Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Seeking to Simplify {Making Decisions}

   As I deal with clutter in my house I realize that the reason that I have much of the clutter that I do is because I have put off making a decision. This was a surprising thing to learn about myself. I have always thought of myself as a quick decision maker and to be perfectly honest I can easily find irritating somebody who is being really slow to make a decision (for example I don't like to play Chess with somebody who takes it pretty seriously as the game drags on and on and on...). Some people can take forever to decide what to wear in the morning, or what they would like to eat or whatever. For the most part I like to be efficient and I think that part of being efficient is being able to make fairly quick decisions.

   But still,  as I have been going through more and more of my things I realize that the reason that they are clutter that bothers me is because in many cases I haven't made a decision about them. I have put off for another time that decision that needed to be made. Some of the decisions often are:

  • Do I need to take action on this? (Perhaps a letter that came in the mail or an e-mail) If so, can I do it right now so it is done and out of the way and I don't have to deal with it again?
  • Is this something I really want to keep?
  • Where does it belong? Can I put it there right now? If it doesn't have a place but I want to keep it can I figure out a home for it?
  • If I don't want it than what am I going to do with it? Give it away (When and where?), Recycle it, burn it, trash it, repurpose it (and if I repurpose it where does it go for now?)....
   As I have been forcing myself to make decisions lately and have seen my clutter areas improve (My desk has been clean nearly the whole month!!! That is a huge accomplishment for me!) it gets exciting. I love being more organized and not having cluttered up areas. It actually gets a little addicting and I realize that making those decisions isn't really that bad - in fact it is pretty fun.

   I will give you an example of one decision that I had been putting off for years and finally made this month. My Grandma Cleone was an artsy craftsy sort of person and during my growing up years when she would come to visit she would often bring ceramics for us to paint. We kids found that very fun. Also she would paint various ceramics and give them to us. I have a couple of those gifts from my childhood which I enjoy keeping around to see and remember her. But she also made us a ceramic plaque for our wedding. I think it was very near the end of her ceramic painting time and I don't think her eyes were working as well. And to be perfectly honest it was horribly done. Also a picture of hands and a bow just doesn't do a lot for me anyway. So, that has been hanging around since we got married over 18 years ago. I displayed for a little while but then it just stayed in storage. I didn't like it, to me it wasn't a good representation of what my Grandma could do anyway. So - this month it went into the trash. That decision felt very good. I don't have to continue running into through the years and think "Why am I keeping this?" but feel like I had to.

  Cheryl, another blogger, had mentioned how they pray about the items that they are trying to deal with. I have been taking time every morning to ask for God's leading in what I get rid of and what I keep - that I could glorify Him in this de-cluttering process. He is so good to help!

   Can any of you relate to this struggle with making decisions? 

This week has been a good one for decluttering. This week I got rid of 49 items. I kept my e-mail inbox cleaned out and I cleaned out a space every day. I still didn't sell anything. My going through my clothes (by wearing everything once before I re-wear things) has been helpful in finding a few items (worn out tights, underwear, t-shirts and socks) that really needed to be discarded. I honestly didn't expect to find that much there as I had gone through my clothes this fall but by actually wearing something rather than just looking at it I discovered more issues.

  Are you working on de-cluttering? How is it going at your house?


Simply Farmhouse said...

I de clutter my home when we was adopting our last little girl. We was needing to raise money for the adopting, this became my motivation "I rather have her then stuff." We took our home down to the bare minimum. This was the beginning of becoming a minimalists.

I realized how much easier it was to clean the house. With less to clean, less to pick up, less to put away, nothing to organize, this freed up my time. I found time to do things that I never had time to do before. Today, I make it a rule that if something new comes in, something old goes out. For instance, if I buy new tops for myself, I will pull out some tops that are worn out and donated them.

The saying "Less is More" is true..the less you have to care for the more time you have for what is really important. More time for the Lord, your husband, your children.

Be inspired
Blessings Teresa

Sarah said...

Yes! I can relate to these things. Especially the ones where someone made me something. You have to refuse to feel guilty about throwing things away. I am in a more minimalist mindset now because I realized that the clutter in my (small) apartment was making me crazy and depressed. I don't think the Lord intended for us to be in chaos. Order is always best. :)

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

I am so like you in regards to wanting to people to not linger making decisions and the things you mentioned in the top part of the post. I giggled because I can think of so many times this has irritated me.

I am glad you are getting liberty and fresh perspective.

Abbi said...

Theresa, That is such a neat story of your adoption and the help de-cluttering has been to you. Thanks for inspiring me more! Even this month with a little less stuff (I truly feel that the cleaned out e-mail inbox has contributed to this the most so far) I have found far more time for playing instruments and cooking.

Sarah, I so agree! I do think that God is a God of order. I also totally agree with you concerning clutter easily making you feel depressed. It is so nice to get away from that!

Chrissy, That is fun that we share that characteristic. I think because it has irritated me in others I never realized that I was like that in some areas too. I wouldn't just stand somewhere pondering what to do but still I was being slow about making a decision all the same. I have had to work on patience with other people many, many times over this issue.

texasgidget said...

I have been struggling myself to get rid of the clutter. This is something I am definitely fighting to get under control this month! It may not be a quick thing for me, but it's something that needs to happen. Especially since I just lost my Mom last year and I need to get her stuff sorted and organized as well. I hope you find it easier as time goes on.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Oh wow Abbi, you are definitely making progress on the simplified journey! The old saying, a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. You are making lots of steps towards reducing clutter in your life. I think I am a lot like you, as the "memory-heavy" stuff in my life is the most clutter - things people have given me being the worst. I can easily give away or do something with something I own, but if my kids or a family member has given it to me, I feel like I should be more responsible with it. I guess there is a large amount of indecision in that too, I never thought about that. That is a good point.

I will definitely think more about making decisions now for things that need to go, and just let them go. Appreciate hearing your perspective. Cheryl has been such an inspiration to me too. I like Teresa's thoughts above too, about giving something away when getting something new.

Keep up the hard work and perseverance :)

Abbi said...

Texas Gidget, Dealing with other peoples stuff (like relatives who are now gone) truly adds a whole new level to this process. When my Grandpa's stuff was gone through this last year it worked out that none of us were overloaded with stuff which was a blessing. I have a friend however that got oodles of stuff when her parents died (she was very happy to have it as she is very sentimental) and she ended up buying a new house to fit her new stuff but those payments are more than they can handle so they will probably be downsizing this Spring. The stuff will probably end up in storage. May God help you as you face this job ahead of you.

Thanks so much for the encouragement. It is such a blessing to have so many to encourage and to share tips and just say they understand. :-)

Amy and Mark said...

My Momaw, my only living Grandparent, has been working on cleaning out her house. She loves interior design so her house is ever changing with current trends. Unlike a lot of older people, she does not have much that is old or from the family. But in helping her, we discovered a closet filled with everything old from her family and my Granddaddy's. These are items that she has NEVER used! I don't think I had ever seen any of them. But, when it came time to clean out she still needed to hang on to all of them or insisted that my sister or I take them. One of the strangest thing, was three sets of wine glasses. Our family does not drink alcohol and yet she has had them for 68 years because they were a wedding gift. I am going to suggest your idea of praying over things - maybe that will help her let go.

Abbi said...

Amy. That is so neat that you are helping your Momaw. What an interesting story about her closet full of the old stuff. I hope that you are able to help her to go through those things in a good way. May God guide your words and her heart.


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