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Posted on January 11, 2012 by Christine Crosby in clutter, organize, Psalm 23

Cleaning Out the Clutter

At age 3, my granddaughter had a playroom so full of toys there wasn’t room to play.  I suggested a project.  We would pick up each toy and she could decide to keep it or give it away to another child that didn’t have many toys.  Toy after toy, Mackenzie would say “Keep it”  or “give it away”.  It was fun – as we looked forward to making other children very happy with some wonderful new toys.

I’ve visited many homes and I moved out of my own 4 bedroom home.  We all have a lot of STUFF!  Drawers, closet, garages and shed are filled to the brim.   We WANT…we NEED…and on and on it goes.

Wanting ‘things’  to make life easier and more comfortable – can quickly become a ‘playroom so full of toys that there is no room to play’.  Crammed closet are frustrating.  Overstuffed drawer reminds me that life is out of control and I need to get organized.  Money gets spent on storage units to hold more stuff.  Dealing with my ‘stuff’ is a constant drain on my energy.

Emotions are tightly tied to our ‘things’, so letting go can be tense and bring on strong resistance, fear, anger and even panic.  But, if you do it, a lighthearted freedom begins to grow.  As your home opens up, you can feel yourself breathing deeper.  There’s more ai.  Peace settles in.  I helped a sweet elderly lady through this process, and when the job was done she said to me, “You have not only cleaned out my home, you have cleaned out my soul.”

It can feel overwhelming as you try and decide what to get rid of and what to keep.  Here are a few helpful ideas:

Take it one small step at a time.  Choose one place (drawer, closet, shelf, etc.) in your house.  Completely empty it and clean the area.  Select only the most important or necessary items to keep.  Ask yourself:  If my house was on fire and I had to grab the most important or the most necessary things – what would they be?  Don’t keep hings just because a special memory is attached.  Be honest about how often you actually use it.

To stay de-cluttered – this is important:  Place the ‘keep’ items back in the space so they are easy to reach.  Don’t pile things on top of each other.  Your motto:  “Clean – open – easy to reach”

Now you have a clean, organized space….and a bunch of leftover ‘toys’ to sell or give away to someone who needs it.  Box up these items and label “Sell” or “Donate” – but get them out of the way before you go onto the next area to clean and organize.

Move slowly and systematically – one drawer, one closet, one room at a time, cleaning up after each area.  Freedom (and an open playroom) is just around the corner.

Sue is the author of Grandma Sue’s Bible Adventures in Rhyme, and has her own blog.





Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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