A Year in Homemaking: Ordered Heart, Ordered Home – Part 3 {Week 50}

{Click here to view all of the “A Year in HomeMaking” posts}

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33).  “The command is to seek God’s kingdom first. The promise is that as we do, God will provide for our temporal needs. Because we are often fainthearted regarding the promise of God, we find it difficult to obey His command.  Consequently we often give the affairs of this life top priority in the basic decisions of our lives.”(Jerry Bridges, ‘The Pursuit of Holiness’, page 143).

This is part 3 in the Ordered Heart/Ordered Home series.  We will focus on clutter and downsizing.  Right, in 500 words or less!   Previously we quoted the verse in Matthew 11:28 and 1 Corinthians 10:31 where both had the commands, not suggestions to ‘come, learn of Me’ and ‘whatever you do…do for the glory of God.’ What do these Scriptures , as well as the quote above have to do with keeping house?   They focus us on God’s commands, and God’s promises.  They very much engage the belief/motive section of my heart.  And we know by now that what we really believe comes out in our behaviors.  The desires of my heart always dictate my choices. So why do we have to talk about all this heart change stuff anyway? Or have accountability?   All I want is to get rid of clutter, and downsize a bit so I can be more organized! Right, just tell me how to fix my mess,  and don’t mess with my head….

Usually it is wise to ask the “buried in clutter” person, ‘what is it that you want my help for?’   It does help to examine yourself to see how this became an issue for you, and your family. Remember, they suffer too in your mess.  We can’t always assume that people with clutter/messes are lazy or disobedient.  Sometimes they are, and that can be corrected by addressing their heart like we’ve mentioned above.  But often clutter can happen due to a new baby in the house, chronic illness, death, or a major crisis.

When you go into a house ‘to help’, remember, these are folks who are overwhelmed, weary, fainthearted, burdened. Ask, ‘how can I help?’ or sit down for a while with them and inquire how have they been lately, or what would you like to see done here.  Be patient, and take the time to know their story.  You can guide them out of the mess with caring, truth-filled words of encouragement. Words like, “yes, it’s a mess, but let’s map out a plan of attack, and begin to work in one area at a time.” Working side by side, clear out a small area of the room for a keep, toss, and donate pile.  Go through the stuff quickly, separating each category.  When the pile gets big, bag the trash pile and take it out immediately. Then box the donations, label and take to the holding area preferably the garage or car trunk (to haul away).  These two action steps will clear space in your room immediately so you can keep sorting and doing the same routine until you move quickly through the whole room. The ‘keep’ pile will still be there, of course, waiting to be arranged in that pared down room.  You will be able to have a better feel for what you want that room to be used for when you examine the furniture & accessories that remain. Then you can make a decision later on of what is truly useful and meaningful to you.

Getting rid of clutter doesn’t have to be so hard if you focus your heart on things eternal.  The verses shared in this series contain commands as well as promises of God’s faithfulness. He knows what things we have need of.   In Colossians 3:2-3 Paul says, “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”   Leave the stuff—and cleave to Christ.

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