Do you ever have weeks where you feel like all you do is clean, organize, and maintain your home? Me, too! I have five children with three of them being 3-year-old triplets. I love my littles but keeping a home has proven to be rather difficult with all the little hands undoing what I have done! Does this sound like your home?
Instead of spending so much time on organizing and cleaning all the things we own, how much more time can we spend in step with God and His will if we didn’t have so many things to maintain?
Keeping a home should be a joy and not a pain point. Yet, the task can take on an overwhelming emotion as you work through your to-do list. In this post, I am going to show you a 3-step approach to simplifying your home so that you can focus on the greater things.
I recently went through the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I wrote a post on a Christian Perspective of the KonMari Method and how it can be a positive strategy in home organization. I highly recommend this book for a step-by-step tutorial on decluttering and organizing your home.
The steps below are loosely based on this organizational method. With that being said, the book is written from a Japanese woman’s perspective. You will need to read it through a Christian lens, but the content is very effective.
Step 1: Take Inventory of Everything in Your Home
In this first step, it is time to get authentic with yourself. The big question is, “What do you have too much of?”
As you sort through the things in your home, be aware of what you have in excess.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19-20
Jesus says to store up heavenly treasures. Often, our heavenly treasures get clouded by the earthly treasures that we are holding too tightly to. What earthly treasures are you grasping that are preventing you from enjoying and storing up heavenly treasures?
Symptoms of Too Much
In my house, the earthly treasure that was hindering me from storing up heavenly treasures was the amount of clothes we had as a family. I love getting dressed up in the morning. It’s a joy to put on a pearl necklace with a navy blue maxi dress and accessorize with some brown ballet flats. But fashion became an idol to me. The amount of clothes I had was evident of it.
I felt like I could never catch up on laundry, clothes were always all over the house, no one could ever find anything to wear, and yet we had baskets of clean clothes taking over the floor of our bedroom. Our amount of clothes was hindering me from having a house of order. I was spending way too much time on washing, folding, sorting, and storing clothes that I couldn’t accomplish much else in a weekend.
Sort by Category
I think clothes is probably a common point of excess for most people. I would recommend starting your inventory process with clothes. Go find every piece of clothing you have. Include items that are off-season, off-size, and “someday-I-will-wear-these” outfits. Place them all on your bed. Sub-categorize them even more into pants, shirts, dresses, pajamas, etc.
When you are confident you have every clothing item sub-categorized, now is the time to go through each sub-category and pull out the pieces you want to keep. When you see the huge mound of clothes, it is a lot easier to let go of things you haven’t worn in a while.
Do this process with each family member and decide which items to keep, donate, discard, or sell. (Here are free printable signs to help you with this process!) As you are sorting, keep in mind that our earthly treasures are temporary. Heavenly treasures are where we should put our joy and hope.
Move onto other categories in your home using the same method. Be careful to look for points of excess and have freedom in ridding your home of the items that you have too much of or don’t use.
Step 2: Surround Yourself with Things You Love
Consider where your treasure is. What is the status of your heart? I wrote a post on identifying the status of your heart in regard to how you feel about your body. The lesson is the same! In order to simplify, you must deal with the heart.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21
Consider the things in your home. Are you keeping things out of guilt? Are you displaying things for prideful reasons? Are you trying to keep up with Joneses? Identify areas of sin in keeping things so that the things you do have bring you unfathomable peace and joy.
Go Room by Room and Dream
As you are asking yourself the hard questions above, I recommend spending time in each room of your house. Start with your favorite room. Dream! Imagine what the potential is for that room. What do you want the purpose of the room to be? How do you see yourself enjoying the room? What is hindering you from making the room into what you imagine it to be?
Spend time with God in the room. Pray over the space and ask God for His purpose. Do you have chairs in the room? Sit on the chair and place your hand on the seat. Pray over the chair and ask that God will bless the ones who sit on the chair. May it be a place for people to draw near to Him and study His Word.
Set Up the Room for Enjoyment and Function
Our basement has gone through many transformations in the three years we have lived there. It started out as a disorganized playroom and storage room for all our moving boxes. Then, my husband and I did a room makeover and made it into a playroom for the kids. Once I realized the triplets would just destroy it in a hot minute, I switched the room’s purpose to one that fits the current season I am in. The basement is now for my second oldest son and me to keep all our blogging and youtube supplies and equipment. The playroom has moved up to the triplet boys’ closet.
You may find yourself repurposing a room repeatedly to fit your family’s current season of life. That’s okay! Do not fear change, but instead, embrace it and go with it! Your heavenly treasure is found in the memories and experiences you are making in these rooms. Set up each room to be functional and beautiful.
Love All the Things
Now that you have discarded the things you have in excess or do not use anymore; it is time to pick out the things that you love! How wonderful to open a closet full of clothes that you love rather than clothes that you kind of like.
The things you keep should be things that you love. Surround yourself with those things. When you step in your home, your heart should leap for joy because all your favorites are right there!
Step 3: Take Great Care of Your Things
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17
Your home is a place of worship to God and a display of the peace and love that can only come from knowing Him. When you have discarded the things that are weighing you down or monopolizing your time, there is so much more time for everything else God has in store for you.
When you declutter and rid your home of things that do not bring joy and peace, you now have the time to care for the things you do have. Because you love these things, take excellent care of them. Take joy in caring for your beautiful dining room table because it is a place for you to gather friends and share the love of Jesus with them. Have peace about deep cleaning your bathroom once a week because it will keep germs at bay and keep your family healthy. The sparkle in your kitchen is a perfect welcome for warm chocolate chip cookie conversations with your kiddos.
Taking great care of the resources God has given you is a blessing and not a chore. Enjoy caring for the most wonderful things that you are entrusted with.
A Challenge for You!
When you discard the things that are weighing you down or are overwhelming, you open more opportunities for God to reveal His will for you and your home. Instead of spending hours cleaning and organizing, you can spend the necessary time caring for your home and then enjoying the blessings that God has given you with the rest of your time!
I want to challenge you to pick one category of things in your home and go through the steps:
- Identify all items in the category and discard those that you do not enjoy or don’t use anymore.
- Place items that you are keeping in an easy-access area and enjoy the items.
- Take great care of your home!
In the comments below, share what category you are going to start with.