As a busy mentor, I knew I needed a solution to free up my time for more serving. I needed a home-manager! But that was not in the budget. Enter Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp and Tonya Kubo. With their help, I dumped 2000 twice! My house runs smoother and cleaner, and that makes my life run smoother and cleaner. Tonya continues to help and inspire me to keep my heart and my home honest. She speaks to my heart every time! I could not be prouder to welcome her to the blog today!

The Bad News About the New Trend Toward Decluttering

Tidying up is suddenly the buzzword of the year. Thanks to a Netflix show, Americans everywhere are taking an honest look at their homes and the stuff filling their homes.

Are you among them?

Are you looking around your home and wondering where everything came from? Are you feeling stifled by stuff? Would you like more room to move in your home? Do you feel like your space is too small for everything you need?

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is you don’t have to binge on Netflix for answers. I’ve got you covered right here. Just keep reading.

The bad news is the problem with clutter isn’t actually about the stuff we have. We watch TV shows and read books and think if we change how we fold clothes or stack our dishes, we’ll conquer our clutter. But decluttering isn’t the same as organizing.

After managing Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group since 2017, I can tell you the stuff we buy and keep is only a symptom of the greater problem of overwhelm. We “cluttery” types are often overwhelmed by the emotions of fear, guilt and shame. And it’s those three emotions – in overdrive – that prevents us from the life we want.

We’re scared we might need something one day so we keep it just in case. We feel guilty that we don’t love or use a gift from a friend or relative. We are ashamed of the stuff we bought that we no longer use and maybe that we don’t treat very well.

These are feelings I remember well. I used to think that getting rid of clothes made me wasteful and entitled. Who was I to think I was too good for that ill-fitting sweater with a hole in the armpit? I could still wear it. Nobody would know about the hole so long as I didn’t raise my arms over my head, right?


Keeping that sweater in my closet did me and my home no good. Donating it, on the other hand, gave someone else with the right body type and basic sewing skills the opportunity to wear a stylish piece. Getting rid of the sweater didn’t make me entitled or wasteful. It made me generous by offering that sweater a second life.

This shift in thinking has been powerful for me, and it’s still a work in progress. I always say clutter reminds me of an onion. I have to work on it in layers and so long as I make constant progress, success is guaranteed. Luckily, I don’t have to unpeel my onion all by myself. I have my Clutter Free Academy friends to help me. In the group, I can share my goals and requests for accountability. I can post before-and-after pictures to celebrate my successes. And I cheer on my fellow Clutter Free warriors when they do the same. We’re like a family, without the crazy guilt trips, and we propel each other forward.

Mentors, if clutter is a struggle for you, I invite you to join the kindest corner of the internet. Clutter Free Academy is a free Facebook group with thousands of members all lifting each other up in the shared pursuit of a clutter free heart, home and mind. Tonya, and this group, helped me become a better mentor because I dropped my shame in one of those donation bags! It will look better on someone else. And you can do that too!

Tonya Kubo

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

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