#411 Wear it Out – How to Best Manage Your Home During a Time of Crisis

#411 Wear it Out – How to Best Manage Your Home During a Time of Crisis

Kathi and her friend Tonya Kubo, leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and Clutter Free for Life, are here for Part 2 of the How to Best Manage Your Home During a Time of Crisis series. Last week we talked about the principle of use it up. To continue the conversation, Kathi and Tonya are talking about the principle of “wear it out,” all while nerding out on philosophical things. Friend, we have all justified purchasing wants over needs. Together, let’s explore some questions that we can ask ourselves to help discover a better way:

  • How can I make my purchases last longer?
  • Are there things I can delay or do less often?
  • How can I extend the life of or repurpose things?

 

 

Ready For Anything

Bad stuff happens all the time, but this doesn’t mean we have to live in constant fear.

Ready for Anything: Preparing Your Heart and Home for Any Crisis Big or Small gives finite simple steps for being proactive rather than reactive—helping you prepare your mind, heart, and home for any unfortunate circumstance. Full of stories and humor along with facts, tips, and lists, Kathi’s book offers a down-to-earth guide that will show you how to face the unexpected with confidence, relying on God’s strength and plan rather than giving in to fear and anxiety.

Her step-by-step plan is easy to implement and will help anyone become a better steward of their resources as well as be the neighbor who can help in a crisis rather than needing help. Kathi’s goal is to equip readers to be the frontline of helpers in any crisis, from a natural disaster to a friend’s job loss.

Order your copy of Ready For Anything today.

GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win Kathi Lipp’s book Ready For Anything, answer the question “what is something you are going to make last 10 percent longer?” in the comments below.

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

 

 

#410 Use It Up – How to Best Manage Your Home During a Time of Crisis

#410 Use It Up – How to Best Manage Your Home During a Time of Crisis

Join in the fun as Kathi and Tonya Kubo, our very own fearless leader of Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and Clutter Free for Life, get to nerd out on one of Kathi’s favorite topics and challenge our thinking about what we really need to be happy, healthy, and content. Together we will discover that there are a million different little things we can do every single day that make a huge difference and add up. Friend, we are creative human beings who can make a beautiful life out of our abundance. So, let’s start this journey today by learning about:

  • Backwards Planning
  • Embracing the Power of And
  • Reevaluating our Space, Time, and Money
  • Delightfully Using our Abundance

 

 

Ready For Anything

Bad stuff happens all the time, but this doesn’t mean we have to live in constant fear.

Ready for Anything: Preparing Your Heart and Home for Any Crisis Big or Small gives finite simple steps for being proactive rather than reactive—helping readers prepare their mind, heart, and home for any unfortunate circumstance. Full of stories and humor along with facts, tips, and lists, Kathi’s book offers a down-to-earth guide that will show readers how to face the unexpected with confidence, relying on God’s strength and plan rather than giving in to fear and anxiety.

Her step-by-step plan is easy to implement and will help anyone become a better steward of their resources as well as be the neighbor who can help in a crisis rather than needing help themselves. Kathi’s goal is to equip you to be the frontline of helpers in any crisis from a natural disaster to a friend’s job loss.

Order your copy of Ready for Anything on HERE today.

Recipes:

Dutch Apple Bread Recipe:

from “More With Less” by Doris Janzen Longacre
(makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sour milk or orange juice
1 cup chopped apples (or grated with box grater)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped cranberries (optional)—I didn’t use them

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well, scraping down sides after each egg.
4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. Alternating with the dry ingredients, add the sour milk or orange juice.
6. Fold in the chopped apples and nuts (and cranberries, if using).
7. Bake in greased 9×5” loaf pan for 55 minutes or until loaf tests done.

Tonya uses this recipe and makes it into muffins: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate_zucchini_bread/

and for gluten-free or paleo friends (Tonya makes it this way for her daughter’s limitations): https://detoxinsta.com/healthy-flourless-chocolate-zucchini-muffins/

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

Check out Imperfect Foods here.

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

#409 How Do I Set Manageable Goals?

#409 How Do I Set Manageable Goals?

Kathi and Tonya Kubo, leader of Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and Clutter Free for Life are here for Part 4 of the How Do I? Series. In this series, we have learned how to get unstuck from our clutter rut, how to get rid of the good stuff, and how to know where stuff goes. Now, in the perfect finale of this fab four series, we are learning how to set realistic and manageable goals. Friend, you do not have to feel like you’re the only one, and working towards your clutter goals doesn’t have to feel like such a burden. Let’s do this together! Listen in to gain perspective, better decision-making ability, and focus on:

  • Working the Program
  • Energy Management
  • Gentle Accountability

Clutter-Free Home

Are you longing for a place of peace from which you can love others well? The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life is your room-by-room guide to decluttering, reclaiming, and celebrating every space of your home.

In The Clutter-Free Home, you’ll walk through each room of your house to create organizational zones that are not only functional and practical but create places of peace that reflect your personality. Kathi will help you tackle the four-step process to reveal the home you’ve always dreamed of and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

Get your copy of The Clutter-Free Home at kathilipp.com or on Amazon today.

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

 

 

#408: How Do I Know Where Stuff Goes?

#408: How Do I Know Where Stuff Goes?

This week, Kathi and fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and Clutter Free for Life, Tonya Kubo, are continuing the conversation in the How Do I? Series. Last week Kathi and Tonya talked about how to get rid of the good stuff. Today Tonya brings to the table the most frequently asked question: where do I put all the stuff? Join in the conversation as they teach us how to create the solutions that make the most sense and change our lives.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to make life more simple
  • Reduce design fatigue
  • Make things work for you

Clutter-Free Home

Are you longing for a place of peace from which you can love others well? The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life is your room-by-room guide to decluttering, reclaiming, and celebrating every space of your home.

In The Clutter-Free Home, you’ll walk through each room of your house to create organizational zones that are not only functional and practical but create places of peace that reflect your personality. Kathi will help you tackle the four-step process to reveal the home you’ve always dreamed of and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

Order your copy of The Clutter-Free Home on Amazon today.

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life

Learn more about Writing at the Red House 

Order your squeeze bottles on Amazon

GIVEAWAY TIME: Answer this question in the comments below for a chance to win The Get Yourself Organized Project: What is your biggest struggle in figuring out where to put things?

(Or you can order your copy of The Get Yourself Organized Project on Amazon today.)

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

Kathi – Well, hey friends. Welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live everyday with less clutter and more life. We’re in the midst of a series. It’s basically, “How do I?” I’ve got Tonya Kubo here, who’s our fearless leader over at Clutter Free Academy and Clutter Free for Life. Hey, Tonya!

Tonya – Hey, Kathi!

Kathi – So, she’s asking me the most frequently asked questions over at Clutter Free Academy. So, this is number three in the series, so let’s do it.

Tonya – So, this one is, “How do I know where stuff goes?”

Kathi – So, this isn’t the most frequently asked question at Clutter Free Academy. This is the most frequently asked question from Tonya Kubo.

Tonya – Maybe?

Kathi – So, go into this. Where’s the struggle?

Tonya – Other people ask it too. So, for me, I’m pretty honest with our listeners in that, I grew up in a studio apartment, with a mother who was a hoarder. So, when you live in 500 square feet, there’s not a lot of places for things. Then, when you live with a hoarder, there is stuff everywhere. I have lived in homes, since then, of varying sizes, but I really struggle with figuring out where things should go. What makes sense? So, I have a tendency to move things around a lot. Nothing ever seems quite right. Yet, when I go to other people’s houses, I don’t seem to have this problem.

Kathi – Okay, but you’re not trying to accomplish things in other people’s houses, for the most part.

Tonya – For the most part, but I can stay with somebody for a couple of days and go, “Oh, this is where the cups go. This makes sense.”

Kathi – And you’ve stayed here at The Red House quite a bit. You’re able to find your way around here. So, have you ever worked in a restaurant?

Tonya – Just in the front of the house.

Kathi – So I align a well-organized house with a well-organized kitchen. The flour always goes in the same place, but it’s figuring out where that goes. Here’s what I know about cluttery people. We are creative, so we’re always trying…

Tonya – To recreate the wheel.

Kathi – Yes. We always want to do something new. We always want to be innovators. We want to come up with the solution that makes the most sense and is going to change our lives. We’re the people who buy the air fryers, even though we don’t really know what they do. We do all those things. So, we tend to not want to stick with a system, ‘cause we’re always trying to find the short cut; the easy way. That kind of thing. So, I want to talk a little bit about ‘how do we do this?’ So, when you were struggling with “Where does something go?” my first question is, “Where will it be used?” We just talked about oil, so explain that.

Tonya – So, I lived in an older home, so I have some cabinets, but I don’t have a pantry, so we bought a pantry. But the only place for the pantry is clear across the kitchen. Almost not in the kitchen any more. In my brain, all the food belongs in the pantry. That’s where food goes. But that’s 20 steps, 30 steps away from where I cook.

Kathi – Let’s also say, you are on DEFCON 3 right now, when it comes to cooking. Explain that.

Tonya – So, I have a daughter with food allergies, so we have to cook 90% from scratch.

Kathi – Roger would starve. I’m just going to let you know. If I had to cook 95% of my stuff from scratch, it would be bad around here.

Tonya – We’ve all lost a little bit of weight. Not going to lie. We’re working on it. Part of it is a space thing. If I buy oils at Costco, they’re too tall to fit in the cabinet that’s by the stove. So, I’m doing a lot of back and forth. I’m grabbing a lot of specialty flours, a lot of specialty oils. I do have a lot more stuff in my kitchen than I’m used to.

Kathi – I’m on a new eating plan, too. First of all, the stuff is expensive, and there’s a lot of it.

Tonya – Amen.

Kathi – A couple of things. One of the questions I like to ask is, “Where will it be used?” Yes, it’s in your kitchen, but it’s not convenient. I’ll tell you, I’ve had my own issues with oils. Because we have a lot of people here at The Red House, we buy the Costco olive oil. First of all, there’s no place for it in my kitchen. Also, the Costco one costs as much as the Safeway one, but it’s ten times as big. So, one of the things I’ve done is, I’ve got a little place. I’ve got a few oils in my kitchen, but what I’ve done is, I’ve got a squeeze bottle for that oil. First of all, I love using a squeeze bottle for my oil. That makes all the difference in the world. I’m putting it in a smaller container that works for me. Now, I don’t care that I store my oil out in the garage. Why are you laughing hysterically?

Tonya – Kathi, this is the perfect illustration of the challenge of most of us with clutter. It has never occurred to me that I could put something in a container different than the container I bought it in.

Kathi – Fascinating.

Tonya – It’s like, if I buy the oil at Costco, it has to stay in the Costco container. So, frequently, I will spend the money to buy the tiny little Safeway one, because that fits in my cabinet. The idea that there’s someplace that sell squeeze bottles never crossed my mind.

Kathi – Amazon. I’ll put the link in here.

Tonya – I’m not trying to be ridiculous. I promise I’m not overplaying this. This is not rehearsed. This is the truth.

Kathi – No today, when you were saying “What’s in your see through container?” I’m like, “Oh, that’s the shake you gave me.” You were like, “Oh. I’ve never taken it out of its container.”

Tonya – Do you know how annoyed I get with all those resealable zipper bags that have to sit on the top and they’re ugly and they fall over and they spill powder on your head? It has never occurred to me that I can put them in a different container.

Kathi – That’s so interesting. The oil thing has been new for me within the past five years.

Tonya – You’ve changed my life. I want to type this out, but I’m trying to be focused on the conversation.

Kathi – So I need the right size, right where I am, doing the thing. So, I have oil, salt, and pepper right where I need it to be, but the refills are in an inconvenient location, but they’re not as inconvenient as Costco. So, that’s how I like to think about it. I don’t have to keep all those giant containers within reach, but I will have everything I need within reach.

Tonya – Okay.

Kathi – Yay! I’m glad I could change your life.

Tonya – I’m stupefied.

Kathi – Here’s the other thing. When you are in the middle of cooking, and you’re like, “The thing that I need is not here.” Think about, “Is there somewhere I could put this so it would be right here?” I love a little tray that I can put my oil, my salt, my pepper, that kind of thing on, so it looks cute in my kitchen, but it’s not the giant thing.  So, I think about it that way. The dog collar. Where do you keep the dog collar? We have a special dog collar because Moose is a runner and we have 32 acres.

Tonya – That’s a lot of running.

Kathi – Please do not call the SPCA. We have a buzz collar. We have never buzzed her once, but it makes a little beeping sound when we say, “We want you to come back.” So, we have a little bowl where we keep our keys and our buzz collar, so we know where it’s at all the time. I also have little jars of treats around the house, because we’re trying to train her. So, it’s like, “Where do you keep the treats?” Well, I have a treat bucket that’s put away, but I have little containers of treats throughout the house in cute little containers, so things are where we use them. That’s my most important criteria.

Tonya – Right. So, we’re here at The Red House together, and I’m just looking around your kitchen as we’re talking. You have dishtowels. Now, I remember, this was one of those life-changing things for me, the first time I came here. You have a basket, to the left of your stove that has all your dishtowels. Often times, you’re at the stove and you get your hands dirty and you need to wipe them off. Now, you could keep those in a drawer across the way, but then what mess would you make?

Kathi – Most times, I keep a dishtowel on the oven, so it’s right there. I also keep all of our hot pads and that.

Tonya – Yeah. Potholders. Everything is right there, where you would typically need to use it.

Kathi – Right. So, I try to keep things right where I’ll use them, then, the backups are in the inconvenient locations. Either our pantry, which is in our laundry room, or we have a bigger pantry in the garage. Like we said, we have retreats here and if we get snowed in? We always have to have two weeks’ worth of food here. It’s not even an option.

Tonya – That’s just your reality.

Kathi – Okay, so the first question is: Where will it be used? With the asterisk of, “You can put it in a smaller container.” That’s okay. The second question is: Where is my first impulse to find it? So, where would I go looking for the salt? Where would I go looking for my blue jacket? Where would I go looking for the extra garbage bags? So, the garbage bags, for a long time, I kept them in a pull out drawer underneath our stairs. But I realized I used them in the sink, so I have now moved them over to the sink. It takes me about a year to really figure out a house. I haven’t spent a year here, yet. We’ve only spent portions of a year. You are allowed to make the house work for you. I think some people find it surprising that we have all of our glasses over on a different wall in our kitchen than right by the sink, or right by the fridge. Here’s the thing: I keep two mugs and two glasses right conveniently located for me and Roger. That’s all that lives here 90% of the time. Then, I keep the bulk of them someplace else. It seems a little weird, but the first place I would look is in the cupboard by the sink. That’s where we keep a lot of our short term things. So think about, “Where would be my first impulse to look for scissors?”, “Where would be my first impulse to look for my glasses?” those kind of things. Then, my third point, and I think that this really important: Label everything. So, make it a giant kindergarten room. I’ve got labels on the insides of all my cupboards, so that people know where things are. Now, there will be some people in your family, (you know I love him, Roger) who it doesn’t matter that I’ve had the scissors in the same place in this house since we bought it. I’ve had a label there that says, “Scissors”. Every day I get asked where the scissors are. I love him deeply. So, you label things. Here’s the thing: If you don’t want to label it, ‘cause “I’m not 100% sure this is where it’s going to go until Jesus comes back.” I want you to label it anyway. Labels are cheap. You can pull it off and you can move that label someplace else, if you decide that you need to do it.

Tonya – So, really, what you’re saying is, I could make the wrong choice.

Kathi – I want you to make the wrong choice. About 25% of your choices are going to be wrong and I want you to have the freedom to say, “This didn’t work. I’m going to go try something else.”

Tonya – I’m just going to believe you on that one.

Kathi – One hundred percent. This is how I did it the entire time the kids were growing up. “I’m going to try something here. I’m going to commit to it for a month…two months.” But if I’m like, “Oh, no. It shouldn’t be here, it should be over here.” I can only make that decision after I’ve committed to that one spot. You don’t believe me.

Tonya – No. What you don’t realize is that my whole life is playing like a movie in my brain right now. So, I’m going, “Oh, Abby, who’s five, would love that, because that fits with how her classroom is organized at school.”

Kathi – Right. Exactly.

Tonya – Abby is a systems person. It’s very hard for her when things are different, in different locations. It’s hard to have different rules at home than there are at school. It’s hard to have different organization systems at home than there is at school. So, I think of how much she would appreciate having a label, even if she can’t read. I can put a picture, right?

Kathi – You can put a picture.

Tonya – And she would know where things went.

Kathi – Right. I think that is so important for kids to have a sense of stability in their house. It’s important for adults, too. One of things we just did: On top of our fridge we have this bowl. It’s got tomatoes on it, and peppers and everything. It’s a big bowl. For a long time, what was making me lose my Jesus on a regular basis is, we’d go to Costco. We’d buy the thin pretzels. Roger would take some thin pretzels, then I had the backup bag, ‘cause we were having people over, so we had the backup bag. He would open the fresh bag while the other one still had 3/4ths of the content in it. Nothing makes Jesus weep more than two open bags. So now, when a bag gets opened, it goes on top of the fridge.

Tonya – So now you know where the open bag is.

Kathi – I know where the open bag is. Roger knows where the open bag is. Now the world knows where the open bag is.

Tonya – It’s on top of the fridge, guys.

Kathi – Right, so you better check the top of the fridge before you go opening a brand new bag. It’s just simpler to have those systems in place so it reduces our decision fatigue. If I know the scissors go in the same place in the drawer, I don’t have to decide every day “Where is the best place for the scissors?” The best place for the scissors is the place where we’ve designated. We can do that every single time. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single day.

Tonya – Alright. This is good.

Kathi – So, guys, to recap. One, figure out where it will be used. You can do smaller containers. You can do whatever is going to make it work for you. Number two: Where’s my first impulse to find the thing? Number three: Put it in the wrong place. You get to make the decisions, even if they are bad decisions. If you don’t decide, you can’t change the decision. If you make a decision, you can change a decision.

Tonya – I like that.

Kathi – Okay, so I want to know what our listeners’ biggest struggles is where to put things. Is it kitchen items? Is it office supplies? For two of you, we’re going to send you a copy. We’re going to randomly choose from those comments and we’re going to send you a copy of the Get Yourself Organized Project. That’ll be fun. Some people do not have that book. We want them to have that book, because it helps you with all those systems. Tonya, thank you for asking the good questions.

Tonya – Well, thank you for answering the good questions.

Kathi – I can change your life. I love that.

Tonya – Is it rude to just pull up Amazon right now?

Kathi – No, I think you can do that. We will put that in the comments, and we’ll put it with an affiliate code, so a little bit of that money goes to support this podcast. People have asked how they can support the podcast. Clicking on the affiliate links really helps. Guys, thanks for joining 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.

#407: How Do I Get Rid of the Good Stuff?

#407: How Do I Get Rid of the Good Stuff?

Do you want to enjoy decluttered spaces but aren’t sure just how to get rid of the good stuff? Well, friends Kathi and our very own Tonya Kubo, leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, are here to help! Last week, we learned about getting unstuck from your clutter rut. Tonya is asking all the hard questions in this series, and Kathi is bringing the wisdom from her experience and her new book The Clutter-Free Home.

In this episode, you will discover:

  • What’s the objective
  • What’s the priority
  • Understanding the focus

Clutter-Free Home

Are you longing for a place of peace from which you can love others well? The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life is your room-by-room guide to decluttering, reclaiming, and celebrating every space of your home.

In The Clutter-Free Home, you’ll walk through each room of your house to create organizational zones that are not only functional and practical but create places of peace that reflect your personality. Kathi will help you tackle the four-step process to reveal the home you’ve always dreamed of and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

Pre-order your copy of The Clutter-Free Home on Amazon today.

 

Book Giveaway

 

 

For a chance to win Kathi Lipp’s book The Clutter-Free Home, answer the question, “Which is more important: the money or the space?” in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

Next Door
https://nextdoor.com/

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

Read along with the podcast!

 

Read along with the Podcast!

 

Clutter Free Academy Podcast # 407

 

How Do I Get Rid of Good Stuff?

 

 

<<intro music>>

 

Kathi – Well, hey friends. Welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live everyday with less clutter and more life. We’re in the midst of a really fun series right now. In order to put me on the spot, put me in the hot seat, we have our very own Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya.

 

Tonya – Hey, Kathi.

 

Kathi – So, you’re asking me all the hard questions.

 

Tonya – Yes, and it’s so much fun.

 

Kathi – Okay, good. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. So, this is our second in the series. What is the hard question you get from all of our friends over at Clutter Free Academy?

 

Tonya – How Do I Get Rid of the Good Stuff?

 

Kathi – Okay, so what does that mean? Because, if you want to get rid of it, how good can it be?

 

Tonya – Well, you know us cluttery people, right?

 

Kathi – I do. I’m one of you.

 

Tonya – You know, we see these things, and it’s like, “It’s too nice to give away. It’s too nice to throw away. I could make money off of this.” Right? Let me give you a few real life examples from our Clutter Free Academy community. So, there’s homeschooling curriculum.

 

Kathi – Oh my, goodness. Yes.

 

Tonya – That stuff’s expensive.

 

Kathi – It is expensive.

 

Tonya – Then there is art supplies, craft supplies. That stuff isn’t cheap, either.

 

Kathi – No, it’s not.

 

Tonya – The Cricut? That is a pricy piece of equipment

 

Kathi – I just bought that for my daughter for Christmas this past year.

 

Tonya – So, you can appreciate that money does not grow on trees. That things is a little bit of a chunk of somebody’s wallet. Then there’s the stuff for the kids. You know? There is the sugar cube machine kits. Those are not cheap.

 

Kathi – Right! But haven’t you used that?

 

Tonya – There’s always the buy one get one free. You’ve got little kids, and you’re like, “Should I hold on to that for five years?” Should you sell it on a Facebook group? Should you eBay it? Do you put it in a yard sale? There’s so many things that are just too good. The dishes that aren’t practical, and let’s just be honest, this is a personal example. I had really nice, really expensive dishes I got for my wedding. It never occurred to me to pay attention to the dinner plate measurements and my cupboard measurements.

 

Kathi – Well, who would?

 

Tonya – Yeah, so there was this two inch overhang, so my cupboards never closed. But they were expensive!

 

Kathi – Also, were they everyday dishes, or were they just when the Queen came to visit?

 

Tonya – No, they were everyday dishes.

 

Kathi – Oh, okay, good.

 

Tonya – But you need to keep them to remind myself how dumb I was to not check the dimensions.

 

Kathi – Who does that even occur to? Who makes dishes that can’t fit into cupboards? I don’t even understand.

 

Tonya – So those are some real life examples.

 

Kathi – So this is going to be the most unhelpful statement ever, but let me expound upon it. It’s up to each person. Here’s what I mean by that. There are some people who are great at garage sales. There are some people who are great at selling stuff online. If you have tried to do that and you know you’re not good at it. Like, you forget to mail the things after people paid you? That’s not good. You set up for a garage sale and you make $92. $92 isn’t bad, but is it worth a whole day to you? For some people, it is. When I was a sales rep, I worked for a candle company. I would go put candles in all these drug stores and everything like that. Sometimes they would start to get faded or something like that. So, I would take those back, and I was allowed to sell them. I had to mark them so they couldn’t be taken back to the store, but I had a garage sale where I made a thousand dollars. So, would I tell anybody, “No, you shouldn’t have a garage sale.”? No, absolutely not. We really needed that thousand dollars. But, is a garage sale the right solution for everybody? So, if you’re super broke and you have some good stuff that is garage sale appropriate? So, kids’ clothes that are in good condition. Kids’ toys. Things like that. Maybe some furniture. I think garage sales are great for changes in life. You’ve moved someplace, or you’re going to move some place and you need to get rid of a bunch of stuff. Or, your kids have outgrown all the stuff. I did a garage sale when I went through a divorce because I needed money then. I think garage sales are great for changes in life. Now, if you have enough stuff for a good garage sale every year, I think you have a problem. I think you are buying too much stuff, probably. At a garage sale, you’re going to recoup, maybe, 10% of what you bought.

 

Tonya – If you’re lucky.

 

Kathi – If you’re lucky. So, I think you have to know what you’re good at. There are people who are great at finding things at a thrift store and selling them on Facebook, but let me ask you. What is your objective? Is your objective to start a business, or is your objective to get clutter free? If your objective is to get clutter free, let me gently help you consider that most of your stuff should be given away. I really think that, for most of us, depending on the financial situation we’re in, we need to get rid of stuff so that, one: we have more room in our houses. We know that clutter equals depression and we don’t want that for our members here. Also, I just think that there’s a lot of time and energy that goes into selling. There are people who do it really well, but then there’s the rest of us. So, we do a lot of things on Freecycle. Here is the thing. The good stuff we’ve given away, we’ve given away to people in need. People who are on Freecycle aren’t just looking for bargains. They’re looking for furniture for their kids. These are single moms, oftentimes. We’ve given away some really good stuff. Even if it’d recouped 25% of that cost, I’d rather give it to the person who absolutely needs it. So, to think about it that way helps me. You look skeptical.

 

Tonya – I’m just thinking of my own personal experiences. Since we’ve been on this clutter free journey, we did not have much disposable income when we started. Life is very different for us now, but even back then, Brian and I had a really long conversation. What is the priority? The priority, at that time, was space in our home. This wasn’t from me. I was still stuck in fear, guilt and shame related to clutter that I couldn’t see it, but he was the one who had the wisdom to say, “We just have to trust God. We have to have the faith that if we release this stuff, somehow, somewhere it’s all going to come back. When we need it, we’re going to have it.” We have released so much stuff out into the world in the last five or six years. There’s never been a time where I was like, “Oh, I should have kept that third Crockpot.”

 

Kathi – Right. Exactly.

 

Tonya – “Oh, that blender!” Even at the beginning. We got rid of a lot of baby stuff that was still in the packaging. It was something we really needed and then the age just never worked out. We looked at the brand and we couldn’t really remember what store it came from to see if it’s still returnable. I’m part of a MOPS group so I was like, “Does anyone need this one thing? It’s still in the boxes.” I remember somebody from our church reached out to me and said, “Hey. Do you still have that stuff?” They were looking for the booster seat. They were looking for the swing. They were looking for a high chair. I was like, “I still have that stuff and one thing’s been out of the box, blah blah blah.” Met them in a parking lot. It was like, their sister whose daughter just had a baby and it was all this stuff. They were like, “What do you want for it?” And I’m like, “This is the thing: I don’t clean it. I don’t take money for it.”

 

Kathi – Right. Exactly.

 

Tonya – She was like, “Yeah, but you saved me a trip to the store.” And she gave me cash. It wasn’t expected, but you know what? It was the exact number that I needed right then and there. It always works out for me. So, I always appreciate when people say, “I need the money.”

 

Kathi – Absolutely. If you need the money and you’re good at it? Here’s what I think a lot of times happens. We spend the money, then we feel guilty about the money we spent on the new thing, so we try to recoup it with the old thing. That economy just doesn’t work out. Yes, a car. You know what? I want you to get money for a car. A house? I want you to get money for your house. There are certain baby items that are very expensive, but if you’re trying to recoup on an Old Navy t-shirt for your three year old? I just think your time is worth more than that. Again, if you are financially strapped (and I have been that person at times) I don’t know that selling your stuff is the best use of your time. Could you be doing something else? Could you be cutting back on other expenses? The time it takes to sell something, unless you have a knack for that, I don’t think you’re ever going to recoup. I would rather, instead of you ordering out a pizza, you make one from scratch; you learn how to do that. ‘Cause once you learn to make a pizza from scratch, you know how to do it for the rest of your life. That saves you $15-20 every Friday night as a treat for your kids. It’s a different perspective. Again, maybe you have a friend who’s a whiz at selling stuff online. Find that person. If your child has just grown out of all their 2T-4T things and you have one of those baby resale things? They’re very picky, so make sure things are in excellent condition, but don’t keep stuff around forever thinking that someday you’ll be able to resell it. Resell it as soon as you’re done with it, but understand your focus. Are you trying to reclaim space or are you trying to reclaim money?

 

Tonya – I think that’s huge. I think for most of us, we want the space and I’m going to take us briefly off track. We want the space, but we feel guilty about that. We feel like it’s decadent to choose space over cash.

 

Kathi – So let me ask you this: Can you, and I’m not asking Tonya this, I’m asking the listener. Can you trust God that that thing was in your hand for you to use in that time and space, and that somebody else needs it, and that God can get it into the right hands? That’s how I have to look at it. The other question is: If you’re objective is to get rid of stuff, I want you to do it in the fastest way possible. I think us cluttery people come up with a million reasons why we can’t get rid of the thing. “I don’t want to give it to Good Will because x amount of money goes to their CEO and I’d rather give it to charity.” So, it sits in your car until the charity that’s open from 2-3 on Tuesdays lines up on your schedule. I want you to get that out of your house. You know what? A lot of good has been done through Good Will, so I would love for you to be able to get rid of something. The main objective is to get it out of your house so you can reclaim that space. Now, if your objective is to make money, find out what other people have done with similar items. If you’re part of MOPS, find out what other people have done with their baby stuff. If you are getting rid of books, what have other people done? Go to the experts. I’ve got rid of a lot of things on Nextdoor which is an app. A lot of people charge for that stuff. We tend to just give things away for free, because we’re like, “We’ve got a deadline. We want to get this out of our house.” But I have to tell you, except for one encounter, we’ve always had delightful encounters from people Nextdoor who were so appreciative. So, I love that. Figure out what your objective is. If it’s to make money, find somebody who’s doing it well and learn from them. I think that is what’s going to help you be able to focus in a way that’s going to help you. If you need to bring money in right now? Know that, but know that you can’t have that be your goal and decluttering at the same time.

 

Tonya – I think that’s fair. It’s fair. It’s reasonable. I get, for our listeners, it makes a lot of sense. It’s a competing priority.

 

Kathi – It is, and that’s okay to understand that. Maybe there’s a room in your house. If you’ve got extra space, you can do this. That’s wonderful. My garage was 90% candles at one point. You know what? At the time, my priority, even though I was super cluttery, was “We need to make money. We need to make our mortgage.” ‘Cause my husband was unemployed. So, huzzah! We were able to do that. So, no judgement, but if you’re part of Clutter Free Academy, my guess is, you want to get rid of clutter. You guys have all heard my tennis shoes story, where we went to Good Will looking for tennis shoes for Justin, and there was a brand new pair there. They just happened to fit him, and I just think, “I’m just so grateful to the person who says, ‘I can get rid of these, even with the tags on them, because I know somebody else can use them.’” What a gift that was to me. So, I may be a little prejudice here, but that’s my goal.

 

Tonya – I think that’s great. Well, thank you for addressing this question because I think that it’s tough. It’s tough to feel like you have the right to free space to the point where it’s okay to get rid of nice things.

 

Kathi – Yeah. Just having been the recipient of nice things, when I had no money to buy nice things? I’m so grateful for people who are in that position. I’ve been the person who, somebody lent me shoes for a bridesmaid’s dress. They happened to be the same size and style. It was a miracle. I’ve been that recipient, so I’m really grateful for those people. But there’s no shame in saying, “I need the money right now and I have to wait on the decluttering.” Declutter other stuff, then. Stuff that you don’t need that won’t bring in money. Well, friends, we are so grateful that you’ve been with us today. I would love for you to tell me in the comments, right now, what is more important? The money or the space? I think that would be very interesting. Also, for two of you, we’re going to pick from those comments, and we’re going to give you a copy of my new book, The Clutter Free Home. So, I’ll be anxious to hear, where our people land on all of that.

 

Tonya – I love this.

 

Kathi – You guys, you’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. I’ve been here with Tonya Kubo. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

 

<<music>>

 

*see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items

 

 

#406: How do I Get Unstuck from My Clutter Rut?

#406: How do I Get Unstuck from My Clutter Rut?

Join in the excitement as Kathi and Tonya Kubo, leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, teach us how to get unstuck from a clutter rut in the brand new How Do I? Series. Let’s learn how to do these things together, friends! We want to give you some tools to use right now, teach you how to be kind to yourself and just start where you are. So many times we get stuck in a rut because we are living in the past or the future. But we can discover together:

  • Why are we stuck in a clutter rut?
  • How do we actually get unstuck?
  • What is our freedom reason?

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

Signs of Depression: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/5-warning-signs-of-depression/108535.htm

Bible Verses for depression: https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/depression-bible-verses/

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

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Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

Read along with the Podcast!

 

Clutter Free Academy Podcast # 406

 

How Do I Get Unstuck?

 

 

 

<<intro music>>

 

Kathi – 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 but more life. I am here today with Tonya Kubo, leader at Clutter Free Academy. Hey, Tonya. How you doing today?

 

Tonya – Hey, Kathi. I’m doing great. How about you?

 

Kathi – I am excited.

 

Tonya – Oooh. Tell me more.

 

Kathi – Well, because I love this series that we’re doing. I love this series, talking about “How do I…?” We get these questions all the time. “How do I do this?” “How do we do that?”  So, the question for today is, and I love this question. “How do I get unstuck from my clutter rut?”

 

Tonya – Oooh.

 

Kathi – Yeah, right? We get a lot of people who ask that. Here’s what I want to do. I want to talk about, “How do we actually get unstuck?”, but first I want to talk about, “Why are we in a clutter rut?” Tonya, you and I have both been in a clutter rut.

 

Tonya – Oh yes.

 

Kathi – What would you say was your biggest clutter rut? Do you remember?

 

Tonya – Are we talking circumstances?

 

Kathi – Yeah.

 

Tonya – Well, I’d say my biggest clutter rut has typically been when I’ve been sick. Something has happened and my routines have fallen by the wayside and I just can’t see my way back to start.

 

Kathi – Yeah. That makes total sense. I think for me, it’s been during really hard periods of my life. As you know, tough first marriage. When I was getting to the end of that, the clutter was just huge. I was having to make so many personal decisions that one more clutter decision was just too much. It was just too much. I think that was really tough for me. So, I want to talk about three ways where I feel like it’s very easy for us to become overwhelmed; why we get into these clutter ruts. The first thing is, overwhelmed personally. So what I mean by that is, maybe the clutter has built up for a long time and you’re just in a place where you can’t make more decisions. Decision fatigue is a real thing.

 

Tonya – It is.

 

Kathi – I don’t think people give that the weight that it deserves. Especially, if you’ve been making decisions for little people all day? Or maybe you’ve been making decisions at work all day and now I’m telling you to come home and declutter, which is more decisions? It feels completely overwhelming. So, maybe those personal circumstances are just, it’s every room in your house, or it’s not just yours, it’s your parents, or your kids, or something like that. That can be one of the reasons where you just feel like, “Yep. I am overwhelmed.” Another one is overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. This is where I remember, I just shut down. When I was going through my divorce, and we were also selling our house. I had this long list of things I had to declutter in order to sell the house. I just ended up wearing black yoga pants and watching Friends all day. I just couldn’t do it. I could not do one more thing. So, maybe you’re going through some life circumstances. The third thing I want to talk about is, potentially, you’re depressed. When I talk about those life circumstances, I really do think that’s what was going on with me, a case of situational depression. If you are suffering from depression, whether it’s situational, clinical, whatever it is, decluttering is going to be very hard, if you’re not also getting treatment for your depression.

 

Tonya – Definitely.

 

Kathi – I know that we get this question all the time, and we had one person come on recently, who said, “For six days, I haven’t done any decluttering.” I can understand that can be stuck. So, that’s probably more, “I’m overwhelmed personally.” Overwhelmed by life circumstances? Just look at what’s going on in your life. If that is really tough for you, maybe now is not the time to declutter. Or, if you have to declutter, ‘cause there are other pressures coming on, we’re going to give you some tools that you can do right now. Tonya, what would be the first thing you’d say to somebody if they’re overwhelmed personally, or by life decisions? What would you say is the first step they should take?

 

Tonya – Well, this is going to sound counterintuitive, but the number one step is, you have to be kind. You’ve got to be kind to yourself. I think we do ourselves no favors when we start spinning out of control in our heads about how lazy we are. We go into judgement and it just feeds that cycle. I used to tell people, “Just start. Open a drawer and just start with your drawer. Just get into action, ‘cause the sooner you’re into action, the better it is to maintain that momentum.” That is still true, but I think you have to start off with kindness. Don’t expect to finish the whole kitchen in a day. You have to set out with that loving expectation that that drawer is enough.

 

Kathi – It’s very punishing to say, “I made this mess over the past several years, but now I have to clean it all up today.”

 

Tonya – Right! Talking about situational depression and circumstances. As you know, due to some health concerns with one of my girls, we had to completely redo our pantry situation. We had to get all the food out of the house and we had to bring in totally new food. I remember, it took me a couple of weeks to think about planning to do it. I’d look at the pantry, and initially, this made me feel like a heartless mom, but I’d look and all I would see would be the money that had been spent to stock the pantry to where it was. Then I felt bad. “I’m a terrible mom. I care about money more than I care about my child’s health, blah blah blah.” Then, I’d be so exhausted over that mental exercise that I’d want to go take a nap.

 

Kathi – Right! I, one hundred percent, get that. I do.

 

Tonya – So, I had to emotionally overcome all of that guilt and go, “You know what? This isn’t about the past. This isn’t about the future.” ‘cause that’s the other place I went. “What if things change in a month and she can eat this food again?” Well, you know what? I’ve got right now. Then I started to get into action. I remember, I said, “I’m just going to tackle the top shelf.” I set a timer and in fifteen minutes, Kathi, because I’ve been living a clutter free life, I got through three shelves.

 

Kathi – Oh my, goodness. That’s amazing.

 

Tonya – My pantry is only four shelves and a drawer, so in fifteen minutes, I got the three shelves. I may as well finish it.

 

Kathi – Absolutely.

 

Tonya – Then I was so excited. Food is kept in about three places in my kitchen, so I’m like, “Well, let me just tackle the other two cabinets.” It was done in under an hour, and I felt so good.

 

Kathi – I love that. Don’t you feel that, when we get stuck in a rut, so often, we’re living in the past or the future?

 

Tonya – Yes.

 

Kathi – “I spent so much money on it.” Or “What if I could use this someday?” So there’s past thinking, there’s future thinking, and we’re completely ignoring the present. That’s why we keep things like the weird Japanese crackers that nobody is going to eat, but we spent money on them and it’s like, “Well, maybe, someday I’ll have a Japanese themed dinner.” Right? We do these mental aerobics to try to get to a place where we could say, “I could use this.” I don’t think many of us were raised by depression era parents, but we are living their lives over again. So, I love your first step. Be kind. Second of all, I’m going to be very self-serving here. Go join Clutter Free Academy on Facebook.

 

Tonya – Yes!

 

Kathi – One, you will start to get brainwashed, in the very best way.

 

Tonya – You know why else, Kathi, I will say to join Clutter Free Academy? If you can’t be kind to yourself, we’ll be kind to you, for you.

 

Kathi – It’s true. We will teach you to be kind to yourself. Lots of people don’t have any practice in that. It’s just so true. Here’s the other question I have. We’ve got Be Kind, Clutter Free Academy, Accountability. How has accountability been what you needed in your life, when it comes to getting unstuck?

 

Tonya – So, you know this, I’m a stunt person. That’s why I love your books. They’re short term challenges. They tell me what to do. They boss me around. I need that in my life. So, for me, there’s just something to be said for being able to, and I do this in our group, I love that our members do it, but take a picture. I took a picture of our kitchen table the other day. I work from my kitchen table now, and I’ve noticed that over the course of the day, I tend to pile up stuff to the right hand side. I’m a lefty.

 

Kathi – Oh, interesting.

 

Tonya – It looks horrible by the end of the day. What’ll happen is, I’ll tell myself, right, that I can do it later. By Friday, it’s a scary sight. But, I can post a picture and can say, “This is my mission for today.” Even if I get side tracked, in our community of ten thousand people, somebody over the course of the day is going to be, “Hey Tonya. How’s that going?

 

Kathi – Yes!

 

Tonya – And I go, “Oh, yeah! I was really passionate about that at four o’clock this morning. It’s 2pm. I forgot.” Then, what am I supposed to say? Am I supposed to pretend I’m not there? No. I’m like, “Oh, let me tidy this up really quick.” Snap another picture. “Hey, look what I did!”

 

Kathi – I love it so much. Yeah, accountability. There are two ways to use accountability. Motivation or shame. So, I don’t want you using it for shame. “If you see me on Facebook, throw tomatoes at me.” No! I don’t want that. Only have accountability with people who celebrate with you. Those are the people you want holding you accountable.

 

Tonya – Exactly.

 

Kathi – Yes. By the way, when you’re going through this and you realize, “I cannot declutter because I see the signs of depression.” And we’re going to put a link in the notes. “These are the signs of depression.” We want you to get help. I feel like so many people, the first time they realize that maybe they’re suffering from depression is when they look around their house and they see so much stuff piling up. If depression is the reason you are not able to take care of your clutter, one, know that you’re not alone. This is very common and it’s a very common telltale sign. Two, there are people who want to help and there are places that want to help, so we’ll link to some of those resources in there. If it’s because you’re just overwhelmed. I shouldn’t say ‘just’ because overwhelmed is overwhelmed, but there are steps. So, we want you to be kind to yourself. If you don’t know how to be kind to yourself, come join Clutter Free Academy. We’ll teach you how to be kind to yourself. Accountability. The last thing is, I want you to give yourself a reason to declutter. Do you want to have a peaceful home? Do you want to have a place where you can dance in your kitchen? Somebody was talking about that today. I love that. Do you want to be able to have friends over and be in community without having to overhaul your entire house? Give yourself a reason. Put a Post-it note up there. Keep yourself focused. Not a shaming reason, but a freedom reason. I love this, Tonya.

 

Tonya – Really quickly, do you know what I love about what you just said?

 

Kathi – What’s that?

 

Tonya – Well, you talk about giving yourself a reason. What it really comes down to is, you need to remind yourself, if you’ve forgotten, or inform yourself, if you don’t truly know, but: You deserve a clutter free life! I think when we get in that rut, we start to feel like we don’t deserve nice things. We don’t deserve a nice space. We don’t deserve peace in our home. That’s not true.

 

Kathi – That’s not true. Everybody deserves a place of peace, where they can lay their head at night. Absolutely. Tonya, thank you for coming on and sharing with me. I’m so excited about the rest of this month.

 

Tonya – Me too. I love the ‘how to’ series.

 

Kathi – Friends, thank you for joining us. I think you’re really going to love everything we’re talking about this month.  You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp with Tonya Kubo. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

 

 

<<music>>

 

*see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items