What if I told you clutter isn’t your problem? That it’s not even about your stuff. Clutter has a voice. It speaks its own language. There’s a dialogue that happens when you declutter. You decide to get rid of something and clutter says “That’s important.” Twenty items later, the room looks the same and you’re still discouraged and frustrated. That’s because when everything is important, nothing is important. That’s the power of stuff.
What it looks like when you give the power over to your stuff
You can’t get rid of anything, because everything is important,
You don’t have a proper space in your home for everything,
The stuff becomes clutter,
Then the stuff or clutter owns you,
Your home doesn’t reflect who you are inside,
You don’t feel at peace in your spirit or in your space,
You’re embarrassed to have people over and relationships suffer,
You can’t find a quiet place to talk to God, so you aren’t as close to Him.
EVERYTHING CAN’T BE IMPORTANT
To paraphrase Peter Walsh, when objects hold a tremendous amount of power over you, you lose the ability to choose which items are important. Basically, if everything is important, then nothing is important. Is that coffee mug as important as the afghan passed down through the family? Do you need that resume from 20 years ago?
If all of the baby clothes are sentimental, and all of the art drawings are special, and all of the worn books are treasured, you will lose affinity, respect and honor for any of it! Objects that represent broken dreams, relationships or past hurts can keep you from moving forward in your life.
5 STEPS TO TAKE BACK YOUR POWER AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE
- RESPECT WHAT GOD GAVE YOU
In Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life, he states, “We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while we’re here. It was God’s property before you arrived, and God will loan it to someone else after you die. You just get to enjoy it for awhile.”
Respect what God has blessed you with, and that will open doors that have been previously shut. I have seen this principle lived out countless times.
- HONOR YOUR PAST
Early in my career as a Certified Professional Organizer, I had the privilege to help a 9/11 widow. She called me six months after losing her husband during the New York City attack, grappling with what to do with her husband’s belongings.
We worked to uncover which possessions were truly meaningful, and decided to honor his memory by hanging shadow boxes of his favorite articles in the den, kitchen and bedrooms. No longer did she fill compelled to keep everything by honoring his memory in a very tangible way.
After several months, she called to tell me she had fallen in love again because she was able to release her past. Clearing the clutter and honoring her past allowed her to move on with her life and seek new journeys.
- HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Our society simply has too much stuff. Quite frequently, I get calls from inquiring clients who want me to come in and organize their space, but not get rid of anything.
The bottom line is that you may not have the proper space in your home to keep all of your possessions. Keeping everything and not giving honor to your possessions undermines your ability to feel gratitude for them. The more you have, the less often you will feel gratitude for your possessions and the incredible things they allow you to do.
- FIX YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR STUFF
To maintain right relationships to our “earthly treasures” while laying up “treasures in heaven,” we need a different perspective. The rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22 went away sorrowful, because he had great possessions. In spite of his longing to gain eternal life, the request to let go of his earthly possessions was just too much for him. Jesus looks at our heart, and his heart was with his treasures on earth.
And, please don’t forget whose stuff it really is, anyway!
“The world and all that is in it belongs to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are His.”
- TREASURE YOUR THINGS
When everything’s important, nothing’s important. So as you look at all your items, decide that if you do treasure them, you will treat them accordingly. If that memento is dusty, crumbled or shoved in a box never seeing the light of day, is that how you treat something you treasure? Create areas to let the things your treasure shine by placing them in spaces that will enhance the personality of your home.
The power of stuff is one you need to respect. If you give the power over to your stuff, then the stuff or clutter owns you. Our stuff becomes nothing more than clutter, but if you can control it, you can change your lives, your community – even your world – for the better.
The true power is in respecting the things God has given you. Give honor and respect to your stuff and your home, and you’ll experience a priceless reward—peace and joy.