Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Clearing out the good stuff

I've written here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here about clutter and how I don't like it, but I still have some and I want to get rid of it all.  (there are even more posts on clutter, if you check My Road to Happiness cloud, but I got tired of making the links)

As you see, clearing clutter is important to me.  You know if you have clutter.  All you have to do is open up your closet or the trunk of your car or look for a place to set the mail on the counter where there isn't already a pile and you can see if you have clutter.  You can have a cluttered mind, too.  Are you trying to read the bible or the newspaper, for that matter, and you have the tv blaring?  Are you checking your facebook newsfeed and talking on the phone at the same time?  Do you check your emails while you are talking to your husband?  Does anything get your complete attention? 


You look in your closet and see clothes with the price tags still on them.  Maybe you have 20 pairs of bluejeans.  Or you see shoes that you've only worn twice.  Maybe you have over 100 ties.  This stuff is all good stuff.  These things have value.

You look in the trunk of your car and you see 25 reusable grocery bags and two sets of jumper cables and an extra spare tire and four screw drivers and a couple lunch boxes.  This is all good stuff.  This stuff has value.

Our bible reading and newspaper reading and emails and phone calls are important.  There is important information out there in the big wide world.  We need to keep up on what is happening in the European Union and the stock market and the election and what our neighbor-down-the-street's kid has accomplished lately.  This stuff is all good stuff.  We need to know this stuff.

Let me suggest to you that an over abundance of stuff, even GOOD stuff is not a good thing.

If you've, at any time, watched an episode or two of (my guilty pleasure) Hoarders on A&E you know there are basically two types of hoarders.  Those who don't throw ANYTHING away (yep, that's a flat cat) and those that buy buy buy, but never use.

Yep, even too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

I know I can get caught up in believing that some of my clutter has VALUE and I shouldn't just toss it out because that would be WASTEFUL.  (btw, I must tell you that two of my brothers have the hoarder gene, which I am certain my father has, so there is a very good chance I have the recessive gene, therefore I may have some latent tendencies.  yeah, I know I do, after all, my son is a full-fledged hoarder.)  Anyway, I have to use some very positive self-talk to get me to throw things out that I think I may want to sell on eBay or an on-line yard-sale on fb or craig's list.  The self-talk I find the most effective is to remind myself that I am clearing space in my life to allow room for the BEST stuff.  I'm clearing out my closets from out-of-style clothing that may not even fit and ties that are too wide or too narrow to look even remotely stylish.  I'm clearing my trunk of junk that prevents me from taking home groceries from the store and feed my family.  I'm clearing out the good stuff to make space for the BEST stuff.  And sometimes that BEST stuff is peace and serenity.  And sometimes that BEST stuff is time with your family because your house is easier to clean.  And sometimes that BEST stuff is a good night's sleep in a bedroom free of dust and junk on the bed.

Along with the clearing of the good stuff, my mind can be cleared, as well.  When I look around and see empty flat counters and tables and chairs I can focus my mind on one thing at a time.  I can read a book or do a bible study or have a conversation and I don't have to distract myself from whatever annoying thing that is going on that I don't want to think about.  There will be no critical voices in my head telling me I should clean or clear.  I can be still.  I can be.

Paul said in Philippians 3:12-14, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

When I clear the good stuff from my house and car and mind, I can focus on the best stuff.  And just like Paul says, when I'm striving for this goal I will forget (all about the good stuff I just threw away) what is behind me.  I will focus and press on toward my goal to win the prize (the BEST stuff). 

Continuing my list of 1000 gifts and continuing to be grateful
429.  Diving into the book of Mark and getting more out of it than I ever have before
430.  Having the house to myself (sort of)
431.  Tomato salad for lunch and supper
432.  Finding time and energy to read fiction (and escape into my imagination)
433.  Clearing my inbox of all red flags (yay, fires are all out)    


  1. I don't really struggle with physical clutter.  Mind clutter and multitasking is my downfall.

    1. Doncha hate running through your to do list when you want to think about Channing Tarum

  2. I hate clutter too.  I'm always moving stuff around, tossing paper, rearranging.  The STUFF we collect!  And it's all just temporary - nothing we will take to heaven.  You're right, it's a distraction! 

    1. Removing the good to make room for the best

  3. i hear you in this...we can settle for the good stuff...instead of the best stuff for sure....

  4. hmmm. are you meddling here ? :)
     i don't really have lots of clutter. i guess just enough to loose things huh?  but definitely mental clutter. oh my 

  5.  haha, no meddling here.  Mental clutter is annoying.

  6. I called a friend to come over and help me de-clutter - because I need someone to coax me off the clutter edge - LOL! I'm finally ready to rid of some nice stuff and just keep the best stuff. My husband will be doing the dance of joy! - I just wish it was easier to stop my kitchen drawers from filling up!

  7. What you said about genes caught my attention! My brother and I are both pretty anti-clutter, although in very different ways from each other. I feel like maybe it's a reaction against a previous generation or two who were master-hoarders. Which in turn I tend to blame on being from an immigrant family. But my mom is SO proud of the fact that she has something for any occasion - and she's brilliant in that she can actually remember where it is. Her kind of hoarding seems to work, for the most part, but I know I could never pull it off.

  8. It's time for me to clear out a bunch of stuff, too.  I feel inspired now!  Thank you -


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