Attacking the Clutter Monster

I grew up in a very well-ordered, clean home, so I this definitely has affected the way we live now. My mom never wanted to have more than we needed and it was a constant joke that she was always purging our home of excess to give away to our local DAV (it seemed we almost had a monthly pick up date where they would bring their truck and cart off all of our extra stuff to the thrift store!). I learned to love the look of a clean, clutter-free home, so that is what I am always working to have now that I have my own home to keep.

I love pretty things and color, but most of all I love the color white – – white walls, white tile, and light colored carpet (not at all practical with a lot of young children, I know!). I just love the look of spacious, open, unpiled, clutter-free areas. I’m not saying my home is always that way, but it’s my goal!

I am constantly trying to improve in this area, but here are some things which have helped me:

-A place for everything and everything in its place (or at least that’s the goal). I know you’ve heard this so many times, but do you have a place for everything in your home? Where do your shoes go when you take them off? Where does your purse go when you get home? And so on. If there isn’t a place for something, find a place for it, or get rid of it. This also saves you a lot of time you would otherwise spend looking for lost items.

-When in doubt, throw it out. 🙂 Don’t hang on to something you think you might use in the future, just throw it out or find someone else who can use it. Bless other people with your stuff you are not using. If I don’t have a use for something, I’d rather see it be put to use in someone else’s home, than taking up space in my own home!

-Eliminate and concentrate. Eliminate that which distracts you so that you can concentrate on what God has called you to.

-Keep it Simple. Don’t have more than you need. Examine your belongings: How many pairs of shoes do you need? (You can easily get by with three or less.) How many everyday clothes (You can easily get by with 5 outfits or less)? How many dressier clothes (You can easily get by with 2-3 outfits or less)? How many toys do your children need (Probably none, because most children prefer to play with “non-toy items” anyway!)?

This is just a very small start on some basic principles I try to follow (not perfectly, mind you! I have a lot left to learn!). I hope to write a Part 2 (and maybe even Part 3 or more) with some practical ideas that have been helpful. I’d love to have everyone else chime in and share how they reduce clutter in their own home. Also, what books or websites have been helpful to you in this endeavor?

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