One of the most difficult obstacles to keeping up with a clean households is navigating all the stuff.
Let’s face it compared to much of the rest of the world, even the most modest of households can admit that we are incredibly blessed.
Yet the accumulation of stuff can sneak in and overwhelm us without a doubt.
The challenge of organizing our stuff is that it’s never enough.
Things like food are consumable and must be purchased regularly, but right alongside the food we need is the extra little things. You know what I’m talking about - the air fresheners, kitchen utensils, equipment or my goodness depending on where you shop, shirts, bathing suits and socks! These are the things that consume space and crowd out the room we actually crave.
The secondary issue is that clutter keeps us away from people.
How many times have you decided not to have company over, friend or family member, because your house is a mess? Listen, I’m not judging, I’m sitting right here with you in the midst of my own mess acknowledging there are not enough fingers & toes to give an accurate assessment.
I’m just asking us all - why does our stuff get to take priority over people?
The challenge is recognizing the problem for what it is. It’s not a funny little problem that happened overnight. It’s a sequence of events, behaviors even, that we may not truly recognize or even be able to articulate. It’s buying an extra toy just because you can, because your childhood memories include being told “no” on multiple occasions because there was no money for extras. We justify that we want our children to have a better childhood than we did by overbuying and spoiling and then wonder why our kids can’t appreciate all they’ve been given.
Because this problem doesn’t occur overnight, we have to first attack the clutter with a drill sergeant mindset.
Keep the necessities, toss the broken things and donate things that others might need or want.
As this decluttering occurs, I can guarantee you will feel much happier. The things that are left behind can be displayed, arranged or stored for later and the beauty of this process is that everything that remains can have it’s “place.” When the kids play or things are a bit messy, not having 9,255 items makes it a much faster process for cleanup.
A faster process for cleanup feels more doable than a hours long organizing/hiding fest. Been there, done that, and designed the tshirt. I’ve stashed more stuff than you even know. And honestly the stuff clutters up not just physical space but mental space too, but I want veer off on to that today - it’s a subject for another day.
The blessing of a faster cleanup is that our homes, once again, become places for people, not stuff!