Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Declutter Me

This morning after the masses returned to their day jobs (including my children whose day job is, you know, school [which I believe is completely unnatural since no child should be in school after Memorial Day, but I digress]), I parked myself right back in the middle of my pillow-laden bed for a little morning TV trash before embarking on the post-holiday chore extravaganza.

To get myself in the cleaning mood, I watched a show on the Style network appropriately named Clean House. It's a show like any other cleaning/organizing/home decorating show, except the host of the show doesn't mind a little back-sassing. In fact, on today's show, she told the reluctant client, "I don't care about your whining. Girl, I done had three kids -- your whining don't bother me none." That's the kind of spunk many of these shows are missing.

Anyway, I was watching the show, really just wanting to veg out before tackling my irrational pre-vacation to-do list, when I sensed the conviction of the Lord. You see, on this show, the female half of the clientele kept sneaking her things -- the things that had been decluttered -- back into her house. And it wasn't like she was sneaking in a long-loved silk scarf, rather, she tried sneaking in a green marble table top big enough to seat ten people. She convinced friends to come buy her belongings to give back to her later, contributing her own money to the redecorating cash stash. She resisted the process so much that her husband cursed at her, and the fiery hostess nearly hit the road.

So back to the conviction: I love decluttering. I love sorting and purging our belongings. Were it not for the twinge of guilt I feel when I consider all the money passing back out of my house, decluttering would be the most perfect past time for me. Don't get me wrong -- my underlying need for frugality ultimately does not interfere with me letting go of the excess Barbies and bed sheets.

I learned a long time ago that things are replaceable. There is no need for me to hang on to an abundance of belongings that clutter up my life and rob me of a sense of peace. That to say, what I felt today had nothing to do with property. Rather, it had to do with attitudes and behaviors and emotions out-of-control.

I'm dealing with a few things -- some obvious, some less-so -- and though I ultimately want change to happen within, though I want an emotional remodel if you will, I find myself hauling in that green marble table top of old. I want the end result, instead I cling to the things I should be letting go.

But I'm tired. I'm tired of dealing. I don't want to be stripped down to the studs. I don't want to haul stuff out, wield a paintbrush, hang a curtain. I just want to walk in for the reveal. I wish it were that easy.

"Test me, O LORD, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
for your love is ever before me,
and I walk continually in your truth."
Psalm 26:2-3

"Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 139:23-24


  • Amy

    I'm right there with ya!

  • Randi

    The reveal will definitely be worth the process although I know it's not fun to walk through that.

    We should start a small group for those who love to de-clutter. It's a favorite pastime for me too ... Phil says I've thrown out everything that was once his. Not true although his belongings of old now fit in a nice, tidy (albeit small) memory box. :)

  • Renae

    Great post! I have been doing a lot of cleaning the past two weeks. It feels so good to get things back to simplicity, but you are right, it is hard work. And the whole maintenance thing is its own challenge.

  • ~Robin

    Awesome menatal image with the green table top, I'm gonna remember that one! Great post today-love it!

  • Karen

    Oh you hit the nail on the head with this one....I am so guilty of bringing the green table top back in time and time again.

  • Elizabeth

    Girl, I've been thinking through the physical decluttering while on vacation. We've managed to live with so little "stuff" this week...why can't we at home?

    But your post beckons me to go deeper. Love your writing and your heart.

  • Jenny James

    Love that show too. You know, it would be so nice if we could see the end result of sorting our personal clutter in an hour's time, but alas we don't live in TV time.
    Good post, A!

  • Amanda

    I first want to say I'm glad I could help ya out with those terrible red ants :) ~ Thanks for stopping by my blog and....

    I LOVE to declutter. I used to be ridiculous about holding onto things and now it's like I've become addicted to throwing unnecessary things out. Today I decluttered my 9 month old's clothes - I kept a couple special outfits and the rest got put in bags and I gave to my cousin, since she just had a baby girl.

    I had this theory with my son that I needed to hold on to all of his clothes, because I just knew someday I'd have a little boy. Well, my sister ended up having a little boy and she got all of my son's clothes from birth-4T. She's set and it felt so good. I realized at that moment that if I ever had a little boy again I could always go and buy new boy clothes and that is something I LOVE is to shop.

  • Michele

    Wonderfully and beautifully said.

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