Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Hope is an Empty Bookcase by Steph Beth Nickel

Although I don't typically observe Lent, this year I joined Kathi Lipp's challenge based on her book Clutter Free.

It's so much more than simply a way to organize one's household.

The challenge entails re-homing or tossing 10 pieces of clutter per day for the 40 days of Lent. For some, it's as simple as emptying the garbage from a purse or going through a stack of papers.

But for others, like myself, it means boxing up hundreds of items and getting them out of the house.

I have set myself a goal of getting rid of 400+ books and magazines. Although I'm only eight days into the challenge, I'm almost there. (I very much look forward to paying a visit to our public library this weekend and unloading several cartons of books.)

For years I've felt "less than" those whose houses always appear clean, tidy, and relatively clutter free. Resentfulness and envy factored into the mix as well. Clutter is so much more than just having too much stuff.

Kathi Lipp believes the root causes of accumulating more than we need are fear, guilt, and shame. While I wouldn't have come to this conclusion, the more I examine things from her perspective, the more I see there is truth in what she says.

And just how does hope factor in to the process of decluttering?

Here is what I look forward to, what I hope for, on the other side of this process (one that is sure to last long past the Lenten season):

1. Others will benefit from those things which I give away.

2. There will be space to put away the things I choose to keep.

3. I will be less distracted by our stuff.

4. I will be more inclined to invite others over.

5. Our home will appear larger.

6. We will be able to accommodate family and friends who choose to come for an extended stay.

7. I will think twice (or three times) before I purchase something I don't need.

8. I will become more content with what I have.

9. I will be able to concentrate on what truly matters.

10. I will set a good example for my family.

11.I will be in a position to offer hope to others whose excess is weighing them down.

And ...

12. If we ever move, it will be far less stressful.

How about you? Could you find hope in an empty bookcase, kitchen cupboard, or spare room?


Peter Black said...

Ooh, the discipline of decisive decluttering! My wife is much better at that than I. She's been dropping boxes off at the local thrift for a while now. I've been holding out on workshop junk and books. But I do have to move on it.
You lay out well the benefits that you foresee. Thanks Steph. ~~+~~

CarolEH said...

thank you for sharing your journey to declutter during the 40 days of Lent. I have been working at downsizing the amount of things we have in our home. Knowing myself, I realize I will never be a minimalist but in the journey to declutter, I have items to donate for others to benefit from - including many books, I have garbaged things which were beyond their usefulness and organized closets, shelves and living space. I still have more to do and your post reminded me of the benefits to continue. Enjoy your time of blessing others with your donations.

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