#362 Organization vs. Decluttering – What’s the Difference and How Do You Do Both

#362 Organization vs. Decluttering – What’s the Difference and How Do You Do Both

Have you ever tried organizing clutter? Let’s be honest..it is never going to happen because it is not sustainable.

Today Kathi Lipp and frequent guest Tonya Kubo talk about the reality of getting organized not just for a season, but getting organized for life.

Tonya shares with Kathi on how hiring a professional organizer helped her realize two valuable lessons.  “One, I had been asking the wrong questions and two, I was trying to solve the wrong problems.”

What does it look to pare down so that you can store and organize everything you have?

Check out these easy strategies to get you started.

  • Minimize before you organize.
  • Get rid of stuff before you start to organize.
  • You have to learn to organize yourself and develop a system for the stuff you need.

Thanks so much Tonya for joining us today and helping our listeners live the clutter free life they were meant to live.

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Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

How to Have All the Summer Fun Without Losing Your Sanity

How to Have All the Summer Fun Without Losing Your Sanity

It’s that time of year again! Summertime—the carefree days of pool splashing, popsicle eating and sleeping in.

At least for the kids.

Not so much for the parents, right?

Usually moms are the ones washing swimming suits, buying popsicles, and constantly wiping up puddles of water and dried grass from the floors. And what about the piles of sidewalk chalk and sandbox toys that have taken the place of backpacks and school books? It’s enough to make even the most patient mom long for that big yellow bus.

Let’s be honest. Getting the kids outside is a good thing, especially if their natural inclination is to sit around playing video games all day while eating junk food. But encouraging outdoor activity is also a lot more work than handing over the game controls.

With a little planning and prep, you can encourage your kids to go outside and create a system that will ultimately save time and energy for mom.

“Mom, I’m Hungry!”

Fueling up those hard-playing days often takes a lot of snacks. To ward off the question, “What can we eat?” you may want to consider labeled snack bins for both the pantry and the refrigerator. That way, mom-approved snacks will be ready for them to grab (and maybe even eat outside) without a lot of hassle.

When unloading groceries from the car, divvy up the snacks into appropriate bins. You may even want to label these according to house rules. (For example, when I was a kid, we were allowed one can of soda per day.) That way, when they’re hungry, they know what they can grab to eat without the same old “I told you — no more potato chips” argument.

Don’t forget to include some healthy treats for the freezer. I love these frozen ice pops, because you can feed an old favorite to your kids without guilt.

“I’m Bored!”

Fun Stations are bins filled with outdoor activities for kids based on their interests. They can easily be stored in the garage or the back patio. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes and other outdoor favorites can get messy and take up the entire house, if we let it. But a big bin you can grab and set outside enables them to choose which outdoor activities to indulge in without a lot of in and out.

Other Fun Stations that you may want to separate into their own bins (to contain water or sand messes):

Water toys

Sand toys

Balls

Sports activities

And the best part? All of that outdoor fun goes back into the bin for the night, ready for another sunshiny day.

Pro parent tip: periodically replace or add fun items to keep kids interested in their Fun Station bins throughout the summer.

“I can’t find my…”

During the summertime, when kids live at the swimming pool (or play nonstop with water toys in their friends’ backyards), moms can save their sanity by keeping a day’s supply of water gear in a dedicated swimming bag. You could include toiletries, a swimming suit, cover up, sunscreen, water bottle, swim passes, sunglasses, sun hat and beach towel.

If you take your kids hiking often, you can save a lot of time by having a hiking backpack ready to go whenever you are. Include a water bottle, small first aid kit, binoculars, compass, bug spray, and sunscreen. You may even want to include a book for identifying plants or birds. Summer is a break from school, but you never stop learning, right?

“I spilled glitter! And other things you never want to hear your kids say.”

Have you banned glitter from your home? Does the thought of cleaning up one more glue mess make your heart palpitate? (I can’t be the only one!)

Summer is a great time for crafts outdoors. Create a bin with all the messy stuff that makes you sprout gray hairs whenever you see it out on your dining table. If you have a craft area designated outside, your kids can glue, glitter and paint to their heart’s content and all you need to do is supply a smock to protect their clothes. Or they can make gorgeous jewelry out of all of those maddeningly tiny beads and you won’t have to vacuum them out of the carpet.

It’s a win-win! Kids get to create staggering works of art in the great outdoors and mom has minimal mess.

Messy Marvin Strikes Again

Most of us have encountered the trail of soggy towels, goggles, and swimsuits through the house after a day at the pool. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent searching for missing items to (hopefully) load into the washing machine before they stunk of mold.

You can prevent the trail of tears (er…soggy swimming attire) by creating a hanging place for wet towels and suits. Whether it’s a bona fide clothes line in your back yard or some hooks near the entryway of your house, your kids will have a place to hang all the wet things, and you’ll save yourself time by not having to search through the house to find them.

A bin by the door for flip flops and other wet, messy shoes can prevent a lot of floor cleaning too. As a bonus, everyone will be able to get into the car at the appointed time without having to search for something to put on their feet.

Nature Calls

Spending time outside improves kids’ health and their imaginations. Summertime is the perfect opportunity for them to explore, dream and try new adventures. It gives them a chance to focus on what they were created for and seek their Creator.

In her new book, This Outside Life: Finding God in the Heart of Nature, Laurie Otsby Kehler encourages us all to seek connections with our Creator and other people. She says, “Why are we so afraid? Why do we settle for reading about, talking about, but not stepping into our own adventures of faith?” Laurie’s new book is perfect for summer reading. And with a little planning and prep for your kids, you’ll have more time to spend turning pages while sitting by the pool. And who knows? You might even have time for a water war or an outdoor finger-painting session with your little adventurers.

Comment below for the opportunity to win! We will be giving away one Grand Prize Package- A copy of This Outside Life, a Sling Backpack, compact binoculars, and a reusable water bottle. Five Runner Ups will win a copy of This Outside Life.

    

 

Spring Fling Day #5: Organize the Office Area (Or Craft Room)

Spring Fling Day #5: Organize the Office Area (Or Craft Room)

organize the office

Day five of the Spring Fling and it’s time to get crafty … and organize the office area (or your craft room).

Oh, you crafters. I appreciate your talents and gifts deeply. But your natural desire to stash and hoard has made it so you can barely pull out a project and enjoy your creativity.

And those of us with offices. How is it that we can crush the business world by day, but fear a giant pile of papers crashing down on us at night?

It’s time for both groups to reclaim our creative space!

It Gets Better: Organize the Office or Craft Area

While my office is not what I want it to be, I can function in there (and that’s a lot more than I could say ten years ago).

organize the office

My mom, who is an amazing quilter, has taken her decluttering to a new level. She refuses to start a new project until she has completed five she already has. I’m so proud of her and the steps she’s taking to become Clutter Free.

Instructions:                                                                                                               

  • Set up your three boxes/totes and two bags.
  • Start with one area at a time.

For offices and craft rooms, the questions are: “Will I use this?” and “If I want this, where would I look for it?”

Bonus:

Want to stay Clutter Free when it comes to projects? Commit to finishing five current projects before starting anything new.

organize the office

Share Your Fling

After you fling, either tell us about it or share a picture in the comments. Remember, each day (at the end of the Fling) there will be one winner, randomly drawn from the comments, who will receive a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life from Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. So share below and tell us about your fling.

Spring Fling Day #5: Organize the Office Area (Or Craft Room)

Spring Fling Day #5: Organize the Office Area (Or Craft Room)

organize the office

Day five of the Spring Fling and it’s time to get crafty … and organize the office area (or your craft room).

Oh, you crafters. I appreciate your talents and gifts deeply. But your natural desire to stash and hoard has made it so you can barely pull out a project and enjoy your creativity.

And those of us with offices. How is it that we can crush the business world by day, but fear a giant pile of papers crashing down on us at night?

It’s time for both groups to reclaim our creative space!

It Gets Better: Organize the Office or Craft Area

While my office is not what I want it to be, I can function in there (and that’s a lot more than I could say ten years ago).

organize the office

My mom, who is an amazing quilter, has taken her decluttering to a new level. She refuses to start a new project until she has completed five she already has. I’m so proud of her and the steps she’s taking to become Clutter Free.

Instructions:                                                                                                               

  • Set up your three boxes/totes and two bags.
  • Start with one area at a time.

For offices and craft rooms, the questions are: “Will I use this?” and “If I want this, where would I look for it?”

Bonus:

Want to stay Clutter Free when it comes to projects? Commit to finishing five current projects before starting anything new.

organize the office

Share Your Fling

After you fling, either tell us about it or share a picture in the comments. Remember, each day (at the end of the Fling) there will be one winner, randomly drawn from the comments, who will receive a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life from Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. So share below and tell us about your fling.

The Organizing STEM that Helps you Stay Strong

The Organizing STEM that Helps you Stay Strong

Stay StrongWhy do you want to be organized?

As we embark on this quest for simplicity and the purging for The 2014 Things Challenge, it helps to remind ourselves of what our purpose is in each act of organization we have.

The true gift of organization is getting to live the life that you are designed to live. My favorite flower is the orange gerbera daisy. On the gerbera daisy, all the good stuff is at the top—that ridiculously not-of-this-world orange color and the intricate layering of petals that you don’t notice until you get right up close.  In order for that daisy to bloom and bring me all that joy, it has to have a strong stem.

It’s the same with my life. I am created to do a lot of beautiful things—worship my God, love my husband, raise my kids, create a home, work at my job, love on friends, etc. But in order to do beautiful things, I have to have a strong base to support everything I want to do. {click to Tweet}

Each of us has a limited amount of Space, Time, Energy, and Money (STEM) that we need to balance in our life. So for this 2014 Challenge, as well as other areas of our lives, we’re going to make sure that our STEM is strong so that we can stay strong.

Space. Have you created space in your life that allows you to do all that you are supposed to be doing?

Time. Are you wasting time every day in a million little ways? Do you have buffer in your schedule or are you constantly having to compromise because of your lack of time?

Energy. Do you often repeat steps because you aren’t organized?

Money. How much money have you wasted because you’ve bought duplicates of something you can’t find?

By answering these vital questions, we can be on our way to creating a strong stem that will support the challenges and changes for this new year!

We are in this together and it is a struggle for me in different areas at different times. Which area do you feel you struggle with the most, in space, time, energy or money? Also this is your space as well, so tell me what you would like to see in future blog posts about these areas – Saving Money by Organizing? Reclaiming Space in your House. How to Organize when You Have No Energy? I would love to hear!