#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.

#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.

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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.

#592 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

#592 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

592: Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

Do you feel like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it during the holidays?

You are not alone, friend!

Kathi Lipp and her favorite elf Deanna Day Young talk about strategies to keep your holidays less stressful so you can take care of the future you. In Part 2 of a three-part series, they lay out ten time-saving and preplanning tips to keep you moving and merry during this season when time is a valuable commodity.

Listen in as Kathi and Deanna each share five of their favorite holiday hacks such as:

  • How do they plan their holiday outfits? Hint: It keeps things clutter-free!
  • How to keep holiday gift-giving manageable.
  • And they share their favorite holiday recipes with us! Check those out below.

Have you listened to 591 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space? Click here.

Next week Kathi and Deanna will continue the holiday theme as they discuss what to do when you’re low on money. (And who isn’t?)  Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Do you find the Clutter Free Academy podcast helpful? Would you consider reviewing the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify? Each review helps us share the word about this podcast and reach more listeners with the Clutter Free message. We would be so grateful for your recommendation.

Baked Mac & Cheese
Ingredients:
1 Box of Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Prepare Mac & Cheese as directed on package. Add milk and sour cream. Mix well. Spoon into 8″x8″ baking dish. Top with cheese.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and lightly browned.

**This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9″x13″ baking dish. Increase bake time to 45 minutes.

S’mores Bars
Ingredients:
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ c. graham crackers, crushed or graham cracker crumbs
¾ c. all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 regular size Hershey bars
7 oz jar of marshmallow creme

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add crushed graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs, flour, salt and baking powder; beat until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl. Put a layer of aluminum foil down in the 8″x8″ pan and grease the foil. This will allow you to lift the dessert out of the baking pan to cool after baking and allow for easier cutting into bars.
  • Spoon half of the dough into a greased 8″x8″ baking pan and spread evenly. Break chocolate bars into pieces and arrange over the dough. Spread a layer of marshmallow creme over the chocolate. Flatten the remaining dough and lay over marshmallow creme. The remaining dough may not cover the entire layer of marshmallow creme but place sporadically over the marshmallow creme layer.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Lift foil out of baking pan and place on cooling rack. Allow dessert to cool and cut into squares.

Honey Bun Cake
Mix together:
1 box yellow cake mix
8 oz. sour cream
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

  • Pour half of batter in greased 9×13 pan.
  • In separate bowl, mix together:
    • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
    • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • Sprinkle cinnamon/brown sugar mixture over batter.
  • Pour remaining batter on top.
  • Bake 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes
  • Poke holes in cake with a fork while hot and pour the following mixture over cake:
    2 ½ cups powdered sugar
    ½ cup milk
    1 tsp vanilla

Artichoke Dip
Servings 8 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese
1 c. Parmesan cheese – shredded
1 c. mayonnaise low-fat or fat-free is acceptable (pantry)
½ t. dill weed
1 clove garlic crushed
1 can artichoke hearts drained and chopped (pantry)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cream the cream cheese, add the Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed  and garlic. Mix well. Fold in the chopped artichoke hearts and then spoon mixture into a 9×9 pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes:
Serve with crackers, toasted baguettes, or toasted pita points. Serves 8 as an appetizer

Overnight Sausage, Egg, and Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole
Ingredients:
1 pound breakfast sausage, crumbled
6 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
12 large eggs
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the crumbled breakfast sausage until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a 9×13-inch baking dish, evenly spread the thawed shredded hashbrowns. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk or half-and-half, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika until well combined.
  • Stir in the cooked sausage, diced onion, diced red bell pepper, chopped fresh parsley, and both shredded cheeses until well mixed.
  • Pour the egg mixture evenly over the hashbrowns in the baking dish. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to gently press the mixture down, ensuring that the hashbrowns are well-covered.
  • Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
  • The next morning, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before baking.
  • Remove the cover and bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the top is golden brown. To check for doneness, insert a knife in the center of the casserole; it should come out clean.
  • Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and serve with your favorite hot sauce, salsa, or ketchup, if desired.

 

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.

Kathi and Deanna share ideas for making the holidays less stressful in this episode.

What ideas do you have for reducing stress during the holiday season? Could you 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 

 

Deanna Day Young

Deanna lives in southeast Indiana on the Young family farm with her husband of 35 years. She and Roger have two grown daughters.

Deanna is the Director of Operations for Iron Timbers, a family-owned custom furniture business featured currently, and for several years, on HGTV’s Good Bones show. Prior to this position, she was a paralegal and managed the international trademark portfolio for 34 years for the Hill-Rom division of Baxter International. Deanna has a degree in Journalism and Speech Communications from Ball State University and a Paralegal Certification from Saint Mary of the Woods College.

Fun Fact – Deanna and her daughter are also Chi Omega sorority sisters!! Hoot Hoot.

You can connect with Deanna at deannadayyoung.com

Transcript

#591 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space

#591 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space

591: Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space

Kathi and her guest Deanna Day Young love decorating for Christmas, but what do you do when you are low on space? Kathi and Deanna both have experienced living in small spaces, and in today’s podcast they share ten ideas for decorating for the holidays, no matter how much room you have to work with.

Listen in and hear some helpful tips, including:

  • What to consider when decorating for each season.
  • Deanna’s trick for making cleanup extra easy!
  • The best color choice for decorating a holiday table.
  • How to keep your gifts clutter-free.

Next week Kathi and Deanna will continue the holiday theme as they discuss what to do when you’re low on time. (And who isn’t?)  Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Do you find the Clutter Free Academy podcast helpful? Would you consider reviewing the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify? Each review helps us share the word about this podcast and reach more listeners with the Clutter Free message. We would be so grateful for your recommendation.

 

 

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.

In this episode Kathi and Deanna share ideas for giving clutter free gifts.

What fun ideas do you have for clutter free gift giving? 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 

 

Deanna Day Young

Deanna lives in southeast Indiana on the Young family farm with her husband of 35 years. She and Roger have two grown daughters.

Deanna is the Director of Operations for Iron Timbers, a family-owned custom furniture business featured currently, and for several years, on HGTV’s Good Bones show. Prior to this position, she was a paralegal and managed the international trademark portfolio for 34 years for the Hill-Rom division of Baxter International. Deanna has a degree in Journalism and Speech Communications from Ball State University and a Paralegal Certification from Saint Mary of the Woods College.

Fun Fact – Deanna and her daughter are also Chi Omega sorority sisters!! Hoot Hoot.

You can connect with Deanna at deannadayyoung.com

Transcript

#590 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 2

#590 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 2

590 – Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 2

You might have heard of the Circle of Life but how about the Circle of Thrift?

In this part 2 episode, Kathi interviews full-time Pinterest employee and thrifting enthusiast Erin Handley. Erin and Kathi both have a love for a great thrift find and share personal stories about how thrifting has been a real benefit to them and their families through the years. Listen in as she and Kathi laugh and discuss some tips and tricks they have learned about thrifting, such as:

  • There are times of year when people donate certain items. Kathi and Erin share when those times are!
  • How to develop your personal style while thrifting.
  • What is the Circle of Thrift?

Bonus: Erin shares her super secret thrifting tip of where, when, and how to find those special items you’re looking for!

Haven’t listened to 589 Thrifting with Purpose: Tips and Strategies for Finding Gems and Reducing Clutter – Part 1? Click here.

Join the free Clutter Free Academy group on Facebook

Be sure to sign up here and 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.

How do feel about thrifting? 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 

 

Erin Handley

Erin Handley is a passionate member of the Lead Bold Team and is fortunate to be their podcast coordinator! When she isn’t serving alongside awesome women ministry leaders, she works full-time at Pinterest and has been in Talent Acquisition and HR for over 10 years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be found most weekends with her husband and pup at a thrift store, flea market, antique mall and more – no garage sale is safe. Visit her at leadingboldpodcast.org.

 
Transcript