Clear The Clutter To Create Space And Time

bench with pillows along shiplap wall

I’ve had an AHA moment with clutter! After several recent instances of lost items (at least one of which was highly important), my husband and I realized we needed to make some changes in our habits and clear the clutter. 

We didn’t think of ourselves as true clutterers, and our home was easily cleaned up when company was coming. But we were noticing that it was becoming harder and harder to find places to put things. 

Psalm 90:12

That is, we were delaying decisions, even holding onto things that would better serve someone else. Things that served none of our goals and were actually preventing us from living with full joy and purpose.

The Decision to Get Rid Of Clutter

We suddenly realized that we needed to make some changes. We sat down and made a few quick decisions in order to buff up on our clutter-free habits. 

It turns out, decision-making, or the lack of it, had been the main problem all along. We realized that we had been postponing decisions about several collections in our home, and knew it was time to start. 

First, we decided that if something would take less than five minutes to complete or put away, it needed to be done ASAP. 

Then we agreed to make this an ongoing project so that we can clear out the clutter and, at the same time, make more space in both our home, our faith, and our schedules. 

I firmly believe that as we are clearing things out, or clearing our schedules of busyness, we must replace the space or the time with things that are productive and benefit our individual lives (more on this a little later).

Next, I made a tracker to record how many items we would let go of each month. This would keep our momentum up. If we started to lag, the tracker would clearly show that. 

—Sign-up for letting go tracker for email—

And then the sorting began. I assigned one or two areas in my planner for each day. If it was a busy day, the assignment was a smaller one.

I found that actually scheduling a specific decluttering task ahead of time was a much surer way to get it done than haphazardly picking something in the moment. 

On the second day, I procrastinated because I thought the task I had assigned myself for that day would be overwhelming. Guess what – something that had been an obstacle for 3 weeks was finished in 10. minutes flat!

Deciding To Clear The Clutter 

Matthew 19:21-22

If you have extreme clutter and just don’t know where to begin, Overwhelmed By Clutter can help you figure out where and how to get started. 

If you’re noticing that you have more stuff laying around than you need and your closets and cupboards are pretty stuffed, and if you’re ready to lighten a load of both physical and mental clutter in your life, you can find help right here. 

For even more tips for decluttering, 10 Effective Tips For Decluttering Your Home, describes some of my favorite and most successful hints for getting rid of clutter. 

If you’ve decided to clear out the clutter in your home and schedule, you must determine your “why”, and what you will fill the space or time with. Otherwise, you may find yourself right back where you started. 

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.

A Plan For Letting Go

I will always recommend starting with prayer – pray first instead of as a last resort. The Bible says to pray about everything, so we should pray about even such things as clutter.

The next thing to do is to form a clear plan. I recommend starting in one room and moving methodically through the house, working on smaller pockets of clutter at first and taking on larger areas as you get better at it. 

When I’m not dealing with massive clutter, I use a simple and straightforward method that is quick and easy to follow: 

  • Choose your area
  • Sort the items into piles or boxes according to where they are on their way to
  • Decide what to keep, what to toss or donate
  • Gather like items together and store them in one place, unless you need 2 sets in your home, such as for a second bathroom. 

Make two decisions: 1. where to start and 2. what you hope to achieve with this plan. Whatever you do, remember that any progress at all is still progress. 

Clutter really does seem to multiply all by itself. As you learn to conquer it, you’ll be developing better habits. This is the time to work at keeping these habits active so you will clutter less and enjoy more in the future.

BONUS: As you declutter you’ll be sure to find yourself with storage containers you no longer need. Keep some for future use, but use the others to transport your stuff to the donation center (remember to include the lid). This will be a great find for someone who has more clutter than you now have!

Less Clutter Means More Time

So, what do you want more of? More time to spend with family? Time for daily devotions or Bible study? Space to spread out in for entertaining, or exercising? The ability to have people over, or read a book instead of always cleaning up?  

So now – to get back to what I promised – I’ve outlined a few ideas for how to use the time you’ll create when you’ve learned how to deal with clutter on a regular basis:

  • Put things away immediately instead of laying them on surfaces
  • Dump your brain by making a list instead of scrolling
  • Start regular family devotions
  • Get outside instead of watching TV
  • Memorize a Bible verse
  • Take some time to plan your menus instead of mindless eating
  • Read the Bible to someone who can’t (a child, a nursing home resident, etc.)
  • If it will take less than 5 minutes, do it now
  • Bible reading or study
  • Choose a chapter book and have reading time with your kids (even if they’re old enough to read for themselves – they will love it)
  • Make a bucket list
  • Participate in a church activity
  • Spend time with your spouse or someone special
  • Start a regular exercise routine
  • Make a list of books you want to read – and read them
  • Offer to help someone else, or sign up to volunteer for a favorite charity or non-profit.

free Advent Bible Reading Plan

To receive a monthly list of ideas for what to declutter, plus other updates, tips, and freebies, you can sign up for my emails in the sidebar or below.

What I mean by new eyes is that I want you to take a notepad with you as you walk through your house as if you are a nosy guest. Look at every surface in every room, peek inside closets and under beds. 

Take notes of what needs to improve, and then start to work on one (and only one) area at a time. Throughout the work, remember why you want to do this, how you’ll go about it, and what you will do with your newly-found space or time. 

I would love to help if you have any questions or need clarification about anything I’ve written. All you have to do is ask. Feel free to comment on this post or email me. 

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