Too much junk in our trunks… Learning how to clear clutter, keep a clean house & get rid of stuff

“Guilt is our enemy. It eats away at our health and happiness. When we establish these habits, we free ourselves of the guilt that overcomes us when our homes are a mess.” ~FlyLady  

Being a CEO of Me® is all about balance and doing our best, even in our households.  This doesn’t mean having a house that’s always sparkly clean or that everything is always in it’s place.  It simply means creating systems that work for you & sticking to them that allow you to live in a happy, healthy environment.

I lived in a small 520 square foot, 1 bedroom apartment for several years. When I first moved in, it felt huge (it was the first place I lived in after moving out of my parents home). As the years went by and I began purchasing more things and as my home based business grew, that apartment began to feel about as big as a refrigerator box.  I was slowly starting to suffocate because of all the stuff that was stuffed into that small, stuffy space.

I moved into a larger 2 bedroom house over 3 years ago. When I started the moving process and going through all of that stuff, I promised myself I would never, ever let my new house become so stuffed. I did a clean sweep and got rid of over 1/3rd of my possessions. I wanted a home I could live in, feel comfortable in, be proud to show off and invite friends to spend time at. 

I mostly didn’t want all that external baggage around me anymore.  When our homes are cluttered and overstuffed, it damages our mental, emotional and physical  health.  We feel guilty because we can’t seem to catch up, much less stay on top of the mess. We are embarrassed when people come over and always making excuses.  Lots of times the stress from the mess can even make us gain weight & cause us to become lazy because it’s just too much to tackle so we just keep putting it off.

It can be hard to let go of stuff though. We often allow stuff to take the place of people, relationships and even love in our lives.  When we get hurt or lose someone or something we love, we cling to the things that bring back those memories or that make us feel safe from the pain.  Shopping and obtaining things can also become just as bad as being addicted to drugs (ever seen the TV show “Hoarding, Buried Alive”?).

Matthew 6:19-21 says- “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

We have to ask ourselves where our heart really is?  Does all of that stuff really benefit us?  Does leaving the mess just because it’s too much to deal with do us any good at all?  Does it move us any closer to being the woman (or man) that God intends us to be?  Are we really treating the blessings God has given us to the best of our ability?  Is our home an example of how a CEO of Me’s home should be?

I can promise you once you learn to let go of your material stuff & you gain control of your household again that you will also find an amazing sense of freedom. You will be able to let go of a lot of mental stuff that is piled up and cluttered up & damaging your ability to be the best that you can be.

Another thing to consider is being a good steward of the things God has blessed you with.  If you are truly grateful for the home that God has provided you with, then you should take pride in having a Godly home and a healthy environment for your family to live in.  Does your home honor God? Are you showing him how thankful you are for your possessions by treating them with respect and dignity? Are you being a good steward of the things God has blessed you with?

Proverbs 10:4- Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

A resource that helped me get my stuff in order (and get rid of a lot of it) was www.flylady.net (also check out her facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/TheFlyLady).  She has great tips and systems to help you “fly” through your housework and household chores.

After learning some of these methods and taking some time to implement new systems, I have been able to keep my house fairly neat & organized all the time without having to spend a lot of time & energy to do so. Let me tell you it feels GREAT!  I love having people over now. I don’t have to do the “grab all the stuff and shove it into a closet or back room and lock the door so no one sees the mess” anymore when people come over.

The biggest thing for me was doing a clean sweep and letting go of things that I was holding onto because I was emotionally attached to them. I also had to realize that I am not defined by my possessions, how much stuff I have, what brand of clothes or type of car or size of house or the decor I had, none of those things defines us. It is who we are on the inside and how we treat others and what we do for God that defines us. 

Luke 12:15 says- And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”(ESV)

Take some time TNT – (today, not tomorrow) to check out FlyLady.net  & to work on 1 room or one corner of a room or 1 closet in your house to start with.  Then tackle the next room, corner or closet. Once all the extra stuff is out of the way, you can begin implementing daily & weekly systems that will enable you to stay on top of your housework and maintain a healthy environment in your home & your heart too!

Read more posts about household & organization ideas…

Did you enjoy this post or learn something from it? I would LOVE it if you would leave a comment below and / or Pin it, Tweet it or Share it. Thank you!

Comments

  1. Caryn says

    Thank you for this article and these wonderful Bible verses. I have been praying for a way to help tackle this problem. This is truly something that I struggle with. It seems like it should be easy to get the house clean….I mean everyone else seems to have it figured out….but I have never been good in this area. For those that have never dealt with this problem, they may not realize how much anxiety and stress this can cause someone. Maybe I need to buy you a plane ticket so you can come down and help me. :)

    • says

      aww, you’re welcome Caryn! This was an older post I found and felt it was still relevant to share again! I would love to come visit you in general but I also would love to come help declutter and organize, lol… I’m an organizing junkie and love it. It’s hard, I was a pack rat for years and years and still end up with more stuff than I need. I force myself to clean out at least every other month. I am so much more at peace, happy and calm when the house is in order. It’s never going to be perfect but as long as it’s clean and there isn’t clutter and stuff around, that’s ok with me. Hugs my friend!
      Misty Kearns recently posted…Redo your ugly, laminate countertops for under $10 with Contact Paper!My Profile

  2. says

    I couldn’t agree more Misty! When we moved oversees 2 years ago we sold or gave away almost everything. It took 3 major garage sales, and visits from every friend and family member to get rid of everything. I was shocked at how much we had accumulated. I made the decision never let myself go back to that lifestyle. We recently came back to the US and it was so easy because we did not have a lot. We live in a small home with limited storage, but that is ok with me because it keeps me in check and discourages the “storing up” of earthly treasures which I know I do not need but can be so tempted to hoard in this culture.
    April recently posted…Old Navy Kids & Baby Sale – new clothes for Little GirlMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks April! It is amazing isn’t it? Like I don’t even miss half that stuff that I couldn’t let go of. I try to make myself clean out at least a couple times a year now and if I buy new things I make myself donate the old stuff (or yard sale it). It is hard though in our culture and all the influences pushing messages that we need more, more, more… Thanks for commenting. :)
      Misty Kearns recently posted…Small Business Saturday Link up & Share Feb 16- 2013My Profile

  3. says

    Great reminder Misty! I love the TNT (Today Not Tomorrow). I used to follow the FlyLady, but it has been years. Your post gave me the gentle reminder to go revisit and start re-implementing some of her strategies. One thing that I learned through her site that has stuck with me is getting dressed, down to your shoes. As a work from home mom, I have the luxury of looking however I like. I can take a shower…or not. But, I hear that advice in the back of my mind and I (usually) choose to go ahead and get ready for the day. 😉
    Clever Colleen recently posted…Choosing Your CommunityMy Profile

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