When we moved into our house last April, I knew I needed to downsize some things I had so that I wouldn’t feel cluttered or have tons of things to store. We moved into a mini home (or trailor) that is about 1100 sq feet. Plenty of room for our family of 5. There is no basement and no extra closets for storage. I am totally fine with this.
I have become increasingly aware of how an abundance of “things” affects my mood from day to day, though. If my house is cluttered I am anxious and sometimes quite grumpy. When things are neat, tidy, and clean, I tend to be happier.
Getting rid of things, though, is not always an easy matter. We get attached to books, to hobby supplies, to toys, to clothing – and giving those up can sometimes be difficult.
I have spent about 3 months so far going through clothes, books, toys, etc, just trying to weed out what is unnecessary. I loved this verse when I saw it last week while reading through Luke 12:
“A man’s life consisteth NOT in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
I find it is so easy to get caught up in seeing all these “things” that others have that we think we can’t live without. We NEED that item in order to be happy.
BUT WE DON’T!!
One thing I have learned in getting rid of “stuff”, is that I’m actually happier without it! I’m a collector. I’ll freely admit that. I collect fabric (I love to sew). I collect soap supplies (I love soaping). I collect books (Can I say I love reading?). Collecting things could take over my life if I let them. My husband received boxes of books from a relative a few years ago (he’s not a reader) and I went through them and kept all the books I thought I would “some day” read. A year later, I realized how foolish that was. We had bookshelves full of books that had never been touched and when I was honest with myself I knew I would never get around to reading 90% of them. So I packed them all up and, surprisingly, that gave me room to clean up the kid’s books and have them neatly on a shelf instead of lying on their bedroom floors. It was very freeing to do that.
I think great freedom can occur when we realize that we don’t need to be wrapped up in things. I still have a long way to go to get my house to where I will be happy with the amount of items in it. Getting things organized and stored properly will be such an amazing feeling. Knowing that everything has a place and is in it will occur when I can get rid of the excess that doesn’t fit. And accepting that my happiness is not wrapped up in these things will bring such great freedom to a cluttered life.
Do you feel overrun by clutter? What would it take for you to experience the freedom of a clutter-free life?
Photo by Sean MacEntee