Keeping our homes clear of clutter can be difficult. Often we find reasons to hold on to things that we no longer need and may have never used.
How can we change our thinking and de-clutter our homes?
Kathi Lipp, author of Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space, shares how we can change our thinking to make room in our lives for the true abundance of God.
The main cause of clutter is how we think about it. We talk ourselves into keeping things for a variety of reasons, or we simply tell ourselves that we will deal with it later. Too often later doesn’t come and the clutter stays. Thought patterns such as these are referred to as “faulty thinking,” and they’re easy to fall into.
One big culprit of faulty thinking that cheats us of clutter free home is ‘just in case’ thinking.
Another example of ‘just in case’ thinking is,
“I don’t really like that sweater, but I will hold on to it just in case I really need it someday, or I’m cold.”
Kathi explains that this kind of thinking will get us into trouble because it creates a set of fictional circumstances such as “if it’s really cold, and everything else is dirty, and I’m not going to see anybody, then it will be perfect.” But these circumstances aren’t real.
“What we have to realize is that we have six other sweaters, and as long as we take care of them, they will be there to serve us.”
Why do we have these thought patterns?
“I really think that it is fear-based thinking. That it’s thinking ‘what if,’ and it really is saying you know ‘what if God’s not going to take care of me? I’ll take care of myself.’ And I think that we do that with canned food, I think we do that with clothing, we do that with skis, we do that with all sorts of things that we really know we’re probably never going to ever use again, and so instead of hanging on to them, can you donate them?”
Donating can be difficult to do because we usually want to see our things go to someone who will take care of them and put good use to them. We can come up with a dozen different reasons to hang onto something, but we need to focus on the one reason to give: because somebody else needs it.
Kathi recalls being a single mom who was at one point blessed by someone who gave her son a gently used pair of Nikes. They weren’t brand new, but they were his size and they were in good condition and it meant a lot to Kathi and her son to receive them.
When we can start to twist faulty thinking into healthy thinking and realize that we don’t have to give things away perfectly, that we don’t have to keep things ‘just in case,’ and that God provides for us in some very practical ways, then we become able to part with things and de-clutter our lives. We must realize that when we are wise with what God’s given us, we will always be okay. Even further, not only will we be okay, but we will even have enough to share with other people.Becoming Clutter Free with Kathi Lipp