#520 Clutter and Creativity – How Decluttering Helps the Creative Process

#520 Clutter and Creativity – How Decluttering Helps the Creative Process

520: Clutter and Creativity

How Decluttering Helps the Creative Process

Kathi Lipp is talking with Clutter Free community leader, friend, and screenwriter, Grace Church, about how decluttering and creativity can actually help one another. Have you ever struggled to balance decluttering time and creative time? You are not alone. In this episode, Kathi and Grace share how they have found that balance by:

  • Shifting their mentality
  • Doing a little bit every day
  • Establishing routines

If you’ve ever found your creativity blocked by the clutter around you, you won’t want to miss this episode.

Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space

 

If you’ve ever wished you could clear out your clutter, simplify your space, and take back your life, Kathi Lipp’s new book has just the solutions you need. Building off the success of her The Get Yourself Organized Project, this book will provide even more ideas for getting your life and your stuff under control.

Do any of these descriptions apply to you?

  • You bought a box of cereal at the store, and then discovered you have several boxes at home that are already past the “best by” date.
  • You bought a book and put it on your nightstand (right on top of ten others you’ve bought recently), but you have yet to open it.
  • You keep hundreds of DVDs around even though you watch everything online now and aren’t really sure where the remote for the DVD player is.
  • You spend valuable time moving your piles around the house, but you can never find that piece of paper when you need it.
  • Your house doesn’t make you happy when you step into it.

As you try out the many easy, doable solutions that helped Kathi win her battle with clutter, you’ll begin to understand why you hold on to the things you do, eliminate what’s crowding out real life, and make room for the life of true abundance God wants for you.

Order your copy of Clutter Free here.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Grace Church

Grace Church is a screenwriter, blogger, and budding podcaster in Los Angeles — but her favorite “job” has been working on Kathi’s CFA leadership team! Grace discovered Clutter Free through Kathi’s “2000 Thing Fling” in January 2015. Since then she’s been counting, cleaning, and decluttering her way through her home, one item at a time. Grace has been a regular contributor at CFA since it began in 2016 and a member of CFFL since its inception in 2019. She now serves as Community Manager for the Clutter Free Academy group page on Facebook — and the Clutter Free for Life private group page.

You can connect with Grace on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at “Rise and Write with Grace & James.”

Transcript

Taking Care of Your Future Self Through Transitions and Change

Taking Care of Your Future Self Through Transitions and Change

 

 

Going through transitions and major changes in our life can change the game of de-cluttering.

We are never just de-cluttering. We are changing the way we think and live in our spaces.

Sometimes we have to make decisions to put certain things on pause in order to best take care of ourselves.

The one thing we don’t want to put on pause is our joy.

Join in to hear this great Facebook live video where Kathi passionately discusses these things more in depth and encourages

us to make small changes to take care of our future selves.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKathiLipp/videos/489515965626305/

 

I would love for you to tell me in the comments about one thing you are doing different to take better care of yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

 

 

How-To Have a Clutter Free (& Worry Free) Garage Sale

How-To Have a Clutter Free (& Worry Free) Garage Sale

 

Two summers ago, an older couple gifted my daughter a large number of household items as they moved out of state. The goal? Have a garage sale and make money for college.

 

We spent nearly a week sorting and transporting items, another week preparing for the sale, and a full weekend selling. The result was a whopping $600.

 

On the other hand, our neighbor who planned to move to Poland later that year joined in the sale, strategically added items to her lot across the street, and made nearly twice the money.

 

Two garage sales. Very different results.

 

Consider Your Options                   

 

Before deciding to embark on a sale, weigh the time and effort required with other options.

 

  • Do you only have a few great items in new or like-new condition? Maybe an online marketplace or auction site would be better.

 

  • Do you have quite a few items, but not enough to draw in a crowd? Consider connecting with others for a community or block sale. Donate to a church or non-profit sale. Or invite a neighbor or friend to join forces to draw a wider group of shoppers.

 

  • Garage sales can make a lot of money. Karen M, a Clutter-Free member, recently had a sale and “with not too much effort made $1,000.” On the other hand, garage sales can be a lot of work for little to no money. I’ve hosted several garage sales that netted in the neighborhood of a total of $100-$200. Are you okay with either result?

 

Once you’ve decided a garage sale is the best option, you will need to get to work.

 

 

Time

 

A terrific garage sale takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.

 

  • Be prepared. Gather items, price and display them, spend 2-3 days hosting the sale, and commit to clean up and disposing of items that do not sell.

 

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the weather. If it is too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy then your sale may be a bust. Pick the right time of year, keep an eye on the weather forecast, and choose the most temperate part of the day for sale hours.

 

Do you have enough time to make it worthwhile?

 

If so, choose a date and put it on the calendar.

 

 

Space & Location

 

You’ll need space to store items until the sale begins and a location to hold the sale.

 

  • Where will you store items before the sale begins?

 

  • Are you in a prime location for a sale? Or could you hold the sale at a friend or neighbor’s house that is easier to find with better exposure?

 

  • Some neighborhoods do not allow yard/garage sales and have restrictions about street parking. Be sure to check any homeowner agreements that may impact your sale.

 

Where will you hold your sale?

 

Help

 

Sale days will be much more manageable (and fun!) if you have friends and family by your side.

 

  • You will need a lunch or restroom break.

 

  • A crowd may arrive all at once.

 

  • Friends and family help keep you company during the slower parts of the day.

 

  • Someone to keep reminding you why you are decluttering.

 

Who will stand by your side while you sell your stuff?

 

 

Gather Your Items

 

Before you can have a sale, you have to know what you’re selling. 

 

  • Make a pile. Load up boxes. Sort and organize. Go through closets, drawers, basements, and garages and come up with the items you’ll sell. (This is a perfect time to declutter!)

 

  • Group like items. Furniture, books, clothing, baby clothes, kid’s items, tools, dishes, kitchenware, appliances, household items, and so on. If you bought it, you can probably sell it.

 

Do you have enough desirable items to warrant a garage sale?

Pricing

 

“There is no better deterrent from bringing new items into your home than seeing that candle you bought for $24.95 re-sell for only $2.50. This is the Clutter Tax we all pay for excess stuff.” -Karen M

 

  • Be realistic. Garage sales draw bargain hunters. It is unlikely you can sell an item for even a fraction of what you paid. Even like-new items may not sell for more than half the original price. Exceptions: Certain collectibles. Antiques. Refurbished items.

 

  • Decide ahead of time if you’re willing to dicker or if you’ll have a half-price hour or a last call (selling everything for a dollar) at the end of the day.

 

Remember your objective is not to make money, it’s to get rid of stuff. Bringing it back in the house defeats the purpose of having a clutter-free garage sale.

 

 

Cash

 

A few days before the sale, visit the bank. Obtain a wide variety of bills in different denominations. If you priced items under a dollar you will also need change.

 

Display.

 

Staging is important!

 

Put the “wows” upfront. You want stuff that will literally stop traffic. Furniture, tools, and electronics are your best bet for getting a spouse to pull the car to the curb.

Clothes. Hanging, easily viewed clothing sells best. A garment rack is ideal, but a shower rod or tautly hung rope can work. The next best option is folded clothes preferably on a table. Be sure to put up a sign that says “Hangers Not Included” unless you’re decluttering hangers too.

 

Books, CDs, DVDs. Create a temporary display. If you have enough shelf space, place the front covers face out. Next best option? A table. Try to keep the shelves looking full (this is a great job for kids).

 

Group items. Housewares, small appliances, bath items, baby clothes or toys, yard items, etc. But make sure there’s plenty of space between displays for people to comfortably move.

 

Advertising

 

On the web. Online groups exist to help you get the word out. Check into your favorite sale sites, neighborhood, or market place, and add your listing. Highlight the kinds of things you’re selling (tools, kids’ clothes, furniture, etc.) so you attract the right buyers.

 

On the street. Create large, readable signs to attract more drive-by traffic. Neon poster board is great for this. Add a few secure balloons to draw attention.

 

Check city ordinances regarding sign size and location of display signs. Although many people use utility poles, this often violates city rules. Also, be a good steward and collect all signs at the end of your sale.

 

Tell your friends. Share your goals. Be sure to let your Facebook or Instagram friends know as well.

 

Newspaper. Running a cheap ad in your local newspaper or an online classified service may bring you more shoppers.

 

Back-Up Plan

What will you do with anything leftover?

Who will be taking the items away?

Where will it go?

 

If you were willing to get rid of the stuff in the first place, don’t let it wiggle it’s way back in.

 

With a lot of planning and a bit of hard work, you can have a successful garage sale. Whether your sale makes $100 or $1000, if you’ve met your goal to declutter you’ve triumphed! Your heart and home will be lighter.

 

Your turn. What additional tips can you add for a clutter-free sale?

 

*Thank you, Karen M, (of Clutter Free), and Kathi Lipp for contributing strategic suggestions included in this article.

 

April Kidwell lives in the Pacific Northwest with her science-geek husband, soon-to-fly young adult children, three dogs, two cats and a gecko. She writes Contemporary and Historical Christian romance for the Waiting Heart and comes from a long line of “what-ifers.” (What if we need it? What if we make it useable again? What if…?) Connect with her at https://www.blessfulwritings.comhttps://www.instagram.com/blessfulwritings/, and https://www.facebook.com/Blessfulwritings/.

 

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

 

 

Apricot and Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Apricot and Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

 

 

Apricot and Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

I love any recipe that is a twofer.

A twofer is any dish that can be served just after making, and then is also fabulous later on as a LOOP (Left Over On Purpose.)

Let me introduce: Baked Oatmeal.           

The reason I love this recipe is twofer:

  1. It is a warm, nourishing breakfast to have on a Monday morning when the world feels like too much and you just need some comfort food to make the world right again.
  2. It is perfect on a Tuesday morning, straight from the fridge as an “Oatmeal Bar” which I then grab and go as I drive into town for work with my homemade latte.

See? Twofer. (That is, if your crew doesn’t eat the whole pan first. If that’s a possibility, you may want to consider making TWO pans to be assured of oatmeal bars later.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups whole almonds, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped           

1 cup blueberries

1 1/3 cups whole milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup brown sugar, divided

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, divided (2 tablespoons melted, 2 tablespoons room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. 

Fold in the almonds, apricots and blueberries. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, cream, honey, 1/4 cup brown sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla to combine. This creates a custard-like mixture that you then pour over the oats.

Cut up the rest of the butter and put that on top, along with the remaining brown sugar.

Bake for 25 or 30 minutes, or until the oatmeal has absorbed the liquid and is golden brown on the surface.

Cool slightly before serving.

 

Let me know if you’ll be trying baked oatmeal, or if you have a favorite twofer recipe in the comments!

 

 

 

We would love to stay connected!

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

 

 

8 Ways to Make Your Cleaning Products Last Longer

8 Ways to Make Your Cleaning Products Last Longer

 

 

Need some simple ways to make your cleaning products last longer? Here are 8 simple ways to stretch your supplies, and cut down necessary trips to the store.

 

Like many of you, I’m looking for ways to leave the house less for errands. Less time spent in grocery stores and warehouses, the better.

 

I’m trying to find ways to make not only my groceries last longer, but everything else in my house. And with us being home more, let’s just say, I’m cleaning a lot more than usual.

 

If you’re shopping less, but cleaning more, you may find yourself running out of all your cleaning products at the same time. So, if you need to make your current stash stretch until the next monthly run to the grocery store, here’s how to make your cleaning supplies last.

 

  1. Measure Your Amounts                   

Many of us have been trained to fill both dispensers in our dishwasher or fill the laundry soap cup to the brim. Now’s the time to evaluate how much detergent you really need. Read the packaging and see how much detergent is recommended for the load you’re washing. Your friend with toddlers may need to use more laundry detergent than your neighbor who is running a load of work-at-home clothes.

 

2.  Mix Your Own Sanitize              

If your cleaning cabinet is running out of products that will sanitize your home, it’s time to turn to your laundry area. Bleach and water, in the right proportions, will do wonders.

 

“Bleach is very effective at killing the coronavirus, as well as virtually every other germ on the face of the planet,” said Dr. Paul Pottinger, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington Medical Center.

 

To create your own household cleaner, follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines:

Clean the surface with soap and warm, clean water. Rinse the area with clean water. Then sanitize with a mixture of 1 cup bleach to 5 gallons water. Let the area air dry. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to keep the bleach off your hands.

 

 

  1. Spray the Cloth, Not the Surface

Never spray cleanser directly onto the surface you’re cleaning. You’ll save cleaner and money by spraying your glass, wood, and surface cleanser directly on your cloth and then cleaning the intended surface. Many of us subscribe to the myth, the more cleanser, the cleaner it is. But using too much cleanser can actually cause build-up and require extra work to clean the surface. (No wonder we hate cleaning!)

 

    4. Use the Cloth for the Size of the Job

We’ve taken to rationing our disinfecting wipes with one simple trick: tearing them in half. Most of the cleanup jobs I’m doing right now are on the small side: wiping down door handles, disinfecting a sink, wiping down light switches. None of these require a huge cloth to do the job. Now, I tear the wipes in half and stick the leftover wipe back in the container to be used for the next job.

 

     

 

5. Use the Leftovers

We all have them. The cleaner we tried for our bathroom and didn’t love the smell of, but didn’t get rid of either. Now is the time to scour the house for any containers under bathroom sinks, in the laundry area, in the garage, or even in your basement. Where are those half-used bottles of cleaners hiding? Gather everything you have into one place, so you know exactly what you have and what you are running low on.

 

  1. Check the Label                         

Read the label on the all-purpose cleaner; you may just be using it for surface cleaning, but the label tells you that it is also a degreaser, a spot cleaner for fabric, and even a carpet cleaner. It’s time to discover the power you already have sitting in that bottle and all the ways that “multi-purpose” is really true.

 

  1. Use Concentrate as Intended

With so many products being offered as concentrates, make sure that you’re using the proper amount of cleanser, and using it correctly. Do you need to be adding water to the product before using it, or using way less than a non-concentrated product?

 

 

  1. Ask Yourself: Does this Really Need to Be Cleaned?

With most of us not going out as much as we are used to, think about the ways that you could reduce the number of items that need to be cleaned on a daily basis.

 

Do you need to wash that shirt you just wore for 45 minutes for a teleconference call?

 

How about dishes? Assign each member of your family one different colored cup each day so you are only washing one cup, per person, per day. Depending on the size of your family, that could save a half a load of dishes right there.

 

You may not be able to employ all of these tactics, but even implementing one or two can help you get to a place of extending the life of your cleaners, as well as feeling safer during this time of crisis.

 

 

 

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.