It’s been awhile since I did a Making My Home a Haven post. It’s definitely time for this one – decluttering! With spring in the air, I am finding myself wanting to clean out everything around my house. I have actually been working on this hit and miss for a little while, but am feeling an extra push right now. Something about spring that makes me want to dig in and make everything fresh and new again – like the earth around me.
I am coming to the slow realization (I wish it were quicker!) that clutter = chaos in my home. I really want to get to the point of having a place for everything, so that we can actually put everything in its place with ease, rather than trying to shove it into a full drawer or putting it elsewhere from lack of knowing where it goes. I have become very frustrated with the fact that it seems that every spot is filled to the brim in this house. Now I love that it is filled with people, but the stuff is a definite problem. You see, I tend to get quite cranky when I see junk around me all the time! I don’t mind things being out when they are being used, but so much of the time, they are out because there really isn’t a good place to put them, and the children don’t know where to put them. (Of course, sometimes it’s just that someone doesn’t want to do it – which is another matter altogether!) Or is it? – maybe it wouldn’t seem so hard to them if it was easy to put away.
Here are some of the ways that I am hoping decluttering helps make my home a haven –
– The atmosphere of our home will be less stressful when things are more orderly.
– Mom will be less cranky and spend less time complaining and more time enjoying life with her children.
– We will have more time to enjoy life when we have less stuff to tend to.
– My children will learn to value people more and things less.
– Our home will feel more peaceful and comforting and relaxing.
– I will feel less stress with opening our home to others as it will be less of a huge undertaking to prepare for these times.
I’m certain that there will be many more benefits to decluttering that I will only realize as it happens.
How to go about it? Well, for me, I just try to tackle one thing a day. If I don’t have much time, I do a small thing – maybe one drawer or a basket. If I have more time (and energy), I work on a larger area. Some days, I don’t get to anything, but since I’d like to speed up the process a little, I am going to try harder to do something every day.
I am also working on paring down our clothing. We have had so many wonderful people give us clothes throughout the years that we have amassed quite a surplus of these – way more than we really need. As I do the laundry, I am trying to keep only those items that we really like and wear and donate those items that are just taking up space, but not being worn.
Over the years we have saved most all of the children’s clothes that we have had, since I have thought that someone would need them later. This has resulted in many large Rubbermaid tubs in the attic, and many bags of clothes overflowing into the upstairs hall, creating more visible clutter (since it’s such a chore to sort through and rotate them in the attic boxes!). A problem with saving everything is that so much of the time the clothes don’t work for the next children – different sizes/seasons, preferences, style changes. I am hoping to get through all of these clothes and get rid of most of them, keeping only the classic basics – getting the Rubbermaid boxes down to a manageable number.
As I declutter, I ask myself if this item is contributing positively or negatively to our home. I’m amazed to find that so many things just aren’t necessary or wanted and are only taking up space and adding to the chaos. It is such a freeing feeling to get rid of bags of things that have been weighing down our home and our attitudes. I am so far from where I want to be, and so many times I become overwhelmed by the job, but it is exciting to think of the calmness and peace that will be present when I finally get the upper hand in this area.
As I view this project from the aspect of ministering to my family, I am even further encouraged to plow ahead and stay the course. It is my desire to provide a home of rest and peace for my loved ones, and simplifying our possessions is going to help our home to be more of that haven we so long for.