Drowning in clutter? Here’s one way to declutter so you can free yourself – and your home – from the clutches of the clutter monster.
Do you look around your home and see messes on surfaces? Or does your home look picked up but you know that clutter lurks behind your closet doors and most drawers and cupboards in your home?
I know the curse of clutter all too well. Even well-intentioned homemakers struggle with clutter. It’s hard to actually clean your home when you have clutter to deal with.
Simply defined, clutter is having too much stuff. You might have brought it in your home or others might have passed it along to you.
However it happened, clutter won’t leave your home until you get rid of it. And that takes time and intention.
The trap of muddled living
In her book Discipline, Elisabeth Elliot writes,
“A simple and orderly life represents a clean and orderly mind. Muddled thinking inevitably results in muddled living. A house that is cluttered is usually lived in by people whose minds are also cluttered, who need to simplify their lives. This begins with simplifying and clarifying their thinking. Mind and life need to be freed from the ‘disorder of the unnecessary.’”
Elliot’s observations are backed up by science. According to Psychology Today,
“The human body is made up of tens of thousands of integrated biological and neurochemical systems, all of which are — yes — organized. Many of our cells operate on strict schedules, or circadian rhythms. Even at the atomic level, we are well-regulated and well-organized. Without this organization, our bodies would collapse into chaos.
“It wouldn’t be surprising, then, if the reason we crave symmetry and cleanliness in our homes is to mirror the organization within our very own bodies. Neatness and order support health — and oppose chaos.”
Just like I’m glad my body is well-organized and not collapsing into chaos, I want the same for my home. I long for a clean and orderly mind and home. I crave neatness and order. Don’t you?
All of the organizational tricks in the world can’t compete against too much stuff, though. And in the past year, I’ve noticed that I can’t keep my home clean if it’s overrun with stuff.
The continual need to declutter
Every few years, I get on a major decluttering kick. Feeling strangled by the amount of stuff in my home, I carefully comb through every single belonging – keeping what I need and purging what I don’t. When I’m done with my decluttering, everything looks and feels amazing.
My last huge home purge was two summers ago – and until this winter, my home stayed really clean and manageable. But thanks to a busier than usual schedule, I’ve had little time to keep up with my home – and the clutter is growing and spreading, much like a monster.
Clutter never will disappear on its own. Decluttering will take effort and time and intention. But the rewards will be well worth it.
Imagine … neatness and order. Cleanliness instead of chaos. Can you picture how freeing that would be?
The hard work needs to be done. As tempting as it is to ignore our clutter problems, the only way to make them disappear is to actually work through your home, room by room … item by item.
By deciding to purge what’s cluttering your home, and then methodically doing the hard work, you’ll begin to find freedom from excess stuff.
Making the decision to declutter
Ruth Soukup’s book, Unstuffed, is helpful, but I’ve also created a 2-month long Decision to Declutter challenge to help! Through Decision to Declutter, we’ll systematically work through each room in our homes.
Enrollment currently is closed. You can click here to sign up for the waiting list, and I’ll e-mail you details when the class opens for registration again!
Only after we decide to take control of the clutter in our homes and lives (either through the Decision to Declutter Challenge or independently) and actually act on our plans will we start to free ourselves from the clutches of the clutter monster.
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All images courtesy of AdobeStock.