What Are the Hidden Reasons for Clutter?

What Are the Hidden Reasons for Clutter?

For some people, a three-step plan for a decluttering system results in a neat and cozy home within a few months. For others, decluttering is an arduous journey. It’s not because of busyness or not having a system in place. Behind stacks of clutter, hidden spiritual and emotional issues lurk. If we’re honest, we admit that sometimes it’s just easier to keep those issues hidden in the piles of clutter.

Here are some hidden reasons for clutter:

  • Low self-worth
  • Pleasing other people
  • Clinging to the past/reliving our mistakes
  • Poverty mindset—fearing the lack
  • Depression/anxiety clutter cycle—If we’re constantly in the emotional part of our brain, we can’t use the logic part (where we make decisions).

Some of these reasons are chronic, while others are situational. In 2014, my eyes were opened to a long-time clutter problem in my own house.

A few months after my dad passed away, my siblings and I traveled from three different states to his house. It took us four days to clean it out, working from early morning until late evening, when we were too tired to move.

I lost track of how many giant, industrial garbage dumpsters we filled. Time and again, a driver would load it onto his truck, empty it at the dump, and bring it back again.

Anything you could think of, we threw away. (We gave a lot away too. A charity came and took what was useable to help needy families.) Stacks of old magazines, mattresses, bank papers from before I was born, and an entire drawer full of keys to who-knows-what. Sixty-seven years’ worth of stuff, and I don’t think Dad ever tossed anything besides old food.

For me, it was like looking into my future.

When I arrived home, I saw everything I had piled around my house. Even some stuff I didn’t want but kept anyway, for fear of offending the relative who gave it to me. If I didn’t do something now, I realized, my kids were going to be saddled with loads of useless stuff to deal with upon my death.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t ever learned a practical system for being clutter free. One of the books in my many stacks was Kathi’s The Get Yourself Organized Project. I’d read it and even written a review for a newspaper article.

So how did I get from cluttery mess to (mostly) decluttered and organized home business owner?

 

Here I share five crucial elements on my clutter-free journey.

 

1)      Awareness.

Here’s the main difference between then and now: Today I really can’t stand clutter and work the systems from Clutter Free daily to keep it out of my house. Before, I didn’t notice it or care that my house was cluttered. I lost time, money and sanity because of my clutter, but I tolerated it because it just seemed normal to me. I didn’t consider there might be a better way to live. This is the simplest—and also hardest—of the steps.

2)      A new safe space.

Since clutter is often accompanied by feelings of low self-worth, we must redefine what feels safe to us. It’s a big mind shift to feel worthy of the time it takes to improve our living spaces. Making change is hard; it’s easier to just stick with what we know. Gradually, I accepted that my new way of living was the actual safe space, and not the unhealthy condition of an overly cluttered house. Instead of making ourselves feel better by buying more things, we can enjoy the calm, peaceful feeling of an uncluttered home.

3)      Treat yourself like the treasure you are.

Once I became aware of my clutter problem, I worked to keep my thoughts about it positive. I changed “I’m such a slob!” to “I’m working through Kathi’s steps to get clutter free; I didn’t get here overnight, and I won’t be rid of it all overnight, either.” If we’re constantly berating ourselves, we’ll stay stuck in our low self-worth mindset. Kathi’s mantra of decluttering being a lifestyle and not a “one and done” became my mainstay. The more kind and gentle you can be with yourself, the more progress you’ll make.

4)      Deal with specific issues you’re hiding.

Among my stacks of books, I had one titled Not Marked that deals with childhood sexual abuse. I had purchased it with several other titles and dumped them into my other piles of books. At that point, I hadn’t told anyone I was suffering from PTSD flashbacks to childhood trauma. Not even my husband knew about the abuse or that I was trying to cope with overwhelming memories. Other places to hide our issues might be ridiculously messy pantries to hide eating too much junk food or crammed-full closets to hide a clothes shopping addiction. It starts with telling one friend you can trust (or a therapist) and getting to the source of whatever’s eating you.

5)      Celebrate your wins by enjoying that decluttered room again.

Once I got all the piles of books out of my living room, we bought some pretty pictures and couch pillows to make it cozy. Since it looks so nice, I’m really hesitant to leave anything that doesn’t belong out in the living room. One by one, as you conquer the specific areas of your home, decorate and personalize them so that they feel complete.

Whether your hidden reasons for clutter are chronic or situational, there is hope. Establishing a system for decluttering and recognizing the hidden reasons behind the clutter is the first step. Remember, give yourself grace for whatever you’re struggling with; even if it takes longer than you hoped, you’ll get to the place where you can live peacefully in your space again.

Enter to win!

Want a chance to win a copy of Lyneta’s memoir, Curtain Call? Comment below and two random winners will be mailed a copy by March 13th. (Winners outside the U.S. will receive a digital copy.)

Parenting: Don’t Try To Do the Most Important Job Alone

Parenting: Don’t Try To Do the Most Important Job Alone

 

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

When it comes to moms and clutter, I feel like there are two kinds of women:

  1. Those who used to have beautiful, presentable, comfortable homes before kids.
  2. Those who have always struggled with clutter, but abandoned all hope of being clutter free once kids came along.

I see a couple parallels between learning to be clutter free and raising kids.

1. Both becoming clutter free and raising kids look simple for other people, and feel impossible for us.

Before working the Clutter Free system, I couldn’t figure out how everyone else kept their house so perfect. I now know that a lot of those people, because they are a part of Clutter Free Academy, had closet clutter. While their houses looked perfect, you wouldn’t dare open a closet door.  I had bought all the books and tried to enact a plan, but none of those resources seemed to cover my issues.

It was the same with raising small kids; it seemed like everyone else had the secret manual on how to grow little ones. They had a plan, and apparently I was out of school the day that plan was handed out. Even though I’d read all the books and taken all the classes, it felt like every situation that came up with my kids hadn’t been covered in the books.

2. Both becoming clutter free and raising kids can feel isolating and lonely.

One of the main reasons we created the Clutter Free Academy online community is because clutter can be incredibly isolating. The fear, guilt and shame that go with clutter can keep us secretive and alone.

It is the same with being a parent. When we feel that everyone “gets it” except us, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and “otherness.” I’m so grateful there were groups like MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers International) when my kids were little. I needed to sit with other moms who were honest about their struggles — not every day with their kids looked like tidy finger painting and super-fun playdates where lattes and laughter were served.

I think one of the best things we can do in every tough journey—including decluttering and mothering— is normalizing those feelings of just not measuring up. When we read the books, gather with others, and are open and honest about our own experiences, it’s amazing how we can lessen the feelings of fear, guilt and shame that so often accompany hard things.

One of the resources I will be giving the moms in my life is Grit and Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms. I love that the two authors, Suzanne and Gretta, are as real about the challenges and self-doubt around mothering as they are about the fact that they feel like they may never recover from bringing children into their homes.

Don’t do any of this alone. The mothering, the decluttering or anything else you feel like you just have to “grit” through. Because while you may need to grit those teeth, you don’t have to do it alone.

Hang in There, Mama!

For those moments when you think you’ll never live up to the Supermoms around you—when you’re elbow deep in the grind of diapers and laundry and peanut butter sandwiches—you need a good dose of Grit and Grace.

This refreshing collection of 90 daily devotions comes from two moms who’ve found themselves face-to-the-floor in need of encouragement—and now they’re offering it to you. Through humor and vulnerability, these short messages of truth remove the filters of perfection clouding your vision and bring clarity to your purpose as a mom. As you read the Scripture and prayer that accompany each day’s message, you’ll discover more fully who you are in Christ and how to raise your children to reflect His love to the world.

In receiving grace from the One who is present in your life right now and in every moment, you will find you have ever more grace to give your kids.

CONNECT

Stop by www.suzannegosselin.com to get to know Suzanne, author and stay-at-home mom.

WIN

Enter to WIN! We are giving away a Grand Prize one lucky winner PLUS, Harvest House gave us 5 additional copies of Grit and Grace to give away to five more lucky winners! Our Grand Prize winner will get:
• A copy of Grit and Grace, of course!
• A $50 Starbucks card to take you and your mom friends out for coffee on us!!!

Enter to win by leaving a comment about your biggest kid related clutter issue below in the comments section. (We’ll randomly select 6 winners and notify them in the comments section by February 27th.)

REFLECT AND RESPOND

Today, look at the woman in your mirror and tell her, “God knew what He was doing when He picked you to be your kids’ mom.” Pray for God to guide you to reach out to a mom who needs to hear this same message: give her a call, drop her an email, or send her a quick text.

Kathi Lipp and Clutter Free thank Harvest House for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

When Your Quiet Time Feels Like a Chore, Focusing on One Word Changes Everything

When Your Quiet Time Feels Like a Chore, Focusing on One Word Changes Everything

THINK ON THESE THINGS

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

How does the most important person in your life go from being your focus to your “Well, if there’s enough time…,”?

If I treated my marriage that way, I would be in a world of hurt. But if I’m honest, that’s how I’ve treated Jesus at many points in my life. I can hang out with you when I have more time.

It’s funny – I never have a problem finding time to hang out with my husband or my best friend, even when it’s a crazy busy day. It may just be a quick dinner or even a quick chat on the phone, but I can always make time for those I love.

Plus, I’m thinking about them throughout the day. When I see a video Cheri would like or read an article I know my husband Roger would appreciate , I send it to them because I’m thinking about them.

So why was I so bad about hanging out with God?

After some analysis of what was holding me back, I realized it wasn’t Jesus I was resisting, it was the long list of rules I had set up for myself to make sure that my time with him “counted.”

You see, my time only counted when:

• I spent time in gratitude
• I spent time in prayer for other people
• I spent time in adoration
• I spent time listening
• I spent time in confession
• I spent time reading God’s word
• I spent time meditating on God’s word
• I spent time in silence
• I spent time in worship

Thinking on all the requirements I made for myself, it is no wonder I was skipping my time with God. If my husband had a list of demands like that, I would want to spend less and less time with him.

But here’s the thing – God did not come up with that list of demands. God has issued me a series of invitations.

To spend time with Him.

To talk with Him throughout my day.

To lay my burdens at His feet.

To ask Him to advocate for those I love.

Where did I ever get the idea that all of that was a requirement, every single time we met?

I’ve realized that my time with God isn’t an appointment to be kept – it’s a relationship to be developed.

That is why I’ve decided to keep my expectations small when it comes to my morning quite time. I’m “touching base” in the morning and inviting God into the rest of my day, into relationship.
One of the ways I am currently spending my morning time is by reflecting on one passage of scripture. The book Just One Word by Susie Crosby is a devotional that has one, focused word and verse for each day. It is so easy to carry that one word through my day, and like Philippians 4:8 says, “think on such things.”

I love that it is just one word, and one verse, to focus on throughout the day. And it’s amazing (or a God-thing, more likely) that each word somehow finds its way weaved throughout my day.
Are you overwhelmed by your to-do list when it comes to your relationship with God? Wipe out the requirements and lean into relationship.

One Word Can Inspire Unending Gratitude

There is power in words–the words we read and the words we speak. Power to build and power to destroy. One word—just one—is all it takes to turn a day around. Just one word is all it takes to set your mind on the never-ending power of God’s work in your life.

In these delightful meditations, Susie Crosby draws out one unexpected word from a daily Scripture verse—words like “steep,” “roomy,” and “multiply.” As she explores each theme, she shows you a mighty God who is there for you, who calls you to live, and who you can invite into your day with just one word.

Here you will find a simple and heartfelt recipe for keeping your eyes on Jesus throughout your week. Uncover a wealth of spiritual insight in just one word!

CONNECT & WIN

Stop by susiecrosby.com and get to know Susie and her heart for women who long to know God.

WIN a copy of Just One Word. To celebrate this new book, Harvest House is giving away 5 copies plus we are giving away a grand prize package including:

  • A copy of Just One Word
  • Rustic Felt Letter Board 10×10
  • A Notebook Journal
  • 18 Colored Felt Pens

Enter to win by answering this question in our comments section below: What is one expectation of your quiet time that has been holding you back from having time with the Lord? {We’ll randomly select 3 winners and notify them in the comments section by February 27th.}

*Giveaway open to US residents only.

REFLECT AND RESPOND

Today, be gentle with yourself and your list of requirements to get it “right” in your relationship with God. Focus on one word, one verse, and one act of worship. Ask God to keep the conversation going during the day and be open to hearing His voice.

Kathi Lipp and Clutter Free thank Harvest House for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. (And when I say lucky, I mean fortunate.)

I have a career I love, one with purpose and meaning and serves God in a way I was created for, people I love working with, and enough income to not stay up late at night worrying about how we are going to pay the bills (most nights, that is).

But let’s be clear… my life was not always this way.

I spent most of my twenties and thirties living paycheck to paycheck, in a job that had no potential, loving some of my coworkers but barely tolerating some of the people I worked with.

Some of that was just finding my place in the world – it’s what a lot of 20 and some 30-year-olds do. But part of it was not really believing I could be successful in what I wanted to do in my life. It was easier (and safer) to just do the day to day and survive instead of having a hope for a better, more successful future.

When did things finally begin to turn around for me? Was it a job promotion or a new opportunity?

No – it was a planner.

It was a simple, paper planner that, for the first time, I actually used to plan what I was going to accomplish instead of using it like a calendar.

I started to write down my dreams and started turning those into goals.

And this is what I’ve noticed with every successful woman I’ve ever worked with:

Most of them have great teams of people.

Most of them get up early to attack their day.

Most of them have supportive family and friends to encourage them.

But all of them take time away from their crazy, busy, jam-packed days to pull back and plan for what they want.

How to Pull Back and Plan

I call it Pull Back Planning because I have to be intentional about pulling back from my regular life and setting that time aside to plan for my day, my week, my month, my year, and yes, my whole life.

Each day, before I end work, I take a look at what is coming tomorrow to see what I need to plan for, pray for and do. I apply the same principle to my week, month and year.

I love what Dave Ramsey says about budgets: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It’s the same with a planner – a planner will help you tell your time where it goes instead of wondering where it went.

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says:

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

I love that verse. But we have to know what we are planning to do in order to pray about it and commit it to God.

I want to give my readers the opportunity to try this out.

My favorite planner this year is Valorie Burton’s The Successful Woman Planner. I love the motivating, clarifying quotes placed throughout the week-at-a-glance page layout, and that Valorie (one of the most successful women I know) has shared her wisdom throughout those pages. It is my go-to planner for 2019. 

In order to be entered to win a copy of Valorie’s planner and a $50 gift card to Office Max, simply comment below and tell us the next step to success you want to take.

Offer open to US residents only.

Deadline to enter: January 30, 2019.

A bestselling author and Certified Personal and Executive Coach who has served clients in over 40 states and eight countries, Valorie Burton has written nine books on personal development, including Successful Women Think Differently and Happy Women Live Better. She is the founder of The CaPP Institute, providing tools and training that build resilience, well-being, and productivity for life and work.

She has been a regular contributor on CNN, HLN, and the Today show, where she gives practical career and life advice. She has also been featured in and on The Dr. Oz Show, NPR, Oprah Radio, Ebony, Essence, “O” The Oprah Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and hundreds of others. Valorie’s corporate clientele includes multi-million dollar businesses such as Accenture, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Deloitte, General Mills, McDonalds Corp., and many more.

Join 25,000 subscribers to her weekly e-newsletter at www.valorieburton.com and visit her company site at www.cappinstitute.com.

www.valorieburton.com

 

#319: How to Put an End to Performancism (Loving Your Work and Your Life)

#319: How to Put an End to Performancism (Loving Your Work and Your Life)

Kathi sits down with friend and coauthor of “Overwhelmed,” Cheri Gregory to talk about performancism. It’s important to know when to put an end to your day and stop working for the night.

Cheri shares some personal stories about how she was able to shift her thinking from one of shame and blame to one of, it’s okay to rest.

This is a great episode on how to spot performancism, call it out and find a better balance in your life.

In this Episode You Will Know:

  • What the word performancism means.
  • How to know if you suffer from performancism.
  • Why it’s important to stop and listen.
  • Why it’s important to be both comforting and practical.

Grab a copy of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard-

Releases September 4, 2018

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally come face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be. Grab your copy from your favorite retailer and join our book club in September. All the details can be found here.

WIN A COPY OF YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY SO HARD!

Enter to win a You Don’t Have to Try So Hard gift pack from Harvest House by commenting below: What is one way can put a healthy boundary in your life this week?

Downloads from this episode

The 3 Most Important Things to Know If You Suffer from Performancism 

How to Know If You Suffer from Performancism 

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

• Leave a note in the comment section below.
• Share this show on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.

To Help Out the Show:

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

Special thanks to Cheri for joining me this week! Remember to enter in the drawing for our “You Don’t Have to Try So Hard” gift basket and for your free download, “The 3 Most Important Things You Need to Know If You Suffer from Performancism and All the other Bad Behaviors” and “The 3 Most Important Things to Know If You’re Dealing with Somebody Who Suffers from Performancism.”

Meet Our Guest

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.” Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and Overwhelmed.
Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.
Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

Eps. #317 Perfectly Planned – How to Capture Beauty and Order at the Same Time

Eps. #317 Perfectly Planned – How to Capture Beauty and Order at the Same Time

Ruth Chou Simons has come out with a tool for Kathi and fellow clutter-free people that you can start using now. Ruth’s new GraceLaced planner is a 17-month journey into documenting the daily things happening in each season of your life. It’s a time to slow down and enjoy all that God is doing.

In this episode you will:

*Hear directly from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons.

*Get motivated to start journaling those special moments you can reflect on later.

*Find out the reasons why it’s important to slow down and capture all that God’s doing in your life right now.

I am so excited about today’s podcast and can’t wait to share it with you!

Giveaway to Help You Stay Organized!

How do you up your creativity? Share your idea over on this post to be entered to win our grand prize sponsored by Harvest House Publishers so you can be creative and stay organized too.

 

 

Walk in Grace Through the Seasons

Approach each new day with purpose, led by truth from God’s Word. This 17-month planner from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons will help you organize your days and embrace the changing seasons of your heart. You will find:

  • artistically crafted weekly, monthly, and yearly calendars
  • ample space each week to keep track of to-dos and focus your intentions
  • special pages to note important birthdays or anniversaries each month
  • carefully selected, hand-lettered Scripture to encourage your heart
  • opportunities to record your prayers and favorite passages

This beautiful planner will help you practice everyday faithfulness and find God’s grace laced through each season of your life.

To purchase your GraceLaced Planner, click here.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:
• Leave a note in the comment section below.
• Share this show on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:
• Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
• Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.

Special thanks to Ruth for joining me this week!

Meet Our Guest

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and speaker who shares her journey of how God’s grace intersects daily life through word and paintbrush at GraceLaced.com – the popular blog, online shoppe, and Instagram community that reaches over a hundred thousand daily. Her first book, GraceLaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart, a winner of the 2018 Christian Book Award, released September 2017.