Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clean your Room!

A phrase I heard over and over as a child. Variations of this would be, "What a pigstye", or "What a mess!"

There's much I heard from my parents that I swore I would never repeat to my own kids. Yeah, yeah. I've said most of them, including "Clean your room". Here's the thing though - people (kids included) like stuff. More to the point, people like NEW stuff. But then the shiny newness wears off, and then the must have item becomes one more thing that clutters up our homes; one more distraction.

There are shows completely dedicated to helping people de-clutter their homes. Professional organizers are in big demand.

Many people have a distorted image of material possessions. They attach a sentimental value to inanimate objects. Don't even get me started about people buying stuff on sale or at a garage sale because it will be worth big money some day. Do you know what kind of people pay big money for other people's stuff? People who have more crap than they need in the first place! I'm not completely unsentimental. I have boxes of keepsakes from my kids -- from their baby teeth, to a special stuffed animal they clung to as babies, to pictures and cards they have made for me. Those things are special to me. But random Barbies, games, trading cards, video games, etc., that's just clutter - to me, anyway. Maybe it's just me. When my house gets cluttered, my mind gets cluttered.

So, guess what I did yesterday? In part, I began to declutter some areas in my home that sorely needed it. It's a constant struggle. I don't want to be wasteful. If I paid for something, I should hang on to it right? That depends. Maybe I thought I would use it, and I never did. If that's the case, I get rid of it. By the way, if you're a fan of useless crap, you should check back here often. I have a lot of giveaways:

Oh, where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Here's the thing. Acquiring more stuff for the sake of acquiring more stuff is just one more way we attempt to fill that big, God shaped hole in our hearts. Let's just stop it, okay? I'm talking to myself here, by the way...

Revelation 3:17-22

You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

I want to travel light. Lord God, help me cling to You; to always value people over things.

Well I was doubling over the load on my shoulders
Was a weight I carried with me everyday
Crossing miles of frustrations and rivers a raging
Picking up stones I found along the way
I staggered and I stumbled down
Pathways of trouble
I was hauling those souvenirs of misery
And with each step taken my back was breaking
'Til I found the One who took it all from me

Down by the riverside
I laid my burdens down,
Now I'm traveling light
My spirit lifted high
I found my freedom now
And I'm traveling light


Billy Coffey said...

I think it Thoreau who said that "A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone." I've found that true in my own life. Nothing drives me more crazy than clutter.

The things that truly matter in this life aren't stuffed in boxes and drawers, they're carried around in the heart.

Great post, Katdish!

Beth said...

Ooooo...I dig that song! One of the best compliments I ever got was that someone said that song sounds like Frank and I.

I'm definitely not a stuff hoarder. I'm always trying to throw away things that Frank wants to keep. "Maybe I can use that someday..."
It's our epic battle. And I think my kids have joined his side...


sherri said...

I'm constantly throwing away or giving stuff. (Like every Saturday when I have extra time)

I give away alot of stuff to people I know could use it, and I have a garage sale every summer for the rest.

I am very sentimental but I like to surround myself with the sentimental items (heirlooms).
And put the rest in its place (which sometimes includes the trash).

Helen said...

Hi. My name is Helen, and I'm a clutterbug...

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

List of areas that I need to declutter:
My closet
My kids' closets
The linen closet
The craft area
The laundry room
The entire basement

I hate crap too. But I'm also easily overwhelmed. And my husband leans toward clutterbug. So while we may stop using an item and remove it from our living space, it often just goes into hiding in a closet or basement because we never get around to disposing of it. (And because Charlie might need it for something) (Don't tell him I said that)

I need to get right on that.

Billy Coffey said...

Steph - "I need to get right on that."

That's what she...oh, never mind.

Beth said...

Don't let me fool you, Steph! I am in a constant state of overwhelming clutter...I could have written your whole comment! Except substitute the word "music" for "craft." I am SCARED to go in my basement. It's old and creepy and I have no idea what may be growing on what Frank has put down there.

jasonS said...

I am definitely with you on the decluttering thing. If our house feels cluttered, I start feeling anxious and bothered. That's what we were doing yesterday as we cleaned. I know you're broader point was about traveling light in God, but I had to get the other off my chest. :)

Great post- thanks!

katdish said...

So I'm working today, but I knew I could count on my friends to keep the conversation going in my absence. Now what am I missing on twitter? I gotta get me some blackberry twitter!

Warren Baldwin said...

I read recently that one way to begin getting control of your life is to throw 50 things away. That sounds like a lot of "things," but when I think about all I have accumulated through the years, it really isn't much. Good post. wb

sharilyn said...

love this post! as a sentimental pack rat (doubly difficult to get rid of stuff!), i struggle with this. when i moved a few years ago, i HAD to get rid of about 3/4 of my belongings. it was tough! but freeing at the same time. clutter seems to grow at my house (cuz i'm a piler), and the clutter makes my mind, and then my heart, chaotic. i am constantly fighting the battle against it, but fight the battle i do! i have grown much... and i watch my good friend who has no problem purging and getting rid of anything she doesn't use or love (not like, LOVE). her home is always in order and so very peaceful, and i want to be just like her when i grow up!!! :)

she did teach me a great trick as well-- take photographs of sentimental items you can part with. the photos remind you of the gift/person/event and take up FAR less space! great advice!!

katdish said...


Believe me, it is a constant struggle. My husband is one of those "save that broken thing for parts" guys. Drives me crazy.

I'm the type who will buy stuff that has minor dents or scratches because I can fix them.

Question is? Who has time to fix things you don't really need?

JML said...

Well-done! and I love that it's mostly stuff that you've mailed out recently, as well. :)