Welcome May and welcome the time of year for spring cleaning! There is something satisfying about going through that one junk drawer in the kitchen or the dresser drawers in your closet to de-clutter the accumulation of stuff that you stuffed in there because you had no idea where to put in the meantime. During spring cleaning season, I will sift through my junk drawers pulling out its contents finding batteries that I don’t know even work, broken pencils, old receipts that I’ve held onto in case I still want to return that shirt I bought six months ago and have been wearing at least once a week ever since, old postcards, sunglasses, and straws from Wendy’s. And I ask myself as an intelligent, rational adult, why do I hold on to this clutter? I think it’s because I always convince myself that I need it or will find another use for it.
That is why I call in my reinforcements to help me resolve to throw out the clutter…my mom.
Spring cleaning is a favorite topic between of conversation between me and my mom I have the same conversation with my mom every time around this time of year. I talk to her about the need to go through my closets and drawers and get rid of clothes and things that I don’t use anymore. I lament, “When did my closets get stuffed so full of things that I don’t even know what its contents are any more?” My mom and I motivate each other as each others’ support group, “It’s okay you can get rid of that sweater that has been collecting dust in the closet for years and that you haven’t worn for six years. It’s out of style anyway. I will help provide you the strength and encouragement to do the unfathomable…donate it or throw it away.”
In the spirit of the season and since I’m in the process of getting rid of the clutter in my own home, I challenge you to do the same. There is something to be said about living simply and reflecting on what you really need. Start small and work your way to purging yourself of the unnecessary clutter by picking a day each week to go through your things and get rid of 3-5 items. This could be the junk in your kitchen junk drawer, clothes that you don’t wear anymore, or books that are collecting dust on the shelves. If you don’t use these items anymore, then donate them to someone who can get use out of them. As you clear away the clutter it will help you start reevaluating your needs and living simply. Then next time you’re in a store as you’re admiring the potential purchase of that cute sweater, you may think to yourself, I have three others like it in my closet and I don’t really need it OR if I do get it, then I’m going to get rid of a sweater that I don’t wear to make room for this new one.
Why even care about spring cleaning or simplifying your needs? Because it causes less stress when you don’t have to deal with the mess and when you start looking at what you do have then you become content instead of always wanting the next thing.
Be aware of the things of your life that you shove in drawers or in boxes, so that you don’t have to think about it and deal with it. We often gain clutter because we don’t have the time to deal with it in that moment in order to find a place for it or purpose, so we shove it in a drawer and tell ourselves that when we have more time we will deal with it later. Simplify your life by processing the clutter in your life and make determinations right away if you need it, want it, or have time for it. If you don’t, get rid of it and if you do, find a place for it. But ignoring will cause it to build up over time until you have a mess to sort through.
Let spring cleaning trickle into other areas of your life like your time commitments, finances, or relationships. Start getting rid of the things that consume your time or resources that keep you from following or fulfilling God’s purpose in your life. By committing to clean out your junk drawers and closets it can help you move to other area’s of your life like your heart and your mind. As you hone your spring cleaning skills it gives you the confidence to clear the other clutter in your life that keeps you from focusing on your relationship with God. Here’s to starting spring cleaning!