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

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

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

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

 

 

Ready For Anything

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

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

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

Order your copy of Ready for Anything on HERE today.

Recipes:

Dutch Apple Bread Recipe:

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

Ingredients:

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

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

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

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

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

Check out Imperfect Foods here.

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

#403 Ready for Anything Week 2: Creating Your 3 Day Bug Out Bag and a 5 Minute Plan

#403 Ready for Anything Week 2: Creating Your 3 Day Bug Out Bag and a 5 Minute Plan

Kathi helps her friend and brand new prepper, Tonya Kubo, plan for any crisis. Kathi pulls wise advice from her new book, Ready For Anything: Preparing Your Heart and Home For Any Crisis Big or Small, to help Tonya and you prepare for any emergency that may come your way. Friend, we want you to be prepared, not scared.

Today you will learn:

  • The purpose of having a three day “bug out bag” and how to put it together.
  • What the “five minute plan” is and why you want to include your whole family in it.

Ready For Anything

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

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

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

Pre-order your copy of Ready For Anything here.

Pre-Order Bonuses Include

   

  • A two-week meal plan, including shopping lists, freezer inventory and pantry inventory.
  • Five-day Homeschool Curriculum.
  • Our two-week course “Kickstart to Clutter Free.”
  • AND a curated set of sample chapters from the book, so that you can get started right now.

Links

Learn more about Ready For Anything and all of the fun pre-order bonuses!

Want to know what’s included in her bug out bag? Click here to download the list.

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

Read along with the Podcast!

 

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #403

 

Ready for Anything – Part TWO

 

<<intro music>>

 

Kathi – Well hey, friends. Welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. Here we are in the midst of our series, talking about how to be prepared for any crisis, big or small. We’re talking Ready for Anything and I am here with my new prepper friend, Tonya Kubo. Did we talk, in the last episode, about the care package you’re receiving?

 

Tonya – We did not.

 

Kathi – Well, I think you need to tell people about the care package. Somebody deeply loves you and this is what they’re sending you. 

 

Tonya – I don’t know if you want to call me The Baby Prepper or the Novice Prepper, but I have someone who loves me so much, that lives in a different state, and understands what’s going on in our world right now. I’ve been to a grocery store, when it opens, every single day this week, and cannot find toilet paper for sale; cannot get shampoo and conditioner. So, I am receiving, from what it looks like in the picture, about 12 rolls of toilet paper, two rolls of paper towels, a box of Kleenex, a box of dryer sheets and a box of laundry detergent.

 

Kathi – Ooh, that’s so good. So good. How grateful are you that there are people in the world? I call it philateliphobia. So, philatelic is postage stamps. There are a lot of people that are scared of going to the post office. That’s not their thing. Your friend does not have those restrictions in her area yet. She’s able to go.

 

Tonya – This is love.  She made this offer Monday night, and I was, “No. We’ll be fine.” Then, yesterday, she was, “Okay, be honest.” And I’m like, “Yes. I do need toilet paper, because apparently everyone in my town has lost their mind and I can’t find it.” Then she was like, “Since I’m mailing you something anyway, what else can I put in there?” And it truly is a gift. We talk about being ready for anything, and I know we’re going to talk about that in the episode, but this is not a reality that I ever would have imagined, even if I was the prepper of my dreams.

 

Kathi – Right! I wrote an entire book, where I don’t believe I mentioned a pandemic. That was not on my mind. Here’s the thing. The ideas in the book, the crux of the book, the theory of the book applies to any emergency. Each emergency is going to have a different ‘living it out’ situation. So, in the last episode, we talked about being prepped 3-2-3. So, the first 3 is Three Days, if you had to leave your house. The thing is, this is real life for me. We live in the mountains where, at any point, if we know there’s a snowstorm coming, we can either choose to hunker down for two weeks until the snow melts, hopefully. Right now, our generator is running like crazy. It costs us $100 a day to run our generator. Nobody’s living there, right now. So, it’s interesting, all these things we have to balance. You might have to leave your house because of a fire. You might have to leave your house because of a tornado. One of your kids might get sick, and immediately, you have to go meet them somewhere. There are million different reasons that you might have to leave your house for three days, one day, longer, but if you have a Three Day Bag to get out, you will be better prepared. So, I want to talk through what’s in that Three Day Bag, then I want to talk about another aspect of this called The Five Minute Plan. So, first of all, I want to talk about the Three Day Bag. So, this is really, “What do you need – REALLY – to live for three days away from your house?” So, certain things like water. A gallon a day per person. So, having that available. Food. Non-perishable and easy to prepare. So, I’m thinking food packets and things like that. Other things that should either be in your car, or readily available, so like a flashlight. A hand crank radio. People thought I was crazy for suggesting these thing until we got into what’s going on in the world right now. Now I seem a lot less crazy. My crazy factor has gone down, for some reason.

 

Tonya – My crazy factor has gone up. People used to think I was so practical. I don’t feel very practical right now, when somebody has to mail me toilet paper from out of state.

 

Kathi – Like we said. Who could have known? I have more toilet paper than your average bear, but let’s be clear: I haven’t bought toilet paper since this started. I think I bought one package, because we’re at my mom’s house and we’re not at home, but here’s the deal. I had plenty, because I had stocked up before. Now, when I tell people to stock up, I bet more people will listen to me. This is not to gloat or to brag, it’s so I can share. I want to be able to share with other people.

 

Tonya – I know, Kathi, we’re detailing what’s in the Three Day Bugout Bag, but I do feel like the words ‘stock up’ can be so relative. So, just in this context, when you say ‘Stock up on toilet paper.” What’s reasonable? Is it a roll/person/day or is it a roll/person/week?

 

Kathi – I would feel that, Roger and I are probably close to a roll or a roll and a half per week. To me, that feels reasonable. But you know what? Your needs may vary depending on diet, exercise, where you’re at, your age. Who knows?

 

Tonya – It was very eloquent, how you framed that.

 

Kathi – It’s interesting. I want people to be prepared. I want you to be prepared before the disaster hits, so you’re just doing a few little things to get you through, instead of having to buy from scratch. That’s so important.

 

Tonya – That’s so good.

 

Kathi – Okay, so we have this whole list that I want to share with you guys, about what you would need in your Bugout Bag. Here’s the principle behind it, guys. I want you to have one bag for every member of your family. So, that means, Roger and Kathi have four bags. We have Roger. We have Kathi. We have Ashley, the cat, and we have Moose the boxachi. So, that means we have food for each of them. We have a bow for each of them. Now, the Red Cross says you should have a gallon of water per human or animal. I agree, we should have a gallon of water per human, but my animals are not big. Moose can get lost very easily in our house. She’s barely ten pounds. So, we don’t quite need a gallon of water for her, every day, ‘cause she’s not going to be bathing or anything like that. So, figure that out and be smart. The thing is, you don’t know if you’re going to have to be away from your house for a day. Tonya, you and I know somebody that had to be evacuated and is going to be away from their house for six months. I can’t even imagine. They’re living internationally. So, thinking through your particular scenario and what would I need? So, we’re going to offer this list to each and every one of you. The other thing I would say is, I would love for you to have a bag where you put a list in the bag of items that you need to grab. So, these are things that you wouldn’t have set aside, like an emergency kit. Stuff like your passport, cash, your wallet, your cellphone and charger, maybe even your laptop and charger. Just a list that you’re not going to have to decide in the moment. You know my story from when our house was on fire. We were the people where, somebody was yelling, “Fire! Fire! Fire!” Roger and I were working from home. We run outside, barefoot, both of us, the only thing we have besides the clothes on our back is our dog Jake and my cell phone. We’re standing out there, on the grass, watching two doors down – ‘cause we live in townhouses, or we did until a week ago – and our neighbor’s townhouse is on fire. Our next door neighbor is getting the smoke and the water damage and all of that. It’s creeping over to our house. So, we get out, and we’re so grateful, but here was the problem. It was the first day of college, and we didn’t know Jeremy’s schedule, so I look at Roger, and was like, “Jeremy didn’t come home from school, did he?” He goes, “No, we would have heard him.” And just as he was saying “…heard him…” Roger ran back into the house and about 30-seconds later, here comes Roger running out of the house with Jeremy close behind him. Roger would like it noted, for posterity, that he ran into a burning building to get his child. Not even knowing if he was there. It’s pretty hard to get around the fact that we left our child in a burning building, but grabbed the dog. That’s not a good scenario, so now we know, if we’re leaving a burning building, check to see that all the humans are coming with us. We overestimate our ability to make decisions in an emergency. That’s why we want to be ready for anything. We want to be able to ask those kinds of things. So, Tonya, what’s the most likely scenario where you’d have to leave your house, do you think?

 

Tonya – I think, in our neighborhood that we live in, it would actually be a windstorm, knocking down trees. It’s an old neighborhood. Lots of trees close together. It’s actually happened, where trees just start toppling into each other and on to homes. So, of course, when I talk about the disaster preparedness of my brain is not the disaster preparedness of my reality, because I have been in that place of, “If we had to evacuate, it would be because our structure was in danger. Could we get to our car? Could we get off the street in time?” But that’s where we were last year. We had to spend a lot of money cutting back our trees because that happened in our neighborhood, and we woke up one morning to loud crashes. Some people had half a house.

 

Kathi – We had that happen, not just where we lived in San Jose, but also where I grew up. It was a disaster. For us, it’s fire. We live in the mountains and the forest, and it’s fire. So, we need to be ready for anything at any point. So, that’s one of the concepts. So, on the podcast page, we’re going to have the list of everything that should be in your Bugout Bag. I want you to start preparing this now. I know the book is coming out later, but I need my friends, I need my people to know what they need to have set aside, so they are not in a panic. So, I want to give you this list so everybody can have it.

 

Tonya – I think that’s beautiful, Kathi. The other thing is, here’s our new mantra, and I’m just going to declare it. “We’re going to be prepared, not scared.”

 

Kathi – Amen, sister.

 

Tonya – I think that, I know for a fact that there is a lot of hesitance against preparation, or against preparation conversations, ‘cause we don’t want to think about it. We don’t want to face how unprepared we are, but some of us are living that lack of preparation, not to name any names, but I think it starts with a ‘T’. I’ve read the book, and I love that it’s not shaming. You’ve been so kind to me through this whole thing. You would have mailed me toilet paper.

 

Kathi – I would have, yes.

 

Tonya – I think the idea of just having a bag. You know what I think, it’s no difference than raising kids and having a diaper bag. When you’ve got babies, I’m fairly certain there were times when I had five days’ worth of stuff, because we went through five days’ worth of stuff in one trip to the grocery store.

 

Kathi – Right! Absolutely. I get that. Here’s the thing. First of all, there’s no reason to shame anybody for not being on the same level of being prepared. Two years ago, I would not have been this prepared. Let’s just be super-clear. But here’s the other part of it: even if you’re 1% more prepared today than you were yesterday, that’s going to give you such an advantage in a crisis. That’s what I want for each person listening here. The other thing that goes along with getting out of the house really quickly, is this concept of The Five Minute Plan. Let me tell you what I mean by that. So, I want to know, in an emergency, in a crisis, in a disaster, what are you going to do for the first five minutes? So, the most likely crisis that any of us are going to confront, I think, is, someone in our family is going to lose their job. Let’s be clear. That’s not fun. It’s a scary time. I think I’ve told you, Tonya, I have a history of the major bread winner in our family, losing their job. My dad was chronically unemployed. My first husband lost his job a couple of times. I’ve got this very tender spot in my heart. Now, I am married to the most…

 

Tonya – Stable Steady Eddie.

 

Kathi – Exactly. He’s been at the same job for over thirty years. Who does that? In Silicon Valley, who does that? Still, we’ve had the discussion, if he comes home and has to tell me that he’s lost his job, what is our Five Minute Plan? So, we’ve got a three part Five Minute Plan. So the first thing we’re going to do is, we’re going to pray together. We want to get our hearts right. Number two: Roger is going to spend those first five minutes of starting the process of liquidating some of emergency funds for the next couple of months. So, how do we do that? Start gathering things up. Me? I’m going to start cancelling everything I can cancel. If it is not essential to our survival, it’s being cancelled. Here’s what I’m really going to encourage you guys to do. Think through what is your most likely scenario. Is it an earthquake? Is it job loss? Is it fire? Then say, “What is our Five Minute Plan?” Tonya, I really want to encourage you, who has two small kids, a couple of whom we can hear right now. Hey! This is live. This is podcasting. This is what we’re doing.

 

Tonya – This is real life right now.

 

Kathi – It’s life. We’re all cohabitating with our coworkers. So, I want you to think through, if there is a crisis in your house, not only what are Brian and Tonya’s first five minutes, but I want to hear what Lily and Abbie’s first five minutes are like. What can they do? Could Lily count up the change in the jug that you throw all the change into, so you know exactly how much that is? Could Abbie put on a show or music that everybody in the family likes so you can all calm down? Could Lily make a snack for everybody? Even if it’s just cheese and crackers. So, that there’s rations. Every kid needs a job. Everybody in the house needs a job in that circumstance.

 

Tonya – You know what I like about that, Kathi? Everybody gets a job. On one hand, it alleviates the pressure from our listener. I don’t know about anybody else, but I have a tendency to feel like it’s all on me. That can be so overwhelming that I don’t know what the next step is. So, first of all, it does that, but second, I do believe, and I’m seeing this first hand, when people have a job to do that’s all theirs, it really does help them manage the stress of the situation. So, in our house, for instance, one of the conversations that has occurred this week is, we have to get all of our laundry caught up. If all the laundry is caught up, we have a better sense of what we have for clothing. Do we have two pairs of pants that fit the five year old? Or does she have five pairs of pants that fit? So in a scenario you described, like job loss, the pantry and freezer inventory is huge. That’s one of the preorder bonus for Ready for Anything. Being able to have it all in one spot. Here’s what’s in my pantry. Here’s what’s in my freezer. Here’s the two week meal plan. Here are recipes that work with that. Being able to hand your ten year old or 13 year old a list and just say, “Hey, can you check off all the ingredients we have and circle what we don’t have?” Huge.

 

Kathi – And when you are purposeful and not panicking. I don’t want to guilt anyone for being panicky. We’ve got people in our lives right now, who are scared. They are just scared. I get it. I just get it. We’re not in that position, but we don’t have huge health compromises. We don’t have huge issues going on with us. We’ve got friends who do. I’m not saying be stoic for your kids, but pull together and see what progress you can make together. Giving your kids a plan gives you an opportunity to be able to say, “You know what? We’re moving forward. We’re moving forward together. It’s going to be okay.” So, Tonya, can you just mention those preorder bonuses again? Here’s what Zondervan has done. They have pulled up the release of the eBook by almost two months. The print book they could only do by two weeks, but we just wanted to be able to get this into everybody’s hands. We’re going to do more preorder bonuses than we’ve ever done in our life, for any book before. Can you tell people what those are? We want this book to practically be free for you. With the give aways, it is.

 

Tonya – We should get an address for Zondervan, ‘cause our listeners should all send Zondervan thank yous. ‘Cause we had this idea, but both of us didn’t think it was possible to pull up the publication date. The fact that they made it happen is just huge. People should know, we don’t always record all of our podcast episodes on the same day, so things do change. So, first and foremost, you are going to get everything we mentioned in the last episode and. So, we’ve already told people that they are going to get a two-week meal plan. Shopping lists. Freezer inventory. Pantry inventory. We also talked about the 5-day Homeschool Curriculum. That could just be five days of different activities for your family. It doesn’t have to be for the homeschooling mom. It really is applicable to anybody who has kids in their life. Honestly? I learned a thing or two. So, it could be cool if you don’t have kids in your life. But on top of that, I want to make sure I don’t forget, we’re offering everybody our two week eCourse Kickstart to Clutter Free. Here’s why this matters. Kathi, we don’t live in the same location, so you can’t throw anything at me, but I know that you would support this decision. We sell that, and it sells quite frequently. It sells for $49. It’s a combination of video and some instruction on just getting that daily habit of getting clutter free, but with so many people feeling cooped up in their houses right now and not sure what to do? I think it is almost a diversion. We could almost call it entertainment. So, here’s the other thing we’re doing. They’re going to preorder the book, Ready for Anything, and they are going to get all of this immediately. They don’t have to wait. We’re going to put all of that into your hands immediately. On top of that, already it’s over a $100 value, but on top of all that, we’re going to give you a curated set of sample chapters from the book, so that can get started right now. You don’t have to wait for the book to come out. You don’t have to wait to receive it. You’ve got what you need and you can just get moving.

 

Kathi – I love it so much. Here’s the other thing, too, guys. We want you to go to the podcast page, ‘cause we’re going to give you the download Bugout Bag Three Day Inventory. Most of this you’re going to be able to create with stuff you already have in your house. Go see. Our preorder bonuses are there and click the link to preorder the book. We want to give you all the things. We really do. Tonya, thanks so much for being on with me during this crazy time. Thanks to Lily and Abbie for being so cool while we’re doing it. We’re so grateful.

 

Tonya – They try.

 

Kathi – I know. They are just so done with Mom having to do work. Shouldn’t you be baking all the time?

 

Tonya – They want to bake and Abbie wants to play LOL Dolls.

 

Kathi – Oh, very cool. LOL Surprise Dolls. I’ve heard all about them.

 

Tonya – The one you sent them is their favorite right now.

 

Kathi – Shut up! Oh, I feel very cool and very popular. I didn’t even really know what I was sending, so I was like, “Okay, if this makes them happy, I’m going to do it!” Friends, thank you for joining us. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

 

 

<music>>

 

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

 

402 Ready for Anything Week 1: What is 3-2-3 and How do I Get Started?

402 Ready for Anything Week 1: What is 3-2-3 and How do I Get Started?

Friend and new prepper, Tonya Kubo and Kathi Lipp talk about her new book releasing soon, Ready For Anything, Preparing Your Heart and Home for Crisis Big and Small. There’s no shame in not being prepared. Kathi and Tonya are here to help you be prepared for any crisis, even a shortage at the grocery store.

Dear friend, don’t panic! Today you will learn what you need to do today to get prepared for the current circumstances.

How do you get started in the middle of the crisis? There’s still things we can do. Today you’ll learn the basics of being prepared, Kathi calls them the 3-2-3.

  • 3 day “bug out bag,” when crisis hits and you have to leave your home.
  • 2 weeks staying prepared with home, food, water, power.
  • 3 months of expenses, an emergency fund.

Ready For Anything

Pre-order Ready For Anything today here and take advantage of all the amazing pre-order bonuses!

Links

Learn more about Ready For Anything here.

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

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

Transcript

#401 Comparison Caused Clutter in My Home with Wendy Pope

#401 Comparison Caused Clutter in My Home with Wendy Pope

Do you ever feel the sting of comparison? Today, you will hear how comparison gets us to a place of clutter.

And friend, you are not alone! Wendy Pope, the author of the brand-new book, “Hidden Potential: Revealing What God Can Do Through You” talks about how comparison caused clutter in her home. She shares her struggles with comparison and the other effects it had in her family.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How comparison can lead us to clutter.
  • What God says about who we are.
  • The way to true acceptance of who we are.

Clutter-Free Home

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

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

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

Links and Mentions

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

Hidden Potential: Revealing What God Can Do Through You by Wendy Pope

Wendy Pope

Cheri Gregory

Book Giveaway!

We are giving two of Wendy’s book, “Hidden Potential: Revealing What God Can Do Through You.”

Tell us; how have you struggled with comparison now or in the past, and how has it contributed to your clutter. Leave your answer in the comments below to be eligible to win!

We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

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

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest

Wendy Pope

Wendy Pope

I am Wendy Barnette Pope. In 1991, I married the man of my dreams, Scott. Together, with the Lord’s help, we are raising two amazing children.

I am a woman who loves home, work, and ministry however many times falls short of finding a happy balance. The Lord blessed me through the early years of motherhood to be at home with my children and then later called me into ministry. My life, as chaotic as it might get sometimes, is fulfillment of scripture. The Lord has truly blessed me far more than I could have dreamed or imagined. There are days I feel the need to pinch myself, not because I have material wealth or success as defined by the world but because God, the Creator of heaven and earth allows me to be an active part of His story. It is the passion of my life to live Christ out loud in everything I say and do. He is so good and so faithful to His creation that I simply must proclaim His greatness.

I am honored by your visit. I trust as you visit this site you will be encouraged in the Lord. I love being part of the sisterhood of Christ. Being sisters in Christ means that even though we may not know each other personally, our hearts are joined together. We can share our joys and trials with each other with an understanding that the other knows exactly how the other feels. Isn’t God cool to make us like this?

Please leave a comment to let me know of your visit, especially if I have met you at a conference I taught.

I pray you become passionately involved in God’s story. He has a role perfect for you.

Find out more about Wendy HERE. 

400 Gutting Your Office with Cheri Gregory Part 2

400 Gutting Your Office with Cheri Gregory Part 2

Kathi chats with Cheri Gregory, coauthor of Overwhelmed, and co-partner on every good caper, about how gutting your office space clears the way for your important work. Cheri shares her motivations and methods for clearing out the old and making way for the new.

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

  • The primary reason to dig in and get it done.
  • How to overcome the overwhelm when you are deciding what to keep and what to toss.
  • The process for removing or recycling.
  • A couple of handy tools to help keep you motivated.

Clutter-Free Home

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

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

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

Links

Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

Writing at the Red House

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Home Depot, hardboard for a flat writing surface.

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Meet Our Guest

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.” Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard and Overwhelmed. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years, and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities. Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

Transcript

Read along with the Podcast!

 

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #400

 

Gutting Your Office – Part Two

 

 

<<intro music>>

 

 

Kathi – Well, hey friends! Welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. I’ve invited back to the program, Cheri Gregory, my coauthor of Overwhelmed, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, just every good caper I’ve been a part of, Cheri has been a part of it. Cheri, we were talking last week, about your office. Your office was out of control.

 

Cheri – Totally.

 

Kathi – I’m not a big believer in closing the windows, locking the door, ‘We’re not emerging from this space until it’s spic and span’, but just recap for us, why you needed to gut your office.

 

Cheri – Well, I’m in the midst of a book that I’m on a hard deadline for, and I had several boxes, big stacks of research and notes and things I might be able to use for the book. One day I was just going to go through them, and it started taking longer and longer, and as I was doing that, I looked around and suddenly realized that I had massive amounts of stuff in the office that were equally unusable.  I was either going to spend the rest of the year going backwards in time to figure out what they were, and how I might use them, or I could get rid of the majority of it, and move forward and live my life. The office had got to the point where I had been using pop up tables to hold more and more stacks of stuff, and I wasn’t using my office. I was actually working on the couch. Can I just say that laying back on a couch is not productive place or position to get work done?

 

Kathi – The only time I could ever do that is if I’m just free writing or watching massive amounts of Netflix. Otherwise, not so much.

 

Cheri – So, it needed to be done. And let’s be clear. I don’t have small children at home. It was Christmas vacation and nobody was relying on me for carpooling, food, anything. It was the perfect window of opportunity, and it was a great way for me to end 2019. There was something very symbolic about getting rid of the leftovers of the decade, to be honest.

 

Kathi – Let’s be honest, though. Let me ask. Were you gutting your office to avoid working on this big project?

 

Cheri – There definitely was a percentage where that was true, and I had to be okay with that. I had been avoiding cleaning it to make it useable. I was like, “No! That’s playing office! No! That’s procrastination.” So, my motives were absolutely mixed, but I’ve been reading a great book, which I know you’ve read and recommended, and I didn’t get on the bandwagon early enough. It’s called Atomic Habits and he said, “Too often we try to start habits in high friction environments.” He’s talking about practicing Environment Design.

 

Kathi – Yes. I love that book.

 

Cheri – “We try to follow a strict diet while we’re out to dinner with friends. We try to write a book in a chaotic household.” I was like, “I’m trying to write a book in a chaotic office, and it’s not going to work.” So, what he ends up saying, here, is, “Whenever you organize a space for its intended purpose, you’re priming it to make the next action easy.”  You can see in the margin of my book, it says, “Do this in my office.”

 

Kathi – So, you’re optimizing the environment to make the next action easy. I love that. So, by the way, you get the stamp of approval for gutting your office from the Clutter Free Lady. Okay, now, I want to know, and my audience wants to know. How did you do it? How did you go in there and make the hard decisions? Was it getting rid of stuff? Or was it organizing it?

Cheri – First of all, there was a ton of it that had to go, but last week, I told you the weird obstacle that I figured out, as to why I used to carry all my stuff out to the kitchen table to work, is that the kitchen table has a flat surface to it. I do a lot of work on my computer, but I do a lot of jotting down, Post-It notes and stuff like that. Realizing that I had that five foot table with that textured surface, and it’s not a comfortable surface to write on. The writing I end up doing is hard to read and it just feels strange to me. So, I literally went to Staples to buy a brand new table with a flat surface. Turned out that all the tables they had had that squiggly surface. So, long story short, I ended up at Home Depot looking for, and finding lightweight, thin board with a very flat surface. It’s called hardboard. Not cardboard, but hardboard. It cost $12.99 which was way cheaper than the table I was going to buy. They cut it, I put it on the table, but of course, to put it on the table, I had to take everything off. So then, I only put back on the table, the very few things I needed, leaving myself a huge working space. Then, my goal was to get rid of the other pop up tables. So, you know, my system tends to be, with any kind of project, even if it’s planning Thanksgiving dinner, or whatever. It starts as a piece of paper. It becomes a clipboard. Then it becomes a binder. But the problem is, being a person that loves starting projects, I don’t always love finishing them. So, they might become a binder, or a series of binders, or a two inch binder. I’ve realized that I have to start, quarterly, going through everything and going, “Which projects here got started, but are just never going to get finished?” And now I need to undo the binder and get rid of the contents, or shift the contents. I made this big old binder with, I don’t know, 21 Lessons for an e-course, then realized, “Nah, I’m never going to do that.” So, I just took the things that were good and put them into my blogging binder. Well, that still got rid of a ton of stuff. It was a lot of elimination. There was so much paper, because my fear factor, when I’m doing a book, or any kind of project, where I’m waiting for the deadline to pass, I’m constantly printing out versions of it, so that if the entire world crashes, the internet crashes, I still have the last known printed pages. Well, once the book has been on the market? There’s no need to keep the drafts. So, I did a lot of recycling.

 

Kathi – Here’s what I’m beginning to realize, after working with you and Michele. You guys are probably much more tactile than I am. I always thought that I needed to see all the things, but really the question I have now is, “Is there any reason for this to be off my computer?” That’s what I have to do. I’m in a weird situation. I live in two different houses. Trying to cart stuff back and forth is just not going to work. So, sometimes there are things I have to have off my computer. I know that Michele uses a paper planner. What do you use?

 

Cheri – I use my Google Calendar.

 

Kathi – Yeah. Everything for me has to be in my laptop. It has to be backed up all the time. So, one of the questions you can ask yourself is, “What needs to live off my computer?” You may need to be the binder person, and that’s okay. Just know that. Just know what kind of person you are. Don’t go and create binders, because you want to have real projects. Okay, so let’s talk more. So, you started to create the environment you wanted. You go the tables out. How did you start making decisions about getting rid of stuff?

 

Cheri – Remind me what are the three questions about Clutter Free?

 

Kathi – Do I love it? Do I use it? Would I buy it again?

 

Cheri – Okay, so in this case, I had quite a few things I had printed out, free on the internet. “Surely I’ll need this when the time comes to do this.” Well, if I had loved it, I would have done something with it by now. I’m blowing an inch of dust off the tops of some of these things. Do I use it? Obviously no. Would I print this out again? Would I make this binder again, knowing what I now know? No.

 

Kathi – I think, oftentimes, when we’re going through stuff like that, if it sparks excitement for you? Like, “Oh! This is exactly what I need!” then you get to keep it.

 

Cheri – Most of it sparked dread. Like, “Oh, no! I haven’t got to that yet!” And at that point, it was like, “Yeah, and I’m not going to.” Thunk.

 

Kathi – Right. Okay. And see? Paying attention to our bodies. Paying attention to our emotions and what comes to the surface is really good.

 

Cheri – Here’s something else. I found a few of the things that I thought I was looking for, that I thought were going to be the magic thing that I need to make the current book work. I would find them and go, “Oh. It’s not doing for me what I was thinking it would.” And what that did, was it really gave me faith that, “I probably don’t need anything.” I’ve got a few writing coaches, Susy Flory and Ginny Yttrup, who have both told me, “Cheri, you have everything you need. Trust yourself.” I know that ‘trust yourself’ really means ‘Trust what God has already put in you.” Let’s be clear. I really don’t trust myself, but I was still trying to do that one last hunt for that one key thing that was somehow going to make all this easy. What it made me realize was, “No. I’ve got enough. I’ve got what I need and there is no magic other than doing the hard work, now.”

 

Kathi – It’s so interesting. So often, we’re looking for the new tool. The new idea. The new thing at Michael’s. The new thing from Costco to make life that much easier.

 

Cheri – The secret ingredient.

 

Kathi – Right. And we already have everything we need. Every once in a while, there’s something new that comes along and revolutionizes everything, thank you Instant Pot, but you gave away your Instant Pot.

 

Cheri – If you ask me if you should get an Instant Pot, I will say, “Only if you need a really big doorstop.”

 

Kathi – Okay, and I love my Instant Pot.

 

Cheri – Because you use it. I never use mine. Absolutely. Let’s be clear. I did find a few things that I was, like, “Oh, yeah. This could be kind of cool.” But I found nothing that was going to be that final puzzle piece. I think that’s what I was looking for. I was looking for that one missing puzzle piece. As if my book in progress is a finished puzzle that is missing just one piece. The other thing I know, and I can tell you this right now, because it’s now been more than a week, that is, once everything got into that dumpster and the recycling truck came and took it away? Talking to you right now? I can’t think of anything that was recycled. I think we are always afraid of the regrets. Or the regret of the one thing we could have used. Part of doing this is predeciding, “I will have no regrets.” And if I think of something, or I remember something, I will remind myself that clinging to that regret or memory is, once again, not trusting that God is in control of all of this, and will bring back. Sometimes, it’s “Will I remember what I need to remember?” Especially since I do have Alzheimer’s on both sides of my family. That has an extra panic level to the fear. It’s not just fear, it’s true panic. It’s another opportunity to trust that if there’s something I need to remember. Something that really needs to be said, or put in a book, or whatever, the Holy Spirit’s going to bring that back. It’s not all up to me.

 

Kathi – How did you actually get it out of the house? Did you have garbage bags? What was you process for actually getting it out?

 

Cheri – I used paper grocery bags, because those you can’t overfill. So much of what I was getting rid of was, in fact, paper that needed to go into our recycling bin. So, I would make it my goal to fill one up to the point where I could carry it without hurting myself, and then I took it out and put it in the recycling bin.

 

Kathi – Did you pile up a bunch of bags? Or, when a bag filled up, you took it out?

 

Cheri – Oh, one by one. Oh, yeah. For me, that was a reward. To take it out and hear it go ‘thunk!’, then slam the lid down.

 

Kathi – Yes! It’s a good feeling, isn’t it? It’s an amazing feeling. Okay, what did you do with the stuff like, the coffee mug? Or the things that, “Maybe I would use those.” Maybe there would be some value.

 

Cheri – I filled up the trunk and back of my car, and I drove to the Goodwill with some lovely things that I hope somebody else really enjoys.

 

Kathi – Okay. Did you have guilt about that? Did you have shame?

 

Cheri – No. I’ve done that so many times. The first time I did it, when we were early working together, that was much harder. Especially after all the disasters we’ve had in California; all the fires we’ve had. Knowing, for certain, that there are people in need, and when things sit in my office or house not being used, that’s not stewardship. So, I’m being a slave to that. It’s part of that shrine mentality. I just trust that somebody else is going to use it. And should I end up short a coffee mug? I’m pretty sure somebody’s going to give me another one someday.

 

Kathi – Well, you’re a teacher. It’s required, by law, to give you coffee mugs.

 

Cheri – Hopefully they’ll put Godiva chocolate in it, when they do.

 

Kathi – I love it.

 

Cheri – Or Ghirardelli. It has to begin with G.

 

Kathi – Okay. ‘Cause: Gregory. I love it. Okay, did you organize in the midst of decluttering? Or did you declutter and then organize?

 

Cheri – That’s a great question. What I was constantly looking for was, “What is my actual work flow?” That’s going to be different for everybody. That determined what was on that large five foot table of mine. I have a little thing that holds binders and I have a certain number. There are the projects that I’m currently working on. There was a Red House binder, ‘cause I’m here this week, then there’s an Overwhelmed Retreat binder, ‘cause after here, I’m going to be speaking at a women’s retreat. It’s on my calendar to dismantle those binders, and store the contents, when I get home. That’s the one thing I wasn’t doing, giving myself time every quarter to bring things to a real end. So, now, when I’m sitting at my table, I have this rolling cart that has all my office supplies I could possibly need. I’ve got a place for my computer. I’ve got it on a stand, so my neck is in a good position when I’m using it. I have a large amount of free working space, and then I’ve got those binders right there. Everything else is on bookshelves.

 

Kathi – One thing I’m going to ask you to do, I’m going to totally put you on the spot.

 

Cheri – I will take pictures.

 

Kathi – I’d love for you to take pictures, but I also want a content list of what’s in your rolling cart.

 

Cheri – Oh, sure! I can do that.

 

Kathi – I think that would be really interesting to say, “What do you actually need when you’re sitting there doing that.” So, there was mostly decluttering and some organizing. Sometimes you need to organize a little bit to make decisions.

 

Cheri – I would organize and let it sit there while I was doing some other decluttering, and then I’m like, “No. It’s not going to work that way.” I did go on Amazon and look for several things. I looked for a riser for my laptop. I’m like, “They want twenty five dollars for that?!” So, I’m literally using a Sterilite shoe box. That’s what I put it on. I’m not going to pay twenty five dollars! Now, if I use it this way for the next 3-6 months and it’s really working for me? Then I might consider investing in something a little more permanent and classy looking, but I could tell that was playing office. That was going to be trying to buy in order to become, and I’m like, “No. I can figure out a hack that’ll get me working on this book, rather than spending more money and discovering, “Ah, it’s not quite the right thing, but I don’t have the time to return it.”

 

Kathi – So, figuring out what you need for the interim and figuring out what you need to invest in. Those are the two different things. Cheri, this has been so good. How’s your office now?

 

Cheri – You know, it’s so empty looking. I forgot what a wonderful feeling that is. I forgot how much the creativity is able to flow when there’s more space. My life verse is Psalm 18:19 and the verse before it says, “He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because he delighted in me.” One of the things that I forget, but keep coming back to is, “I am afraid of spacious places.” To me, they feel empty. I’m terrified of emptiness, so I cram and overfill. But spaciousness can also be so incredibly freeing. It means open. It means there’s room. It’s restful. So, when I look at it now, I think, “Oh my goodness. How did I cram so much stuff into it?” Now there’s so much more room to breathe and move and get done what needs to be done.

 

Kathi – I love it. Thank you for sharing your gutting experience. Guys, you know what? You may need to do this. You may need to hunker down for a day, a half a day, whatever it’s going to take, but do it because there’s a purpose there. Not just because the room is driving you crazy, but because you need it to function. Create the space that you need. Then, get right back on to the Clutter Free Program so that you can keep it up. Here’s what I know. When you gut, you say, “Oh, I worked so hard on that, I’m not going to have to touch it again for six months.” You’re going to get right back to where you were. Cheri, thank so much for being on Clutter Free Academy.

 

Cheri – Thanks so much for having me back.

 

Kathi – Friends, thank you for being here. You have been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

 

 

<<music>>

 

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