Tuesday: How Clutter and Discouragement Often Go Hand in Hand

This morning's worship song.

HOW CLUTTER AND DISCOURAGEMENT GO HAND IN HAND

A Time to Clean: Day 7

Do you ever find yourself day dreaming of a different life... or maybe you just feel dissatisfied with the way things have been going in your life. Discontentment can severely affect everything from your relationships to your homemaking. I wish I could say I've never been discontent, but that wouldn't be true!

Life is hard sometimes. A lot of times. And there are definitely seasons in life that are harder than others.

Discontentment Can Lead to Clutter

Discontentment will eat at you until you feel so helpless and dissatisfied with life that those things that are precious to you can lose their appeal. Like homemaking. Or marriage. Or motherhood. For me, it was my house.

Often times, clutter or a messy house is a symptom of discouragement, discontentment, and depression. A lack of energy or excitement about home is a classic reason why it's so hard to keep it neat and organized. We shop for new things because we are unhappy. We hold on to things because we are unhappy. We find it hard to let things go because we are unhappy. And we're unhappy because life seems harder than it should be.

When we're depressed or discouraged, the house gets messy and a messy house makes us feel more stressed, depressed, and discouraged which leads to more discontentment. It's a viscous cycle.

So, how do we go from being depressed and discouraged when life may very well be hard to feeling content and finding our joy again? For me, it was making the decision to laugh more, focus on what really mattered to me, and learning to say no {setting boundaries}.

Figuring out why you're so unhappy might require some deep soul searching. The source of your discontentment may not be crystal clear to you, but I believe that if you pray about it and ask God to show you why you're feeling unhappy with life that He will give you answers. Other times, you know why - maybe your marriage is difficult or you have a parent who wants to control your life or maybe your husband has been out of work for months.

Whatever the reason, when life is hard, sometimes you have no control over that. So, instead of trying to control your circumstance, you have to change the way you think about things. We can choose to be happy. I had to choose to be happy. I found a new way of looking at life and it has set my soul free.

The Opposite Effect

Clutter can also lead you to feel discouraged and discontent. Studies have shown that excess clutter in your life can lead you to feel more stress. It is harder to focus and and actually decreases your performance overall. Which you have probably already realized!

In fact, I've read that if you get rid of 1/3 - 1/2 of your stuff that you'll live longer nd feel happier. Do you think it's true? I do.

Clutter adds a lot of unwanted "things" to my life. Things like:

  1. The house gets messy so fast.
  2. I feel overwhelmed when I walk into a messy room.
  3. I can't always find the things I need when I need them.
  4. I can't always be spontaneous and invite people over.
  5. It stresses me out and makes me unhappy.

And if stress is a leading cause of death... well, maybe having less stuff really could add years to my life!

Remember how I said, focus on one pile, one closet, one drawer at a time? When clutter has overtaken your life, it's important to understand that it probably won't go away over night. When you begin to declutter, don't get discouraged. Don't look at the mess in your house as a whole. Break down each room into manageable tasks.

Today's Goal

  • Ask God to show you what things may be causing you to feel discouraged about life in general. Are there things going on that are out of your control? What can you do to change the way you deal with those things {change your mindset}?
  • Or do you think that clutter is the main reason you feel stressed and unhappy in your own home?
  • Write down your thoughts in your A Time to Clean Journal about what He has shown you.
  • This week we're working in our Kitchens. Do as much as you can to fill a bag with clutter and clean your kitchen from top to bottom
  • This week we will also begin the routine of going to bed with a clean kitchen, sparkling sink, and clear counters if you aren't in this habit already.
  • 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.

How does clutter make you feel? Do you feel discontent at home?