Can I be frank for a bit here?
I have a problem over here with clutter.
I mean, it's gotten bad.
I didn't used to be this way and was always super tidy and obsessively organized.
Earlier this year even, I was getting to the point of hoarder status.
And not like stacks and stacks of stuff but in terms of the actual meaning behind the clutter.
Allow me to explain...
First, allow me to say that I think America has a problem with clutter. Too much stuff. The Berenstein Bears and too much stuff.
I'm on the Committee for a local children's resale that happens twice a year and just seeing everything brought in, it only reiterates the too much stuff theory.
In my own life I have been thinking a lot about why I have clutter. I believe people evolve and change as they grow and mature. Events shape us and can define us or be a reason for us to change.
Here are some of the reasons I've come up with for my clutter:
1. Upbringing/ Poverty
I grew up pretty poor. Government cheese at times poor. And yet when I look back I remember my mom always had tons and tons of clothes. Not that she was out buying lots, but that she never got rid of anything. I think I took from that that having a lot of stuff was the way to go: a safety net if you will. Whether you used the 78 purses you own or not, having them was the way to go.
2. Empty Promises/The Search for Fulfillment
I recently started purging my closet and I am getting rid of things that I am not in love with. I can't believe how many articles of clothing I am getting rid of because they aren't comfortable of flattering or both. And when I take those things out of my closet I remember when I got them. I can remember the feelings that came with purchasing them. So many times I was just stressed or bummed and wanted something new and pretty so I went out shopping and got the item just to get it. It was probably a good deal and so at the time I convinced myself I needed it. I was trying to fulfill something in myself and it didn't work. And how many times do we all do that? That eliptical machine you never use but bought because you saw that as the way you were going to change your life and lose tons of weight. Or furniture you don't need. The world's best stroller so you can feel like the best mom. Whatever the items are, I think we're all guilty of it at one time or another.
This is where I talk about the hoarder-ish quality in me that I didn't even know I had. In January Nick and I went through and did a really deep clean of our bedroom. Our bedroom, I would say, includes his walk in closet, my dressing room, and our actual bedroom. And it's probably like a lot of you guys' bedrooms in that, it becomes a dumping ground for all of the odd-jobby things you don't know what to do with or didn't have time to put away. So we weeded through and purged and purged and screamed and weeded and purged and purged.
What I was not expecting was for Nick to come into my dressing room with me. Why Hello. And it was so embarrassing because he made me get rid of so much. Ratty, dingy camisoles had to go. 6 of my 11 pairs of tennis shoes went. Old contacts that I had worn at some time of life after college but were just sitting in contact cases. Case after case after case got thrown away. It was really embarrassing. Nick asked me what the heck I was thinking and for each item I found myself telling him I might need it if he ever loses his job.
Which made me decide that I really might just be insane.
See, Nick got laid off 6 years ago! It was completely out of the blue, shocking, and lasted 6 months before he had an amazing job offered to him. And it wasn't until Nick was asking me about these things did I realize how much his job loss had affected me. Apparently, this deep down part of me is secretly terrified that he will lose his job again. And I will find myself needing to wear old prescription contacts and dingy camisoles and nasty old tennis shoes.
It will be a hot look. :)
So anyway, those are the few reasons I can think of why I have clutter.
But you know what?
Stuff can't make me happy.
But God can.
Stuff can't protect me or take care of me.
But God can.
My stuff can't define me.
But God can.
My stuff doesn't bring me joy.
But God can.
These past few weeks I've been decluttering and reading my Bible more. And I can feel that my value and my joy come from Christ and not from how much stuff I have collected or can hold on to. And I can tell you that in God there truly is a fullness of joy that you will never feel from any shopping excursion or purse-lined wall.
In saying all of that, I would love to challenge you to think of if you have maybe had a problem or reason that you are holding onto unneeded items. Do you have things you need to get rid of? Are you trying to fill some void in your life with material possessions?
Is it time to hurl some things out the door?
I know it is for me!