Some years ago, I remember my wife and I had a special task to do. Clean out a person’s house. This dear couple—they were getting on in years and we thought a lot of them—had not decluttered. They still had wedding presents, gifts, and packages they had never opened. All just piled up in rooms, to such an extent they didn’t have room to move around. It was time for action.
We did our job as best we could. It was the first time I had seen what clutter can do. Their house was not a large one, so it was vital that someone cut through the clutter. And I think there are many others who we call hoarders—they can’t let go of all their stuff. I don’t profess to understand why this is so.
I just know how much clutter can fill up our homes. I guess if you’re a tidy person (and I’m not), you have a better chance of decluttering.
What about those unwanted Christmas gifts on the top of your cupboard, or the clothes that don’t fit and should be donated to a worthy cause.
Today there are professionals waiting to help you declutter your home—for a fee. Companies will come to your home and remove clutter and organise space more efficiently for you. You can read lots of helpful articles on the topic. It just means: have a plan and start somewhere.
Decluttering Our Lives
But it’s not just your house that may need attention. What about decluttering our lives—body, mind, and soul? Each of us do cling onto unhelpful things and attitudes, and they accumulate over time. We don’t pay attention to them—we hold onto negative and painful feelings.
There are times in our lives when we get really burnt out and everything overwhelms us. We feel disorganised, we become forgetful, and we can’t keep up with our work. One way to deal with this is to take some time to declutter things in your life that are not working for you anymore. Do you sometimes feel you’re suffocating with too much happening around you?
Have you thought of the negative influences that affect your quality of life? And what about your relationship with God? Have you got any room for him? I think the word we need is freedom. Freedom allows us to step back, catch our breath, focus, reorganise, and get control. It’s something we all need to do sometimes. It just makes life easier, and more manageable. Have an inner spring-clean and enjoy the presence of God.
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Lives burdened with clutter are often not free to respond to the promptings of God—when he says something through the Bible—or a good friend who wants to be helpful. We are too preoccupied, or burdened. I like the quote by the expressionist painter Hans Hofmann: “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak”.
We embrace too much in our busy lives that is not necessary. We crowd out faith in God, attending church, getting involved in a Christian small group for sharing and friendship. We’re just too busy!
We speak of renovating a house—why don’t we talk of personal, inner renovation? It’s time to declutter and make some important decisions—have a new perspective about your life and what’s going on around you.
Listen to what Jesus said in Luke 12:15: “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.” An older translations says, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”.
(Read Declutter Your Life – Part 2)