Well, isn't January just the month for a post like this?
I mean who isn't cleaning up, clearing out and wanting a fresh start on a new year!?! And what is more problematic, way hindering and spirit dampening, than clutter?!?!
I know for us, it seems to be an never ending struggle! I mean we only moved here just over a year and a half ago and I can not believe the amount of 'stuff' we have....stuff we don't even use or need!!
And no, it doesn't help that both hubby and I are pack rats/salvagers but still - where does it all come from??
You know what's amazing though? Is how clutter can not only invade on your physical space but on your mental and thus spiritual space as well!!
For the past few weeks, my Dave and I have been going hard at clearing out the clutter in our home - and in the off time...it's amazing how it's helping to clear out the other clutter in our lives! As in somehow, the removal of items, sorting though and decision making on necessities of the stuff we own, has opened our minds to the clutter within. To the things that are bogging us down, distracting us or just blocking our vision of what truly matters.
And with every item, box or bag that leaves our possession - it is wonderfully freeing!
Back during my Muskoka get away, (part one here) Kathy, the speaker, touched on how the clutter around us is a big factor in stealing the peace in our lives. At the time I thought she made an excellent point...but it wasn't until these past few weeks, as we have been clearing and cleaning, that I really could see the affect this clutter actually had on my life!
Kathy had brought to our attention that there are four things about clutter;
1. We get used to it.
2. We avoid it or try to ignore it.
3. We are drained and immobilized by it.
4. It doesn't go away by itself!
It was so true!! Dave and I had grown much accustomed to the clutter around us. The piles of it on our staircase, that we passed each morning and evening on the way to our room. Our closet, with a corner so filled with items that we had long forgotten what lay in there. And of course, our third floor space. A glorious bonus in this old house, that had gone much neglected because...it was just full of stuff!
Oh and how we avoided it....hence the hiding it away in the third floor. Tucked up there for nary a one to see...including ourselves! It hidden up there...along with our shame! Shame at having so much
As for being drained and immobilized by it, well, literally this clutter was everywhere - be it an entire space full, or the corners of our closet or a pile on the staircase - it was everywhere...and that is very tiring! You may not notice it, you may not recognize that's where your energy suck is coming from - but it's the clutter!
And yes....no matter how you wish or whine - that clutter will not go away all by itself! It takes real effort and often godly help!! Weather He sends help, motivation or just a change of heart - you will have to at some point meet that mess head on!
So that's what we've been up to. Cleaning and clearing out the stuff that is around us. Taking a real hard look at needs and wants and prioritizing space over stuff! I did sell off some items but in the end, we...err....Dave...(good man!) loaded up the van and took it all to the Salvation Army!
And FREEDOM people!!! FREEDOM!
Not only has some real sense of peace been restored but also a many usable spaces in our home are free!!
We are busy working on the third floor now, creating a wonderful space that I am super excited to share with you all....soon! We have room in our closet again and I actually swept the stairs the other day because I actually could!
I believe that hubby and I will still struggle with the idea of keeping stuff, as that tends to be how our personalities work but I also know that God is the God of changing hearts and He keeps working on us in this area! I still have things to sort though but I'm excited at the peace that I feel and the simplicity that less is bringing back to me!
So, friends, if you struggle with clutter - I pray and plead that you get on it! Big or small, no matter - it is rewarding and joyful to meet that mess, tackle it and restore sweet peace to your life!
Pray for wisdom, He is faithful! Ask for help, we can't always do it alone and sometimes...you can't see the forest for the trees - so get some fresh eyes, fresh approach or just that motivational tough love! Take small steps - we didn't tackle that third floor space all in one go. We broke it into various, manageable tasks, making the job that much less overwhelming! Do not underestimate the power of small steps!!
And so, I'm excited to get finished on our new space and to keep the momentum going....that pantry of mine is looking awfully crowded....I think it's next!
Blessings and get busy this weekend!!