Tuesday, October 13, 2015

WHY Declutter? ~ The Great Purge of 2015 {Decluttering Series}

{Just last week, I started a series on decluttering. You can read the first post if you’d like to start at the beginning. Thanks for reading!}

It’s going to be difficult to un-clutter your home if you don’t have a good definition of what clutter is for you and your family.

Each person and family have their own definition, and what I think is clutter you might think is homey-ness or comfortable and reassuring memories. Or you might think what I’m keeping is excessive. It’s up to each individual, and you ought not feel bad if your definition is different from your mother’s or your best friend’s or your grown daughter’s. {Unless your house becomes a hazard of stuff toppling on you or dust bunnies so wild that you’re in harm’s way. Then, let’s talk. J}

For years, I've resisted decluttering. My husband also. We thought we needed more storage, better organization, or just a larger house. {In my defense, there were other reasons for that larger house, like more toilets. J }

Isn't it amazing the power our stuff has over us? Why did I resist for all those years?

I paid good money for that stuff.

Actually, I didn't. A lot of what we're eliminating was gifts or hand-me-downs or rummage sale buys. The gifts were appreciated at the time and most have been well-used, but why stash in a closet twenty-three year old towels in a color I don't even like any more?

What if I need it later?

I have cleaned out in fits and spurts over the years, just never to this extent. There’s only one time I got rid of something that I wanted later. That happened just this weekend. I had been storing a couple of free clipboards for going on five years, and I finally gave them away a couple of months ago. This weekend, my son asked me for a clipboard for something he’s doing at church. Oops! Or maybe not. We found something that will work just as well.

What about the issue of trusting God to provide? I’m definitely not advocating getting rid of everything in your kitchen and pantry and then expecting manna to fall from Heaven. But when it comes to ten-year-old tee-shirts, do I worry that I’ll need them that day when God doesn’t provide? I shudder just to think that sacrilegious thought!

Bags in the foyer ready to go to the thrift store.

In my turnaround of attitude and actions, I’ve decided to focus on the benefits of decluttering.

My family and I have less to dust/pick-up/clean.

How can that not be better?! Dusting is necessary but definitely not my favorite thing to do. Toy pick-up by the children is a happier experience for all when there are fewer to pick up.

We can pocket some cash.

By selling a few items, not only are buyers benefitting from our reduced prices, but our family has some extra grocery money.

Collecting everything before we can sort, organize, and purge.

Stress is reduced.

We're not minimalists {yet!}, and if you came in my house, you might still think I have a lot of stuff. {Remember those six children? J } But it's getting better, and with every bit of floor or closet space that opens up, I can look around the house and breathe better. Fighting my way into a closet to retrieve pajamas for the 4yo, stepping on toys that won’t fit anywhere, jamming my toes on plastic tubs and boxes…that’s not a relaxing end to the day for any of us.

Someone else can get some good use of the stuff that's been cluttering up my closets, my home, and my mind.

Can I get an amen? J

So are you ready to dive in? What reasons do you have for decluttering…or for keeping?

Next week ~ A long list of what we’ve eliminated, if you’re curious about what I call clutter. J

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  1. Isn't it nice to feel like you own the stuff in your house instead of it owning you? :-) Great post!

    1. That's an excellent way to say it! We have had so much foisted on us that it does feel like it owns us. Thanks for a great comment! :-)

  2. I need to do this so badly! As you said, I know my life would be less stressful if I would do this. I am curious to know....Have you worked on decluttering in small bits of time or larger chunks of time. It just seems so hard to fit it in with homeschooling and keeping up with the daily necessities, such as laundry, cooking, etc.

    1. It is hard to fit in, Miranda, and in fact, my blogging has not been as consistent as usual because of my efforts with decluttering. I also want to get started on another Love Inspired Suspense novel, but that hasn't received the chunk of time it deserves. Some areas, like clothes closets, have received large chunks of time. I do the entire closet at once. I prefer it that way, but there are times when the best I can do is grab something as I walk by that's been on my mind and stuff it in the thrift store bag. :-) I'm not done yet, mostly because of the time involved. I've done enough decluttering that I'm hooked, and now I look for time when I can sort through an area. Thanks for reading!

  3. I need to work on this, too. Clothes that I wish I could wear again, homeschool supplies that I think we might use someday... It all accumulates.

    1. I hear you on the clothes you wish you could wear again.... :-) Thanks for commenting!

  4. This is inspirational. I am going to have a go at getting rid of at least some of the excess. If I keep the tasks and areas small, it should be do-able. Thank you for providing me with some much-needed inspiration!


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