God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Mind

by Barbara Latta

Spring gives us beautiful flowers and plants, soft rainy days and warm weather. This is the
Declutter your space and declutter your mind
time we come out of hibernation like a sleeping bear and the mood changes. I ache to get my fingers in the dirt and start the wee seedlings that will sprout into a beautiful garden. But I also see the things piled up over the winter months and spring cleaning lists start forming. I don't look forward to the work involved, but I do anticipate completing the goal of a more organized space. 

This year I chose two words as the focus of my life. One was to get a deeper revelation of the word love—as in the love of God.

The other was organize. I wanted to get my home and computer files de-cluttered and avoid the frustration of lost items. I was spending too much time trying to find things. A move last year didn’t help, because even with labeled boxes I was still on the hunt for items and frustration was mounting.

Organization expert Peter Walsh, author of Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight states that clutter could be preventing us from reaching our goals. “Clutter is anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living…that could be physical stuff …or any of those mental or emotional things that cripple you or put a hurdle between you and your goals…if you focus on the stuff you will never get organized because it’s not about the stuff.”

With that said, we need to examine our hearts and determine what is causing the pile-ups and messy stacks in our homes. Are we keeping things because of an emotional attachment, or are we following in Scarlet O’Hara’s footsteps and saying, “I’ll think about that tomorrow?” (I'm guilty!)

Keeping something we have no use for is creating clutter. Clutter in the space is also clutter in the mind. When spaces are neat and organized we will have more internal freedom which promotes clearer thinking.

Remember how much better you feel after cleaning out a closet or desk drawer? Just looking at that nice organized space fills us with the feeling of accomplishment.

Before bemoaning the fact of tackling the whole house or office, think baby steps. Start with one room and in that one room start with the desk, or file cabinet or dresser drawers. Matthew 25:23 tells us, You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things (NKJV). Starting small is the first step to organizing the entire space.

These tips are helping me as I start this project for the year:

  1. As you go through each room, gather anything that doesn’t belong there. Have a box
    Is clutter a sign of an emotional attachment?
    and put into it anything that doesn’t belong in that room. Shoes don’t belong in the living room so into the box they go. Later when everything is gathered the items in that box can be taken to their rightful place.
  2. Have a box labeled Give Away and transfer items to this location as you clean. If you haven’t used it in months or years, you don’t need it. This was difficult for me because I always think, “What if I need it later?” But I have very rarely decided I needed something after getting rid of it, and if I did I would rather go back and buy another than be working around stuff piling up in a closet.
  3. Use a trash can, not a box, for discards. If you use a box it is easier to go back into it and decide you may want to keep something, after all. If it is already in a trash can, our mind has already labeled it as trash.
  4. Plastic bins, tubs and baskets are great for keeping small items together and fit on closet shelves or maybe under a bed if space is limited. I made a trip to the dollar store and bought some inexpensive clear bins (easy to see what’s in them) and they are stackable. Instead of all the doggie treat packages cluttering pantry space, I have put all of them in a plastic bin. They stay fresher this way and they don’t spill into the floor!
  5. A small fishing tackle box works great for organizing jewelry.
  6. Hooks on the back of doors and over the door shoe organizers save coveted closet space.
  7. ID tags on cords behind electronics save hours of frustration later when re-connecting new appliances or finding a lost connection.
  8. Get rid of old magazines and mail. Go through mail the day you receive it and throw away junk mail and file important documents. Letting it pile up will only delay the inevitable and the pile only gets bigger. If there are articles in magazines you want to keep, tear out those pages and put in a notebook or file labeled for the subject. Then the rest of the publication can be recycled or given away.

Clutter makes us feel out of control. I am in the process of using all these tips and have found that the more I get rooms in order, the better I feel.

Please share any tips you have for organization. We can never have too many.

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