#610 Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

#610 Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

610 – Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

Have you ever said, “I work better under pressure.”

Is that true or is that procrastination as a trauma response?

In this continuation of last week’s episode, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory dig into the process of procrastination and how it is hurting all of us. In addition to defining the procrastination responses of Freeze and Fawn, they discuss the difference between working under pressure and pre-deciding. Kathi and Cheri describe how they use the concept of pre-deciding to live a life that reflects their values instead of living a life of fear. That’s what they want for you too! Listen for the steps of pre-deciding as well as other ways to break the procrastination cycle, such as:

  • How to permit yourself to not finish a decluttering project
  • How to move the goalpost when it comes to decluttering
  • How to be a good steward of your most precious resource

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

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here and receive the free download mentioned in this episode, The Four P Bullies at a Glance!

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard: Ditch Expectations and Live Your Own Best Life

With honesty and humor, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory help you take a breather and find reassurance as you face the bullies of perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination.

Self-assessments and personal stories guide you from panic to peace as you learn to:

  • Pick battles worthy of your time and energy
  • Embrace the freedom of a carefully considered “no”
  • Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in the quest for balance
  • Use authenticity as a weapon to battle bullies
  • Release yourself from the endless pressure of pleasing others

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally came face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be.

Order your copy here!

What’s your best tip for avoiding procrastination?

Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And if you’re somebody who’s often said, I work better under pressure, my friend Cheri Gregory and I are here to blow up your world.

I’ve heard this a lot from people in clutter free. And here’s what I know, procrastination is hurting all of us and there are ways to deal with it. C

heri, welcome back to the program.

Cheri Gregory (01:01.482)
Hey Kathi thanks for having me back.

Kathi (01:03.646)
Okay, in between these recordings, you said, I could talk about frenzy as a trauma response. And I’m like, whoa, hold on. Wait, that’s a big statement. So do you consider procrastination a trauma response?

Cheri Gregory (01:15.351)
Hehehe

Cheri Gregory (01:25.202)
I think it often can be a trauma response because we’ve already been saying that it’s built on fear. Whether you want to call something a trauma response, a fear response, I mean, back in sixth grade we learned that fight and flight were the two major fear responses. So you can call it a trauma response, an anxiety response, whatever you stress response, whatever you want. But what’s interesting is in the last few years we’ve been hearing more about freeze and fawn.

Kathi (01:41.887)
Right.

Kathi (01:48.519)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (01:53.366)
freeze makes sense, you know, it’s just coming stock still. And then fawn, we recognize to be more the people pleasing response. And a lot of us women have been conditioned into that. But the two that are far less talked about are flock and frenzy. And I really identify with this whole idea of frenzy. Frenzy, as you can guess, it’s the kind of busy, go, go. And I, my natural personality loves being productive.

Kathi (02:20.982)
I know you love seeing yourself in videos.

Cheri Gregory (02:23.342)
and when I procrastinate and then suddenly have to do things under pressure, then I can end up getting that kind of, and you already said, let your cortisol levels go up, the adrenaline goes up, and for a short period of time that can actually feel kind of good. Now afterwards, we crash and we burn and it feels terrible.

Kathi (02:46.422)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (02:47.874)
But one of the things that actually God has been convicting me over the last couple of years is that one of the reasons I have been so rest resistant is because I am so accustomed to living in a frenzy state. And so rather than spacing things out, rather than having a schedule that I can actually handle.

I have a tendency to do that all or nothing where I crash and burn and I cancel everything and then of course I recover from whatever it was and I get bored and I start taking things on again, volunteering, accepting things with a short deadline and then I have to go and push myself again, busy, go, go. Whether or not those actions are in alignment with my values, whether or not those are, and I know we’re going to talk about pre-deciding.

Kathi (03:38.789)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (03:39.478)
I’ve been really working on catching myself because in our society, in our American society, productivity is like the gold standard. As long as you produced, you’re fine, right? And for those of us in the church, I mean, churches love a woman who will show up and get things done. Like they keep the church going. And so we’ve gotten a lot of kudos for being the kind of woman who can get things done under pressure.

Kathi (03:48.73)
Yeah. Right.

Cheri Gregory (04:09.234)
It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are living in alignment when our values, when we live that way. And then for me to realize, hang on a second, this is actually living in a constant fear response or trauma response. It doesn’t, it’s not good for me. The chemicals running through my body are hurting me. I don’t want to live this way anymore. So that’s, that’s where that comment came from.

Kathi (04:29.62)
Yes.

Kathi (04:33.562)
So much came up with that. First of all, women in the church, we were appreciated without being acknowledged, and we were assumed that we would just do all the unpaid labor. And it’s not just in the church, it’s in any space where women’s labor can be taken advantage of. In the schools of, yes.

Cheri Gregory (04:41.384)
Exactly.

Cheri Gregory (04:47.178)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Cheri Gregory (04:58.698)
Yeah. And we get called lifesavers. We get called lifesavers. Oh, you’re such a lifesaver and we’re killing ourselves.

Kathi (05:05.474)
Yes. And so we’re, we’re set, we’re setting ourselves on fire to keep other people warm. And, yeah, no more, no more. So it feels like freeze and frenzy are both procrastination responses. One is where I’m scrubbing the tile to not write the devotional. And the, and the other is I’m watching friends episodes to not write.

Cheri Gregory (05:11.656)
Exactly.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (05:34.686)
the not right the devotional. Why do you think that those two are? How do they demonstrate themselves in different ways? I’m just I’m thinking I’ve been known to do both. Is it a guilt response? Like at least I’m doing something. You can’t be mad at me because at least I’m scrubbing the tile. Or is are we justifying to ourselves? What do you think that is, Cheri?

Cheri Gregory (05:58.135)
Hehehe

Cheri Gregory (06:02.89)
That does make a lot of sense. I’m like we’re substituting one activity. So at least I’m doing something I’m not you know sitting around doing nothing I also think that at least in from the way I experience procrastination Is there’s a period of time where it’s kind of that freeze where I’m like zoned out I’m not producing anything of any value and then the panic kicks in and once the panic kicks in Then is when I’m going to turn I’m going to pivot

Kathi (06:05.354)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:09.114)
Bye.

Cheri Gregory (06:28.778)
and dive into the actual thing and work on it like a maniac and either pull it off or crash and burn in the midst of trying.

Kathi (06:36.89)
Yeah, and I just want to reiterate to our listeners, you know, we’re saying this with a smile because we both recognize it in ourselves, but trauma response requires trauma. Something has happened that has, and you shouldn’t be like, okay, we’ll just push past that. We just want you to be able, the first part of recovering from trauma is recognizing what is going on. And so if,

Cheri Gregory (06:49.676)
Hmm.

Kathi (07:07.078)
If you know, I just read an article, Julia Louis Dreyfus, who was part of Seinfeld VP, said that she has been dealing with a trauma response for 40 years after her dad criticized her performance on Saturday Night Live. I mean, right? Right? And so some of these things are very, very deep. And maybe you’re not cleaning your room because it didn’t matter how hard you cleaned it.

Cheri Gregory (07:26.591)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:35.93)
when you were little, it was never good enough, or you cleaned your room and your sister was allowed to just come in and mess it up. I don’t know what the response is, but I mean, I don’t know what the reason is, but the response is real. So, yeah.

Cheri Gregory (07:46.35)
Hmm. Yeah. Well, and let’s go back. So now you’re giving me the answer to the scrubbing, the scrubbing. I know why we scrub. We scrub because it’s something we can control.

Kathi (07:55.154)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:59.167)
Uh, yeah. It’s so true, right?

Cheri Gregory (08:00.642)
Trauma responses are all about control. And so when we’re scrubbing the grout, we can whiten that grout, but we don’t know for sure if we can actually declutter our house. We don’t know if we sit down at a blank page, are the words gonna come, or will our brain have ceased functioning? But we can scrub that grout and we can feel like we at least, we could check that off our list.

Kathi (08:14.606)
Mm.

Cheri Gregory (08:24.21)
And these kinds of responses, they feel very familiar because they’re things that we’ve been doing for a long time. And so when we start to disrupt, when we start to interrupt and try to do something different, it’s gonna feel unfamiliar. And that’s one of the other things that I’ve really been having to learn and sit with is as I have, just again, to use the example, let’s imagine somebody in Clutterfree Academy who’s like, no, I can’t do just 15 minutes. It doesn’t feel right. It makes me miserable.

Kathi (08:30.95)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (08:54.214)
No, Kathi, you don’t understand. I can’t stop after 15 minutes. I have to do everything or I can do only do nothing. Please know you have my sympathy. And also the fact that it’s uncomfortable may simply be that it’s unfamiliar and it could take some time to get used to until you have permission.

Kathi (08:54.335)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (09:03.983)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (09:16.878)
to only do 15 minutes rather than you get into that room and don’t come out until you’ve cleaned it completely, young lady, to my standards. So changing, yes, changing these habits takes some time. And the other thing for me is realizing that not having the crash and burn afterwards, like, oh.

Kathi (09:25.838)
Right. The punishing aspect.

Kathi (09:38.51)
Yes, it’s so true. It’s so true. You know, when you talk about, I can’t do 15 minutes because it doesn’t, it’s not gonna be everything. I think that’s when you have to move the goalpost from decluttering the kitchen to decluttering the junk drawer or the utensil drawer. Because yes, I also don’t wanna stop in the middle of something. But there also is some beauty in stopping in the middle because it gives you a depth.

Cheri Gregory (09:52.138)
Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:56.746)
Yes.

Kathi (10:08.062)
define place to start next time. And that is a gift for me. Okay, we’re gonna take a quick break. We’re gonna come back and we’re gonna talk about working under pressure versus pre-deciding. And also discovering is Cheri, a big old hypocrite because she took on a very pressure-filled project this week, but I wanna talk about why you decided to do that and how you decided to do that. So we’re gonna take a quick break and come right back.

Cheri Gregory (10:10.306)
Very true.

Cheri Gregory (10:25.826)
Hehehe

Kathi (10:38.79)
Okay, we’re back with Cheri Gregory, and we are talking about why working better under pressure just doesn’t work. And, you know, for the people who feel familiar that like, I can’t do it unless I’m on a tight deadline, or I can’t do it unless the stakes are high, where would the, what is pre-deciding and how would that help in these circumstances?

Cheri Gregory (10:46.807)
Mm-mm.

Cheri Gregory (11:06.326)
You know, pre-deciding is the difference between living out of fear and living out of love. Because this was one of the core scriptures that we used in You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, is this whole idea that when we’re living out of fear, then we are going to, you know, I’ll speak for myself again, as I’ve been re-evaluating certain things in my life.

Kathi (11:13.197)
Ooh, okay.

Cheri Gregory (11:34.694)
when I’m living out of fear and I then look back, I’m like, oh, I violated half a dozen of my values during that time. And the thinking in my head is, well, but as long as, as long as, you know, as long as the house looks okay, it doesn’t matter that I snapped at my husband or I snapped at the chickens or whatever it is. But what if one of my core values is to treat people kindly, then I have violated a core value in service of a fear-based
temporary short-term goal that doesn’t actually have lasting value. Whereas, pre-deciding says, I’ve already made these decisions based around my values. I know who I am. I know what I stand for. I know what my values are. And so I am going to make decisions that reflect those values. And when I find myself out of alignment with my values, I’m going to pause and reevaluate.

and it is an entirely different way to live. It doesn’t have the same amount of adrenaline. And so if we have become adrenaline junkies and we’re used to only being motivated if we have those chemicals that indicate fear, that indicate that we’re going to be in huge trouble if we don’t get it done by a certain time. And again, it’s a matter then of kind of changing our habits so

Kathi (12:39.575)
Right?

Cheri Gregory (13:01.934)
quiet sense of satisfaction that you know you get to minute 16 of the decluttering and you’re like I’m going to stop now and I’m going to enjoy that quiet sense of satisfaction that I did what I said I was going to do. I said I was going to declutter for 15 minutes. I did what I said I’m going to do. I’m a person of integrity whether I did all or nothing is irrelevant whether my mother would approve my father. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter if Kathy Lipp would approve although Kathy Lipp would absolutely approve.

Kathi (13:09.503)
Doesn’t matter. Right. Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (13:30.738)
if somebody stopped after 15 minutes, but it is slowly developing new habits that are not based on external standards but are based on the values that we know that God has placed within us because of how he created us and our personalities and gaining internal satisfaction because I said I was going to do this, I did it, and now I can stop. Now I can rest. Now I can.

continue to take other forms of good care of myself and stewarding my body, my home, whatever else.

Kathi (14:05.842)
You know, I talk about the four resources all the time, space, time, energy, and money. And what you’re talking about there is being a good steward of your most precious resource. Maybe it’s money. And you’re saying, you know, I need to declutter because I need to know what I have. And so I am going to declutter so I know what I have, so I’m not buying.

Cheri Gregory (14:20.748)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (14:32.574)
chicken when I already have chicken or something like that. But also, I’m not buying things under pressure all the time because just in case living. But maybe energy is your most precious resource. And you say, you know, I can’t afford to say I’m going to declutter my garage today because that’s just not what you’re able to do. Or maybe you’re working full time plus you’re caring for kids or parents.

Cheri Gregory (14:39.959)
Yes.

Kathi (15:01.606)
And you’re like, time is my most precious resource. And the 15 minutes protects your most precious resources. And that’s what I wanna be able to do. Okay, now, Cheri, you confessed to me as we were coming on here that you’re under some pressure this week. So talk about what’s going on, how you made the decision. But when I was talking to you, I don’t even know what the decision was, but you seem…

Cheri Gregory (15:08.339)
I love that. So true.

Kathi (15:31.494)
like you’re good with this particular decision to put yourself under a little pressure. So let’s talk about that.

Cheri Gregory (15:37.918)
Yeah, I got an email this last weekend from my graduate program and it was an opportunity to write a book review that will be published in the Journal of Applied Christian Leadership and the deadline is Friday. And in order for me to complete my program, I have to have an article published in a peer review journal. And so I’ve been wondering how to get this done.

Kathi (15:50.29)
Oh wow. Okay.

Cheri Gregory (16:02.35)
And right now my research is moving forward. My other things are moving forward. But in the back of my mind, I’ve been like, dang it, I’m going to get to the end of this. And then a year or three are going to go by before I figure out how to get this article done. And so what dropped into my lap basically over the weekend was an opportunity to just get it done, to check it off my list. And so I did. I jumped at it and I was like, you know what? I looked at my calendar first and I was like, I can rearrange some things.

Cheri Gregory (16:31.55)
I can move some things that are optional. And here’s the thing, in the previous episode, I think I confessed to you that in college, I once wrote a book review over a book that I never even read and I got an A plus on it. Like, I’m not real proud of that. I don’t wanna repeat it. And here’s the thing, it’s a book I’ve already read that I’m reviewing. Like, so I’m not gonna try to pull that stunt again. I read it last year, listened to the audio book, I’ve done some teachings out of it. But I will say it’s a skillset I feel good about.

Kathi (16:50.582)
Oh nice. Right.

Kathi (17:01.272)
Yeah

Cheri Gregory (17:01.51)
It is not something that’s going to kill me. In fact, if anything, four days, get it done, have it over with, not hanging over my head. It’s kind of exciting, but not in the frenzy sense. It’s like there’s this sense of anticipation. There’s a sense of, yeah, well, let’s bring it on. Bring it on. And go ahead.

Kathi (17:12.661)
Mm-hmm. Right. Mm-hmm.

Kathi (17:21.262)
Right. But let’s also talk about that you’ve set yourself up so you’re not living in that frenzy state all the time so that there was there was cushion to do this. That’s really exciting, Cheri.

Cheri Gregory (17:38.686)
Yeah, yeah, I literally just swap some things out on my calendar and so I had the time to do it and my evenings are still free and my you know, I’m not I’m not going to kill myself to do it. I’m absolutely not. So yes, I’m sort of a hypocrite, but not really.

Kathi (17:56.358)
No, you are, I declare you not a hypocrite because you have made good choices along the way. And here’s the thing, when we first start to live by pre-deciding, by saying, I’m not gonna take on things just because there’s an open spot on my calendar. I’m not going to wait and say, okay, for two days straight, I can do nothing but dot dot. What you’ve done is you said, I can say a good yes.

Cheri Gregory (18:20.145)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (18:25.914)
and turn down a bad yes, because there are lots of bad yeses out there. But you can give a good yes to something that not only serves somebody else, but also serves you. And it’s a win-win, right? You’re not resenting them from it. You’re not being angry that they asked at the last minute, this was an opportunity for you. So no hypocrisy whatsoever. It’s…

Cheri Gregory (18:37.87)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

Kathi (18:53.89)
And you know, I’m still building some of this into my life because It’s it’s a new habit for me And I say that because I’ve lived 56 years So I’ve only been practicing this maybe in any real way in the past 10 years So there’s a lot of ingrained in me that still wants to put things off and still wants to do but I

Cheri Gregory (19:05.976)
Hmm.

Kathi (19:19.226)
You know, this past encourage article was the first time I think I’ve ever turned it in a week in advance I’ve turned it in a day in advance Or a couple days in advance, but I just saw You know, there was going to be some things happening that week and I didn’t I wanted to be present for somebody I loved I didn’t want to have to be typing, you know and editing In the midst of all of that. So yay to us for making some good. Yeses happen by

Cheri Gregory (19:25.173)
I love it.
Kathi (19:47.422)
turning away some bad yeses that would have made somebody else comfortable for a minute but would have built resentment at least in me. I can resent people for things they didn’t force me to do. I can and friends this is why you know when we know that we’re going to be hosting people or things like that when you tell me that you’re starting to declutter a couple of

Cheri Gregory (19:49.48)
Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (20:01.927)
Hehehehe

Kathi (20:16.342)
I’m like, that is somebody who is going to be present and available for their friends who are coming to visit. That it’s not going to be about impressing them, but the impression that they’re going to be left with is that I was cared for and loved. And that’s what I want for each of my clutter-free people. Cheri this was such a valuable little series, our micro series. Thank you so much for hanging out with me and all your wisdom and your hard work, one knowledge.

Cheri Gregory (20:44.906)
Well, thanks for having me, Kathy. It’s been fun.

Kathi (20:47.994)
And friends, we talked in the last episode about our download about the four bullies. If you’re part of our newsletter community, you’ll be able to receive that in our newsletter. We’re gonna make sure the download link is there for last week and this week. So you’re definitely going to wanna take advantage of that to really understand how you can start to be kinder and gentler to yourself. Friends, you’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Go create the clutter-free life you were always designed to live.

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

609 – The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

Do you find yourself putting off uncomfortable tasks?

Maybe you tell yourself that you work better under pressure…but does the work you produce under stress turn out better, or is it just done?

In this episode, Kathi and her three-time co-author Cheri Gregory discuss the “pressure paradox.” Listen in as they rethink the myth of productivity under pressure, as well as discussing:

  • Is procrastination based in fear?
  • Priming your brain for your project
  • How to avoid living in a state of constant triage

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

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here and receive the free download mentioned in this episode, The Four P Bullies at a Glance!

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard: Ditch Expectations and Live Your Own Best Life

With honesty and humor, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory help you take a breather and find reassurance as you face the bullies of perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination.

Self-assessments and personal stories guide you from panic to peace as you learn to:

  • Pick battles worthy of your time and energy
  • Embrace the freedom of a carefully considered “no”
  • Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in the quest for balance
  • Use authenticity as a weapon to battle bullies
  • Release yourself from the endless pressure of pleasing others

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally came face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be.

Order your copy here!

What’s your best tip for avoiding procrastination?

Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Kathi (00:01.306)

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life.

 

And if there is a correlation between any two habits, clutter and perhaps procrastination is one of them. Now, I grew up with a mom who told me all the time that she just worked better under pressure. And I took that on as my own mantra. And I have to say, that has not served me well. And I’m here to talk with a fellow procrastination

a consumer, no that’s not a good word, a fellow procrastination person. We’ll just call you a person that we have both figured out that procrastination has not served us well and we want to talk about, okay, how do we actually get out from the habit? You guys, it is my frequent co-author, one of my best buddies and fellow sufferer, it’s Cheri Gregory. Cheri, welcome back to the podcast.

Cheri Gregory (01:26.09)

Hey Kathi, thanks so much for having me.

Kathi (01:28.802)

I was recently telling somebody, you know, Tonya is my go-to when we want to talk about, okay, how do you declutter your kids’ tights? But when you want to figure out why you need to declutter your kids’ tights, I go to Cheri Gregory. So, because, yeah, because it’s deep work, right? These things that become memes or…

Cheri Gregory (01:42.655)

I love it. I will receive that fully.

Kathi (01:53.29)

topics of sitcoms when it comes to procrastination or clutter or perfectionism. There’s a lot underneath that. And they become these tropes because so many of us suffer with it. And it’s, it’s really interesting. When we were starting to write our book, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard. We were talking about different types of perfectionism and you really advocated for that procrastination needed to be one of the areas of perfectionism. Can you talk about that?

Cheri Gregory (02:30.502)

Yeah, it’s so funny because I know when I’ve spoken, I’ve literally heard women walking away going, I never thought of procrastination as a form of perfectionism. And really what procrastination ends up being for many of us is a avoidance of even getting started because

Kathi (02:41.252)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (02:51.098)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (02:52.134)

If we get started, then we’re committed and we’re all in. It’s that all or nothing thinking, whereas the perfectionist dives head into the all. The procrastinator is like, I’ll just go with nothing. I’ll do other stuff first. Of all of the forms of perfectionism, I think procrastination is the one that’s most socially acceptable. We can

Kathi (02:58.94)

Yeah.

Kathi (03:02.658)

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (03:14.73)

We can joke about it and people will tell stories at dinner parties about how they, you know, they put something off to the last minute and then they pulled it together magically and they got away with it. Like I was just, I was just remembering kind of fondly, um, years and years ago in college, I pulled off a book review of a book I didn’t even read and I got an A plus on it. Um, and I did it the day before, you know, like totally wrong lesson learned.

Kathi (03:18.062)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (03:38.602)

Oh my goodness.

Cheri Gregory (03:43.978)

And yeah, that’s a fun story. The stories I never tell are when I put things off and I died. I put things off and they were terrible. I put things off and let people down. Those aren’t funny. We don’t tell those stories at all.

Kathi (03:46.94)

Mm-hmm.

 

Kathi (03:51.431)

Right.

Kathi (03:59.891)

Now, it’s so interesting that you were able to get away with that. And that can reinforce our procrastination cycle. Well, I got away with it before, so I must do better when I know everything’s up against me. Everyone is expecting me to fail, but I can show them. And so…

Cheri Gregory (04:08.011)

Mmm.

Kathi (04:26.638)

It’s almost, it’s so many weird things. It’s like a martyr complex. I’m already so busy. I can’t believe somebody asked me to do this. And instead of me saying no, I said yes, because well, they were in a tough place, but I was already in a tough place. Why did I think that would be okay? And it also kind of feeds into…

Cheri Gregory (04:31.069)

Mm-hmm.

 

Cheri Gregory (04:41.378)

Hehehehe

Kathi (04:52.742)

our superhero complex that like if I just try hard enough I can make things happen but I think the things that we forget about is what does that cost us what does it cost our jobs that we already have our relationships that we have all of that so let’s really define what per what procrastination is you is the word

Cheri Gregory (04:54.571)

Who?

Kathi (05:19.806)

perfectionism in that or is what how would you define it?

Cheri Gregory (05:25.246)

May I read from our book? You Don’t Have to Try So Hard.

Kathi (05:28.523)

I think so because I cannot remember what we wrote, but I’m sure it was brilliant.

Cheri Gregory (05:34.022)

What it says here is, procrastination is the practice of doing what is less urgent but more fun before doing what is more urgent but less fun. And so it’s putting off the thing that has discomfort associated with it as long as possible and doing the things that don’t feel quite as bad or scary.

Kathi (05:41.716)

Oh, okay. Yeah.

Kathi (05:56.098)

Yes, okay, because here’s what I will say. The only time my grout gets scrubbed is when I have a book deadline. And…

Cheri Gregory (06:01.838)

Mm-hmm.

And I had to install grout because when we when I first started writing I lived in a house with no grout and so I couldn’t even do that so I had to install grout so I could then scrub it to avoid writing.

Kathi (06:09.874)

See, you couldn’t even.

Okay, now there is also a trope that is going around, and I think that this is really funny, of a woman, there’s a couple, and they’re getting ready to have a family birthday party or something like that. And so she’s running around, frosting the cupcakes, scrubbing the inside of the fridge, those kind of things. And today is the day he decides to blow all the leaves off the roof. And it’s…

 

Cheri Gregory (06:41.969)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:44.226)

It’s almost like I want credit for doing something, but I’m not going to do the thing that really needs to be done I i’m the queen. I am the queen of that. Okay, so So we tend to procrastinate because we don’t want the pain. I also think I tend to I can do painful things. I know I can But I tend to procrastinate because I don’t want to fail yet

Cheri Gregory (06:48.184)

Mm-hmm.

Mm-hm, absolutely.

Kathi (07:13.01)

Does that make sense? Okay.

Cheri Gregory (07:14.262)

Oh, it makes total sense. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s an avoidance of risk and that this is where there can be strategic procrastination. You know, when I was teaching in teaching as an English teacher, I noticed a huge difference between my students who wouldn’t even pay attention to the assignment. Like they wouldn’t read the assignment. Usually was an essay. They wouldn’t look at the rubric for how to be graded. They wouldn’t do any of that until the night before.

Kathi (07:19.111)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:25.503)

Mmm.

Kathi (07:39.743)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (07:42.75)

Like that is the, you know, that’s classic procrastination. Then I would have students who, as soon as I assigned it, they would read it, they would look at it, they would open a Word document on their computer, they would read the rubric, they had done a few ideas, and then they would put it off until later. Can I tell you, there was a world of difference, a world of difference between the end result those two different groups of students produced.

Kathi (07:46.771)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (08:05.264)

Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:10.054)

even though it seems like nobody was really doing too much of anything, but the second group they at least engaged in and started their the wheels turning and started getting their mind working on it. And you know what it’s like, you know, as you’re living life, let’s say, you know, you have a devotional coming up for (in)courage, right? If you at least are like, I think I’m going to do it on this verse, or I want to start with this story.

Kathi (08:33.161)

Yeah.

Kathi (08:37.453)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:39.098)

and your deadline isn’t for a little while, like as you’re living life, oh, this comes up and oh, this song lyric and this conversation with a friend, I will not say it writes itself. I know better than to ever use that phrase, but things come together that give you some momentum, even if it feels like you might still be procrastinating, whereas if you had never even started it, if you didn’t have the slightest idea.

Kathi (08:47.401)

Right.

It does not. Right.

Kathi (09:03.066)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:08.286)

At that point, it’s, I’m not going to say it’s hopeless, but there’s just so much less to work with.

Kathi (09:15.242)

We’re gonna take a quick break and we’re gonna come back. And then I wanna talk about the pressure paradox. Like why do people believe they work better under pressure and how this is killing, especially our clutter free people. We’ll take a quick break and we’ll be right back. Okay, I am back with Cheri Gregory and we are talking about the myth of productivity under pressure.

And you made an interesting observation that the people who at least loosened the ketchup bottle, maybe the ketchup wasn’t coming out, but they at least got the lid. It is so true. If I spend 15 minutes understanding the project, it does two things for me. You’re right. It gets the back of my brain working on the problem. I don’t even…

Cheri Gregory (09:54.862)

Hehehe

Kathi (10:13.974)

have to be sitting down with pen and paper or looking at my computer screen. It’s just things start to pop up that are helping me. And the other thing it does, because I think procrastination is a lot about fear. What if I find out that I can’t do this? What if I find out that I don’t have everything I need? And if I can just spend a few minutes looking at, okay what’s going to be required?

Cheri Gregory (10:28.777)

Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (10:42.047)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (10:42.358)

Or if I can just spend a few minutes, like your example of writing a devotion, saying, okay, I need to have a verse, I need to have a story, I need to have a point, I need to have the semblance of an introduction. If I can, when I first get assigned that thing, if I can at least do a sentence on all four of those things, it has…

Cheri Gregory (11:08.991)

Yeah.

Kathi (11:10.894)

It has half written itself because my brain is able to work on it. And it gets me over the fear of it’s not going to be good enough. You know, I’ve written, I don’t know, 40 of those devotions for (in)courage. I’ve written a bunch of devotions for our book. But, you know, this will be the time that I can’t do it. This will be the time that I won’t have the story. This will be the time. And if I can just say, you know what?

Cheri Gregory (11:13.224)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:17.769)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:31.778)

Yeah.

Kathi (11:38.01)

I’m gonna trust myself that if I can get these four things, even if I start on it, because oftentimes, I’ll write down a story and a better story will happen or a better story will come to mind. And so it gets me over the fear.

Cheri Gregory (11:47.07)

Yes. Yep.

Kathi (12:14.062)

Okay, so Cheri, I wanna talk to you about the pressure paradox. And I wanna talk about the reasons why people think that they work better under pressure. So for me, it was a legacy from my mom. She’s still to this day, she will be 80 years old and she still believes that she works better under pressure. And I wonder where that comes from. I know for me,

Cheri Gregory (12:30.561)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (12:42.062)

I have learned that that’s not true. I get things done under pressure because I’m a people pleaser and I don’t want to disappoint people. But my work is not better, it’s just done. And I think there’s a big difference. Yeah, go ahead.

Cheri Gregory (12:47.171)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (12:58.346)

Yeah, well, and I used to, you know, I used to have students tell me that in class, they were like, I work better under pressure and I’d be and I’d count on like, no, you only work under pressure. That’s the only time you actually work is when you put yourself under the gun. And so often they hadn’t actually experimented with doing it any other way. You know, you were, you were talking earlier about, you know, at least getting going to finding find out what you didn’t have, you know, when I got in my office, a few months ago.

Kathi (13:07.814)

Yeah.

Kathi (13:16.417)

Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (13:26.066)

One of the things I needed to do was I had all these binders that have the place where you can put a spine insert and a cover into them. And I had over a third of my binders didn’t have that. So I needed to sit down, get on the computer, print them out, cut them, put them in. And I had blocked some time out to get it done. And then I thought, hang on a second, rather than sitting down and forcing myself to do it and possibly come up against, you know, abject failure.

Kathi (13:37.677)

Mmm.

Kathi (13:45.127)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (13:55.178)

Maybe I should spend that time just looking and seeing how many binders do I need to work with and do I have the materials I need. And it turns out I didn’t have a paper cutter. For some reason, I got rid of all my paper cutters and so I was like, oh, well, clearly I’m not going to use a scissors for this job. It turned out I had, well, I’m not going to tell you the number of binders I needed to do, but it was dozens of binders. I’m not going to sit and cut by hand.

Kathi (14:01.14)

Hmm.

Kathi (14:08.147)

Oh.

Kathi (14:15.241)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (14:19.55)

Yeah, right.

Cheri Gregory (14:21.33)

And so, you know, what I was able to do that day is I was able to shift in what I actually put on my schedule. I shifted it from, you know, finished binders to figure out what I need to do in order to finish binders. So I could still feel successful, right? And so I think part of the issue is we look at a task and we’re only focused on the end result, right? And the pressure of producing that end result

Kathi (14:38.081)

Ooh, yeah.

Kathi (14:46.922)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (14:50.058)

And when we can backtrack and go, okay, what is this process going to look like? Like assessing whether I have the materials. And then it ended up taking me a lot longer than I wanted it to just because it did. And so, you know, I broke it down into, okay, part one, part two, part three, part four to allow myself to feel successful with it. And I think part of it, I think part of procrastination is a

Kathi (14:54.18)

Yeah.

Kathi (15:00.266)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (15:15.738)

either a desire for things not to actually be as hard as they are or take as long as they do or require as many steps as they do or just a really, and I’m going to use a hard word, an immature belief that I am the exception to the rule. Everybody else might need to, you know, go through this kind of a process. Like everybody else might need to declutter for 15 minutes at a time.

Kathi (15:24.296)

Yeah.

Kathi (15:30.521)

Mm.

Kathi (15:36.726)

Right.

Cheri Gregory (15:46.17)

I alone am the kind of person who’s going to get it one and done, but just not today and probably not this week. And I know you have people talk to you and they’re like, yeah, I can’t do the 15 minutes. I’m too much of a perfectionist. It’s like, yeah, and you’re also a procrastinator, you know, or in the case of, you know, the writing we do. I mean, one of the things I told you that’s become so important for me, it’s actually been the thing that’s really broken my procrastination is realizing that I need to iterate.

Kathi (15:51.447)

Right.

Kathi (16:00.675)

Right. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (16:13.03)

I need to keep circling back around, circling back around, circling back around. And the more often I can iterate, the more I can get started, get something down, hit a wall, walk away, leave it alone, not worry about it, not think about it, not stress over it because I’ve given myself enough time that I expect that this is going to be part of the process. And then, sure enough, in the shower, you know, right before I fall asleep, whatever it might be, conversation with you, whatever. Oh, another idea comes to me. And when I give myself enough time.

Kathi (16:28.756)

Yeah.

Kathi (16:34.151)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:37.723)

down.

Cheri Gregory (16:42.77)

When I give myself time and I have the assumption that I am a human being like everybody else and things are going to take me longer than I think they’re going to take more steps than I wish, you know, that whole fear that this will be the one time that I can’t pull it off or that I ain’t got nothing, you know, like I do my best and nothing shows up. As long as I give myself time to go through a good process. And really, to me, that’s what has helped break the procrastination cycle for me

Kathi (16:48.112)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:58.724)

Yeah. Right.

Kathi (17:11.426)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (17:11.99)

Um is i don’t enjoy the pressure of procrastination nearly as much as I enjoy a good process like okay maybe it took me two weeks but wow i slept every night of those two weeks yeah okay i can’t brag that i pulled it off without any effort. But it is done it’s done well and often there’s some wonderful discoveries along the way that would never have happened if it was.

Kathi (17:16.092)

Yeah.

Kathi (17:25.256)

Yeah.

Kathi (17:32.102)

Yes.

Cheri Gregory (17:40.202)

you know, the night before something was due. We don’t make good discoveries during that time.

Kathi (17:45.866)

We’re gonna talk about that in our next episode. We’re gonna talk about pressure versus pre-deciding. Because, yeah, there are two different things. But I’m gonna leave us with this thought today that came up while you were talking. Is that, you know, when we say we work better under pressure, what we’re saying is we are living in a constant state of triage.

Cheri Gregory (17:52.97)

Ooh, I love it.

Cheri Gregory (18:14.026)

Yes.

Kathi (18:14.898)

we are triaging the situation. I have to clean before my in-laws come over. So am I making good decisions during that time if it’s the night before? No, I am triaging, so it looks good to them, but then I have to clean up from that mess. And I never, it’s the idea of triage versus working towards health.

You know, if I am getting stuff out of my house, you know, sometimes we have to triage things because emergencies do come up. But if we live in a constant state of emergency, we are never gonna get to the place we want. And I will in fact say, if we do something under pressure like that, we are making the situation worse. We’re not just making.

ourselves, our cortisone levels go crazy. We’re not just for me snapping at my husband or snapping at the chickens, I never snap it loose. But I’m snapping at somebody. We’re not just doing that. We’re actually making the kitchen that I just quote unquote organized worse because I can’t find the things I need. And we want to get past that. So in our next episode, I wanna talk about

strategies going from I work better under pressure to I work better when I pre-decide and what that looks like. Cheri, this is so good. Thank you so much for doing this. And we actually have a download that we’re going to offer to our friends who are part of our newsletter community. Cheri, can you explain what that is?

Cheri Gregory (20:03.05)

Sure, it’s called The Four P Bullies at a Glance and it goes along with the book, the first book we co-authored, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard. And it’s just, it’s a one sheet that goes through perfectionism, people pleasing, performanceism and procrastination and kind of helps you understand the difference between them and helps you identify which bully might be beating you up at any given time.

Kathi (20:22.342)

And you don’t have to have the book to understand this. This is a really wonderful, simple guide that we will share with you. Cheri, thanks for being here today. And yeah, next week we’re gonna talk about, it’s our favorite word, pre-deciding, and how this can actually help you to not live under pressure all the time. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you’ve always wanted to live.

Cheri Gregory (20:27.021)

Yes.

Oh, thanks for having me. Can’t wait to come back next week.

 

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

#605 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 2

605 – Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter

(and What You Can Do About it) Part 2

When you bring a new item into your space, do you struggle with where to put it?

Have you ever uttered a sentence like this to yourself? “Why don’t I know where this goes?”

Kathi Lipp and three-time co-author, friend, and frequent co-host Cheri Gregory are here to help. In this episode, they finish a two-part conversation about the straight line between perfectionism and clutter. Cheri speaks from an HSP (highly sensitive person) perspective and someone who struggles with perfectionism. She gives us some real-life advice from her recent kitchen and office remodel. Listen in as Kathi and Cheri discuss the connection between perfectionism and clutter, as well as:

  • When is it time to let things go?
  • What is valuable enough for you to store?
  • What is anti-perfectionism and how to use it to make decisions

Cheri Gregory mentioned using anti-perfectionism before purchasing a new office chair. Here’s the picture she promised us!

Haven’t listened to episode 604 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (And What You Can do About it) Part 1? Click here.

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

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Newsletter in your inbox? Get it free here!

An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away

Are you overcommitted, overstressed, or just plain overwhelmed? These devotions will give you greater peace and perspective, and a plan for managing your busy life.

Have you reached the point where one more thing on your to-do list is one too many? Do you find yourself praying, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle any more stuff?”

Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory have been there. They want to encourage you, but even more important, they offer helpful solutions to make your everyday life easier. Get good advice on how to plan ahead, set boundaries with others and yourself, and be more intentional about self-care without the guilt.

Let Kathi and Cheri help you find a place of more joy and abundance, one devotion at a time.

Order your copy of An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away here.

In this episode, Kathi and Cheri remind us that space is valuable and we don’t need to be storing things for other people, like our adult children.

Are there items in your space that you need to release to the people they belong to?

Share your answers in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard,Overwhelmed,and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Kathi (19:50.183)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am back for part two with my conversation with my co-author, HP, excuse me, HSP specialist, and my dear, dear friend, Cheri Gregory. Cheri, welcome back to Clutter Free Academy.

Cheri Gregory (20:13.858)
Hey, it is wonderful to be back, Kathi.

Kathi (20:16.851)
So it’s really interesting when we have psychological things to unpack in the clutter free community, I run to Cheri because she has thought about all of these things in very, no, you know, well, maybe you are, but your psychosis has worked well for me for years to help me unpack some things. And if you haven’t heard part one of our conversation, go back and listen to that. We’re talking about.

Cheri Gregory (20:29.006)
Because I’m psycho.

Cheri Gregory (20:37.259)
I’m out.

Kathi (20:43.703)
the link between perfectionism and clutter, because in my paid group, Clutter Free for Life, that was the topic that kept coming up for people over and over and over again. I think it’s really interesting when I’m first talking to people about clutter, like the, you know, oh, I have clutter in my house, and if we get into a conversation about it, the first layer is people talking about their circumstances.

Cheri Gregory (21:12.119)
Mm-hmm. Hmm.

Kathi (21:12.555)
Like I’ve got little kids or my husband doesn’t want to get rid of things or I came like it’s a lot of the External and maybe that’s not all external, you know, I mean and I’m not saying that’s not legitimate Holy cow. Is it legitimate? Especially if you have a partner who is not partnering If you have kids who their only job is to bring paint home papers from school like that is their full-time gig Yes

Cheri Gregory (21:28.503)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (21:42.351)
That is it. But I think that we start to address some of those things and we start to realize for some of us, me included, that the clutter issues go deeper. And I think, you know, perfectionism, that whole idea of until I have all the time to do it, I have none of the time to do it. Until I have all the space for my life, I have none of the space for my life.

Cheri Gregory (21:53.599)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (22:04.271)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (22:10.109)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (22:12.339)
I can cook, you know, 10 meals at a time. I can’t cook a grilled cheese sandwich. Like, I mean, these are the things that we tell ourselves. And I think we know.

Cheri Gregory (22:21.842)
Until everybody in the family cooperates with me, I can’t even attempt to do anything different than what’s currently happening.

Kathi (22:25.319)
Yes. Right. And please hear me. You guys have legitimate reasons to be frustrated. But I also know that I spent, personally, Kathi Lipp spent a lot of time focused on Roger’s minimal clutter, because I didn’t understand it, but I totally understood mine.

Cheri Gregory (22:53.006)
Mm-hmm. Hehehe.

Kathi (22:53.063)
Like I knew why I put that there for now and things like that. So, and Roger’s definitely the less cluttery person in this relationship, but I think we naturally do that. We look for the, the outside solvable thing. And then once we’ve solved a lot of those things, we can turn to the inside solvable things, because let’s be honest, the inside is a lot tougher oftentimes. And so.

Cheri Gregory (23:09.88)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (23:19.657)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (23:22.747)
Cheri, I want to ask you, you know, what are, first of all, what were some of the emotional steps? Because can I just make an observation and Cheri, if you want me to delete this from the podcast, I will be happy to, but well, no, I won’t be happy to, but I will.

Cheri Gregory (23:38.769)
Well, I’m now so very curious. Keep going.

Kathi (23:41.231)
Okay, so you and I have been doing online meetings for, I mean, over a decade, long over a decade. And whenever I’ve talked to you, there has been a screen behind you. I’m assuming, like most of us, you know, we had our Zoom screens and things like that, because there was real life going on behind you, and you didn’t want to distract people with that. Today, there’s no screen, and you and I haven’t been on Zoom in a while. I don’t know when this

Cheri Gregory (23:47.991)
Oh yeah.

Cheri Gregory (23:52.427)
Hahaha!

Kathi (24:11.639)
But there’s a real transformation in your space, is that correct?

Cheri Gregory (24:15.358)
Oh yeah, I get in my office again this month, but I did it very differently than I have in the past. And so it’s actually turning into a functional space.

Kathi (24:25.351)
Okay, I wanna know first of all, were there some mental and emotional differences in how you approached your clutter this time? I’m sorry, I didn’t tell you I was gonna ask you about any of this stuff, but I didn’t see your office until 20 minutes ago.

Cheri Gregory (24:34.402)
Hmm. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, no. Yeah, I can actually tell you the story about how it happens. So, you know that a couple of years ago, our landlord decided to do a renovation of our kitchen. And Jonathan and I took, well, we had to take everything out. And then they gutted it. So, yes, my son, Jonathan, he’s the hashtag mathematician in the kitchen. He’s an amazing cook and baker.

Kathi (24:46.738)
Yes!

Kathi (24:57.547)
Jonathan’s her son. Just so you guys know, yeah.

Cheri Gregory (25:04.414)
And so we did go through and declutter things because I’m like, I don’t want to store anything that we’re not actually gonna keep. And he was like, I don’t want to bring back into the new kitchen anything we’re not gonna keep. So we had a circumstance that helped us do that. But then when all the new cupboards and appliances and everything was in there, Jonathan had been thinking about how to put things back in the kitchen. He used what’s called design thinking. And don’t ask me what that is, because I actually don’t know.

Kathi (25:17.688)
anyhow.

Kathi (25:30.467)
Mm-hmm. Okay.

Cheri Gregory (25:32.722)
All I know is that the end result was he had a plan, a mental plan for where everything was gonna go and it was based on function, not form. It was based on function like this is a baking station and this is a cooking station and this is the cleanup station and this space will always be left clean and he threatened dire consequences to anybody who left things there. And it’s not a big kitchen. And so I wasn’t sure if his plan was gonna work, but not only…

Kathi (25:44.234)
Mmm.

Kathi (25:55.191)
Ha ha ha!

Cheri Gregory (26:02.338)
had we decluttered enough stuff that we were able to move everything in and it’s very like he the kids, both of my kids, Jonathan and Marie, they were adamant, no stacking frying pans on top of each other. So you have to kill yourself and want to swear in order to find the one that you want, like really lots of margin. And then we then Jonathan told me the most important thing. He said, once we get everything set up, then we live with it. We experiment. We see it all as a grand experiment.

Kathi (26:15.915)
Hmm, yeah.

Kathi (26:22.091)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (26:30.514)
And then we keep tweaking and we keep having conversations and anything that’s not working, we redo it until it works. And I almost can’t believe I’m saying this, Kathi, but our kitchen works flawlessly. Like there is when Anne Marie visits once or twice a year, she can find anything she wants because it makes sense where it is. And Daniel can find where to put it back. So when I gutted my office, I decided I wanted anything that wasn’t going to serve me in the year 2024 in it.

Kathi (26:33.023)
Yes.

Kathi (26:38.966)
Mm.

Kathi (26:43.816)
Oh my goodness.

Kathi (26:51.021)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (27:00.682)
and I have some projects I really need to finish in 2024. And so I got rid of a whole bunch of stuff. We can talk about how I made those decisions in a second if you want. But then I realized, okay, I’m not coming in here and trying to set up something pretty. In fact, if you look behind me, it’s kind of chaotic looking. It’s, I mean, it’s not gonna go on a, on any kind of a magazine cover.

Kathi (27:00.771)
Hmm.

Kathi (27:04.491)
Right.

Kathi (27:09.996)
Okay.

Kathi (27:22.607)
say it’s chaotic looking, I would say is definitely function over form. So you’re not, you weren’t trying to put curtains up so that you wouldn’t see the books or anything like that. You can see the books, but you could probably find the books too.

Cheri Gregory (27:28.371)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (27:33.266)
Oh no. No no no.

Yes, and my books are not organized by here’s all the red books or turned around the other way. That’s not decorator friendly at all. But right now I have post-it notes so you can find I can find my books like I needed a particular book today and I reached and I was able to find it. So, so I got rid of everything that didn’t belong in 2024. And now I’m approaching it like a working kitchen. Only it’s my working office and I am

Kathi (27:42.677)
Right.

Kathi (27:46.165)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (27:49.708)
Yeah.

Kathi (27:58.295)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (28:02.859)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (28:05.286)
As let’s say I’m working on something and that I don’t know where to put it instead of shoving it somewhere. I pause and I ask myself why don’t I know where to put this? Why do I have the urge to set it here or shove it there? What part of my system isn’t working right now or have I not planned for? So that there is a process so that there is a workflow and I’ve given myself. Yeah.

Kathi (28:11.618)
Right?

Kathi (28:16.06)
Mmm.

Kathi (28:29.067)
What a great question though. Why don’t I know where to put this? What a great question. Holy cow. Yeah, that’s really good.

Cheri Gregory (28:36.298)
Yeah. And so I don’t know if you can see, but I’ll show you over here. On the floor is a 40 by 40 square of paper and I’ve got stuff stacked all over it to simulate the bulk of a chair I’m thinking of purchasing. Now, I have not bought a decent piece of furniture in so long. I don’t even know how to, but I have found a chair that I’m kind of in love with. But rather than rather than be perfectionistic, Kathi, rather than go get it and then have buyer’s remorse and then beat myself up because I can never make good decisions.

Kathi (28:45.769)
Okay?

Kathi (28:52.867)
Hahaha

Okay.

Yeah. Right.

Cheri Gregory (29:04.802)
And rather than be like, oh, forget it. It would just be a waste of money. I probably wouldn’t use it anyways. I’m experimenting by putting something that size and shape there. And I’ve been living with that for about a month to see, am I okay with that amount of bulk, with that amount of floor space being used up? Now, obviously I can’t sit on it and enjoy it, but I’m just trying to see, do I resent the loss of floor space? And so the thing that is anti-perfectionism about this is,

Kathi (29:04.888)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (29:10.465)
right?

Kathi (29:19.82)
Hmm.

Kathi (29:23.773)
Right. You’re right.

Kathi (29:29.027)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (29:32.818)
I’m experimenting. I’m like, there is no one right way to do this. It is, it’s very fluid and I’m expecting this to take several months. And then I expect that I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna start finding little parts that don’t work or maybe something about a project changes and I’m gonna need to keep asking these questions along the way. So it has, it’s been transformational to think, because here’s the thing, in our kitchen,

Kathi (29:34.871)
Yeah.

Kathi (29:43.831)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (29:55.754)
So good.

Cheri Gregory (30:01.442)
One of the things I used to do in my office is I used to leave things out because I was just going to come back to it the next day. We don’t do that in our kitchen. Like Jonathan uses his pizza cutter every single day. He doesn’t leave it on the counter. We wash it and put it away in the drawer. When he needs it next, he pulls it out again, right? And so I’m taking that approach in my office now where it’s like, I really want to be able to just have it settled at the end of the day where everything goes back where I think its place is.

Kathi (30:07.004)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (30:13.899)
Right. Yes.

Right.

Kathi (30:27.127)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (30:30.314)
so the next day I can come in and keep using it. So something about that metaphor of a working kitchen that has been experimented with and just bringing that into my office, it’s really been transformational. And to have permission to not have to get it right and to not try to find some external system, like I don’t believe that you could tell me how to do this. I did no research. I didn’t buy anything, Kathi. I bought no folders. I didn’t go to Office Depot.

Kathi (30:55.807)
Right? Yes.

Cheri Gregory (30:59.53)
Like I bought nothing. In fact, all I’ve done is use what I already have and got rid of some things that were just taking up space. But what I believe is I have the knowledge I need to experiment, to practice, and to see what works and what doesn’t work, and to continue working with that.

Kathi (31:18.571)
There are so many things I love about that. Why don’t I know where this goes? So that is such a great question and I also think about a professional kitchen professional kitchens do not have Five wine openers because they’re a professional kitchen. They have one wine opener. They know where it is They don’t have to go down under other stuff to be able to find it they it’s simple the

Cheri Gregory (31:22.828)
Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (31:38.859)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (31:42.557)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (31:47.511)
The counters are clear. They have workspace because they understand the importance of workspace. You know, we have not an instant pot, an air fryer that we use almost every day, but it also gets put away every day. And it’s very light. Now I wouldn’t do that with like the stand mixer because man, that thing scares me. But that sits out on the counter. It gets used about once a week.

Cheri Gregory (31:50.943)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:00.846)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:06.216)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:13.673)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (32:17.527)
But I need counter space more than I need access. I mean, you know, more than I need it to be easy because, you know, the air fryer’s already making my life easier. And so I’m willing to go get it. I’m willing to go put it away, that whole thing. I love this idea and the, okay, but you made a promise and I’m going to follow up on that promise.

Cheri Gregory (32:22.467)
Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (32:26.142)
Yes.

Kathi (32:43.071)
that you said you would tell us how you made decisions about what you kept and what you gave away in your office. So I wanna hear what your decision-making process was there.

Cheri Gregory (32:49.61)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (32:53.922)
Well, it was helpful for me to have a vision of what I needed, which is I need this office to be useful for 2024. I mean, that really gave me a goal, like nothing in here clogging up that isn’t going to be used in this year. And so that means… Yeah, I am. And…

Kathi (33:09.975)
Because you’re doing big things this year. Can you mention a couple of the things you’re doing? I mean, just so people have an idea of how you’re using your office? Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (33:17.254)
Well, my goal is to finally finish my doctoral work and that’s the bookshelf back there and the bookshelf back there, which one of the reasons I haven’t finished it is because everything’s been piles and boxes. And so now I can literally, oh, and I bought myself a new office chair. I’ll send you the photo of my old one versus my new one. I mean, it’s embarrassing talking about, you know, again, so as perfectionists, we can’t start organizing unless we can do it all. And yet we will have a chair that’s 10 years old and looks like garbage.

Kathi (33:27.645)
Yeah, yeah.

Kathi (33:32.439)
Okay.

Cheri Gregory (33:45.57)
Make it make sense. It doesn’t make sense, right? So, but I in my nice new chair, I could roll over and I could pick anything off the shelf that I need at a moment’s notice. And I know exactly where everything is. And I, and it’s organized in a way that works for me. Like I didn’t hire someone to come in and do it. Not nothing wrong with that, but I need to know where my things are. So let’s see. What are some of the things I got rid of? Kathi, would you believe I finally dismantled the binders for the manuscript development team for overwhelmed?

Kathi (33:47.174)
Yeah, it doesn’t. That’s okay though.

Kathi (33:53.987)
Wow.

Kathi (33:58.781)
Mm.

Yeah, right. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (34:15.954)
And for your listeners, Overwhelmed was released in 2017. And I was like, oh, but I loved doing this book with Kathi so much. And I just had to realize that nothing in those binders caused me to be connected to you in any way, shape or form. Like you didn’t know about the binders. You didn’t live inside the binders.

Kathi (34:16.263)
Okay, you guys.

Kathi (34:38.079)
I did not. I didn’t know that any part of me existed inside the binders. And by the way, we have the book. The book has been published. Yeah, so no, I think. But you know what? Here’s the thing that I have noticed. I don’t think that’s as silly as we think it is, because I have my own binder story. I was a sales rep before I knew you, Cheri. And we used to have to carry around.

Cheri Gregory (34:40.257)
No.

Cheri Gregory (34:44.012)
No.

Yeah, I know.

Cheri Gregory (35:05.313)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (35:08.171)
these giant portfolios of different, like here was my catalog for ANA Plus, and here was my catalog for Carolina Candles. And we had these giant leather binders that all those went into, and they were expensive and they were hard to come by. And so a lot of me was invested, and I kept, even though I was no longer a sales rep,

Cheri Gregory (35:17.454)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (35:21.71)
Hmm

Cheri Gregory (35:27.362)
oooo

Kathi (35:35.063)
They sales reps were not using those kind of binders anymore because everything was digital But because it was such an important part of my life at the time Those binders were hard to get and they were so valuable to me at that time in my life I had a very hard time getting rid of them that overwhelmed binder you had Represented so much work. It was such a big part of our lives

Cheri Gregory (35:40.573)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (35:53.558)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (35:57.484)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (36:00.797)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (36:03.899)
It was such, I mean, that’s one of the most important books I’ve ever written. I would say it’s in my top three. And yeah, I mean, it feels a little bit like throwing away somebody we love to get rid of something that was so important. So I understand it, but we also have to use our own, we have to tell ourselves, Kathi does not exist in the binders.

Cheri Gregory (36:08.67)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (36:20.382)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Kathi (36:31.131)
The concepts do not exist in the binders my future with this book. Yeah. Okay, so that you got rid of it Right

Cheri Gregory (36:33.566)
Yep. Yeah. Well, and the amount of dust on top of the binders made it really clear that I wasn’t referencing anything in them, like whatever fear had caused me to hang on to it. You know, I spent a lot of the week that I really did the deep gutting, really being grateful, just opening things and going, oh, I loved this so much or oh, this was so important to me at this time.

Kathi (36:52.675)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (37:00.526)
And I am grateful for that. And it’s not staying in here because I have other things I need to do and I need the space. And if I leave it in here, I will not be able to do the things that I want to do. So this is probably the first time that I’ve decluttered with a clear vision for you need to be out of here because there’s other things that are more important. And so I was able to weigh and sometimes it’s I need.

Kathi (37:09.185)
right.

Kathi (37:18.912)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (37:27.858)
empty space more than I need to hold on to this memory. I need peace more than I need to hold on to this security blanket of a binder or whatever else it might be. And you know, let’s also be clear that there were things belonging to Rafiki in my office and we said farewell. We’ve said farewell to Rafiki at age 16 right before Christmas and you know.

Kathi (37:31.583)
Yes.

Kathi (37:35.857)
Right.

Kathi (37:43.831)
Hmm, so explain about Rafiki. Yeah

Cheri Gregory (37:53.278)
Everybody handles these things differently. And for me, I decided I was not going to keep things around, not because I was gonna go into denial, but because the sooner I could put everything in the car and be ready to take it down to Southern California, anything that’s really easily usable is gonna go to Anne-Marie with her cat, Zaboumafou, and then other things like I still had bags of fluid and special medications, it’s all gonna go to somebody who does foster kitten stuff.

Kathi (37:56.534)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (38:23.022)
And so, you know, but there were some things like, you know, his glucose meter. And I’m like, but I’m the only one who knows how to use this. But but there’s nobody left to use it for. And so there’s no reason for me to hang on to it, even though it was such an important phase of my life. Hanging on to the glucose meter is not going to bring him back. And it’s not going to bring that phase of life back. And so, again, I could be extremely grateful.

Kathi (38:23.671)
That’s so great.

Kathi (38:30.976)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (38:34.636)
Right.

Kathi (38:42.837)
Yes.

Kathi (38:46.846)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (38:51.994)
as I released it and was like, yeah, I’m just that I think I ended up giving to the goodwill because you know, but like you said, it’s there’s a lot of emotional stuff and I gave myself the time. I mean, I’m not talking weeks and weeks and weeks or anything like that, but I was like, it’s going to take as long as it takes. And but again, you know, looking at those things going, does this belong in 2024? Is this going to help me with these projects that I know have to get done this year really helped me be like new.

Kathi (38:58.784)
Yeah.

Kathi (39:15.392)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (39:21.646)
It’s not going to.

Kathi (39:22.311)
Yeah, you know, I have to ask myself, will this item meet me in my future? And yeah, it’s, it’s an interesting way of saying it, right? Because it’s a part of my past. And I take a lot of pictures of things that I’m giving away because, oh my goodness, I loved that jacket and I felt great in it, but you know, some people hold onto their clothes for 40 years. I’m just not that person. It’s for a time in my life. You know, you and I are both speakers.

Cheri Gregory (39:28.762)
Ooh, ooh, so good. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (39:39.19)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (39:48.005)
Mm-mm.

Kathi (39:52.615)
I buy a couple of outfits per speaker season, I wear it to death, and then it’s time to, if I really love it, I might keep it for another year or so, or maybe two. But for a lot of things, it’s time to let it go, because the jackets I’m wearing are very distinguishable from other things that I wear.

Cheri Gregory (39:58.2)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (40:09.964)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (40:19.666)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (40:19.871)
You know, it’s okay if you want to wear the same thing over and over again But I’m just a different kind of person and that’s not normally how I roll and that’s okay But also like oftentimes I’ll wear something so much. It’s like, okay I’m kind of sick of it and it’s not gonna meet me in my future I’m going to appreciate it for where it served me before but it’s not gonna meet me in my future and that I’ve had Craft things like that. I’ve had

Cheri Gregory (40:24.206)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (40:36.105)
Yeah.

Yeah.

Hmm

Kathi (40:47.627)
The ways I’ve cooked have changed, you know, all those kinds of things. This item’s not gonna meet me in my future. Any other, like one other piece of advice for, I love that you created space in your office and said space is valuable to me. Anything else, I mean, anything else that is new for you that helped you make these decisions.

Cheri Gregory (40:49.886)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (40:53.218)
So good.

Cheri Gregory (41:03.711)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (41:11.234)
Um, I evicted everything that other people had said needed to be stored somewhere. And I’m like, if you want it to be stored somewhere, you can find a place for it, but it will not be my office. I do not feel a need to store anything, anything somewhere. I, my office is not somewhere anymore. And, uh, and, and part of that is because I need to be able to move. I need physical.

Kathi (41:19.456)
out.

Kathi (41:26.623)
Right.

Kathi (41:33.183)
Oooo

Cheri Gregory (41:40.034)
I need to be able to get to my windows to open the blinds. I need to be able to pop up a table and work on it because I’m a spreader outer and then put it back and I need a place to store it. And so I’m just being a lot kinder to my physical body and saying I need the amount of space that I need and I enjoy the spaciousness. So yeah.

Kathi (41:43.157)
Yeah.

Kathi (41:56.354)
Right?

Kathi (41:59.747)
parents of adult children, your house is not somewhere. And yeah, so I think oftentimes when our kids say, yeah, I don’t want that, we don’t quite believe them. We think, oh no, you’re gonna want your third grade, second place soccer trophy. Now, maybe they need a picture of it, but they don’t need the trophy. Yeah, and so your house, your office, your bedroom, your space is not somewhere.

Cheri Gregory (42:03.634)
No.

Cheri Gregory (42:19.23)
I’m sorry.

Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (42:29.283)
Hmm.

Kathi (42:29.687)
and other people get to decide what they’re going to keep and what they’re not going to keep. And I’m not going to be the keeper of memories for other people. My kids get to decide what’s important to them. I don’t get to decide for them what’s important for them. I think that’s really, really great. Cheri, so much good advice here. So many practical things. Is this about…

Cheri Gregory (42:39.406)
Amen.

Kathi (42:57.639)
embracing imperfection? Or is this, do you see it differently?

Cheri Gregory (43:04.514)
Hmm. I mean, that’s I mean as long as the person listening is okay with the word imperfection. I would say yes I mean like I mean another way of saying it would be you know, accepting that we’re human and You know, I know there’s the scripture be therefore perfect and I know some perfectionists get really stuck on that But really what that word means is be mature Keep growing keep growing up

Kathi (43:11.099)
Mm-hmm. Okay.

Kathi (43:17.187)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (43:28.491)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (43:31.01)
And you know, there are some areas in life where we want things to be perfect. Like when my dad had a quadruple bypass surgery, there was only one measure of success and that was perfection. I wanted that surgeon to do a perfect job and he did and I’m forever grateful. But it turns out that in other areas of our lives, there’s a much wider range and there is no one standard measure. And so.

Kathi (43:39.597)
Yeah.

Kathi (43:42.908)
Right.

Kathi (43:54.946)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (43:56.01)
You know, I think imperfection, yes, but I would also say things like curiosity and experimentation and iteration. I mean, for me, iteration has become a really big thing for me, realizing I’m going to need to keep trying and trying and trying and revising and revising and revising. And the goal isn’t necessarily perfection. The goal is, oh, this works better. Oh, this works better. And at some point I will iterate less because I will have.

Kathi (44:05.419)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (44:10.664)
Yes.

Kathi (44:18.836)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (44:24.246)
found all those things that are part of my normal routine and they will all work better. So I think part of it is realizing that we keep trial and error, trial and error, trial and error. And so if that falls under the category of imperfection, then by all means, embracing imperfection.

Kathi (44:41.959)
You know, what I think you’ve really taught us here is to be a student, to be a student of self, to be a student of space, to be a student of how you function in the world. And, you know, I think so often we see somebody else’s system and we think that should work for me.

Cheri Gregory (44:47.811)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (44:57.911)
Mm hmm. Yup.

Cheri Gregory (45:05.328)
Hmm. Mm-mm.

Kathi (45:07.691)
but it just doesn’t because our houses are different, our habits are different. There are so many things that are different and you’ve really given us an opportunity to say, how I move in the world is okay and I need to change my environment to meet those needs. I love it. Cheri, this has been such a rich conversation. Thank you so, so much.

Cheri Gregory (45:12.174)
Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (45:32.043)
Oh, thanks for having me.

Kathi (45:34.291)
And friends, thank you for being here for these good and deep conversations. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Cathy Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

#604 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 1

#604 Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 1

604 – Why Your Perfectionism is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter

(and What You Can Do About it) Part 1

Do you hesitate to start a decluttering project because you feel like you don’t have the time or resources to finish it?

You might be struggling with an underlying cause of clutter which is perfectionism.

Kathi Lipp and three-time co-author and frequent co-host Cheri Gregory start a two-part conversation about the straight line between perfectionism and clutter. Cheri speaks from an HSP (highly sensitive person) perspective and someone who struggles with perfectionism. Listen in as Kathi and Cheri discuss the connection between perfectionism and clutter, as well as:

  • How to get away from all-or-nothing thinking
  • The myth of form over function
  • What procrastination might be telling you

 Sign up here to be notified when Why Your Perfectionism Is Keeping You Stuck in Clutter (and What You Can Do About it) Part 2 is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Newsletter in your in box? Get it free here!

An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away

Are you overcommitted, overstressed, or just plain overwhelmed? These devotions will give you greater peace and perspective, and a plan for managing your busy life.

Have you reached the point where one more thing on your to-do list is one too many? Do you find yourself praying, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle any more stuff?”

Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory have been there. They want to encourage you, but even more important, they offer helpful solutions to make your everyday life easier. Get good advice on how to plan ahead, set boundaries with others and yourself, and be more intentional about self-care without the guilt.

Let Kathi and Cheri help you find a place of more joy and abundance, one devotion at a time.

Order your copy of An Abundant Place: Daily Retreats for the Woman Who Can’t Get Away here.

In this episode, Cheri asked us to spend 15 minutes reflecting on these questions:

When was a time you overdid it with perfectionism? Was it worth it in the long run? Did it serve you and your people?

Share your answers in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Kathi (00:01.427)
Okay, this is Cheri Gregory, understanding the link between perfectionism and clutter. Five, four, three, two, one. Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And if you have followed any of my writings, if you followed this podcast for any length of time, you already know my guest.

Her name is Cheri Gregory. She is a co-author with me on three books. I always wanna say two. I don’t know why. I don’t forget about the books, I know about them, but I feel like we’ve done some of our deepest work together. Cheri and I wrote Overwhelmed Together, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, and An Abundant Place, our devotional together. She…

Cheri Gregory (00:38.137)
Hahahaha

Cheri Gregory (00:46.424)
Yeah.

Kathi (00:56.999)
I’m gonna let her describe a little bit of her work because her work has changed over the years. And I think she is doing what she most loves to do. She is my go-to person for HSP issues, which is highly sensitive people. And I just adore her. So Sherri, welcome back to the podcast.

Cheri Gregory (01:19.199)
I’m just going to take and receive all of that. Yeah, I mean, what I do these days is I hang around highly sensitive persons in Sensitive and Strong, my membership, the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe. I just got done doing my master class, Growing Sensitive and Strong, and it was hilarious because the first night as we were introducing ourselves one by one, oh yes, I found out about you through Kathy Lipp.

Kathi (01:22.157)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (01:42.682)
Oh, yes, I found out about you from Clutterfree Academy podcast. Oh, I found out about you from reading Kathy’s books. So my people are big Kathy Lip fans.

Kathi (01:46.28)
No.

Kathi (01:49.415)
Oh, that makes me… Well, I’m big fans of their people. I’ve told you many, many times. HSPs are my favorites. I just did a whirlwind tour of San Jose. I had exactly one day and everybody, I almost have the people I met, either they were on the ADHD spectrum, ADHD, yeah. Feels like I was missing a letter there. Or they were my sensitive…

my highly sensitive people. So just explain what HSP is. This is not what this podcast is about, but kind of will be touching on some issues. So what does HSP mean?

Cheri Gregory (02:28.547)
The easiest explanation is it basically means sensory processing sensitivity, which means we are more easily overwhelmed than the average bear, often by external sensory stimuli. And more recently, I have learned by interoception, which means the stimuli that our own bodies produce. And since you can’t get away from your own body, that can be especially overstimulating. But yeah, it was it was not.

an accident that I wrote a bit about being a highly sensitive person and overwhelmed because that is the number one thing that my highly sensitive people tell me they’re dealing with is just feeling overwhelmed all the time.

Kathi (03:03.863)
Yeah, it’s been so interesting to see your journey on this. And today we’re talking about something a little different, but definitely has some overlap. And that is the link between perfectionism and clutter. And the reason I wanted to bring you on, Cherry, and guys, if you hear little tippy-tappies, I’m just gonna be really honest with you. Moose feels good. She’s going through chemo again, and she feels good for about 90 minutes each day.

Cheri Gregory (03:18.602)
Yes.

Kathi (03:32.839)
And right now happens to be the 90 minutes while we’re doing a podcast. So you know what? We’re just gonna let it be and be okay with it. And if you’re a long time listener, you’re excited that she’s feeling good for these 90 minutes. And if you’re new, this is just how we roll. So you know what? Right now she kinda does. I will admit, I had Roger bring me dinner and bed.

Cheri Gregory (03:35.15)
Aww.

Cheri Gregory (03:49.734)
Miss Moose gets to do whatever she wants right now.

Kathi (03:58.915)
so that I could, that’s where she’s most comfortable when she’s feeling her worst. And so I’m not moved. I it’s like waking the baby. That’s not happening in our house. Yeah. So we did something really interesting in Clutter Free for Life, our paid program that has led us to this call. And what we did is we gave everybody who signed up for the Year of our Lord 2024 for the paid program

Cheri Gregory (03:59.679)
I’m gonna go.

Cheri Gregory (04:03.458)
Yeah. 100%.

Cheri Gregory (04:16.492)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (04:27.483)
a 15 minute coaching call with either me or one of the other coaches, Deanna, Grace, Lisa, or Tanya. And I think I’ve probably had about 30 calls and maybe three of them have not said, well, I struggled with perfectionism. And yeah, talk about, I always knew that there was a connection for a lot of people between perfectionism and clutter.

Cheri Gregory (04:31.576)
Nice.

Cheri Gregory (04:45.511)
Ooh!

Cheri Gregory (04:50.902)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (04:54.839)
But I don’t think I realized that the line was straight through as much as it is. And so, of course.

Cheri Gregory (05:00.37)
Yeah, yeah. Okay, so can I ask you a question? Okay, so first of all, kudos that you are obviously such a safe person for people to be confessing that because perfectionism is not something people regularly routinely confess. Like they’ll say, oh, I’m a procrastinator, ha ha, but perfectionism does not have any laugh track behind it. So I’m curious, did they give you examples of what they meant by being a perfectionist?

Kathi (05:11.002)
Oh, yeah.

Kathi (05:16.12)
Right. Yeah.

Kathi (05:22.974)
Right.

Cheri Gregory (05:29.342)
or struggling with perfectionism and clutter? What kind of things did they tell you went with that?

Kathi (05:34.723)
It’s the same sentence for everybody. I don’t start because I can’t get it all done.

Cheri Gregory (05:37.652)
Okay.

Cheri Gregory (05:41.411)
Oh, okay.

Kathi (05:42.739)
Yeah, it is what and I hear that all the time or people will say Kathy 15 minutes as you guys know When we’re talking about decluttering I tell people to declutter for 15 minutes because I feel like our the decider part of our brain Is really good for 15 minutes. Sometimes it’s really good for up to an hour But we’ve all had those days where it’s like i’m cleaning out the garage today And you know in the beginning

Cheri Gregory (05:46.781)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (05:51.431)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (05:59.323)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (06:09.565)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:12.315)
you’re getting so many decisions made and by the end you’re just rearranging clutter. So we had some, it’s almost always I don’t have enough time to do everything so I’m not going to do anything because you know in their brain why even get it started and I say you know you may not notice a ton after 15 minutes I bet you will but you may not notice a bunch after 15 minutes but

Cheri Gregory (06:16.099)
Oh, oh, absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (06:39.222)
Hmm.

Kathi (06:41.923)
After three days of 15 minutes, you are going to notice a difference. But it’s having to get started that I think is really frustrating for people.

Cheri Gregory (06:51.37)
Yeah, yeah. All right, so I am in the midst of reading a book on boundaries and I’ll send you the link to it later, but it says something really interesting at the beginning and here’s a sentence I’m gonna run by you. We can’t master something that’s a continual practice. And let me just adjust that for this conversation. We can’t be perfect at something that we’re always going to be exercising.

Kathi (06:56.888)
Mm. Okay.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:11.751)
Okay.

Mm.

Cheri Gregory (07:17.418)
And so what I’m hearing in people who don’t want to get started is they feel like there’s going to be a point when they are completely done. And so if you’re going to ever get to that point where everything is perfect, then you should wait until you have time to do the whole thing and then stand back, sing the hallelujah chorus and enjoy it always being that way. Right. But if we recognize that this is a.

Kathi (07:25.377)
Mmm.

Kathi (07:30.024)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:41.18)
Right. Okay.

Cheri Gregory (07:45.39)
practice, that this is an exercise, this is an ongoing part of our lives, then there is no destination. And that’s part of what we need to take away is the sense that there is a finish line or a done point. And I’m really sorry for those who are listening if that’s super discouraging, but it simply means that as long as you are doing and you know, I push back against the 15 minutes, you know, I’m an overachiever. I’m not.

Kathi (07:46.933)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:51.215)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:54.547)
Right.

Kathi (07:59.255)
Mm-hmm. Yes

Kathi (08:04.64)
No.

Kathi (08:11.667)
Yeah, right.

Cheri Gregory (08:13.57)
15 minutes, Kathy, I’m going to do 15 hours, you know? But the practice of doing those 15 minutes is a habit of self stewardship, of taking care of yourself by taking care of the things that belong to you. And like you said, those first few days, you might not notice an awful lot of change, although you know what?

Kathi (08:17.122)
I… Right. Yes.

Kathi (08:29.686)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:40.17)
I mean there was a time years ago when I injured my back I could only do five minutes at a time and then I had to be on the couch for 55. Let me tell you when I put those blinders on I was able to be pretty darn proud of those of the little bit of space I cleared in five minutes. What do you see, Cathy, what do you see in those who have overcome this sense of I can’t start because I can’t finish it all in the same fell swoop?

Kathi (08:44.77)
Right.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (08:56.683)
Well, and…

Kathi (09:07.187)
Well, I don’t want to say that they don’t believe me, but I think they kind of don’t believe me. And it’s, you don’t know my circumstances, you don’t know my situation, you don’t know who I live with. And so one of the things I’ve been saying to people is our circumstances are different, but our challenges are remarkably the same.

Cheri Gregory (09:14.623)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:19.246)
Hmm

Cheri Gregory (09:23.606)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:36.638)
Yes. Ooh, so good.

Kathi (09:39.291)
Yeah, you know, you know, I love some alliteration. It’s the only way I remember anything. And that, you know, people don’t feel like they’re being helped, which I agree with. And also, it’s not that people, especially adults, in your family should be helping you. This should be a family task, but oftentimes it’s not. And when your mother-in-law comes over, she’s not looking at her son and saying, why haven’t you picked up the house?

Cheri Gregory (09:41.886)
Oh yeah.

Cheri Gregory (10:07.902)
Yeah.

Kathi (10:08.715)
You know, we just know that right and so a lot of people I don’t think You know trust the process because the only results they’ve ever seen have been when they’ve killed themselves To get it. We also Believe in form over function. We believe that if it looks pretty it’s gonna work and

Cheri Gregory (10:22.536)
Mm. Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (10:33.326)
Yeah.

Kathi (10:35.139)
I can get my room looking pretty really quickly, but you know, one of my big things is you can’t organize clutter, because as soon as you touch it again, it’s going to explode, implode, whatever it’s going to be. And so we have to look at the function of a space. And none of us really have a master plan of what

Cheri Gregory (10:38.26)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (10:41.42)
Yep.

Cheri Gregory (10:45.113)
Mm-hmm.

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (10:53.869)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (10:59.392)
Mm-mm.

Kathi (11:00.671)
We have to make good small decisions over and over and over again to get a space to feel good. And then finally, I think the last thing is we have been sold a bill of goods by these decluttering and organizing systems, magazines, books, that, you know, everybody, it’s clean for a second, it looks nice for a second, it looks organized for a second, and then somebody actually tries to use it. And they don’t take the after picture.

Cheri Gregory (11:05.5)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:15.85)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:27.826)
Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (11:31.239)
I think those are a lot of the problems. Yeah. Well, so here’s my next question for you, because I know that you have also, you know, you’ve had your struggles with clutter. You and I have talked about those extensively. What do you think some of the misconceptions about clutter and perfectionism are? Because I think, for me, I think the one that I hear,

Cheri Gregory (11:33.174)
Hmm, absolutely. That makes sense.

Cheri Gregory (11:43.414)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:46.897)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (11:57.671)
is my mom was a perfectionist and it didn’t look like anybody lived at our house. And that’s their perception. Well, and you had a perfectionistic mom and nobody looked, it didn’t look like anybody looked at your house as a child, right?

Cheri Gregory (12:04.332)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (12:08.107)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (12:12.33)
Oh no, I mean she literally had white couches and white carpet, but after she passed and we started opening the cupboards, oh my goodness Cathy, she was a hoarder.

Kathi (12:22.003)
Oh, oh, OK, I knew about the closet. I don’t think I knew about the cupboards.

Cheri Gregory (12:25.234)
Yeah. Oh, yeah, everything was absolutely packed to the gills. So it looked perfect. The outward facing looked perfect. But every anything that was behind closed doors was chaos. I was even shocked. But it was all about keeping up the appearances, not necessarily the utility. I mean, putting in white carpet and white couches right as we were producing grandbabies. Come on.

Kathi (12:33.335)
Yeah.

Kathi (12:39.777)
Okay. So.

Kathi (12:53.299)
Right. So I think most people think when they think about perfectionists, they think about a house like your mom or at least what appeared to be your mom’s house. You know, why everything is perfect as soon as you use something it gets put away that kind of thing. But you and I have both experienced the other end of perfectionism and clutter.

Cheri Gregory (12:58.647)
Mm.

Cheri Gregory (13:03.538)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (13:17.474)
Hmm.

Kathi (13:19.551)
You know, what, how has that, how has your idea about perfectionism and clutter changed over the years?

Cheri Gregory (13:27.658)
Well, one of the things that’s really closely connected to perfectionism is procrastination, right? And so one of the things that I have learned that’s been so important, the whole idea of doing 15 minutes at a time has been really important in terms of breaking me away from the all or nothing thinking.

Kathi (13:34.986)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (13:49.582)
is that when I used to do those, because you’ve heard me, I’ve called you up before and been like, oh, I’m gutting my office this week, I’m gutting my whatever this week, I’m always using the word gutting, right? But it’s that all or nothing thinking. And one of the things I finally had to realize is that actually my brain and body remembers the way I treat it. And so when I don’t keep it doable for a human brain and body, which is that 15 minute chunk,

Kathi (14:00.066)
Ha ha

Cheri Gregory (14:19.794)
then my body is going to avoid allowing me to do what injured it last time. Because when we do these hours long days long things that kill us like you said because they do they kill our brains they kill our emotions they kill our relationships they are they’re hard on our bodies um what kicks in after that for me is procrastination and I used to think oh I’m being lazy oh I just need to push harder I need to try harder and I finally realized no actually this form of procrastination

Kathi (14:28.034)
Yeah.

Kathi (14:40.369)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (14:49.254)
is my body saying, no, we remember how you treated us the last time. We will not let you do to do that to us again. And so I’ve started actually, this is kind of a recent thing for me. I’ve started to actually trust my procrastination a little bit. I don’t mean massively, I just mean, oh, what are you trying to tell me? What memories are you holding on to that maybe I need to learn from? And recognizing that it has this incredibly self-preservation and protective purpose.

Kathi (14:53.019)
Yes, oh, so good. Yeah.

Kathi (15:04.363)
Mm-hmm. Right. Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (15:19.35)
And it’s helped me realize that some of those habits that can cause things to look good. And how many of us before family coming, before a holiday, before a major birthday party, you know, we’re like, okay, we’re all in, we’re going to do that perfectionistic rush of clean everything, spit, polish everything. Oh, by the way, let’s also hand make something and let’s paint something. And, you know, the home improvement kicks in. And then we are

Kathi (15:41.26)
Right.

Kathi (15:45.256)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (15:47.306)
And for those of us who might be slightly older or have some, you know, have fibromyalgia, or for those of us who are HSPs and our brains and bodies are like, ah, you know, the fact that we used to be able to pull it off when we were 20, doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Doesn’t mean that it has served us well. In fact, you know, I would love to hear from your listeners, Kathy. I would love to challenge your listeners.

Kathi (15:52.575)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:03.219)
Yes.

No.

Kathi (16:12.983)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (16:14.934)
to think about this and then to email you or to reach out to Facebook, whatever, okay? I would love for them to think back to a time that they did that, where at the moment they felt really super proud of themselves, right? Like there’s a high that comes from perfectionism, from pulling it all off, from doing the stash and dash. So everything has been thrown into the back room and everything looks so perfect and they pulled it all off.

Kathi (16:18.711)
Yeah.

Kathi (16:27.862)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:34.728)
Yes.

Cheri Gregory (16:40.63)
But I’d challenge them to really spend a reflective 10 or 15 minutes thinking about the longer term cost of that. That moment of pride, did it really serve them in the long term? Did it really serve the people that were coming to the house? Did it really serve everybody who lived there? And when I look back at myself, I’m like, wow, that was nuts. Everybody cooperated because I was such a maniac, but the price was way too high.

Kathi (16:48.162)
Yeah.

Kathi (17:08.171)
Right.

Well, and I just think about those events, which, oh my goodness, I was the queen of stash and dash. I still work hard before an event, for having a retreat at our house or having a party or something like that, but it doesn’t feel like a massive push for a temporary fix. It feels like we’re actually putting things away

Cheri Gregory (17:36.353)
Oooo

Kathi (17:40.831)
we’re doing the things that are important, which is really, it’s a big turn in my life. But I also think about how exhausted I was when people finally got there. How, and how I tried to pretend that it wasn’t, that I was just, oh, that this all came naturally. None of it came naturally. I was near death.

Cheri Gregory (17:42.318)
Peace.

Cheri Gregory (17:53.806)
Hmm. Yes.

Cheri Gregory (18:06.414)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (18:08.611)
And I wanted people to leave early because I was exhausted. It’s a whole thing. And when we come back, because what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna stop this conversation this week and we’re gonna come back next week. And I wanna talk about, I have some more questions. How do we actually break these habits? And I love what you said about paying attention to the procrastination.

Cheri Gregory (18:31.202)
Hmm

Kathi (18:36.923)
And as you were talking about, you know, getting ready for company coming over and things like that, all I could think about were the other two points in our book, performanceism and people pleasing. Like we’re trying to make sure that everybody in our family, you know, our moms know that they raised a good girl because their house, the house is clean. We’re trying to make everybody else feel comfortable. Yeah. All those kind of things. And

Cheri Gregory (18:46.85)
Yep.

Kathi (19:02.519)
how do we break some of those habits? Because no, I don’t want to invite people over to a pit. Let me be very clear. That’s really important to me. But how do we start to deal with the layers so the big push isn’t so big and that we can have, we can not just have people in our house comfortably, but live in our house comfortably. So we’re gonna come back next week. Cheri, this has been a great discussion already.

Cheri Gregory (19:25.337)
Mm, I love it.

Kathi (19:30.539)
but we’re gonna come back with some practical answers in the coming days. Friends, you’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy. I’m Cathy Lip. Now, go create the clutter-free life you were always intended to live.

#602 How to Sort Through a Loved One’s Belongings After They’re Gone Part 2

#602 How to Sort Through a Loved One’s Belongings After They’re Gone Part 2

602 – How to Sort Through a Loved One’s Belongings After They’re Gone Part 2

Have you ever had a loved one pass and had to navigate the delicate and nuanced situation of going through the items left behind?

Sweet friend, you are not alone.

Listen to How to Sort Through a Loved One’s Belongings After They’re Gone Part 1 and then join Kathi Lipp and her guest Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young, author of the book Breathing Through the Grief, A Devotional Journal for Seasons of Loss. Nine years ago, Dorina and her young daughters lost their 40-year-old husband and father to cancer. Listen in as Kathi and Dorina continue their conversation about love, honor, and preserving the memories of loved ones who have passed. They cover topics such as:

  • Creative and honoring ways to use your loved one’s treasured belongings
  • How to permit yourself to grieve
  • Journaling to help with the processing of trauma

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young wanted all of you to have easy access to an article she wrote highlighting ideas she and Kathi did not have time to talk about. Check out 10 Creative Ways To Honor A Loved One’s Memory (And Clean Out The Garage) for this valuable information.

Interested in Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young’s newest book she and Kathi talked about in the past two episodes? Check out Breathing Through the Grief, A Devotional Journal for Seasons of Loss to take a closer look.

 Sign up here to be notified when the next Clutter Free Academy Podcast is released.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you had any victories in curating the treasures of a loved one and how it helped with the grief process?

Share your answers in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young is an author, speaker, Bible teacher, and spoken word artist.

Her passion is helping people discover God’s glory in unexpected places and flourish in their God-given callings. She wants you to become a glory chaser with her, running after God’s glory rather than your own. This has made a world of difference in every facet of Dorina’s life.

Her happy place is near the ocean with her people or running on a trail in the mountains near her home. A foodie, Dorina loves trying new recipes and restaurants. Tears, laughter, and good food are always welcome at her table. Guests are invited to come as they are.

Connect with Dorina at www.DorinaGilmore.com, where you can sign up for her Glorygram letter. You can also find her as @DorinaGilmore
on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 
Transcript

Kathleen Lipp (00:00.926)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And this is part two of just an amazing conversation with my friend, Dorina Gilmore Young. She talks about how after the death of her husband with three really little girls,

she went through the grieving process. And one of the parts of that grieving process was to sort through her husband’s belongings and how she was able to do that with love, honor, preserving memories for her girls, for herself, but also making sure that they could still live their lives in their home as her husband would have wanted them to.

So if you haven’t listened to part one, go back and listen to that and then join us here for part two of this amazing conversation about how to sort through a loved one’s belongings after they pass.

Kathi (18:25.45)
You know, what I love is that a lot of the things that you kept were not things that were gonna sit in a box in the garage. They are things that, you know, maybe the girls would want to wear those shirts, maybe not, but you could also say, you know, okay, you guys are in an age where this isn’t really interesting to you, so we can donate those things. Or, you know, we can, you know, I have…

I kept things from my grandma that I would use, like her recipe box, some Art Deco earrings, an apron that I don’t actually use, but it hangs in my kitchen because it just reminds me of her. And it may, but these are things that actually get used on a pretty regular basis. And so it’s…

It’s honoring to be able to use those things. It’s not disrespectful, even if they’re not being used in the way that you would expect. Your teenage girls wearing the sweaters and things like that. It’s a really beautiful thing. Let me ask you, I didn’t get clearance for this question. So if you don’t wanna answer it, we will cut it out, okay? So, but you’re remarried and you’re…

Obviously your husband knows about your first husband and have you incorporated any of Eric Lee’s stuff into your house and how does your husband feel about that? And did you have a discussion? Like how does that happen?

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (20:08.591)
Yeah, that’s something that can be a little complicated and nuanced for people, depending on the situation. We have a unique situation because my husband, Sean, and we’ve been married for seven years. He was one of Eric Lee’s best friends and they were actually friends before I even met either of them. So Sean has been on his own grief journey of losing his friend in addition to entering our grief journey and losing a husband and dad.

Kathi (20:32.995)
Wow.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (20:38.685)
He has been so wonderful at just really incorporating Eric Lee into our lives. I remember Sean saying, even after our wedding day, you know, the only thing that is sad to me about this day is that Eric Lee was one of my best friends and it seemed strange that he wasn’t standing up in my wedding. And when he said that, I was like.

That’s so true. It’s strange. So in many ways, it’s a marriage that incorporates the three of us because Eric Lee was such an influence on Shawn. And we see that reflection even in our homes. So when you walk into my home, you will see that one of the main ways that I decorate is through photo canvases. We have photographs of our family all over our home.

Kathi (21:14.178)
Yeah.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (21:32.283)
We have a wall in our piano room where we have some of the family photos that Eric Lee was in. In fact, wearing that flannel shirt that I was talking about earlier. And then we have some of our newer family photos. We take a family photo every year. It’s something that’s really important to me and the girls. And you know, even some of the photos with my entire extended family that are part of it. And so Sean’s been so wonderful about that. And it’s probably the number one thing that people comment on

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (22:01.897)
I even have a little plaque that talks about like this is our story and the story is told through those photographs. The other thing is through books. So I’m sitting in my library right now. You can probably see all these shelves of books behind me and this is my office and I call it fondly my library because I always dreamed of having a library. But I do have shelves that include some of Eric Lee’s favorite books on them and his handwriting is in those books.

Kathi (22:13.216)
Yeah.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (22:31.537)
so my girls can come in here and they can look at those books anytime. I also happen to have some of Sean’s books in here because that made sense for some of the topics that we’re mutually passionate about for them to be in my office. And I think it’s just such a representation of our lives kind of coming together. He’s never been trying to push those things off. And I really deeply appreciate that. I know that’s probably not everyone’s story, but because Sean and Eric Lee

Kathi (22:43.495)
Right?

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (23:01.637)
friends that makes sense for him too.

Kathi (23:04.566)
Yeah, oh wow. Okay, I don’t normally cry during these things, but you know, here we are. I wanna talk, I have one other question, but I wanna talk about your new book, Breathing Through Grief, a devotional journal for seasons of loss. Can you just tell me a little bit about that? Because I know that the people who are listening right now,

you know, are either coming out of a season of grief or, you know, an extended season of grief, they’re in the midst of it, or, you know, a lot of people in the coming months are going to lose somebody that they love deeply. Who is the book for and how is it used? Because it’s a journal, so how does that get used?

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (23:58.615)
Thanks, Kathy. Yes. So this is a devotional journal, and it’s written for someone who is walking through grief and loss. And honestly, this is the book that I wish I had nine years ago. I was so hungry for stories about people who had gone through or were navigating the grief journey as I was a young widow. And I also was hungry for that orientation towards God

prayer. And so my journal includes 25 devotional stories, which are just stories out of my life, like some of the ones I’ve been telling you today. And it also includes reflection questions that ask the person who’s reading to reflect on their own grief journey. I didn’t want to just be telling my story. There’s so many books that actually do that and do that well. But I wanted to invite

Kathi (24:51.267)
You’re right.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (24:58.589)
why we chose to do it as a devotional journal because I’m kind of positioning myself as the author but as a guide and honestly the only way through grief is through and so I can’t do the work for the person but I can kind of guide them on that path and even make space for them to journal their own process and there’s even brain science that says that when we write down the things that

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (25:28.449)
the trauma and so I love that aspect of the book because it invites people to go on that journey for themselves as well.

Kathi (25:38.502)
Mm. I love that. And guys, we’ll have a link to that in the notes. I especially think, you know, maybe three or four months after somebody you love has lost somebody. This might be, you know, I’m thinking about a friend who lost her beautiful daughter. And, you know, I wouldn’t want to hand this to her at the memorial service. I’m not giving you homework. But there are different stages of processing and

You know once everybody’s gone home Once the meal stop there’s gonna be a lot of time and space that for deep grief and This could be a really powerful tool to help process that and honor the person that you love so much You know for my friends who are you know are sitting here, and they don’t know that they’re gonna lose somebody

in the coming months or year. I would love for you to just kind of reach through the microphone and give your best piece of advice as, and I know no piece of advice can encompass everything, but what’s the thing that you wish you knew when Eric Lee passed that somebody might be able to anchor in their mind right now as they come upon a season of grief?

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (27:07.331)
You know, I think the most powerful thing that I always start with when I’m sharing with people about grief is that you have permission. You have permission to grieve. And that seems like such a basic thing to say, but it is amazing how much, especially if you are grieving a loss, how much expectation we feel, perceive, or actually receive from our communities, from our churches,

maybe your culture depending on your cultural background and what I have learned and what I recognize is that every grief journey is unique and so we need to give ourselves permission to grieve the way that feels natural for us and I learned this so profoundly even as a mom because I had girls at three different stages of development with three very distinct personalities not to

my mother-in-law who lost her only son, and a pretty wide circle of people who knew my husband well because he was a teacher and a coach and the director of a nonprofit. So I had layers upon layers of people around me who were grieving. At first, I kept trying to think of how can I care for others in their grief journey? How can I tend to others? Certainly, I needed to do that as a mom because I was dividing, I was kind of guiding my own children.

Kathi (28:29.912)
Yeah.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (28:37.395)
I want to just say to that person who is grieving that you have permission and to give yourself space for that. The timeline is not finite. The timeline does not look the same for everyone. So my journal, for example, some people might need that in week two. And like you said, others might not be ready for that for five, six, two years, three years down the line. And that’s okay.

Kathi (29:00.15)
Yeah.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (29:03.839)
If we kind of release ourselves from expectation and actually allow ourselves to enter into the grief and even lament, something powerful can happen on the healing journey. If we stuff it down or try to suppress our grief, it’s gonna come out sideways.

Kathi (29:18.987)
Yeah.

Kathi (29:22.43)
Yeah, and nobody wants that, especially the person who’s lost somebody. I grew up and one of the guys that I was dating when I was in high school lost his dad and he was Jewish and they had very specific ways of grieving in that family. And in that tradition, the Jewish tradition.

And I think that we as, or at least me, you know, who has, you know, I’m a mutt, I don’t, our family, our culture doesn’t have grief traditions. And so, you know, there was a freedom in coming up with those traditions with my dad, but there was also a burden. It would have been nice for somebody to tell me, this is what you do.

And we came up with ways to grieve, but I love that permission. And when I said, maybe wait three months to give the book, one of the things I always tell people when I’m giving them a book that I’m hoping will help them, I said, please know this is not homework. This is a resource. And so, if you don’t get to this for 10 years, I’m not gonna be checking on your homework.

I just want this here for you because I want you to feel supported.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (30:52.855)
I’m going to steal that line. I love how you say that. And that is again, permission for that person to grieve at their own pace in their own unique way.

Kathi (30:58.317)
Right.

Kathi (31:02.002)
Yeah, you know, the last thing I want to give you is a to do, but I want you to know that you are loved and supported. Doreena, this has been such a rich conversation. I so appreciate it. The book is Breathing Through Grief, a Devotional Journey for Seasons of Lost. We’ll have that link in the show notes and guys.

I’m just so grateful for this because we talk a lot about this in our large group, ClutterFree Academy that people have lost and they don’t know what to do with their stuff. And so guys, we will share this podcast in that group. And I would love for you if you’ve had some victories in being able to curate a loved one’s things with

honor and with grace. I know it’s a hard decision, but we want to help you through that. Okay, you guys. Doreena, thanks again.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (32:09.007)
Thank you, Kathy. It’s been good to be with you and I appreciate this conversation.

Kathi (32:14.39)
I appreciate it so much because we, like I said, we talk about this a lot. And friends, thank you for being here. I know these are harder conversations, but they’re so necessary because we’re all going to go through this at some point. And I want you to have the tools and the resources you need. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I am Cathy Lipp. And now go create the clutter free life you’ve always intended to live.

Kathi (32:43.762)
Okay, that may be a two-parter, because that was 30 minutes. I wasn’t expecting that, but that’s so great. Okay, let’s go. Let me go to the other one. You did a great job, I know.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (32:56.599)
I do have, I will mention that that, I think I might’ve even sent it to you, that article on creative ways to honor a loved one’s memory and clean out your garage, that is free on my website. And then it’s also printed in the journal. So that might be a way to kind of help people, you know, they don’t have to feel obligated to buy the book, but there’s lots of ideas there of how to do that stuff.

Kathi (33:10.554)
Oh, okay.

Oh, okay.

Kathi (33:23.93)
Okay, something went wrong with stopping. Okay, so I will, you know what? I will, I’ll go back and record a tag for that. I don’t, or you know what? Okay, whoever is editing this, if you can’t find the link to that article, please contact me and I, or yeah, ask Tiffany to contact me and we will do it. I’m trying to stop this recording and it’s not letting me.

so weird. Okay, I don’t want to lose the recording. So bizarre. Why is this is the weirdest day.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (34:02.687)
It says on my end it says 99% uploading. So it looks like it’s up. It looks like we’re still recording. I see the little red record thing in the top left corner, but it does also say uploading.

Kathi (34:06.938)
Okay, does it say that it stopped recording?

Kathi (34:15.89)
Okay, hang on one second. I just wanna do this without losing it. Give me a second.

Kathi (34:50.989)
It’s a very busy day for both of us. OK, so let’s see. I don’t know how to stop this. This is crazy. OK, I’m going to end session for all. And we’re just going to have to come back in. OK, so we’ll do our best.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young (35:08.879)
Okay, no problem.