093: How to have a clutter-free Christmas – with Kathi Lipp

By November 26, 2019The Simplifiers Podcast

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Let’s face it… Christmas and the holiday season is here and there’s no stopping it now. For some, just the thought of all the to-do’s and hanging with the in-laws gives you the hives. For others, the frenzy is exhilarating but by December 27th, you always seem to come down with flu-like symptoms that (totally) flatten you for days. Raise your hand if any of this resonates. But what if this year was simpler? What if this year could be different? And to that, I say YES!

My special guest today is author Kathi Lipp and she’s simplifying how to have a clutter-free Christmas. With a bit of humor and a little sass, she’s written the book on almost every aspect of the holiday season, helping us decide what to keep, what to scrap, and how to not totally lose your mind along the way.


Kathi Lipp simplifies how to have a clutter-free Christmas.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How she defines what a “clutter-free” Christmas could look like, not only talking about the physical stuff but your schedule and your mental wellness
  • Why we tend to get caught up in the holiday frenzy in the first place
  • What a “Holiday Mission Statement” is and how to create one with your household
  • How to apply 3 of the 21 projects from her book, ‘The Christmas Project Planner’ in to your life over the coming weeks in simple, practical ways, including:
    • How to create your Christmas prep space with a “Magic Christmas Box”
    • How to schedule your time for the holidays
    • How to refresh yourself and carve out some YOU time

As with most all topics we simplify on the podcast, one core principle certainly rings true here: 

It’s not about doing more, but actually doing less. 

When we release the white knuckle grip of control and perfectionism on our lives and learn to say “no, thank you” to the obligations, tasks and unnecessary to-do’s, we ultimately will find peace, joy and a heck of lot less anxiety.

I encourage you to think about what you might let go of this year as you’re listening to our conversation ahead. A clutter-free Christmas is totally possible. Kathi is funny, irreverent, and my kind of girlfriend who’s saying “enough!” to the insanity and helping us all get back to the real reason for the season.


My challenge for you this week:

How are you going to take what you’ve learned in today’s episode and will you create your own Holiday Mission Statement? How will this change how you approach the Christmas and holiday season differently in your work and life to make it more clutter-free? Share it with me, privately or publicly. Snap a photo of you doing the thing, and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: The Christmas Project Planner: Super Simple Steps to Organize the Holidays – Kathi Lipp

Book: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t – Jim Collins 

Resource: The Christmas Project Planner online community – free Facebook group connecting likeminded people who are simplifying their holiday season with The Christmas Project Planner

Resource: The Communicator Academy – helping up and coming speakers and authors further their reach through best practices, training, and coaching.

Podcast: How to master the art of thoughtful gift giving, featuring John Ruhlin – The Simplifiers Podcast

Podcast: How to simplify the 5 Love Languages, featuring Dr Gary Chapman – The Simplifiers Podcast

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[04:39] “What I have come to understand is a lowering of expectations and increasing, bringing your team into play.”

– Kathi


[11:02] “Find out what’s really important to your people. And then, if it’s really important to them, get them involved.”

– Kathi


[12:49] “My favorite meme this year was somebody who said ‘tradition equals peer pressure from dead people.’ I just loved that so much because who are we trying to impress? It’s the same reason we hang onto our grandmother’s broach but we’ll never wear it. And it’s like, no, you and your family get to blow up Christmas and make[your own] traditions that are actually meaningful to you.”

– Kathi


[25:22] “That’s the true secret to de-cluttering is not buying more stuff to make your life simplified. It’s actually paring down and using what you’ve got; being resourceful with what you’ve got.”

– Mary


[31:43] “There’s got to be pockets of peace throughout your December. For some people, it’s getting a little extra time to work on a project they love. Whatever it is, make sure that that is scheduled in because you don’t want to get to the end of December and the holiday season and say, you know what, I really need a holiday.”

 – Kathi


[36:54] “I think it comes back to the message of enough, you know, when you realize what you, your inner squad, your circle of family, really want, need, and desire and let that be enough. And that’s how you cultivate that discernment muscle in order to say… ‘no, thank you’ with gratitude.”

  – Mary

Get Unstuck with The Simplifiers Morning Prompts

We’ve got a free resource we’d love to share with you! If you find your work days aren’t as productive as you’d like and wondering where all the time goes, download The Simplifiers Morning Prompts. 

It’s a free daily worksheet that helps you laser-focus in on what needs to get done today, what could trip you up and how you’re going to stay on track. 5 questions, 7 minutes… this worksheet will help you SIMPLIFY!

Download your free guide

About Kathi

Kathi Lipp inspires thousands of women each year to strip down their expectations and live with real purpose. With humor and wisdom, Kathi offers hope paired with practical steps to live with meaning.

Kathi is the author of 20 books including Clutter Free, The Christmas Project Planner, The Get Yourself Organized Project, The Husband Project, and Overwhelmed. She is the host of Clutter Free Academy the Podcast! with Kathi Lipp She also runs the Facebook group Clutter Free Academy where thousands of women (and a few brave guys) support each other in living a Clutter Free life.

She has become well respected on the topics of clutter from a biblical perspective (who knew there was such a thing?). She is a national speaker and is often featured on Woman’s World as one of their “Ask the Experts”, Focus on the Family, MOPS International, Crosswalk.com, Girlfriends in God and Proverbs 31 Ministries as well as a number of other media outlets around the country.

Where Kathi hangs out online:

Website: kathilipp.com

Facebook: @authorkathilipp

Instagram: @kathilipp

Twitter: @kathilipp

Kathi’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Tonya Kubo – Creator of the ‘Secret to Thriving Online Communities,’ Tonya is an expert at building online communities and managing social media for brands who want to get more readers who (truly) get you.

Kathi Lipp clutter-free christmas

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