I live in the year 2012. I have 1700 sq ft in the main part of my home. I have a basement and a garage. I have outbuildings.
I have succeeded in filling them up with stuff. It’s my fault. I didn’t throw away the pens that didn’t work. They didn’t seem like trash. I kept the gift tags from my baby shower nine years ago. I kept all the clothes my kids outgrew, and it didn’t always leave their bedrooms.
I am sick of too much stuff. I am tired of cleaning a room and stuff still cluttering it up. I am tired of spending two days getting ready for Shabbat, and still spending all Shabbat looking at stuff. I’m tired of tripping over stuff to tuck kids into bed. I’m tired of stuff getting in the way of keeping Torah. I cannot be the wife, mother, or daughter of the King that I need or want to be, when I can’t even keep my house tidy.
If I cannot be faithful in the little things, how will YHVH ever be able to trust me with the big things?
So I am doing something about it.
I am working through the house, decluttering one room at a time.
This is my entryway. Wow, it looks so good and welcoming! (Unlike what it looked like before blush)
Next stop is the living room, which is the next room you enter.
We like to dance in our living room, and it’s so nice to have the whole floor cleared. Yes, stuff keeps wandering in, so we play a little game. Every item that is out of place is worth one point. We try to get a score of zero. Actually, we don’t stop until we get a score of zero.
A big part of decluttering seems to be contentment. Do I need all this stuff to contribute to my happiness? Does it promote a peaceful satisfied existence?
With these questions in mind, I decided to take on the girls’ clothes. (What was I thinking?) They have too many clothes to actually put them all away. How can I ask them to clean their room and expect them to obey, when I know it is not possible? Not fair!
Last night, I had the girls bring all their clothes into the living room, one pile for each girl. They emptied their dressers, and then I started looking for strays. (You know, the closet, the space between dressers, etc) I must have brought out a dozen more armfuls.
The piles were so high that the girls were climbing on them trying to reach the ceiling!
I sorted the clothes into piles: shirts, skirts, jammies, dresses, etc. We spent several hours this morning reducing the numbers.
They were only allowed to keep the following:
- 12 short sleeve shirts
- 8 long sleeve shirts
- 8 dresses
- 7 jammies
- 5 sweaters and hoodies
- 12 jumpers and skirts
- 1 bathrobe and slippers
- 3 pants for under skirts
We went through the piles one at a time, until they only had the number allowed. Then the pile went immediately back into a drawer. We did it! We sorted the entire wardrobe for three girls and we finished before lunch! We also had two and a half trash bags for daddy to drop off for donating tomorrow. Oh, and by the way, their clothes now fit nicely in the drawers or hanging in the closet!
Those numbers are probably still too generous, but I thought I’d go easy on them the first time through lol. Doug was so pumped by watching all this that he is finally ready to tackle his closet! Yay!
Keeping Torah touches every part of our lives. If part of my life is invading my efforts to keep Torah, then something needs to change. Clutter taking over the house was definitely getting in my way, so it was time to take action. Praise YHVH for His help!
I have read a couple books in the last couple weeks that have been very helpful in this area. Perhaps they will be helpful to you, too.
Has clutter gotten in the way of your Torah keeping? What are you going to do about it? 🙂