#373: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part 2)

#373: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part 2)

If you need to declutter your to-do list, you are in good company! In this week’s podcast, Kathi continues her conversation with Tonya Kubo, grand poohbah of all things Clutter Free Academy online, about how to declutter your to-do list.

In Part One of this episode, Kathi and Tonya shared their own proven tips for managing an overwhelming to-do list and resetting when things feel out-of-hand. Today, they discuss how to use your calendar instead of a to-do list to bring wisdom and peace into your days.

Psalm 90:12 (KJV) says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” This powerful shift helps us to follow those words. You’ll discover how using a calendar to declutter your to-do list:

  • Helps you prioritize
  • Teaches you to guard your time
  • Can bring peace to others around you
  • Allows for relaxation in the midst of busy seasons
Check out Tonya’s new Facebook group, The Secret to Thriving Online Communities.
 

We would love to stay connected. To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

 

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com or  www.GreatMoms.org

#372: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part One)

#372: Declutter Your To-Do List (Part One)

This week, Kathi is joined by Tonya Kubo, fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group, to discuss strategies for dealing with an overwhelming to-do list. They share their own proven tips for making an overwhelming to-do list manageable and resetting when things feel out-of-hand.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to declutter an overwhelming to-do list through:

  • Developing realistic expectations for what you can accomplish in the time you have
  • Prioritizing the most important tasks
  • Breaking larger items down into doable steps

Make sure you listen in next week to hear Part Two of “Declutter Your To-Do List”, where Kathi shares how to use your calendar as your to-do list and find some sanity in your schedule. Better yet, subscribe below and have each Clutter Free Academy episode delivered to you!

Check out Kathi’s book with Cheri Gregory, Overwhelmed, to learn more about how to quiet the chaos and restore your sanity.

To stay connected with others like Kathi and Tonya do, check out the Voxer app.

We would love to stay connected!

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com and www.GreatMoms.org

EMPTY NEST FULL LIFE: Kids and Stuff Go Hand in Hand

EMPTY NEST FULL LIFE: Kids and Stuff Go Hand in Hand

Kids and stuff go hand in hand.

There are school papers and toys and permission slips and awards and backpacks and treasures and art projects and…the list goes on and on.

Having to manage their stuff while they’re living under your roof is to be expected, but what about when they’re NOT living under your roof anymore? You now have an empty nest and a full house. What do you do with your adult child’s stuff that they haven’t taken with them?

We have five young adult children. Three are married, but they all live out on their own. At one point our nest was empty, but our attic was not! It was full of our adult kids’ memorabilia, awards, sports equipment, and even some furniture.

As you walk towards the clutter-free life, what do you do about the stuff that belongs to your adult kids? Here are nine strategies we’ve found helpful:

Identify their status: are they in transition or settled in?

When you have an adult child that’s in transition, you might choose to give a little grace until they are in a more settled place. Our second oldest daughter’s husband was in the Army for four years. She moved home twice during each of his year-long deployments, so we gave some grace on keeping some of their items in our home until he left the Army and settled down. One of our sons is currently living abroad. He has two small pieces of furniture he couldn’t take with him but he didn’t want to get rid of that he asked us to keep in the attic. We were okay saying yes to that.

Give a warning.

You’ve likely been thinking about this for a while, but your kids probably have not—out of sight, out of mind—right? Every child is different, but especially if you have a “saver,” it’s important to give them a heads up that you’re going to need them to deal with their stuff in the near future.

Set a realistic deadline.

Let them know that you’re renovating the bedroom/cleaning out the attic or garage/having a yard sale on a certain date. Ask them to come get what they want to keep or sell themselves by that date. Let them know that anything that’s theirs in your house after that date will be sold, donated, or disposed of on that date. (And you’ll be keeping the proceeds from any sales!) Then do exactly what you communicated you would do.

Be prepared for your own emotional responses.

It may be hard for you, but you have to keep your eye on the target—to live light, free, and not weighed down with stuff. Getting rid of things doesn’t get rid of the memories. You always have those with you, and you don’t need their things to remember.

Adjust your expectations.

The items you thought were important to save may not be important at all to your child. That has to be okay. You have to allow your child to have differing priorities than you do. They have to have the freedom to assign a different meaning to stuff than you do. Resist the urge to try to convince your child of why something should be important to them. He or she is different than you and that has to be okay.

Understand today’s young adults.

In general, millennials (born 1981 to 1996) and GenZ (born 1997 to today) are disposable generations. They are a generation or two away from a direct influence of the Great Depression where you learned to save everything and use it in some way. Many of today’s young adults are minimalists and not very attached to their stuff. One of our daughters and her husband have sold everything and traveled full time not once, but twice! They are not attached to things at all. While I treasure some of my great-grandmother’s antiques in my own home, I may be the last generation in our family to do so, and that’s got to be okay. We have to resist the urge to pressure our kids to value something because we value it.

Use your phone.

As you are decluttering, take photos of questionable items and text them to your kids for quick decisions. Accept their answers. Remember, however, there may be special items (NOT EVERYTHING!) none of the kids want (such as their Dad’s train set) that you might choose to keep because your adult kids may not be at the age or stage of life where they might use or appreciate them. You could wait on those few things until they are further down the road of life with children of their own.

Have a plan for sentimental baby items.

Maybe you brought each of your children home in the same outfit and you’re not sure what to do with something like that. Could you frame it and put it in a wall photo collage with each child’s baby pictures? Things in boxes aren’t enjoyed. Is there a way you can enjoy the things that mean the most to you?

Think about future generations.

We’ve gotten rid of many toys over the years, but I kept my kids’ Rescue Heroes, Little People, and Legos as well as some books and other small toys they all enjoyed. Now our grandchildren are enjoying those classic toys when they visit, and they are vastly different than the toys they have at home.

One of the best parts of the empty nest is being able to reclaim the use of your house in a way that fits your passions and interests. With a little bit of communication and effort, you can make sure you’re not tripping over the past on your way to the future you’re creating.


All images © Michael Gowin Photography, 217-737-7908, www.gowinphotography.com, Lincoln, IL. Images may not be printed, copied, reproduced, or distributed without written permission from the photographer.

Jill Savage is the author of fourteen books including her newest book Empty Nest Full Life: God’s Best For Your Next. You can find out more information about Jill and her resources for empty nest or close-to-empty-nest moms at www.EmptyNestBook.com.

How to Say “Good Morning!” (And Actually Mean It)

How to Say “Good Morning!” (And Actually Mean It)

Wouldn’t it be great if every morning could be like Saturday? We’d spend our mornings on the couch in fuzzy slippers with a steaming mug of coffee, reading something we enjoy. No alarm clocks or schedules—just an easy, breezy start to the day with no stress.

But, alas, other days of the week require us to suit up and use our God-given gifts and talents, so there’s no time for cozying up. Those are the days we face the race against the clock to get out the door. Or in my case, get behind my desk and fire up my laptop.

And can I just tell you that I’ve had my share of crazy mornings? Like the time we really needed to be somewhere on time, and after a long, panicked search for my keys, they were found in the pantry. (I mean, what in the actual world?)

Mornings are not always good.

But there is a way to make them better. When we establish a morning routine, we set ourselves up to have a smooth morning. We can be at our best for our people for the rest of the day. Having a daily plan can make the difference between frantic, mad dashes out the door and a calm, semi-peaceful morning.

Sorry, I can’t promise 100% peace. For example, I can’t help you keep your teenage daughters from fighting over the bathroom or toddler boys from launching toys over the back of the couch. But knowing where your purse and keys are as you leave the house? That’s sanity, right there.

There are 3 elements of a good morning routine:

It’s written and posted.
You want to write all of the steps down and post them somewhere you’ll see them in the morning. If it takes a cup of coffee (or three) to get your brain functioning in the morning, you’ll be able to refer to it without having to remember which step is next.

It’s realistic.
To develop a morning routine, you’ll want to perform each of the steps to see how long they actually take. For us optimists, this is the hardest part. We want to believe we can apply our makeup and dry our hair in 15 minutes, but for most of us, this is unrealistic. When you’ve determined how long your routine takes, you’ll know what time to set your alarm clock.

It’s flexible.
You want to leave some margin time, for when the unexpected happens. We all hope the 3-yr-old doesn’t dump cereal on the floor, but that’s like hoping it won’t get hot and humid in the South in July. (Parenting hack: never pour more than you’re willing to clean up.)

 

What do you put on your morning routine list?

Short answer: everything you do in the morning. Also, everything you need to do in the morning, but you don’t have time because you haven’t planned for it.

Start a load of laundry.
Maybe “laundry day” is the highlight of your week (if you’re really, really weird), but if you’re like most people, having piles of clothes to wash, dry, fold and put away can suck the life out of you. Not to mention the panicked feeling if there’s nothing to wear when laundry day is preempted by an urgent interruption. You’ll want to make sure your evening routine includes finishing the load, so you don’t have to re-wash it 4 times. (More on the evening routine next month.)

Unload the Dishwasher.
The key to making an unpleasant task palatable is to make a game of doing it as quickly as possible. Can you beat yesterday’s time? When you invest a few minutes in the morning, it makes your whole day (and evening routine) much easier. It enables you to load dirty dishes immediately throughout the day, rather than piling them in the sink. Not only does it save time doing the dishes later, but a clean kitchen gives you a psychological boost. An empty sink just feels better.

Groom and dress yourself.
We’ve all had that dream where we showed up to work or school in our pajamas, but there’s a pretty good chance you won’t skip this step. Nevertheless, include it in your written plan for two reasons: 1) You’ll factor in the time with the rest of the list and 2) It will be an easy item to check off.

Water the garden.
For those who have a garden, this step is likely seasonal. Watering in the morning before the soil gets too hot will help conserve water and keep your plants healthy. I like to pull the weeds out each day too, before it becomes a big job. It’s easier to pull them when the soil is wet too.

Connect with God.
This is the one we’re so tempted to skip if we are rushing around. But it’s the step we also need the most if we’re rushing around. Even a few minutes of prayer can focus our thoughts and attitudes on what’s truly important for the day.

If you’re a parent or grandparent, sometimes it’s hard to know how to pray for your kids. Sally Burke and Cyndie Claypool De Neve have written a book called Raise Them Up: Praying God’s Word Over Your Kids. Sally and Cyndie understand the spiritual benefits of praying scripture over your kids. They say, “You may not realize this, but every atom is held together by an invisible force that scientists call gluon. If you split an atom, you get atomic power. And yet God’s Word is much more explosive and powerful than that.”


Giveaway Time!


Thanks to our fabulous friends over at Harvest House, we are able to give a few of you a free copy of Raise Them Up!

And one Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • Copy of Raise Them Right
  • Felt Letter Board
  • Ladder Toss Game

Leave a comment below to be entered to win. What are you putting on your morning routine list for summer?

*Giveaway for US residents only.

#370: Practical Steps to Take Care of Your Future Self (Even When You Don’t Feel Like it)

#370: Practical Steps to Take Care of Your Future Self (Even When You Don’t Feel Like it)

Join Kathi as she chats with friend and frequent guest Tonya Kubo on this week’s podcast. They will discuss everyday, practical ways to take care of your future self like unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, and planning ahead with your calendar. These simple tasks take care of your mental and emotional health while also empowering you to take care of those around you.

In this episode, we’ll learn that when you take care of your future self you also:

  • Save yourself the stress of scrambling last minute
  • Help yourself save money
  • Give yourself more options to choose what works best for you

We would love to stay connected. 

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com or  www.GreatMoms.org

#369: Decluttering Your Way to a Better Marriage (Really!)

#369: Decluttering Your Way to a Better Marriage (Really!)

This week, Kathi returns to her first love: helping you have a happier, better marriage. Kathi is joined by frequent guest and host of Clutter Free Academy online, Tonya Kubo, to discuss several ways that decluttering can help you build a better marriage. 

One of the most frequent questions Kathi is asked is, “What do I do about my husband’s stuff?” in this episode, you’ll learn more about her top three answers for that question:

  • Deal with your own stuff before you deal with your spouse’s stuff.
  • Don’t argue about stuff. Agree on space.
  • Discuss the reasons behind wanting to live a more clutter free life.

You’ll also learn how decluttering makes a better marriage by:

  • Reducing conflict
  • Giving you the opportunity to focus on ways to bless your spouse
  • Helping you see your spouse’s strengths
  • Even upping the level of romance in your relationship (really)!

To read more practical ways to build a better marriage, check out Kathi’s book, The Husband Project.

Learn more about Kathi and Roger’s favorite show to binge watch at the Red House, American Pickers.

We would love to stay connected. 

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.TonyaKubo.com and www.GreatMoms.org.