Thursday, April 30, 2015

Clutter Busting

Today I tackled the boy's room. Whew! Too often "clean  your room" means dumping all their treasures in their closet. Today I told them to pull everything out and dump their treasure boxes out on the floor and sort through everything.

Do all boys have collections of string, whittled sticks, and painted rocks?

Halfway through I was ready to despair. It looked far worse than before. But we kept at it and now their room looks wonderful.

Will it stay that way for more than two days?

I love the tips on organizing that you all have been sharing in the comments. Jonna sent such as sweet email  that I asked if I could share it with all of you. I loved her perspective on seeking the Lord in our organizing. She graciously agreed so here is Jonna's organizing tips.

I am a busy homeschool Mom - I know you are busy - so here are a few hints that have helped me - I SOOOOO pray for help with this area of my life - I sometimes feel like I am "drowning" in my "stuff"/their stuff at our home.  We have 7 children - 5 still are at home.

Clutter has been such a struggle for MANY years - just ask my husband Mike:-) There were times in years past my own big "clean-up" consisted of taking the mail and other papers for many weeks and then putting it into paper garbage bags until I could find time to sort it all (which then never happened).  Mike one time smiled, saying that he had taken some of these bags to the dump that sat around for months. When he saw my shocked expression, he said "Be truthful - have you missed a single thing in them?"  :-)  Had to admit I had not!! 

Another tip someone gave, was to sort your mail every day right near your garbage can or recycling paper spot and only keep what you absolutely need. If it is a "rare" (which they are anymore:-)!!) personal letter, jot the date r'cd on the back so you can then see how really long it takes you to answer it:-)  

PLEASE get the book Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. The author is a believer so even though the book was published for a secular audience you will at least see that theme understated within the book. Cheap on eBay or Amazon. If you get through Amazon, be sure to use their link - 1/2% of any purchase can go to Christian ministries, like Voice of the Martyrs etc.

Ask yourself in sorting ANYTHING/purchasing anything - does this simplify or complicate my life? 

Getting any new/used book - be ready to get rid of one in exchange or even two if brave - same goes for any clothing piece, knick knacks, - whatever-

 PRAY before every single purchase, since it's all God's money anyway (I just got given this VERY challenging thought by another believer). Even praying before grocery shopping, that you might find more on sale to help stretch the money etc.

 I am always SOOOO touched by my cello teacher's home - so simply, sparsely furnished with a few tasteful wall hangings.  Such a peaceful feeling it resonates. I long for this even in a busy household with three boys ages 14, 11, and 8 still in it:-)

 Ask yourself - if I had a year to live, which of this "stuff" I own would I really want to keep/use? 

 Take what things you might be hesitant to part with (unsure) and give yourself a week to decide. If they have value, make them a project - sell them on eBay if you are able to do this, and give all the money away to someone poor - there are SOOO many worthwhile projects at Gospel For Asia or CAM - even a $1.00 buys tracts.  I am amazed how God gave this idea to me to help me part with my "stuff", and how he has blessed these feeble efforts to turn this "stuff" into something tangible for Christians in other countries. 

Another good read is The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn, also Road to Reality by K.P. Yohannan – the man from India who started Gospel for Asia.  My free time is SOOO limited I cannot read many books, so I only will recommend those which I feel are 100% worth your time. I hope you will be blessed by these three books. They help underscore from a Christian perspective about living more simply and content.

I will leave you with a poem I just read by Ruth Bell Graham: 

 Let Them Go 

Let them go -
the things that have
accumulated through the years.
If they be only things,
let them go..
As barnacles,
they may but impede the ship
and slow
it down when it should go
full speed ahead.
Why dread
the disentangling?
Does the snake
regret the shedding
of its skin?
When the butterfly eludes
its chrysalis
does regret
set in?

In Christ -

Jonna Statt


  1. What a wonderful post!! Thank you both, oh and Ruth Bell Graham too. And yes, I can vouch for the universal boy treasures, and even the stuffed closets!!

  2. The warm fireplaceApril 30, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    Thank you for such a wonderful post, i have made a note of the books,what a beautiful poem.

  3. I only have girls...but we have our share of "collections". I have tried to contain each collection to a box/container. When the box is full then it needs to be gone through. We have a container for rocks, a basket that gets displayed for pinecones/sticks/nature items like that, a box for papers, another box for cards and letters etc. My one daughter finds it the hardest to keep up the system though, and she is my biggest collector...bread tags, little bits of string or fabric etc. it gets a bit much.

    1. As a grown up, I still have a 'treasure drawer' in my smallest dresser. It is about full, so time to rethink them. Usually if I add one thing I take one out. I still have my 1966 Barbie doll from when I was 7. She has a bad knee just like I do.

  4. Ohhhh...I so relate to boys' room! I have 3 boys ages 11, 9, and almost 7 that sleep in the same room. I call it the dorm. :-) And...the STUFF!! :-) Your last post and this one are so timely for me. I'm working at gathering some yard sale stuff for our churchs' annual yard sale that benefits cancer patients. I. am. a. hoarder. :-( It feels so good to throw away even though it HURTS at the time! :-) It simply is freeing. I have also noticed that I NEVER miss anything I get rid revealing is that?! But, I go through the same wonderings of "I might need this sometime...", "There is surely a good use for this...", "my mom threw too much away, now I don't want to make the same mistake.." and on and on... Chalk it up to being of the sentimental mindset. Anyway, thanks SO much! It truly has given me some direction.

  5. My boys are now 27, 28 and 32 and I can tell you none of them live the way they did when young (there is hope!). I will never forget when I started thinking my then 4 year old oldest was old enough to clean alone now - so I very carefully told him "I don't want to see ANY toys on the floor, he was back in about 5 minutes - done! I went to look and he had taken the blanket off his bed and covered the floor and I could not see any toys on the floor, they were there but I couldn't see them! Laugh at anything that will be a funny story in a few years! And just for the collectors, that same oldest child now has a few toys still in the original boxes that are worth quite a bit of money! (which is of course why we have such a hard time tossing!)

  6. Wow! That poem....


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