Photo by qimono

Why Bother to Declutter?

I have been called a minimalist by more than one person and I don’t mind. When other teachers step into my classroom and comment on how peaceful my room feels, I smile.  I’ve always made it a point to have the least amount of stuff on my walls, essential supplies organized in a cupboard, and order even in my stacks of papers. 

When I once offered my closet of clothes to a friend who needed an extra layer to put on before we went out for a walk, she said this, “I can’t believe you own so few clothes!”  

But, being the minimalist that I am has its advantages; I do not deal with clutter. 

Taking Care of The Piles

I have to give credit where credit is due. I learned how to stay organized and clutter free from those who were disorganized and lived among clutter. 

While in high school and after graduating I worked as a house cleaner. Though it did not pay much, it was an interesting job because I got to see the inside scoop, so to speak, on how other people lived. 

There was the woman who saved the plastic containers from cottage cheese, Cool Whip, and yogurt. It did not matter that her cupboards were already filled to the brim with stacks upon stacks of these items, she never allowed me to throw any of them out and continued to add more.

Then there was the woman who displayed the kerosene lamps she frequently purchased from antique shops. On every flat space in her living room sat a lamp and each week it was my chore to dust them, chimney glass and all. I counted over 100 of these items and wondered why in the world one would need so many. 

Finally, there was the mother who threw all of her children’s clean clothes from the dryer into a large basket. Instead of folding the laundry and putting it away, the clothes accumulated into a wrinkled clump. Each week it was my chore to iron each article, fold it and put it away.  I never could get to the bottom of the basket in the time frame I was there. 

From each of these women I vowed to keep my cupboards and living room shelves free from excessive clutter and to fold and put away clean clothes before the wrinkles set in. 

The funny thing about clutter is how people want to defend it. They convince themselves that there is a good reason behind their collection. 

For instance, whenever I suggest to my husband that perhaps it would be a good idea for him to clean out the garage or the barn of the extra materials he’s collected from job sites, he tells me, “Someday we might need that piece of lumber.” Therefore, it remains. 

Then there was the friend who hired me to help her declutter her house. I placed items in a pile that I thought she could get rid of. As she went through the pile, she “rescued” each item because of its sentimental value. 

I’ve concluded that someday never comes and that I don’t need to attach sentimental value to items. 

Why bother to declutter? In my house, where there are no piles of wrinkled laundry, no stacks of plastic containers, and shelves that show empty spaces, peace and comfort reigns.

New Release

A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens