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

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

In this episode, youll learn tips and tricks to create a clutter-free home. Dont panic, friend, we break it down in easy, actionable steps. Youve got this!

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

Clutter-Free Home

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

In The Clutter-Free Home, youll 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 youve always dreamed of, and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

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


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Meet OurGuest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi LippsClutter 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 atwww.tonyakubo.comorwww.GreatMoms.org. Tonya Kubo is theOnline Engagement Director at the University of California Merced, as well as the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi LippsClutter-Free Academy Facebook group.


Read along with the podcast!

Clutter Free Academy Podcast #394

Clutter Free Home Declutter


Kathi Well, hey friends! Welcome to Clutter Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. My name is Kathi Lipp. Im the author of Clutter Free and here with me is the founder of Clutter Free Academy on Facebook, it is Tonya Kubo. Hey, Tonya!

Tonya Hey, Kathi!

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

Tonya What?!

Kathi I know. Im super excited. So, weve got our launch team. If you havent gone over there, lets make sure youve got all the information for that. Today, were talking about the third step in the book. Its been really fun to test this out with our Clutter Free for Life. I call them Guinea Pigs, you called them Early Adopters. So theyve been doing this for over a year and making such huge progress. Its been super fun to watch. We want to talk about our decluttering system for The Clutter Free Home.

Tonya Sigh. Its so fitting for Clutter Free Academy to talk about decluttering.

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

Tonya Yep!

Kathi So, thats the basis of everything weve ever done in Clutter Free. Would you talk through what you do in those fifteen minutes? Cause youve been doing this for five years.

Tonya Yeah, so I think the first thing I do is decide what Im going to do. Because its fifteen minutes Ill use my bedroom as an example cause I love to use my bedroom as an example fifteen minutes is enough time to tackle one drawer in my dresser or my closet.

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

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

Kathi Cause weve done that before.

Tonya And it never ended well.

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

Tonya I spend more time in my bedroom. We only have a two bedroom house, so the bedrooms get a lot of use. But more time in mine, because I need to sleep well. I dont sleep well when Im overwhelmed with stuff in my room.

Kathi Yeah. If youre afraid youre going to trip and die in the middle of the night, its not a good way to live. It just isnt. Okay, so youre going to pick one bedroom. Its not like youre doing fifteen minutes in each bedroom. Youre just trying to declutter and get the stuff out of there. Okay, Thursday is bathrooms. So, it depends. Is it your master bathroom? Your half bathroom downstairs? The kids bathroom? Whatever it is. This is not cleaning time. This is decluttering time. This is getting stuff out of your space. Then, Friday is office area. Even if your office area is your kitchen. Wherever you do your office. Wherever you do your paperwork. That needs to be decluttered on the regular. In San Jose, our office area is, really, the third bedroom, where Roger works. I have an office too, but for our household, bills and mail and things like that, thats the third bedroom. Here at The Red House, Roger has an office upstairs, but we have a closet that has all of our paperwork. All that kind of stuff. So, thats where I spend my fifteen minutes. Its just more detailed. Its more detailed to do it in there. Okay, and Saturday is extra. So this could be your garage, your basement, your attic. If you have a storage unit, I would suggest you go over there and spend your fifteen minutes cleaning it out, doing what you need to do. Sundays you get off. Now, if your work schedule is such that Tuesday is your day of rest? Figure it out. You guys are all adults. You can figure this out. Whats going to work? Nobodys going to come to your house and make sure youre decluttering on Tuesday in the living room.

Tonya Right.

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

Tonya Right.

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

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

Kathi Theres nobody else coming along to claim that underwear.

Tonya And Im never going to fit in size four toddler underwear. Thats just not going to happen.

Kathi Nope. Its not going to happen. So, at some point, when youve got your place decluttered enough, you can start to do the organization that will help you out. But heres what people do: They try to organize their clutter. They go in and say, Were going to go in and put a system in place in this closet. But, heres the thing. Youre organizing things that are junk. Anytime you try to organize junk, it just explodes on you.

Tonya Can I share a personal example?

Kathi Of course.

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

Kathi What do you mean?

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

Kathi Whoa.

Tonya So, they left their curtains and their sheets and everything. Ive never touched them. I havent even pulled them out and folded them to see if they would fit my bed. Its been this shrine. So, Ive been losing very precious space in my hallway, because Im just like, I just dont believe theyre not going to come back and want their stuff. Which, by the way, they dont. I actually did ask. But as Im sitting here, thinking, that would be the perfect use of an hour. I would get four shelves back.

Kathi Yes. Im going to hold you accountable for this.

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

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

Tonya But, I think our listeners will appreciate the fact that there is a lot of pinch ourselves, right, in our decluttering journey? I just want to give hope to the listener who feels like they just cant let stuff go.

Kathi Can I just tell you, no judgement? Theres no judgement.

Tonya Oh, no. I dont feel judgement. But, I laugh because Ive been in this journey a long time. It wasnt until you were talking about that just now. You were talking about the storage unit, and I was like, Thats basically a storage unit inside my house.

Kathi It totally is.

Tonya I open the cabinet and I go, Yeah, no, Im just going to close that.

Kathi So, heres my question for you. This is one of the things I dont think we talk enough about in Clutter Free Academy, but I think it would be super helpful. What is your vision for that closet? What could that become for you?

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

Kathi But isnt that how we are? We have shrines in our own house.

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

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

Tonya Well, I could probably do it in the next weekend. None of the stuff is mine. I cant even imagine wanting to keep any of it because it doesnt belong to me.

Kathi Its just a big old Goodwill run.

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

Kathi Yeah! No! I totally get it, though. I really do. There are things, even in this Red House. We have a barn. Okay, thats weird. We have a barn. But, I dont know exactly whats out there.

Tonya Right, cause youre in the same situation, where they sold a lot of the stuff to you.

Kathi Yeah, its a very unusual circumstance. Youre like, Should I keep this? I dont even know what its for. But, its like, Is that the key for keeping the whole house together? So, part of it is research to find out, What is this doohickey? Ive gone through everything in our garage. Ive touched everything in the garage. I know whats in there. The barn is still a bit of a mystery to me. We will uncover these things together, Tonya.

Tonya Thats what I like about Clutter Free Academy, though, right? We do this together.

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

Tonya Yes it is.

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

Tonya Thanks for having me.

Kathi And friend, thank you for being here. Youve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. Im Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.


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

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

CFA_394_mixdown.mp3 (13:36, 19MB)