Being more organized is something that can add both efficiency and productivity to your life. Chances are it would also make life easier. To be fair, it definitely comes more naturally to some people, but anyone can get the hang of it. It’s also true that getting organized isn’t a one-time thing. It’s all about creating systems that work for you and those in your house, so things can stay the way you want them without it being overwhelming or over-complicated. In this episode we look at simple ways not just to declutter and get more organized, but ways to get systems and routines in place that make it easier to stay on track.
Stepping in to help is Clutter Free Living Expert Deanna Yates. She’s the founder and CEO of Wannabe Clutter Free and the host of the Wannabe Minimalist podcast. She helps us move beyond the boxes, bins and lists (although there is some of that!) to simple tactics that are effective and customizable. Deanna shows us how staying flexible is important because so much can depend on your circumstances, your schedule and season of life. We also loved that she showed us that developing habits and routines can actually be fun (true story!). Deanna’s ideas are amazing, and her enthusiasm is infectious. It may be just the motivation you need!
So, whether you’re one step away from being on Hoarders, an organization ace that needs just a few tweaks…or like most of us, somewhere in between…we think this will be a big help. Click play to begin your trip from clutter to clarity and have some fun along the way!
Deanna Yates [00:00:03]:
The problem I see is that by the time people come to me, something feels wrong to them. They feel like they're suffocating under their stuff. There is a reason that they are seeking out organization or decluttering. That is what I try to help people do. If you don't have a problem with clutter, by all means go live your life. I love it. Go live your fine self. Like that's. Fantastic. Have to I never will tell people that you can only have 100 personal items or you can only have one plate. You like to entertain. You need to have those dishes because they have a purpose for you. It's just being able to let go of the stuff that makes you feel yucky, that makes you feel guilty. That doesn't serve you on your journey to the life you really want to be living.
Sandy Kovach [00:00:46]:
Welcome to Imagine Yourself podcast, where we help you imagine your next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage and faith.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:55]:
Imagine yourself in a house and in a life where you can be clutter free, living that organized life instead of the crazy, chaotic life. I'm Lanee, here with Sandy today and we have Deanna Yates, a clutter free living expert who talks about the routines that she swears by to keep her life running smoothly. And when I say expert, I mean Deanna is the founder and CEO of Wannabe Clutter Free Podcast, host of the Wannabe Minimalist show, and a wife and mom too. So if you are able to take one simple thing away from today that will better your life, your routine, your systems, your peace of mind, then it will be worth listening to. So Deanna Yates, thank you for sharing your wisdom and tips with Sandy and I today. We want to welcome you to Imagine Yourself.
Deanna Yates [00:01:51]:
Thank you so much for having me. I am thrilled to be here.
Sandy Kovach [00:01:54]:
So we know you're going to be a wealth of information and we're going to be diving into a lot of your hacks and we're going to start, I think, with the importance of routine. So what do you say to somebody who says, my life is way too unpredictable to have a routine?
Deanna Yates [00:02:09]:
I get it. Right. I mean, I think that there are definitely seasons in life where things change a lot. And I think, yes, when someone says, but my schedule changes all the time, I never know what I'm going to do. Well, then you have to have anchor options. Maybe you have a different work schedule, but you are always doing that same thing of getting up and getting ready. Getting ready is a routine and it's just simply looking at the different things you want to do in life and then creating an anchor where that routine would take place. For instance, let's say when you get home at the end of the day, you could get home at noon, you could get home at two, you could get home at eight at night if you ended up having a really busy day. But if you have a routine in place for what you do when you get home, then that's the kind of routine that is going to make your life better. So maybe you have a drop zone in your entryway. You have a hook where you put your key every single time you walk in the door so you're not panicked the next morning not knowing where it is. You have a basket where your kids put their backpacks or you put your purse or an inbox for your mail that you just picked up and you don't really have time to deal with it. You got to deal with like let's say you're rushing and you've got to deal with dinner and you got to do all this stuff. You need to have a place where stuff lives still so that you can come back to it later and not have the chaos of having to touch things ten times. Because you put it here and you put it there and you're running all over your house, you know where it is. And so maybe we're not dealing with something immediately. I know there's a lot of people that talk about like if it only takes you two minutes, then do it now. Well, sometimes we don't have two minutes. But if you have a place to put something then you know where it is when you need to come back to it. So I think a routine doesn't necessarily have to be the same thing. Same time every day. Exactly 09:00 I'm eating my breakfast and 10:00 I'm out the door. And it's not that kind of a routine that I talk about. It's more of what is happening in your life and how can you structure what's going on, what you need to do, the things you need in place around your life so that you can move on past it. And just this stuff then becomes kind of routine. Like we don't think about brushing our teeth, right? That's a routine we've been doing since we were children. And so as you continue to do these things, they become a habit, it becomes a routine and it just makes all of those little nagging things a little bit easier as you go through your day.
Sandy Kovach [00:04:35]:
I love the brushing your teeth analogy because it doesn't matter if you get up at 06:00 or 03:00 a.m. Or noon or whatever, you're going to brush your teeth when you get up. So I like that. The anchors, whatever that might be.
Lanée Blaise [00:04:47]:
I like that too because my Grandma Susie used to have this little saying when I was younger. She said, pumpkin, if you don't mess up, you don't have to clean up. And she meant that in a multitude of ways because first of all, my room would be messy. Second of all, I would often say smart alecky things that got me into trouble. And the whole concept, it does pair well with what you're saying, honestly and truly. But the aspect of having a place for everything to be put so things don't get chaotic and they don't get to be a mess, along with watching your words and not being a smart Alec all the time..
Lanée Blaise [00:05:27]:
But just in general, as far as decluttering your life, decluttering your home, it does involve the principles of not letting it get out of control in the first place.
Deanna Yates [00:05:40]:
Well, I want to talk about language, so thank you, Grandma Susie, because she's wise. She's very wise. And with language, too, I think that can even play into part with your house. I like to call my junk drawer, quote, unquote, my utility drawer, because I don't want to keep junk in my house. If it's junk, it doesn't belong in my house. But there's all the stuff that we need, and we want easy access to it, and we want to have a place for these miscellaneous items to live. And it's my utility drawer. That's where I put the things that I'm going to need when I need them. And so I think we can use language in a way around our house as well. When we teach our kids things, we need to be very explicit. We can't just say, clean up your plate from the table, right? We have to say, can you please bring your plate over? And can you rinse it or Scrape the food off and put it in the dishwasher, please? You have to be really explicit with that, and especially when you're starting routines. And it feels really silly sometimes to say, every step out, but that could be something that really helps you in the process as well. Because you say, okay, well, first I do this, then I do this, then I do this, then I do this. Whatever the steps are that you've laid out, and after a while, you won't have to say it. And if you are musically inclined, I highly recommend putting it to a jingle or a tune so you don't drive yourself crazy doing it. Or think of something like when my daughter was a real little, we would sing the Batman theme for bath time, because she didn't really love taking a bath, but it would be like, no bath time, and she would just get excited, so she starts singing it. That's kind of a little side tip. If you guys are musically inclined, I highly recommend for sure.
Sandy Kovach [00:07:22]:
No, I love it. I love where you're going with this.
Lanée Blaise [00:07:24]:
Yeah, no, we had one for going to bed. How do you like that? All my siblings did, and then my kids, it was, Guess who's going to bed? Guess who's going to bed? And it was, like, so exciting that we're going to bed. When that song started popping up, everybody started getting up out of whatever they were playing and started heading on up towards the stairs.
Deanna Yates [00:07:48]:
I love it. So tweak it. Guess who's cleaning up? We are. Guess who's cleaning up. We are. And make it something that the family can do together. So that's one of my favorite routines, actually, is the power tidy in our house. It now only takes about five minutes because we've been doing it for ages, but I would say give yourself 15, maybe ten minutes, you could get away with pick a time, one time throughout the day and usually toward the end of the day because we're living life, we're going to make messes. My house is not a shrine. It is where life happens and we play games and things get busy. So if stuff gets left out, I'm not going to sweat it. I'm not going to just lose my head over it's. Like, okay, we'll deal with it later when we do the power tidy up. So we do ours after dinner and before we do anything fun, like watch a show or play a game or have dessert. So we have this five to ten minute time period where we set the timer and we race each other to clean up around the house. Generally I cook most of the meals in the house so my husband will actually do the dishes while my daughter and I race around the house. And so that works out really well for us because by the time it's done, we've made huge progress and now we can sit and relax and actually enjoy that time together when we're doing the fun thing.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:04]:
It's fun and it's a routine, so I love that. And then you have the dessert coming up or the show coming up or something that's important for kids, but that's also important for grown ups too, right?
Deanna Yates [00:09:15]:
Yeah. We all need to be rewarded and take it up a notch and you say, well, whoever wins, you can quote, unquote, say who wins. You get to pick the show we watch, pick the game we play, get extra sprinkles on your dessert, whatever, give yourself a little carrot to be racing for.
Lanée Blaise [00:09:30]:
I want to do this and I can even see Deanna. I bet your grandchildren and great grandchildren will be doing the power know in decades to just I like that. Like you said, the system of rewards after you get the stuff done.
Deanna Yates [00:09:46]:
Sandy Kovach [00:09:47]:
So getting routines to stick, making it fun, I can see, might be one way to make it stick, but what are some other ways? Especially if we like backslide. We do great for a while, but then something crazy happens in our life. We just got a new kitten, for instance and I have not been this crazed since my son was really little and unpredictable. I don't know when I'm going to be interrupted. I don't know what's going to get knocked over. So when things like this happen, from good little interruptions like kittens to big interruptions, like maybe a traumatic thing. How do we stay with our routines?
Deanna Yates [00:10:17]:
Well, I think we have to take a step back and give yourself permission to say, okay, something is different. And I maybe am not going to be able to continue at the pace that I have been going at, especially if something traumatic happens. I think we need to take that step back and say, okay, I need to pause and maybe home of these routines are not going to serve me right now in this time in my life. Maybe I need to do a different routine now. Maybe self care is more important. Making sure you set your alarm so that you can go to bed. I like to set an alarm not just to wake up, but so that I know when it's time to get ready for bed. Because I'm terrible if I don't do that. I will get sucked into reddit. I'll get sucked into a book. I'll get sucked into tidying up the house, like doing something. And then I'm like, oh my gosh, it's already 1030. What's happening? And then it makes my next day not great because I'm already tired. Those are just little triggers that you can do in your life. And so just, I think taking a moment and really looking at what is it that is important right now in this season of my life, you have a new kitten. Is it really important that your house is super tidy or that you have all the stuff in the place it needs to be or you want it visually to be? Maybe not maybe right now we need to take some of the things that we have out that are beautiful and we love to see, but we need to put them in a cupboard right now so that I'm not stressing about the cat maybe running into that vase and breaking it. Right. So maybe it's just taking a moment and saying, okay, I'd really like to have that, that way, but it's not going to happen. Like when we have kids, right? When we have new babies at home, we don't get to keep our glass on a bottom shelf and expect them not to touch it. We buy the covers and put them over the electrical outlets. We do the things that are necessary for that season of life. So I think that's really important is just getting really clear on, okay, what season of life am I in? What is going to support me right now? And unfortunately, I have a news for everybody. It's constantly changing what you need in the house, the routines you have, the systems you have, the supports you have change. So I think we need to just take a step back and give ourselves that moment to say, what is working for me? What isn't working for me? Is there something that's kind of a sticking point and then go ahead and change it to get things to stick. I think it is just those rewards though. And so maybe a reward for you. Like if you're somebody that really likes to track things, put an X on the calendar every time you do something, find an app that will let you track your progress. Those are really great. Gamification is fantastic for life. I like the examples like Duolingo, if you've ever tried to learn another language, it's a really fun app and they do a really great job of gamifying learning. And so they want you to come in for five minutes a day. They're going to email you, text you the next day, they're going to give you trophies and rewards for doing things. That kind of stuff is really helpful. And then just creating some other reward for yourself. So if your reward is or like your thing you want to do is I want to declutter my closet. If you put all your clothes together and you're like, okay, well, I just got rid of all my jeans because I don't like them, they're out of style, whatever, then reward yourself with a really nice pair of jeans if you can. You don't need five pairs of jeans. Just get one really awesome pair of jeans and be okay letting go of stuff and then giving yourself that reward of getting the things you actually truly, really want and really love and will really cherish. I think that was a very long answer and I think I went a few different directions with that. So hopefully that all made sense.
Lanée Blaise [00:13:52]:
I think it feels really comprehensive and I think it's that aspect of bringing in anyone who's listening on a personal level. Because on your website you mentioned that you personally had a time where you were an overwhelmed mom who was worn out with all the stuff. You didn't have any flexibility. Dinner was just an afterthought. Free time was out the window and you said you felt stuck until I focused on what mattered. Then you did a journey even to Europe and back and just you changed the whole game just because you were searching for something, when really at the end it seems like simplicity of quality over quantity and practical minimalism is something that you began to embrace. And I want to know if you can tell a little bit about that journey, how they can embrace it for themselves, even what that means. Practical minimalism, because in a tangible way, I think this will help people.
Deanna Yates [00:15:02]:
Our journey is definitely one of a roller coaster, and I think a lot of people's lives are. And I think it's good to talk about that because I think people get this assumption that I'm going to make a quick change or I'm going to be able to just turn my life around in a weekend, and then it's going to be smooth sailing from here on out. And unfortunately, that's not always the case. Some people are lucky enough, and that happens.
Sandy Kovach [00:15:26]:
Deanna Yates [00:15:28]:
If that can happen to you, I mean, I'm all for it, trust me. I wish that for people. But for those of us mere mortals that live here on Earth yeah.
Lanée Blaise [00:15:38]:
Not in Instagram land.
Sandy Kovach [00:15:41]:
Only on Instagram does that happen. Yeah.
Deanna Yates [00:15:44]:
Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So when our daughter was born, my husband and I had a business, and we were helping landlords manage their properties and collect rent online. We had gotten into a business accelerator. It was an awesome experience. We thought this was going to be our ticket. And we suddenly were looking out the window, and I was like, we sit in the same office every day in our house. We don't go anywhere. We don't do anything. We could do this from anywhere. So where should we do this? At the time, we thought, well, let's go travel Europe. Let's try to be travel bloggers. We could do this. We've got all this stuff. Totally failed at travel. Will. That's a story for another day. Travel became work and then it wasn't fun and I didn't want to do it anymore. So we came back to the States and we settled down, and we now had a one and a half year old. When we left for Europe, we sold 90% of what we owned. We lived out of a suitcase. Life was great. It was simple, it was awesome. But we ended up the travel part started to feel like work. And we thought, okay, well, why don't we just let's go back, we'll settle down and we'll do the thing. And it's so easy when you settle down to get stuck in what everyone else is doing. And it's so easy to listen to what other people tell you to do. So I think we need to sometimes just take that step and say, what is it that I really want out of life? And what is it that really lights me up? And maybe it's not shopping on the weekends with my friends, but that's what the people I hung around did. So every time you go to Target, you end up with something cute because they have cute things at Target. And it's hard to say no.
Lanée Blaise [00:17:20]:
That is true.
Sandy Kovach [00:17:21]:
You always spend more than you want.
Lanée Blaise [00:17:24]:
Start to accumulate, accumulate, accumulate. And not junk, but not necessities either.
Deanna Yates [00:17:31]:
Yeah, it's not stuff you need. You could live without it. If you've been living without it, you can live without it now. And so that happens. Our house all of a sudden started feeling really cluttered, and we were just kind of overwhelmed. And then I got a job offer in Chicago, and we moved to Chicago, and then all this stuff came with us, and I just started feeling kind of suffocating, and I was working a really stressful job, and so this is when all that burnout happened, and it just was super stressful. And I had a daughter, she was at this .3, and I wasn't there. I was working all the time. I barely saw her. It was just unrelenting, and it wasn't the life I wanted. Here I was chasing what was I chasing? Money. In the end, it didn't matter. I wasn't doing the things. My daily tasks were not aligned with the values that I wanted to be living. And the stuff that we had just started to feel like stuff that was weighing us down. We had been so free when we traveled, so that was kind of where we ended up going back to before we left. I started setting up routines and systems that would kind of help us get through this chaotic time, because I almost felt like I couldn't take a breath. And so I had to have systems and routines in place in order to maximize those few moments I did have with her. That's kind of where the routines started. And then systematizing stuff, learning how to let go of stuff without it taking over was really helpful during that time. And then, yeah, we traveled for a year and a half that second time, and we did it out of carry ons.
Lanée Blaise [00:19:06]:
Sandy Kovach [00:19:09]:
So that is your thing, minimalism. And when we think about minimalism, we think about, I don't know, maybe a monk sitting on a mountain. No, maybe not. Okay, that's an extreme with nothing. But, I mean, that's what comes to mind when I hear minimalist, honestly, throwing.
Lanée Blaise [00:19:26]:
Away all of my stuff.
Sandy Kovach [00:19:28]:
But you say yeah, but you say being a minimalist doesn't mean getting rid of everything.
Deanna Yates [00:19:34]:
Yeah, I don't think it has to. I think it means getting rid of the things that don't matter to you, that don't add value to your life. So I think we've all had those things, and I think it's really easy to accumulate those things. Going to Target and getting the cute stuff, getting the cute pillow, and I'm a sucker for that. I mean, you can see I've got this fun I made that know. But behind me, I've got stuff that matters. This was my daughter's first outfit. We bought it on the in Paris, and that's what we brought her home from the airport in or from the airport from the hospital in. This was a painting my father in law painted. This was a print from my parents'house, and it's something I remembered growing up, and they've moved, and now I have it. All of that stuff on that wall means something to me. It's not an arrow I picked up or a painting I picked up at Target. It's not this mass produced stuff. So when I look at it, it gives me good feelings for people that.
Sandy Kovach [00:20:28]:
Can'T see, because she's like, yeah, we'll put a picture on it on the Imagineyourself Podcast.com. But she is pointing to things that are important to her. And it's not to say that if you like something cute at Target, if it meant something to you, by all means. We're not putting them down or putting any mass produced stuff down, but for you that's not meaningful. So it's kind of customized then?
Deanna Yates [00:20:51]:
100% customized. Some people might say I have too much, right? I mean, there's a lot of people out there that would say, oh, she calls herself a minimalist, but she still has stuff. Some people are like, you should have only one plate per person and you should only have one couch and you should whatever, you should be sleeping on the floor and not have a bed frame. To each their own. Everybody has their levels and I think we're on this entire spectrum of stuff. And so you get to choose where you fall and where that feels comfortable for you. The problem I see is that by the time people come to me, something feels wrong to them. They feel like they're suffocating under their stuff. There is a reason that they are seeking out organization or decluttering. That is what I try to help people do. If you don't have a problem with clutter, by all means go live your life. I love it. Go live your fine self. That's fantastic. I never will tell people that you can only have 100 personal items or you can only have one plate. If you like to entertain, you need to have those dishes because they have a purpose for you. It's just being able to let go of the stuff that makes you feel yucky, that makes you feel guilty. That doesn't serve you on your journey to the life you really want to be living. And stuff is just stuff. It doesn't have feelings. I'm the one that puts the feeling onto it. I'm the one that ascribes whatever it is to it. I'm the one that has the thoughts about those things when I see them. The stuff just sits on the wall.
Lanée Blaise [00:22:19]:
Very good point. Everything that you're saying, you're kind of leading us to now. What do we put out there as far as anyone who is trying to reach out to you or get tips from you as far as your website, your social media? Because I know everybody's used to Southwest Airlines with want to get away, but.
Deanna Yates [00:22:37]:
Your website is it's wannabe clutter free and my show is wannabe minimalist. And it started as that because I did I wanted to be more minimalist. Kind of a lot of it is my journey and things I've learned along the way and the things that have worked for me and hoping that what has worked for me will help and work for other people as well.
Sandy Kovach [00:22:59]:
And we're definitely going to be telling people more about the site and the offer you have and everything. But can I dive into getting a couple of little tips? What would you say is the number one thing or just a hack that you have that you love?
Deanna Yates [00:23:13]:
Oh yeah, well, I will give you the quick and dirty declutter. Let's just do it. Let's get right into it. I love tactics, so trust me, I'm always like, here's five steps. Here are seven things you got to do if you want to declutter quickly. Here's the best way to have success on your first time out, because you will get better every time you do it. Your first time is going to feel really weird. Just think about the first time you did anything. First time you kissed someone. It felt really weird too, right?
Lanée Blaise [00:23:37]:
Deanna Yates [00:23:38]:
The first time you do anything, it's weird. Give yourself some grace for that. But you need four things. A phone, because I want you to take a before and after picture, and I want you to set a timer. You need a box so that you can put your donation things in it. That way you can, when you're done, fold it up and put it in the car. A bag for trash. Anything that's unusable worn out isn't going to be useful. Like a donation center is not going to be able to resell it. That's going to go in the garbage, and you're not going to feel guilty about it. And if you do, you're going to say, okay, I'm going to use this guilt to not buy so much stuff in the future. And then the last is a laundry basket. You are going to put anything that doesn't belong in that space that goes somewhere else in your house. You're going to put it in that laundry basket because this is going to make you be able to get through it real fast. So you're going to take your before picture and you're going to pick one spot. When I say one spot, I mean one shelf, your entertainment center, one drawer, your nightstand. I'm not talking about one room. I'm talking like one little area. And if you finish faster, great. You can use the rest of your time to go to a different shelf or something. But I want you to start small so that you can actually make progress. Take your before picture, set your timer, sort through all the stuff. If it belongs in that space, put it back. If you want extra credit, wipe down the shelf before you put stuff back. But it's so not necessary if you don't have time. And then you take your laundry basket and you walk around your house and you put all the stuff away into the place where it should go.
Sandy Kovach [00:25:10]:
I love that.
Lanée Blaise [00:25:11]:
If you decide to do your drawer in your bedroom, if there's measuring spoons in there, put it in the laundry basket and then head over to the kitchen and drop those off there.
Deanna Yates [00:25:20]:
Exactly. And a lot of people ask me that, how do I know where things belong? And it's like, well, I like to assign a purpose to every room, my family room. That is where we gather. So it's going to have blankets and pillows, and it's got the TV, some books for us to read, but it doesn't have, like you said, my kitchen spoons. It doesn't have all of my daughter's toys because that's not what I want to see when we're in that room. That doesn't help us be together. No. It's not to say that she doesn't bring toys in there, and sometimes they get left there. We're not going for 100% perfection, but on a whole, that is not their home and where they live. Does that make sense?
Lanée Blaise [00:26:01]:
Absolutely. You are just kind of blowing my mind over here. I love this. This seems like attainable goals. I know that you even have, like, on your website, too. You have, like, a starter guide, five Easy Steps to a Happier Home, and how to have the capsule wardrobe, which I don't know if everyone knows what that is. My daughter told me about that the other day. Having a capsule wardrobe that you can just kind of mix and match a few different items to get the look that you want.
Sandy Kovach [00:26:30]:
Do I have that right?
Deanna Yates [00:26:31]:
Yeah. So for me, a capsule starts with a color palette. I think there are three base colors that everyone can choose. You could either do black, brown, or navy if you want to go really extreme. Now, you could have a capsule for each of those colors if you really like clothes. And that one color palette seems too restricting to you. But the freebie I have there shows you how to make over 72 outfits with only twelve pieces. So it really is a mix and match.
Sandy Kovach [00:27:00]:
Oh, that's cool. So that's the thing you have at Want to Be Clutter.com, one of the offerings. So you offer many free things, but you have a big free event that's coming up.
Deanna Yates [00:27:11]:
Yes, I'm very excited. I will be doing a free webinar training, how to get a Clutter free home without decluttering. Wait a minute. I actually think it's possible. I think a lot of it comes back to these routines and these systems we put into place, because as I've talked with the different people that I'm working with, that idea of doing a giant cleaning, it's just too daunting. The idea of giving up my Saturday to lug all of the crap in my garage out and put it on the driveway and then sort it and put it back, that's too much. Nobody really wants to do that. And if we don't want to do it, we're not going to do it. I mean, let's just be honest. We want the clean house, but it's a lot of work. So I want to help people be able to get that result without having to do as much work. I'm not going to lie and say it's no work. There's definitely some work involved. So one of the things I'll do, I'll just give you, like, a little hint because there's going to be so much in it. I'm so excited. But one of the things that I love to do is for the actual season we're in, so we could take summer season. I have a bin where all of our summer stuff lives. I actually have two because we live at the beach. We live by the beach and so we have beach stuff and pool stuff and there that's two shall mix because one is super sandy. Let's say we're doing my beach bin and at the bottom of that, I've taken out the things we're going to use this year and now I'll go look in that bin and see what's still left in there. Because whatever's still left in that bin is the stuff that I don't need. It's the stuff I'm not using right now. And that is the easy stuff to just go ahead and get rid of, because if I'm not using it now, it's not going to get better over the next year. Stuff doesn't improve. It doesn't magically fix itself in the dark shadows of night. It just sits there and it degrades. So it's not going to get better. So if you're not using it now, you're not going to use it next year because you're going to be like, oh, that old crap, I don't want that. You're going to pass it up for the new stuff. You went and bought a Target this year because you wanted the new stuff. Just get of it and don't think about it. Like, don't sit there and go, oh, but it's so wasteful. Well, you're wasting it by just leaving it there. Maybe someone else can use it. Little things like that little tweaks we can do over time are going to get us to where we want to be and just make it much easier.
Sandy Kovach [00:29:24]:
I like it. It's a lot better than coming in and saying, I'm going to do my whole house today. Or even a couple of rooms or a garage or something. Just little bits and pieces. And like that other thing that you talked about with a drawer or a bedside table or something like that. I can see how all these little things add up. That's been a theme of ours lately, Linnae. Little habits, little routines.
Lanée Blaise [00:29:44]:
Absolutely. That's the part where, like Sandy says, we don't give enough credit for the little things that will accumulate to be whole life changing habits and make everything better. Because you're saying, too, as far as customizing, it not just listening to what other people say and what makes you feel best for your life and for your home. This is very comprehensive.
Deanna Yates [00:30:10]:
Lanée Blaise [00:30:12]:
So I guess it's that time where we do the takeaway time where we just kind of ask you, honestly, Deanna Yates, what is that one thing that anyone listening really needs to consider doing if they want to live intentionally when it comes to a clutter free life and home.
Deanna Yates [00:30:35]:
Watch the inflow. Watch what you bring in. Once something comes into your house, it is so much harder to get it out. It's much easier to say no when you're in the store than it is when you're trying to go through that declutter session and say, oh, but I spent money on it. It's cute, but maybe it doesn't go with all the stuff you have.
Sandy Kovach [00:30:57]:
Ask yourself, do you really need it and why? And all those questions, I think that's.
Lanée Blaise [00:31:03]:
Applicable again across the board when you make your schedule for your life, when you take on a new position or a new club or organization or whatever. Watch the inflow.
Deanna Yates [00:31:15]:
Anytime someone asks you to put something on your calendar, you say, oh, okay, let me check and I'll get back to you. I try not to have an immediate yes, even if I really want to do it. I'm an extrovert. I'm a people pleaser. I'm a nurturer. I want to just give, give. And I found that I was doing that too much. And so that's my new default. Oh, that sounds really amazing. Let me check my calendar and see if I have time for it or see if it works or let me just check.
Sandy Kovach [00:31:42]:
Could we do that with a purchase too? Absolutely. Wait 24 hours and see if I really want it.
Deanna Yates [00:31:47]:
Yeah. And one of the fun things is if you're on Amazon, you can put stuff in your cart, but don't buy it until the next day. Then you go back and you say, okay, do I really need that? Or look around your house. Where are you going to put it when it comes in? Does it have a place to live? Or is it just going to kind of shuffle around because you don't really have a place for it. You just wanted it because it looked.
Lanée Blaise [00:32:09]:
Fun and it was an impulse buy that you might forget about altogether. You might put it in the little wish list or in the save for later, forget all about it and realize you never needed it in the first place.
Deanna Yates [00:32:22]:
Happens all the time.
Lanée Blaise [00:32:24]:
Well then, Sandy, anything else we've got to ask our wonderful guests since we've got it right here?
Sandy Kovach [00:32:30]:
Well, there are a million questions I'd like to ask, but we only have so much time. And we do have a resource where people we can send to her website, which we'll also put in our show notes and at Imagine Yourselfpodcast.com, where people can go for further information. And we'll also say that maybe next year or some other season of life, we'll have her back.
Deanna Yates [00:32:53]:
I'd love to come back at the holidays because that's a really declutter yes.
Lanée Blaise [00:32:59]:
This is perfect. So I have to say that part. Like until then, we just thank you for being here. We thank you for sharing with us and helping us today.
Deanna Yates [00:33:09]:
Deanna oh, it's my pleasure. This was so much fun.
Sandy Kovach [00:33:12]:
Lanée Blaise [00:33:13]:
So imagine Yourself there was this little hymn that we used to sing when I was a little kid back in elementary school. Part of the words were It's a gift to be simple, it's a gift to be free, and in this case, to be free of all the clutter. Hope you all find success as you kind of look around your house and see what area you might want to tackle. But thanks for joining us at Imagine Yourself.
Sandy Kovach [00:33:38]:
Hope you got some great tips there and if you'd like to get in touch with Deanna, we're going to put her information in the Show Notes and at Imagine Yourselfpodcast.com. We also hope you can reach out to us with any suggestions and drop a review if you have time. That helps us to shape our podcast and also helps other people to find us. You can find all the links in the Show Notes email@example.com which is, by the way, a nice source for inspiration on the variety of topics that we cover. You can sign up for our emails there and hook up with us on social media. Until next time when we have something new to imagine. Here's to you getting more and more clutter free day by day.