Sunday, March 20, 2011

decluttering like a missionary

I'm pretty strange (or maybe not?) in that I need a visual, some sort of imagery, to really get me going. I need to have a mission that is outside of myself to keep me going in the right direction. Yesterday afternoon, as I was gearing up to declutter, I asked Pete to give me a pep talk. Just some sort of something that I could grab on to and run with and chase the stuff out of the house.

I would definitely not call myself a hoarder, but I tend to collect much more than we need. When I replace things I don't necessarily get rid of the item which I replaced. How many books could one need on parenting? or organizing? or time management? or?? You see what I am saying?

Pete's solution was not quite what I was looking for. He said that I should leave for the weekend and he would get rid of everything. Hmmm... I don't think that's going to work out very well from my side of things.

Here is what I came up with - I'm sure purely related to the fact that I was praying about it and really needed something. Just something!

Declutter like a missionary. That's it.

If I were a missionary, and I am, then I would need to get rid of everything except the bare essentials. Most likely some things would go into storage but we may or may not ever see those things again. Well I am a missionary of sorts. I minister to my husband and children every day. I feel chaotic and stressed when I have too much stuff to look at. I'm very visually sensitive and so are some of my children. Therefore I am going to have to pick the best parenting book (other than the Bible), the best time management book, best organizing book, best board games, best sewing supplies, etc. Those are the things that will really help me in my mission field. Having too much stuff is only going to hinder me and sidetrack me. I get distracted enough all by myself; I don't need any help.

When I say "best", that is relative, you realize. I mean "best" out of what I have. I'm so over having to have the best of everything. Nope. I do my research and buy what I believe will work. I have much to choose from, so I think I'm pretty safe. Haha.

Do you have to put something right in front of you to "see" it? Is it helpful for you to picture your goal in terms of something outside of yourself? Please share in the comments!

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Amy Kirby said...

Love this thought. Motivates me to declutter as well. Thoughts on how to get your child to learn this process? Mine cries when I try to get her to part with an "older" toy, even if it's just to put away in the attic for future children.

Donners said...


Hmm, do books count as clutter? I would say get rid of other stuff before you get rid of books, especially as they all sounds useful. maybe you need better storage systems instead? However, please don't let me put you off if you have set your hearts on it!

My husband and I have moved 7 times in 7 years and we ( and now our baby daughter) are moving again next year. I wish this were a remedy against clutter, unfortunately because we have to make every new house workable, we keep having to buy new stuff!

Our current house has no built ins and strange shaped rooms so we have accumulated a lot of 'storage' stuff and all our hanging IKEA stuff is in boxes!

Christine said...

Amy, when they are at that really emotional stage I just declutter when they are not there. It's easier for everyone. Often times their "favorite" toy is just their favorite because they haven't seen it in a while. If it is their real favorite, keep it. KK is old enough to reason with. You should try to really emphasize a giving heart by encouraging her to pass on some of her toys that are still good but no longer played with. In other words, don't teach her to just give away the junk. Who wants that? I think my mom taught me that. KK is a sweet girl and I know that she would really love thinking about giving things to others. I wouldn't push it. Take it slow. Maybe just strike up the convo when you are in the car - no toys around to threaten! Hey KK, there are some children that don't have any toys because the can't afford them or they don't have their mommies and daddies taking care of them like you do. What do you think about giving them toys you don't play with anymore? How about we pick 2 toys when we get home that you never play with. You might make a really big deal out of it and have her take a bag of toys to the local women's shelter or orphanage. She would have joy in seeing others happiness. It would come full circle, I'm sure.

Donners - on the books. In my opinion, books are only clutter if you never get around to reading them or you have more on one subject than you can possible read. I'm drawn to books that claim to teach you simplicity - but how "simple" is it to have 5 books on how to minimize and be simple? Get my drift. We have 7 full bookshelves of books plus loads of shelves. We need to minimize a bit. :D

Patti said...

I love this idea! What a great way to focus.


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