De-Cluttering Our Lives
Clutter takes many shapes and forms. Clutter gradually moves in and we find ourselves buried in stuff. We can find clutter in our
Mind or thoughts
The clutter that I continually battle is the clutter of the mind. I continually run through lists in my mind of things I need to accomplish. I think in sticky notes.
When I had 4 children, a job, home, homeschooling and ministry to manage, I would often tell my kids, “The folders in my brain are full, please don’t expect me to remember what you are responsible for because if you give me that thing to take care of something else will be forgotten that is already in there.” As they got older, they began to take more and more responsibility for their own schedules.
I embarked on a journey of healing and self-discovery when my husband left in 1998. Much of my energy was focused on learning about myself. Because I had a deep desire to be the best mom and woman of excellence, I gave a lot of emotional energy to my own healing and restoration.
Since I had gotten married at a young age, I had never taken the time to learn about myself. All of my adult life had been focused on being wife and mother and I had never explored the heart of God and who He made me to be. The journey included a lot of ‘trial and error’. Learning how to de-clutter my mind was an important part of that journey for us all. I liked order and things picked up at the end of the day. I didn’t want to wake up to dirty dishes in the sink…I wanted to start my days with things in order. It took me a few years for me to understand and even appreciate the fearful and wonderful way I am made. My family experience many stress-filled days and weeks as I learned about my own values and those of my children.
Chaos in the house
resulted in chaos in my mind,
which resulted in a frustrated mom,
which resulted in yelling,
which resulted in more chaos in the house.
You get the picture...
In order to stay de-cluttered in my mind, I had to find ways to manage daily chores like dinner, dishes, and laundry. Determining my values in each of these areas was the first important task. I personally had a value of having dinner at the table each night as a family and making sure my kids ate at least one healthy meal a day. I also had a value of keeping clean underwear in the drawers and dirty dishes off the counter. I had to find ways to keep order in these areas so that my mind would not be consumed managing these daily duties.
Since managing mealtime was a high priority for me, I utilized different methods to maintain order in my brain:
I would cook for the week, or month; engaging the kids in my cooking days and grocery shopping.
In busier seasons of life, I would just write down menu ideas based on what we had in the pantry or freezer. This alleviated my need for looking every day at what we had and spending my precious time in the mornings figuring it all out. I could just pick one!
As the kids grew; they began to take on the responsibility of dinner preparation one night a week.
De-cluttering produces peace. Peaceful homes give space for healthy relationships. It is important to determine where the areas of clutter are in our lives. Ask the Father for creative ways to de-clutter. He wants us to make a place for Him to dwell in our minds, emotions and homes so He will help in our time of need; if we ask.
We are told that He generously gives wisdom to those who ask.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)
A new year is a great time to open the windows of our heart, mind, emotions and home and let the breath of God come in and clean out our clutter.
If de-cluttering sounds overwhelming, or you don't know where to start, I'm here to help.
Spending time with a coach, discovering values, defining road-blocks and developing a plan will help you advance in 2022.