On today’s episode of the podcast, Kathi is back with authors Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory, for part 2 of the conversation on their new book Exhale. Kathi, Amy and Cheri discuss how to love who you are and live your one life well.
On today’s show you’ll learn:
Why we can’t love who we are without losing who we are not
How to tell the difference between comparing ourselves to someone else vs. being inspired by them
Why Iiving our one life well can mean not just getting rid of the things that are easy but also getting rid of the things that are hard
Thanks for Listening!
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What makes you a “seed sower”?
Leave a comment below to be entered to win a copy of Exhale.
Amy Carroll is a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries; the author of Breaking Up with Perfect; and a co-host for the podcast Grit ‘n’ Grace. Amy and her husband live in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Find out more at www.amycarroll.org.
Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.” Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities. Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.
On today’s episode of the podcast, Kathi is joined by Ty Pennington author of Life to the Extreme: How a Chaotic Kid Became America’s Favorite Carpenter. Kathi and Ty discuss clutter, creativity, Ty’s experience growing up with ADHD and the lessons he’s learned through the years.
On today’s show you’ll learn:
Why creativity actually thrives when thinking small
How limitations might seem like obstacles but are actually gifts
Why we often create our best stuff when the pressure’s on
Thanks for Listening!
Enter to win!
Giveaway! Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Life to the Extreme: How a Chaotic Kid Became America’s Favorite Carpenter.
Ty Pennington has been recognized as a leader in the field of volunteerism for his work on Extreme Makeover and Ty’s Great British Adventure. He is back on the small screen in the new Trading Spaces, Small Business Revolution and While You Were Out. He served as ambassador for the Sears American Dream campaign. In line with his passion for creative and practical housing, he frequently volunteers time with Abod Shelters Foundation, a charitable organization whose mission is to provide sustainable, quality housing to areas in need around the world. Learn more
One of the most frequent questions we get at Clutter Free Academy is “What about my kids’ clutter?”
Conflict over clutter can damage any relationship over time, but it’s especially crucial to navigate this issue carefully with your kids, because what you teach them right now will impact their lifestyles as adults.
As parents, we want to empower our children to have the life skills they need to succeed. Here are four ways we can help our children learn how to live a clutter-free life.
Schedule short decluttering times.
Time-boxing makes decluttering bearable for anyone, young or old. As adults, we’re more likely to focus better if we only have to do it for 15 minutes. Depending on your kids’ age, set a timer and make a game of it. For example, challenge your 5-year-old to clean out one drawer in 5 minutes.
Here at Clutter Free Academy, we don’t expect anyone to spend hours at a time decluttering, much less a child. Decluttering works best in small, manageable sessions.
By the way, we need to differentiate between cleaning and decluttering. Cleaning means putting things away, mopping, vacuuming, and dusting. Decluttering means getting rid of stuff you don’t use, love, or would buy again. Both are important, but in this post, we’re focusing on decluttering.
Teach by example.
It’s been said that in raising kids, more is caught than taught. They tend to learn more from what we do than what we say.
They aren’t born knowing how to declutter. The best way to teach them is to work side-by-side with them to show them the same decluttering systems we’ve learned as adults. Make sure they have the tools they need—3 boxes, 2 bags—so that they have a system in place to declutter. Go through the steps one by one: what to give away, what to throw away, and what to put away. Any trash or recycle goes into the bags.
Have a fun celebration when you empty the contents of the boxes and bags into their rightful places. (It doesn’t have to be a big deal—a sticker, a high five, or a “Yay! You did it!” works great.
Focus on one tiny space at a time.
Trying to declutter a large space is even more overwhelming for kids than it is for adults. Choose the smallest area possible and set the timer. Even better, let them choose which area is the most problematic for them. If they already see the value of decluttering, then you’ve won half the battle.
Divide up the closet into small sections, sort one drawer at a time, go through one toy box at a time. Decluttering is a gradual process. Their space didn’t get cluttery in a day, but a consistent habit of setting a timer to declutter a small space will result in big changes.
Help them maintain their space.
To help keep things organized and tidy, teach your child routines; set times during the day when they put away toys, backpacks, clothes, and anything else out of place. Even five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening will work wonders.
To help with motivation, make a timed game out of it, for fun. They’ll be motivated even more by getting consistent rewards each week for working through their routines. Before they know it, picking up their things becomes a habit.
When it comes to clutter, our relationship with our kids is so important. When we come alongside them and give them the tools and skills they need to create a clutter-free home, we free them up to be who God made them to be.
Parent-child dynamics are already challenging enough, especially between mothers and daughters. Reducing clutter conflict can go a long way to improve the relationship.
In their book, Mended, Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh talk about how to rebuild, restore, and reconcile the connections between mothers and daughters. One of their chapters deals with generational patterns and how hard they are to break. It takes intentionality and determination to change long-term habits and break learned clutter cycles.
The generous people over at Harvest House want to give some of our readers Daniel’s and McIntosh’s Mended. 5 people will win a copy and 1 grand prize winner will receive:
-1 Copy of Mended
-Assorted Note Cards
-Distressed Wood Frame
-Fruit Infuser Water Bottle
Enter to win by commenting below. What sorts of rewards motivate your kids the most? Which of these tips do you plan on implementing first?
On today’s episode of the podcast, Kathi is joined by Anne-Renee Gumley and Amanda Bacon, authors of the new book Shiny Things: Mothering on Purpose in a World of Distraction. Kathi, Anne-Renee and Amanda discuss the challenges of living and parenting with purpose in a time when we are inundated by distractions as well as offer some help for how to stay focused on your most important priorities.
On today’s show you’ll learn: • Why distraction and clutter are “kissing-cousins” • The biggest distractions for women • When distractions are harmless and when they are hurtful
Enter to win!
Giveaway! The generous people over at Harvest House want to give our readers Amanda Bacon and Anne-Renee Gumley’s book, Shiny Things. 5 people will win a copy and 1 grand prize winner will receive:
• A copy of Shiny Things • Rustic Felt Letter Board 10×10 • A Notebook Journal • 18 Colored Felt Pens
Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.
Meet Our Guest
Anne-Renee Gumley and Amanda Bacon
Anne-Renee Gumley and her husband, Andrew, live in Alaska, with their two children and a bunny. Her days are a messy mix of work, motherhood, and ministry, with time reserved for bike rides, breakfast foods, and bonfires. She loves words—especially the mom related ones.
Amanda Bacon lives in North Carolina with her husband, Jeremy, and their eight children. She works for Proverbs 31 Ministries and loves encouraging women with biblical truth and authenticity. When she isn’t driving carpool or feeding people, you can find her writing, reading, or wandering outdoors. Learn more.
How to Avoid Distractions and Live Out Your God-Given Purpose
When it comes down to it, clutter is a distraction.
As I walk around my house, trying to get ready to host a group of five of my favorite women for three days, I can feel annoyance with myself starting to rise.
Here are some thoughts that come to mind:
“Why do I have all these half-done projects lying around?”
“Why didn’t I finish unloading the dishwasher? Now I have to unload it before I load it.” (Because the dryer buzzer had gone off.)
“Why did I leave the pile of bills on the table instead of paying them?” (I wasn’t sure where the money was going to come from for an unexpected auto repair.)
“I wish I could finish half of what I start. Why is my normally mostly-put-together home suddenly way more out of control than normal?”
And then I think about my past week:
One of our grown children is in a career crisis.
Our contractor is two months behind on completing our renovation.
I’m stuck on a part of the book I’m writing and can’t seem to focus.
My husband is going through some significant health issues.
Clutter was only a symptom of a distracted mind.
When my heart is heavy, sad, or frustrated, my go-to move is to either let distractions take over my life, or to create distraction so I don’t have to pay attention to painful things.
In their new book, Shiny Things, Amanda Bacon and Anne-Renee Gumley talk about the areas of distraction—not when it comes to our homes, but to our families.
Moms have particular challenges regarding distractions when raising their children. When my kids were small, I remember being pulled in so many different directions. I didn’t always know what my priorities should be.
So as a mom, how do you focus on the important things?
Stop being a slave to your schedule.
Just because someone asks you do to something, doesn’t mean it has earned the right to be on your calendar. Learn to value your time like never before. When I was single, my only obligation was to myself. But when I became a mom, for some reason, I thought I should be able to do everything I had done before and still be able to raise tiny humans.
Understand your limitations.
I know when I’m over-tired, I self-distract with food and stupid TV. There is nothing wrong with watching the “Holiday Armadillo” episode of Friends (again), but when I know I’m using it as distraction because I’ve stayed up too late (again), it’s time to realize I can’t run with the same energy that I could if I didn’t have kids.
Find meaning in what matters.
When I’m neck deep in distraction, oftentimes it’s because I’m looking for “hits”—something that gets me approval from outside sources. When that happens, I realize I’m at a stage in marriage or parenting that’s hard, where the rewards are few. I feel not only unappreciated, but downright unlovable.
In those situations, it’s important to remind myself:
This is a season.
I’m doing hard work that does not have immediate rewards.
God sees my efforts, even when no one else does.
We’re all prone to chase shiny things, whatever that looks like in each stage of life.
Recognizing the reasons we are drawn to distractions helps us to focus on the purpose God created us for, especially as parents. Then we can give the best of ourselves to what matters most — loving God and our families.
The generous people over at Harvest House want to give our readers Amanda Bacon and Anne-Renee Gumley’s book, Shiny Things. Five people will win a copy and 1 grand prize winner will receive:
A copy ofShiny Things
Rustic Felt Letter Board 10×10
A Notebook Journal
18 Colored Felt Pens
Enter to win by commenting below. Are distractions keeping you from your highest priority? What shiny things are distracting you right now?
On today’s episode of the podcast, Kathi is joined by Joshua Becker, author of The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own. Kathi and Joshua talk about his journey into a minimalist lifestyle and discuss his new book The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life.
On today’s show you’ll learn: • Why our belongings can keep us from living the life we wish we were living • How clutter-free living and minimalism are similar and where they differ • How minimalism is about intentionally promoting our values by removing anything that distracts us from them
Enter to win!
Enter to win a copy of The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life.
In the comments below share “what has kept you from pursuing a minimalist life?”
Joshua Becker is the founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website dedicated to inspiring others to find more life by owning less. The website welcomes over one million readers each month and has inspired millions around the world to consider the practical benefits of owning fewer possessions and given them the practical help to get started. He is the bestselling author of THE MORE OF LESS: FINDING THE LIFE YOU WANT UNDER EVERYTHING YOU OWN. His latest bestseller is THE MINIMALIST HOME: A ROOM-BY-ROOM GUIDE TO A DECLUTTERED, REFOCUSED LIFE. Joshua is also the Founder of two family-focused magazines: Simplify Magazine and Simple Money Magazine and the nonprofit organization The Hope Effect, which is changing how the world cares for orphans by focusing on family-based solutions.
Joshua is a contributing writer for FORBES and has made appearances in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post Live, and CBS Evening News. Joshua and his family live in Peoria, AZ. Learn more.