Wednesday: How to Deal with Clutter

This Morning's Worship Song


A Time to Clean: Day 3

So, how are things going? Are you feeling God's presence in your home and heart as you work to clear the clutter? I can hardly wait to get started today!

How to Deal with Clutter

Today I want to talk about how to deal with the clutter and get it out of your house. Sometimes it can be really hard to part with things that seem like "treasures."

  • Maybe it's because we paid "good money" for the item.
  • Maybe it has sentimental value.
  • Maybe it's because we think we might need it "one day."
  • Maybe we worry that we won't be able to afford things in the future.
  • Maybe we just have a hard time making decisions about what to do with the stuff.
  • Maybe it's broken and you think you can fix it, but you never get around to it.

There may be more reasons for hanging on to stuff, and if you have one, let me know in the comments below!

I love pretty things but I hate spending money. My husband hates parting with money even more than I do! So, if I shelled out money to buy something, well, it seems wasteful to throw it out.

The cure for that is not to buy so much stuff. One of the biggest problems I have had in year's past is that since I hate spending money I'm always looking for a good {great} deal.

Sometimes a good deal isn't as great a deal as you think. Especially if you buy it because you like it but you don't love it - just because it seems like a bargain. Or buy more than you need just because it's on sale.

About a year ago I realized that the reason I never felt "great" when I got dressed in the morning was because most of my clothes were things I didn't really love - but I'm a sucker for a clearance rack! Not only that, sometimes we can end up spending MORE money because we think we're getting a good deal.

These days, I spend a little more money {I still look for sales} on quality items I love and just have less clothes. Unfortunately, I still have a good number of clothes in my closet that are in great condition that I never wear. So, I'll be going through them all this week. Things I never wear are going to our Appalachian Community Center so someone else can use them.

Decision Time & How to Declutter

Clutter is really just another word for "unmade decisions." So, it's time to make some hard decisions. Grab a trash can {or bag} and two or three boxes {or bags} Mark them as follows:

  • Donate - for items to give away
  • Relocate - for items that belong in another room
  • Yard Sale - for items you want to sell {optional}

1. Decide what area you want to work on. This can be any area you feel is cluttered. However, instead of saying, "I'm going to declutter the living room." say, "I'm going to declutter this pile of books on the living room floor." or "I'm going to declutter this pile of papers on the dining room table."

You want to set goals for yourself that you can actually accomplish in a short amount of time without feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. Your overall goal may well be to "declutter the living room" but that's too broad of a statement. Small goals are more easily attained and at the end of the day I want you to feel good about what you've accomplished - however small. One drawer at a time. One pile at a time. One closet at a time. That's how it gets done.

Change doesn't happen over night. This process may be painful at times. It may be hard. It may bring you to your knees. That's okay! Making hard changes is - hard! But in the end, not only will we find respite from the world in our homes, we will also find respite for our weary hearts!

2. Ask yourself some questions. As you go through your piles, closets, drawers, and other spaces as yourself these questions. Be honest with yourself!

  • Is this item still useful?
  • Do I really need this item?
  • Is this item adding to the quality of my life?
  • Do I love this item?
  • Is this item of sentimental value? Why?
  • Could someone use this item more?
  • Could I use something else in it's place?
  • Do I have more of this item than I really need?
  • Is it broken?

3. Make a decision. If the answer to any of these questions is NO, you need to make a decision about what to do with the item - trash, donate, or yard sale. If the answer is YES, you need to make a decision about where that item's home will be or is.

If the item is really useful - something you use on a regular basis find a permanent home for it in an area of your home that makes sense. If your closets are full and you have no idea where to stick it, you're going to need to make room - and that may mean getting rid of other things so that the things you love and use have a place to live.

Sometimes it's tempting to hold on to things that we really don't need. Maybe you have an emotional attachment to the thing for one reason or another.

For instance, if you grew up really poor, it can be hard to let things go if you have a deep fear of not being able to afford things in the future. Our deep seated emotional hangups aren't necessarily things we think about or process in our minds. But they are reflected in our behaviors.

Maybe you're hanging on to clothing that no longer fits because you keeping hoping one day they'll fit again. Reward yourself with new clothes when you lose the weight! Go ahead and donate those clothes to a place where someone less fortunate than you can use and enjoy them.

Maybe the item is broken, but you think you can fix it... for years I would hang on to broken things thinking, "One of these days I'll get around to fixing that." The truth is, it's probably not going to get fixed. Or maybe you save broken things just because... Unless you have a better track record than mine... go ahead and throw it away.

Sometimes shopping and buying new things is a way that women {and men} make themselves feel better when they feel empty inside. Past hurts, emotional pains, failed relationships, unhappy marriages, discontentment can all cause us to look for ways to mask the pain. But the truth is, no amount of material possessions - however shiny and pretty - can fill that empty place in our hearts. There is only one Person who can fill that hole and Jesus wants you to bring all of your baggage to Him and set it at His feet.

Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

He wants you to be free from the burdens of this world. Clutter never adds to your peace of mind and it doesn't give you peace in your heart.

Some clutter in our lives - like the pile of "important" papers perpetually found on our kitchen counters or on our desks, simply need to find a new home because they are important. You need to know the schedule of your son's soccer games! That's where having a household notebook can come in real handy. Or you could create a file system that works for you. The important thing is to not be like the ostrich and stick your head in the sand.

Make a decision - one at a time - and you'll see the piles of clutter reduce before you know it!

Today’s Goal

  • If you feel like you have too much stuff, write down your thoughts on WHY you have too much stuff. Do you overbuy? Do you shop to heal the pain? Do you just have a hard time letting things go?
  • Write down your thoughts in your A Time to Clean Journal about what He has shown you.
  • Be sure to download the printable Declutter Labels and How to Declutter Cheat Sheet in the Bonus section in the menu to your left.
  • This week we're working in our Master Bedrooms. Do as much as you can to fill a bag with clutter and clean your room.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it in our Facebook group and Instagram if you life - use hashtag #atimetoclean
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow, read tomorrow's lesson, and spend time in prayer.