We have come to that season of our lives when it’s time to sort through our stash—the accumulation of a lifetime. To throw out the trash, discard the broken and useless, donate what we no longer need, and keep what we can’t live without. We are peeling back our fingers to release the death grip we’ve had on our Stuff—and distilling it all down to what we can reasonably contain within the walls of our home. Some people do this regularly; some never do. But, for me and my house, it’s time to declutter—in preparation for the next season of our lives.
“And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord” (II Chronicles 29:16, KJV).
Spiritually, Now may also be the right time to declutter our hearts. In fact, now is always the best time. Some people do this regularly; some never do. But, as we transition from one life season to another, God continually invites us to examine, discard, and commit to Him the things we carry in our hearts—in preparation for the next season He has planned. When God looks at us, He sees our hearts first. It’s time to ask, “Has my heart become so full of the stuff of life that there’s little room for Him?”
“So, where do we start?” The FIRST step toward decluttering my house is to “de-emotionalize” my sense of ownership of my stuff. Stuff is just stuff. Holding that baby blanket may evoke sweet memories and warm fuzzies, but the stuff is inanimate. It doesn’t care if I love it or toss it. I am the boss of my emotions, and no inanimate object has the power to dictate to me whether I must keep it or not. It’s up to ME.
Decluttering my heart requires a similar emotionless detachment. The worries and cares of life that I fret over never return the favor—it’s time to dump them, or as Peter instructed, “Lay them aside.” Someone said, “Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is keep you busy doing nothing.” True! Paul taught it this way:
“Be careful [anxious] for nothing….but [instead] let your requests be made unto God” (Philippians 4:6, KJV).
The SECOND step toward decluttering is to address every single piece of clutter—now. Leaving no closet, no cabinet, no shelf untouched or unsorted, deciding a destination for every single article of treasure or trash. Setting no boxes aside to “deal with later” when I think I can handle it better. No. There’s no time like the present, and I know the “future me” will thank me.
The same with my heart, “Casting all your care upon him [now], for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV). All my cares, All my concerns, All my worries. All regrets, anxieties, fears—to take all of it and give it to the Lord. Why wait? Turn them all over to Jesus because there are no issues I can truly handle alone, and there’s nothing He cannot! Dump the trash of old grudges, roots of baseless hatred and bitterness, and offenses way past their expiration dates. Discard the remnants of broken dreams and the useless baggage of dashed hopes. Some relationships in life get broken, and dreams die—it just happens.
Holding on to the jagged pieces of “what-was” or “hoped-it-could-have-been” will never put them back together. Let it all go.
“Be STILL, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, KJV).
The THIRD step is to realize that decluttering is not an occasional task—it’s a lifestyle. It’s part of a daily regimen for the rest of my life. This is key to a decluttered life. The only way to deal with overwhelming clutter is to declutter; grab a trash bag and do it. As I regularly declutter my home, it gets easier every time, but I must deal with an item only once. I also learn to spot clutter before it turns into clutter—for instance, dumping junk mail before even bringing it into the house.
The key to a decluttered soul is maintaining a lifestyle of repentance—having a continually repentant heart. When sins accumulate, denial sets in—then bitterness, brittleness, and death. The only way to deal with recurring, stubborn sin is to repent, always, and again I say, repent. Repentance is easier the more I do it—but true repentance should mean that I deal with a particular sin only once, and it’s gone for good. A continually repentant heart also learns to spot temptations before they become sins—and never even lets them through the door!
PRAYER: Lord, give me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. As I declutter my heart, may I use the One-In-One-Out Rule: for every minute of worry, let me replace it with a minute of praise and thanksgiving. Every care, let me cast on You. Every sin, let me purge it with repentance. Help me keep my soul pure and clean until I present it to You, and You say, “Well done!”