Saturday, March 01, 2008
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses...
We all have our pet peeves. One of mine is when you hear friends complaining for months about their messy home, yet they allow it all to overwhelm them--and do nothing. And become more buried. And then when you try to suggest some helpful hints, they immediately hand you a list as to why they cannot take your suggestions.
Sigh. Excuses are roadblocks. Fences--with no gates. Stoppers of success and joy.
So... for those of you who are ready for new beginnings inside your home, I offer these--what I hope will be--inspirations:
If your house is a cluttered mess... clean it. Now. No waiting for a better time, season, age, spouse or year allowed.
If that sounds overwhelming, think, "One corner at a time." If you need inspiration, borrow a couple books or magazines on decorating and organizing. Or watch a few episodes of similar tv shows. And then get busy.
If you need help, ask for help. Either from a professional (it's money well-spent if clutter is ruining your life) or from a friend who's not emotionally attached to your things. And ask your family to confine their possessions to their own defined areas. (If they have no defined areas, define some.)
If you have too much stuff (most of us do), give your stuff away. Make trips to your local Salvation Army or other charitable drop-off places. Or call those places to come pick up your extra furniture or larger items. Or have a yard sale. Or advertise on your local Freecycle Yahoo Group, especially if you want it gone NOW, before you change your mind. Find the joy in giving to strangers.
If you are storing stuff for your grown children or other relatives, give those people a deadline to come haul away their stuff. If they miss that deadline, see above.
Remember--you are not your stuff. Your stuff is not you. The couch your grandmother gave you is not your grandmother. Nor is it a memory. Memories dwell--foremost--inside our hearts and heads. (As well as inside photo albums if you choose to snap photos of your memory-invoking possessions, instead. Takes up much, much less space.)
Trash is trash. Trash belongs in trash cans, not on shelves or the floor or in closets or cupboards.
Remember--there's no law which states you must keep every gift ever given you. Nor is there one which says just because you loved something at 25 you must still love it at 45.
Keep a picture in your mind of how you'd like your house to look, feel and function. Let that motivate you. Celebrate each new change, even tiny ones.
If you accidentally toss something which someday you will need again, trust that God will be able to provide you with the money for another one in the future. Don't allow the 'fear of lack' to paralyze you and keep you living in dangerous, frustrating clutter.
After you've decluttered that corner or that room or your whole house:
Ask yourself, "Do I really need this?... Do I love this? ... Do I have room for this?" before you buy something new.
For everything you bring into your home, give away something of an equal size.
Stay organized so you can find what you need--and so you won't buy unnecessary repeats.
Freely give and freely you will receive... (and then freely give again and receive again and ...). Keep the flow going! Live Life as a river, not as a cesspool. :)
One more hint? Ask God to help you find your value in His passionate love for you, rather than attempting to find it in your stuff.