Clutter Declutter faith

Getting the Junk Out: Letting Go of Clutter in the Hidden Places

Where do I want to start?

Well, that’s the dilemma… I don’t really want to start. I want the desired outcome without going through the process. (Oh wow. Major life application already!)

My thinking was to pick a somewhat manageable space to start decluttering, so I chose the cabinet under the kitchen sink. It’s a small, awkward space, but how hard could it be? Not much can even fit under there… or so I thought.

I had neglected this space for probably a decade, other than to shove in the next thing. It’s not a glamorous area… hidden, dark… and for the most part, no-one sees it except me. Only I really know how much it’s in disarray. And, truthfully, you can run a kitchen without it being pristinely organized under the sink!

As I pulled EVERYTHING out, the thought struck me: This not so clean spot stores the supplies to clean the rest of the kitchen. What an interesting concept. In many ways, it’s the hub of the kitchen, but I treat it as if it doesn’t matter. Because of my lack of attention, I pulled out empty boxes, corroded silver polish, old, yucky sponges, and unnecessary duplicate supplies. I also had quite a few mason jar lids strewn about. Why would I randomly hold on to these? For my next canning project?  Hah!  NO.

I took inventory. What do I really need to run and clean the kitchen… the most used room of our house? And what is accumulated junk cluttering up this limited, odd-shaped space?  As I asked myself these questions, I made a series of decisions. (Remember, a definition of clutter is delayed decisions.)  In about an hour, the space was decluttered, cleaned and organized. The unused items and old junk (including those mason jar lids!) were thrown out.

So… here’s the application and your mission… should you choose to accept it:

Choose a cupboard, small closet, drawer— something kind of hidden that only you tend to deal with, to declutter. Pull or dump everything out and begin making decisions about what you really need to keep. As you do this, make it also a time of examining your life.  Ask yourself the following:

What am I hanging onto in my private world, holding me back from God’s best, because I simply haven’t taken the time to unpack it before God, with God? 

What is tucked away in your heart? What needs to be brought out into the light?

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit with me.” Psalm 51:10

I’m telling you, there IS a connection between dealing with our physical clutter and our spiritual lives. Use this as your own, personal object lesson, asking God to get the junk out of your life, anything that is holding you back from a deeper, more clarifying walk with Him.

I decluttered and organized this space and, so far, it has STAYED that way. I took inventory, stocked it and continue to maintain it. At times, other family members will “mess it up” a bit by throwing things in, but it’s up to me to hold the boundaries and do the maintenance.

Don’t take on other’s junk!… allowing them to contaminate your heart. Stay clean before God by confession, with thanksgiving.

Just for fun… here are my before and after pics.

Before: 

 

 

 

After:

 

I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I came across another blogger who just wrote about how she purged and organized her WHOLE kitchen, 18 cabinets and 10 drawers, in 2 hours!

BUT… that’s okay.

I’ve started. I’ve had success. And now I have time for that next canning project! (Too bad I threw out those lids!) Hah!!

Let me know if you take on the challenge. I’d love to hear from you and even see a picture or two.

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Getting the Junk Out: Letting Go of Clutter in the Hidden Places”

  1. Lori,

    I love this post! I have been on a declutter mission since August. Over the past decade, my home has been sadly neglected due to lack of time to consider it…work, family commitments, etc. Then closing a large store full of furniture and accessories just furthered the downward spiral of clutter. There were many items that I was not able to sell for a decent price and although I personally did not really like the “inherited” items, I married them to my home to the point where my home started to look like my store! All this brought more misery, frankly, and more dusting, cleaning, rearranging, moving, and no SPACE to think. As I started to really tackle the debacle and take in the mess that I created, I realized that as I parted with each piece that “I paid so much money for,” I felt myself free up and with that, my relationship with God deepened. I know really…right, throw out a pillow, walk deeper with GOD! But it’s true. I could have sent you so many pictures. I should have documented it along the way but I think I was afraid to document it. If I took pictures, then that meant I was really committed and I was too afraid to be “committed” so I treaded lightly until I was totally immersed and on a mission and by then, pictures were, well, not as impactful to the listener as the story was already part told (I love your pictures).

    I don’t like to call myself a minimalist but I certainly see the attraction to it. Oh, how lovely to just dust a console and not take ten things off of it first!

    Love and hugs,
    April
    Please excuse poor grammar, dyslexia is my thorn.

    1. April,
      Wow! You are so encouraging with how you share about ALL God has been doing in your life. You just keep slowly revealing another layer of your journey and it’s fascinating! Thank you for taking the time to so beautifully comment.

  2. So GOOD Lori! This is my passion. To constantly declutter my home! My kids tease me on how excited I get when I clean out a cabinet haha! And I totally agree that there is a connection to our walk with the Lord and beautiful space to breathe in our home. Keep minimalizing because it brings LIFE to the SOUL.

    1. Sherri,
      That is exactly what I am going for… life brought to my soul! I have felt bound and held back for TOO long. Thanks for the encouragement.😊

  3. Lori,
    So fitting for where I am in my own journey right now! I agree with the definition that clutter is delayed decisions… mine has built up during a season where other priorities and decisions took precidence… it is oh so therapeutic to finally be able to focus on those piles and spaces that have been neglected (some for years)… it truly does remove cobwebs from my mind (and soul).

    Just taking one small space at a time and celebrating those small victories… I feel so much more empowered to handle whatever may come! (NO WAY could I tackle a whole kitchen in 2 hours, lol =)

    Keep up the good work sister!
    ~Amy Dillon

    1. Amy, I love your phrase… it truly does remove cobwebs from my mind and soul. It’s SO true!! And you’re right, each small space equals a victory. I can literally feel the pressure slowly release as I release the clutter in both my physical space and my heart.

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