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The years teach much
which the days never knew.

-RalphWaldoEmerson


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Intentional DeCluttering

Over the last month or so, living with less clutter, I’ve experienced some unintended benefits of my intentional decluttering project. Not the least of which has been ease of housekeeping and/or ease of moving from one daily activity to another with very little preparation or tidying. Having been the mother of many children for decades, home organization has been paramount. But even with all my planning and organizing, I still had clutter.

In this process of decluttering over the last couple of months, I’ve mulled over some of the “clutter factors” and how they came to be. One of the reasons, which I discovered quite by accident, was that I’ve had a “country farmhouse” decor for the last thirty five years or so. And, while I’ve loved all the decorations – baskets, candles, bears and geese and whatever else was showing up in my Country Woman, Taste of Home, or other related magazines, they’d become clutter. Cute stuff. Everywhere, cute stuff. When I gave away some books and stacks of magazines, it dawned on me, I no longer have the longing to accumulate and decorate in that way and magazines showing me all my favourite things weren’t necessary to keep anymore– I clipped my favourite pictures to keep for memorabilia. While some country farmhouse decor remains, the time had come to move on from there. And the more I moved on, the easier it was to keep moving on.

Another reason for a good deal of the clutter has been the shear number of people in our home and the volume of furniture, bedding, possessions, clothing & shoes, jackets, purses, backpacks, toys, hobbies, etc. Homeschooling eleven children has necessitated the gathering of all sorts of books, materials, equipment, supplies, etc., for all the studies and projects. Seasons change and I needed settle into this next season.

But, as I mentioned in my last post (Tidying. You’re Still You), I’m still me, I’m exceedingly sentimental, we still live in a farmhouse, because we’re a big family, big things regularly happen. So, I’ve kept things to accommodate our life/family. But! There’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place.

That’s where the intentional part of this decluttering project comes in. What I’ve learned is that it was good to have a clear plan and be willing to work until the plan was complete. As I wrote earlier, it took weeks. For the sake of brevity, I’ll share a part of the plan. I decided to get rid of the large oak corner desk and shelves of our school/craft room. There were dozens of bins, towers of plastic drawers, plastic shoe boxes, and the myriad of supplies each contained. The next, and parallel part of the plan, was to set up a craft and sewing room upstairs. This is a luxury that was never an option prior to this season. Now that most all our kids are married and have homes and families of their own, we had an ’empty room’.

Intentional decluttering requires ♥ having a plan for freed up space and how/where the new set-up will look and function.
Intentional decluttering also requires ♥ thinking of, and planning for, the immediate disposal, give-away, etc., etc., of no longer needed/wanted items.
Intentional decluttering also requires ♥ the resolve to stay with the plan until it’s complete.
Intentional decluttering means ♥ keeping an eye on the prize: a peaceful home.
Intentional decluttering means ♥ intentionally maintaining the new way of living/thinking.

As I sorted every single thing, I immediately took things upstairs to their landing spots. I set up the room and filled the spaces as I intended. It became easier with each passing day — one area was getting all cleaned up and another all set up. I also immediately took boxes of giveaways out to my car, furniture out to the porch, bags of trash to the bins. Each activity fueled the completion of the project(s).

Finally, I’ve allowed this intentional decluttering to flow into other areas of our home and my life. Eliminating and concentrating in other areas, drawers, cabinets, etc., etc. And then, going back over and over again to eliminate and concentrate further. Honestly, it’s been a very encouraging process to a peaceful home. There’s no ‘clutter police’ so the process can just continue to evolve over time and the simplicity will continue to be refreshing as time allows for projects to be undertaken. I recognize it will take practiced “intentionality” to maintain this peaceful home.

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Tidying. You’re Still You.

The problem with attempting to make dramatic changes, or to carry out new resolutions, or most anything, really, is that we’re still the same people with the same proclivities, habits, personal styles, bents. The tidying, or in my case, the project of eliminating clutter, only lasts as long as the determination/work/project continues. No matter where you are in the project of eliminating clutter or tidying, you’re still you.

You’re still you. I’ve had to repeat this to myself many times in the last couple of weeks as I

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Clutter is Relative

There’s a saying, One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I kept this in mind from time to time as I proceeded through my month-long activity of eliminating clutter in our home. I also had in mind a couple of other thoughts that sort of guided my process: I’m doing this for me and our family and clutter is relative! After an initial confrontation, I purposely blocked out a couple of thoughts: cost/origin of the item and other’s opinions/style. I kept in mind the goal of eliminating clutter,

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Open Space

One of the challenges I’ve been experiencing as I have been going through closets, cupboards, and drawers specifically — and rooms, in general is newly exposed space: open space! If you’re either a Queen Of Quite A Lot or a Saver Of Quite A Lot, you just might find yourself in a quandary. No, not the first day, not the second day, but a couple of weeks after you uncover OPEN SPACE in your home, your natural tendency will be to FILL it! Fill it back up. Quickly.

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Eliminating Clutter

Clutter, clutter everywhere and not enough places to put it. That’s how the beginning of this year felt to me. Clutter of things, clutter of thoughts, clutter of concerns. I didn’t know what I needed to do, initially, but I knew I needed to get busy.

I process things either verbally, by writing or by cleaning. So, it really stands to reason that my resolve to clean out the clutter was really a resolve to clean up some other areas of my life, too. I didn’t start with

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Why I Write

Browsing Twitter this morning, I noticed the hashtag #WhyIWrite and I decided to click on the link to read why others write. Not surprising, the answers or reasons are very similar—very familiar, albeit with an occasional condescending comment. It’s the occasional condescension that trips me up from time to time, but over time I’m learning to not take negative opinions so seriously (and I sure hope those twitter writers weren’t derailed by some of the rude comments). Insults, along with self-doubt, really have an effect on creativity, so it’s

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When You Know What God’s Called You To

When you know what God’s called you to, you’ll seek it, you’ll endeavor to walk in Truth, it will be your joy to be called by His name, His great name.

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Autumn Days

The lazy, hazy days of summer are giving way to the busy, hurry, scurry days of autumn as the new “school year” begins and demanding schedules and activities fill the calendar. You know the first thing that comes to mind as I consider these upcoming autumn days? Where’d summer go? It came and went so fast. Sort of like motherhood (but that’s another topic for another day).

Did you complete the plans and projects you had for summertime? Me neither. But there’s still time to get a few things done

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Regard Not Your Stuff

And so, I encourage you to rest in the Lord… fret not over what God’s doing in your life or where He’ll call you to go or what He’ll call you to do. Regard not your stuff. No matter how things seem to you to be today: God cares for you, the Holy Spirit is ever making intercession for you. The LORD Jesus has taken care of everything that concerns you. God says He will be found by you when you call upon His name.

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the suicide option

Through our lives we have experiences that are etched on our hearts and minds — experiences that shape our thinking, shape our reactions, shape our responses, shape our decisions — maybe even shape our initial theology or lack thereof. If these etchings were recorded on 3×5 cards, in time we’d have quite a card file full, wouldn’t we? Events and experiences, lessons and influences all recorded on cards make up our individual card catalogs. It’s interesting to me, every now and then, to come across a card I

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