What Price Do You Pay for Your Clutter?

We packed a small U-Haul trailer with only the necessities we needed for our stint of training and stored, sold, or threw away everything else. While I missed a few items, I really enjoyed my half-empty cabinets. I never wasted time sorting through drawers to find what I needed.

Two years later we paid to move our stored items across the country to our new home. I unpacked our treasures and wondered why I’d paid to move them. My children had outgrown many of their toys and we’d found better replacements for many of ours.

After finding a pair of earrings I’d bought for a gift and a lost safe deposit key buried in my catchall drawer I realized I’m still paying to store and move junk. The clutter in my drawer had stolen the precious time I’d spent looking for lost items.

The Bible says spiritual clutter also steals what is precious.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants… The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Matt. 13:7, 22 NIV).

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you” (1 Jn. 2:15 NLT).

First John refers to the world system under Satan’s rule, not God’s beautiful creation or the people He made (Jn. 3:16). The world system competes with God for our affection. It says titles, pleasures, and purchases give life. The Bible warns these substitutes crowd out the source of true life.

Clutter, like weeds, appears without bidding. But an ordered heart and home take work.

De-cluttering Tips

  • Email—This is one of the biggest time robbers in my life. I spend much more time reading email than I ever spent reading mail.
    • Unsubscribe from senders rarely read.
    • Schedule technology-free times.
  • Social media may help us connect with some, but it can rob us from face to face connections.
    • Turn off notifications from groups rarely used.
    • Limit time on social media.
      .
  • Closets and collections 
    • Empty closet and drawers and put back only what you use.
    • Share extras with ministries that distribute to the needy.
    • Remove something when you add something. Too much of anything detracts from beauty and efficiency.
    • Relegate items (shoes, plates, and accessories) to specific seasons.
      .
  • Heart
    • Schedule time with God for daily reflection, Bible reading, and prayer.
    • Ask God to search your heart for any “hurtful way” (Ps. 139:23-24).
    • Plan undistracted time to be with family and friends.
    • Politely decline invitations that don’t contribute to your priorities.

When I think of getting rid of some things, sentiments or the fear I’ll miss them make me hesitate. Don Aslet suggested capturing  sentimental items with photos and storing other items in a sealed box for a year. If you don’t remember what’s in the box at the end of the year, get rid of the unopened box.

 

Instead of considering the loss of releasing something, count the cost of keeping it. #declutter Share on X

Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (Jn. 10:10 NLT). Everything we hold on to takes up space in our hearts and homes. Sometimes, less really is more.

Question: How do you keep clutter from crowding out the joy of real treasures?

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Blessings,

Debbie Wilson

Prayer Request

This weekend Apple wiped my harddrive clean because my computer was running slow. I told them that made me very nervous, but they assured me it was backed up and would be fine. Three days later, no one can retireve my computer data. A third party is working on it. Please pray I get back at least my books, articles, talks and what goes with them. Thankfully, my photos were on icloud. And pray for my peace. To list all that is potentionally lost only makes me feel sick. I’m trying to look forward, but I’m mourning what seems to be lost. “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done.”

Resources

Today, November 7,  Life in the Presence of God, by author and speaker Dr. Ken Boa is released. Ken is one of my favorite Bible teachers and his new book does not disappoint. It is my new favorite book of his. If you want help in keeping a focused  heart, I highly recommend  Life in the Presence of God.

This book is about experiencing God in day-to-day life, and it’s like a 21st-century version of Brother Lawrence’s classic The Practice of the Presence of God—except more practical, with ideas for how we can really become aware of God, and follow Christ’s command to abide in him, even in our technology-saturated, fast-paced modern context. You can order a copy here.

Photos by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash and by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

#Recharge Wednesday, #Writer’s Wednesday #HeartEncouragement, #LivefreeThursday#Grace and Truth, ,#TuneinThursaday, #Dance with Jesus,  #Fresh Market Friday,

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Pam Ecrement

    Guilty!! Yes, you’re right on all points! It’s one of those things that creeps AND after being married for nearly 53 years now, it all starts to add up. Yes, about email. I am much better than I once was. I more often unsubscribe (even though that can take awhile to get in the system). I found I kept getting emails from companies and stores I used when my grandchildren were small that I have no need of now as just one example. What a holy conviction you have here, my friend!!!

    Love and hugs,
    Pam

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, I’ve been decluttering myself. That is what prompted the blog. And I think stores must share our info because when I sign up for one to get their 15% discount, it seems I get 10 others!

  2. Beth

    I’m so glad you included decluttering our hearts in this post, Debbie, for that is where I accumulate most of my “junk!” 😉 But I also love the tip about getting rid of something whenever I add something new to my closet. That’s one I think I’m going to keep and do! Thanks for inspiring us to take captive this time-stealing and relationship-robbing habit we all seem to cling to far too long.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Beth, my heart easily becomes cluttered too. It feels so good when we declutter, but it is an ongoing battle to keep it that way. So great to hear from you!

  3. Ann Musico

    Debbie truly this is an ongoing process for me in all areas. My husband is away for 2 weeks and I had the rare opportunity of feeling like cleaning and organizing and was able to clean out and reorganize my kitchen cabinets and pantry and my extra pantry in the basement. It was a lot of work but I felt so clean and organized when I finished. I am praying about your computer issue! I have had a computer crash and wasn’t sure the technician would be able to salvage all my files. Apple may not be sure they can but God can so I am standing with you in faith and also for you to experience His shalom.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, thank you for your pray of faith. This has certainly caused me to lean on God and trust Him to do more than I can imagine, however it turns out. When Larry would travel I’d take that opportunity to accomplish something. I know you will enjoy having these areas in order. I need to tackle our garage—again!

  4. bethany mcilrath

    Debbie, this is pure wisdom. Yes. I’m not a clutter-girl (fortunately my husband isn’t one for clutter either) but sometimes FOMO and worry about “if” I need it has me keeping stuff I shouldn’t -literally and spiritually. Thank you for this!!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you Bethany!

  5. Sarah Geringer

    I have so much clutter–paper is my main downfall. I’ve learned that if I stay on top of reading my email every single day, I don’t get bogged down (only a few months ago, my inboxes were full of THOUSANDS of unread emails). Now, I need to do the same daily managing of paper too. Thanks for this needed exhortation!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Sarah, I found it’s an ongoing battle with paper and email clutter. I am learning to be more careful in giving my email address out. Good for you forgetting a handle on that.

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