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Friday, September 12, 2014

Finding Balance in De-cluttering

Photo by: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

There’s a need for balance in every life. The lady who keeps a perfect house and has little or no clutter may or may not be the kind of person who’s pleasant and kind. The lady who has a messy house may or may not be a lovely person.

The clean, orderly home might indicate the lady of the house is a happy, uncomplicated person. But, it may mean she’s stressed-out all the time about things—or the lack thereof. She might have a happy husband, or she might have a family that resents her obsession with getting rid of clutter—their prized clutter.

The woman who lives with piles of things in different rooms of her house may feel stressed because of the junk. A different woman might feel perfectly comfortable and happy with her piles. She might be creative, relaxed, and lots of fun. You may feel totally at home in her comfortably cluttered house, whereas you might feel unduly stressed in the minimalist’s house. (Where can you set your purse, anyway?)

Years ago, a friend of mine visited a home she described as absolutely gorgeous. Everything was in the same neutral beige. There wasn’t a knickknack to be found. The lady of the house opened her kitchen cupboards, and there were just enough glasses to go around the table, just enough cups, and just enough plates and dishes—all color-coordinated and new-looking, of course. There was nothing extra, and everything was a soothing, restful color.

My husband and I stayed overnight in a small hotel where the room was very simple and all in one lovely neutral color. It was inviting and restful. I honestly wanted to stay another night!

But, I can’t live in a place like that! I crave color, plants, and a warm, cozy feel. I want to be able to crawl up on the couch, a fire blazing in the wood stove, with a blanket around me. I want people who visit to “feel the love” immediately. I can’t do minimalist in my home—though I admire it, and I can thoroughly enjoy visiting a house where it fits the family. We live out in the country, and it rains a lot. I can’t even imagine having a beige carpet, when the men stomp in wearing muddy boots. We bought sturdy furniture, since our son was never very little, and we felt it suited our preteen children.


So, here’s what we can take away from The De-Cluttering Survey:
1. Everyone can profit from de-cluttering. The tips we’ve learned (Part 1: Systems) will get us well on our way to creating our own workable plan. Such inspiration! Thank you, everyone—men and women—who shared your “plan of attack”!
2. Fact: a simpler, leaner house does free the mind and is easier to clean.
3. It’s important to consider your family’s personality when you decorate your home. Your house really doesn’t have to look like a hospital room.
4. Don’t negatively judge other women if they don’t keep their own homes as you prefer. Enjoy your friends as they are. If you don’t like someone’s house—for whatever reason—remember people are different, and it’s okay. (Each family is responsible for their own residence. How freeing is that! If you don’t like the d├ęcor, it will make your appreciate your own that much more. If you love the other person’s home, maybe it will give you inspiration for things you can change in yours. If it’s just fun to visit, enjoy!)
5. People are more important than things.

Every wise woman buildeth her house (Proverbs 14:1a).

Through wisdom is an house builded;
and by understanding it is established (Proverbs 24:3).

Here are some recommended books and links about de-cluttering for your inspiration and instruction.* Enjoy!
From Clutter to Clarity by Nancy Twigg, who brings out the spiritual side of de-cluttering
Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones
The Messies Manual: the Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping by Sandra Felton
Messies 2: New Strategies to Restoring Order in Your Life and Home by Sandra Felton

Use your home for the Lord. Enjoy your family. Show hospitality. Follow Lydia's good example:

And when she (Lydia) was baptized, and her household,
she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful
to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.
And she constrained us (Acts 16:15).

*This is not a blanket endorsement of these blogs, sites, or books. I believe you'll find the posts mentioned here to be helpful for de-cluttering your home. 

If you missed The De-Cluttering Survey results, please scroll down. There are three other posts.


  1. Excellent wrap-up. It's so easy to get out of balance even in good pursuits.

  2. Ben says the way to find balance in de-cluttering is to get a husband! Thought that would make you smile!

    1. I agree with Ben, that a good spouse is good balance--in every way. Thank him for me.


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