Spring is coming…honest! And with spring comes spring-cleaning, which I start in February before the garden beckons me. As I looked at a few clutter piles this morning, and a few cobwebs here and there, spring-cleaning definitely came to mind. But first came my responsibility to get a devotions ready for the website, which affords me this opportunity to prod you concerning any clutter or cobwebs you may have. (smile)
First, I want to share the spring-cleaning God has been doing in my life…my personal life. I have been on a journey of sorts, which you have probably read in the devotions lately. With that journey to a deeper abiding life in Christ (resurrection living) has also been a journey of simplifying my ministry life. God showed me that I was too fragmented which did not leave time to take care of all of my responsibilities excellently. I give thanks to the Lord for laying me aside with the flu, then a cold. These three weeks gave me one on one time with Him…time to really seek and listen and de-clutter my life, schedule and home.
For the health of our hearts and minds God wants us to live daily in His peace, which passes all understanding. And if there is one thing the experts in time-management, stress-relief and organizational skills agree on it is clutter equals stress/anxiety/non-peace. Please check this link for several good articles concerning clutter and stress: http://stress.about.com/library/lifestylequiz/blcluttercomment.
So, I hope you will glean from the following information to assist with your spring cleaning…and apply it, not just to your home and office, but to your personal life as well.
First find 3 boxes and label them with the 3 categories.
When trying to decide what you should put in which box, ask yourself these important questions.
• Do I really love this item
• Do I really need this item
• Is it too nice to use
• Is it too ugly to use
• Will I benefit from keeping it
• Will I benefit from tossing it
• When is the last time I used this item
Set a time limit…2-3 weeks to do the whole house.
If you feel like this is going be a task you will never finish, start off with something small like one drawer, one shelf, or one cupboard. Once you start to see some progress you will get motivated to keep going until the project is finished. Ending clutter takes drastic action and a die-hard determination that we will conquer clutter!
1.) Trash: This should include any item that you do not need, is broken or damaged or ones you have not used or worn in a year, but are not good enough to give away or sell.
Donate or Sell- Be generous. Think about the need of others to be able to acquire good used items vs. the use they will have buried in your closets or cabinets. Consider the financial benefits of selling your stuff at a garage sale. Also consider the time and work involved in having a garage sale.
2.) Storage: Put items in storage that you cannot part with but do not need on a regular basis. Make an inventory of the items as you box them. Group similar items together. Remember one good way to clean out closets is to store out of season clothing.
3.)Work room-by-room and sort items into the appropriate boxes. Handle one item at a time deciding how it will fit into your newly organized life. Don’t forget to go through closets, cabinets, and storage spaces.
When you need to stop for the day immediately throw out the trash so you don’t go back and second guess yourself. Box up the storage box. Place the donate/sell box in the garage, or out of site. And remember: Don’t rescue the clutter!
When I started this process last spring my home was not dirty and horribly messy. But I had too much STUFF in closets, drawers and storage bins…and too much furniture in a small home…and my office was NOT the picture of organization.
When my trash was gone, my storage was packed away, I had donated or sold some items, and everything I had decided to keep was in its place, I took a walk through my house and admired what I had labored to accomplish! Now, I enjoy the lack of stress and the results.
Remember: De-cluttering our personal lives is often overlooked. A cluttered personal life causes a lot of stress and often depression.