Potential Help for Medical Debt

$195,000,000,000. This is the estimated medical debt of US households, and the number continues to grow. Medical debt can be crippling financially, but there can be relief for those who qualify. Non-profit hospitals are required to award charity care in order to keep their not-for-profit status, but they don’t always do a great job of publicizing that this assistance is available.


A household at 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or less (which would be less than or equal to around $44,000 for a single-person household) could be eligible to have a significant portion of their expenses waived.


Weeding through this process can be daunting, especially if you are in the middle of a health crisis, but there is an organization that has devoted itself to helping people through the application process and they do so at no charge. Dollar For has helped get millions of dollars in healthcare expenses forgiven. If you or someone you know is experiencing this issue, check out to find out if you qualify.

Prime Days Got Me, But I Have No Regrets

I was doing well with No Buy July, and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take a quick peek at Prime Day deals. (That idea of “just looking” has probably cost me quite a bit of money over the years) This little Vitamix beauty grabbed my attention. I had recently learned of the virtues of this pricey blender and had experience first-hand the difference between it and my current blender. I had planned on asking Santa Claus for this appliance, but along came Prime Days. After researching that the price was legitimately a good one, I finalized the purchase.


I had made a deal with myself for No Buy July that I wasn’t going to purchase anything unnecessarily. While this purchase didn’t strictly fall within the “need” category, it was still something that I gave thought to and knew this blender would have a purposeful place in my home—which is ultimately what No Buy July is all about. I view this appliance as an investment and something that will get ample use in my kitchen, so no regrets.

But I Can Use This...

My daughter came into my room expressing her frustration and annoyance that the excess strap of her belt bag was hanging down her leg. I cut off enough to pacify her, and when I handed her the snipped piece, telling her to put it in the trash, she looked at me and said, “But I can use this.” (Hand slap to forehead.)


This sums up my daughter’s relationship to stuff. Can you relate? She and I differ significantly on this point. Where I see trash, Sadie sees potential. I have noticed that clients who get hung up on the “but I can use this” issue are typically creative types. Painters, crafters, sewers, handymen/women—they can conceive of a use for the items that others might discard or they can imagine a situation where they can help someone else who might need the item.


The potential problem of the “but I can use this” mentality is that the stuff never gets used. It piles up or clutters up bins, drawers, closets, and garages until it is difficult to remember what is there. And, ironically, the accumulation of so much clutter actually tends to stifle creativity, not encourage it.


If you can identify with this mindset, there are a few questions to ask yourself about your stuff:


1.      How long have I had it? Once you have determined that, set an amount of time you are comfortable with and discard everything older than that. I would recommend using two years as a guideline to begin with.

2.      Instead of asking if you could use it, reframe and ask “will I really use it if I haven’t used it by now?” Maybe the answer will be yes, but more than likely—if you are honest with yourself—it will be no.

3.      What is the worst that would happen if I let it go? Walk this scenario out to the end. The worst thing that will result is often not really that big of a deal.


The more space you are able to create in your home, the more space you create in your mind: space to breathe, to create, to make decisions, to focus, to re-fuel.


If you are in this camp, decluttering isn’t an overnight process, so be prepared to give yourself grace. If you would like an accountability partner and an objective perspective, I would love to be a part of your journey. 

Are You Celebrating Enough? What a Toddler Taught Me About Celebrating the Little Things.

When you have a child, there are typical developmental milestones that are celebrated—rolling over, siting up, crawling, and walking, just to name a few. I recently learned from my good friend, who has a toddler with Trisomy 21, that her baby’s journey has been a little different. Developmental milestones often occur on a delayed timetable and with the aid of physical therapy. What is so remarkable to me is that there are all of these micro-milestones that are precursors to the bigger ones—things I didn’t even know to look for in my own girls’ development.


Because this family is mindful of these things, they are able to celebrate each and every step of the way. In fact, his mom says that these celebrations have truly been a gift to her and her husband. And their sweet son celebrates right along with them with hands clapping and a big grin on his face.


Are you celebrating enough? Your goal may be to have $10,000 in an emergency fund, but are you celebrating the fact that you put the first five dollars in? Or made it to $100? Then $1,000? These are small steps, but they are a big deal. Without them, you don’t reach the end goal.


Want an organized house but only cleaned out the sock drawer? Celebrate it! Cleared all the expired goods out of your pantry? Celebrate it! Pat yourself on the back, let out a holler, give yourself a high five, whatever you need to acknowledge the deposit you have made toward the future outcome you desire.

If you struggle with financial or home organization, I would love to walk alongside you and develop goals and then a plan to reach those goals. And we will celebrate every step of the way!

Work in Progress

A recent client had moved twice in a short time period and was also suffering from medical issues that sapped her strength and energy. This meant that unpacking after the second move became a low priority, but the pain point of the clutter was still high.

We worked together slowly and steadily to create breathing room. We implemented the pegboard system for many of her crafting supplies, which helped in two ways. First, it allowed her to see at a glance exactly what she has (she is an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person), and second, it allowed us to eliminate three larger pieces of furniture that took up space in this small area. This solution is not for everyone, but for this client, it is perfect--it allows easy access for use and easy access for putting items away.

We also took advantage of vertical space by installing the shelves above in order to store some items that aren't needed as often.

There is still work to be done but at least now there is an oasis. It is taking a weight off of her shoulders (unburdening her, if you will) and freeing her mind to be the creative person she is. 

Today I chose to be LESS of a consumer and MORE intentional about what I bring in my home. This is one example of a mindset shift that helps me embrace simplicity. I want less physical things in my home to manage so my time and brain power can be used for my family and strategically for our goals. As I’ve said before— no one will ever accuse me of being a minimalist. But I’m moving in a direction of simplicity.

Less for Mo

A friend and client recently shared this story on Instagram. I am so impressed with the intentionality she has developed when considering what to bring into her kitchen. Being the owner of several colors of Fiesta dishes, I can appreciate the difficulty she had in walking away.

LES for MO! One of my favorite stories told by my dear college friend, Leslie, is about her and her amazing mom Mona playing in tennis tournaments at their country club in Springfield, Missouri. Her family would show up cheering “Les for Mo and Mo for Les!” (Les short for Leslie and Mo short for Mona). Apparently it was hysterical and hearing them tell this story over the years makes me wish I went to one of their tennis tournaments.

Today I borrowed their slogan “Les for Mo” Today it meant something different for me. While at Macy’s looking for something very specific for our home I passed the Fiesta dishes. I could write an entire post about my affection for dishes and admiration for Fiesta! Today not only did I see a remarkable shade of blue that made my heart skip a beat, but they were 30% off to boot!

As I stopped and started envisioning this perfect shade of blue in my home — I thought of all the open space currently in my kitchen cabinets. That has been intentional. I rather like seeing space when I open cabinets. And I have plenty of dishes! It was hard to pass up the 30% off sale. But I decided to say YES to LESS for MO! LESS dishes for MORE space in my kitchen.

Today I chose to be LESS of a consumer and MORE intentional about what I bring in my home. This is one example of a mindset shift that helps me embrace simplicity. I want less physical things in my home to manage so my time and brain power can be used for my family and strategically for our goals. As I’ve said before— no one will ever accuse me of being a minimalist. But I’m moving in a direction of simplicity.

Savvy Sixty(ish): Van Man

Van Man teaches a lesson both on the keys of Income and Contentment/Gratitude.

Keys to financial success (according to me): Income, Contentment/Gratitude, HALT, Awareness, and Delayed Gratification. 

Savvy Sixty(ish): Gratitude as a Key for Financial Success

Second key for financial success: Contentment and Gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful thing and can impact so many areas of our lives. 

Savvy Sixty(ish): Contentment as a Key for Financial Success

Second key for financial success: Contentment and Gratitude. Both of these are so powerful when it comes to managing your finances and your stuff. Reach out to me at if you would like more information on how Unburdened can help with organizing your financial life and/or your home life. 

Savvy Sixty(ish): Income as a Key for Financial Success

Discussing the first of the five keys for financial success: Income. One of my favorite sayings is "If you can't manage a little, you can't manage a lot." 

Savvy Sixty(ish) Introduction

Malignant Debt

Tangible items in your home are not the only things that can have malignancy associated with them. I wrote the other day about malignant clutter, which is clutter that carries an additional emotional and/or mental burden.


Certain debt can also create this extraordinary burden. This isn’t the run-of-the-mill anxiety some may feel over debt. Malignant debt has a weight of its own; it produces a visceral reaction every time you make a payment as it serves as a monthly reminder of something of which you would rather not be reminded.


It might be legal fees from a recent divorce. Or perhaps medical bills from a recent illness. Maybe it was just an impulse purchase you have now come to regret.


This is where a mass-prescribed get-out-of-debt plan may not be the best for you. The malignant debt may not be near the top of the debt snowball or be the one with the higher interest charge making it mathematically the most sensible to pay off first. However, paying that debt off before others may have the biggest emotional impact on your life, which could ultimately have the bigger ripple effect in your life, impacting your mental health, your physical health, and your relationships.


Working with a financial coach uncovers situations like these. A coach should be able to ask the questions that get to the root of your values, your goals, and what is and isn’t working for you.


If you are looking for a more personal and individual approach to help with managing your money, reach out to Unburdened. I would be happy to set up a question-and-answer session so you can determine if financial coaching might be right for you.

Malignant Clutter

I love the term malignant clutter. I first read about it in Peter Walsh’s book “Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight”, and I latched on to it. Malignant clutter is the stuff that has added emotional, mental, and spiritual weight because of how it affects you in your soul. I was able to see the impact first hand of this type of clutter while helping a client clean out her garage.


We came upon some medical supplies that her son had needed when he was an infant, but these particular boxes had dozens of unopened, sterile supplies. However, since the boxes themselves had been opened, the company wouldn’t take them back, and she couldn’t find a place that would take them as a donation. As she relayed this story, the tears started flowing. She was feeling guilt over the items going unused, guilt that the insurance company had paid for those items, and just the general burden of what those supplies represented—that it had been a life-or-death situation for the first four or five months of her baby’s life.


Paralyzed by these emotions, she was unable to make the decision on her own to let go. With gentle encouragement and assurance that letting go was okay, I put those boxes in the purge pile, and she released the weight from her heart and her mind; a weight that she hadn’t even realized was there until the items were gone.


What are you holding on to that is weighing you down?


·        Clothes from 30 pounds ago that depress rather than motivate you?

·        A wedding dress from a marriage that no longer exists?

·        Clothes or toys for the baby that never came?

·        A room or storage unit full of belongings of someone who has passed?


These things have real impact on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It’s okay to grieve them, let them go, and reserve that space for what makes you content and happy.


If you don’t want to tackle it alone, please reach out to Unburdened and allow me to compassionately walk beside you on your journey.

Square Peg, Round Hole

There is a lot of good financial and organizing advice floating around, and perhaps you have even tried some of it. And perhaps you were disappointed in yourself when it didn’t stick.

The problem likely isn’t you. Many of the mainstream “gurus” lay out their systems and methods but fail to inform that those systems and methods may not be for everyone.

• A debt snowball may not be the best way for you to pay off debt

• Organizing by rainbow order may not work for keeping you organized

• You may be okay with using a credit card in your everyday life

• You would rather shave off your eyebrows than file fold your underwear and pajamas

My job as a financial coach and professional organizer is to find a system or method that is functional and sustainable for you and your life, not to force you into my specific system or method that works for my finances and home.

If you are frustrated with the things you have tried that so far have not worked for you, please reach out to me and let’s discuss how Unburdened can work for you.

Organizing Frees up More than Just Physical Space

I recently worked with a client who—due to various life circumstances--had put her creative outlet of soap-making on the back burner for over a year. We were organizing her new home and were able to organize her soap supplies in the existing shelving in the garage. After going through a couple of dozen boxes and purging a dozen bags and boxes of unwanted items, there was room for her car in the garage and the sentimental items that needed to be gone through were sorted and organized by category, awaiting the time when she had the emotional energy to tackle them.

A few days later, I received the pictures below. She mentioned that while having the physical supplies organized was a contributing factor to her making the two pounds of new soap, it was really that the order we had established in her home freed up creative space in her mind. She was not only unburdened of a lot of the physical clutter, but she was also unburdened of a lot of the mental clutter that is attached to disorganization, which is why I do what I do and why I love what I do.

I would love to help create that space in your life. Please reach out to schedule a Q&A session so we can get started on that process.

What Mountain Have You Been Circling?

What mountain have you been circling?

In her book “I’ll Start Again Monday”, Lysa Terkeurst discusses a passage from Deuteronomy where the Israelites had been circling Mount Seir for many days. In verse two of chapter two, the Lord spoke to Moses, telling him, “You have skirted this mountain long enough; turn northward.” In other words, it is time to take action.

What mountain have you been circling? Perhaps it is the mountain of getting your finances under control or getting your stuff and your house in order. You know something needs to change but aren’t sure where to start.

Don’t stay stuck in the same pattern. Let me help get you moving in the right direction.

Let me help bring calm where there is chaos, order where there is disorder, and peace where there is fear and anxiety. You have circled the mountain long enough; it’s time to get moving.

Port in the Storm

A client (and longtime friend) and her family had recently moved into a new house, and she felt overwhelmed at putting that new home together. While the last year and a half has brought many joyous moments, it also has had more than its share of turmoil and trauma, which has led to major decision fatigue. This intelligent, competent, and capable woman felt undone and untethered by the state of the house after the move and couldn't seem to summon the energy to begin to organize her new space. She wisely picked up the phone, and we scheduled a weekend for me to come and help her establish some order amidst the chaos.

Her biggest pain point was the kitchen, since that is where so much of life happens. (Below are pictures of the kitchen and the pantry before we began.)

We pulled everything out of the kitchen and pantry, unpacked every box that contained kitchen items, and sorted as we did so. I'm sure she and her husband were wondering if I had any idea what I was doing as I had only succeeded so far in making a bigger mess.

I believe wholeheartedly in pulling everything out of cabinets and drawers because it is important to see exactly what you have. If something has been gathering dust in the forgotten corner of a cabinet, it's time to let it go. This client did just that. She and I went through each piece and she made the decision on what she wanted to keep and what she no longer wanted taking up precious space in her kitchen.

After shopping for containing supplies, it was time for me to get to work. (As a side note, please do not think you absolutely must have special containers. They are fun and often make a space look aesthetically pleasing, but they can also get rather expensive. Work within your budget.)

Since I was staying at their home, I could work after everyone else went to bed. Plus, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if the job wasn't completed. Around 11:30 p.m. I finished up, pleased with the results, and hoping that my client would be, as well. The next morning, my friend/client told me she woke up a little after 1;00 a.m. and couldn't wait to take a peek...she said it was like being a kid on Christmas morning.

A rule of thumb before purchasing anything new is to shop your own stash first. You never know when something you already own may work perfectly. This client had this large lazy Susan that could not have fit any better in this corner cabinet.

Lazy Susans make the items that my client uses frequently in cooking more accessible. There is additional space in this cabinet and in others that will allow for items that may not be purchased at this time, such as paper towels.

The metal drawer pull-outs were purchased and installed for this project. I have added these in my kitchen and have had zero regrets in investing in them, They nearly double the storage space and make everything in the cabinet accessible.

The pantry shelves are rather narrow, which makes locating items a little easier. Narrow acrylic bins help contain items like sauce packets and napkins and are easy to slide in and out of the cabinet.

There are moments in life when it feels like you are trapped in a storm and the task(s) in front of you leave you paralyzed, unable to even begin. While we didn't get the entire house put together and organized, my client's knowledge that she can clean her kitchen counters easily in the evening, can make her coffee in an uncluttered kitchen in the morning, and can cook dinner efficiently because everything is in place has lifted a small burden and a little anxiety from her shoulders. 

If this resonates with you, please don't hesitate to reach out. That is the purpose behind help your home be a port of calm in this crazy life. You can schedule through the website or reach out to me directly at