Thursday, January 12, 2017

One Secret Reason It's So Hard to Declutter


The blogging world is all abuzz about decluttering, cleaning, getting organized, housekeeping, and homemaking. Why all of the sudden? It's January, of course. We've just spent the month of December doing too much, eating too much, and accumulating too much. It's a wonder no one's called it Toomuchmas. ~grin~

January comes in with a new year, a new hope that this year can be different. It can. It will. Every year is different. The question is whether we will actually be different. After a January of purging, will we be different?

There is no end to awesome articles about the hows and whys of decluttering. Here's one I read last year that really inspired me. It's from Judith at Wholehearted Home.

What I'm realizing, though, when I try to declutter, is that some decisions are really hard to make, so I put them off. I just stuff the stuff right back where I found it. Why? I believe it's because it's not just stuff, it's memories, dreams, and emotional attachments.


Reading Judith's article made me realize that I have emotional attachments to things. I hadn't thought of it that way. My youngest just started high school and my oldest will soon be 26. It's time to release some of the little kid books and things that I won't use again with my kids. I needed to write "young adults" there, but I just couldn't yet!

I had such plans for a perfect homeschool life for my kids, such dreams. But they weren't to be. Life happened. Job loss happened. Business loss happened. A tornado happened, and we volunteered extensively. We picked up the pieces and kept moving. I still have many of the pieces—books and curricula that I wanted to use, maybe did use, but don't need anymore. Releasing those things means I must release the broken hopes, dreams and plans that I had.

I have lots of other clutter, too. How many things do I have around here that we were going to fix that just set there? I just think, well, I could fix that up and it would be cute. But. I never get to it. I need to let it go. Release the things that are no longer relevant to now.

It's kind of sad really. I want that sadness gone. That means I have to declutter.
I have to release all the woulda coulda shouldas of my life and embrace now. The only way to do that is to get rid of the past life—forgetting what is behind and pressing onward to the high calling of Christ—and embracing now.

What about you? Do you find that things have an emotional tug on you?


ஐღLauraღஐ 
...doing what I can with what I've got
where I am on a short shoestring budget!
~~~~~


You might also enjoy...


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth
This post was
FEATURED
at one of my
favorite blogs.
Thanks Jes!


 Home and Garden Thursday -  Share Your Cup Thursday  Homemaking Party January Linky
 Imparting Grace - Sitting Among Friends No Rules Weekend Blog Party 
Share the Wealth Sunday

Monday
Mommy Moments  Amaze Me Monday - Living Proverbs 31
The Art of Homemaking    Modest Mondays 
Tuesday
Titus 2 Tuesdays
Wednesday
The Homemaking Party Homestead Blog Hop Christian Blogger Link Up Raising Homemakers - A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


47 comments:

  1. What a fantastic post.. So very true.. So hard to get rid of those memories.
    And seeing our babies grow up into adults.. oh .. no matter how proud of them we are, and how much we want them to grow up into responsible adults, How hard it is to watch the baby go..
    Hugs and thank you for a great post.. ps... yes, I too am trying to declutter. a work that is always in progress. smile

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    1. I know this is something that I need to work through in order to be able to cherish the now of life. Thank you so much for encouraging me.
      Thank you for being my friend Judy.
      Laura

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  2. I am the total opposite. I always have been. I am ruthless. *Smiles* Of course, there are some sentiments I treasure. But I am very wise with them as well as for my children. But I used to work as a Professional Organizer and I worked with so many hoarders and people who were emotionally attached to things it was sometimes so hard. I can understand. I really can. My son (oldest) cringes when we do declutter days. He holds on to things and associates his stuff with memories and he has a very hard time. I try to respect that. It can be tough though. Blessings friend.

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    1. Oh Mrs. Chrissy, won't you come over and play at my house? I wish I were more like you. ~smile~
      May God bless you as you seek Jesus this year,
      Laura

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  3. Years ago I read some books by Don Aslett. Some of his titles include Clutter's Last Stand and For Packrats Only. He worked his way through college by starting a cleaning business and is nationally regarded as a cleaning expert. To give you a hint to his frame of mind, he carried a briefcase shaped like a toilet. Don't you know that briefcase sparked a lot of interesting conversations! It's a great PR tool, I think! One of his ideas to clean out memory laden stuff - like a trophy, etc - is to take a picture of it. You can keep the memory and donate the stuff to be put to good use. Hope that helps a bit!

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    1. I'd forgotten that tip, Nancy. Thank you!

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  4. This spoke to me in so many ways. We are in a season of change and the treasures, ok, maybe clutter I have held on to are holding me back. I have an all or nothing personality. That makes it hard because that trait causes me to become easily overwhelmed and then I have the forget it attitude and that leads to more clutter and projects not started or completed. I am working to break the habit and get rid of the clutter this year. I usually fizzle out, but I am blogging about my task each Tuesday to keep myself accountable.

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  5. Oh, you have written words spoken straight from my heart too, Laura! I call it "memory heavy stuff". As if that makes it easier to deal with, but the things that weigh us down are often those filled with memories of days gone by. I wish I could offer you an easy solution, but there really isn't one, short of just closing your eyes and tossing, or having someone else do it, lol! Hmm. Maybe that's a thought. Have someone else come and help you dig through the stuff, maybe having someone to chat with about it all, will make it easier to say goodbye to it. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in this new year, hugs to you today!

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    1. That might be a good idea Marilyn. Thank you.
      Saying a prayer for you and your family.
      Hugs,
      Laura

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  6. I have no trouble letting go of things, but I am broken hearted by one thing I inadvertently let go. I got a new phone for Christmas and my son set it up before I had a change to record a voicemail from my dad, who died shortly after he left it. The voice mail is gone and I listened to it occasionally just to hear Dad's voice.

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    1. OH, I'm so sorry, Anne. I remember the first time I called my mom's house after she passed and the phone message was changed. I missed hearing her voice.

      Hugs.
      Laura

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  7. So true!The blogging world is a buzz with these topics. To organize, declutter, and we loose focus on the attachment we have to get things or hord things. It is easy "to get" things. Did you know that to get means to obtain by struggle and effort but to relieve means to take what is offered. (That was in my devotional this morning.)

    Everyday we connect and relieve wisdom so it is so important to be mindful of our choices. For example, will I read this book again or can it be joyful for someone else to read. When our homes are in order and we focus on what is right and positive we open up to change and opportunities that we are blessed with by God. Otherwise we struggle to get more or fix.

    Great post! Ps... you inspired me to clean the refrigerator... who knew that I was developing a scientific study on mold!

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    1. You inspired me with your wise words tonight Ginger Dawn. Glad you got the fridge cleaned!
      I will be by for a visit in just a bit.
      Blessings,
      Laura

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  8. I too have been purging, organizing and cleaning. I didn't have the time last year to do any of that so I can really see the difference this time. I am proud to say though that I haven't brought anything new (or used) home without parting with something.

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    1. Good for you Dazee. That's a good way to make forward progress. I'll come visit in just a bit.

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  9. It is hard to declutter. When we moved from Missouri to Arkansas I had to declutter as we could only take so many things. It was hard at first but then once I got going it felt so good!

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    1. I know. I guess we'll be homebound this weekend, so maybe I can work on it some.
      Be blessed and stay warm!
      Laura

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  10. Laura I totally understand what your saying. It is the same for me. My homeschooling got cut short I cant get into the reason of why. My girl is 17 my son is now 22. I had so many dreams & hopes for them of how it would be too. Some of it came true some didn't. Recently I got rid of the last remnants of my homeschool supplies I know I will never use again. BUT God layed it on my heart I will always be a homeschool mom because my kids still need my guidance maybe on a different level but shining Gods light to them is the best teaching and subject of all. AND wouldnt you know it God brought an aged out orphan who needed help with basic skills to get started in life that I have been helping and teaching in a way. So really a homeschool moms life or I mean season is never fully over! I am on a declutter journey too and it is sad yet also freeing!

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    1. Thank you Suzie. Your words comforted me tonight.

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  11. Hi Laura, I think it is one of the hardest things to do is to find yourself finished homeschooling and raising our children. But we must give them roots and wings! Spend time each day doing something to make your home clean and tiny, and yet take pleasure in what you love to do! We can only do what we can do on any given day. What I did was get a few tubs and put all the kids special things they had and saved it for them. Then I did with a ton of my pretty stuff I had collected and I get a few different things out each season for making the house look fresh and different. I have painted and fixed all the things I was able to do myself. I take joy and don't worry as to how much stuff I have anymore. It's my home and I live here and I enjoy my things. But I do like things clean and organized. Enjoy it!
    xo Roxy

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    1. Good words, good advice, and good encouragement Roxy. I have 3 1/2 years of homeschooling left, though if it's like the last 3 1/2, it will fly by.
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      Laura

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  12. The beginning is tough but once you get started, there's no stopping.

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  13. Oh, dear friend! Can I EVER understand! We are going through our storage unit...one box, one crate, one thing at a time, and we are literally taking ONE thing at a time and trying to analyze if we really should keep it or not. I have cried so many times. We have downsized through what I call the "superficial" layers, and now, all that is left are the things we cared enough to move from one state to another. The HARD stuff. Whew! I just went through another box with dear Zach tonight, and it is just so hard. God is helping us to have the courage to let go. Things can really become idols, without us realizing it. I trust you will be able to do what you need to do and the Lord will comfort you in the process. Sending you much love and many hugs!

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    1. You are a great inspiration to me Cheryl. Perhaps this was why it was so hard for the rich young man to sell all he had and follow Jesus.
      Hugs,
      Laura

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  14. Thanks for linking. I haven't had a chance to read or read this post but wanted to say thanks. I'll read and comment.
    Enjoy your Friday!

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  15. Ok, who moves two states over and THEN has a garage sale? (raising my hand, in shame). I have this personality quirk where I convince myself that I have organized my unorganized stuff (mainly paperwork) simply by putting them in boxes in the closet. I cannot tell you how many full Composition notebooks I've kept that I know if I have not referenced in the last three years, I never will. Because I've placed them so perfectly on top of one another, even times tearing off edges that 'stick out,' to make the pile look oh so nice-- I'm convinced I'm good to go. Then the day comes where I need one piece of paper; a phone number, a receipt for taxes, a homeschool project I wrote down from a website I visited, and then it happens...I become the Tasmanian devil and spin through the closet like a comet, looking for that one piece of paper, destroying everything in my path! It's usually weeks (a lot of weeks) before I get reorganized (in my own way) once again--while mumbling to myself that I've gotta change my ways. I surely hope that 2017 **IS** the year this happens. I so wish there was a 'decluttering' pill, and all I needed was a glass of water.

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    1. Ah Sharon, you made me smile. I can relate.
      Hugs,
      Laura

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  16. I've been thinking about this post since I read it. Wow---the emotional attachment thing and letting go of "perfectionist" dreams. I never thought of clutter like that but you are so right... Now to have the strength to do it. Even though I've still got several kids who haven't even started school yet, I'll be graduating Lynzie within a year or so and there are SO many things we didn't do. I just keep thinking---with all these kids, there's got to be some grandkids! They can be my chance at a do-over! Ha! Love you, friend!

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    1. I've dealt with a lot of regrets over the missed opportunities that came about because of troubles and circumstances I tried to control but couldn't. I'm finding it hard to find the time to work on sorting, but I know I must.

      I do look forward to grandchildren.

      God bless you friend!
      Laura

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  17. I do always try to get rid of some things, but I am not going to get rid of the things I love. I figure I have a good 10 years or so before I really need to down size. :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. I have the last ten years of collecting homeschooling supplies to go through. Some things I'll keep, some I'll give to kids, some will go.
      Blessings,
      Laura

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  18. Good evening Laura, I hold my hands up, I am terrible when it comes to decluttering. I start with the best intentions, but then I get lost in the emotion and don't sort out as I should. This year I am determined to focus and get the job done. It may take all year, but for me, baby steps is always the way to go.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

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  19. Yup! I think the main reason it's so difficult to get rid of things it the emotional attachment. I'm a minimalist at heart but I still struggle with it!

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    1. I wish I were a minimalist. It would be so much easier.

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  20. Ah, yes. Giving up the stuff does indeed feel like giving up the memories. We moved, which forced me to purge...some...but it is so hard!
    Blessings, Leigh

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  21. Oh how I understand this!!! This is where I am at with much of my homeschooling materials.. When life happens in the homeschool, it can be hard for those "dreams" we had as a mother... And then to give them away.. It is a part of acceptance and so very hard. I will be featuring this tomorrow.

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  22. I have featured this today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Have a lovely week and thank you for sharing with us! :)

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    1. Oh wow, Jes! Thanks. I saw that this morning. It was a thrill for my Monday morning!
      I'll be over later to look around at all the great posts. Your link up is my absolute favorite.
      Hope you have a productive day! I've been doing insurance stuff. ~blech closely followed by a grin~ I just posted about the things I hope to get done this week!

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  23. So many replies to this indicates that, many of us have the same problem.
    Thank you for the reminder that things are just things. It the heart we really need to concentrate on as that is the part that stays with us through job loss, tornados and whatever.

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  24. I do find it hard to get rid of things I have emotional ties to. The day I get rid of baby clothes will be a sad day for me!!

    Because I am frugal, I also find it hard to get rid of things I *may* need to someday...when I need to be more realistic about what I may use again. :)

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  25. I've come back to your blog to glimpse over your post here several times. I don't think I'm in the same "ball park" as many of you here. By no choice of my own, I'm divorced. My kids are grown, gone, several states away. I'm caring for my dear elderly mother who was a crime victim. This incident put us into a real tail spin! We waited for mother to recover to move away from the place she was victimized at, recently we moved...aaahh lol! Well it's good to have gotten to a different place but oh my goodness...we went from larger apartments to this one and well it's rather a bit smaller :) Mother and I have discussed this aspect...easier and not so much to clean. Well, you gotta count your blessings :) Mother, God bless her, has never been a really organized sort. You gotta love the blessed folks God gives you no matter what. I'll say in spite of her shortcomings I LOVE MY MOTHER WITH ALL MY HEART!!! Me, I'm u-s-u-a-l-l-y hyper organized, a real clean machine. I've been quite humbled with all this. A more merciful heart toward those who struggle with decluttering, organizing, etc. I was smacked with the revelation that I had my own form of clutter, Now...I'm in this place where I realize we're both older. It's all a bit much as we dodge this box and that plastic tote attempting to turn our new smaller place into a happy home, to relax and see what path the LORD will lead us on in this time we have left together. I'm BLESSED beyond measure, So here I am, taking a short break from sorting through our "lives" seeking out a moment of encouragement so I can get back to work. Everyone's posts have done that...THANK YOU :) Today, I got up, made our coffee and with tears of overwhelming feelings I asked the LORD to guide me, help me to get it together. I felt His sweet presence and a dose of gumption fill me up. I know what it is to be in dire need. We've been homeless. Even then I saw more needs than we ever had and I learned but apparently I didn't learn enough. Now...I'm learning again that blessings are nice but blessing someone else is nicer :) When I tears come and I'm overwhelmed I CRY OUT and before I can speak, He answers! He cares about my/our clutter and He knows we want to be good stewards and have a good testimony. While the things we have are a blessing I am reminded that "eye hath not seen nor ear heard the things that are prepared for us." We're a work in progress but "He who hath begun a good work in us will perform it...". I'm praying for each of you to be able to reach your goals, for regrets to be dissolved and for a peace that passes understanding to fill your hearts and minds as you work with him to be the good stewards your hearts desire to be. Well done, ladies and thanks again for "entertaining" this "stranger" unawares :) GOD BLESS Y'ALL!

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    1. Dear "Stranger" Unawares,

      Your post was such a blessing to me! I think you belong here just fine. All sorts of ladies in all different stages of life read and comment here. Please don't feel you are a "stranger". God's love unites us.

      My heart goes out to your mother. May she be healed completely physically, emotionally, and spiritually in Jesus' Name by the Power of His Blood.

      I am so glad you have this time together. What a gift. Thank you for encouraging us in our way of the decluttering our past. The "regrets to be dissolved" prayer is greatly appreciated. I struggle deeply with regrets. I am fighting the good fight, as I know many are, to let go of the past and embrace now.

      God bless you! Please come back again and introduce yourself. You are most welcome here!

      Laura

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    2. Hi Laura :)
      Thank you so very much :) How very nice to no longer be a "stranger" and a "foreigner" but among "fellow saints" :) Goodness you comments have caused me to smile a lot today :)
      AMEN! It's so cool how the heart of God makes us family!
      Oh what a blessing that will be for her when I tell her! Your prayers are so greatly appreciated! We believe that and add a hearty AMEN with gratitude :)
      AMEN again :) So many tell me how fortunate I am to have my mother and for us to have this time. Truly a gift indeed :)
      Oh, God bless you! I do understand and will keep you especially in our prayers. You know sometimes the "battle" is not ours but the LORDS :) It's easy for us to struggle and feel we're fighting. Sometimes we are at war and must fight. Sometimes we must let go and let the LORD fight for us. I like the latter because struggling with a thing means we're trying to take control, battles are ugly affairs (Chronicles Of Narnia quote :) But when we let go and let GOD there is peace even in the midst of the storms :)
      I don't mean to sound patronizing with the phrasing but this thing only permits so many 'characters' lol!
      What a fantastic time we'll all have in Heaven with an eternity to PRAISE HIM and fellowship with the saints, not have to pay attention to how many characters we type :)
      I hadn't visited sooner, mother is battling an infection and I'm still struggling with getting things settled. I don't think the LORD does housework, He only gives us grace to do what we must :)
      From my heart I want to say THANK YOU for your kindness, your honesty and your warm welcome :) You're such a blessing!
      The reply thing doesn't fit my email or I don't have some URL thing but I will say my name is Donna. You could call me annona-Donna :)
      May the LORD bless and keep you...
      Many blessings, Laura :)

      Donna

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Hello! I love it when y'all talk back!

I read all the comments I receive. I'm taking a short spring break, so I will have a lot of messages when I get back online. If you would like a reply to your comment, please be sure to leave your email address and ask me for a response. I moderate all comments, so it your comments won't show on the blog until I get back in the swing of things.

Thanks so much for your patience!

It will be good for me to unplug for a bit. Know what I mean?
Be blessed!
Laura