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Clearing Out the Clutter

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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August 26, 2022 6:00 am

Clearing Out the Clutter

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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August 26, 2022 6:00 am

Author Kathi Lipp explains how too much clutter can cause family stress and conflict, and offers practical strategies to get rid of what you don’t need so that you can have the space and resources to serve God as He intended.

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This is John Fuller and on today's Focus on the Family with Jim Daly to take a look at what it means to live clutter free and it might be that home organization isn't a problem for you, or perhaps like most of us, it's the story of your life where his lifetime and subject the green tie my volleyball is the dictionary tells what would going behind her. I don't think it's quite that bad at my house.

At least he could find the couch and that's the key times that you stood in front of her refrigerator.

John said Dino where's the melt me like in the past 24 hours.

My company times I'm not done that more than one yogurt whatever might be asked about and bite you. I think there's a gene that men possess that blinds us to something right front but you know what I try to be kind of organized. I know you're very organized. I don't know about that very might be too generous, but I think of Jean were here, she would say she's quite the opposite.

She's a busy mom. She's actually the definition of a perfectionist because it's so overwhelms her but she does find it hard to get started and she does much better than when we are first, but she's not here to defend yourself. So I'm going to save my areas all throw stuff away shall say where's that phone number I had on the counter Tycho Lewis in the bottom of the trash efficiently came through and cleaned every time a little too fast with that. That's my quick but today we want to talk about that idea becoming clutter free and this is one of the big issues in marriages and if I'm not scratching where you edge. I think at the end of today's program you're going to feel yeah maybe I do have an issue here and we have a clutter free expert with us As a clutter freak that could fit letter talk to Kathy look let's just find out is a clutter free court experts to be a diagnosis and what your focus on the specialize and I know it. It's great to have Kathy on she is a humorous, energetic, insightful person and she could deliver bad news with a smile and you'd feel good about it for some reason I don't know if you got this gift to make any idea makes sense and and you just want to try it. So I'm really looking forward for other people in my life to hear this. The Kathy welcome back to the best intro ever and I love being with you guys. You know that I don't know about that but you did not start. You didn't come out your mother's womb all button down organized you had to learn this the hard way that makes a lot of people feel better right there that you're not perfect so people get terrified when I'm coming over to their house and like it's the clutter free lady, let's be honest, your house may be more clutter free than my.

I would say my journey has probably been more significant than most people I actually was born to a hoarder, and people use that term kind of lightly and funny, but really my dad was a hoarder. What did that look like a lot of people don't experience that.

Yeah, you know, people asked me all the time. Have you seen the show and I'm like oh that's childhood trauma on me. For me, but my mom had to work really hard to keep him contained so I remember growing up he had the garage and he had what we called the office and he things were stacked up. I'm not exaggerating.

Probably four or 5 feet and there was a path in the garage to his desk a little desk out there is an electrical engineer so he was soldering stuff and things like that and a path to the mailbox which was in our garage and up in his there was a path to his death. What created the path that what you put around you that you know that would allow you to walk will spend was very funny when I was writing this book might editor said you said that your dad had piles and piles of stamps. He said to me postage stamp is that yes because how could you have 5 foot piles of postage stamps, and so I sent him a picture because people don't believe me. But there was, it would be in binders and things like that that so many postage stamps from all over the world. That was one of the things he collected electronics parts National Geographic. I like your dad that is awesome. You know he was a guy who went deep in his interests and but he had a lot of interest, but I would say that a lot of his stuff because a lot of barriers in our family physical and emotional because my dad was so into his stuff and I'll never forget when we they moved houses they took all of us.

I and I'm talking my husband, my kids, my brother his friends to go through all that stuff and it was a pretty traumatic experience for my that your mom's plan to clean up with to move house way you force the issue and we got to a point where the only person my dad would talk to was me because he felt so attacked and we were in attacking him, but we were asking about his stuff will let me ask you this because growing up in that kind of environment it can make you anti-clutter worth that.

No, I didn't really know how to deal with things and I form some kind of weird emotional attachments to things which I thought were weird at the time. What is at what I think that clutter comes down to a couple of things. It will three. Fear, guilt and shame, fear if I get rid of that when I need it later on.

Like maybe like four years from now. Right exactly exactly. And to think about spending the money a second time on something is paralyzing.

Might my mom was raised by you people who went through the depression and so this idea was passed down to me that we don't waste and so if I could possibly use it again. Then I would get to the fear the guilt. Oh, you know, Edna made that for me.

Now I would never wear that. But she made it for me.

So the guilt that is associated step in and shame. I spent so much money on how can I ever give that away.

You know those boots that will they pinch me every time I walk.

And so I don't walk in them, but I spent so much money on them. I had to have them. I have to keep them. That really built up a lot of my clutter Kathy in your book you referred to a popular motto that existed in World War II. Jean and I talked about it.

We fail to remember because we were here, but their grandparents for example, who knew what it meant to live in a rationed world and food and butter and milk right you in a 6 gallons of milk in your refrigerator. What was that motto and how how was the attitude of people during that time.

Yet the mother was use it up where it out make it do or do without and what that really said is we have limited resources, whether it was because of the government get whatever was going on there. There wasn't enough finances, whatever that was.

So they really had to either figure out how to do without it, or use up what they had either it's very easy.

In today's day and age to you get disenchanted with your hairspray so you could buy a new one and then you have 16 bottles of hairspray's that are half use sitting in your bathroom. And so, whether things that Roger and I challenge ourselves to do and it was as big of a challenge for Roger. Let's just be super clear was to use up all the cosmetics. I already had the hair products and if I said never to use it again either pass on the one of my girls or get rid of it because what was happening as I felt like I didn't have the stuff I wanted, but I had so much stuff until I didn't know what I had anymore because there was so much steps up yet just using it up wearing out.

I I now really try I buy expensive shoes because we talked about planter fasciitis. When we were talking earlier before the broadcast. My shoes are very expensive center important to my feet are very very important to me. I kind of grown attached to them. Yes, and so instead of buying new shoes. I have mine resold, which sounds like such a 1951. I know that a bit so I'm going to wear it out. I'm gonna make do with what I have are there put it specially when my kids were in school, yet we would go to target and buy all the supplies every time they had a project till you realize you have everything you need and so can we just make do with what we already have and then can I do without. It's very either there is something that happens for me and my friends when you get something new. It's very fun and exciting for a second, but it's not so fun and exciting when you're buying it with a credit card and you see that come through or you real you get home and you realize I had something almost exactly like it and so there is kind of a pride that I have now when I say you know what I'm good. I don't have I don't need to have that I have everything I need and I feel smarter because I actually am really trying to make things work that I already have. It's a good way to live. It really is that that's really good insight.

You remember Jean and I did a garage sale and I was very aggressive in getting rid of all that I could get rid of Jean was, you know, holding some things back but we put out, and it was well organized will me tell you, I've chosen works in all kinds of things but unfortunately I had some books from friends. I had read the books I was done with the book, but it happened to be signed to me. Yeah. Dear Jim and yeah I put that out on the table for $0.50 or a dollar. I want everybody to read that fine book yet and then Jean had a scarf that you received from a friend from Africa yeah and that was out there. And lo and behold those two friends came down that you have been a big mistake even though they were to come by right I would say 90% of the stuff we hold onto is for issues like that.

What if this person find out there to be brokenhearted that kind of thing.

I totally get that.

So yeah maybe the garage sale for stuff that people who live locally could see maybe rethinking kind of thing with their gifts on display yeah but you know I also think about like this one time when I moved I probably gave away 2000 things he had to friends and stuff like that.

And one thing I regretted that one thing, and I kept beating myself up.

Why do I give away. It was the silverware basket was my little baskets when you're eating outdoors is a place for the fork knives and spoons. $15. Not a big deal but I kept regretting it. And then I realized Kathy is $15, wouldn't you love to be free of all of those other things are the price of have to think about that you are gonna make some mistakes. Hopefully they won't crush anybody spirit you are to make some mistakes but here's something almost anything can be bought again almost anything you and maybe next time you know you you go through it together and you figure out okay what should we hold onto. That's not going to affect our dear relationships, that's my let's talk for a minute about the impact on your marriage alive family.

Why is this an ability to keep clutter free to such an impact on the marriage just things that come immediately to mind is that line the number one question I get is how do I deal with somebody else's clutter and to I think about all the money that is spent rebuying stuff that you can't find you know you have it somewhere right is why we have like 44 jars of mustard yet because you go to the store and you think some of mustard like six months ago.

We need some mustard and we we buy stuff were not going to use or we read by things that we already have, because we can't find him. Our houses are so clutter our drawers are so stuff and I think that's why a lot of women end up buying close again and again and again because they feel like they have nothing to wear but it's because they have so many close things are stuff and not just picking on women because guys ask me all the time.

What I do about my wife's clutter. But then women also asked me whether I do about my guys club it works both ways yeah absolutely okay answer the question okay so my first thing is before you start pointing the clutter finger look at your own stuff because our stuff. We know why we have all of that we know what our treasures are. But then if somebody is really dealing with clutter with a spouse. I always say don't fight about stuff discussed space and so what I mean by that is, can we agree that your stuff. I'm not to tell you that your model airplane that hasn't worked in 24 years is clutter. I'm not to go there because our stuff is very personal to us, but can we agree that you get this guerrilla rack in the garage and I get this guerrilla rack so first. Clean up your own house in I mean that in your relationship. Clean up your own stuff and then to agree on space and so even if it's an extra room. Maybe your husband has and you say as long as I can close the door. That area is yours and it when you start taking the emotion out of it. It becomes much easier to decide it is a highly emotional area. Really, especially in marriage arises in our current home. I remember when we moved in and I got things organized and Jean was doing her part, but not long after, I thought, you know, we could probably get one of the big I mean big flat trash bins that get delivered to your house right for construction site and I think I could fill that up with stuff so I ordered it. I did as Jean if she thought there would be locations to be fine and I started throwing stuff away. It was so funny because I kept it at night I'd come back to the house after work you know working on the week and I had a for about two weeks. Yeah so I'm loading stuff right there in there be stuff pulled back out, I thought, wait a minute.

This is in accomplishing the plan or the trash theories that were the treasures were Jean Trenton, Troy, you know, they're working against my great plan right. Well, one of the things that I say to people is when you're trying to discuss as a family. What you're going to keep and what you're not going to keep is that Sherry Gregory is a good friend of mine whose help me on this, but she went through her garage and she finally came up with this model with site which I think it's absolutely brilliant. I'm going to keep what I care about and I care about what I keep, and so instead of keeping all of our treasures locked away in a closet is working to do something with them someday. What she did. This is brilliant. Her father-in-law served in the military, and they had the flag from his memorial and it been in the box for years and years.

What you know what happens to things when they're in a box the other rodents, all the sky step so what she did it she got that and she had it mounted. She had it mounted in the display case and surprised her husband with that and he said that is the best gift that she had ever given him because she cared about what they were keeping so all those things that aren't working that you can get to later if you keep it care about it and if you don't care about somebody. Will somebody would love to have that shirt that doesn't quite fit that pair of boots that hurt you.

It won't hurt them. They got younger feet than you do. It make sure that you would want to be good stewards with our stuff, and when were hoarding and hoarding can be just your closets or stuff it doesn't mean that you have rooms or unusable.

It means that you have your closets there unusable.

I and I know that that's a very intense word for a lot of people but I really do believe that often times we are hoarding stuff because it's a sense of safety if I give it away. I there's a lot of fear attached to that and what I've come to understand when we work with, especially women and helping them yet get clutter free. The freedom comes when they give the stuff away, they were strapped down by our little motto around our office. More talk about clutter free.

As we want to help people get clutter free. So they're free to go change their world. God has a mission and a plan for each of us and so many women are weighed down by their clutter that they are not doing what they feel they're called to do and we want them to be able to go do that will quite an inspirational twist on a godly perspective of getting rid of stuff in your home. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly I'm John Fuller and our guest today is Kathy lip as she shares practical help from her book clutter free to request a copy of that and a copy of our conversation as well. The entirety of it when you call 800 K in the word for 800-232-6459 or stop by the program notes to learn more and as we returned to the conversation with Kathy.

I asked her question about being prepared know having stuff around your house for those what if situations well and a lot of what-ifs and I'm not saying this about you John because I but let me just say a lot of what if are a form of not trusting God. Yet, if I finally keep everything around me because I know you be prepared for every situation and sometimes we are called to give. I'm thinking about our space, time, energy and money and some of us are hoarding some of our stuff and were spending so much of our money to maintain it. Yet the amount of storage lockers that Americans use in order to care for their stuff that there really never going to use is amazing. But we can justify it. A million different ways. But when we think about the space, time, energy and money that were spending really on all of the stuff that we may never use again. It can sometimes be a way of saying I don't need anybody else I can take care of myself and as Christians we really have to examine those motives that that's really good insight and I'm thinking of the command that Jesus gave to the disciples to go and not to worry about what they take with them provide for them right that that's kind of the application or spiritually is an abdomen light because you don't want to be burdened by a lot of stuff. It's so true everything that we owned costs us you know whether it's insurance or how were going to maintain everything costs us in some real way and I want to be in a place where if God says you need to move to Oregon because we've got ministry there. I will be able to see. I don't want my stuff to be a factor in that decision. I want you to go give to this family. I want my stuff to be a factor in that decision Kathy in your book, clutter free. You you talk about this visual aid through this visual concept described for us what you're driving at. If we if we see it, it's good if we don't see it right for so many of us the reason we have clutter is because were putting everything out. When we feel like if it's out of sight is out of mind. And so we leave the permission slip on the counter and instead of just assigning that permission slip and putting it back in your kids backpack you're leaving it out to remind yourself, but when you have so many visual reminders that it becomes clutter, then that's a problem and there was just a study done recently about if you have six unrelated things on your desk. It the distraction that that causes is like loud music blaring in your ear.

The visual distraction is as much as hearing rock music when you're trying to work so that's why having a clear workspace is usually a really good thing. There's a small subset of really creative people.

They kinda need a mass to be creative in but for most of us were using it as an excuse to never cleaner that old saying that a cluttered desk is a sign of genius and justification of why I think it's also a sign of a cluttered my thing.

If year cluttered desk is working for you and your getting done what you want to do awesome that's great. But for most of us clutter means that were distracted and distracted is the big thing that were trying to overcome the let's move to the strategies on how we cope with all of you have gotten a bit of time to talk about yet you specifically encourage people asked three questions right so what are they okay the three questions are do I use it.

Do I love it and would I buy it again okay and so if you can answer yes to all three of those questions are what's the timeframe for do you use it because I might use it every three or four years.

Well, yeah, if you know if you have an intention in mind that when you're going to use it now. One of things like one friend, her husband justified keeping a car that he's had for seven years. That doesn't run and and why because he used his debts because he works on it and he loved it. Now that is a miracle issue that needs to be discussed but we can't really eliminate a lot of clutter. If we ask are those that ourselves. Those three questions because if it say a scarf let's talk about scarf not to bring back bad memories out but yeah I like that one time it went with a couple of things but do I use it now. I don't use. I haven't used in a while. Do I love it. Well now I haven't worn yeah that's not something that is not my go to when I buy again. Definitely not. I need to let that go because somebody else with absolutely adore that. Now I do want to say this, it's great to give things away without any attachments because sometimes our parents try to give us stuff that says what I don't like this anymore, but you should have it because it has a family thing you attached to it. Your great aunt Edna now. Don't know if if you're not willing to keep it it you're not allowed to force it on family member that about yeah and so if you if it's not sentimental enough to keep to you, then you can ask your kids if they want it but you can't make him feel guilty if they don't want and Kathy, you have the do I use it to. I love it when I buy it again. That's a good one for a lot of guys yeah exactly you.

My husband likes a very particular kind of sweatpants he runner and he likes very certain things and so I said why don't we get rid of all the sweats that you're not using any so well you know I I might use them again someday if I ever stop running it. I sit which by those again right now know and can we close your drawer currently with the sweatpants, you know, and so I didn't want to shame amend anything, but I these are very good clarifying question Google. He said you're right, we can give those away and I know as a woman has been a single mom. When I went into a thrift store and somebody had cleared their clutter and I found a pair of Nike tennis shoes that my son wanted and they were his size with our clutter and I'm using air quotes when I say clutter that is somebody else's treasure and I will never forget being able to buy those shoes. I think they were probably eight dollars but it meant that my son could go to school and have something that he was proud of and that's because somebody clean their closet. We can be a gift to somebody. We don't even know because were taken were being good stewards with our own stuff. John and I so appreciate the closing story from Kathy Lipp because that's really the point of our program today organizing your home and freeing yourself of all the stuff that tends to accumulate good things to do. But the point is what Kathy said about being good stewards. Stewardship was one of the first commands God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden. Genesis 128 says, be fruitful and multiply, subdue, and have dominion over the earth.

God has given us so many blessings to enjoy homes to live and food to eat, close to where countless other comforts what's stored our stuff well using it to bless others and further God's kingdom in the process and you can start with a copy of Kathy's great book clutter free. I want to recommend you get it for your family. Or maybe a family that you know this is a great resource not only for home organization, but also for choosing the right priorities in our lives. Yeah, and in addition Kathy has her annual 2000 things challenge. She encourages us as families to identify and purge at least 2000 unnecessary things from your home. This year I'm thinking of Legos as that sounds like a great idea John. 2000 things started thinking come up with that. But how do we sign up oh were to post a link to the 2000 things challenge our website where you can also request Kathy's book, clutter free to make a donation of any amount will send it to you certainly appreciate your generosity toward focus when you contact us today.

The link is in the episode notes or call one 800 K and the word family.

We hope you have a great weekend with your family and your church family as well and make plans now to join us on Monday for conversation with Justin and Lindsay Holcomb about children and body image. Your sons more than handsome.

He does need to hear mom and dad but think of all the other ways are so creative you're so empathetic you're so thoughtful like things that they actually do was pick some way better adjective on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for listening to this episode of Focus on the Family. I'm John Fuller inviting you back.

As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ from the kindred brothers creators of war room and fireproof comes wife Mark David Colton's birth mother unexpectedly reaches out to a staggering truth from his past. Always wondered if my biological parents think about me she loved you so glad that she made the choice that she inspired by a true story like Mark Starr and Kirk Cameron Alex Kendrick PG-13 so materially appropriate for children.

September night information is available in white horror

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