Thursday, March 28, 2013

Clearing out the Clutter - One Bag at a Time

Back in January, I took part in a 31 day challenge to rid my home of clutter.  The theme was 31 bags for 31 days.  Each day, participants were challenged to work on an area of their homes and get rid of one bag of clutter.  I rose to the challenge and attacked my home with vigor; I was on fire.  No clutter was safe from me.  Bags and boxes were taken to thrift stores.  Trash was discarded.  Paper piles were recycled.  It felt good.

But here's the thing... six years of living in this house with my sweet family has allowed for stuff to pile up... more than I could take care of in just one month.  The problem with clutter is that it comes in one bag at a time.  By itself, each bag seems innoucous; when added all up, the sum is imposing.  Not only does its large mass encroach upon my space; it drains my emotions and my energy.  Clutter is a theif dressed in pretty packaging.  It steals my time, my peace, my space.  It clouds my vision... I no longer see and appreciate all I have and the beauty before me.  And, I will admit this, getting rid of the clutter sets off an irrational fear in me.  Questions pop into my mind like this:  "What about the money I spent on this item?", "What if I need it someday?", "What if I don't have enough?".  Umm... that is not life-giving but life-draining.  

Here is the reality of getting rid of clutter in my house.  As the clutter goes, I am much more content.  Funny, the things I thought would make me happy sometimes give me the most satisfaction when they are gone.  My charming cottage bungalow no longer feels small and tight but rather cozy and peaceful (well, as peaceful as it gets with a husband, three children, a cat, a dog... and me).   I have space to move and create.  Time is freed up to spend with those I cherish the most and to do the things I love.  And you know what?  I don't miss any of those things I got rid of back in January nor have I needed any of them. 

Today, I am building back into my routine the practice of purging my home regularly.  When those irrational questions come, I am replacing them with this questions:  "Could someone else use this?, "What is the worst thing that could happen if I let this go?", "Do I really want to spend my time taking care of this?", "How much will I gain by letting this thing go?".

Armed with this:

I am going to tackle that clutter and rid my house of it... one bag at a time.  If you have clutter in your house, won't you join me?  Don't let the task daunt you... take it one bag at a time!

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

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