“I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restriction on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.”
1 Corinthians 7:35
After last week’s post went live about our Families journey towards minimalizing, A family member shared with me this verse from 1 Corinthians 7:35. I want to be clear, it’s not speaking directly to the home, or minimizing. – the correct context is speaking about relationships specifically to singles, desiring to get married. (go read the chapter for yourself!) But I believe the principle can be applied in other contexts, the context of minimalizing specifically. When this verse was shared with me, it resonated so deeply in my heart, encapsulating and putting into words a growing purpose which has been manifesting in my heart. All I could say was, “yes yes yes! Amen!” the principle goes along with Proverbs 30:7-9, and I couldn’t feel more affirmed in our decision to do this.
What is the Purpose?
Some of the reasons I wanted to put into practice this Purging and Life-style change for or family was listed in my last post. But here’s the Condensed version:
To implement and exemplify stewardship, efficiency, and a clean, ‘toxin free’ lifestyle while limiting distractions so as to better focus on our family’s ‘life goals’, and allowing for the spontaneity that goes with them.
The first question you need to ask yourself is, Why are you doing it? Why are you choosing to de-clutter and simplify? I will probably re-iterate a lot of the same things, but I’ll emphasize again the heart is where the most change takes place. It can be pulled negatively or positively, but once it’s engaged be prepared to be challenged. My heart has changed from when this idea birthed to where it stands now. My motives and priorities have changed and they’ll probably continue to. It’s funny looking back how selfish my motives were in doing this- the desire to please self… Now the vision is on stewarding well, eliminating distraction in order to love, serve, and press in- more then ever to God and this mission of woman- (mom, wife, friend, sister, etc.) hood. It’s a Beautiful process.
Once you know why your doing this write in on a piece of paper. Frame it if you’d like! My every-day reminder is a chalk board over the fireplace that says, “Collecting memories, not stuff.” lets get practical and make some goals.
Having a goal to work towards is really helpful when de-cluttering. It will give you some direction, affirmation and finally satisfaction once you finally reach it. Sometimes it’s easy to go through our things and sometimes it’s difficult. What do you do with pieces that have sentimental value, have been in the family for years, and bring sweet memories when you look at them? As little or as much as you choose to tackle at a given time, is something over nothing- and that’s progress.
Once you’ve adopted your own purpose, here are some practical ways to go about taking the next step—the process of de-cluttering, or de-distracting, I like to call it. After all- isn’t it all the stuff in our lives that distracts us from the truly important people, and things around us?
7 ways to Get you started:
- Heart-work. Search your heart. Why are you doing this? Write it down, frame it! Put it somewhere you’ll see frequently.
- Time line. If you work well under deadlines, make yourself one! Choose a date – choose multiple dates (if you’re a wave-purger like myself) to purge by. Tell a friend or/and work with your significant other to reach your deadline and keep yourself and each other accountable.
- Hide-and-seek. When you start going through things, make 3 piles: LOVE (keep) LIKE (maybe keep) NADA (don’t keep). HIDE your “Like” pile… and after a month or so if there’s nothing in the pile you’ve thought about, wanted, or needed then I’d suggest getting rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it yet… and you aren’t using it, hide it again. Maybe next month it will make the Love or Nada pile.
- I like lists. Maybe you do to. Make a list of every room in your house. List the closets, etc. now work off the list. Take it room by room, using the Love, Like, and Nada system.
- Lists #2. Write down a list of purchases and projects you would like to do once your purge is complete. Perhaps you can sell your 2 un-matching lamps to go towards buying a new set that matches! Sometimes out with the old, and in with the new is necessary to help create YOUR space and bring harmony into a home. (P.S. purging doesn’t mean your just making room for more stuff… but it might mean your making room for less,- more purposeful, intentional, meaningful items)
- Lists #3. (I know, real creative with the Lists here) When you begin going through things, start a list of what you like and why you like it. For instance. You gravitate towards a particular throw, but rarely or never touch the other two in the basket. Is it the colors? Textures, that you like best? Another example. The Mantle. Mantles can collect some nick-nacky stuff. Why do you love the angel figurine? (What colors, textures, styles do you like, and dislike Etc.) it seems so excessive to make notes on things like this- but trust me, it’s not. This will help you in future, when you are ready to purchase something new for your home. Your learning to be intentional, not impulsive. You’ll know your style and stay within your style.
- Time-out. Allow yourself time-outs. One to re-group, search your heart and reflect on your purpose in this process. Revisiting your goal and allowing the heart-work to go along with the dirty work.
- Giveaway. Some stuff your getting rid of you might be able to get some money for. Other things, you may or may not- but don’t be afraid to give things away. This year I finally realized how ridiculous it is for me to be holding on to a bag of clothes for 3 years- that I planned on getting rid of… 3 years ago. It’s not worth holding on to, and frankly no- I might not get what I paid for those items, but it is NOT worth my sanity to hold on to them especially if they could bless someone else greatly. (more heart work) Check out some places in your area you may be able to donate items too… some suggestions, your church, (if they know any families through their compassion ministry needing some items) A shelter, half-way house, crisis center, etc. Then there’s 2nd hand stores and church depots.
Are you going to do it? Think you might start today? Tomorrow? Next Week? I’d love to hear what’s motivating you to start! You CAN do it, how ever overwhelmed you may be feeling at the thought. It’s worth every overwhelming minute of thought too. Trust me. You will be stretched in the best of ways and the hard, frustrating moments- This to will pass!
Missed last weeks Post from my Maximizing the Minimalist Series? Check it out HERE!