal like it. Part of my grieving and healing with Jake was putting that, you know, going and buying the candle.

Kathi Lipp [00:16:58]:
We do not have enough ritual in the United States of America around the death of loved ones. And I think sometimes creating that ritual, you know, finding the candle, and when somebody loses a pet, I send them candles that I think are going to be about the same size as their animal’s neck so that they can put the collar around it. Because there’s a ritual there that says, we honor this life that was so important to us, and that’s part of our grieving and that’s part of our sentimentality. And when I first looked at that after Jake died, I would cry every single time. And now it just brings a smile. And that’s what we want your house to do, is to bring you joy and to bring you peace as you look around. This was a deep conversation, Tonya, but I think it was a really good one. And I’m really grateful for you being here with me.

Tonya Kubo [00:17:55]:
Well, thank you for having me. This was a really. I hope this one is very helpful to our listeners.

Kathi Lipp [00:18:01]:
I hope so, too. And, friends, you have been here, and we’re so grateful that we can speak to you. You’ve been listening to clutter free academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now go create the clutter free life you’ve always wanted to live.

#618 Decluttering Sentimental Items: A Step-by-Step Guide

#618 Decluttering Sentimental Items: A Step-by-Step Guide

618 – Decluttering Sentimental Items: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you have a box (or two, or three) filled with sentimental items that you just can’t seem to let go of?

In this episode of Clutter Free Academy, Kathi Lipp, and Tonya Kubo tackle the challenge of decluttering sentimental items. They discuss the various categories of emotional clutter, from childhood memorabilia to inherited items, and share their personal experiences with letting go. Together, they offer a step-by-step decision-making process to help listeners navigate the emotional decluttering journey with confidence and clarity. Listen in as they how to ask questions and set limits on sentimental items in the decluttering process using:

  • Kathi’s “Five Item Rule” for curating sentimental objects, and
  • Tonya’s “Decision Tree” process for making decluttering choices

Click here to be notified when part 2 of this series, where Kathi and Tonya will dive even deeper into the art of curating and displaying sentimental items in a meaningful way, goes LIVE.

Also, stay up to date and sign up here to receive our newsletter.

 

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.

Links Mentioned:

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and access a copy of the Decision Tree for Letting Go of Emotional Items Kathi mentions in this episode.

Clutter Free Resources:

How do you personally navigate the emotional challenges of letting go?

Share 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

Kathi Lipp [00:00:08]:
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 today, I am back with my favorite clutter free co conspirator. It is Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya.

Tonya Kubo [00:00:26]:
Hey, Kathi.

Kathi Lipp [00:00:28]:
Uh, I I’m excited about today’s podcast, and also, I don’t know, I feel prejudged. Let me just put it that way. I already feel like this is where I’m failing. This is. You know, I think we all have different areas of clutter that we struggle with. And weirdly, I’m not a very sentimental person. I don’t have a lot of, like, things from my kids childhood, things like that. But when there is something and I struggle to get rid of it.

Kathi Lipp [00:01:05]:
And I know that when we were doing our interviews with members of our paid group clutter free for life, you found that the majority of people are just like me. We’re all just like each other, that we struggle. So I would love to hear from you what people’s struggles were with these emotional and sentimental items and kind of the things that. That brought up for people.

Tonya Kubo [00:01:31]:
Yeah, well, so the struggles are. I mean, they’re varied, right? Just because we all have the same. The same core challenge, how it. The symptoms of that challenge are not always similar. So the sentimental items, something we’ve talked about a lot, right, are just like the ghosts of our past lives. So that’s the childhood memorabilia, whether it’s our own childhood stuff or our children’s stuff from when they were babies and such. There is the stuff that we have inherited. Right?

Kathi Lipp [00:02:06]:
So the.

Tonya Kubo [00:02:07]:
The ghost of past lives is both like childhood, but it’s college, it’s former professions. It’s the empty nester who used to homeschool, but they don’t want to let go of the homeschool curriculum because maybe their grandchildren could use it.

Kathi Lipp [00:02:19]:
What is it about homeschool curriculum?

Tonya Kubo [00:02:23]:
It’s expensive. That’s what it is. Kathi, as a former homeschooling mom.

Kathi Lipp [00:02:29]:
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo [00:02:29]:
You know.

Kathi Lipp [00:02:30]:
Yep, you’re right.

Tonya Kubo [00:02:31]:
When I was homeschooling, we had, you know, in our state, we had a thing called public charter schools that would help offset some of the expenses. But if you were homeschooling in the eighties and nineties, you were on your own, and.

Kathi Lipp [00:02:46]:
Yeah, no, that’s true. Right.

Tonya Kubo [00:02:50]:
So there’s that.

Kathi Lipp [00:02:50]:
So that’s true. I remember that. Yeah. Because we, you and I have both dipped our toe into homeschooling. And even though I bought a lot of curriculum used. It was not cheap.

Tonya Kubo [00:03:02]:
No, no. I mean, I remember there was one curriculum that was touted as the best for working families, and it was like $2,000 a year.

Kathi Lipp [00:03:12]:
So you just think, holy cow, right?

Tonya Kubo [00:03:16]:
If that’s you, Kathi, wouldn’t you want to save that just in case the off chance is that, a, you had grandchildren and, b, those grandchildren would be homeschooled maybe one day, kind of.

Kathi Lipp [00:03:28]:
I would want to save it in case I got pregnant at 56, like.

Tonya Kubo [00:03:32]:
Yeah, exactly.

Kathi Lipp [00:03:34]:
And, Tonya, I have to tell you, I was talking with our friend Sherry Gregory recently, and I remember one of the things she had the hardest time decluttering was one of these programs that you got in the box. And, like, here was lesson number 42, and here’s lesson number 78. And I saw somebody post about that and say it was Pokemon for stay at home moms. Gotta catch them all. And just about died when I heard that. And I finally realized I was never going to get lesson number 37. Like, they were never going to put that out. They were just going to add more and add more because I kept buying.

Kathi Lipp [00:04:18]:
Yeah. It is such a pit of despair. Okay, so.

Tonya Kubo [00:04:23]:
So back to the point, right? So past lives, and then there’s the inherited stuff, which I think you see a lot more, you know, but we’ve seen that from the beginning with clutter Frey Academy, that inherited stuff is really tough.

Kathi Lipp [00:04:40]:
It’s really, really tough. And I think, yeah, past lives and future lives. Like, I bet someday, you know, like, I’m gonna keep my wedding dress because I bet my daughter’s gonna want to wear this. No, probably not. Unless your daughter has said, oh, I want to wear that, it’s probably not gonna happen. Right? Yeah. So I understand that there is a lot of angst around this, and so how do we get rid of this stuff? And I think one of the things, we know the challenges, but I have had to approach it with a very systematic approach to take some of the angst out of it. I am not.

Kathi Lipp [00:05:29]:
I lose all logical thought when it comes to some of these things. And I give myself one box for each kid where I don’t have to explain why I’m keeping it. It’s just. But I can’t keep ten boxes for each kid. I keep these boxes because right now the kids don’t want the stuff. And these are small boxes. We’re not talking huge things. But, like, my son, he’s not in his forever house.

Kathi Lipp [00:06:02]:
He lives with a bunch of roommates. And I have a ring from my grandfather. That he wants. He goes, but I don’t feel like I’m in a good position to hang on to. I’m like, I can hang on to it. And I’m also hanging on to his boo bonkie because I think everybody has a version of Boo Bonkie, which is his blue blanket that he couldn’t live without. And I don’t know that he ever cares about it. But, like, about once every couple of years, I go into that box and I’m like, oh, blue blankie.

Kathi Lipp [00:06:32]:
So you came up with some ideas about a decision tree, and I love this. It’s kind of an emotional sorting system for making these decisions. Right. So I’m going to take. And let’s talk about. We’re not going to talk about Boo Boinke, but we’re going to talk about. I’ve got an item right here, and I’ll take a picture of it to show everybody. My dad, his first paycheck at the library when, you know, he.

Kathi Lipp [00:07:07]:
I think he was probably 17 at the time. And my son’s been a librarian. Well, he’s worked at a library. He hasn’t been a librarian. That’s a very specific role.

Tonya Kubo [00:07:17]:
That’s a master’s degree right there.

Kathi Lipp [00:07:18]:
Yeah, exactly. Um, and we used to call him the guy Brarian. But we’re going to take this paycheck that I have sitting behind me that’s laminated and everything like that on a piece of wood. And I’m going to take it through. I want to take it through the decision tree process. So, um, let’s start with my dad’s paycheck. And you know what? We’re going to do that right after we take a quick break. We’re going to take a quick break.

Kathi Lipp [00:07:43]:
We’re going to listen to some sponsors who keep this podcast free, and then we’ll come right back. Okay, guys, I am back with Tonya Kubo, and we’re doing the emotional, sentimental item decision tree. So what is the first question that I am going to ask myself, Tonya?

Tonya Kubo [00:08:03]:
So for me, it is, how do I feel? Like when I’m holding this and I’m just holding something random because nobody listening can actually see what I’m holding. But when I hold this, what are the emotions that instantly bubble up? Am I feeling angst? Am I feeling hurt? Am I feeling happiness? Am I feeling joy? Like, that’s the first thing that I think needs to happen. You got to label that emotion. So how are you feeling about that paycheck, Kathi?

Kathi Lipp [00:08:34]:
It makes me happy. It just. It. You know, I’ll be honest. My dad and I didn’t have a super close relationship. He was definitely on the spectrum. Hard for him to connect engineer. But this makes me feel connected to him.

Tonya Kubo [00:08:52]:
Okay, so it makes you feel connected because that’s the. You know, the second question I would ask is, you know, why do you feel happy? So it makes you feel connected to him. He’s not here anymore. So the next question, like, absolutely doesn’t apply to this item, but it’s. But it will apply to some of our listeners items that they are evaluating, which is, you know, what is the frequency in which you use it? Like, how often are you using it?

Kathi Lipp [00:09:18]:
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo [00:09:19]:
And I’m gonna say, what’s the practicality of using it?

Kathi Lipp [00:09:23]:
Zero practicality, but it is displayed. So I feel like that’s a use. That’s. That’s a form of use for me, that it’s not just on a shelf that I’ve ignored. It’s like, no, it’s in a place that when I see it, it makes me happy.

Tonya Kubo [00:09:41]:
Well, what I would add for consideration, because that’s the other thing we know, is our listeners are great rule followers, but this decision tree is a wonderful framework for evaluating whether to keep or not keep your sentimental item. But there’s nuance to it. So, in this case, you’re not using it, but it’s displayed. It’s not taking up a ton of space. It’s a first paycheck.

Kathi Lipp [00:10:07]:
Right.

Tonya Kubo [00:10:08]:
Okay.

Kathi Lipp [00:10:08]:
Right.

Tonya Kubo [00:10:09]:
We’re not talking about a china hut chair.

Kathi Lipp [00:10:11]:
Yes, exactly.

Tonya Kubo [00:10:13]:
So I think that’s important to point out, too, we might feel a little differently if we’re talking about this gigantic china hutch that goes floor to ceiling.

Kathi Lipp [00:10:21]:
Right.

Tonya Kubo [00:10:21]:
But next, whether it’s a china hutch or it’s your dad’s first paycheck, the next question is, what’s the sentimental value associated with. Of that item? Is it because it’s attached to irreplaceable memories? Is it attached to an irreplaceable association?

Kathi Lipp [00:10:40]:
Yeah. Well, I have not kept a lot of my dad’s stuff because, you know, honestly, it wasn’t his. His rock collection. There were other people who were more connected to that. His cameras, other people more connected to that. But this one, I have very few things of his because I. I remember my dad, and I remember him with love and fondness. So I don’t need a lot of stuff around.

Kathi Lipp [00:11:09]:
But this paycheck, it’s not that it’s associated with a particular memory, but it’s associated with goodness. In my dad.

Tonya Kubo [00:11:18]:
Right. And for most of our folks who are evaluating sentimental stuff, they’re probably not looking at something that’s already displayed. They’re probably going through boxes in their garage, in a spare room, in a drawer. So what I would say if they had the same answer, though, right? Like, it’s associated with good memories. I feel good about this. I have very few things that have similar associations. Then I would say, okay, so let’s think of ways that you can preserve the memory if that item is not practical in your home. If the item is practical, then let’s talk about clever ways of displaying it.

Tonya Kubo [00:11:56]:
Like, how do we make it part of the actual intentional design of your home? And if the answer is no, like, it does not have any, you know, irreplaceable memories or associations, you know, it’s one of 22 of a similar item, then, you know, it’s. It’s time to make the hard, that hard decision about, do I really need to keep this? Do I need to keep this now?

Kathi Lipp [00:12:22]:
Yeah. So this is not part of the decision tree, but what I. A kind of rule that I’ve made for myself. Not a rule, a guideline is for somebody who is close to me. I. I can keep up to five of their items. So, you know, and obviously, if something happened to Roger, that would be blown out the water. But, you know, I’ve lost my dad in the past ten years.

Kathi Lipp [00:12:51]:
A year ago, I lost you and I lost our good friend Jen. And I have a couple of items around here that remind me of her. She sent me one time a towel that says fold in the cheese, which is from Schitt’s Creek. And it’s a little joke. And so I have a couple, but, you know, and that was a significant loss in my life. But five items is enough for anybody in my life. And I have people in my life that are very precious to me, but I haven’t lost them. And so things of my kids, that kind of things.

Kathi Lipp [00:13:32]:
Five is a good guideline for me. It doesn’t feel overstuffed, it doesn’t feel crazy, and it forces me to make decisions. So everybody has to have their own number, right?

Tonya Kubo [00:13:44]:
And what I was going to say is, I want to speak to the person right now who is like, five is not enough. Damn. I get five does not sound like very many. And, you know, you already said it’s an arbitrary number. It’s a number that works for you. It may not be the number that works for me. Maybe I need four, maybe I need eight. But the reason five is a good benchmark number is because we don’t just have one special person in our life.

Tonya Kubo [00:14:12]:
Right.

Kathi Lipp [00:14:12]:
Right.

Tonya Kubo [00:14:13]:
So you think about it. If you’re keeping five items from mom, five items from dad, five items from mom in law and dad in law, now we’ve got 20 different items that we’re having to find space for. So that’s why.

Kathi Lipp [00:14:28]:
And Tonya, let’s talk about our dog, too. Like, we’ve got all these grand. And then. Yeah. And then the things from your dog, like, it can get out of control.

Tonya Kubo [00:14:37]:
Right. So for some people, I just want to clarify that because I think for some people, they’re thinking like, five is so many because they have, you know, I don’t know, six sets of parents because of in laws and steps and all of that. And other people who might be an only child of only children is like, no, I need 20 because that just.

Kathi Lipp [00:14:56]:
Gives me 40 items. Right. So I think it’s good to have a number because then you say, am I keeping this just because I love the person, or am I keeping this because there’s significance to this item in that person?

Tonya Kubo [00:15:13]:
Right. Well, and you know me, like my latest thing that I’m all about, and I talk about this in Clutterfree Academy, and I’m talking about in clutter free for life, which is our private membership program, is I’m all about the freedom of constraints. It doesn’t matter what the number is when you set a limit, it’s clarifying because it either takes the place of one of the five items or it doesn’t.

Kathi Lipp [00:15:37]:
Right. Exactly. Exactly. And, you know, I think about the, I’ve done the, the five for our dog Jake, and one way I keep his sentimental, you know, I do this for some of our pets, is I have a picture in the house. So for pets, it’s the. The number is three. And so I keep their collar around a candle. So it’s around a can, a glass candle.

Kathi Lipp [00:16:07]:
And so I have that collar. I have a picture, and then I have an item that was important to them and that feels like enough. And by having more items, it doesn’t prove that I love Jake more. There’s no way I could have loved Jake more. But these are the things that are comforting to me. Tonya, this has been such a rich conversation, but we’re not even close to being done. Can I have you come back next week and we’re going to talk about how do you curate the emotional and sentimental items in your life? Are you willing to come back?

Tonya Kubo [00:16:40]:
Definitely. I would love to thank you, Kathi.

Kathi Lipp [00:16:42]:
Okay, friends, you’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now go create the clutter free life you’ve always wanted to live.

#617 Making Your House Work For You

#617 Making Your House Work For You

617 – Making Your House Work For You

Kathi sits down with Tenneil Register to explore practical ways to make your home work for you, not the other way around. In this episode, they discuss: 

  • Designing spaces around your natural habits and routines
  • Examples of functional home solutions (such as paperwork organization)
  • Why entryway, kitchen, and bedroom spaces are key areas in your home
  • The power of taking photos to evaluate your spaces with fresh eyes

Kathi and Tenneil will be sharing their 3 challenges spaces (Entry, Eat, Rest) pictures! Take the challenge and you can post your pics over at Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy group. We have the most amazing corner of friends who cheer each other on!

Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released, or here to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Kit!


Kathi’s shoes that guests love and it keeps her home clean at the same time.


Here’s a peek at Kathi’s kitchen now — head over to Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy group to find out what changes she would like to make (to love and use the space even more!)

 

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:

A House That Cleans Itself

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

Clutter Free Resources:

What key areas in your house would you like to focus on? 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 

 

Tenneil Register

Tenneil Register can be found creating, repurposing, decorating, gardening and welcoming guests to their reclaimed barn storefront. She and her husband, Cowboy, established rural roots for their blended family of 7 in their DIY ranch home in Iowa. Connect with her on Instagram for practical ideas to reclaim your home or visit R7Reclaimed.com.

 

Tonya Kubo Picture
Transcript

Kathi (00:00)
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 guys, one of our newer members of our team, but she’s got all the style, my friends. And she is, I love how she’s stylish and practical at the same time. You guys, it’s Tenille Register. Tenille, welcome back to the podcast.

Tenneil (00:27)
Thank you, I’m so happy to be here. And I love that you say stylish and practical because that is my goal. Yes, yeah, you nailed it.

Kathi (00:34)
That’s your intersection, huh? That makes me super happy, because that’s really, when we have these discussions, that’s really what comes through. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about today, because I think it’s so interesting. Something you said, and I don’t know if I’m quoting you correctly, you can always say, no, Kathy, that’s not what I said. Let me tell you the right way to say it. But we just had the Abundant Home Conference.

which is a conference about, it’s for our clutter-free community, but it is, we did a lot of like clutter-free adjacent things. So we had Tanya talking about hoarding and we had Roger talking about beginning gardening and we had you talking about design in your home and function. And you said, I don’t work for my, this is what I remember, but again, please correct me.

I don’t work for my house, my house works for me. Did I just get the spirit of what you said or is that actually what you said?

Tenneil (01:42)
I don’t know for sure. I think, I bet it’s what I said. Here’s what I can tell you about the heart of that, Kathy, is I can vividly remember, I mean, I was probably 20 years old, I bet. I’ve always been one to buy houses, flip them, fix them up. Homes are important to me. And I remember standing in line at the Christian bookstore and they have $5 books that you can add onto your purchase. And one of these books is called A House That Cleans Itself.

Kathi (01:43)
Okay! Okay.

Okay, please.

Yeah.

Oh, I remember that! Yes, it was by Harvest House, yes!

Tenneil (02:15)
And I remember laughing and handing it to the cashier and saying, I’ll take a house that cleans itself for $5, sure. And that is what really framed from my very earliest days when I was really too young to even own a home for goodness sake, like my mindset about my house that I wanted it to work for me. So.

Kathi (02:22)
Yes, yes

Right?

Okay.

Tenneil (02:41)
Yeah, that’s where the spirit of it comes from.

Kathi (02:42)
Okay, so here’s a question. Do you remember something that you started doing differently because of that book?

Tenneil (02:50)
So the main takeaway from that book was I started taking snapshots of a space and thinking about what I really was using that space for.

Kathi (03:01)
Oh, interesting. Wow, and that book was before digital, I mean, at least camera phones, I would think.

Tenneil (03:09)
It was 100% like I had to develop the film from it. Okay. Right.

Kathi (03:13)
Oh my gosh, that’s a commitment, right? You had to go to the Walgreens and get those photos developed. That’s impressive. Okay, so what did you learn from taking pictures inside your house? This is fascinating to me.

Tenneil (03:21)
Yes!

Yeah, so you see your habits, right? Because this isn’t, I clean the room and then I take a picture of it. This is, you know, after three long work days, I take a picture of the entryway or I take a picture of the kitchen countertop. That’s when you start to discover, I opened the mail next to the kitchen sink, right? I leave my coffee cup near the front door regularly, right?

Kathi (03:34)
Mm-hmm.

Okay.

Ah, okay.

Right, right.

Tenneil (03:57)
where it might make more sense to have the mail by the front door and the coffee by the kitchen sink. But whatever your habit is, is your habit. And rather than trying to retrain yourself, you rework your space.

Kathi (04:02)
Yes.

Right.

Okay, so this is really interesting to me because you talk a lot about this. You’re not trying to change the people in your house. You’re trying to change the environment.

Tenneil (04:22)
Yes, like I think it’s an act of love where we accept the behaviors of ourself and those around us, and we find solutions that work for our natural behaviors.

Kathi (04:29)
Mm-hmm.

Okay, so tell me some things where you’ve seen that conflict between personal habits and home organization and what did you do because also we’re not saying kids leave your stuff everywhere. I don’t care if you eat, you know, in your bedroom and leave the dishes. I mean, that’s not what we’re saying, right? If that’s what we’re saying, I have to, we have to end the conversation now.

Tenneil (05:01)
Absolutely, it’s not what we’re saying. And in case my youngest who’s still at home is listening, it will never be okay for you to leave your empty dishes next to the couch. That’s a hot button. However, on the issue of snacks, one of the difficulties is our family room is on the lower level, our kitchen is on the upper level, the main level. And then you have this parade of snacks, right? Up and down, up and down. So…

Kathi (05:09)
Good good to know okay, okay?

Mm-hmm.

Okay. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Right. Mm-hmm.

Tenneil (05:30)
when we had the time, the energy, the budget, we put in a snack bar just off of the family room.

Kathi (05:37)
Ah, so tell me about this snack bar. I’m gonna need a picture of this too.

Tenneil (05:43)
Okay, so it’s just got a kitchen sink and a microwave and in clear containers we have the cereal bars, the pop tarts, the popcorn, the things that you eat snacky that kind of make a mess, that don’t require like kitchen prep, and then it’s there for the easy taking and because they’re in clear containers I can kind of restock them and it’s on open shelving.

Kathi (05:47)
Mm-hmm.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Mm.

Tenneil (06:09)
So it helps me with the grocery shopping part of it and it helps them with, I’m not like getting out all of these boxes of things. I just select my snack. There’s a garbage can nearby. And it was almost like a trade-off. If I make it easy for you to get snacks, will you make it easy to clean up your snacks?

Kathi (06:17)
Right.

Right. You know, we did something very similar because we have retreats here in our house and Roger didn’t always want to be, you know, going down at 530 in the morning, you know, when women were downstairs and stuff like that. So up in our bedroom, actually in my office, we’ve put a coffee maker, some snacks and a microwave. And we don’t have a sink really, but we’re not doing heavy prep up here and

Tenneil (06:49)
Yes.

Kathi (06:54)
It is, and oh, and the other thing, the most important thing that we put up here was a little fridge. And so one, it has helped us drink more water because we’ve got cold water all the time. And it’s made such a difference in our lives to be drinking all of this water all the time. But I also have like my crystal light packets up here. And so it’s just made it so, yeah, there are less dishes coming upstairs. There’s a less.

Tenneil (07:01)
Oh.

Kathi (07:22)
There’s less everything. Because we think it’s just the kids, but then all the kids move out and you’re like, oh, it wasn’t just the kids. Darn.

Tenneil (07:29)
That’s my third coffee cup next to the nightstand.

Kathi (07:32)
Yes, it’s so true, right? Okay, so you and I have both made these adjustments in our house that say, okay, we recognize the behavior. We are not the people on TV who just eat at the kitchen table. In our house, we do very little eating at the kitchen table. I’m not gonna lie. Because that’s not what we wanna do, and we’re adults. We get to do what we want.

So what are some other adjustments that you have made that have made a big difference?

Tenneil (08:04)
think a lot of people are going to relate to this. We have an island and our entire life happens at the island. That’s where people eat, that’s where we fix food, that’s where we come and go and drop our keys and our sunglasses, and it’s also where all of the paperwork lands. So we have an office but we were never going to carry this paperwork from the island back to the office, file it, and then come back and finish our conversation. That wasn’t going to happen.

Kathi (08:10)
Mm-hmm. Yes. Right. Yeah.

It’s so true, right?

Mm-hmm.

Sure.

Yeah.

Tenneil (08:33)
And so a wall just adjacent to the island, we put clipboards on a nail for each person. And then that makes it very simple. Whatever the paper, whichever person the paperwork coordinates with, and we have one for pets too, I can just slap that paper on the clipboard.

Kathi (08:40)
Mm. Yeah.

Mm-hmm. Oh, nice. Oh, that’s really interesting. Okay, we wanna hear more of these ideas and of course we’re gonna need pictures. We’re gonna have to take a quick break and then we’re gonna come right back and we’re gonna get all the scoop from Tenille Register. We’ll be right back. Okay, friends, we are back with Tenille Register and we’re talking about how do you make your house work for you instead of you working for your house? I’m gonna ping pong back. I’m gonna tell you something that

I have done and that is I have invested in a really good floor mats. Like the door mats, like outside, we have door mats outside our house and inside our house in all the main doors. So you have ample room to get your shoes cleared off and where we live between the dirt, the garden,

The chickens you really want to have those Dormats there and the other thing we’ve done is we have indoor outdoor shoes by every exit and that has made a huge difference in our house and the other thing we’ve done which I will be happy to post a picture about is we have a rack of Probably I don’t know maybe 15 different pairs of slippers

in different sizes that get washed every time somebody wears them. But it keeps our floors so much cleaner. And people love these slippers, by the way. They they just adore them. And it’s really, really helped. So I will be sure to share a picture of that as well. Tenneil, what’s another example of you don’t work for your house. Your house works for you.

Tenneil (10:42)
So another example would be how we use our personal spaces. So in each bedroom, thinking about how do we get alone? This is a lot of people in a house. And so what are some things that you need, like your reading zone or your art zone if you’re into art or your gaming station? And I feel like when we invest in

Kathi (10:49)
Okay.

Mm-hmm. Yes, yes.

Mm-hmm.

Tenneil (11:12)
the person’s going to enjoy that personal space, then we free up more of our common space.

Kathi (11:15)
Mm-hmm.

Mmm, okay, okay. Yes, yes. So give me an example of something you’ve done.

Tenneil (11:28)
Okay, so an example would be a daughter who is really into music. And we have a piano and so all of that music stuff could end up in this music space. But I didn’t want all that stuff there, right? So what do you do? You get a music stand for the bedroom. You put a shelf on the wall for the instruments.

Kathi (11:37)
Yeah.

Right?

Okay.

Tenneil (11:55)
We have great hooks for guitar hangers for the guitars in the house. So that all of these things that could land on the floor that are super important to someone, right? You’re saying like, I love that you love music and I love that you want these instruments so much that here’s the space where you can hang it and use it and love it.

Kathi (11:58)
Yeah.

Right, right.

Yes, I think that’s really important too, because what you’re doing is you’re saying, I’m committing this space to you because I honor your passion and what you do. I have learned not to honor the passion until I see that it’s a long-lasting passion because I can’t tell you the number of things we invested in because it was good for the kids and ended up on, you know, Facebook free groups.

Tenneil (12:32)
Hahaha!

Kathi (12:44)
And so, yes, but I think you’re absolutely right. We did kind of the opposite thing when we first blended our family in that we took half our living room and put an L-shaped desk there, and we got each of the kids a computer. Because we wanted them to be using their computer in a common space. And this was before all the smartphones and things like that.

But everybody got their own chair. So we invested well and heavily. So it wasn’t happening like on the couch or in the dining room or something like that. They all had this space. And we could see what they were doing and it was good for them, yes.

Tenneil (13:23)
Yes.

I love the intentionality of both. What do we want for common space activities? What do we want for personal space activities?

Kathi (13:29)
Right?

Yes, it looked like we were running a call center. I’m not going to lie where everybody’s on their headphones and at their monitors. But, you know, at the time, that’s what we wanted to have for our family. So if somebody is struggling with no, I’m a slave to my home. That’s how I feel. I feel like I work from my home all the time. Where would you ask them to start investigating what they could change?

Tenneil (14:00)
So I would start with the pictures of where you walk into the house, a picture of wherever it is you eat, and a picture of wherever it is you try to rest.

Kathi (14:03)
Yeah.

So entryway, rest, and eat. Okay, why would you start in those places?

Tenneil (14:15)
Yeah.

Because I think those are the things we spend the most time doing at home. And they’re all transitional.

Kathi (14:24)
Okay.

What do you mean by transitional?

Tenneil (14:29)
At the entryway, we’re in and out, out and in and out, and we’re taking things with us. Where we eat, that’s something we do multiple times a day that requires things to go with it.

Kathi (14:35)
Okay.

Yeah. Got it, okay.

Tenneil (14:44)
And then similar with the personal space, you’re getting ready routine. And so it’s really about recognizing what are the routines that I want to support from this space because we’re really not talking about stuff, we’re talking about living. And this.

Kathi (14:54)
Okay.

Yeah, it’s so true. And recognizing, I think it’s so important, recognizing change in your house or change in yourself. Like, this is the first time in my life I’ve had long hair and that comes with a lot of ties and bands and scrunch, all the things and more hair product than I’ve ever used in my entire life. And for the longest time, I’m like, why is this bathroom no longer working for me?

Well, because things have changed. I now have long, I never had hair accoutrement before. I just never did. But now I do. And it’s like, okay, recognize that and set it up so that it’s actually easy to use. It’s so true, it’s so true. And to say, you know, but also to recognize when I’m over something.

Tenneil (15:42)
Right? You need a little dish for all those hair bands and clippies, don’t you?

Kathi (15:52)
Like, I’ll just be honest with you, right now guys, I am not cooking sourdough bread, I’m not baking it. There’s just not room in my life at the moment. Let me just put it this way, I haven’t made it a priority. So I’m not spending a lot of time doing that. So it’s okay for me to put all that stuff away. I don’t need it out. I can reevaluate my space and say, you know, we don’t eat like this anymore. Or we don’t eat like this now. That may be even a better phrase.

you know, if you have a whole bunch of like, cake mix, and you’re like, well, we just found that I’m gluten free, get rid of it, you know, give it to somebody who’s actually going to use it, not save it for the time where you’re magically ungluten free, you know, or whatever, what is the transition you need to recognize in your

Tenneil (16:41)
Yeah, and I think that’s where the like assessment comes in, right? Whether you’re visually taking a picture with your eyes, whether you’re journaling about the space, or you’re taking an actual photo, it’s sort of this assessment of how am I living in this space and what would I like to do differently.

Kathi (16:44)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah, I love the assessment because I think we can become clutter blind sometimes. I know I can. To walking into a space and it’s like, I’m not really looking at it. You know, it looks okay. But, and I’m not saying to be harsh or judgmental. But, you know, I’m just noticing like right now, I’ve got a giant extension cord in my office. I’m thinking, how long has that been there? What?

What did I use that for? You know, and it’s like, okay, well, I probably used it for when I was filming something, but that could go away now. And taking a picture would be like, oh yeah, I could get rid of that, and it would make it feel better when I entered the space. So I love the idea of taking those three pictures. I think I’m gonna go do that. I’m a little scared to post them though, I’m not gonna lie. Okay. Okay, I’m gonna post the three picture. Yeah, okay.

Tenneil (17:49)
Oh, we want to see them.

Cause wouldn’t that be such a fun challenge, Kathy? If you post a picture of the space and you list five things you can get rid of, donate, put away, whatever, right? Like such a five minute exercise.

Kathi (17:58)
Yes.

Yeah.

Okay. Post the entryway, where you eat, and where you get ready or where you sleep. Okay.

Tenneil (18:15)
Yeah, like your personal space, you know, some people that’s in their bedroom, some people that’s in their bathroom.

Kathi (18:21)
Okay, okay, I’m gonna do it Okay, two of those three spaces don’t look too bad right now We won’t talk about the other one. Okay. Yay Okay, here’s the problem guys I know it we are recording this in the middle of March and I’ve got I still have my nativity up because I really like It and it’s just weird that in the middle of March. I still But you know what it’s fine, it’s fine. It’s

Tenneil (18:49)
You love Jesus a lot, Kathy.

Kathi (18:51)
I love Jesus a lot. I love baby Jesus even more. Oh, Tenille, this has been such a great conversation. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today.

Tenneil (19:02)
Oh, thanks for having me and enjoy assessing your spaces.

Kathi (19:07)
Yeah, are you gonna take the three pictures as well? I’ve just given you more, you know, I’m like, oh this podcast will just take 20 minutes And now I’ve given you homework. Don’t you love it?

Tenneil (19:10)
What?

100% I’m going to go take pictures of those spaces because I know they are all in disarray right now.

Kathi (19:23)
Okay friends, we’re gonna challenge you to go take those three pictures because I think it’s gonna help you really evaluate What you want to change and what you want to do differently? Okay, you’ve been listening to clutter free Academy I’m Kathy lip now go create the clutter free space you know Okay friends, you’ve been listening to clutter free Academy. I’m Kathy lip now go create the clutter free life. You’ve always wanted to live

 

#616 – The Great Closet Cleanse: A Wear-It-All Challenge

#616 – The Great Closet Cleanse: A Wear-It-All Challenge

616 – The Great Closet Cleanse: A Wear-It-All Challenge

Hey there friends! Have you ever found yourself staring into an overflowing closet, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothes you’ve accumulated? This is the episode for you! We’re so excited to share this conversation with the amazing Lauren Horst. Lauren has taken on the ultimate closet cleanse – wearing every single item she owns to assess what pieces spark joy and which ones need to go. It’s a practical, eye-opening approach that just might be the closet cure we’ve all been looking for. Listen in as we discuss:

  • How to come to your closet with curiosity
  • How to curate what’s best in your closet
  • How to clean out your closet by wearing everything you own

So grab a cozy seat and get ready to be inspired as we dive into Lauren’s wear-it-all journey!

Follow Lauren Horst on Tik Tok

Sign up here to receive Kathi’s free Clutter Free Kit resource.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.

The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life

When it comes to your home, peace is possible…

Longing for a place of peace from which you can love others well? The Clutter-Free Home is your room-by-room guide to decluttering, reclaiming, and celebrating every space of your home.

Let author Kathi Lipp (who once lived a life buried in clutter) walk you through each room of your house to create organizational zones that are not only functional and practical but create places of peace that reflect your personality. Kathi will help you tackle the four-step process of dedicate, decide, declutter and “do-your-thing” to reveal the home you’ve always dreamed of, and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

If you’re also feeling overwhelmed by the care and upkeep of all the stuff under your feet or sense that your home is running you, instead of the other way around, come discover how to create a space that doesn’t have to be showroom perfect to be perfect for you and the people you love.

Order your copy here!

Favorite Links:

Lauren Horst on Tik Tok lauren_horst

 

 

 

Are you inspired to take on this “Wear Everything You Own” challenge? What are you hoping to discover?

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 

 

Lauren Horst

Lauren makes casual and relatable TikToks, encouraging others to declutter and simplify their life while also maintaining a sense of style!

Find her on Tik Tok at Lauren Horst.

Transcript

Kathi (00:00)
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 have been very, very excited about this interview for a while now. I want to introduce you guys to Lauren Horst. Now, we just found out that I thought we just knew each other. She recognized the podcast. She’s listened to the podcast before. But turns out she was one of the interns at my church where my kids were in the high school group. So we’re like…

old friends, Lauren, and we didn’t even realize it.

Lauren (00:42)
Totally. San Jose, as big as it is, is such a small world.

Kathi (00:46)
It really is, isn’t it? It’s just crazy. Now, here’s the thing. I am so excited about this because I came across you on TikTok. And let’s just say, TikTok’s a big place, right? And you came up in my FYP, if you guys don’t know it, that for you page. So it’s not like I was subscribed to Lauren. It was just saying, the algorithm was saying, hey, I bet you’d like Lauren.

And so I started following her and she was cleaning out her closet. Wait, you say it the same every single day. Go ahead and say it.

Lauren (01:21)
Yes, I say cleaning out my closet by wearing everything I own.

Kathi (01:25)
Yes. Every day she shows up on TikTok and she’s put together a new cute outfit. I started following her and I thought, every once in a while I get my bravery up and I go to one of these big TikTokers and I say, would you come on my podcast? Lauren’s like, I know your podcast. I’m like, okay, this is crazy. Now to find out, we were in the same building forever and ever. I was so excited about this topic because

You’re not just putting together outfits, which is what, let’s be honest, a lot of 30, 40, 50-year-olds are doing on TikTok, and I love to watch it, but you’re cleaning out your closet at the same time, right? Okay, I wanna know what inspired you, first of all, to do this challenge, and second of all, to do it on TikTok.

Lauren (02:08)
Yes, exactly.

You know, I love anything related to decluttering. I feel like it’s just a hobby. And obviously minimalism is a really big trend right now, but I just think it makes so much sense for your life, for your stress levels, for just managing your home. And so I’ve watched many, many a video where people declutter their closet, kind of go through, you know, reorganize things, get rid of things, try things on. And I feel like I’ve just taken

Kathi (02:26)
Yeah.

Lauren (02:46)
bits and pieces of wisdom from people that I’ve watched. And I’m like, you know, one piece that I really like is when you try an item of clothing on, you try it on, you wear it for, you know, three to five minutes as you’re looking in the mirror, you feel unsure about it, you’re not sure, it kind of goes into a maybe pile that ends up just in the abyss of, you know, the closet. And so for example, one piece of advice that…

Kathi (03:10)
Right.

Lauren (03:13)
I’ve taken from someone over the years is if you are unsure about a piece of clothing, you have to wear it the whole day. By the end of the day, you will know whether or not you want to keep it, you’ll know whether or not you feel great, you love it, or you’ll be like, yeah, no, this is an item that I am ready to pass along. So I feel like I’ve just taken all these little bits and pieces. And that kind of inspired me to do this closet clean out, which is really a slow and steady wins the race method.

And that has really taken months, but it’s something where, you know, at the end, I will have a much more curated wardrobe that really works for my lifestyle.

Kathi (03:52)
Okay, listeners to the podcast know that my favorite word in the whole world is curated. Because, yes, because it’s on purpose. It’s honed in and it’s on purpose. And I love this so much. Okay, why did you do it on TikTok?

Lauren (03:58)
Oh really?

Um, you know, I, well, I just love TikTok. I mean, TikTok is like the vortex where all of a sudden you’ve spent two hours, you know, searching around things and discovering all sorts of things you never knew. And I feel like TikTok is just such an easy platform. I film directly into TikTok. I don’t, I really don’t do like hardly any editing on my videos other than just a voiceover at the end. So for me, making a TikTok takes me approximately two minutes every day.

Kathi (04:13)
Me too.

Yes.

Mmm.

Lauren (04:38)
which is about all that’s doable with my life.

Kathi (04:41)
right? And did you want to do it for, I mean, I love TikTok too. Did you want to do it for accountability? Were you sharing it with some people you already knew and trying to inspire them? Like what? Because it’s, I love TikTok too, but I am not filming myself on there every day.

Lauren (05:01)
Yeah, I think accountability and the whole idea is that if you’re actually wearing all of… So most people, what is it that they say? Most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe, 80% of the time, whatever that statistic is. And so what I was finding is you wear all your favorite pieces, you do laundry, they’re back in your closet, then you wear them again. You do laundry, they’re back in your closet. And what’s happening with the rest of the clothes that are hanging there? Well…

Kathi (05:13)
Yes, exactly. Yeah.

Lauren (05:29)
If you are challenged to wear everything, you know, when it comes to choosing an item in your closet, all your favorites are in the laundry and you go to pick out a shirt and you’re not that excited about it. I mean, at what point in time will you be excited about it when it’s the only option there and you still don’t really want to wear it, then it’s probably just something that you need to declutter.

Kathi (05:51)
And I feel like this theory goes for a lot of things. Like, those frozen bags of vegetables in your freezer, if I keep passing over them, maybe it’s just time to say, you know, I wanna eat healthy, but lima beans are not the way to do it for me. I’m happy for other people, but it’s not the way to do it for me.

Lauren (06:11)
Yes, exactly.

Kathi (06:15)
Were you surprised by anything in this process of getting rid of clothes? What I’ll do is I’ll make sure that we link to your TikTok here in the notes so people can kind of see what your style is. I would say you’re pretty classic with a sparkle thrown in. Does that feel like an accurate?

Lauren (06:38)
Totally. I, you know, I’m in my mid 30s. So I love classic silhouette. I work with college students. And so I do not like to be mistaken for a college student. I want to dress accordingly. But I love color patterns, prints, sequins. I do a lot of events and so get dressed up for certain things like that. And so yeah, I definitely wear some more bold pieces. But in my everyday to day life, I would say I’m pretty classic.

Kathi (06:42)
Mm-hmm.

Yeah.

Yeah, and did you discover anything about yourself, your closet, the way you want to dress through this process?

Lauren (07:17)
You know, I think I have just really discovered some silhouettes and some cuts that just don’t necessarily work for my body type or my lifestyle. And I consider myself to be pretty frugal. I love to find a good deal on clothes. And so something that has been challenging is I’m like, well, I don’t wanna just give this away to goodwill because I spent money on it. And it was now it’s, now it seems like a waste of money.

but really being able to look at my closet and have space and not be searching for things. And every item I grab is something that I love wearing. That completely outweighs the money that I’ve wasted in the past. And now I know what I’m looking for when I’m shopping. I know the type of cut I need. I know the type of sleeve that I need. And so when I pull something out of my closet, sometimes I can immediately say like, oh yeah, I’ve had this shirt. I’ve worn this before.

Kathi (08:06)
Mmm.

Lauren (08:13)
but this is no longer gonna work for me now that I know what I’m looking for.

Kathi (08:17)
You know, I think one of the best things you can learn from all this, first of all, I feel like sometimes we have to spend money on those quote unquote mistakes to really understand our own personality. The people that we admire the way they dress, they don’t get it right the first time every time. But I will say my best frugal fashionista friends, they are really good at returning things that they’re like, this is not the vibe.

I love that, you know, sometimes we have things sitting around in our closet for years because we feel like, okay, well, I just bought this, it doesn’t work for me, but I can give it away after five years. It’s like, no, don’t let that mistake sit in your closet. That’s all it is, is a mistake. Get it into the hands of somebody who will love it. And we’re going to take a quick break. But when we come back, you have a special way of giving things away that I think others will be interested in, or who you give it away to.

And I think people will be interested in hearing that. So we’re going to take a quick break and come right back. OK, guys, we are back with Lauren Horst. And we are talking about cleaning out your closet by actually wearing everything in it. And you do get rid of things. I see you get, I don’t know if you get rid of things every day, but I would say at least every third day, you’re putting something into a pile to give away. Wouldn’t you say? Yeah.

Lauren (09:42)
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, definitely. Maybe not every single day, but I mean, pretty often, I feel like it is, it’s much easier to give away things like this slowly over time because I have time to think about it. I’m seeing things in my closet versus just, you know, a two hour closet clean out where you feel like you need to make a decision right away. So I definitely have gotten rid of a lot, which

You know, on the other hand, I’m like, man, I still have so many clothes, which goes to show you like the inner hoarder of clothing that I actually have.

Kathi (10:14)
Well, you know what? I think clothes are such a beautiful self-expression. And there’s responsible ways of building a wardrobe. And I often hear you say things like, oh, I bought this five years ago. And you wear a lot of your clothes all the time. And let’s be clear, you have to get dressed seven days a week. You’re going to church, you’re going to work.

maybe Saturdays you can kind of kick it back, but you’re getting dressed all the time. And for us to be able to do that and do it and keep it interesting for us as self-expression, you need some clothes, you need some depth in your wardrobe. Now, you give away your clothes too, so talk about that.

Lauren (11:03)
Yeah, so usually what I do is the first draft of the clothes that I’m getting rid of, I work at a university and I bring them to my office and the girls who work in my office get to go through everything first. So they get first picks of everything and I know kind of now their style. So sometimes I’ll pick something out of my closet and I’m like, oh, I know so-and-so would really love this. Turns out they do.

So it’s really fun coming to work because some days I come to work and everyone in the office is wearing like my hand-me-downs Which is such a compliment

Kathi (11:37)
That’s so awesome. Yeah, and I think so often when it comes to clothes, our quote unquote mistakes are just to pass through our hands. Like those girls in your office may have never had the opportunity to buy those clothes, whether it’s budget or they don’t shop in that store, et cetera, but you get it into their hands. And what a gift that is. And I feel like as I clean out my closet, I get more specific about

the gaps in my closet. So I know exactly what I want to complete an outfit or to bring in a new trend that’s I’m not really trendy, but there are some things I like and I want to try out. But I get very specific instead of just buying things because they look cute. Do you feel like the challenge has changed your shopping habits at all?

Lauren (12:30)
You know what it has? Because along with clearing out my closet, I’ve been also trying to implement a one in, one out. So when I’m shopping and when I see something, at this point, I’ve kind of narrowed down my closet enough that pretty much everything in it, I like for the most part. And I’m just starting to be more ruthless to just be a little bit more minimal with my clothing. But I have to outweigh, this is a really cute dress. Do I wanna get rid of one of my other dresses?

Kathi (12:38)
Yeah.

Lauren (12:58)
for this item. And a lot of times the answer is no.

Kathi (13:02)
Yeah, I think when you’ve been buying clothes for a couple of decades, you start to really know what works. I’ve just recently lost a lot of weight. Thank you, Ozepik. It’s a testament to me that so many of my clothes I don’t want to get rid of, I want to get altered. Because I’m like, yeah, no, that one has served me well.

I don’t want to get rid of it. I want to continue wearing it. I just need to do that in an altered state. I think that’s beautiful. Have you noticed that there are certain brands of clothing that fit you better, that are more for the silhouette you’re looking for, or is it still, you know, is it kind of all over the map?

Lauren (13:51)
You know, it’s a little bit all over the map. But I really like J. Crew Factory. That’s one that I really like. Madewell a lot of times has, I really like their, this is actually one of those shirts, like 100% light spun cotton. I love that fabric and that feeling. So more so rather than specific brands, because I also do like to shop off Poshmark, I like to thrift. I’m looking more now for certain fabrics.

Kathi (13:57)
Mm-hmm.

Lauren (14:21)
Um, so definitely trying to stay away from the polyester as much and just looking for fabrics that will last longer, um, especially with sweaters. And, uh, because then I know that I’ll have them, the longevity in my closet will last much longer than some of the fabrics that are a little bit cheaply made.

Kathi (14:21)
Oh.

Okay, and that’s called spun cotton, what you’re wearing right there.

Lauren (14:42)
It’s like it’s a light spun cotton and so it kind of has that gauzy cotton material. That’s just super comfy Yeah, I love like the soft super soft comfortable shirts

Kathi (14:44)
Yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah.

So I would love to hear any of your tips now that you’ve done this closet curation for thrifting. Because you can’t really say when you’re thrifting, oh, I want a coral sweater that has three buttons that is a size XL. You don’t get to do that. So how do you thrift without bringing too much into your wardrobe?

Lauren (15:19)
Um, you know, with thrifting, I’m really not looking so much for the basics to add to my closet that you can kind of find, you know, at Target or wherever else as far as you know, basic t shirt, tank top, things like that. thrifting, I’m looking more for something that’s vintage, something that’s one of the one of a kind. One of the things that I found more recently was this kind of silky material, it actually had shoulder pads that were sewn in that I cut out. And it has music notes all over it, which is perfect.

Kathi (15:24)
Mmm.

Uh-huh.

I hope… Yeah.

Lauren (15:49)
I work in music. I was like, that’s such a fun novelty item. It’s cream. So it’s still a neutral and will go with everything that I wear for work. But something like that for $5 or whatever it was, I’m like, that is a one of a kind find that really when I’m thrifting, I’m just kind of looking for some of those novelty items that are at a good price.

Kathi (16:09)
Oh, I love it. That’s such a great perspective to go in with, that you’re looking for those, you know, one of a kind of things. That you, it’s not going to be your basic jeans necessarily. You might find those there. I don’t know, jeans are just a whole other thing. It’s just a, jeans and bathing suits. And I’m going to Cabo this month and it’s like, I haven’t come to tears, but I’ve…

Lauren (16:28)
Totally.

Kathi (16:38)
thought about tears when it comes to shopping for that. So I kind of push back on capsule wardrobes. I feel like it puts a lot of pressure for your clothes to do 10 things with one item, which can be great.

I don’t know. It’s hard for me to say, oh, I’m going to embrace a capsule wardrobe. How do you feel about capsule wardrobe?

Lauren (17:10)
You know, capsule wardrobes are so popular right now. And it is just one of those things that I feel like I have not been able to get behind. It makes perfect sense that what you buy and piece together matches with everything else. So you can really mix and match. So I think it does make sense for a lot of people who are just looking for that ease and getting dressed in the morning. I think for me, I just love color and novelty and different types of outfits.

Kathi (17:18)
Mm-hmm.

Lauren (17:36)
So, you know, one day I’ll be wearing jeans, a sweater, and boots, and the next day I’ll be wearing some crazy print dress, you know, with super bright colored heels or whatever it may be. So I think because my, I don’t know, my mood or my aesthetic changes from day to day, I don’t wanna feel locked into a capsule wardrobe. I would rather have a little bit of a bigger closet with more variety because I think just getting dressed is fun, it’s an expression of who you are.

Kathi (17:51)
Yeah.

Lauren (18:05)
And a lot of times I come to work, the same girls that work in my office, I have, I have like a super bright colored tropical shirt, and they nicknamed that birds of paradise. So sometimes I’ll come to work and you know, I’ll have an outfit that gets nicknamed something and it’s just it’s just a fun expression of who you are. And so I don’t want to be locked into a capsule word.

Kathi (18:16)
Oh!

And I feel like those of us who struggle with clutter, so those are the people who are listening to this, we are creative. We are, you know, we love self-expression. And I think it’s easy for us to have too much in our wardrobe, but I also feel like having too little would be stifling to a lot of people. And I love a capsule wardrobe for a trip. Like I love being able to, you know, mix and match and do that kind of thing, but for everyday life.

Like you I want variety. Okay, if somebody is going through their own closet challenge What would be your advice to them? What do you wish you would have known on day one because now we’re almost at day 100 You’ve had a hundred days of wisdom. Tell us about

Lauren (19:13)
You know, I think there’s a feeling when you put on an outfit and you feel really confident, you love what you’re wearing. I think you go about your day differently. I think you interact with people differently. You feel different about yourself, whether you go to an office, whether you’re working from home. There’s just something that is uplifting when you’re wearing an outfit that you really love. And so I would challenge anybody.

that you can have a closet where every single thing you pick is something that you love wearing and feel confident in and Life is too short to wear that shirt where you’re pulling at it and tucking it and it just doesn’t quite fit the right and It’s too tight on the sleeves that just uncomfortable feeling where you’re like for whatever reason the color the fit the style I just don’t love what I’m wearing Just get rid of it. You will be so much happier with a closet where you love every single piece

Kathi (20:05)
It is so true. You just talked about Madewell and I bought a Madewell shirt and I couldn’t realize, I didn’t know why I was avoiding wearing it. It’s cute. It’s one of my favorite colors and so I wore it this weekend. I’m like, oh, I remember why I don’t like this shirt. It’s a belly shirt. Shirts are so short these days and I’m like, yeah, that’s…

That’s not for me. And now it’s actually going into the giveaway pile, into the, I don’t know why I put it away. Did I magically think it was gonna get longer? I don’t know. But I want to be able to approach my closet and be confident, even if half of it is in the laundry, that there’s gonna be something there that I’m gonna feel confident and love wearing. And what I love, and I was talking to our paid group today this morning.

I don’t know that you’ve ever used this word, but what I love about your approach is I feel like you come to your closet with curiosity. You are trying things on and saying, does this work for me? And then you might go switch out a pair of pants. I’ve seen you do that a couple of times. You’re trying things on and you’re trying them in different things to say, is this going to work? And I’ve seen you come home and say, yeah, nope.

That’s the last time I’m wearing this. And it’s gonna be great for somebody, it’s just not great for you, and I love that. Lauren, we’re gonna put your link to your TikTok, so other people can follow along on your journey as they are cleaning out their closets as well and curating what’s best. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today.

Lauren (21:53)
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I love your podcast. I love how much you inspire other people to declutter different aspects of their lives, which is such a broad topic, but decluttering can benefit everyone.

Kathi (22:08)
Yes, well, and I will always hold dear that this was your first podcast interview. And by the way, you slayed. So you did such a great job. And friends, you’re the most important part of this little threesome here. We’re so glad you’re here. You’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy. I’m Cathy Lip. Now go create the clutter free life you always wanted to live.

Lauren (22:17)
Thank you.

#615 Breaking Free from Decorating “Rules”: Creating a Home You Love Part 2

#615 Breaking Free from Decorating “Rules”: Creating a Home You Love Part 2

615 – Breaking Free from Decorating “Rules”: Creating a Home You Love Part 2

Are you struggling with judgmental voices from your past that insist your home décor must be showroom perfect?

Shun the shamers in your head and learn how to break free of their nitpicky demands!

Join Kathi and bestselling author Myquillyn Smith, also known as “The Nester,” as they continue their discussion about Myquillyn’s new book, “House Rules: How to Decorate for Every Home, Style, and Budget.” They’ll delve into:

  • Why you don’t have to fill every empty space
  • Using the concepts of “house hushing” and “one sane space” to quiet your quarters
  • Getting past perfectionism to love your space your way

As Kathi says in today’s episode, “if you love your house enough, it doesn’t matter what other people think.” Tune in now to learn how to make this your motto!

Order a copy of Myquillyn Smith’s newest book House Rules here

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

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The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life

When it comes to your home, peace is possible…

Longing for a place of peace from which you can love others well? The Clutter-Free Home is your room-by-room guide to decluttering, reclaiming, and celebrating every space of your home.

Let author Kathi Lipp (who once lived a life buried in clutter) walk you through each room of your house to create organizational zones that are not only functional and practical but create places of peace that reflect your personality. Kathi will help you tackle the four-step process of dedicate, decide, declutter and “do-your-thing” to reveal the home you’ve always dreamed of, and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

If you’re also feeling overwhelmed by the care and upkeep of all the stuff under your feet or sense that your home is running you, instead of the other way around, come discover how to create a space that doesn’t have to be showroom perfect to be perfect for you and the people you love.

Order your copy here!

Favorite Links:

Myquillyn Smith’s website TheNester.com.

Myquillyn Smith on Instagram @thenester

Order Myquillyn’s newest book HOUSE RULES: How to Decorate for Every Home, Style, and Budget here

Take Myquillyn’s decorating quiz here

Where is your “one sane space?” 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 

Myquillyn Smith

MYQUILLYN SMITH, also known as “The Nester,” is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Welcome Home and Cozy Minimalist Home. For the past 17 years, she’s been encouraging women to embrace their space—imperfections and all—and make it their own. Her previous homes have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Cottages & Bungalows. She recently purchased and redecorated a1905 Queen Anne Victorian home in Morganton, North Carolina, the inspiration for her new book House Rules. She’s never met a home she didn’t love.

Find her online at TheNester.com and on Instagram @thenester.

Transcript

Kathi (00:00.174)

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 guys, I just, yeah, if you heard last week, you know I’m gushing, I’m not gonna gush all this time, but it’s Myquillyn Smith. The book is House Rules. You guys, she is my favorite decorating guru.

And I know you shouldn’t have gurus. You shouldn’t because you gotta create your own style. But she has helped me figure out who I am and how to live in my house. And I want her to do the same for you. Plus, you guys, she gets people who maybe wanna keep too many things in their house. She is not, she’s not judgmental. She understands our people. Myquillyn welcome back to the podcast.

Myquillyn (00:57.51)

I’m so glad to be here. You are my people. I love it.

Kathi (01:01.722)

Yes, yes, we need to we have to have a lot of crossover in our communities. I’m 100% And guys if you haven’t listened to last week go back and listen to that that’ll give you a lot of context for this week But I uh, I may love this book as much as I loved your first book Again, it’s House Rules: How to Decorate for Every Home, Style, and Budget And the reason that I love your book so much is because well

This is called House Rules. You don’t have a lot of rules or you teach us how to break the rules that maybe, I don’t know if other people feel like this, that I’ve had some very judgmental voices, house decorating voices in my head from the past and maybe kind of kept myself a little trapped. Have you ever worked with anybody like that?

Myquillyn (01:55.125)

Yeah, I mean, I have myself, I have experienced that as well, thinking I am going to get shamed or I’m gonna get told off or someone comes in my house and says, we need to get those drapes hemmed and when are we going to do this, that and the other to finish the house? That’s the kind of, yeah, I’ve experienced that myself and had to pull up my big girl pants and say, this is it, this is what I’m choosing to do so that I can

Kathi (01:57.62)

Okay.

Myquillyn (02:24.897)

have the rest of my life be full and look the way I want it to look.

Kathi (02:29.822)

You know, I remember when we sold our last house, it was, I loved it, I loved it so much. But the one thing my husband and I just said, okay, you know what, it’s just not as important to us as it is to other people. And you guys are gonna, everybody’s gonna scream when they hear this. We had popcorn ceilings. And in California, they’re very expensive to get rid of. And it’s like

we had to make choices and people would come in and say, and what are we gonna do about those popcorn ceilings? I’m like, if that’s the first thing you notice in my beautiful home, then, you know, my decorating style is not for you. It just isn’t. And so I think it’s so interesting what some people fixate on when they’re in other people’s homes. And we think, oh, nobody’s gonna notice. And it’s just weird that some people do, isn’t it? That what…

What are we going to do about those drapes on the floor? I mean, we’re going to enjoy them and love them and see that they pool beautifully. Ha ha.

Myquillyn (03:34.362)

Feel free to do something with your own money and your time.

Kathi (03:40.198)

Yes, you have volunteered. Well, okay. So I think that if you love your house enough, it doesn’t matter what other people think. It really, really doesn’t. But you have to love it. You have to say, this is what I’m doing to make my house as loving and lovely as possible. I want to dig into your rules here, because we’ve already done seven and five, you can’t ruin something you already hate and resourcefulness is the ultimate resource. But let’s talk about

Okay, this is for my cluttery girls. Rule 11, luxury isn’t having more, it’s needing less. Talk to, okay, I’m not gonna say a word, just talk to us.

Myquillyn (04:21.693)

Okay, I was reluctant to learn this because all of my life I feel like luxury is having everything at your fingertips, no matter what you could possibly need. That is the very definition of luxury. So we moved into this house and it’s a 1905 Queen Anne Victorian. And I’m pointing out the master bedroom is like the largest master bedroom we’ve ever had. We’ve never had a big bedroom.

And when we moved here, we had a bed and like my nightstands were like this big because our last house, the room was this big. So they’re like, pip squeak. I mean, we had nothing. So our bed was in there. I purchased a little sofa from the previous owner. So I had a little sofa at the end of the bed. I ended up buying a pair of nightstands and I had a couple lamps. I put up drapes. There were shutters on the window.

And one day I walked up to the room, I had painted it a little darker, beautiful muddy blue, one of my personal neutrals. And I walked up to the room and it just felt just right. I couldn’t believe it because there was no gallery wall. There was no like 300 beautiful pillows. There wasn’t three layers of rugs. There wasn’t like layers of throws. It was like so simple. There was no vignette on both of the.

Like I nothing it was so quiet and I felt like rich I felt like I was staying in a high end hotel. It was like the lack of chaos and excess was luxurious. And I have heard that my whole life. But to experience it. I was like, Oh, I get that now I get like the almost the privilege of not having to fill up my space with all of this.

Kathi (05:48.612)

Oh.

Kathi (06:06.135)

Yeah.

Kathi (06:10.752)

Mmm.

Myquillyn (06:11.677)

just in case stuff was extremely peaceful and serene and welcoming and I love beautiful things I still have you know stuff in my home but that is one space in my house that I probably will continue to keep really sparse and it feels great.

Kathi (06:21.421)

Yes.

Kathi (06:32.234)

Okay, well, the conviction is here. I have, our bedroom is big. It’s the biggest bedroom we’ve ever owned. And I love our bed. I’ve got a Suzani print couch that is just, it’s everything I love. And then I have the gray chair. And the gray chair collects all the things and has no business being in there. But I had room.

And my cluttery brain says, but you have room for it. But it brings me no joy. Why do I still have it? Why did I need you to come on a podcast for me to say, okay, it’s time to get rid of it?

Myquillyn (07:11.349)

Because our default is that empty space is like incorrect and needs to be filled. Empty space is waiting to be, it’s unfinished, which is not true. We need margin in our lives, in our decor, in our schedule, in so many things, but like I’ve learned to, sometimes I can’t get it through my brain. Like actually I would enjoy having less in my family room. So I do a little practice, I call it house hushing, where I just tell myself, you know what?

Kathi (07:37.944)

Yes.

Myquillyn (07:39.605)

we’re gonna give it 24 hours. I’m gonna just take all my little cute tchotchkes and smalls and my clocks and my pillows and my plants. And I’m gonna take everything extraneous out, just have the furniture, and I just put it in another room like crazy in the dining room on the table for 24 hours. And it’s like zen and relaxing and without fail every time I choose out of my own free will.

Kathi (07:44.857)

Mm-hmm.

Myquillyn (08:04.981)

to not bring as much in. No one has to, I don’t have to like pick up everything and ask if I love it or if it brings me joy. I don’t have to like clear and make decision fatigue. I just experience the results first of like a quieted simple space. And then I can choose if I want to get rid of something. It’s like, to me, it’s backwards decluttering and it works.

Kathi (08:10.944)

Right?

Kathi (08:25.59)

Yes. It’s the creep. It’s the creep of life. Like, I love this little thing. I’m going to put it here. I love this little thing. I love this little thing, but I don’t love the 72 little things that end up in my kitchen in six months if I don’t do something about it. And I’m not talking about, you know, the bread tie. I’m talking about the little planter or, you know, the little thing that my friend gave me.

Myquillyn (08:41.761)

Yes.

Myquillyn (08:49.975)

Yes.

Kathi (08:53.214)

And it’s okay to enjoy things for a season and then release them. And I’ve also learned it’s okay to just have that thing that my friend gave me out in the fall. It’s not a fall decoration and I love it, but it doesn’t need to be out 365 days a year because I enjoy a quieter space. I really do. I love that. And if you live near me,

Myquillyn (08:57.762)

Yes.

Myquillyn (09:18.133)

Yep.

Kathi (09:22.23)

Check Freecycle for this really beautiful but unnecessary gray chair that needs to that needs to go Okay Again for my clutter free people you are in our brains friend rule a one sane space Talk about that

Myquillyn (09:40.693)

That came about when we were living in a fixer upper and every room was in chaos. We didn’t have a sink in the kitchen. We had like plastic sheets as walls, you know, a weird electrical thing. You could get electrocuted if you weren’t careful. And I just remember thinking, okay we got to have, we have to feel like a little bit normal. We can’t have every room be in chaos. So even with the plastic walls, I just got some paint and I painted over because it was like

Hunter green walls with the wallpaper. I pulled down the border real quick. Didn’t prep it perfectly, just thought, I gotta get something up and we’ll do it better in a few months. Threw a white paint on the wall, put a rug down, got our sectional in there, a couple pillows, a lamp, the television, the dog bed, like we can watch Andy Griffith, we can watch Survivor at night. A place for our family to feel relaxed and like.

sanity in the midst of living in a complete fixer upper. And even if you’re not in a fixer upper, if you’re, the relief of having one space that feels however you need it to feel, maybe it’s more minimal, maybe it’s more cozy at this stage in your life, while you do things in your other rooms is really powerful.

Kathi (10:57.986)

Not 20 minutes before we started these interviews, I was on a call with a nurse talking through her clutter situation. And she’s sneezing through the whole thing and is just sick and run down. And she goes, but I need to declutter, I need to declutter. And like, you cannot make any decisions right now. What I want you to do is just, where do you spend most of your time when you’re

as you’re recovering, she goes, in my living room. I said, I just need you to have a clear spot where your eye line isn’t seeing any clutter. And we can deal with this when you have more energy to make decisions and to do what you need to do, but you have to have a place to rest. And if your eyes are distracted by things, all these hanging chads, all these things that still need to be done.

You can never rest. Your brain is always flipping on, oh, it’s the hunter green paint. Oh, the dog’s bed isn’t in here because I don’t wanna get stuff on. You just have to have one place that you can open your eyes and rest. And this is, I love the name of it, One Sane Space. I’ve never thought of it. I always say you just have to have one place where you can escape, but Sane Space says,

No, I can rest and recover in this area. I love that so, so much. Okay, we’re going deeper into the rules, my friend. Number 98, make your own house rules. So explain this, and I wanna hear a few of yours, and I’ve got a couple of my own as well, because I have done this, but explain this concept.

Myquillyn (12:49.761)

Well, I give a book of 100 house rules and that’s one of them. I think that we should all come up with our own rules to live by. You know, about 10 years ago on Pinterest, it was a big thing. Everyone was making their own wooden sign with like house rules, you know, dogs on the sofa and whatever, no, whatever. It was like all fun things. I love that. Like that’s one of the reasons that I liked this name for the book because I think culturally it conjures up that memory of like the fun.

Kathi (12:53.292)

Right?

Kathi (13:04.212)

Yes.

Myquillyn (13:18.541)

house rules, the relaxed house rules. But one of my personal decorating house rules is that I like my life full of color, but I like my house full of neutrals. I am persnickety and I change my mind. In the spring, if I am furniture shopping, I will buy teal furniture and blue furniture. And in the summer, I want red and pink furniture. And in the fall, I want rusty colors and muddy. And in the winter, I want white. Like I have learned, I can tell when I buy a piece of furniture,

that’s a color based on this, because it was like the season, whatever season was, the color I’m craving. I cannot do that, because I can’t buy a new sofa every four months. So, I learned I am way too like finicky and wanting to change my colors. So I will get all of my base things neutral. And then if I want colored sheets, if I want colored pillows, if I want a colored sweater, I’ll put up books with colors and flowers with colors.

Kathi (13:51.788)

Oh, yeah.

Kathi (13:57.856)

Right.

Kathi (14:10.798)

Hmm

Myquillyn (14:15.585)

but I’m not gonna buy my main pieces in color because I wanna change my mind, I wanna change it up too much. That is not a rule for everyone. Someone else might have the opposite rule and they should. So that’s my example, what is yours?

Kathi (14:24.77)

Right.

Kathi (14:30.946)

So I’ve got a practical one and I have a fun one. So in our house, flooring needs to be functional, not fabulous. And I just needed to do it because, I mean, we live where there is a high chance that chicken poop will get in our house at one point or another. We’re just not precious about stuff. And we need stuff that is functional. And we can put the pretty stuff

at waist level or above. But yeah, the floors just have, and I would never have chosen the floors that we have downstairs, but they’re exactly the right floors. The previous owners knew what they were doing when if we needed to, we could take a hose to them. We don’t do that, but we could if we needed to. And then the other thing is, my style is things we love.

And that’s just, there is nothing in my house that I don’t love. I used to have things in my house that other people loved. Like we had, I bought a pillow one time for Christmas and in red letters it says Joy. And I was so sad to put it away after Christmas. I’m like, is Joy just reserved for December? And so now I have this Joy pillow out all year long.

And it makes me so happy all year long. And it’s like, we only have things in our house that we love. And if there’s something in our house that we don’t love, we have to question, you know, I don’t love our emergency kit. We have it in our house, but it’s not something I’m displaying. And so that’s our style is things we love. And it’s never going to fit into any genre, but I…

I wake up every day and I’m happy. So

Myquillyn (16:31.021)

That is perfect. The whole goal is for you to love your home. You have arrived. Like when we love our home, we use our home. So do not change any of that.

Kathi (16:34.71)

Yeah.

Kathi (16:39.34)

Yes.

Yeah, and I’m reluctant to leave, because the world is not suited for me in any way, shape, or form, but my house is. Okay, this one. You’re a genius, this is all I’m gonna say. Rule number 99, make a we did it list. This is genius, please expand upon what this concept is.

Myquillyn (16:50.605)

and I’ll see you next time.

Myquillyn (17:06.989)

Gosh, I think when it comes to home, we are so focused on all the stuff we have to do and all the undone decisions and all the ceiling fan that needs to be replaced and we haven’t gotten to the back porch yet and the flooring in there. If we can take a moment and take stock of all the things we have done, I do this at least every year and look back like everything in our house, we do it with our goals too, like what we did with our family, but.

Kathi (17:16.91)

Hehehehe

Myquillyn (17:34.561)

You and everything counts. If we made a chicken coop, if we replaced the faucet, if I’m like, and I dusted behind the sofa, write that down, you know, change the light fixture, whatever, it all counts. I think we would be shocked at what we accomplish in a year, in a month in our home. We need to give ourselves credit for all that we’ve done in caring for our home.

Kathi (17:59.246)

And do not discount making a chicken coop because let’s be clear the one we got was advertised as like a Michaels do-it-yourself project and it turned out to be a Home Depot expert pro project It I mean it is it is a fabulous chicken coop, but holy cow. Yes I think it’s we have such I do this with decorating I do this with God, but what have you done lately? What have you done lately like?

Myquillyn (18:12.301)

It’s true.

Kathi (18:28.074)

You know, yes, I have worked so hard on my house. I forget what it was like to move out of the upstairs of our house to put flooring down. You might as well burn the house down and start over again. It is so much work, but it’s done. And it’s done for the next hopefully 20 years. But it’s so easy to focus on, yeah, but the kitchen light fixture. Like I haven’t done the kitchen light fixture.

Myquillyn (18:43.894)

I’m dead.

Kathi (18:56.858)

And I love that you’re taking stock. And this is so true in our cluttery communities. We always talk about, we declutter and then it just gets to look like that again. But here’s the thing, once you get the stuff out of your house, you never ever have to deal with that book or piece of furniture or piece of clothing ever again for the rest of your life. You may have to deal on what you’re bringing into the house but look at what you’ve done.

And we’re so proud when our kids do something, we need to also recognize ourselves for the accomplishments we’re doing. Because let’s be honest, some of these projects are hard and they take big grownup decision making that is sometimes, and you’ve saved money to do things. And if you’ve brought in outside help, that doesn’t always go the way, and you have to negotiate with the people you live with. And so anytime you accomplish something, it is…

It is a win. And guys, if you are ready to, especially if you’ve done some decluttering, I really think one of the best things you can do for yourself, and I know I learned this term from you, after you’ve quieted your house, you can take a look around and say, is there something that I want to do? Because now that my house isn’t screaming clutter at me, it can reveal its personality. It can reveal who it is.

And guys, I’m just gonna really encourage you. Take a look at this book, House Rules, How to Decorate for Every Home, Style, and Budget. Myquillyn this is, I get so inspired when I spend time with you. Thank you so much for your time and your wisdom today.

Myquillyn (20:37.341)

Oh, Kathi, you are so dear. You could, you know all of this. You don’t even need me. Like you are beyond. So I just, so happy to know you and man, you are so wise.

Kathi (20:49.758)

Okay, even if that was true, here’s what you do. You help me be brave. You help me not get, I think so many of us who deal with clutter are such, we’re perfectionists in such hard ways. We don’t do anything until we know we can do it 100%. And you’ve given me permission to say, even if I think I can do it, I should try. I’m probably not gonna burn the house down. I probably am not going to have to repaint the whole room. And…

You know, maybe some $20 decisions are okay to take a flyer on. So I know a lot of what you teach, but you helped me be brave to enact it. And that’s what I want for everybody in my community. So thank you. Thank you, friend.

Myquillyn (21:36.749)

Oh, happy to be here. Thank you.

Kathi (21:39.69)

And friends, thank you for being here. You are the best part of us gathering each week. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you’ve always wanted to live.

#614 Breaking Free from Decorating “Rules”: Creating a Home You Love Part 1

#614 Breaking Free from Decorating “Rules”: Creating a Home You Love Part 1

614 – Breaking Free from Decorating “Rules”: Creating a Home You Love Part 1

Do you feel like some people are just born with a decorating gene?

Our guest today says no one is!

In today’s episode, we have Myquillyn Smith, also known as the Nester, joining us to discuss her new book “House Rules: How to Decorate for Every Home Style and Budget.” Kathi Lipp and Myquillyn dive into the challenges of decorating and the importance of embracing resourcefulness. They emphasize the value of breaking decorating rules and share practical advice for transforming your living space, such as:

  • Start with something you hate
  • Do your “someday project” right now! Don’t wait!
  • Resourcefulness is the ultimate resource.

Tune in to learn more about Myquillyn’s insightful perspective on home decor and how it can positively impact your life.

As promised, here’s a look at the tile in Kathi’s Monet-inspired kitchen!

Order a copy of Myquillyn Smith’s newest book House Rules here

Sign up here to be notified when 615 Myquillyn Smith House Rules Part 2 is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.

The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life

When it comes to your home, peace is possible…

Longing for a place of peace from which you can love others well? The Clutter-Free Home is your room-by-room guide to decluttering, reclaiming, and celebrating every space of your home.

Let author Kathi Lipp (who once lived a life buried in clutter) walk you through each room of your house to create organizational zones that are not only functional and practical but create places of peace that reflect your personality. Kathi will help you tackle the four-step process of dedicate, decide, declutter and “do-your-thing” to reveal the home you’ve always dreamed of, and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

If you’re also feeling overwhelmed by the care and upkeep of all the stuff under your feet or sense that your home is running you, instead of the other way around, come discover how to create a space that doesn’t have to be showroom perfect to be perfect for you and the people you love.

Order your copy here!

Favorite Links:

Myquillyn Smith’s website The Nester.com

Myquillyn Smith on Instagram @thenester

Order Myquillyn’s newest book HOUSE RULES: How to Decorate for Every Home, Style, and Budget here

Take Myquillyn’s decorating quiz here

Are there any specific examples from the episode where Myquillyn Smith’s advice on decorating has challenged your preconceived notions about home design?

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 

 

Myquillyn Smith

MYQUILLYN SMITH, also known as “The Nester,” is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Welcome Home and Cozy Minimalist Home. For the past 17 years, she’s been encouraging women to embrace their space—imperfections and all—and make it their own. Her previous homes have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Cottages & Bungalows. She recently purchased and redecorated a1905 Queen Anne Victorian home in Morganton, North Carolina, the inspiration for her new book House Rules. She’s never met a home she didn’t love.

Find her online at TheNester.com and on Instagram @TheNester.

Transcript

Kathi (00:01.03)
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 guys, I am the, I’m just so jazzed. I’m so jazzed because she is the author of many of my favorite books. She has changed my relationship with drywall. And I just, I need you, if you have not met her through this podcast, I need you to just be as excited as I am. You guys, it’s Myquillyn Smith . She is known as the Nestor.

We’re gonna be talking about a million things But one of the things we’re gonna be talking about today is her brand new book house rules How to decorate for every home style and budget and guys she actually means it Myquillyn Smith and welcome back to the podcast

Myquillyn (01:10.567)
I am so glad to be here. What is this about your relationship with drywall?

Kathi (01:15.098)
Okay, okay, so I never hung anything in my houses because I was scared of making nail holes.

Myquillyn (01:22.786)
Oh, in your precious drywall, okay. Yes.

Kathi (01:24.798)
in my precious drywall, because if I made a hole in that drywall, it would be there till Jesus came back. Like it didn’t occur to me that I could patch it and repaint it, because this is what the patriarchy has done to me. I thought that could only be done by a licensed man. Right, right. You have to start all over again.

Myquillyn (01:42.128)
Yes.

Myquillyn (01:48.166)
Burn the house down, rebuild it.

Kathi (01:53.242)
And to understand that not only could I patch that wall, but I could paint it, and that it would not stand out to every single human being who came into my house and they would point and mock me for doing such a terrible job. You’ve just taught me a new way to live with my house. That’s what I’m gonna say.

Myquillyn (02:19.746)
I think you should just do this whole podcast without me. You already know. Well, that, that is something. I’m impressed.

Kathi (02:22.69)
Yeah, no, that’s not going to happen. You’re stuck with me.

Kathi (02:29.486)
I, well, okay, because Kim, first of all, I wanna dig into your notebook, but let’s just talk about kind of your relationship with homes for a moment here, because how many places have you lived as an adult?

Myquillyn (02:43.93)
This, I am now, right, I am in house number 15 as a married woman who the house is my house and my job. My husband and I have been married 29 years and yeah, we’ve moved a lot.

Kathi (02:56.834)
That’s a house every other year. On average.

Myquillyn (02:59.39)
Yes, and you know, one house we lived in for 10 years, so I don’t know how the math works out, but I believe every house has potential, every house has a silver lining, and I see the world through home-colored glasses.

Kathi (03:05.094)
Wow.

Kathi (03:14.314)
Well, and also what I love about you is you see the world through. It’s not a flaw. It’s a challenge. It’s a problem to be solved. And it’s not even a problem to be solved. It’s, it’s something that you’re going to discover something amazing about yourself, but I am going to call you a liar right from the start. I knew you’d be okay with this. And by the way, you guys, she knows what she’s talking about. New York times bestseller. Like.

Myquillyn (03:36.699)
Go for it.

Kathi (03:44.166)
I her books are amazing. But she said that, that nobody is born with a decorating gene. And I, I’m just gonna call liar, pants on fire, because I just feel like everybody was born with more of a decorating thumb than I was, you know, how some people can naturally take care of plants. Like, I was not that person either. But I think they’re

Some of you have the gift and some of us do not.

Myquillyn (04:17.158)
I’ve never heard it called the decorating thumb. I will never forget that. It is exquisite. Listen, I know what you’re saying. There are some people that seem predisposed to making great decorating decisions. Let me tell you, they started with the Barbies, just like I did. We all have something that we’re drawn to, that we’re willing to figure out why this works. Why do we like it? And we probably started when we were kids. Maybe you were into math, maybe you were into cars, maybe you were into sports.

Kathi (04:27.815)
Mm-hmm.

Myquillyn (04:45.858)
and you started figuring stuff out at a young age. And so it just seemed to everyone else that you were natural, had the thumb, but I think it’s just you made mistakes young and you eased into it. I know that’s what I did. I still make mistakes in decorating all the time. I don’t even think of it that way. I’m just like, oops, that didn’t work. Learn something about myself. Learn something about my house.

Kathi (04:54.316)
Yeah.

Kathi (05:09.006)
Okay, so what is, so is it, and I think I know your answer, but let’s do it for the at-home audience. Because I know what I like when I’m on Pinterest or when I’m thumbing through one of your books, or I see somebody do the thing, but to translate it to my own home feels risky and scary and well,

Like, what is the leap there? That’s my question.

Myquillyn (05:42.134)
It’s really difficult because a lot of what we see is people making, creating beautiful rooms from scratch, from nothing, and none of us are like that. We’re all starting with some stuff that we got handed down, some stuff we can’t quite replace yet because we don’t have the budget or we’re waiting for the kids to get out of the house. A few things that we need to purchase new and we know that. Some things that we don’t love but our husband loves it. And so we have baggage.

Kathi (05:51.601)
Uh, right.

Myquillyn (06:11.53)
A room full of baggage. And that is what we don’t really see on TV is like a show about, well, they have to actually keep their sofa. So now what? But that’s what real decorating is all about. That’s where our confident decision making happens is not, you know, I don’t think it takes much skill. It does take skill to like go in an empty room. That sounds actually very intimidating. It’s a different kind of intimidating because the sky is the limit. In some ways it’s nice.

Kathi (06:13.003)
Right.

Kathi (06:20.471)
Right.

Kathi (06:32.482)
Mm-hmm.

Myquillyn (06:39.45)
to have some limitations to say, here’s the sofa, we’re gonna work with it. Or here’s a bay window and it’s gonna stay. Or here is the brick fireplace and we’re renting and we can’t paint it. How can we make this room look the best with what we have? I’m your girl for that. There are universal decorating truths that help you no matter what your style, no matter what your budget, that will just help you make more confident decisions. Understanding, one rule is like respect your boss. Not all rooms have a boss.

Kathi (06:54.957)
Yes.

Myquillyn (07:09.274)
But when you do, it’s maybe you’re in a kitchen and you have dark wood cabinets. Maybe you’re like I was in my last house. We had these orange pine, they were beautiful, but they were like these 25 year old leathery patina, really dark orange bossy floors. So you have a choice when you have a boss. You can work with your boss or you can change your boss, but what you can’t do is ignore your boss.

Kathi (07:16.951)
Mm-hmm.

Myquillyn (07:38.742)
and we all have hospitals to work with. And so that meant I could change my floors or I could keep my floors, but I didn’t get to ignore my floors and pretend like they were light oak, like everyone is using now, because my stuff would look bad with it if I did that.

Kathi (07:39.528)
Mmm.

Kathi (07:51.795)
Wait.

Kathi (07:55.13)
Yeah, it’s okay. So I love that you feel like, and I guess I just always figured everybody else is starting from scratch. And it’s just not true. Because I’m like, but they don’t have the x, y, z that I have, they don’t have this constraint, or they don’t have the budget limitations that I do. And, or you know what, I want maybe I’ve got the budget, but I don’t want to spend all my money on

You know, I want to live. I want to eat. I want to go on vacation someday. And so I want to make different choices. And by the way, you guys, also, Michael is the boss of putting contact paper on her fireplace. And so if you have not seen that it. Yeah. A revolution. OK. I want it. It really is like who does that, right? Who does that? You do that. And so.

But it’s made such a, it’s, I think it gave a lot of us a freedom that we didn’t have to do things right. And it’s really interesting to try to push back on some of that stuff. I did something recently, it was really funny. My mom said, you can’t do that. And I put up a towel rack in our living room and she’s like, why would you, that looks, that’s gonna look stupid, you can’t do that.

And I said, but it’s to hang quilts that you made. She goes, oh, that might look good. And so she’s like on board with that. But you know what? It’s one of my favorite things in the house. And it’s just, it’s a little bit weird. It’s a little bit different, but we don’t have to do everything so it’s gonna last a hundred years. It can be right now.

Myquillyn (09:37.838)
Yeah. Yeah, well, I mean, that’s what home is for. Shouldn’t it suit how your family needs to use your home and celebrating the favorite things in your life? I think that makes perfect sense. I love that idea.

Kathi (09:52.522)
Yeah, I had to get over the concept of, I’m gonna do that in my someday home, my someday home, my someday home. And yeah, like the biggest, boldest thing I’ve ever done, we had, I saw Monet’s kitchen. I don’t know if you, it’s a blue and white tiled kitchen. It’s absolute, it looks like a jewel. And I did it. I did like custom tiles and yeah, go look up Monet’s kitchen.

Myquillyn (10:17.714)
What? Is this on your Instagram? I’m like looking at going to look for your Instagram right now. Is it on?

Kathi (10:22.338)
Oh, I don’t even know if it’s on there. I don’t even know if it’s on. Okay, I’ll send you a picture. I’ll put it on the show notes for this as well. But I wanna, yes, but you gave me the bravery to go do something and not wait until it’s the last house I ever have, because this, you know, this is a 10 year house. This isn’t a hundred year house for us. And you gave me the bravery to do that. Okay, I wanna talk about some of your rules, which is funny because I think of you as the least rule person.

Myquillyn (10:50.894)
Same, I hate it. Yeah, what in the world? And then it’s terrifying to write a book with the word rules in it, because all the people like us are like, not for me. But the first rule is learn the rules and break them beautifully. So we all, we love to be a rule breaker, but I want us to break the rules because we know our room’s gonna look better. Not because we don’t know better and we’re stupid.

Kathi (10:50.954)
when it comes to decorating.

Kathi (11:05.516)
Yes.

Kathi (11:13.186)
I love that so much. Okay. I’m just picking out some of my favorites and the ones that I think my clutter My cluttery comrades are going to really identify with okay rule number seven. You can’t ruin something that you already Okay, why do we make sacred cows out of ugly things?

Myquillyn (11:28.833)
Amen.

Myquillyn (11:33.698)
out of the thing we hate the most and we like can’t even sell it a yard sale. Yes, yeah those are the things to put in. You say I hate my house and I don’t know where to begin. Okay, I want you to find something in your house that you hate that you can’t ruin. For some people that might be a nightstand in their garage. It might be like me a canvas that my son had in his room that I was getting ready to take to the

Kathi (11:37.679)
Right? What is that about? So how do you live this out?

Kathi (12:01.291)
Mm-hmm.

Myquillyn (12:02.858)
it might be the brick on your fireplace that you hate. And you can decide that, you know what? I already dislike it. What is the worst that can happen? I hate it again. So that gives us the freedom to take a risk. And we should, you know, I want us to grow in our risk taking. Don’t start by ordering a custom sofa or like Parisian rugs or something. No, no, no. Start with like something you can just go take to the dump.

Kathi (12:11.864)
Mm-hmm.

Myquillyn (12:30.794)
if it doesn’t turn out or that you can just paint over. So starting with something you hate is a great place to start.

Kathi (12:37.482)
Well, and I remember from your first book, you painted brick. And I mean, you hated the brick, you painted it, you loved the brick, but other people were telling you, you can’t do that.

Myquillyn (12:47.461)
Yes.

Listen, one of the painters wouldn’t even give me a quote. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to an old money neighborhood, but all the houses are painting brick. I did not invent painting brick, but suddenly I was like, she’s Satan, because I wanted to paint my brick. And of course it looked amazing.

Kathi (12:57.294)
Bye.

Kathi (13:07.706)
Yes, absolutely. Okay, rule number five. Resourcefulness is the ultimate resource. Okay, so I just have to tell you in my clutter-free academy we talk about our resources all the time. Space, time, energy, and money. But we have this outlier and it’s creativity and resourcefulness that can supercharge your other four resources and but

Myquillyn (13:33.478)
That’s good.

Kathi (13:35.478)
you know, because we all have a limitation. You know, when I was younger, I had more time, but no money. And now I have less time. Well, you know what? I would say it’s less energy right now, because yeah, let’s just be honest. But also I’ve got more money, so we can balance this out. But that creativity and that resourcefulness can supercharge any of our limitations. So.

What do you mean by resourcefulness is our best resource?

Myquillyn (14:09.326)
I totally agree with everything you just said. I think that many of us are doing what you mentioned earlier. We’re waiting for our next house. We are waiting for perfect circumstances. And to me, the most resourceful thing you can do is to say, you know what, I’m done waiting and I’m going to move forward in spite of my imperfect circumstances. And I’m gonna be resourceful. I’m gonna look at what I have and

Maybe all you have is you own your house and you have freedom and can make all the decisions in the world and then like you said pair that with some creativity. You know there’s all I teach like 11 different resources I teach in my community. I can’t think of them off the top it’s the five o’clock but you said them than I ever could you know them better than I know any of them. We just

I think we underestimate it because it feels like, well, unless I have whatever it is that we don’t have the most, we feel like that’s the one most.

Kathi (15:10.95)
Right. Or you look at somebody who, you know, they’ve got all, they’ve done a hundred houses, they’re on the HDTV, and they have a way of doing things, and you can’t do it, or you don’t wanna do it that same way. And so we just say, okay, that’s not for me. But if we could get creative, we can do research. Research is a resource.

You know, community is a resource. There are so many places that we can get inspiration and ideas and just make it, I think also bravery is a resource that we, to try something and be willing to fail at it. I think that, you know, in my first marriage, I lived with a perfectionist who couldn’t tolerate any chaos. And

It really limited what I felt like I could do or I could get away with. And when you take those constraints off and you say, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s a really freeing statement to let you be able to do more of what you want to do.

Myquillyn (16:17.562)
That’s so beautiful. I love that.

Kathi (16:20.586)
Well, I’m learning it all from the master, really. I mean, I have to tell you how many times I have read your first book and I lent it to somebody who was not a reliable person and I bought your book again. So, because it just has made such a difference in my life. And guys, she’s gonna continue to make a difference. We’re gonna have her back next week. But guys, this is the week that House Rules comes out, how to decorate for every home, style and budget. I’m gonna have links.

in the show notes. We’re also gonna be talking about it in the Clutter Free community. So if you’re not already a part of that, you’re definitely going to want to be. And, Michael and I’m so glad you’re gonna be back with us for the next episode. You know, if people wanna find out more about your community, how do they do that?

Myquillyn (17:12.166)
Just go to themester.com. You can take my quiz and figure out what decorating era you’re in. You can follow me on Instagram. The books are in your library. They’re at your library books. I’m around. I’m all over the place talking about home.

Kathi (17:26.798)
Can I just say, I love that you said they’re at the library. Yes, you know what? Go and check it out. And if you’re as jazzed about her as I am, then you can go buy it because, you know, there are also late fees if you don’t return things to some libraries. And it may just… Yes, I, guys, request it because those librarians, they are our best friends and they listen.

Myquillyn (17:44.526)
at your library, I would love that.

Kathi (17:55.046)
Okay friends, you’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy, I’m Cathy Lip. Now, go create the clutter free life you’ve always wanted to live.