I once thought a lot of stuff can help me, which is true at some point, but what I failed to realize is that the reverse can also be true: a lot of stuff can kill you!
The stuff that you can manage is the type that can help you, encourage you, uplift you.
But there’s that species that you can’t handle, and it ends up OWNING and MANAGING you, your time and your life.
Too much stuff of the second kind can suffocate you, hinder you and leave you stuck in a rut of your own doing that growing relationally with people you love and growing in what you are passionate about can become literally an impossibility.
Before you realize you are consuming too much, you may have already bought so many things to cramp up your space to the point of overwhelm.
But then, light bulb moment — you think of a band-aid solution — STORAGE.
The Thing About Storage
You go to a store and you find every kind of storage imaginable. Japan Home, Daiso, Miniso, Handyman, Ace Hardware, etc. — they all have these great storage items and organizers and you got to get one. Feeling good about yourself, you grab five of them, for stacking up, you say.
There’s nothing wrong about storage, so don’t get me wrong. I love storage solutions. But without handling the decluttering process first, you’ll end up storing tons of stuff you don’t need and the purpose of your storage plans is defeated!
Storage is still STUFF. Plus, it will add up to and encourage the accumulation of more STUFF!
So now when you go home, you realize you don’t have enough of them, or they don’t really work, or they don’t match the walls, etc.
Suddenly, and quickly, you are back to where you began. You find out that your storage ideas have failed you.
You see, the thing about storage is that it will not solve ANY problem if you are already at the point of overwhelm. So what do we do when we are overwhelmed?
Are you a Steward or a Slave?
The Bible says in Psalm 61:2:
“… when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
So again, we go back to the heart. It is a heart issue after all. But what is the cause of overwhelm? Perhaps we are loving our stuff too much even if we can’t keep home functioning properly anymore with tons of them.
Or we are filling up an emptiness deep within that only Jesus can fill? I don’t know your reasons. But I remember that the Lord wants us to be good stewards of our resources, not slaves!
Only you can say when your stuff has turned into an idol of some sort. Or if your idol has grown hands to clutch your heart and convince you that you can’t part with it.
Question is, will you allow these things to stay at the expense of your sanity and productivity?
Arranging, rearranging, labeling, cleaning up, repairing, boxing, organizing, sorting — don’t these words just tire you?
Now imagine a cabinet of clothes or a stack of boxes that you need to fumble through to look for a shirt you want to wear or a tool you want to use.
You will need to put those drawers and boxes upside down to get to your item. When your item is found, you would need to put the contents back in! How tiring that is. And time consuming, too.]
A lot of people now realize the value of living with less. And I believe them. With a plan and a purpose, living with less can be a lifestyle you may find viable.
Change is Welcome Here
I cannot believe I have allowed myself to lose so much time arranging, rearranging, labeling, cleaning up, dusting, repairing, boxing, organizing, fumbling, and sorting stuff 90 percent of which I rarely even use!
I cannot believe for so long I have allowed myself to be enslaved by things which robbed me of valuable time with the Lord, my family and doing things I am passionate about!
But by God’s grace, in the middle of a crisis, I realized: SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE.
It’s not the house, it’s not the space, it’s not other people — it’s ME.
Are You One of Us?
Let me give you some of the ways too much stuff is slowly killing you. I’m pretty sure you can relate to one or some of them, if you’re one of those people who now want to live quality lives with less stuff (which is possible, actually!)
As a dad or mom, you may think you need to find a home-based job as you are tired of that daily commute, but the chores — whoa, there’s too much to tidy up you can’t move on from there. You can’t even set up a home office!
Or you may have a hobby that is satisfying to you. It makes you relax after a long day. You want to do it, and perhaps earn from it, but the constant arranging, cleaning up, or picking up of clutter in your home present real barriers to your progress.
Or, maybe you have a business idea, which you want to develop, but your desk is cramped with piles and piles of paper unsorted from years ago there is no way you can think clearly with all those documents and books surrounding you. Opportunities are lost as the clock tick tocks away.
Was it obvious I was talking about myself? Was I talking about you, too?
It’s Time to Make Space
When I was sizing up my own home, I realized we had way too much possessions in so little space and stuff was killing me. Hubby is okay, he’s been a minimalist for so long. But my daughter and I had way too much it wasn’t doing us good.
So I prayed to God to help me. Remember my prayer in the previous post? God answered that! He led me to a place of contentment in what I already have. Sure, He’s not finished with me yet, but surely, now I’m partnering with His decluttering work in my life.
So let me ask you question: Will you fight for your own space like life itself and conquer the obstacles that too much stuff has placed in front of you?
To be continued… 🙂