#606 The Container Principle

#606 The Container Principle

606 – The Container Principle

We all have stuff we want to keep, whether for daily use or for posterity. The question is, do we have room for it? How much is too much?

Don’t let your abundance take over your abode. Tune in to hear Kathi and Roger as they discuss:

  • How to contain t-shirts, tech goo, and other treasures
  • What qualifies as a container, anyway?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Links:

Clutter Free Resources:

Do you limit how many containers you allow yourself to have? Why or why not? 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 

 

Roger Lipp

Roger is a productivity and quality engineer for a Fortune 50 company.

Roger helps teams reach their full productivity potential by teaching them the practical and simple steps to reach their goals. Roger and his wife, author Kathi Lipp, teach communicators how to share their message through social media and email marketing.

He and Kathi coauthored Happy Habits for Every Couple with Harvest House Publishers.

 

Transcript

Kathi (00:29.271)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am here with my Clutter-Free Partner in Crime. It is Roger Lipp. Hey, Rog.

Roger (00:44.101)
Hey, good to be here.

Kathi (00:46.363)
Okay, we are talking about one of my favorite ways of thinking about our stuff This is this is gonna be life-changing for some of you. Maybe others not so much, but for me life-changing and I yeah, I Thought when we moved from 1,400 square feet to this Monstrosity, I don’t know if it’s a monstrosity that implies it’s bad

this really large house that-

Storage would not be a problem anymore. That is not the case.

Roger (01:24.119)
The storage just became a different problem.

Kathi (01:26.455)
My goodness, right? Okay, so how do you view the storage problem in our house?

Roger (01:34.178)
Well, we’ve got a couple of different things. We have different things that we need to store, the big outside stuff that now needs a storage place. And we have a different use for the house because of retreats and things. So that creates a different storage challenge for us. And just the configuration of the storage, where is storage? That’s different here than it was in San Jose too. So we have to kind of think differently.

Kathi (01:41.868)
Yes.

Kathi (01:57.731)
Yeah.

Kathi (02:03.447)
Yeah, and you know, I think another factor for us, which it is for most people, but was not a problem in San Jose, is out of season storage. You know, our out of season storage in San Jose were a couple of sweaters and an umbrella. And here, we have, you know, snowblowers and heavy coats. And it’s just a different way of living. And I know most people,

Roger (02:13.858)
Hmm.

Roger (02:19.917)
What?

Kathi (02:33.007)
This was God’s gift to me to understand the clutter situations that we did not have in San Jose, where if it got to be 68 degrees, there was deep concern on the local weather channels. Like, how are we going to brace for the cold? Now, I will say there has been a lot of weather in San Jose this past week with all the rains and things like that.

For the most part, it’s very temperate. And so I wanna discuss how we’ve had to kind of figure out our new vibe for storage. And this is the container principle. And how this relates to clutter-free living is we are not storing more stuff than we have space for. Now, I will have to say, the people who lived here before us,

did not live here year round. So if it snowed 14 feet, they just didn’t stay here until the snow melted. That’s not really our option. We have to have ways of dealing with the snow and things like that. So the concept of the container principle is that we let the container dictate the quantity of items.

So let me give a very basic example. A t-shirt drawer. I have a lot of t-shirts. I wear a lot of t-shirts. You know, I’m not getting dressed up every day here on the mountain, so I have a lot of t-shirts. And I have one drawer for t-shirts. And I am not allowing myself to have more t-shirts than I have room in the drawer. And so that’s just the basic principle.

Roger (03:57.694)
Yeah.

Kathi (04:27.619)
that the container is the dictator of how much we have. So I have more t-shirts than I have, say, socks. You know, my t-shirts take up more room than my socks. And so I have a smaller space for my socks than I do for my t-shirts, but it’s the container that dictates it. And if I’ve got too much of something, I need to get rid of something. So, yeah.

Roger (04:55.234)
I love this principle because it just makes it so clear and so simple of, uh, do I have too much of something? Well, does it fit in the container? Uh,

Kathi (05:04.983)
Yes. Right. And if it doesn’t, then we keep the best and we get rid of the rest.

Roger (05:12.33)
That’s right. And the container size is up to you. It was a decision that you made. It’s not, so it’s not entirely dictated by the size of the container. You dictated the size of the container and now the size of the container dictates how much, how many t-shirts you have.

Kathi (05:18.032)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (05:24.291)
Right. Yes.

Kathi (05:30.559)
Right and is this a reasonable size container for my t-shirts? One really big drawer. Yes, it is but It would be very easy for me to keep four really big drawers of t-shirts Because I collect t-shirts. I don’t set out to collect them But you know, I think of a few t-shirts i’ve received recently we got t-shirts made for your 60th birthday when we went to Disneyland so we have those t-shirts we I have a t-shirt

for teaching at a writer’s conference called the Red Bud Writers Conference. Like those are just ones that I didn’t even purchase, they were just acquired. And so, and I wanna keep both of those, but the container says, well, Kathi, you can’t keep both of those and keep all the shirts you’ve had previously. So decisions must be made. And I mean, but here’s what I would do in the past is,

If I had too much of a thing, I would just buy another container. And that container had to be contained someplace. And that was usually as storage in the garage or, and there are things that it’s appropriate to store in the garage. But extra t-shirts is not one of them. We had this problem many years ago when we first combined households

in San Jose, because when we got married, we combined households. And I took a count, and I think I’m remembering correctly, we had 13 bookshelves.

Roger (07:06.946)
That’s a lot of bookshelves. And let me be clear. I think I may have added one bookshelf to that equation as we joined houses.

Kathi (07:08.367)
That’s too many bookshelves.

Kathi (07:13.712)
Hahaha

Kathi (07:18.403)
Yeah, I don’t think when we originally combined that we had 13, but this was back in the day where people were sending me books, you know, lots and lots of books. People still send me books, but it’s, publishers tend to send PDFs instead of the actual book these days. And so, uh, I just, instead of getting rid of books,

because these were my friends. These books were written by my friends and I’d be a terrible friend if I got rid of, it’s ridiculousness. But I just kept getting bookshelves and putting them in the kids’ room, in our bedroom. And when I put one in the, yeah, were you gonna say where I put, no, you go ahead. It’s.

Roger (08:00.099)
No, yeah, you go ahead. You can mess. We knew it was good.

Kathi (08:06.371)
I had one in the bathroom. And I said I was just gonna use it for like decorator stuff, but some magazine, yeah. Yes, so my deep confession is, I think it was either 12 or 13 bookshelves. It was ridiculous. And so that’s an example of the container meeting the clutter.

Roger (08:17.908)
It became a bookshelf.

Kathi (08:33.099)
instead of the container meeting the need. And so I wanna, yeah, go ahead.

Roger (08:36.194)
So I love the idea here that a container isn’t necessarily something with a lid. The container is the bookshelf, the garage, the attic, whatever you decide the container is. So when we’re talking about container, that’s kind of the idea here.

Kathi (08:42.592)
No.

Kathi (08:48.004)
Yes.

Kathi (08:52.675)
Yeah, and you know, I think that this really helps us in a couple of ways for decluttering. When I am too busy, I don’t declutter our pantry enough. And I just did it this morning. And every, oh, it did, I don’t know why. That was very weird. She’s like, what are you, she has seen me declutter the pantry before.

Roger (09:06.69)
kind of freaked Moose out. Yeah, she was very disturbed.

Roger (09:17.992)
Yes.

Kathi (09:19.311)
But here’s what I know happens. When you have a container that is too full and our pantry was too full, what happens is you don’t know what’s in there anymore and you just keep getting the same five or six items out and at the front surface because that’s the easiest and the rest of it doesn’t get used. And in a pantry, that’s really bad because food spoils. And so you need to be able to see what you have.

Roger (09:33.694)
of the front surface.

Kathi (09:49.475)
use what you have. It’s the same with like a t-shirt drawer. If I’ve got too many t-shirts, what ends up happening is I don’t put them away. Like I’ll just live out of a folded laundry basket, but it’s still a laundry basket because it’s too much effort because I have to shove down clothes or whatever. And so…

I really feel like the benefit is there is easier decision making because you don’t have as much stuff. You know where everything is. All my t-shirts go in this one drawer. They don’t go in seven drawers. They go in this one drawer. And it reduces clutter because if you say I’m only going to keep what properly fits in this container, then you’re making decisions to get rid of some of the stuff. You know, let’s all talk about the t-shirts that are on the bottom.

You know, that you got, I don’t know. It’s ridiculous, you guys. I had a beer t-shirt for a long time. I…

Roger (10:52.08)
I remember when you got that.

Kathi (10:53.731)
Yes, we were out to lunch at a, we were hosting a speakers retreat and we were in Arizona and our brand new waitress dumped an entire pitcher of water on me. And the manager came over and said, Hey, would you like a t-shirt? And this was a pub. And so it said, good people drink good beer. It’s like.

which is hilarious because yeah, I had a sip of beer one time like my latter year in college and I was like, well, that’s enough. But I forgot I was wearing this t-shirt when we went to go greet everybody at our Christian speaking conference. And lots of people have pictures with me saying, good people drink good beer at the leverage conference, which is great.

Roger (11:23.118)
because we don’t drink beer.

Kathi (11:45.911)
So like, why did I keep this t-shirt for so long? I needed it for an emergency. I’m not opposed to it. If you like a good beer, hey, more power to ya. But that is not my journey. So, no, we don’t anymore. I decluttered it. I made the hard decision. But those are the kinds of t-shirts that would go to the bottom. I’d never wear them. And so, or the t-shirt that has the scratchy tag or.

Roger (11:58.838)
Let us know we have a t-shirt for you.

Okay, all right.

Kathi (12:14.171)
the t-shirt that has the writing coming off of it. And we keep them because what we do is we justify their journey. We say, oh, well, I could wear that if I am painting, or I could wear that to bed. So we have all these conditions on it, but probably we’re just wearing the same thing 75 times.

Roger (12:35.126)
Now, it’s not just you. I have a container as well of stuff that kind of follows that same path. And it’s, oh, yeah, it’s the TechGoo box. This is a box. So you get that misplaced power adapter. And I don’t know what device it goes to. Do I throw it away? Well, what if I find a device that doesn’t have a power adapter? So it goes in the box.

Kathi (12:44.623)
Oh, do tell.

Kathi (12:48.109)
Oh yeah. Yeah.

Kathi (12:58.818)
Yeah.

Roger (13:04.406)
But we limit how many things we save by having a set size box for tech goo. And, and let me be clear, this is just miscellaneous tech goo. We have sound equipment and stuff that has tech that doesn’t go in that box. It has its own box, but the miscellaneous lost home tech goo box is a fixed size under a bed.

Kathi (13:04.722)
Oh

Kathi (13:14.063)
Yes.

Kathi (13:21.785)
Right.

Kathi (13:30.043)
We both have our clutter sins, guys. Okay, so let’s talk about how do you get rid of stuff out of the container. One of the things I’ve had to do, I have shelves for my shoes. Right now I have too many shoes. I just do.

And so what I’m doing is I am going through, I just threw away a pair of shoes that were falling apart, but they were comfortable, but they were falling apart. So it was time to get rid of them. And I need to probably get rid of three more pairs of shoes. And guys, we all make mistakes. We buy the shoes, they aren’t as comfortable as we thought, they don’t go with everything.

So what you’re doing is you’re keeping the things that you wear over and over and over again, and you’re getting rid of the things that are just taking up space on the shelf. So feel good knowing you have enough shoes that you can get rid of some. And I always try to remind myself, those shoes that are the least worn for me will be somebody else’s most worn shoes. When they…

take them to, we have a place called Snowline that we donate to. And so it’s really important to, because here’s what I know, it takes me longer to get ready, it takes me longer to clean my closet, it takes me longer to do everything when I have too much stuff, especially stuff that I’m not using. And we have all those little conditions on it. Well, you know, if somebody gets married on a beach, well, these would be the perfect shoes.

We don’t know people getting married on beaches these days. No, no. It’s time to let it go. Let it go. Okay. So Roger, with the container for your tech goo, here’s what I always worry about. Like with tech stuff. And I think I just came up with a solution. Is that, but what if I need, like what if this is the one cord?

Kathi (15:40.439)
And so I wonder if we put things in there and we say, we put it in a Ziploc bag and we say the date on this is June 1st, 2024. And if we haven’t pulled it out of there in a year, we can safely assume that we are not going to die. This is not a life-saving device for us. How does that feel to you?

Roger (15:58.958)
this. That’s not a bad idea. Yeah, yeah, it would it would create a lot of plastic bags. But I think it’s worth trying. Yeah. You know, yeah, yeah. And the same principle in your closet is, you know, you how you hang your clothes. And that’s how you know, but you can’t do that in a box of tech goo. So how do you simulate that? Yeah.

Kathi (16:05.125)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:09.067)
Okay, you could use a recycled bag. There we go. We’re just, become, you know.

Kathi (16:18.746)
Right.

Kathi (16:22.663)
No, yeah, but I think the and I think for the shoes what you could do is you could put a little Post-it note with the date on it and if I haven’t worn these shoes, you know You pull out the post-it note when you go to wear them and if you haven’t worn those shoes in a year out They go. All right uh I think also knowing that when you are resisting putting things away It is time to declutter that container

Roger (16:31.992)
Oh yeah.

Kathi (16:51.459)
So if I’m resisting putting t-shirts away because I have too many t-shirts in that drawer, it’s time to declutter in that drawer and pick the best and get rid of the rest. One of the things that I’ve learned is not to keep 10 different t-shirts for gardening or dyeing my hair. Or I’ve got one tank top and one t-shirt that I don’t care if they get hair dye on them.

I don’t care if they get dirt on them. I don’t care. These are the messy ones, and everything else I can get rid of. And then also to think about if I only have this much room in a container, when I get something new, I need to get rid of it. I’ve done that with my closet. I have a certain set number of hangers. And I’m not buying more hangers.

I never need to buy another hanger again in my life. I just need the hangers I have, and those will hold the clothes that I have, because I’ve never broken one of these hangers. They’re gonna last longer than me. Let’s just be clear on that. So if I’ve got too many clothes to hang on hangers, it’s time to start sorting through. Any ideas of this for you, Roger? Like, where would you start?

Like we’re in our house right now is it’s like it’s killing you. There’s too much stuff and we need to contain it.

Roger (18:22.67)
Ooh, the container of containers called the attic is a little challenging at the moment. Yeah. Yeah, it’s one of these attics that has a pull down ladder and I can go up there and kind of shove things around. It’s large. It’s a large space, but we run a business, so it’s business has a lot of stuff up there. I like Christmas, so there’s a lot of Christmas up there. There’s a lot of stuff.

Kathi (18:28.927)
Oh, yeah. It’s a little daunting. And you know what? Yeah.

Kathi (18:51.108)
And we have a we have a lot of out-of-season stuff We have a lot of out-of-season stuff that we need to keep up there Yeah And you know what we can only clean out our attic every once a while because you can’t do it when it’s too hot You can’t do it when it’s too cold so Yeah, I think of an area where We actually do a really good job with this is the kitchen maybe not so much in the

Roger (18:54.603)
Right.

Roger (19:05.71)
Right. It’s fall and spring.

Kathi (19:18.147)
The pantry, the pantry is kind of one of my downfalls. But with our utensils, our plates, we don’t have more stuff than we can contain in there. It feels like, it feels right-sized.

Roger (19:33.97)
Yeah, I think you’ve done a great job of curating what’s important to us. And even in the pantry, you’ve done that because I know we put in those pullout drawers in the pantry. Those are great, but they stop working when they’re over full. So…

Kathi (19:39.677)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (19:46.183)
Those are the best things ever. Oh, I love them. Yes, it’s so true. How do we know that? I don’t know. Yeah, so think about your clothing. Think about your kitchen. Think about books. How can we, how can you streamline, how can you get rid of things that maybe you’re not using, but other people would definitely love to use?

And so to, you know, the container for me for the closet, I mean, I could pack way more clothes into my closet, but I’m using the container as being the number of hangers, not just the entire room. So thinking about it in that way, figure out how you can contain what you need in each of those things. Now, one thing we’re gonna do is,

Many of you are a part of our newsletter. And what we want to be able to do in our newsletter is give you the resources from these podcasts. So we have a checklist of how do you use the container principle. And so you will get that automatically if you’re part of our newsletter. We have the link here in the bio, in the notes, so that you can go ahead and do that.

Okay, Roger, here’s to us containing everything that we love, use, and would buy again. Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.

Roger (21:17.71)
Thanks.

Roger (21:22.711)
Always fun, thank you.

Kathi (21:24.603)
And friends, thank you for hanging out with us. You’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter-free life you were always intended to live.

 

#603 The Great Freezer Cleanout

#603 The Great Freezer Cleanout

603 – The Great Freezer Cleanout

When it’s time to make dinner, do you fall prey to the game of “Freezer Roulette?”

Do you find yourself pulling out a container of presumably edible, yet completely unidentifiable frozen food, wondering:

  • What is that?
  • How long has it been there?
  • Do I really want to eat that?

Join Kathi and Roger Lipp for tips and tricks to organize your freezer and save yourself time, money, and hassle.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you label your freezer contents? 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 

 

Roger Lipp

Roger is a productivity and quality engineer for a Fortune 50 company.

Roger helps teams reach their full productivity potential by teaching them the practical and simple steps to reach their goals. Roger and his wife, author Kathi Lipp, teach communicators how to share their message through social media and email marketing.

He and Kathi coauthored Happy Habits for Every Couple with Harvest House Publishers.

Transcript

Well, hey, friends. Welcome to Clutterfree Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am back here with the person I’m fighting clutter with every single day. He is the super man. To my Wonder Woman. I think about the bracelets and reflecting all that clutter in our lives. It’s Roger Lipp.

It’s so good to be here. I’m glad I’m fighting clutter with you.

Yes. No, I’ve said this many times on the podcast. There’s a Taylor Swift song where the lyrics are. Wait, it’s me. Hi, I’m the problem. It’s me. I know. I’m the cluttery person.

We do have different clutter.

We have different kinds of clutter. Yes.

Different kinds of clutter. Yes. I know that. Either you or your kids have been here. If they’re empty drink container. Not even empty. Yes, empty drink containers, like a soda can or a fast food drink sitting next to the sink in the kitchen. I’ve never understood it.

I’ve just come to the place where these are people I love, and these are tokens of their love. You could also throw those away, but that’s okay. Apparently, that’s not your journey. It’s fine. And then my clutter is. Yeah. Anyway, we won’t discuss that. We don’t discuss that among polite company, except with thousands of podcast listeners every single week.

But we’re talking about something today that, wow, I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it on the podcast. And I don’t know if this has been an issue for other people, but it’s definitely been an issue for me as the chief cook. And I was going to say bottle washer. You’re the chief bottle washer. I’m the chief cook in our house. And that is freezer management, because, holy cow, it is hard. And let’s just start off by admitting that we have three freezers, and we.

Also have special circumstances.

We do have special circumstances. I would say if we lived in town, we would have two freezers. We would have the everyday getting stuff in and out freezer, and then we have the more long term freezer, the deep freeze.

That is, in fact, what we had in San Jose.

Yes. And we used it. But if you don’t stay on top of it, there are lots of benefits to having not just a regular freezer, but a long term freezer. When you’re buying meat, you can store more of that. We can sometimes get snowed in here, or whatever it is. And so it’s really important for us to have extra food on hand. We sometimes have. Just last month, we had 13 people here, and that all had to be managed and feeding that many people.

It’s good to have a freezer. It’s good to have an extra freezer. Most people don’t need three. We do. It’s fine. But I want to talk about, how do you manage the freezer? How do you clean it out? What do you do? So let’s talk about that. We came up with a system of how we manage our freezer, especially after some winters where we couldn’t get out and a fire where we couldn’t get in. There are barriers to it.

And what we’ve come up with for us, that works for us, is we build up our freezer stock in the fall, and we eat it down in the winter and spring. Do you want to explain why we do that?

Yeah. In the winter and spring, we could get trapped here because of snow. So it’s good to have extra food on hand. So that’s why we build that up for the winter and the fall. I’m sorry, spring. And in the summer, we want to do the opposite because we may have to evacuate. So we’ve kind of learned that there’s a natural rhythm up here that we need to abide by. And in the summer, we want that backstock to be low, and in the winter, we want it to be high.

Yes. Because we’re not probably going to have to evacuate for a long period of time in the winter. We may sometimes things happen, but that has not been our journey so far. So recently, we did a big freezer clean out, reorg, that whole thing, and we did it in the month of January 1, because it’s really cold up here, and you can keep things cold for a while while you’re cleaning things out. And so we learned a few things while we were doing that. You were kind enough to help me unload, and I think the very first smart thing you did is you put on your gloves. What kind of gloves do you have?

Yeah, well, gloves up here are kind of a way of life. I put on a glove to carry out the garbage.

But the glove that I like to use, it’s a good general purpose glove. I like the Milwaukee glove from Home Depot. It’s the red glove. It’s grippy, has just a little bit of insulation, so it kind of keeps my hand away from stuff and allowed me to deal with the freezer without getting cold, but I could still pick things up.

That’s the important thing. And we can throw those in the washer and they drip dry and they’re just great. So I thought wearing your gloves was a really good time. It was a great time to do it because the stuff is going to stay cold. You wear your gloves, and then one of the things that you did is you used laundry baskets and totes to carry everything into the kitchen so I could kind of see it and organize it.

We actually have some of those totes permanently in the freezer.

Yeah, we’re going to talk about that.

So I just picked those up and brought those in. But then there was a sorting process that you were doing in the kitchen, and I was bringing things in from the outside freezers through the laundry basket or whatever. Carrying mechanism.

Yeah, it’s nice to have two people, if you can. One just doing, let’s just say grunt work and the other doing the sorting and organizing and stuff like that. So, yeah, grab some extra laundry baskets so that you have a way to organize stuff. And then I’ll be showing on our show notes the kind of totes that we use that we keep permanently in our deep freeze. They’re almost like a basket. How do I want to say that? Like an organizing basket or. They kind of look like they could be garbage cans. They’re not.

I got them at Target, and some of them are kind of deep. The rest of them are a little, maybe they’re six inches deep. One of them is probably a foot deep. And I keep different categories in there. So one of them I keep bread in. I don’t want them to get too heavy because I need to be able to lift them. But we organize our food in that. But before you get to organizing, the first thing I think you need to do is throw away anything you wouldn’t be excited about eating.

This is anything that is, if it’s not labeled, do you know what it is? Because if you don’t know what it is, you’re not going to cook it, most likely. Or you can do what I did last week, there was something in there. I didn’t know what it was. It did have a date on it, so I felt good about. But I thought it, and I’m like, oh, that’s a pork roast. At first I thought it was a beef roast, but it was a pork roast. And so we cooked that up. But throw away anything you wouldn’t be excited about eating.

And that’s the what and the when. The date is important too.

Yes, the date is very important because we’ll talk at the end of this podcast about how long things should be in the freezer and when it’s just gone too much. The other reason you might want to throw something away is if it has a lot of freezer burn. If something was put in there and it’s just not looking appetizing anymore, it’s okay to throw things away and give yourself a fresh start. So the next step is, while everything is out, clean the inside of your freezer. Now, I’ve done this recently, we didn’t do it with this last decluttering of the freezer, but if you just take a little bucket of hot soapy water and then you do another bucket with some clean water, you’re dipping your towels in there. You’re not throwing that all in the freezer, but then finally your last towel is just a dry towel to dry it all out. You’re going to be golden. Now I will tell you, the thing I learned last time is have your washing machine emptied out before you do all this towel maintenance, because then it’s just easy to throw it all in there, wash it and you’re ready to go.

It’s not going to make you crazy doing this. So clean that out. And then the next thing I did, if you have a taller person, that is a good reason to say you need to be the one to wash out the freezer. Just a little hint there, since I have somebody taller in my life. Make a list. The next thing I want you to do is make a list. Make a list of everything in your freezer. I did it by categories.

I did fruits and vegetables, meats and seafoods, prepared meals, grains. So grains were like rice, potatoes, breads and then liquids. I made a list of everything we have in there, which is great because then you can start to meal plan from what’s in there. And if you know it’s in there, it’s easier to get yourself to dig to the bottom so that you can.

Yeah, because you’re not digging to find out if something is there. You’re going with a purpose.

Yes, it’s so true. You’re going in there because you’re like, okay, I know that there’s a roast in there, or I know that the brown rice is in there and you can do it that way. I think another thing that that list is valuable to have is in the deep freeze, it’s easy to forget what you have and what you don’t have. So making a list of things that you have too much of and you do not need to buy again. Let me just tell you, apparently I am addicted to frozen fruit and soup dumplings.

We’re good. What?

Yes. Like little wontons that you can throw in soups or you can throw them in the deep fryer stuff like, we’re set for a while. We’re good. In fact, we should have that for dinner tonight. Roger. Yeah, we’re going to be fine, so don’t worry if there’s an emergency.

We’re good on souped up links. Yes. And then I would say put things back in categories so they’re easy to find. Kind of have a bread section. Here’s the other thing. I would say have your bread section on top of your meat section. So put the meat lower down. And there’s a couple of reasons for this.

One, it’s not as heavy. Two, you want that meat towards the bottom because you’re going to get less freezer burn, the less air you have around it. So hopefully you’re using your bread pretty quickly because that can get freezer burned pretty quickly. But you want that towards the top. You want the lighter things towards the top. Maybe the prepared meals, that kind of stuff. But have some people buy a quarter of a cow and you want to have that packed down at the bottom. But you want to know what you have that’s really important.

So make sure things are labeled, pack them in tight. And then another thing that you and I have done is you’ve just done freezer roulette where you’ve grabbed things out. It’s like, okay, that’s what we’re going to make for dinner tomorrow.

I think we did that for some podcasts, didn’t we?

Yeah, we did it for TikTok. Yeah. But you can reverse engineer. You don’t have to create a menu plan and then go to the store and buy stuff. You can see what you have on hand. And reverse engineer. Like for us, we’re going to have wanton soup and we’re going to love it. It’s going to be great.

We’re going to love it. It’s our own little guy’s grocery game right here.

Right. So put things back by the category so it’s easy to find them. And we love guys grocery game. We think that’s very fun. Use the bins from Target or however you’re going to do it to be able to organize. I’m going to tell you, Roger, for some anniversary coming up. You know what I want? I want to replace our deep freeze with a standing freezer. Have you seen just.

Well, we used to have one. Right. I was just going to talk about the different configurations of freezers. And does that change your packing strategy? Because I know for the standing freezers, you can’t pack them too dense in certain areas. Otherwise you don’t get cooling, but yet you still want things to be accessible. I was just kind of wondering if there was a different strategy.

So the standing freezer we had before was kind of like a refrigerator. It just had shelves, but it was all freezer. The one I’m kind of interested in.

It’s an eight drawer freezer.

A drawer, like a filing cabinet?

For food. All right.

Right. And Costco has them for less than $400. And the reviews on them are excellent. So I have not done this, but.

I like the concept.

Yeah, I like the concept a lot. Yeah.

I can see putting a label on the outside of the drawer. Here’s my meats, here’s my breads. Here’s the stuff that Roger wants.

All the frozen pieces are here.

I know. Here’s the thing, guys. Our deep freeze is only five years old because we bought it when we moved in here. And these things last for 20 years. I don’t know that I’m going to last for 20 years. So I may just have to bite the bullet and say, this is what I want, because we can’t have four freezers.

Well, for the sake of providing a review to our valued listeners.

We might need to get that and let you know how it goes.

The connection that Roger and I just had on that, that made me love you, like, a percentage more. I didn’t think there was room for improvement, but that may have tapped us out at 100%. Okay, so I do use the bins from target. I will show those to you so I can lift things up easily and see what’s in our deep freezer. I think it’s really important. Don’t use round containers. Use rectangular containers, because with round, what you’re doing is you’re putting space around that food and you’re going to trap air in there, and that’s going to lead to freezer burn. And I don’t want that for you.

I think that that’s really important. Science guy. You would agree with that, right?

Well, I think the freezer, it’s the amount of air inside the container. So the thing that’s tripping me is with a round container, you’re just wasting all that space as well. Yes.

I think you’re wasting space on the outside, too, right?

That’s what I’m saying, yeah.

And that’s going to make your freezer work harder because of all that air.

We don’t want that. Yes. No, we don’t want that. Okay. So the other big hint I have for this is to break your packages down into usable packaging. Here’s what I mean by that. I just recently bought one of those Costco bags of giant chicken wings because we like to have chicken wings every once in a while in the air fryer. Love that for us.

But to drag that ten pound bag out every time, it doesn’t work for me. So right now, we’re on our last individual bag of chicken wings. So when I open up that big container, what I’m going to do is I’m going to pull out my food saver and we’re going to break that down into probably eight to ten packages. Individual packages of, like, eight wings. That’s usually what we’ll have when we’re doing chicken wings. And so we’ll have those eight to ten packages of wings, but we can just pull one out at a time, stick it in the refrigerator, let it defrost and be done with it. And I find that I’m much more likely to use my freezer food if it’s already packaged in usable packages. Does that make sense, what I’m saying, Roger?

Oh, 100%. I think there’s a lot of different food that we do that with because otherwise, when you open it, you’ve exposed the whole set of stuff to air, which is deadly to freezer stuff.

Freezer food. Yeah.

Right. So having those individual containers is really important, and that’s a great tip for folks like us. We cook for two primarily, so to proportion that food according to however many people you’re going to be cooking for. I think that really is smart.

And one of the things that I did, especially when we had a large family, but I still do to this day, is if we get, like, a bag of chicken breasts, I’ll just put two into a freezer, a little container, and I’ll put marinade on it. And so while it’s defrosting, it’s marinating, and we can just pop that into a saute pan into the oven. However, we’re going to do it with some vegetable that we’ve got a mixed container of. So things that you can do this with chicken parts, like large packages of pork chops, hamburger meat, there’s a million different ways you can do this.

Let me just pile one more thing on breaking that stuff up into the size that you want. Basically, you have to thaw it first, break it up into the stuff, and then refreeze what you didn’t use. And now, oh, my gosh. You’ve lost all that moisture by doing that up front. Makes a lot of sense.

And it’s easier to package into your refrigerator. It just is. You’re not pulling out these giant things. It’s a win win. If you’re able to use reusable containers, that’s a win for the environment, too. Keep at least half of your freezer full to avoid freezer burn. That’s a really important point. And, guys, just, again, label, label, label, label.

What I’ve done now is I’ve got a list of everything that’s in our fridge. When I pull something out, I’m marking it off so I know exactly what’s in there, at least for the most part. And then in the notes of this episode, we are going to put the government food safety website so you can see how long your stuff should be in cold storage. It’s really surprising some meats can be in there for up to two years. It’s not so much a safety thing. It’s usually a taste and a texture thing. Why? You have to get rid of things when you do. But you can keep things in a freezer for a surprisingly long time.

You don’t want to keep them in there too long because they do start to break. Also, I would be remiss if we had a freezer episode where we didn’t talk about, what if you have a power failure? Because Roger and I have lived this.

I knew you were going there.

You have to. Right. And here’s what I’ll say. If you have a power failure. One. You guys, if it’s longer than 24 hours, I would rather be safe than sorry because I’ve had food poisoning. Not by my cooking, by somebody else’s, and I wanted to die. So we’re not playing here, friends.

We are not playing. But ours was a three week power failure. Yeah. So if you have a substantial power failure, my number one tip is when you get power back, plug that freezer in and freeze everything. Because it’s so much more pleasant to clean out while it’s frozen. Because, yeah.

It doesn’t smell when it’s frozen. So that it is much easier to clean.

Yeah. I will say if we had to evacuate again, I would get a large tote and throw all our freezer food in there and just take it with, like, we can figure it out on the other end because it’s a nightmare to clean that. I almost just asked Roger to take the freezer to the dump, but nope, I froze it. Got. We took all that food to the dump. We got in there with hot, soapy water. We washed everything out a couple of times and we dried it. We saved the freezer.

It’s the freezer we use to this day, but, yeah, freeze it all again. Trust me, you don’t want to smell that unfrozen. I promise you. Anything I’ve missed, Roger?

No, I think that’s great. That was good.

Okay. This is a fun episode. We got a good energy on this episode, I think because we’re hungry. It’s lunchtime, and yes, we’re going to.

Go visit the freezer, find some of those noodles.

Yes, exactly. We’re going to make it happen, friends, thank you for listening. 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.

#599  Between Scarcity to Abundance: Understanding the Spectrum of Financial and Clutter Mindsets with Coach Stefania Mariaa Part 1

#599 Between Scarcity to Abundance: Understanding the Spectrum of Financial and Clutter Mindsets with Coach Stefania Mariaa Part 1

599 – Between Scarcity to Abundance: Understanding the Spectrum of Financial and Clutter Mindsets with Coach Stefania Mariaa Part 1

 

We all have a common struggle with clutter and how it makes us feel – but did you know those same emotions apply to our relationship with money?

Kathi Lipp and her guest, multidisciplinary coach and TikTok star Stefania Mariaa, have innovative and imaginative answers to the questions, “What is financial intimacy and why do I need it?” In this episode, Kathi and Stefania discuss ways to manage your personal finances and spending habits more deliberately and thoughtfully.

Tune in to learn:

  • Where do I stand on the spending spectrum?
  • How do I make my time, energy, and money count?
  • How does my inner teen influence my decisions?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which resource do you need the most help budgeting – time, energy, or money? 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 

 

Stefania Mariaa

Stefania Mariaa is a multidisciplinary coach guiding people back to their radiant and sovereign wealth without abandoning themselves for anything less.

Connect with Stefania Mariaa on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok @stefaniamariaa or @bank.membership, her website, or for her free teaching here.

Transcript

Kathi (00:03.178)
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, if you’ve been listening to this podcast, if you’re part of the Facebook group, if you’re part of Clutter-Free for Life, you know that while we all struggle with clutter,

One of our other common struggles in this group, and if you’ve heard about my upbringing, you know it was for me as well, is money, our relationship with money. And guys, I am so excited to introduce you to a new friend, but I’ve been following her on TikTok for a while. You guys, her name is Stephania Maria, and she is a multi-disciplinary coach. Okay, I could barely say it, so she’s gonna have to explain what that is.

Her take on money is so interesting and so different and I knew it would resonate with all of you. I’m going to, in the show notes, I’m gonna put every way you can connect with her. She has something free for you at the end. But Stefania, welcome to Clutterfree Academy.

Stefania Mariaa (01:20.133)
Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Kathi (01:23.138)
I’m so excited for this conversation because you know lots of times when I’m talking to people who are money experts No, no we have not lived the same life we don’t understand each other They don’t understand why I live the way I do I I’ve never been able to live the way they have and it just is it’s almost never

a productive conversation. And then I saw you talking about, you were using words like financial intimacy, and you were using words like spending by proxy. And that’s the one that I’m like, okay, this girl is coming on the podcast, I don’t care what I have to do, I’m going to hunt her down. So you have a very unique view on money. You even say you don’t do traditional finance, but you look at the relationship,

we have with money and the connection between your things like spending habits, emotions, and energy. Can you explain a little bit of that? Because I feel like we talk so much in our group about the relationship and the emotions we have around our clutter, our things. But you also say that that’s around money. So can you explain what you mean by that?

Stefania Mariaa (02:47.685)
Yes, I mean, loaded question, but absolutely. Yeah, so money and the way that we relate to money is really an extension of what is going on internally. And I’m sure we’ve all heard the conversation around, like, the clutter in your home is reflective of the clutter in your mind. The way that we interact with our finances, whether it’s from a place of scarcity, feeling like there’s not enough.

Kathi (02:50.011)
Huge question, you know, just take the next 45 minutes. It’s fine

Stefania Mariaa (03:17.545)
also from a place of abundance, feeling as if we’ll always have access to more. Both of those in my world are actual extremes that deny the truth that lies in the opposition. Okay. So what I mean by that is that our relationship to money has to be true. It has to be honest. It has to be vulnerable and has to be personally transparent.

Kathi (03:31.497)
Okay.

Kathi (03:44.224)
Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (03:44.805)
And that’s why I call it financial intimacy, because you have to be intimate enough with yourself to determine if the way that you’re using money or the way that you’re not using money is honest, or if it’s really a projection of an internal dynamic that you’re working through.

Kathi (04:01.43)
Yeah, it’s so interesting that you talk about scarcity and abundance because we always think of abundance as a good thing, but okay, so I understand perfectly the scarcity mindset. It’s why when I find a shirt that I like, I go buy six of them because what if they run out? What if I can never get this shirt again? You guys, I don’t do that anymore because I live by the principles of clutter-free, but.

I could see where people do, you know, it’s buying groceries at the store when you have the money, even if those are, you know, and they’re on sale, even if you’re not going to cook those right, you know, it’s those kind of things. But tell me more about money and abundance because yeah, like right now, my husband and I are in our highest earning potential that we’ve never ever been in. You know, we’ve got

you know, we’ve got some extra. What does that do to our mindset when we’re in that abundance?

Kathi (05:14.43)
So what does that do to our relationship with our money?

Stefania Mariaa (05:27.109)
Absolutely. So the first thing to recognize is that the way that I look at it is that scarcity and abundance are on the same spectrum. They’re just opposite sides of it. So on the scarcity side, we have so much attention to saying that I’m not going to have another dollar.

Kathi (05:41.246)
Mm-hmm. Right.

Stefania Mariaa (05:42.469)
But then on the flip side, there’ll always be another dollar. But if we pedestalize any one mindset, we also have to omit the negatives aspects of it.

Kathi (05:53.606)
Okay, so explain those to me.

Stefania Mariaa (05:54.749)
Okay. So absolutely. So when we have scarcity, if we’re hyper-focused on scarcity, we’ll say, oh my gosh, I don’t know if I’m ever gonna get another dollar or another can or another pair of shoes. I need to go buy six sets or whatever the case might be. Like there’s a freak out, a panic that happens. It denies the reality that you will always have access to more. Like there’s just a fundamental truth. Like you will always have the ability to get another can.

Kathi (06:00.226)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:12.907)
Right.

Kathi (06:18.982)
Mm-hmm, right. Yes.

Kathi (06:25.194)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (06:26.825)
And for some who are coming from a history of maybe their parents or they themselves came from poverty, it’s like, no, no. There is a chance that we may never have another opportunity to buy a good pair of shoes. Right? So scarcity is very much a part of their lived reality in the past. But today, there is still an opportunity. There’s always going to be tomorrow. There’s always going to be this chance for you to get whatever you need in the present moment.

Kathi (06:34.412)
No.

Kathi (06:39.803)
Right.

Kathi (06:45.44)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:51.381)
Yeah.

Mm-hmm, right. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (06:55.209)
if you’re operating from presence. So over-reliance on scarcity denies the truth of abundance that you will always have access to more.

Kathi (07:05.055)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (07:06.381)
But when we go over to the other side and we over rely on abundance, it says, oh, I’ll always have more. This is actually the place where extraction patterns exist.

Kathi (07:11.68)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:16.671)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (07:18.174)
So what it says is, oh, I don’t have to be responsible for this dollar, I’ll always get another dollar.

Kathi (07:25.714)
Oh, so I can spend on things. I can stop paying attention to my money. Like I don’t have to check my, you know, oh, so what if I have streaming services I don’t use? Because I can always make more money.

Stefania Mariaa (07:31.34)
Exactly.

Stefania Mariaa (07:43.013)
I can always make more money. And what you’ll find is a lot of the people who really push this abundance mindset, they actually lack financial intimacy. Cause if I were to ask them, how much does your life cost per month? They have no idea.

Kathi (07:55.478)
They don’t know. Yeah, yeah. Oh.

Stefania Mariaa (07:57.465)
but what they know is that they can still make money and that their bills are covered. It’s like, yeah, but you don’t know where your money’s going. And the reason why this becomes a problem is that when you meet these, like, you know, I’m gonna throw out some celebrity names here, but like Steve Harvey, Dana Carvey, 50 Cent, all of them had this tremendous ability to make money, but they lost millions of dollars through false hires, through poor accountants, through whatever.

Kathi (08:11.822)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (08:27.501)
because they weren’t intimate enough with their financial reality to say, hey, where’s this money going? Because they just had this beautiful, tremendous ability to make more money. So they ended up having these crazy financial leaks. And so abundance denies the truth of scarcity that this dollar matters.

Kathi (08:27.738)
Yeah.

Kathi (08:33.792)
Yeah.

Kathi (08:40.962)
Yes.

Kathi (08:48.822)
You know, you probably weren’t even born when this happened, but I remember a conversation between Oprah Winfrey, and I think it was Toni Braxton, and she had somebody very close to her, I think it was a relative, who embezzled just almost all of her money. And Oprah said, this is why I sign every check. This is why I’ve got my eyes on every…

dollar. It’s not that Oprah has to be counting the tens of dollars, but the tens of dollars are a sign. You know, there’s an old saying, watch your pennies and your dollars will mind themselves, something like that. And it’s so it’s so true that we don’t want to become scrooge-like or miserly or ungenerous.

Stefania Mariaa (09:34.518)
Mm-hmm.

Stefania Mariaa (09:44.272)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (09:46.146)
but I would rather my money be going to the animal shelter than to a streaming service I don’t watch. And so, yeah. So let me ask you this. On the other end of the scale, the scarcity scale, scarcity side of the scale, those are the words I’m trying to tell. So I grew up with an unemployed, my dad was unemployed for much of my childhood. My mom, you know.

Stefania Mariaa (09:54.818)
Right.

Kathi (10:13.598)
It’s so funny how often shoes become a part of this conversation. I think shoes are a real symbol for people. But my mom, I remember, was wearing cardboard in the bottom of her shoes because she couldn’t afford new ones. You know, like those are the things I always remember. And so when you say there’s always the ability to get another dollar, I’m like, but what if I can’t? Like, that is always my initial reaction. And so how do you overcome that kind of

Stefania Mariaa (10:38.073)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (10:42.222)
thinking that kind of re I mean it’s really trauma is really what it is. So how do you start to heal from that trauma?

Stefania Mariaa (10:47.141)
Absolutely.

Stefania Mariaa (10:52.773)
So one of the things that I, and I teach this as like a foundational lesson in all bodies of work that come through the financial intimacy curriculum, but it’s the principle of sovereign participation.

Kathi (11:05.671)
Okay, explain that.

Stefania Mariaa (11:07.573)
Yeah. So it’s rooted in the practice that you are a sovereign being. You are the supreme and ultimate authority over what takes place in your 3D reality. Okay. So if we operate from this lens of, but what if I can’t make another dollar? It requires you to not participate in the making of another dollar.

Kathi (11:17.504)
Okay.

Kathi (11:23.255)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:28.4)
Mmm, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (11:30.413)
So already you are opting out of life based of fear, history, generational trauma, whatever the case is. And I’m of the mindset of, we can try to heal our trauma for the rest of our lives. And ultimately the question is, are you still gonna be a participant in your life today, even if you’re not healed?

Kathi (11:33.82)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:39.757)
Yeah.

Kathi (11:46.215)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:53.51)
Okay, so making choices even if you’re not fully healed, but making healing choices. Okay, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (12:00.213)
Exactly. Right? Because, you know, I also grew up very underprivileged on the wrong side of the tracks by definition and by geography. And one of the things that was really clear was, you know, my dad would go buy work shoes, but he was replacing them every like three months because he was buying these cheaper work shoes because he couldn’t afford something more.

Kathi (12:07.516)
Right?

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (12:25.358)
I don’t… Right.

Right.

Stefania Mariaa (12:30.901)
And to this day, I still watch my dad repeat to himself, I can’t afford something more. I can’t afford the better quality.

Kathi (12:36.706)
Hmm.

Kathi (12:40.056)
Right.

Stefania Mariaa (12:41.301)
And I’m actually quite, for lack of better terms, triggering to my dad because I’ve completely removed myself from a lot of those conversations. Because the way that I look at it is, well, how can you participate today where getting the thing that you actually need that is more of service to your life isn’t an obstacle, but an opportunity. Every limitation is an invitation.

Kathi (12:49.027)
Right.

Kathi (12:58.572)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (13:02.994)
Right. Because… yeah.

Yeah, because if I mean, and again, how funny that shoes come up, right? This is core to those of us who didn’t have money growing up. We knew like you didn’t, clothes you could kind of slide on, but shoes were really important. People know like I have a core story about as a single mom buying my son shoes that has guided this whole conversation. But you know,

I’m not going to use your dad as an example, but to buy those work boots, if he was able to put aside or if somebody was able to put aside a dollar a day for a year, even while wearing the cheap shoes, by the end of the year, you have $365 where you can get the shoes that will last maybe a year. It changes the whole dynamic of what we do.

Stefania Mariaa (14:01.221)
Exactly.

Kathi (14:06.514)
And so instead of getting credit and having to pay for something that you purchased and recover from that, if you can get ahead of that, my husband and I have different accounts where we put money in to save up for things that we want in the future instead of recovering from the past. And that has really healed some of my inner, we were not.

but we struggled hard. So it’s my inner struggling child. And to be able to do that, I think that’s so fascinating. So tell me, I would love to know from you, what is the definition of financial intimacy?

Stefania Mariaa (14:50.061)
Yeah, so I’ve redefined it because I didn’t like the current way that it’s interacted. So traditionally financial intimacy is the intimacy between partners, right? It’s a husband, a wife, whatever dynamic you’re in, discussing your financial matters. I think that is kind of a useless experience of financial intimacy because people don’t know how to be honest about their finances with themselves.

Kathi (14:54.092)
Okay.

Kathi (14:59.713)
Right.

Kathi (15:05.45)
Yes.

Kathi (15:15.968)
Oh, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (15:18.157)
So to become financially intimate is your own personal relationship to being honest, to being transparent, to be vulnerable with yourself about what your life requires in terms of its resources. Because even in my work, I don’t just talk about money. I talk about time and energy, because those are all resources in our life. And if we’re only ever focused on money, we’re gonna lose time and energy to live the life we want.

Kathi (15:47.034)
It’s so true, right? I’m not exaggerating when I say just two hours ago, I was teaching in Clutter Free for Life. And we were talking, we’re recording this in November, even though it’s going up in January, where we know lots of people are focusing on their money. So you guys, I got you, we’re gonna do this in January. But we were talking about, you have three resources, time, energy, and money. And you have other resources too, like creativity and things like that.

Stefania Mariaa (16:12.707)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:16.278)
But time, energy, and money are the ones that you are constantly balancing and you are overdrawn on. It’s very easy to become overdrawn in any of those. And we have budgets for each of those three resources. We have only so much time, we have only so much money. And as I get older, I realize that my energy needs to be budgeted. And so I love that you’re speaking in these terms. This is amazing.

Stefania Mariaa (16:32.173)
Absolutely.

Stefania Mariaa (16:46.465)
Yeah, it’s totally aligned, right? One of the things that I find so interesting about it is that we often talk about financial debt.

Kathi (16:48.573)
Right.

Kathi (16:55.594)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (16:57.185)
We don’t talk about temporal or energetic debt, but temporal debt, when you’re debted to the clock, that’s where obligation comes in. That’s where self-sacrifice comes in. That’s where martyrdom comes in, right? If we’re in debt energetically, that’s where burnout exists. That’s where hustle culture exists. And I’m not against debt. I’m gonna be very clear, okay? Because debt was a bet.

Kathi (17:00.362)
No, we don’t.

Kathi (17:05.109)
Yeah.

Kathi (17:08.798)
Yes.

Kathi (17:14.987)
Right.

Kathi (17:21.536)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (17:26.559)
on your future self.

Kathi (17:28.352)
Hmm, interesting, okay.

Stefania Mariaa (17:30.637)
Right? It is saying that you will become the kind of person who can repay this. Doesn’t matter what you pay for.

Kathi (17:35.834)
Okay, I’ve never heard that before, interesting.

Stefania Mariaa (17:40.329)
Yeah, it doesn’t matter what you’ve used debt to pay for, whether it’s a house or a pair of shoes, right? Like it doesn’t actually matter because debt is just a bet on you. That you are going to be the person who you need to be for your life to pay it back.

Kathi (17:45.332)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (17:58.157)
The issue is that financial debt is actually the easiest to manage.

Kathi (18:04.67)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (18:05.357)
because once you start getting into temporal or energetic debt.

They’re very unforgiving.

Kathi (18:13.374)
Yes. And when you get into energy debt, that’s when your health starts to be affected. And that is when and I really think time debt is when temporal debt is when your relationships become affected because you’re paying the clock on things that are not important to you.

Stefania Mariaa (18:21.642)
Exactly.

Stefania Mariaa (18:31.673)
Absolutely.

Stefania Mariaa (18:37.829)
Exactly. Now my question would be, how can someone be wealthy if they have all the money in the world, but they are in time and energy debt?

Kathi (18:47.922)
No, no. And you know why this aligns so beautifully with clutter is because when we have clutter, and I define clutter as things you don’t use, love or would buy again. Like if you have a messy desk, somebody told me I have a messy desk because I’m researching my ancestry.com. And she goes, it brings me great joy. And I said, I do not believe that’s clutter. I believe that that’s bringing you great joy.

But if you have a lot of things around you that you don’t love, you don’t use, and you wouldn’t buy again, that is costing you time because you can’t find the things that you actually use and love. It’s costing you energy because you can’t go to bed without taking everything off your bed in order to sleep in it. And it’s costing you money because you can’t find the things you need.

And so you’re back at the dollar store or Walmart or Target, depending on, or even Macy’s or Nordstrom, depending on your economics, your money, back stock, but we wanna be wise with our resources. We want to be that person who knows where our time, energy and money is going. Okay, this is such a great conversation that we cannot do it.

in one episode. We’ve already maxed our, we’re already in debt to our episode friend. Look at us. But you know what? That’s okay because we believed in this episode and we are going to do so. But I do before we before we go, Stefania, you, I mean everybody can find you at financial, financiallyintimate.com and we’ll put those links in there. But tell me about the teen money masterclass.

Stefania Mariaa (20:18.405)
Bye!

Kathi (20:41.563)
listening to this, have teenagers in their lives. Why teen money? Why not old person money, Stefania? Because we need help too, why teen?

Stefania Mariaa (20:50.861)
Well, because this isn’t actually for teenagers.

Kathi (20:55.33)
Good. Okay. Tell me more Inner Teen that’s right. I’ve heard you talk about this. This is so good We’ll talk about more this more in the next episode, but go ahead. Tell us what it is

Stefania Mariaa (20:56.838)
Yeah, so the-

Stefania Mariaa (21:01.069)
Yes! Okay, so- I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Absolutely. So inner teen money master class, which I affectionately call burn book to bank book because I’m a millennial that watched Mean Girls in high school. But the reason being is we often talk about healing our money wounds. And everyone wants to talk about our inner child, right? All of the money beliefs that were superimposed from our parents in what we were growing up in. But the reality is most of our actual money beliefs that get

Kathi (21:13.166)
Hahaha!

Kathi (21:21.342)
Yes.

Stefania Mariaa (21:34.873)
projected out into reality, are from our inner teens.

Because during our teenage years, we’re just learning what autonomy is. We’re just learning how to be mini adults, but we’re not adult. We’re still underdeveloped mentally. We’re starting to get our first jobs. And we’re dealing with these inner child wounds that never got addressed. And so between ages of 14 and honestly like 22, but like I say 14 to 19, we’re creating our…

Kathi (21:51.309)
Right.

Stefania Mariaa (22:10.261)
Oh, narratives that may be in rebellion to what we were raised in, or conformity to what we are raised in. Both are opposite sides of the spectrum. Now I talk a lot about these spectrums where one side denies the truth and the opposition. Ultimately, what financial intimacy allows me to do is guide you back to what’s in the center. What’s in the center of scarcity of abundance is reverence. What’s in the center of

Kathi (22:22.872)
Yeah.

Kathi (22:33.922)
Mmm.

Kathi (22:37.745)
Okay.

Stefania Mariaa (22:39.597)
conformity and rebellion, autonomy. So if you are really reverent, a deep embodied sense of respect for the autonomous individual you are, there are certain ways that you are going to use your money, your time and your energy that are an extension of that self-respect rather than a reaffirmation of the belief systems that actually harm you. And so in the money masterclass,

Kathi (22:42.623)
Oof.

Kathi (22:49.243)
Mm-hmm

Kathi (23:04.894)
I love this. I love this. Steph- Go ahead.

Stefania Mariaa (23:09.617)
I take you through kind of the process of why this is so important to look at. And it really is an opportunity for you to explore, well, do I actually want to become financially intimate and look at these pieces of my money story? Or am I going to continuously re-inflict these really painful practices, these really behavioral habits, behaviors that are quite painful for me? And that is just a, it’s a free class. It’s like…

Kathi (23:13.602)
Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (23:37.217)
I think it’s like 30 minutes long. So it’s not very long at all, but it is one of those like mini courses that really allow you to tap into parts of yourself that we do not as a society spend any time with. Like the fact that anybody is working on their money stuff and not looking at their inner team, mind boggling to me.

Kathi (23:40.148)
Yeah.

Kathi (23:55.178)
Wow, that’s so interesting. And as you’re just talking about it, my teenage years were the most broke years in my family. It was surrounding the most money stress. And I think that’s the issue for a lot of people. And if you’re thinking, why did I buy that? Why did I spend money on that when I needed to pay a bill and I decided to do something different? If you have any of that, why did I do that?

This sounds like such a great place to start. Stefania, thank you so much for being here today and thank you for coming back next week because we’ve got more to talk about.

Stefania Mariaa (24:34.329)
I am so excited.

Kathi (24:36.13)
Okay, and friends, if you enjoyed this episode, if it revealed something about yourself, if it’s something that could help someone you know, you know, take a moment and share the podcast with friends or loved one on our own social media. We would love for the word to get out about what Stefania is doing and about how that relates to our money and our clutter. Friends, thank you for joining us. You’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. And now go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

#597 5 Things I Do the Day After Christmas to Stay Clutter Free

#597 5 Things I Do the Day After Christmas to Stay Clutter Free

597 – 5 Things I Do the Day After Christmas to Stay Clutter Free

You made it through the holiday…but your living room didn’t! Are you wondering how to deal with all that Christmas clutter?

In this episode, Kathi and Roger Lipp share five timely tips for taming the mayhem left behind after all the merriment.

Listen in for their hints and hacks on:

  • Knowing whether to return, recycle, or donate stuff left over from the festivities.
  • Sharing out of your abundance.
  • Saving your after-Christmas sanity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What things do you do the day after Christmas to keep your home clutter free? 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 

 

Roger Lipp

Roger is a productivity and quality engineer for a Fortune 50 company.

Roger helps teams reach their full productivity potential by teaching them the practical and simple steps to reach their goals. Roger and his wife, author Kathi Lipp, teach communicators how to share their message through social media and email marketing.

He and Kathi coauthored Happy Habits for Every Couple with Harvest House Publishers.

Transcript

Kathleen Lipp:
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 Roger, happy day after Christmas!

Roger:
Oh hey!

Kathleen Lipp:
Yay! Survived another Christmas, yay!

Roger:
Yes.

Kathleen Lipp:
And guys, as you probably can imagine, we are recording this before the day after Christmas. But we know,

Roger:
We don’t even have snow on the ground right now.

Kathleen Lipp:
I know, we haven’t even had snow yet. And yeah, we’re firm into winter up here, winter time up here. But Christmas brings a lot of chaos and Christmas can bring a lot of clutter. And so this is gonna be a… Very fast episode guys because I know you’ve got other things to do. I know I hope you’re still watching Christmas movies I hope you’re still doing all the Christmas things but I wanted to tell you five things that we and in the Lipp household here at the Red House do in order to stay clutter-free after Christmas and so We’re gonna go through this fast because I want you to enjoy your day after Christmas But number one, deal with the Christmas clutter right away. So anything you are keeping, break down the boxes. Recycle that paper if you can. If you’re a paper reuser or a bag reuser, please be a bag reuser. Fold those up, put them away. If you have family in from out of town, sort through this stuff. Every year somebody leaves a gift behind here and then. You know, it’s four months until we see them again. No, I’m not, I don’t want to store things for people. How else do we deal with the Christmas clutter, Rog?

Roger:
Oh, you know, probably a lot of families do this. We make a game out of throwing away of the wrapping paper.

Kathleen Lipp:
Yes.

Roger:
We have the big garbage bag. Can you make the shot from where you’re sitting with the

Kathleen Lipp:
Yes.

Roger:
crumpled up paper?

Kathleen Lipp:
Yes,

Roger:
So

Kathleen Lipp:
I-

Roger:
that’s just little things like that keep the system flowing and keeping the house picked up.

Kathleen Lipp:
Yeah, and another thing, if you have Christmas ornaments, Christmas decorations things, that year after year do not get pulled out, then it’s time to donate those. It’s time to donate them. And I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here because I have a whole dish set that I love, but there’s no place to display it or store it here at the Red House. We just don’t have the space for it. And… You know, the Red House is not our forever home because someday we will physically not be able to live here because it’s a crazy place to live. But I want to be able to have those dishes. If anybody’s familiar, the Macy’s log cabin design and they make me super happy. I’m not a China person, but this is like stoneware. It’s wonderful. But deal with the, if you have… Ornaments things like that never get put on the tree go donate them You know, that’s some of the things you could deal with right away Put all that stuff aside. Yeah, right

Roger:
If you have lights that don’t work, you might be thinking, oh, it’s a project. I’ll get that fixed someday. Will you?

Kathleen Lipp:
Yeah

Roger:
I know I won’t.

Kathleen Lipp:
Yeah, and Roger’s a lighting guy like he’s a Lighting guy at our church and if he’s not gonna do it You’re probably not gonna do it or the people in your life are probably not gonna do it Is this why we have to buy lights almost every single year?

Roger:
Absolutely 100%.

Kathleen Lipp:
Okay.

Roger:
This is the

Kathleen Lipp:
Oh my

Roger:
only

Kathleen Lipp:
goodness

Roger:
reason.

Kathleen Lipp:
Uh-huh. The only reason not that our house gets more lit up like a Roman candle every single year Okay, so number one deal with the Christmas clutter right away. Okay number two make a meal plan with any leftovers. You have been cooking and cooking and you’ve had people come coming and cooking. So a couple of things, either repurpose those leftovers or eat them right away. Or one of the things that we do at Costco, we buy those to-go containers. They’re from GLAD, they’re plastic to-go containers. So you can pack those up and send them home with your guests. We pack up food and take it to our neighbor who doesn’t cook But he’s always he’s a volunteer firefighter. And so he’s on calls all the time. So we just bring him a meal and It’s good to go. So if you know, make a plan to eat up that food, that’s what I’m saying.

Roger:
Yeah, and I think there’s we’re also attacking this one from the other side this year by having a little bit more strategic plan going in to Christmas.

Kathleen Lipp:
Yes, yes. So we overcooked.

Roger:
I guess this is airing after Christmas, so the cows have left the barn for that one.

Kathleen Lipp:
Yeah, but, but you know, it’s a good thing to think about for next year. You know, every year I put on my calendar, not every year, but most years, do not buy wrapping paper. You have plenty. Um, one of the things that I have already put on my calendar for October next year is you only need the Turkey and three side dishes and two desserts. Um, we lost

Roger:
Yes.

Kathleen Lipp:
our minds this year. I don’t know what happened, but it was crazy. So yeah, you can make less usually. And one of the things that I really discovered is I used to make everybody’s favorites and I’m like, no, I’ll make that for your birthday. Let’s do that for your birthday. We don’t have to do that for every single holiday. So be strategic going in, but also plan to use up those leftovers because I don’t want you to cook just because you need a little variety. People can eat the same thing over and over again. Okay, number three. Schedule a day to do returns do not do returns on today on the 26th. That’s craziness. Don’t do it Don’t do it stay away from the stores. Don’t do it. You are too valuable Your time is too valuable. Your sanity is too valuable, but you know, could you do it? January 2nd could you do it? You know most places have 30 days you do not need to do it the day after I love Amazon returns we are buying less from Amazon but there are specific things that our kids sometimes want that are only on Amazon but I love that you can just go to like a Whole Foods or a UPS store and be able to do that return very easily Make sure that you can you know, if you absolutely can find those receipts Places like Marshall’s they’ll give you a gift card, but you can’t get your money back on your card Target I love their return policy because as long as you have a Target, you know account not their credit card, but like their frequent buyer you get the app as long as you have the app It keeps track of what you’ve purchased and you don’t even need a receipt

Roger:
But

Kathleen Lipp:
Anything on that?

Roger:
we can’t

Kathleen Lipp:
Yeah

Roger:
talk about returns without talking about Costco.

Kathleen Lipp:
What why what

Roger:
Oh,

Kathleen Lipp:
oh you

Roger:
there

Kathleen Lipp:
mean?

Roger:
you can

Kathleen Lipp:
the

Roger:
return it for

Kathleen Lipp:
return

Roger:
like a

Kathleen Lipp:
anything

Roger:
year. Yeah.

Kathleen Lipp:
Yes

Roger:
It’s, it’s

Kathleen Lipp:
Which

Roger:
wild.

Kathleen Lipp:
is lovely. Yeah, we returned a computer recently now there is the infamous somebody returned to christmas tree after christmas If you’re that

Roger:
Okay,

Kathleen Lipp:
person,

Roger:
don’t cheat

Kathleen Lipp:
please

Roger:
the system.

Kathleen Lipp:
don’t be that yeah, please don’t be that person. That’s just gross But yeah, you know, I bought you some uh battery operated socks and because you’re often out there doing snow that kind of thing, but they didn’t work. And so I had them, I just returned them like in July after I had bought them in October and it was no problem. No, you know, by the way, we give enough money to Costco, it shouldn’t be a problem. And Sam’s club is the same way. I’ve never had any problems returning anything to Sam’s club is the but be a returner. Do not keep things in your house, be a returner. So yes, Costco, Costco’s great about that. Okay, number four. So you scheduled a day to do returns, I want you to schedule a day to do a drop-off at the charity shop. You know, if that’s not a regular part of your errands, either make it a regular part and you’re just dropping off like one little bag at a time, or. Schedule a day to do it after Christmas because when you get all this new stuff in There should be stuff going out of your house And especially if you have little kids who are growing out of their stuff They don’t have cousins or little brothers or sisters, you know get that back in there are people who could use that desperately and so um schedule a day to drop off at the charity shop and Then number five stay out of the stores It’s going to be very easy for me Christmas 2023 to stay out of the stores. My mom’s having eye surgery on the 26th. But Roger, if we were not taking care of my mom’s medical needs, I would want to go to someplace like we just went to an apple farm and that was so much fun. You could go to the dog park with your dog. Although, you know, if you’re listening to this in 2023, there’s a bad dog cough going around. So maybe stay out of the parks, but, or go to a movie. I think the day after Christmas is a beautiful day to go to a movie that’s not in a shopping mall. And guys, I wanna give a little warning here. I think that there are going to be some crazy sales in 2023, you know, between Christmas and New Year’s because I think retail was way down this year and so don’t be tempted just because something has a good price on it. I think these stores have a lot of inventory that they’re going to need to get rid of but it doesn’t need to go to your house. Anything you want to add to this list Roger?

Roger:
No, I think going in with a plan and just keeping up with things. You’ve got people at your house probably, and that’s where the clutter is coming from. So

Kathleen Lipp:
Yeah.

Roger:
it is fine to enlist help in dealing with that clutter.

Kathleen Lipp:
Yeah, you

Roger:
I

Kathleen Lipp:
know

Roger:
think

Kathleen Lipp:
what?

Roger:
that might be another thing to think about.

Kathleen Lipp:
I will tell you one of the best things that the people in our family do is they all say, hey, I’ll take a bag of garbage home because they know how hard

Roger:
Yes.

Kathleen Lipp:
it is for us to get rid of garbage up here. Like that is such a gift. So we try to do, you know, we try to keep all the wet garbage, but the dry garbage and the recycling our family takes. And so yeah, ask for that help. I think that that’s really, that’s such a great thing. And you know, send those boxes home with the kids and the grandkids. You don’t need to be the one to take care of all that, unless they’re flying. If they’re flying, then everybody gets a pass.

Okay, guys, we hope that you had the best Christmas. We hope that this is gonna be an amazing new year. Listen next week where we’re gonna talk about ways to keep stuff from coming into your house. Today we’re really talking about getting it out of your house, but we want you to also keep it from coming into your house as well. Well, friends, first of all, Roger, thanks so much for hanging out with me.

Roger:
Thank you.

Kathleen Lipp:
It’s always fun.

Roger:
Yes.

Kathleen Lipp:
Friends, thank you for hanging out with us. You’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the Clutter-Free life you were always intended to live.

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

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

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

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

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

Listen in and learn:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Join Clutter Free for Life Today! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Tonya Kubo

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

 
Transcript

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

Tonya Kubo (15:09.708)
Ha ha

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

Tonya Kubo (15:18.261)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (15:23.896)
It’s like…

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

Kathi (15:34.41)
Yes, 100%.

Kathi (15:40.33)
Mm-hmm

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

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

Kathi (16:17.514)
Yeah. No.

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

Kathi (16:25.09)
Right.

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

Kathi (16:52.714)
Right. Yeah.

Kathi (16:57.838)
Mm-hmm.

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

Kathi (17:11.84)
Yes.

Kathi (17:15.789)
Yes.

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

Tonya Kubo (17:21.99)
Mm-hmm.

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

Kathi (17:49.044)
Yeah, okay.

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

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

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

Tonya Kubo (18:52.322)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (19:09.27)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

Tonya Kubo (19:39.096)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

Tonya Kubo (20:19.677)
Exactly.

Tonya Kubo (20:42.324)
I’m sorry.

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

Kathi (20:50.926)
Right? Yeah.

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

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

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

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

Kathi (21:31.719)
Yes!

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

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

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

Tonya Kubo (22:06.787)
Hahaha

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

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

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

Tonya Kubo (22:41.211)
Yeah.

Tonya Kubo (22:47.032)
Ha ha ha!

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

Tonya Kubo (23:29.384)
Yeah, fail.

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

Tonya Kubo (23:38.962)
Hahaha

Tonya Kubo (23:46.988)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (23:51.518)
Yeah.

Mm-hmm.

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

Kathi (24:00.372)
Okay.

Kathi (24:26.338)
Right.

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

Kathi (24:38.636)
Yeah.

Kathi (24:55.096)
Ah.

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

Kathi (25:08.471)
Right.

Kathi (25:18.839)
Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathi (26:18.09)
Right. Yeah.

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

Tonya Kubo (26:36.553)
Yeah.

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

Kathi (27:17.037)
Please.

Mm-hmm.

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

Kathi (27:34.925)
Right.

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

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

Kathi (28:15.976)
Yes, you are

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

Kathi (28:29.015)
Right.

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

Kathi (29:10.342)
Right.

Kathi (29:17.806)
Hmm

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

Kathi (29:25.119)
Right.

Kathi (29:38.142)
Right. Yes.

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

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

Mm-hmm.

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

Kathi (30:23.263)
Right?

Yeah.

Kathi (30:29.285)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (30:33.037)
Yeah.

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

Kathi (30:41.07)
video.

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

Tonya Kubo (31:12.536)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathi (33:01.28)
Yes.

Kathi (33:07.991)
guess.

Kathi (33:15.007)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

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

Tonya Kubo (33:43.208)
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Listen in and learn:

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

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

 

 

Join Clutter Free for Life Today! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Tonya Kubo

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

 
Transcript

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

Tonya Kubo (00:31.964)

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

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

Tonya Kubo (00:42.157)
Mm-hmm.

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

Tonya Kubo (01:05.1)
Right.

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

Tonya Kubo (01:49.019)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

Kathi (02:11.564)
Yeah.

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

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

Kathi (02:41.047)
No.

Kathi (02:45.006)
Yeah.

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

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

Tonya Kubo (03:22.604)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

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

Kathi (04:11.404)
right.

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

Kathi (04:24.078)
Mm-hmm.

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

Kathi (04:48.33)
Yeah. Hehehehe.

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

Kathi (05:01.794)
Yeah.

Kathi (05:18.786)
Yep.

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

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

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

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

Kathi (06:48.886)
Right.

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

Kathi (06:58.571)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

Kathi (07:29.389)
Yeah.

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

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

Tonya Kubo (08:13.204)
Yes.

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

Tonya Kubo (08:40.212)
Yes.

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

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

Kathi (09:14.861)
Right?

Kathi (09:20.619)
Yeah.

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

Kathi (09:33.514)
Yeah.

Kathi (09:45.346)
Mmm.

Yeah.

Kathi (09:57.391)
Okay

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

Kathi (10:06.964)
Right, I-

Kathi (10:10.402)
Yes.

Kathi (10:17.556)
Right.

Kathi (10:27.116)
Yes.

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

Kathi (10:34.507)
Yes.

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

Kathi (10:55.016)
Right.

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

Tonya Kubo (11:17.918)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (11:26.769)
Mm-hmm.

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

Tonya Kubo (11:40.524)
Mm-hmm.

Tonya Kubo (11:57.696)
Mm-hmm.

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

Tonya Kubo (12:16.14)
Mm-hmm.

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

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

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

Tonya Kubo (13:11.654)
I… write!

Tonya Kubo (13:18.526)
Eh.

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

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

Kathi (13:43.115)
Right.

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

Kathi (13:49.111)
guess.

Kathi (14:05.047)
Yes.

Kathi (14:08.728)
Yes.

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

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

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

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

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