Friends! I pray this finds you well and rested, having had fun family time over Memorial Day Weekend.
Wait ’til you hear what nearly happened: My sweet husband, John, and I recently came within hours of buying another house. As in Sunday night, before we were to answer the contract Monday morning, we were leaving the potential purchase and I said, “Ya know, I’m just not 100%.” To which he replied, “Me neither.”
KUNG…..Are you kidding me? I’d already mentally placed furniture in each room thanks to sleepless nights among other distractions. We’d be gaining a neat, “lock and leave” concept-of-a-home with a four foot by eight foot patch of grass verses our current two acres, a first floor master, etc.
John stopped the car mid-hill and we said in unison, “Let’s not do it.” That was that.
While some of our friends considered us in dire need of a psychological evaluation (!!!), others “got it”. Several of our friends are downsizing, simplifying, and purging their homes of stuff so their poor children don’t have to years later. Having gone thru’ that with my own parents, that experience was no picnic. At all. At all.
One huge “aha” moment occurred during this lapse of sanity. I declared while in a major panic mode: “Wow, if we have to show this house for sale, the first and second floors are good. But the closets? And the basements? Major deal-breakers. Buyers would run for the hills.”
You may have noticed “basements” is plural. Yes, we have two basements. Both small, but both very full of stuff. Largely thanks to my parents’ home we emptied.
Thus we’ve begun the purging process. We’ve made good dents in all the closets. But, we’ve not ventured down to the basements yet. Soon tho’, very soon. It’s a very good feeling to finally begin this long, overdue process.
There are a gazillion books available to aid those of us in the pack rat category. One which many of us have read and continually quote is Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
One of Marie’s suggestions is to hold up the item in question (whether to keep or toss), and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” My friends and I’ve had a boatload of fun discussing this.
The other good news is there are numerous organizations more than happy to take your stuff, friends in need, maybe even consignment opportunities. Our “trash” is morphing into someone else’s “treasure”. Hallelujah!!!
Another book I read years ago is by a guy whose fame largely came from Oprah. His name is Peter Walsh. He’s written many more books since the one I read. I confess I totally bought this book on a whim because the title made me howl right there in the bookstore: Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? For real? Yet it seems there is a correlation to people with stuff also carrying around extra pounds…Hmmm…
Even better news, I’ve discovered a lovely Christian author named Ruth Soukup. She’s authored several books on decluttering and comes highly recommended. Her most recent book is called Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul.
Check out her amazing blog, too: www.lvingwellspendingless.com
On Ruth’s blog, she says her mission is to “eliminate overwhelm and make your life just a little bit easier.” Amen. She even offers many amazing recipes!
Lysa TerKeurst says, “As women, we have the tendency to overstuff our lives, our schedules, and our homes with things that really aren’t beneficial. And our souls suffer because of our unwillingness to let go. Ruth Soukup tackles this issue head-on and gives practical steps to be purposeful with the stuff we let into our sacred spaces.”
Ruth’s book is divided into three parts: Home, Mind, and Soul. It’s not just about decluttering stuff, she helps you seriously look at your schedule, your paperwork, and other people’s stuff…as in letting go of guilt. i.e. “My Mother would never forgive me if I got rid of _______________.”
She also talks about when you’re “drowning in magazines” as an example of the paperwork part. (Please, no one venture onto our porch right now as there’s a pile of magazines and catalogs awaiting my review. Hello? Busted.)
Regarding your soul, Ruth addresses friends, wellness and your spirit, “Letting go of the need to do it yourself.” She tells us, “Each chapter will offer sidebars of concrete ideas you can implement right away to clear the chaos and create calm, clutter-free zones within your home…”
While we may have missed the spring cleaning season (it’s not quite summer yet, is it?), it’s never too late to begin purging. Your home and your family will thank you, trust me.
Before we close, let’s look at some other books by Ruth:
Before I return to editing my book, I’m tackling two horrendous looking piles surrounding me on my desk. Got a place in mind you need to tackle? Go for it! Just start, little by little.
Clear the clutter, clear your mind. You’ll be honoring the Lord with your efforts and He will be well pleased.
Proverbs 16:3 reminds us to include God in our efforts:
‘Til next time!