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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Simplify Sundays

Debbie McCuiston, self-proclaimed "Queen of Clutter-Free", does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of "clutter", and focusing on what's important.  We love this segment (and Debbie) and we hope you do too!  Take it away Debbie....
I must admit it was wonderful to see the pictures of Kasey's room transformation. You are a very brave lady. Keep up the good work- you will be surprised how energized  you get just for making progress in a long-forgotten room. Maybe we could make organizing an olympic event. I can see it now, women all over the world competing in synchronized cleaning or maybe clutter-throwing. I think we may have found a way to get more people involved in the whole exercise bandwagon. Lose 200 pounds in one month just by cleaning your house. Sounds like a plan to me. Much better than sweating in really tacky outfits and collecting all that exercise equipment.  Stay tuned I will get back with you later with all the details!
This week I must confess my dirty little secret. I have a room at my house that is the pit. It has always been the room that if you didn't know where to put something - put it in mom's office. Or if it is an unfinished project- put it in mom's office. If you need a place to hide something - you guessed it - put it in mom's office. It has always been the thorn in my side. I have scheduled entire weekends to cleaning that room.  Needless to say I am very good at finding other things to do instead of  cleaning "the office." So today I thought I should follow my own advice and put my "big girl panties on and suck it up" and clean my office. I must say I made a very good dent in the room. You can see the top of the desk and the floor. You can even set on the couch. (No, I will not be posting pictures- would you believe I don't know how to get them from the camera to the computer?) 
This week I wanted to explore one of the many reasons we collect clutter. Last week we talked about the issue of control or lack of control.  I thought I would try to address my personal problem- the issue of priorities- or as I like to call it - I am way too busy to clean that room.  It seems that I can find a million other things to do instead of cleaning my office. I will spend hours planning to clean it, gather supplies to clean it and give myself a wonderful pep talk about the need to clean that room. But when it comes down to cleaning the room, everything else seems to be more important. Maybe this reflects many women's ideas of how we unclutter our homes. We usually start with the room most used by the family or the kids room. Never do we start in our bedroom or our office or our sewing room. Do you see a pattern starting to show up? Isn't it also the hardest room to keep clean? I think it's because we are last on the never-ending list of things that we must do. 
I always tell people to clean their bedroom first because you need a room that you can retreat to and a place that is peaceful. A place to gather your thoughts, to make plans and dream dreams. But it is usually last on the list. There is never enough energy or money left to complete our special room. 
This week, make your bedroom a priority in your quest to declutter your life. To keep from getting overwhelmed try the box method. Get 4 boxes , label them as follows:
1. Throw Away 
2. Give Away 
3. Put Away 
4. Yard Sale (personally I don't do yard sale, because I never have a yard sale and it becomes part of the mess again)
As you start to clean, if it does not already have a place in your room, put it in one of these boxes. When a box becomes full take it away immediately. DO NOT leave it in your room for more than 2 days or it will stop your progress. Keep working through the clutter one small area at a time. Set a timer or work every other day on this project. Take your time.  Remember, you are doing this for you. Do it right the first time so you don't get depressed and give up on making this dream a reality. 
Also get rid of things that you are holding onto from the past. It's time to let it go. If it is tied to a past relationship that went bad, get rid of it and the memories will fade much quicker. It's still cold outside, you may want to take those things that are weighing you down and have a little bonfire. I think it would be nice to dance around the fire and thank Jesus for a fresh new start and the cleansing power of the fire.( Watch out not to burn too much at once - the neighbors may call the fire department on you). 
You are worth the time and energy it will take to complete this room.  If you don't take time to carve a corner out for you, you may get lost in the clutter and that is not a happy place to be. I believe that if we have a place to quiet our spirits, spend time with the Lord and gather our thoughts, we could conquer our world (or at least our little corner of the world). God did not intend for us to slay dragons, fix a broken heart, mend fences and cook dinner without first taking some time for ourselves. Take time to dream again.  Never stop dreaming and always remember - God dreams bigger dreams for us than we could ever dream for ourselves.
Please e-mail me any questions or suggestions at 

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