Flourishing at home - decluttering

This is the bit of homekeeping I’m really struggle with. Getting rid of things. Despite my mum’s protests that she is not a hoarder, I am a product of a couple of hoarders. My mum is a tidy, organised hoarder but still a hoarder. Dad is like me, a messy hoarder.

I have never enjoyed being a hoarder, I find it suffocating. When we moved house from a small two-up two-down to our current home we needed a big removal lorry, apparently they normally send the smallest ones to our type of house. We filled the lorry and had to call upon family members to come with their cars to help us get out of the house in time. It was awful.

After that I started to explore why I had so much stuff. Since then I’ve got better at not holding onto things the same, but I have a backlog of stuff from throughout the years (and I do still tend to hold on to paper copies of documents, just in case…) and when I set to a decluttering challenge I find it so difficult to work out what should go and what shouldn't. I think part of my problem is in the past I've cleared out some stuff (paper things like uni notes) and then needed/wanted it. So it seems easier to hold on to as much as possible 'just in case'.

So I thought we’d spend just two days doing two small challenges for decluttering before moving away from the practical homemaking and thinking about hospitality over the weekend. These next two posts will be difficult and stressful for me!

Before we do the challenges (though I’m going to try and write and post the first challenge today as we’re still a couple of days behind) I wanted to share what a very wise woman in our church said to me about hoarding as a Christian.

Often hoarding is about one of two things: thinking items will be needed in the future or holding on to it for its sentimental value. With the future, we have the promise of Jesus in Matthew 6 about not worrying about what we will wear or eat tomorrow, as the Message puts it beautifully:

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” Matthew 6:34

And as Christians we believe that we shouldn’t focus on the past as it has been dealt with.

We live for today and God’s plan for and work in us today. We have a hope not a fear for the future and don’t need to dwell in the past. I’ve found it much easier to get rid of things when I have that in my head – no fear of the future and I don’t live in the past!