Anyone else decluttering this January?
I find it easy to throw away things I no longer want or need. My hubby’s mind works the opposite. He loves to keep things. (He is a “keeper: in more than one way. Gotta love that guy.)
He relishes the moment he pulls something out of a drawer that he has stored for 20 years – just at the precise moment we need it.
Decluttering my Closet
A few weeks ago, I dove into cleaning my closet. I am a raving fan of listening to podcasts about organization and productivity and have been enjoying Lisa Woodruff’s Organzie365.com. I followed her suggestions in tackling my closet.
- First remove everything. Don’t sort while in the closet. Put all the clothes on the bed and try them on. Keep what fits and what you like and what you want – donate the rest. She estimates we may get rid as much as 50% of what we have in our closets this way.
- Then think about the big picture – what do you want your closet to look like in the end in that space? You may have to move things or be creative in your approach.
- Combined like items, all pants in one section or arrange by seasons.
- Do I need new organizers or something like new containers or hangers? Do you have to move shelving or how you organized the closet? I am trying this year the ritual of putting all the clothes I am keeping back on hangers, but putting the hangers backwards. Once I wear it I will turn them around. At the end of the year I will be able to see clearly what I wore in the last 12 months and what I never put on at all.
- Clean and finish. Enjoy your more organized environment.
What does this all have to do with decluttering your heart? As I worked on my closet area, I began to think about what I needed to declutter in my spiritual life. The same steps apply. Spiritual clutter and disorder weighs us down. An overstuffed heart can’t savor the overabundance of God.
[Tweet “An overstuffed heart can’t savor the overabundance of God. ” Jean Wise]
Five Ways to Declutter Your Heart
- Set everything aside. Empty your attachments, expectations and even your images of God. Just sit and let him have your open and willing space of your spirit within His spirit. God gave us time and life and we hoard it all to ourselves. What emotions do we need to leave on God’s altar? The bitterness, pride, anger, fear, regret or guilt? Surrender it all back into God’s arms. Release bad memories, hurtful words and shattered expectations. Let it all go with grace, compassion, gratitude and trust. A few years back I gave God my writing dreams and ambitions. I told him he could have them all and do whatever he wanted with them. What a gift to feel him gently put them back into my heart where I hold them lightly with thanksgiving.
- See the big picture. Where is God inviting you in 2017? Where is he asking you to dream bigger? How are you called to serve him? To tell others the good news? What is really important in life? Write out the question WHAT IF? What if you accept his call? What if you said yes? Is it time to say no to some activity? What am I neglecting in my own spiritual growth?
- Sort and sift. What do you need to keep? What practice still feeds your spirit? What season are you in? Would a new spiritual discipline stretch your roots and produce fruit now? What draws you closer to him? What distracts you and takes you away? For example, I have shared here many times that the practice of keeping a journal nourishes, clarifies and guides my spiritual growth. But for some people this spiritual practice does nothing for them; journaling would distract them from hearing God. You know yourself best and what works for you. At the same time, be willing to try a new practice and take a risk if you feel that is where God is calling you. What brings God glory?
- What systems or tools would organize your spiritual life? Is there a new routine or devotional waiting for you? What about deeper listening in contemplative prayer? Maybe it is time to go on retreat or see a spiritual director? Is it the right time to attend a different church or join a small group? I recently decided to purchase a new study Bible. Two years ago, I started and am still exploring the Desert Mothers and Fathers and their wisdom.
- Savor and finish. Cleanse, declutter, then allow time to delight in God and savor his presence. Be with him, not focusing on the doing. Remember the life God gives us isn’t about doing more in an ordered ritual or routine with an absolute perfect uncluttered heart – it’s about relationship with him.
God understands our clinging, our hoarding and our cravings. God loves the organizer and the one who loves to hold onto things just in case. God continues to love me whether my closet is arranged perfectly or resembles muddled mayhem.
God loves us cluttered or uncluttered.
Let’s talk about how to declutter our heart/our spirit. What do you think? Any suggestions?
Hi Jean! ‘Muddled Mahem’. Gotta love that!
I don’t have much trouble throwing things away, but like your hubby, my husband has a real problem doing it. God bless him, but I have a beer can collection of his from his teens/20’s still moldering in my basement. Sigh.
Decluttering my heart is a wonderful image. God continues to pour himself into me, but do I make any room for him? Making room is always good, especially in a place that can take in more of God.
Martha Orlando says
I so love the analogy you gave us here, Jean, and that reminder that I need to do the same to my closet and my heart. God can’t work His best in us if we are distracted and scattered instead of focused on Him. Taking you advice to “heart.” 🙂 Blessings!
Jean Wise says
To be honest, Martha, my closet is only half done. I did get through the winter clothes but have the rack of summer stuff yet to do. Maybe a spring decluttering day? LOL And I am sure more spiritual lessons await there too. Cute last sentence you wrote too. You make me smile
Lisa notes says
I do love decluttering, although I don’t do it enough. I’ll look into that podcast for sure! Spiritual decluttering is something I need to do more frequently too. “Cleanse, declutter, then allow time to delight in God and savor his presence. Be with him, not focusing on the doing.” Beautiful. Thanks, Jean!
Jean Wise says
Love that podcast, Lisa. Interesting how we share so many like interest; I am not surprised you like decluttering too. I sense though this whole idea of spiritual declutter has more to teach me. More depth to dig. So much to learn.