My family is currently in the middle of a wild and sort of unknown adventure. For years, my husband and I have longed for property to raise our kids on. We both grew up with acres to roam and for awhile now, cul-de-sac life has left us feeling unsettled. It all adds up, I suppose. We love to garden, we have chickens, we love being outdoors, and I even have a hankering for goats…… And so, we’re preparing to sell our home and we’re believing that God put these desires in our hearts for a reason. With faith, we believe that when the time is right, He’ll have that perfect country spot picked out for us.
As we’ve prepared to sell our home and look for a piece of property, I’ve been trying to organize and clean out as much as possible. To begin with, my family didn’t have any more stuff than what you’d expect from the “typical” american family. The problem is that over the years, I’ve discovered that clutter makes me feel stressed and that clear spaces help my brain feel less foggy.
So, instead of cowering from the daunting task of ‘let’s clean out the entire house,’ I’ve been breaking the job into small tasks. One bag each day of stuff to be trashed, recycled, donated or sold. Most days I’ve found myself gathering more than one bag. This has absolutely been freeing!
The funny thing is that while we look at possible new homes for our family, what I’m looking for isn’t more square footage. What I want is a simpler life, with lots of open spaces and room for breathing. I don’t want a big house, just to fill up with possessions, I want a house to intentionally fill with things that help my family thrive.
When I go through our things, the bottom line for me is:
How does this (shirt, book, toy, kitchen gadget etc.) make me feel? If it doesn’t make me feel good, if there’s a negative association with it (for example “fat pants”), if it doesn’t help my family thrive or help us grow, it goes.
We all deserve a life filled with things that uplift us, rather than things that drag us down. That doesn’t mean that we should all go out and buy all the things we love and believe that they’ll make us happy. It’s actually quite the opposite. I’d rather have a closet, with only a few items in it, rather than a closet filled with things that I don’t feel good wearing.
I’d rather my kids have less toys and actually play with what they have, than have rooms filled with so many toys that they don’t even know what to play with.
I’d rather get rid things and open up space for things that uplift my family and create a warm, nurturing environment, than live a life with a tight grip on everything we own.
I want to teach my children to hold onto their possessions so loosely, that I feel confident if anyone ever crosses their path, that needs something of theirs more than they do, they’ll easily give it up. After all, it’s just stuff.
So, for the next 30 days, will you join me in picking a closet, a cupboard, or a drawer and going through that one area each day? I promise that as your house clears, your brain will feel clearer as well.
You can use my list as a reference, but feel free to substitute these areas to better serve your needs.