Decluttering takes dedication
I despise clutter to the point that I have fought with co-workers about it. I’ve medicated since then, so my relationships are more successful, but my personal aspiration to keep clutter (read: Satan) out of my life goes on. I have a theory that your outside should reflect how you want to feel on the inside. I want to feel free and peaceful, and I will declutter, organize, and Feng Shui myself into the cardio heart rate zone trying to accomplish that.
A few Lenten seasons ago, I decided that I should take a more spiritual approach. I was spiritually cluttered (everything bad and inherently evil in my world is described as clutter), and a forty day commitment was just what I needed to cleanse my soul. For the forty days of Lent that year, I made a list of forty areas of my life that needed restructured, decluttered, or otherwise organized.
Life lessons from decluttering
Here are a few things I learned from that commitment that can (mostly) be applied to any personal or work space:
1. One task on the list was to clean out and organize what I call the “electronic drawer.” It’s the catch all place for chargers, cords, batteries, flashlights, cameras, and old phones. Old phones? Why do we have old phones? If my smart phone was submerged in a puddle of kid goo this very second, I doubt seriously I would calmly walk to the kitchen and slip my SIM card into my good old slider phone. I’d be at the phone store three minutes before closing scouring my entire rate plan to see whose upgrade I could steal. And, you know what else? None of those cords went to anything. Not one. It may be a far reaching analogy, but what am I waiting to plug into? Am I waiting for something to ignite me into success or peace or who knows what? I certainly don’t know what. No more electronic drawer.
2. In some instances, clutter is positive. Also on my list was to organize the kids’ craft closet. I did. It was futile. Midway through Lent and after about the tenth time I corralled all the crayons and faced all the bin labels the same way, I realized that the messy closet is indicative of endless creativity in my house. I have five minions who draw endless pictures for me – most recently on the back of the couch. I realized I was spending more time huffing about them messing up my closet organization system than I was appreciating them, coloring with them, and enjoying my time with them. Craft closet: open at your own risk.
3. My final conclusion with the whole experience was profound – at least to me. I have too many kids. I’ve decided that someone is going to have to grow up and move out. While I may have too many kids, your version of “too many” may be too many computers or boxes or file folders or knick knacks, so help them to grow up and move out in your own way.