Disorganization and Clutter. These two things cover a multitude of my problems from keeping up with life to mental stress. It is so important to work on getting it together and keeping it together.
Meet my mess
I believe one of my problems is micro-organizing TOO MUCH! I don’t actually micro-organize too much, but my brain goes there. So it’s a battle for me to know when enough is enough. My husband thinks this is a great attribute! You can always keep organizing every little bit. But come on, some things just don’t need a container or special compartment for just one item. Too many little containers still leave a cluttered mess in my book!
This brain of mine also makes me feel the need to sort through everything every time I clean anything up. Sometimes things just need cleaned up! It is not always time for sorting. When I get into this “sort every time I clean” rut, my house never actually gets clean. I don’t mean dirty. I just mean messy. Because I can’t get to everything when I am spending so much time sorting through stuff. There is a time for putting things away, and there is a time for sorting. When I can keep that in my head, I don’t do too bad!
I also like every little nook and cranny to be dust, dirt, and germ free. But again, there is a time for this, and it is not every time. ex.I cannot rip my refrigerator apart every time I clean my kitchen. And My broom closet doesn’t need completely emptied and wiped down every time I need to sweep. It takes time away from other things that I could be getting done. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s my brain…I just have to deal with it.
Does anyone relate? I know you do…
There is something I heard years ago from Focus on the Family. It was a message entitled “The Messies”. The messies are perfectionists who need things so perfect, that when they realize it can’t stay perfect, they give up. So that was me for too many years. My mom actually heard this program when I was in school. I came home one day, and she said, “I figured you out!”. And she ordered the
cassette tapes (yes, I said cassette tapes) so that I could listen to it and hopefully learn something that could help me deal with it. Anyway, I’m a perfectionist in a wrong kind of way. That’s why I have to remind myself to focus on what really needs done.
What does God say about all of this?
Well, He says a lot about symbolic house cleaning. When I think of cleaning my physical house, I think of myself; I think of me as a person. God says that we are to be prepared in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). Everything should be decent and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). Our lamps should be full of oil at all times because you never know when He is coming back (Luke 12:35). We are supposed to be able to manage our own household if we want to ever manage other life/ministry (1 Timothy 3:5). And we should watch over the affairs of our household and not eat the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27)… and so on.
What I do is think of myself in the spiritual sense and apply it to my physical life. Is my house always prepared for whom ever or what ever it is needed for? Can I invite someone over to eat, have a special guest, or open my home to a Bible study or other ministry at a moments notice if I wanted, if someone else needed me to, or if God laid it on my heart?
Not that I need to be perfect. We do live life in our houses, they do get messy. But if we keep up with them each day, they will rarely be out of control. I say rarely because sometimes messes happen that we just can’t keep up with in the moment. But with regular maintenance, when we do lose control, it won’t be as bad as it could be.
I want to be used in all areas of my life, even if that means someone needs to use my house. Does that sound strange? Well, it happened to me not too long ago.
My best friend was “in charge” of our church’s special guest one Sunday. She and her husband wanted to take him to dinner, but there was a big game, and more people that she was hoping to involve. It was too much for her to have at her home, and she asked me (the day before) if everyone could come to my house. I was so happy to say “yes”, and so glad that she felt that she COULD ask that of me. I was also glad that my house only needed a little regular maintenance work done before the guests arrived. So does my house have to be the epitome of perfection? No, but I want it to be clean and inviting. I want it to feel like home and love to anyone who enters in.
Clean out that Clutter!
One thing that helps me keep up with my everyday house work is clearing out clutter little by little. I don’t usually sit down and go through a bunch of stuff to get rid of it. I just go through and get rid of things as I naturally clean them.
One example in my life is coffee mugs! How many coffee mugs does one family need? According to me, you can never have enough! I LOVE coffee mugs, and I buy a new one for myself every so often because it makes me smile, and I don’t buy much for myself. But my husband looks at my coffee mug shelf every so often, and makes a VERY confused, cock-eyed face and says, “do we really need all of these coffee mugs?” Ummmm, yes, I have to say yes. I get it though. We don’t have enough room for them, and they are taking over the cabinet, so at that moment I get rid of whatever coffee mugs I know that I need to part with. When everything has a place, and has room to have a place, it is much easier to clean and put things away… where they belong.
So I will be posting a list of things to de-clutter. It’s more of a guideline, but I have followed one before and I found that I didn’t have much to get rid of because I already do it regularly. I was very proud of myself, and I really think it makes a big difference in the rest of my cleaning. Maybe it can help anyone else clean out the clutter in their homes and get organized.
I have to add that when I don’t get my regular house cleaning done, it’s probably because I was being lazy. It’s easy to find a comfy seat and park it, and do anything else but clean. But Proverbs 31:27 says She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Idleness aka laziness. And Titus 2:5 says that we should be busy at home. I want my home time to be well spent. My family should be able to enjoy their clean, functional house.
I guess by now someone who is reading this has thought about Mary and Martha. Do I run around taking care of things, or sit at Jesus’ feet? I really hope that I have a good balance of both. They both need nurtured. Mary and Martha were sisters, and I believe our physical cleaning and spiritual cleaning are also related. Jesus wants us to take care of all that He has given to us. There is a time for everything, and being responsible for your things and your messes is part of being a godly man and woman. This actually goes into my next post in this series about managing your time.
Lord, Help me to manage my house and keep it clean and inviting to me, my family, and to anyone who enters it. Help me to not be lazy, but to be a responsible hard worker in my home. Please show me the things that I could or should be getting rid of. And help me to be able to part with these things. They are just material possessions. I want to keep a nice home that shows I care. Help me to care about and for my house and the things in it so that it can be ready for whatever You would have me open it up for. Amen.
This post is part of a series of post called Clean Out My Life. Click here If you would like to read the intro and other posts in this series.