We’re moving. And that entails lots of sorting, cleaning, and decision making. As any of you know from your own moves, those decisions will live with you for a long time. How many of us have wished we’d kept that keepsake from Granny, or that simple tool we gave away in a binge of de-cluttering? And if any of you are like me, the thought of future effects from those decisions weighs heavily.
I know, I know. Some of you are born organized and just can’t understand what it’s like for us hanger-on-ers! I have a few children like you – I just don’t know where they got their gene pool! You can simply open that garbage can and toss. Or you can throw it in your trunk and drop it off at Good Will – as easy as pie! But for “us” it’s a different story.
We pause and reflect; we consider the options; we dream of future uses for “that” item. Oh, how we’d like to be different – but we’re not. And so we must pull up our bootstraps, take a deep breath, and “consider our ways” like Proverbs says. But, we must try as hard as we can to be objective about our objects. Why?
Because being free of clutter and unnecessary items is actually, well, very freeing! It gives space for new thoughts, new plans, and new items to work those plans. Really! And until you’ve tried it you just won’t believe it. So give it a go!
Steps to De-cluttering –
- Take the opportunity to toss when you get frustrated at your stuff. When you can’t find your son’s shoes for the umpteenth time (yep, that’s experience writing!), or you can’t get somewhere on time because someone doesn’t have something they need (yep, me again!) – use that momentum to sort through a drawer or closet. Toss, toss, toss.
- Take a day or a week and take inventory of your belongings. Just do a room at a time if that’s all the energy you can muster up. Then prioritize that stuff. Give each item a number or symbol for where it stands in your family’s life. Is it: necessary – unnecessary – trash – mementos ? Really think about each item’s value. It might have meant something five years ago, but does it still? From that list, decide what you can part with.
- Consider others in need, who might put to good use something that you really don’t use anymore.
- Do like we do! Move! Years ago, we were so desperate that we actually considered taking everything out of our house, so that when we’d put it back it would be easier to see how unimportant it was. Nah, we never did it, but we do happen to move every few years, which serves the same purpose. I know, we’re crazy, but it helps! :o)
- Take thought of the Scripture that tells us to “do all things decently and in order.” Is your home orderly? Do you have to hide behind the door when someone knocks, or meet them on the front porch so they won’t see the mess? I’ve done that, too, I’ll admit. That will be another post – training your children – my mom didn’t and it took years for me to learn how to manage a home.
- Try as hard as you can to be objective about the things and activities you have. We can become cluttered with the things we do, not just the things we own. Do you need them anymore? Do you even like spending time on them? We just sold our dairy goats and gave away our bunny. Oh, the sense of freedom we feel from not having those “to do’s” anymore! They served their time and now we’re moving onto new and more relevant activities. What a weight off our shoulders. Yes, we’ll miss them and the wonderful memories they offered, but we’re on to new memories.
Oh, and one really great advantage to being a pack-rat and clutter queen – my children have all become minimalists and are neat and tidy in their rooms and homes. Yep! They actually got so tired of my stuff that they swore off clutter and too many possessions! Hey, at least I’m helping the next generation!
Well, here’s to a productive and energy-filled summer divesting yourself of all those things you don’t need to own or do! Let me know how you’re doing or add your own ideas on de-cluttering in the comments section.
Hi ho, hi ho – I’m off to wage war on my garage clutter…..
I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”
Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.