Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to Stop De-Cluttering

De-clutter. What a lovely word. It can fill us with the hope of a magazine ready clean home, gives us thoughts of fancy new bins, totes and organizational items. It keeps us hunting for new, better, faster ways to de-clutter and organize our home. And that feeling of finally getting that closet perfectly organized, oh what a feeling that is, that feeling of finally being DONE with de-cluttering that space.

But how many more times will you again de-clutter that space in your life?
How often will you again be pulling boxes and bags of stuff to the curb or your local thrift store? Will it ever end? The simple answer...No. You will never be done until you include one more important factor in your plan. You need to stop bringing stuff into your home.

Shopping is an addiction for so many people in our culture. When you start to step back from the stores and really see your part in it and your eyes become more open you can become appalled at what you've been a part of.

My suggestion to you is to stop purchasing new items, before you even start thinking about de-cluttering. Here are a few things to think about when you feel the urge to shop.

  • Redefine for yourself the difference between needs and wants. What would you die without? If your home caught on fire and you had 2 minutes to get out what would you take with you?

  • Also take time to consider if your wants are more important than somebody elses needs.

  • If you like to shop, search your heart for why. Examine the feelings you get when your browsing or you buy a new item. Should you be feeling this from material things?

  • Question each item you are considering. Do you really NEED that item? What would they have used 50, 100, or 3000 years ago to do the same job? Will your life truly be better with it?

  • Could there be spiritual consequences to buying it you may not have thought of? (Ex: Buying something against your husbands wishes. Using money that could have been better spent elsewhere. Taking up space in your home you don't have. Taking up time in your life to clean and care for the item that could have been put towards more important things like God, your husband or your children.)

  • Is the item going to build your relationship with God, or is the mere act of buying it, and the space it will take up in your home going to take away from Gods presence in your life.

  • If you thrive on simplicity and buy things to help you live simply and organize your home, really take the time to think about that. If you want to live simply, why are you buying more stuff to help you organize stuff you probably don't need. If you don't have it, you don't need to sort it and organize it.

If this is something that you struggle with (as it is with me) I challenge you to resist temptation by staying home for a week or two, or more if you can manage. Maybe even put your money in an account that you can't access from your debit card or switch to cash and leave your money at home if you want to get out.

The best way is to pretend you have no vehicle, or that you're snowed in. Just because we're grown ups doesn't mean we can't play make believe! ;)

We are a one vehicle family, and since my husband has needed the vehicle for work lately I've had no way out for a few months. I ended up stuck in our home with all our "stuff." Most of which was never used, and just got in the way of our daily living. Not only that, but the mountain of laundry and things to clean daily was becoming overwhelming.

I started getting rid of things, simply because I knew we didn't need them and I didn't want to waste time cleaning something we didn't need! And because I couldn't get out to shop, nothing new was getting in, and the house was getting cleaner, and cleaner, and easier to manage, and even more enjoyable to be in. Amazing how that works hey?

Take time to read and pray about what God wants your home to be, and what you really need to own to make that possible.

Matthew 6:19-21         

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

1 John 2:16                     

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.   

1 Timothy 6:9-10         

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.            

Luke 12:15         

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

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  1. I love the Lord's sovereignty over details - even over what I read and think about and listen to on the same day :) We are currently de-cluttering our home room by room, and I've been meditating on what God desires us to do with our stuff.

    We recently were in a situation where we did not have any income for months, and had to make do with limited food, household goods, etc. And we were fine! God supplied each and every NEED, and no more. It was such a growing time for my daughters and I; we are richer in trust and glad for it.

    Thank you for this post, Jessica! I'll be highlighting this post tomorrow on my FB page, for sure!

  2. Thank you for this post, Jessica. This is an outstanding post!! I am declutering my walk-in closet. Like I am always decluttering my walkin closet. Where does the stuff come from?? I don't have a car available to me most of the time. I stay home more than I go out. I like it that way. I like going out because it is a treat and not something I do a lot of. I don't have the closet space that we had in the house we once lived in but there is attic space that we didn't have. I am decluttering intentionally and maybe someday it will all come about to spell out simplicity!!

  3. I loved this post! So thankful I stopped by here today! So very true. The more I stay home, the less tempted I am to bring things back with me and the less money I spend. I love being home! We, too are a one-vehicle family, which is a wonderful blessing. The dear Lord blessed and worked it out that my husband can work from home full-time. What a blessing to not have to get out and spend money for gas, etc. Thank you for sharing this sound wisdom and for your faithfulness to the Lord. Love, Cheryl

  4. I agree with everything you have said. I had to step back not long ago and realize that I was buying to much stuff. I am not a shopper as in go to the mall. I go to goodwill and other thrift stores. I have now quit shopping most thrift stores and although I go goodwill still. However, out of the last 5 times I have been in there I have only purchased once. My husband and I are also going on a spending freeze the month of January just to see how much money we are wasting.

  5. Excellent post. We just moved and even though we decluttered before we moved here we are decluttering again. As we slowly decorate I'm looking more into repurposing what we already have instead of rushing out to buy new.

    1. Good job Kemi! We're putting the last of the Christmas decorations away today, and I'm debating pulling out the old decor or just leaving things bare. Decisions decisions!

  6. Thanks for sharing this great post at Good Morning Mondays, thanks for the points to help us stop cluttering up our home. It is good to stop and think do we Need or do we Want. Blessings