#397: How to Stay Focused (When Everything is Trying to Distract You)

#397: How to Stay Focused (When Everything is Trying to Distract You)

Kathi is chatting with her co-author and partner in crime Cheri Gregory about an amazing new find that has helped her stay focused when she’s tempted to get distracted. If you need a tool to keep you on task, friend, you are in luck!  Focus Mate is an online system that pairs you up with an online work buddy.

Does this sound like something you’d love? Kathi and Cheri are going to tell you all about it.

Plus, if you love the idea of Focus Mate, Kathi has come up with a very special idea.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The magic of collaboration to get stuff done.
  • How to access your own online collaborator to help you declutter.
  • The perfect amount of time to stay focused on a project.

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.

Links

Learn more about Focus Mate.

Are you a writer? Would you love to take your writing to the next level? Check out the week-long retreats offered with Kathi and other experts at Writing at the Red House this year.

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

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.”

Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and Overwhelmed.

Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.

Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

Transcript

Read along with the podcast!

 

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #397

 

How to Stay Focused

 

 

<<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. Many of you know my coauthor, my partner in crime, Cheri Gregory. Cheri is here with us today. We’re recording from The Red House. Welcome back, Cheri.

 

Cheri – Thanks for having me.

 

Kathi – You started to talk about something, and I’m finding this fascinating. Of course, because I’m a writer, I was thinking, “Oh, I have to use this for writing.” And then I thought, when you said you used it for decluttering? I thought, “Okay. Game changer.” So, this is going to sound like an advertisement. By the way, we’re getting nothing for this.

 

Cheri – They have no idea we’re doing this.

 

Kathi – They have no idea we’re doing this. What is Focusmate?

 

Cheri – So, it is an online accountability collaborative venture. When I log on to the dashboard, I see different times of day. They’re listed by 50 minute increments. I can put myself down and say, “I want to have a Focusmate session, say, starting at 9 o’clock this morning. It’ll be a fifty minute session.” Now, if there’s already somebody’s little icon there, when I click on it, I can book with that person and we’re matched. If there’s nothing there, I put myself in, and the next person who wants to partner with somebody at 9 o’clock would be matched with me. This is worldwide, so at any point in time, there are multiple people. And it’s the computer doing the matching. I don’t know who these people are, most of the time. They don’t know who I am. It’s very organically and randomly done by the computer. The purpose is to get partnered with somebody who wants to have this work session. When the work session starts, I click on a little button. It takes me to a video room, kind of like Skype or Zoom. They come on screen. I come on screen. This is what I love about it. It’s very curated. There are very firm boundaries about what happens and doesn’t happen. We each say what we’re going to work on; what we’re going to focus on during that 50 minutes. We agree if we want microphone on, or if we want it on mute. Then we work and there’s a little chime at the end of 50 minutes. Then we check in with each other, and say how things went. Then we say, “Thank you so much for the working session.” And we say goodbye.

 

Kathi – Okay, I have so many questions. How did you get over feeling like, “I should be able to do this without another human being in Madagascar checking in on me.”?

 

Cheri – All the evidence suggesting I wasn’t getting things done.

 

Kathi – Okay, so tell me about that.

 

Cheri – The problem with my Google Calendar is, I can drag and drop a task anytime and anywhere I want. I can schedule it at any time and tell myself, “I’m going to do this from here.” And then I didn’t do it, so I dragged and dropped it somewhere else. One of the problems with being a reformed perfectionist is, I’ve swung so much to the other end. I give myself so much grace, it’s called license. So, instead of being so rigid with my schedule, I’m too loosey goosey and things weren’t getting done. Then, I read this book called Atomic Habits, and he talks about the importance of actually developing a plan and sticking to the plan. Of course, he also talks about accountability. I know myself to be a social learner. I know myself to be social. I’m a collaborative person. This isn’t collaborating. We’re not brainstorming together. We’re not talking to each other, which is very important. I get lonely. Who knew that knowing that there is one other person who’s kind of witnessing, they’re not staring at you or anything, but they know that you said you were going to do this thing, and then 50 minutes later, you check in, and you’re doing the same thing for them.

 

Kathi – Right. ‘Cause you’re both busy on your own task. Okay, I want to know, what are some of the people doing on Focusmate?

 

Cheri – Oh my goodness. This has been such a fun, unexpected part of it. One of the first people I worked with was a young guy over in, either England or Scotland. He was working on his doctoral dissertation. So, every day he was knocking out certain parts of it. I just happened to get matched with him every day for at least one session per day, and then, I knew he was going to revise it on a particular day, and I didn’t get matched with him. I was like, “Oh! I wonder how he’s doing.” So, I just messaged him and said, “Hey! I’m thinking about you today, while you’re revising your dissertation.” He sent me a little message back that said, “Thanks so much. It’s going well.” There was another gentleman who was looking for a job. He was going to spend the entire work session. That’s when I went, “Oh!” To me, that’s such a vulnerable thing to tell somebody else. That’s got to be a hard situation to be in. He was an older gentleman. It wasn’t like he was a kid who’s looking for his first job. I don’t know the circumstances. So, I’m still thinking about him. I’m praying for him, that he got a job. How cool, that he did what it took for him to have the discipline and the belief in himself to take the steps he needed to do that.

 

Kathi – I want you to talk about the mom.

 

Cheri – Oh, this was my favorite. It taught me something about myself. She started the session by saying her kids were there with her. She needed to do some reading for a class, then she was literally going to take the laptop, and she did, into the kitchen and cook dinner. At first, I was like, “Oh, that’s a little more noise than I’m comfortable with in the background.” Because she likes to keep the microphone on to hear my keys typing. I’m like, “You know, Cheri, you can turn the volume down on your side.” So, I didn’t hear so much. But, I thought, when I was a mom with small kids, what would I have given to have one other human being on the planet witnessing. Here she is. She’s in school. She’s being disciplined in front of her children. They’re learning by watching her do this. At one point, when she was in the kitchen, I typed, “Oh, it smells fabulous. What are we having?” You know? I wouldn’t want to partner with somebody like that eight hours a day, every day, but I’m committed to seeing where she is on the calendar, and making sure I work with her once a week, because I want to support what she’d doing. I feel like I’m becoming invested in the regulars that I see on the calendar.

 

Kathi – It’s a service. You’re serving people.

 

Cheri – They’re all around the world.

 

Kathi – You’re serving people without out actually taking time out of your day and actually getting more done. I love this concept.

 

Cheri – And, people around this world are doing amazing things. It has given me so much faith in humanity. They are buckling down and doing hard things. Some of the kids, and they are college kids, so to me they’re a kid. Sometimes they tell me, “I thought I’d get further. I was really frustrated with myself. Then I remembered.” So, they’re processing, in a very short, 15 second appropriate way. It’s kind of cool to be able to say, “Well good for you!” I’ve actually built a repertoire of things to say if it went well. Then I can cheer, “Good for you!” And if they struggled a little bit more, I can say, “At least you stuck it out. At least you did it. Your brain is going to keep processing it over the next few hours.”

 

Kathi – So tell me about when you used it to declutter.

 

Cheri – I was so surprised at the positive response I got from people.

 

Kathi – Really?

 

Cheri – Yes. Because, I’m still very new to Focusmate. I’ve only been using it for a month/month and half. It started out as just these piles I was going to go through, which I thought, “Well, certainly, that will be fine.” But then it became, “Well, I have to do the whole office.” So, I made sure my partner was okay with me doing that. They all said, “Yes.” Then, I moved the laptop so they could see. I tried not to be overly distracting. What ended up happening is, I was able to report back at the end. I would say, “This is the section of the office I’m hoping to do.” Or, “This is the set of binders I’m hoping to do.” The number of them who said I inspired them.

 

Kathi – Oh, my.

 

Cheri – Seeing my progress. And what was really funny is, there was one gentleman who, he and I worked together when I was starting to go through these piles. He was with me when I made that decision. I said, “This isn’t just piles, I have to do the whole office.” I won’t tell you how long it took me, but as I finished my office, he ended up being my partner, and I was able to take my computer and show him. He cheered for me and I was, like, “Yay!”

 

Kathi – It sounds like there are amazing people on there.

 

Cheri – They really are.

 

Kathi – It’s so interesting. Just yesterday, I was in one of my Facebook groups for clutter, one of the ones that I run, and this is the first time somebody’s done this. They set up their camera for fifteen minutes, to record them decluttering. Not live. She just did a video of it. She fast forwarded it, so fifteen minutes became a minute.

 

Cheri – How fun!

 

Kathi – It was so much fun. She has the two naughtiest cats in the world, who kept getting back on to the table.

 

Cheri – That would be hysterical.

 

Kathi – It was the best video I’ve seen in a long time. But, you know what? I would have to imagine somebody’s there with you. When you’re recording that, you’re going to be so vulnerable to put it up. You put it up and people are cheering for you. I’ve done clutter for a long time. That was the first time I’d ever seen it, and I was cheering for her. I was like, “Look at how fast you’re getting things done! That’s amazing. I love this concept. I think you know, when I was a young mom, what we would do is, I had three friends and we would switch off houses. Sometimes declutter, but mostly cleaning house. It was just good to have somebody else there to keep you on track, to keep you focused. There’s this social contract that if we say we’re going to do this for 15 minutes, and we’ve got cameras on? I love that it’s fifteen minutes. I mean, fifty minutes. Fifty. Because, you know, when I do coaching sessions, I do them for fifty minutes. I believe in humanitarian breaks. It doesn’t just have to be to go to the bathroom, it’s to get a glass of water. It’s to stretch. So, you have that ten minutes to kind of rest and recover. Then you can dive in to the next thing.

 

Cheri – Yeah. This is based on several scientific studies. They’ve done a really interesting combination of about five or six that have to do with accountability, that have to do with collaboration. There’s one woman, after her first one hundred session with Focusmate, she wrote an article titled, “I never have to work alone again.” For some diehard introverts, that would be the worst news ever, so this is not for them at all. I used to feel guilty, or needy. “Why do I need people?” ‘Cause that’s how God wired me.

 

Kathi – Right. And you know? It’s always great to go to a coffee shop and meet up with a friend and do the thing, but sometimes it’s very easy to meet up with a friend at a coffee shop and not get anything done.

 

Cheri – Yep.

 

Kathi – It can also, depending on where you live, and your situation in life, it can be expensive with little kids and things like that. Also? Just getting out of the house takes fifteen minutes, then another fifteen minutes. So, I love that this has no extra cost to it. Well, it does have a cost.

 

Cheri – Five dollars a month. Unlimited sessions.

 

Kathi – Five dollars a month.

 

Cheri – Now, you came up with a great idea the other day that I think you should share. I really think your Clutter Free people could this. They could do this inside the Clutter Free Facebook group. If they’re part of your Clutter Free for Life, your membership community, they could certainly do find partners for that there as well.

 

Kathi – I want to do Focusmates. That’s something I’m going to do. Because sometimes I don’t want to be connected to the person. I just want to get in, get out, do my thing. Please excuse the idea, but I just want it to be a one night stand.

 

Cheri – There you go. No strings attached.

 

Kathi – No strings attached. Exactly. Sorry, that’s a terrible metaphor, but it explains what I need to say. But here’s the other thing: Sometimes I do want to do it with a friend. I want to be cheered on. I want somebody who’s in my community to declutter with me. So, I’m just coming up with a new idea as we’re talking right now. The first idea is to get on with somebody else. Cheri and I are going to do this for writing, or whatever we need to accomplish, twice a week. We’re going to get on Zoom together and do this. What I think I’m going to do in Clutter Free Academy is, once a week, for fifteen minutes, just set up my camera and declutter, and say, “Hey guys! We’re all going to declutter for fifteen minutes. If you’re available, we would love you to declutter with us.”

 

Cheri – By Facebook Live?

 

Kathi – By Facebook Live.

 

Cheri – That’s brilliant.

 

Kathi – I think that would be super-fun.

 

Cheri – But you have to add it the idea that you came up with for us, ‘cause we’re going to do it for 45 minutes.

 

Kathi – We’re going to do it for 45 minutes, then we’re going to have 5 minutes of friend time. We’re going to earn that five minutes of friend time, because that’s our little reward. But it has to be five minutes and we have to hold to that. Otherwise, it doesn’t work. If we do 45 minutes of work, and an hour and 45 minutes of friend time, it kind of defeats the purpose. So, focusmate.com. Five dollars a month, which, I know for some people, they don’t have an extra penny, but for where I am in life right now, to have accountability for 50 minutes, several times a month? That works for me.

 

Cheri – I do it for finances. You know me. I do finances once a week. The other thing it’s really good for is realizing how long certain things take you.

 

Kathi – Oh, yeah.

 

Cheri – Because now that I’ve done it? I do finances on Thursday and I realized that one session isn’t enough. I book two. It’s making me more realistic about how much I can get done in any given day. It’s helping me gather data.

 

Kathi – Okay, so this is my last question for you. Have you ever got on and there have been a couple on the other side? ‘Cause I’m thinking that Roger and I need this for finances.

 

Cheri – No.

 

Kathi – Okay.

 

Cheri – No, I haven’t, but that’s something that you could do with other people.

 

Kathi – Yeah, I think that could be really interesting. Roger and I need high accountability in the whole finances thing. This has been amazing. Focusmate.com or we can get on Facebook, and we can say, “Hey! We’ve got two people. One is in California, one is in Florida. They need to do their fifteen minutes and they do it at 11:45 PST. Go.” To be able to do that, and say, “Hey. We’re going to be in each other’s space, but we’re cheering each other one.” I love it. Cheri, thanks so much.

 

Cheri – Oh, thanks for having me.

 

Kathi – And friends, thank you for being on Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. 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

 

 

 

#396: Clutter Free Kids – Secrets from a Preschool Director on How to Keep Kids Clutter Free and Organized

#396: Clutter Free Kids – Secrets from a Preschool Director on How to Keep Kids Clutter Free and Organized

Kathi is joined by early childhood educator (and bonus-daughter) Amanda Thivierge. How can you teach kids to be clutter-free? Well, Amanda shares her top three tips to fight clutter and get your kids in on it.

  • Clutter-free is a journey, and we don’t all come by it naturally.
  • Modeling for kids is key. (AND how to do that well.)
  • Get brutal and say goodbye to the stuff you will not use. (BYE-BYE DOILIES!)
  • and more…

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.

Also, if you want to get entered to win a copy of Clutter Free Home, give us your best clutter-free tips for kids in the comments below and someone will win Kathi’s new (HOT OFF THE PRESSES) book.

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.

 

*** DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, PART TWO IS UNAVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK’S PODCAST. ***

Meet Our Guest

Amanda Thivierge

Amanda Thivierge

Preschool Director

Amanda is an early childhood educator and Preschool Director. Her expertise shines in this interview with her friend and step-mother, Kathi Lipp. 

Transcript

Read along with the podcast!

 

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #396

 

Clutter Free Kids – Part 1

 

 

<<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 and more life. Today is a very special episode. It’s like an after school special, but in a much better way. I think I have actually known this guest longer than anybody else that has been on my podcast, and that includes Roger. I think we’ve been friends for over twenty five years, but I think we’ve been related for fifteen. So, this is my step-daughter, Amanda Thivierge. Welcome to Clutter Free Academy!

 

Amanda – Thank you so much for having me.

 

Kathi – And I’m not just having you because we’re related. I know you are doing this under a little bit of duress. Actually, she’s been very kind and said she would do anything, but you don’t spend a lot of time going on podcasts, right?

 

Amanda – No, this is my first.

 

Kathi – Yay! I’m so glad. Okay, so that will be super fun. Why I wanted to have Amanda on, and I’ve actually referred to Amanda in books about clutter free and getting organized. Amanda, tell everyone what your day job is.

 

Amanda – My day job is a pre-school director, so I’ve got lots of little kiddos, and I’ve got about thirty staff underneath me.

 

Kathi – I was just going to say. It’s not just the kiddos you have to organize. It’s the staff as well. It’s interesting because, I know that things don’t directly transfer from home to work to school, but there are some principles that work with most kids and most other adults you’re managing. So, that’s why I wanted to come on and bring you on here. We’re going to do this as a two part series. First, we’re going to talk about “How do you keep clutter out of the classroom?” I think some of these really apply to what you do at home. The next thing is “How to be organized.” Because they’re two entirely different things. Clutter is all the nonsense that gets in the way, and there’s clutter that just like, “Hey, when you’re cutting out construction paper, you create clutter.” You encourage that kind of clutter, right?

 

Amanda – Absolutely.

 

Kathi – Yes, ‘cause you love to see a lot of creativity. You love to see a lot of activity. You want your teachers doing projects with your kids.

 

Amanda – I want them having fun.

 

Kathi – Right! So, fun often means mess.

 

Amanda – Most times, yes.

 

Kathi – But the clutter we’re talking about, is the clutter that gets in the way of the fun. Like, when you can’t find the glue.

 

Amanda – When you can’t function in your own classroom, ‘cause there’s too much stuff in the way? That’s when you have a problem.

 

Kathi – Have you seen that, as a director? Or did you see it, as a teacher, with other teachers?

 

Amanda – I lived it as a teacher.

 

Kathi – Okay, good. I love the honesty. So this has been a journey for you.

 

Amanda – Absolutely.

 

Kathi – Okay. And by the way, full disclosure, as soon as Roger and I got married, and I moved in, Amanda moved out. So, I can’t really talk to the state of her room. I can’t tell you how messy she was as a teenager. I have heard some stories.

 

Amanda – Oh, there are plenty. Too many.

 

Kathi – Yes. So, to say that this has been a journey? That gives me a lot of hope and it gives my listeners a lot of hope. You were not born organized. You were not born color coding. You didn’t have to color code anything, ‘cause everything you owned was purple for a while.

 

Amanda – It still is. Let’s just be real.

 

Kathi – Yeah, that’s true. Okay, so I want to talk about some principles here that I think are going to be very helpful to all of the parents out there. Or, even if you are in an organization, and you’re managing people? I think a lot of these will actually transfer. So, you and I had a discussion about multipurpose rooms. So, I found this fascinating, because I think that modern home, there’s so many purposes to a living room, or even a dining room, a study, even bedrooms. You’re sitting here, in our bedroom at The Red House. It’s not just a bedroom, it’s also an office. It’s also a cat storage facility. We do a lot of things. We have storage in here for our business and stuff like that. You are specifically talking about when you go into a facility, like a school or a church or something, and there’s a multipurpose room. So, talk about some of the situations you’ve been in, and talk about how you’ve handled keeping those spaces clutter free.

 

Amanda – That was probably the most eye opening, in terms of being clutter free. I walked into these facilities, and they are set-up and tear-down for every session that they do. So, in the morning, the kids come in. You’re setting up, you’re putting out the cards, you’re putting out the carpets.

 

Kathi – Wow. You’re building a room.

 

Amanda – You’re building a room every single time, and you have to tear it down every single time. Drama class prepared me for this.

 

Kathi – Yes. You did a lot of set design, set building and stuff like that.

 

Amanda – Yeah, but it just amazed me that there was no clutter, because, where are you going to put it?

 

Kathi – Because other teachers are coming in and using that. Other programs, that kind of thing. So, how did you handle the storage of all your stuff?

 

Amanda – Well, you have to find things that work for you. So, in this situations, it was finding carts that can roll and hold all your stuff. Having organization, so labeling all your bins, and making sure that nothing goes in those bins that doesn’t belong in those bins. Then, just having things that really work in the space that you have.

 

Kathi – I love this, because I think about when we had three at home, when Roger and I got married, and our kitchen table was where we ate dinner, it was the homework center, and by the way, I worked there, too. Let me just tell you, when we were first married, that clutter free mentality had not really set in, so, it meant that every time we wanted to do something, it was like we had to renovate the entire house. I remember one time, oh, bless, bless, bless, I was working on a project that accidentally got swept up into Jeremy’s homework, and I did not know it. Let’s just say that Jeremy and I did not have the best relationship at this time. I thought he threw it away. Glad to know he was not that devious. No, no, he’s a sweet kid. By the way, we’re great, now, but at the time? Now, I was not putting my stuff away. This is something you talk about when you’re talking about your kids, is the very first step is, “If you’re taking something out, put it away.” As moms, we more naturally do this. As teachers we do it. But you have a couple of extra steps you do with kids. So, explain these steps.

 

Amanda – Yeah, so when you’re in a daycare facility, or a childcare facility, or anything, really, everything you do is modelling, right? So, as a teacher, I’m going to walk in and I’m going to model the behavior that I want the children to see and to follow. So, I’m going to tell them what I’m doing.

 

Kathi – Can I tell you, this was not my elementary school experience? I think the teachers thought we were 28 slaves that could do all the things. Now, I didn’t understand at the time, how hard they were working. I think that’s so interesting. So, how do you model that behavior? Just saying, “When you take something out, you put it away.”?

 

Amanda – Well, yeah, I definitely say that to the children, but I also show it to them. So, when I’m taking out a project, I say, “Okay, I’m going to take out the scissors. I’m going to take out the pencils, the glue.” Then, as the project is wrapping up, I say, “Okay, where does this stuff go? Oh, it goes back in the cabinet.” And I demonstrate it, and vocalize is to the children, so they’re hearing the positivity for cleaning up. Then, I recognize it, in terms of the space. I say, “Oh look! The table is now clean! Fantastic! We are now ready to eat a snack!”

 

Kathi – Well, I just did some work on this with a presentation I was doing for a group. We were talking about overwhelm. It was at a school in El Paso. UCLA did a giant research study about clutter in homes, and the correlation to moms being stressed, and kids being distracted. So, you know, I would think that in a classroom, you would see, the higher the mess level, the more distracted the kids are.

 

Amanda – Yes, and that goes for everything in the room. We often refer to the classroom as the third teacher in the classroom.

 

Kathi – Oh, I’ve never heard that before. That’s really cool. So, explain that.

 

Amanda – The third teacher is just another way of saying that the classroom is another environment where the children learn. So, what’s on the wall? They’re going to be learning from that. What’s on the floor? They’re going to be learning from that. What’s on the shelves? They’re going to be learning from that. So, you really have to make sure that everything is purposeful. You’re not just throwing up projects on the wall, just to have them there, because that’s when it gets cluttered. You’re not just putting toys on the shelves, just to have them there, because, again, that’s when it gets cluttered. Having that third teacher in the classroom can support the children’s growth and development.

 

Kathi – So, everything in the room is there intentionally.

 

Amanda – Well, it should be.

 

Kathi – It should be, yes. In the ideal classroom, everything is there intentionally, and nothing is there that will distract from their learning experience, or them being able to pay attention.  I’ll never forget. I don’t know if you’ll remember this. I know you knew my kids. You actually babysat my kids when they were really little. I don’t know if you remember how into trains Justin was?

 

Amanda – No, I don’t remember.

 

Kathi – That’s okay. He was in a preschool classroom where they had to take the train out of the classroom, because he was so obsessed with it.

 

Amanda – That’s where I’m like, “Okay if he’s obsessed with the train, let’s incorporate it in a different way.”

 

Kathi – Oh! Interesting.

 

Amanda – Yeah, so taking it out of the classroom doesn’t lessen the obsession, it actually creates more of a hype.

 

Kathi – Oh! Interesting.

 

Amanda – So, you have to incorporate it in different ways. So, if he’s obsessed with trains, then I would actually put train books in multiple areas. I would pull him into these other areas by putting trains in them.

 

Kathi – See? Why weren’t you his teacher? He got kicked out of that school. Can I just tell you that? He was out of there. Okay, so ONE – If you take something out, put it away, and model and vocalize when you’re doing that. Number two: talking about getting purposeful in the room. You said, if something no longer has a use, get it out. So, explain what you mean by that. Many of the teachers I know, they just want as many resources as they can possibly have.

 

Amanda – Well, yes. ‘Cause nobody has any funding, right? So, you just tend to take everything into the classroom, and you’re like, “I’ll use it at some point, and you’re never going to give me money again, so, I’m just going to keep it forever.”

 

Kathi – So, it’s kind of a hording mentality.

 

Amanda – It really is.

 

Kathi – Okay, we talked about this. The teachers and crafters and homeschoolers are the worst.

 

Amanda – I’m two out of three.

 

Kathi – I know you are. But you’ve got it under control, for the most part, that I can see.

 

Amanda – Yeah, either I hide it really well, or I’ve got some systems to keep me in check.

 

Kathi – I think you’ve got some systems, ‘cause I’ve been in your room as an adult. I’ve seen the things. So, how do you use criteria to say, “Okay, this is no longer being used.”? What do you feel like you should save? Is there anything you should save, or does it all have to go, and you go for the minimalist look?

 

Amanda – If it has multiple uses, I tend to save it. Even if it’s not being used at this particular moment. For instance, the Lincoln Logs. Half the time, those are never used in the classroom, right? Hardly ever. But, at the same time, if we can reintroduce them later in a special way, and the kids get the interest built up again, then that’s one thing. However, if you’ve got doilies in the classroom that the kids just never use, you don’t have a way of reinventing or repurposing it, (except for Valentine’s Day) get rid of it.

 

Kathi – Okay, so I heard you say something interesting with those Lincoln Logs. Somebody just asked me, “What toys do I get rid of?” Even though they’re about the have grandkids. I’m like, “Well, keep the classic toys. The toys that have been popular for over 50 years. Keep those. There’s a reason.” I think something is interesting that you said. To pull back using them and then reintroduce them. So, explain a little more about that.

 

Amanda – So, when you have a toy…we’ll just go with the Lincoln Logs, right? They are sitting on the shelf. The kids never interact with them, ever. You pull them out. They don’t even notice that they’re gone. All of a sudden, you put them back on the shelf, and you actually pull them out, and, as a teacher, you engage with the Lincoln Logs. You get the kids to come around and you make it a fun game, or some sort of adventure. That’s when the interest gets sparked again.

 

Kathi – Isn’t it interesting. There are so many YouTube videos. I’m sure there’s a whole channel about Lincoln Logs out there.

 

Amanda – I’m sure there is.

 

Kathi – Of ways we’ve never even thought of using them. I think that’s so interesting. Because, yeah, they become background noise. That’s what happens with our clutter. That may be your favorite doll, but you haven’t used it in six months, you haven’t played with it, because it’s just become part of the background. But to take it away, and put it back. Take it away at night, when no kids are there.

 

Amanda – Or you could take it away while they’re there and see if they even notice.

 

Kathi – That’s true. I think your third points may be my favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about this. Okay, you’re laughing now. Don’t buy possible future projects. Explain.

 

Amanda – When I purchase items for the classroom, everything has a purpose. I’m not purchasing a…let’s use a doily, a packet of doilies that I can find at an artsy craftsy store.

 

Kathi – But what if it’s ten cents? What if it’s on clearance?

 

Amanda – I don’t care.

 

Kathi – That’s my girl! We’re not related by blood, but that’s my girl.

 

Amanda – I just don’t care, because what project am I going to use it for? If I had a specific idea in mind, that is so different. If I know I’m going to be using these doilies, we’re actually going to make a table runner out of them. The kids are going to paint them. It’s going to be so great. They’re going to have so much fun. That’s fine. If I don’t have a project in mind, and I say, “Oh! They’re on sale for ten cents!” I’m not actually saving myself money, I’m wasting ten cents, and I’m wasting that storage space that they’re going to sit in the back of my closet for the next two years.

 

Kathi – And you’ve actually wasted that ten cents, because you’re never going to use them. You’ll end up recycling them, or giving them away. There’s a package of doilies that, I promise you, have been passed through seven pairs of hands.

 

Amanda – I have no doubt about that. Every time I see doilies, I think, “Throw them away.”

 

Kathi – Here’s what I love. Sometimes I have stuff and I think, “Well, maybe Amanda could use this for her room.” Recently, I had spray paint, something else, I can’t remember, and ribbon. You were like, “I’ll take the spray paint and the other thing, but I don’t need the ribbon.”

 

Amanda – Cookies!

 

Kathi – Oh! Cookies! Everybody can always use cookies. I know. I was giving away cookies. Miracles abound. But, to have those three and say, “I already have an idea for this. I have an idea for this. I don’t need this.” I love it. So, I think it’s so important, when you’re talking to teachers, to not guilt them into taking stuff. Do people do that? I know, I’ve seen it with other parents, but…

 

Amanda – So, in a daycare setting, parents gifting items to us happens quite frequently, which is fantastic. Sometimes it’s great stuff. Other times it’s broken toys that they no longer want. I’m like, “This is not a dumping ground.”

 

Kathi – You’ve just given me a chore to go to the dump. And by the way, it costs money in California. So, let me just ask: As a teacher, what do you want? If they want to give you something. I already know one thing you want. You want Michael’s gift cards.

 

Amanda – Well, yes.

 

Kathi – Always.

 

Amanda – I would say, things that get used often. Markers never go to waste. I mean, they go to waste, but we can always use more markers. Paper. You can always use more paper. Stuff like that.

 

Kathi – Tissue boxes?

 

Amanda – Yeah. Honestly, the best thing to do with teachers, is to ask them for a list. You never know what they’re going to want in a classroom. Maybe they already have seven packs of markers that some director bought for them.

 

Kathi – Well, it was so interesting. We had two teachers teaching here at The Red House. They said that they had, pretty much, unlimited paper. They could use as much paper as they wanted. What they didn’t have was pencils. So, your dad was in San Jose. I’m like, “Go buy all the pencils! I can’t believe these schools are not giving these teachers pencils.” So, he brought home, like, 350 pencils. That probably is only going to last them for a month.

 

Amanda – I was going to say, “That sounds like it would be great…for a month.”

 

Kathi – Exactly. But, you know, for one month, two classrooms got the pencils they needed.

 

Amanda – They got all the pencils.

 

Kathi – So, this has been great. This is about keeping clutter out. So, we’re going to go over these one more time. If you take something out, put it away. Model that, and vocalize. Explain what you’re doing. Two: If it no longer has a use, get it out. This is toys, random things you bring in to the room, decorations. Don’t keep it just because you’ll need it someday.

 

Amanda – Oh, the decorations.

 

Kathi – The decorations. And you’re a big decorator, when it comes to rooms.

 

Amanda – I am. I am a huge decorator. However, I have learned to contain my decorations in to specific boxes. If it doesn’t fit, I don’t keep it.

 

Kathi – I think that works for home holidays, too. I want to get my Christmas decorations for the inside the house, down to two boxes.

 

Amanda – Oh, good luck.

 

Kathi – I think I can do it. I’m not responsible for your dad and the outside decorations. Your dad is the problem in this whole plan. Let’s be super clear.

 

Amanda – I have far too many boxes for outside decorations as well.

 

Kathi – Okay, she comes by it honestly. Number Three: Don’t buy possible future projects. Don’t keep stuff because you just might use it someday. This has been so good, Amanda. I so appreciate this. Okay, here’s what I’m going to do, guys. With my new book, The Clutter Free Home, a lot of these principles cross over, so I want you to give me your best clutter free tips for kids. We’re going to post them here on the podcast page. Two of you are going to win that book. So, we’re going to have Amanda come back next week. Today she talked about how to be clutter free in the classroom. We’re going to talk, next week, about how to be organized in the classroom. I’m super excited.

 

Amanda – And all my teachers will listen to that one.

 

Kathi – Oh, awesome. Okay. They get early childhood education credit for listening to that.

 

Amanda – Hooray!

 

Kathi – Hooray! I make no promises. That’s not legally binding. Amanda, thanks so much for being with me today.

 

Amanda – Absolutely! Thanks!

 

Kathi – I just have to say: You’re really good! This is awesome.

 

Amanda – Oh, great!

 

Kathi – You know, it’s always a gamble, bringing your kid on here, but you’ve done a great job. This is amazing.

 

Amanda – Glad I could help.

 

Kathi – Friends, thank you 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.

 

<<music>>

 

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

#395: How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #4 Do your Thing to Create the Room of Your Dreams

#395: How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #4 Do your Thing to Create the Room of Your Dreams

Kathi concludes her four-part conversation about creating your Clutter-free home with style-expert KariAnne Wood. A few weeks ago, we learned about dedicating your space for its purpose. Then we focused on how to decide the way you want the room to feel. Last week we learned about the easy-to-do actionable steps it takes to cut the clutter.

In this episode, you’ll learn more about creating style in a room.

  • How to put zazz into any room.
  • Can your style change?
  • The role your home plays in interior design style.

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.

Take your Style Guide Quiz

 

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.

Transcript

Meet Our Guest

KariAnne Wood

KariAnne Wood

DIY Style Expert

KariAnne Wood writes the blog, Thistlewood Farms, featuring hundreds of home decor projects and decorating tips. The blog was awarded the Country Living Decorating Blog of the Year, was named one of the Top 10 Decorating Blogs by Better Homes and Gardens, and was voted one of the best DIY blogs online. In addition to writing for Romantic Homes, KariAnne has authored five books, including her most recent release, But Where Do I Put the Couch. Find her website at https://thistlewoodfarms.com 

394 How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #3 Declutter Your Space

394 How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #3 Declutter Your Space

This week, Kathi continues her four-part conversation with Tonya Kubo, founder and fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group about how to (finally) create the clutter-free home you’ve always wanted. A few weeks ago, we learned about dedicating your space for its purpose. Last week we focused on how to decide the way you want the room to feel.

In this episode, you’ll learn tips and tricks to create a clutter-free home. Don’t panic, friend, we break it down in easy, actionable steps. You’ve got this! 

  • How to effectively use a timer to time-box your way to clean. 
  • Why a strategy is paramount! No, you cannot pick the easiest room. 
  • What spaces in your home are basically a storage closet and what you can do about it. 

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.

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, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group. 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 or www.GreatMoms.org. Tonya Kubo is the Online Engagement Director at the University of California Merced, as well as the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group.

Transcript

Read along with the podcast!

 

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #394

 

Clutter Free Home – Declutter

 

<<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 and more life. My name is Kathi Lipp. I’m the author of Clutter Free and here with me is the founder of Clutter Free Academy on Facebook, it is Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya!

 

Tonya – Hey, Kathi!

 

Kathi – I am so excited. We are in a series right now, because we are talking about my book that is coming out. It is The Clutter Free Home. I really do know the title of it. It’s coming out a week from today. 

 

Tonya – What?!

 

Kathi – I know. I’m super excited. So, we’ve got our launch team. If you haven’t gone over there, let’s make sure you’ve got all the information for that. Today, we’re talking about the third step in the book. It’s been really fun to test this out with our Clutter Free for Life. I call them Guinea Pigs, you called them Early Adopters. So they’ve been doing this for over a year and making such huge progress. It’s been super fun to watch. We want to talk about our decluttering system for The Clutter Free Home. 

 

Tonya – Sigh. It’s so fitting for Clutter Free Academy to talk about decluttering.

 

Kathi – Yes! Finally! We’ve talked about dedicating your space; really understanding what your space is about and how you’re using it. Decide. How do you want that space to feel/look/smell/all the things? Now, we’re going to declutter. The new decluttering system has two parts. It’s always had two parts, but we want to talk about daily decluttering and then deep decluttering. Daily decluttering? Fifteen minutes. Get ‘er done. 

 

Tonya – Yep!

 

Kathi – So, that’s the basis of everything we’ve ever done in Clutter Free. Would you talk through what you do in those fifteen minutes? ‘Cause you’ve been doing this for five years.

 

Tonya – Yeah, so I think the first thing I do is decide what I’m going to do. Because it’s fifteen minutes – I’ll use my bedroom as an example ‘cause I love to use my bedroom as an example – fifteen minutes is enough time to tackle one drawer in my dresser or my closet.

 

Kathi – One drawer in your closet. Or one area in your closet.

 

Tonya – What I was going to say is, if I have a very specific purpose in my closet. So, I’ll do a fifteen minute session and say, “I’m going to get rid of everything that is worn or I no longer love.”  Right? I’ll have my trash bag already there, and I’ll get everything situated to give away or to toss. I set my timer for fifteen minutes, and I just go through. It’s no mercy, because I’ve already pre-decided “This is what I’m doing. This is why I’m going to do it. This is how long I’m doing it.” Then, at the end of the fifteen minutes, I set another timer for 5 minutes, and it’s a mad dash to get those bags out to the car and get back in. Then, I’m done. I’m not the person who’s going to do the marathon. I’m not going to set my timer for another 15 minutes.

 

Kathi – ‘Cause we’ve done that before. 

 

Tonya – And it never ended well.

 

Kathi – No. It was always a bad thing. So, that’s our daily decluttering. But we, now, want to assign you a room. We want you to know that, when you’re doing your daily decluttering, there’s a schedule. So, we’re not just letting you go willy nilly, and you’re like, “I’ll do the laundry room, because that’s easy.” No no no. We’re going to assign you. Monday is your kitchen. I love this, because it starts out the week on a fresh note. So, for 15 minutes, I want you to get in there and declutter your kitchen. Make it all the things you want it to be. Tuesday is your living room. You’re getting in there. It’s just one shelf. One drawer. One something in your living room. Wednesday is your bedroom. This could be your bedroom or a kid’s bedroom or maybe a guest bedroom. How much time do you spend in your bedroom versus your girls’ bedroom?

 

Tonya – I spend more time in my bedroom. We only have a two bedroom house, so the bedrooms get a lot of use.  But more time in mine, because I need to sleep well. I don’t sleep well when I’m overwhelmed with stuff in my room.

 

Kathi – Yeah. If you’re afraid you’re going to trip and die in the middle of the night, it’s not a good way to live. It just isn’t. Okay, so you’re going to pick one bedroom. It’s not like you’re doing fifteen minutes in each bedroom. You’re just trying to declutter and get the stuff out of there. Okay, Thursday is bathrooms. So, it depends. Is it your master bathroom? Your half bathroom downstairs? The kids’ bathroom? Whatever it is. This is not cleaning time. This is decluttering time. This is getting stuff out of your space. Then, Friday is office area. Even if your office area is your kitchen. Wherever you do your office. Wherever you do your paperwork. That needs to be decluttered on the regular. In San Jose, our office area is, really, the third bedroom, where Roger works. I have an office too, but for our household, bills and mail and things like that, that’s the third bedroom. Here at The Red House, Roger has an office upstairs, but we have a closet that has all of our paperwork. All that kind of stuff. So, that’s where I spend my fifteen minutes. It’s just more detailed. It’s more detailed to do it in there. Okay, and Saturday is extra. So this could be your garage, your basement, your attic. If you have a storage unit, I would suggest you go over there and spend your fifteen minutes cleaning it out, doing what you need to do. Sundays you get off. Now, if your work schedule is such that Tuesday is your day of rest? Figure it out. You guys are all adults. You can figure this out. What’s going to work? Nobody’s going to come to your house and make sure you’re decluttering on Tuesday in the living room. 

 

Tonya – Right.

 

Kathi – We want you to be able to do all the things. So, that’s the first part. That’s the daily decluttering. Then, once a week, I want you to do a deep declutter. This is where you can get your hands dirty. We’re going to say sixty minutes. Here’s what I mean by that: You are going to deep declutter for 60 minutes. This is 60 minutes of getting stuff out of your house. I feel like once a week, I could do sixty minutes without analysis paralysis. 

 

Tonya – Right.

 

Kathi – ‘Cause you’re picking the spot in your house. My recommendation is: If your garage is driving you crazy, every week you do your sixty minutes in there, until you’re about 60% decluttered. Then, if you need to, move on to another space. Do it until you see a difference in there.

 

Tonya – Right. And can I dig into that a little tiny bit? I know that in Clutter Free for Life this has been a challenge. First of all, we’ve talked about realistic expectations before, people think “All I need is an hour and I’m supposed to get the whole room situated.” Then they get a little bit discourage when that doesn’t happen. I liked what you said, and I want to dig into that a little. You’re decluttering for an hour. That whole goal of that hour is to get stuff out. The goal is not to color code your drawers. The goal is not to sit there and match socks. The goal is to get the single socks into a bag and out of the house. The goal is to get, if you’re in my house, and you’ve got underwear from size four all the way to size eight. It’s to get the underwear out that the youngest one is not going to wear, because there’s nobody else.

 

Kathi – There’s nobody else coming along to claim that underwear.

 

Tonya – And I’m never going to fit in size four toddler underwear. That’s just not going to happen.

 

Kathi – Nope. It’s not going to happen. So, at some point, when you’ve got your place decluttered enough, you can start to do the organization that will help you out. But here’s what people do: They try to organize their clutter. They go in and say, “We’re going to go in and put a system in place in this closet.” But, here’s the thing. You’re organizing things that are junk. Anytime you try to organize junk, it just explodes on you.

 

Tonya – Can I share a personal example?

 

Kathi – Of course.

 

Tonya – Okay, so most of our listeners know that we moved into a house that was built in 1952. What I don’t think listeners know is that they sold us everything in the house. As somebody who grew up in a studio apartment with my kind of background, I didn’t really believe that the house was ours, for a while. It’s taken me awhile, right? So, I have not touched anything they left.

 

Kathi – What do you mean?

 

Tonya – So, we have two closets in the house. We have one in the bathroom and we have one in the hallway. So, if you open the hallway closet, the shelves are stuffed with their linens.

 

Kathi – Whoa.

 

Tonya – So, they left their curtains and their sheets and everything. I’ve never touched them. I haven’t even pulled them out and folded them to see if they would fit my bed. It’s been this shrine. So, I’ve been losing very precious space in my hallway, because I’m just like, “I just don’t believe they’re not going to come back and want their stuff.” Which, by the way, they don’t. I actually did ask. But as I’m sitting here, thinking, that would be the perfect use of an hour. I would get four shelves back.

 

Kathi – Yes. I’m going to hold you accountable for this.

 

Tonya – I wish our listeners could see your face. Kathi is very concerned for me, right now.

 

Kathi – Can I just tell you? The house is yours. 

 

Tonya – But, I think our listeners will appreciate the fact that there is a lot of ‘pinch ourselves’, right, in our decluttering journey? I just want to give hope to the listener who feels like they just can’t let stuff go. 

 

Kathi – Can I just tell you, no judgement? There’s no judgement.

 

Tonya – Oh, no. I don’t feel judgement. But, I laugh because I’ve been in this journey a long time. It wasn’t until you were talking about that just now. You were talking about the storage unit, and I was like, “That’s basically a storage unit inside my house.”

 

Kathi – It totally is.

 

Tonya – I open the cabinet and I go, “Yeah, no, I’m just going to close that.”

 

Kathi – So, here’s my question for you. This is one of the things I don’t think we talk enough about in Clutter Free Academy, but I think it would be super helpful. What is your vision for that closet? What could that become for you? 

 

Tonya – I want that to be, it sounds silly, but I want my paper towels and my cleaning stuff to go there, because it’s so centrally located for the home. I’ve thought, over time, “Oh, that’s where blankets should go. Oh, that’s where towels should go.” That’s not actually where I want those things. I don’t want to trip over the Costco package of paper towels that are left on the floor because I don’t have any other shelves that are tall enough. But I do in there. It’s just funny to me how, again, I’ve lived there over a year, and it’s never occurred to me. 

 

Kathi – But isn’t that how we are? We have shrines in our own house. 

 

Tonya – Right. We talked about this before, right? We let the house happen to us. I love that this is a way to take ownership.

 

Kathi – Okay, so in the next two months, could you declutter that closet?

 

Tonya – Well, I could probably do it in the next weekend. None of the stuff is mine. I can’t even imagine wanting to keep any of it because it doesn’t belong to me.

 

Kathi – It’s just a big old Goodwill run.

 

Tonya – Yeah. I really think so. How funny is this? I’m tickled by myself right now.

 

Kathi – Yeah! No! I totally get it, though. I really do. There are things, even in this Red House. We have a barn. Okay, that’s weird. We have a barn. But, I don’t know exactly what’s out there. 

 

Tonya – Right, ‘cause you’re in the same situation, where they sold a lot of the stuff to you.

 

Kathi – Yeah, it’s a very unusual circumstance. You’re like, “Should I keep this? I don’t even know what it’s for.” But, it’s like, “Is that the key for keeping the whole house together?” So, part of it is research to find out, “What is this doohickey?” I’ve gone through everything in our garage. I’ve touched everything in the garage. I know what’s in there. The barn is still a bit of a mystery to me. We will uncover these things together, Tonya. 

 

Tonya – That’s what I like about Clutter Free Academy, though, right? We do this together.

 

Kathi – Yes. Okay, so I’m super excited about this, guys. We want you to join the journey with us. So, if you have ordered a copy of the book, go ahead and preorder. That is super helpful to us as authors.

 

Tonya – Yes it is.

 

Kathi – But, also, I would love for you to be on this journey with us. We will be telling your more about that. So, Tonya, thanks for being here.

 

Tonya – Thanks for having me.

 

Kathi – And friend, thank you for being here. 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.

 

<<music>>

 

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

 

393 How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #2 Decide How You Want Your Room to Feel

393 How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #2 Decide How You Want Your Room to Feel

This week, Kathi continues her four-part conversation with Tonya Kubo, founder and fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group about how to (finally) create the clutter-free home you’ve always wanted. Last week, we learned about dedicating your space for its purpose. This week, Tonya and Kathi discussed how to decide the way you want the room to feel. Don’t skip this. It is an important step.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to use the question, “How do I want this room to feel and look?” in order to help you cultivate a clutter free home. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • You can use each of your senses to create a space you love
  • Deciding puts you in control of your space, no matter what space you have
  • The link between self-care and clutter-free

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.

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

 

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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Clutter Free Academy Podcast #393

Clutter Free Home – Decide

<<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. My name is Kathi Lipp and I am here with the founder of Clutter Free Academy on Facebook, Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya!

Tonya – Hey Kathi!

Kathi – So, you and I are in the midst of a four-part discussion. We’re doing all the things.

Tonya – We’re digging in deep.

Kathi – That’s right. So, what we are talking about is, really, the system described in my new book. So, that’s called The Clutter Free Home: Making Room for Your Life. So, that’s coming out February 11th. Super super excited.

Tonya – SQUEE!!

Kathi – I know! I can’t wait. We’re going to have a group that’s going to go through it together, so we’ll tell you more about that in the comments. But, I want to talk about Step #2. We talked about Step #1, which is to dedicate your space, which sounds a little weird. It’s not like you do a ceremony or anything like that.

Tonya – Right. We’ve had, like, baby dedication for your space.

Kathi – No. There is no sage that needs to be burned.

Tonya – No smudge sticks.

Kathi – No, we’re all good, friends. Dedicating is just saying, “Hey, this space is dedicated for this in my life or my family’s life.” Get realistic. If you use your kitchen as a homework center, let’s just name it. Let’s create the space we need to create for this moment in our lives. In our house, now, we don’t have homework in the kitchen, or anything like that. We do have an office in our bedroom, so let’s get realistic around that. Do we need to have a better filing system up there? To pretend it doesn’t exist doesn’t really work. So, that was Dedicate, Step #1. We talked about, “Is there a verse you can put on the wall? Is there a saying?” What could you do to dedicate that space? Now, we’re going into Step #2. So, Step #2 is all about Deciding. Now that you’ve dedicated the space, I want you to decide how you want that room to feel, to look, all the things. So, this is what I want you to do. I want you to pick a room. Tonya, let’s do your kitchen. I’m going to do my kitchen.

Tonya – Good, ‘cause that’s what I was thinking about doing.

Kathi – Good. Excellent. We’re just like this. We’re of one mind. So, the question is: How do I want this room to feel, to look? Really, you can base this off the five senses. What do I want the sight of that to be? What do I want the sounds to be? Taste? That’s a legit question. Smell? Touch? Those are good questions to ask. Let’s talk about, “In my kitchen, the first thing I want is clean.”

Tonya – Yes!

Kathi – Yes!

Tonya – I was thinking, “Not sticky.”

Kathi – Yes. You’re in a different stage of life.

Tonya – I am in a different stage of life.

Kathi – But, you know, clean is one of the things. I want it to be comfortable. I want it to be creative. I love to get creative in the kitchen. All mine started with Cs. I wasn’t starting out that way, but when I got to three Cs, I just kept going.

Tonya – You just got to own it.

Kathi – Cozy and Connecting. Those are the things I want in my kitchen. How ‘bout you? And yours don’t have to start with Cs.

Tonya – Right. Well, and we talked in Part One about how I want a warm kitchen. I want people to want to hang out in my kitchen with me. Whether it’s my children, or people who visit, I don’t want people all in the living room. The way that our floor plan is, the living room is very removed. So, I want the kitchen to be inviting.

Kathi – Right. That is really important. To make sure your space is very inviting, and that people feel like they can just sit down and hang out. Okay, so do you have any other words that you want it to be? Clean? Inviting?

Tonya – Definitely clean. Inviting and warm and I wouldn’t mind, I like the idea of warmth as coziness, but I like the idea of a room that’s energetic.

Kathi – Yeah. And I think you can achieve that through different things. So, I want to talk about how to get to that place in your space.

Tonya – Oh, yay!

Kathi – I think it’s really about being intentional about the choices you make in there. And I’m not saying, “Go redesign it. Go to HGTV and get a makeover.” Things like that. But if I want a clean, cozy, comfortable, creative room, one of the things is sight. Let’s talk about sight. It’s not so much, for me, about having a perfectly decorated kitchen, although, for the first time in my life, I have a kitchen that’s decorated how I want it to be. We’ve remodeled and I’m loving it. But, even before all this, when I had the hunter green counter tops and things like that. There are things you can do to make it more of the kitchen you want it to be. So, for me, one of the big things is, if we’re going through the five senses, the sight is to have clear counter tops.

Tonya – Yes.

Kathi – Now, you have small counter tops, right?

Tonya – Oh my word, yes.

Kathi – Right. Okay. So, I don’t have exactly giant counter tops, but I have an average amount. So, to think about what you can do to get stuff off the counter tops. One of the thing we’ve done, we have a butcher block where we can store a lot of stuff. Those kinds of things make a big difference for us. How about you? What are the strategies you use to get stuff off your counters?

Tonya – One of the big things is having designated space in the cabinets for things that, in my old house, just lived on the counter all the time, like the toaster. The toaster is easy to take out and put back. The stand mixer is not, so the stand mixer, the coffee pot…

Kathi – I think it’s dangerous to take out and put back.

Tonya – It’s so heavy.

Kathi – It really is.

Tonya – So, those things have to live on the counter top. So, I also don’t have all my appliances in the same spot on the counter. I have three separate counter areas. So, each one gets one thing. My Instant Pot, if I’m going to use that, has to be on my kitchen table. That’s the only space for it. It’s just realizing that, if something is only used (we don’t use the toaster regularly) that totally can be out of sight. The other thing is, not letting dishes collect on the side of the sink. I don’t know about you, when you had family growing up, but for some reason, I’m the only person who hand washes things.

Kathi – Well, I hate to hand wash, so I understand this.

Tonya – As do I, which is why things pile up on the side of the sink. Brian is great about doing the dishes, but if it needs to be hand washed, it just slowly piles.

Kathi – Can I tell you, one of the biggest arguments in our marriage ever? Is this giant cutting board that Roger loves. It’s the size of a small car. It’s so huge. It has a well in it, so juices don’t run off. He loves this cutting board. He loves it, but he uses it to chop a chili pepper and it can’t go into our dishwasher, ergo it’s there for me. I’m like, “No. This is marriage ending. You need to understand. No. No. No. I can’t do this anymore.”

Tonya – We’re Californians. Yeah, no.

Kathi – Yeah, no. Exactly. So, yes. It’s processing those things. It’s having those routines to get them out. That is so important. Having storage space for the things you actually need, and then having a process for what has to be managed elsewhere. Okay, sound. Sound in your kitchen. We have an Alexa unit. When I’m in my kitchen by myself, I do an audiobook. Right now, I’m reading Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate. Listening to, let’s be clear. When it’s me and Roger, it’s usually James Taylor or Eagles, or something like that. But that’s the sound I like. The other thing I like, is having a dishwasher that doesn’t sound like it’s shaking the house down.

Tonya – One day. One day I’ll be there.

Kathi – Yeah, it’s just good to know, “One day, I will save up to get that thing.” Because, trust me, I had the window rattler for a long time.

Tonya – We have The List. Priorities shift, depending on season.

Kathi – Yeah, exactly. Okay, so Taste. Now, this may feel like a strange question, but one of the things for us is water, at The Red House, while pure…

Tonya – It’s so good.

Kathi – It’s so good, but we filter it twice, because, even though it’s pure – It’s well water. It’s very healthy. We’ve had it tested. It’s wonderful.

Tonya – It tastes purely like a well.

Kathi – It tastes like sucking a copper penny. So, we filter it and it tastes much less. I don’t taste anything. Roger does, but I think it’s all in his head. So, anything in Taste in your kitchen?

Tonya – Well, I live in the middle of a city, so my kitchen water tastes a lot like bleach, but for us, we always have a tea kettle on the stove. That’s something my girls like. Hot tea. Our favorite tea is chai. So, that is something that we do on a cold day. We will all be around the table with our hot chai tea, and I love the smell of that in the house.

Kathi – The smell is amazing. So, that goes the next thing we’re talking about is smell. So, for you, it’s chai tea. For me, I love the smell of lemon in the kitchen. So, I know some people cut real lemons and things like that. I don’t tend to do that, but I love Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena. So, they have the dish washing soap. They have the hand soap. They have the spray cleanser, so I love the smell of that. Also, I use a lot of lemons, so I put those down the garbage disposal. So, you can get that smell all the time. I also have a lemon candle that I burn in there, and that makes me super happy. For me, I like to have a smell for each room. In our bedroom, it’s lavender, ‘cause that promotes sleep. In some of our bathrooms, it’s citrus. I want to have a clean, crisp smell in there.

Tonya – Yes. I actually love citrus in the bathroom. In my kitchen, we love spicy smells. So, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg, chai tea, apple cider. We’re those people.

Kathi – We had apple cider here last night and that just made me so happy with the smell of it.

Tonya – My husband says that I like it to smell like Thanksgiving year round.

Kathi – Nothing wrong with that, my friend. Not a thing. You know, if I could have stove top stuffing every single day of my life? It would be a better world. It just would. Okay, finally Touch. This is huge for me. I’m going to shock a lot of people here.

Tonya – We’re going to talk about towels, aren’t we?

Kathi – Microfiber towels give me the heebie jeebies. That is just the worst feeling/touching thing in the entire world. So, I know, if someone gives me a gift of microfiber towels, I can get rid of them, instantly. I used to try to use them, because I thought it was the nice thing to do, and then I had a bad thought about the person every time I picked up the towel. I’m like, “That’s not the association I want.” How about for you? Touch, in the kitchen?

Tonya – Sponges. Urgh.

Kathi – So you don’t like sponges?

Tonya – No. No.

Kathi – You know what? They’re not good for the environment anyway.

Tonya – Right. Yeah. I just had a childhood of too many slimy sponges.

Kathi – Yeah. So, you don’t use them at all. So, I wash them in the dishwasher, then I microwave them.

Tonya – I used to do that, then I realized that as an adult, I don’t ever have to have them in my house.

Kathi – Apparently, one day, I thought the world sponge supply was going to run out.

Tonya – Oh, and you have fifty?

Kathi – Yes. It’s ridiculous. So, I’m using them up, but I probably won’t restock them. Like, every Airbnb guest gets a new sponge. ‘Cause I just think that’s the right thing to do.

Tonya – ‘Cause you’re a giver.

Kathi – I am a giver. That’s exactly it. So, it’s making intentional decisions about your space. How you want it to feel. How you want it to smell. It’s things like, we have a blanket at The Red House. I think it’s called a Sherpa blanket.

Tonya – I love that blanket.

Kathi – Our friend Kelly gave it to us as a housewarming gift. It’s super-floofy on one side and smooth on the other. It’s not smooth. I don’t really know how to describe it.

Tonya – I feel like I’m hugging a wild animal that’s not going to bite me.

Kathi – That’s not going to bite me. That’s very important here. So, I want to get a couple more of those, because as soon as somebody finds one of those, they just wrap themselves in it, and you’re instantly three times cozier than you were.

Tonya – So, can I say something really quick about Decide? So, what I love about this step is that it puts you in control of your space. The thing that I’ve seen happen, I’ve had it happen to me, especially when I was really overwhelmed by my clutter, is, I think that I’m stuck. I want my house to happen to me. So, it’s like, “Oh, they made this the kitchen, and they put the plugs there, so therefor, I have to do things this way.” This step has really opened my eyes that I’m a grown up. I get to choose, right? I can make any room do anything I want. So, the reason I want to mention this is, I know that some people live in smaller spaces. I grew up in a studio apartment until I went off to college at seventeen. I can imagine that I might go, “Well, you know, I can’t decide, because I only have one room.” But you can. You just have to make the choice, “I’m going to boss my room around. I’m not going to let my room boss me around.”

Kathi – Right. I want my bedroom to be comfortable. If that means I’m saving up for pillows that I wouldn’t normally? I spend a third of my life in bed. Okay, maybe a fourth. I want to be comfortable. It’s being intentional. Here’s the other beautiful thing. In the book, we have you go through the exercise to decide. What it does? It’s a nonsense repellant. You’re not going to Target, and buying the cheap candle, because “Oh, that could be cute in my living room.” Well, no. It doesn’t go in your living room. Stop buying it. Stop going to the dollar bin at Target. Don’t do that. You’re better than that. I understand. Here’s the thing. I have been the single mom who was four syllable broke. I was buh-roke. But here’s what I know. When you take care of yourself, you have less junk. You may not have all the nice things, but you don’t buy the junk. You get it out of your house. So, when I decide I only want citrus candles in this bathroom. That means I can get rid of the ten candles that people gave me as gifts that smell like baby powder. Right? Or like sand and sea? Nothing smells like sand and sea except for the beach, so don’t try.

Tonya – That’s how I feel about evergreen.

Kathi – I like some pine-y things, but evergreen is a no-go for me. It just doesn’t work.

Tonya – It smells like old man aftershave to me.

Kathi – That’s okay. That’s not what you want to smell in your house. I know some of us are keeping it just in case. Like, if I run out money, and can never buy a candle again. Can we just have the faith that you will buy the candle when you need it? That’s all I’m going to ask. We’re going to have the faith that we’re going to buy the candle when you need it. So, guys, this is Decide. So, we’ve gone through Dedicate Your Space. Decide how you want it to feel/look, now we’re going to get to decluttering. Our next episode, we’re doing it for real this time. So, you’re gonna want to come back. We have a whole system, friends. I’m so excited. We’ve been doing it in Clutter Free for Life.

Tonya – We have! So, our Clutter Free for Life members? Got the inside scoop.

Kathi – That’s right. You were basically my guinea pigs. In the nicest way possible.

Tonya – I prefer the term Early Adopters.

Kathi – Early Adopters. But now, we’re sharing it with the whole world. So, you guys will have to come back next week to hear all about our decluttering system. Tonya, thanks so much for being on Clutter Free Academy.

Tonya – Thanks for having me.

Kathi – Always. And friend, thank you for being here. I know that there are a ton of podcasts to listen to, and I love that you’re listening to this one. I’m Kathi Lipp. 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

 

 

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group. 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 or www.GreatMoms.org. Tonya Kubo is the Online Engagement Director at the University of California Merced, as well as the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group.
#392: How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #1: Dedicate Your Room for Its Purpose

#392: How to (Finally) Create Your Clutter Free Home Step #1: Dedicate Your Room for Its Purpose

If you’ve ever decluttered only to have stuff creep back in, this episode is for you! This week, Kathi begins her four-part conversation with Tonya Kubo, founder and fearless leader of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group, about how to create a clutter-free home. Kathi and Tonya chat about the power of dedicating each space in your home because you don’t want to live in a house by accident; you want each room to have and serve its purpose.

In this episode, you’ll learn how a little planning goes a long way to creating a clutter-free home. You’ll also learn how to:

  • Reshape each room into what you actually use it for, not what it “should” be for
  • Use anchoring objects as reminders of a room’s purpose
  • Shift from “just surviving” to living with intention in your home

 

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.

For the Clutter Free Home Book Club, head over to the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and join the conversation!

If you want a great leftover tri-tip recipe, check out these ideas.

"People who love to eat are always the best people." Julia Child

That house was a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or storytelling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness. JRR Tolkien

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.

Transcript

Read along with the podcast!

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #392

Clutter Free Home – Dedicate

<<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. With me today is the founder of Clutter Free Academy on Facebook, it’s Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya!

Tonya – Hey Kathi!

Kathi – I’m so excited!

Tonya – Me too!

Kathi – In twenty days, my new book, The Clutter Free Home will be hitting shelves. I am so excited about this book. If you feel loving, you can pre-order it. We’ll have a link in there. We’re going to be talking, for the next four weeks, about the principles contained in Clutter Free Home. I feel like, and I don’t want to overstate things, but I feel like this book changes everything.

Tonya – You know what, I may or may not have read some of it already, and I would agree with that. I am also excited, because, how long has it been since Clutter Free came out?

Kathi – Five years.

Tonya – Five years, and though the principles are timeless, how much has changed in five years?

Kathi – And that’s the thing. That first book was a lot of principles, which is great. We need that. You need it to build a firm foundation. But every day, first of all, people say, “Would you just come to my house?” and I’m like, “No, I won’t come to your house to declutter.”

Tonya – Then they want you to move in.

Kathi – Yeah, they want me to move in. And I’m like, “That’s awkward.”

Tonya – Roger said “no”.

Kathi – But, also, people would say, “If someone would just tell me what to do.” Okay, you wanted to be bossed around. Here we go!

Tonya – Whoo hoo!

Kathi – Now, I know that people are going to think that I’m just going to tell them to just get in and get rid of all their stuff. It is absolutely not what I’m asking you to do. I’m actually asking you to take a moment before you go on all the crazy decluttering, and I want you to come up with a strategy. I’m so excited about this strategy. We’re going to talk, over the next four weeks. Yes, you need to declutter. Yes, we’re going to talk about how do you declutter each room, and we’re going to talk about each room in your house and what it needs. But I want you to do a little planning first. Now, if you want to declutter while you’re planning? Nobody’s going to stop you.

Tonya – Nope. We’re good with that.

Kathi – I understand. We wanna get the things done. But, I want you to have a plan, so here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to take you through the four steps. I know you know these four steps, but I want to talk about them with our listeners, so they can get on this journey. Yeah, you can get rid of everything, but if you don’t have a plan going forward, the clutter is just going to creep back in. So, the first thing we’re going to talk about is this idea of dedicating each room in your house. This is a room by room guide. The actual name is, “The Clutter Free Home: Making Room for Your Life” It’s a room by room guide for making sure that everything in your house has a purpose and a plan. Whether that purpose is just to make you joyful? That’s enough of a reason to keep things in your house, but also, so you can move forward in what you’re doing. So, the first thing we’re going to talk about is Dedicate. What I want to talk to you about Dedicate is, your room is dying for a purpose. Your room wants a purpose. It wants to be able to serve you. I know I’m sounding very airy-fairy and all that kind of stuff, but here’s the thing, it wants to have a purpose. It was designed to have a purpose. Remember, when they were making these houses, my house was built in the 70s. Do you know when your house was built?

Tonya – 1952.

Kathi – Okay. So, in 1952, people ate dinner in the dining room, or the kitchen, whatever that is. They watched TV in the living room. They slept in the bedroom, and whatever they do in the bathroom, they continued to do. But that’s not how we live anymore. The kitchen is also the homework area. The bedroom is also the office. All of that kind of stuff. So, we have to get realistic. In the magazines, on Pinterest, online, you see a kitchen, and it’s set up like you’re a professional cook in there.

Tonya – Right.

Kathi – Yeah, but when my kids were growing up, that was also the homework center. So, was our living room. By the way, everything was the homework center. In my kitchen, I was running my business out of the kitchen. I think it is really important that we actually understand what each room is used for. So, I want us to think through our kitchens, right now.

Tonya – Okay.

Kathi – I want you to think about the top five things that room is used for. Now, for me, I’m just going to tell you this is my little list. I want you to be thinking of your list, Tonya. Okay, so we cook in there. We eat in there, sometimes. Connecting. So, when we have people over, we like to sit around the table and connect. Working. I do a lot of my work in there. That kitchen table is oftentimes my office when I’m there. And storing food. Those are the five things that we do in the kitchen. How about you? What are the things that your kitchen, you actually use it for?

Tonya – Yeah, we do that stuff. But yeah, because we live in a two bedroom, one bath.

Kathi – With four people.

Tonya – So that kitchen table is homework center. It’s where we pay our bills. It’s where I work my business. It’s where my husband plans his IEPs for his students. We store food. We do our meal planning. That kitchen table does everything.

Kathi – It’s everything in your house. I think that’s where we have to get realistic. We say we want our kitchen to just be a kitchen, but then, we have no place to put the bills that we’re paying. We have no place to put our work. So, I think it’s really important to say, “This is what we actually use this room for.” Now, when my kids were growing up, that was homework center, that was all the things. It’s not anymore. So, your room gets to change as your life changes, which is really good. Almost every room in your house, it’s going to be a multi-purpose room. Especially our kitchen, it’s the heart of our home. It’s for cooking and creating and connecting and your words don’t need to be in alliteration, but, you know, you get bonus points. You start to reshape the room into what you want it to be, not what you feel like other people say it should be.

Tonya – Oooh, that’s good.

Kathi – Yeah. So, one of the things I do, I put a list of what we’ve said that room is for. So, if I’m starting to do art projects in that room on a regular basis, I’m like, “That’s not what this room is for. I have other spaces in my house I can do that kind of stuff.” To say, “I need this room to function for what I’ve said.” It’s all about reshaping that. I also want to shape the heart of that room. What I mean by that is, to have things in the room to remind me who’s there, and who I am serving. So, one of the signs I’m getting made, and I’ll put a picture up on the podcast, is for our kitchen. It’s a quote by Julia Child. “People who love to eat are always the best people.” If you’re one of these people that’s like, “I’d love to come over for dinner, but I’m going to bring my own food.” I understand. I respect that. I love to connect over food. I love to connect over Roger’s barbecue, or us making artichoke dip.

Tonya – In case you’re wondering, I like to connect over Roger’s barbecue, too.  FYI.

Kathi – Yes! We had it last night. We did street tacos with tri-tip.

Tonya – Yes, for people outside of California, just “beef”. It’s delicious.

Kathi – It was so good. Then, this morning, you turned that into eggs and vegetables.

Tonya – A little scramble. You have not lived until you’ve had tri-tip and eggs.

Kathi – It was one of my favorite breakfasts ever.

Tonya – We connected over Roger’s barbecue.

Kathi – We did. We love Roger’s barbecue. You know, I’ve done this for other rooms in my house, as well. Like, in my living room, here at The Red House, we have a sign. It’s a quote by JRR Tolkien that he used in one of his books about the hobbits. It says, “That house was a perfect house. Whether you like food, or sleep, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.” If I could ever say what I want our house to be. We love food. We love sleep. You will never have a better night’s sleep than you will at The Red House. Storytelling. We’re all writers here, who are writing our books. Singing. We sit around the campfire. Roger plays his guitar and we sing John Denver and it’s just magical. Or just sitting and thinking best. It’s a place of quiet contemplation. That’s the word I was looking for.

Tonya – Quiet contemplation?

Kathi – Yes. That was my five dollar word for the day. To say, “These words set the mood for my room. That’s what I want.” So, do you have any anchoring things in your house?

Tonya – In my kitchen, and it’s not just a floor plan thing, because a lot of times the kitchen is the heart of your home ‘cause of the floor plan. I want my kitchen to be warm. I want my children to want to hang out in the kitchen, while I do all the things you have to do in kitchens. So, I really want warmth in my kitchen because I want my children to want to hang out there. This is so important to me. I have to wash dishes. I have to plan meals and I have to cook. You know? I don’t want them in another room, I want that kitchen to be inviting to them. I could put a desk in the living room. I could put a desk in their bedrooms, but I want to do homework there.

Kathi – I love that. So, whatever the purpose for that room, you have to know the purpose. If you don’t know the purpose, think about it and write it down somewhere. Even if you put it on a little Post It Note on the inside of a cabinet. It’s going to set the mood for it. I’ve got a sign in our house in San Jose that says “Sit long. Talk much.” That’s what I want for my kitchen. I want people to gather and be comfortable there. So, this is the first of four sets that I ask you to go through. Really setting the intention for your house, because it makes all the difference. Instead of, “We’re just surviving.”

Tonya – Right! And so many times, in Clutter Free Academy, people come in and they talk about that there’s not any place for their stuff, and it’s because there’s not any intention behind each room.

Kathi – Right. So, it sounds very high-falutin, but it’s kind of fun to go through your house and set the intention for each room. Ask your kids, “What do you want this room to represent?” So, Abby may not. She may be a little young for this, but Lily could definitely set a plan for her room. Say, “I want to feel energized here.” Or “I want to feel cozy here.” So, here’s what I want, eventually. As you start to clear out the clutter, you start to reshape the heart of that room. So, if cozy is a code word for Lily, are the right blankets in there? What’s the texture she wants? We’re going to talk about that more next time, but to say, “You don’t want to live in a house by accident.”

Tonya – Exactly.

Kathi – You want the rooms to be on purpose. Well guys, this is just the first step. The next four weeks, we’re going to be talking about how you create a clutter free home, and setting the intention. In the show notes, you’ll have a link, so you can pre-order Clutter Free Home: Making Room for Your Life. Guys, we’ll be going through this book together, and we’ll be giving you more details about that. So, go look in our show notes and see how you can sign up for our book club, that we will be doing all together. I cannot wait.

Tonya – Oh my gosh. It’s going to be fun!

Kathi – Your house is going to see a difference. I promise you. Tonya, thanks so much for being on Clutter Free Academy.

Tonya – Thanks for having me.

Kathi – And, friends, thank you 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.

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

 

 

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group. 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 or  www.GreatMoms.org