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An article by Evangelist Nidicka Frederick

Spring is a time generally associated with a time of renewal. Change and organization are also associated with this particular time of year which is why the term “spring cleaning” is such a widely received activity and well-intention thing to do. Spring cleaning has a purpose. The goal is to put away the heavy materials needed to brave the colder months and to invite the airiness of springtime, welcoming its warmth. Clutter however can be the great undermining of such lightening of load. Clutter by definition is a collection of things kept in an untidy and disorganized space. Common synonyms for clutter might include messiness, disarray, or chaos. These are not words that you would want to associate with any part of your space whether personal or mental. 

         Clutter is a strange phenomenon because it can create both comfort and discouragement. For some, chaos is a sign of accomplishment. It shows that work is being done and implies a business that can’t be slowed down for the sake of tidiness.  I have known people to say to me openly, “I’m most comfortable in my clutter.” But for others, clutter is indicative of an emotional, and sometimes spiritual heaviness and can cause anxiety and discouragement. This is the way I find myself when faced with my own personal clutter and I address this article to those who like myself find operating at optimal functionality impossible in the face of clutter. Let’s Talk about 5 ways to clean our cluttered mental, physical and spiritual spaces.

Let Go!

This may sound too obvious to pass for sound advice but know this-some people are mental, physical and spiritual hoarders! Have you ever struggled with throwing away things as useless as mail, clothes that don’t fit, or toys no longer in use? Have you ever had a difficult time letting a comment from a co-worker go, or hung on to an unkind comment from a spouse that was made in the heat of an argument? Or what about refusing to forgive a family member or a friend for an offense they committed years ago? Hoarding is a literal inability to let go. When you can’t release objects and emotions, you run the risk of collecting them and further allowing them to overrun your space. A collection of hurts, anxiety, fears, and useless possessions are binding and hinder your blessings of peace, health, faith and prosperity. Before you can even begin to declutter, you must first pray and ask God for the ability and strength through Him to let go.

Designate Time
Decluttering takes time and doesn’t usually happen overnight. In fact, to create a space unlikely to re-clutter requires creating new habits. It is important for you to understanding that cleaning any space require taking time to sort through the accumulation of things that have taken over. This is true whether it’s a physical, mental or spiritual space being decluttered! We live in a fast paced world, with progress being the priority and time being the commodity. Waste of time is synonymous with wasting potential, money and even life. Use time wisely. One of the best gifts LBTS (Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary) has given me was in a course by Dr. Dave Early which taught the necessity of a SGP or Spiritual Growth Plan. I have grown in to a more productive person but more importantly a better Christian because of it. Time needs to be purposed. Some of the things I have learned to make specific time for includes praying, reading my Bible, my husband, my son and maintaining my home. These things help me to focus my energy on what is most important. Regimented time, decluttering not only clears away a mess, but it helps you to form habits which prevents the accumulation of future messes.  
Request and Accept Help
Some people have a little clutter and some have a lot. This is also true of stress. I know from personal experience that once a problem grows out of control, it can seem impossible to fix alone. I have learned the importance of asking for help and then accepting it once received. If you find the space that needs decluttering overwhelming to clean out alone, ask for some help. Family, friends or co-workers might be happy to help you organize a garage sale, empty and reorganize a closet or bring order to a child’s room or office. In the event this clutter is indicative of mental or spiritual clutter there is help for that too! Engage with a family, friend, or church member who can help you sort out some of your emotional clutter. Don’t hold things in that needs to be bought out. Oftentimes you can accomplish more together than you can alone.
Giving should be as natural to the believer as breathing. After all, the ultimate act of giving love and mercy was exemplified in our Creator, who despite our sins, gave humanity the gift of Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) There are many reasons why we don’t give aside from hoarding tendencies reasons might include sentimental attachments (baby clothes), economic distress (I might need that again someday), and greed which differs from holding due to inability to let such as hoarding but simply holds in determination not to let someone else have. This is clutter to a dangerous and destructive degree. There is a Proverb that says those who bring blessings will be enriched (proverbs 11:25) and of course there’s the well-known adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” which speaks to the importance of being a blessing to others. Clear your physical space by gathering things that are no longer in use, have not been utilized in a long time, that are taking up space, and will be a blessing to others and give them all away. There is a homeless shelter, Salvation Army, pregnancy resources center, or nursing home that is waiting for your joyful release!
Commit to the Change
My final word on this topic is about commitment. Commitment is necessary for any positive change. Stay determined and convinced that you are making a healthy, necessary decision that will bring calm and tranquility to your currently chaotic state. Decluttering doesn’t have to be burdensome or a hassle but instead could be quite fun. Facing any mess head on and turning it in to something orderly is awe inspiring. Be encouraged and know that once you clear your heart, your mind and space is sure to follow.

Have advice to share about clutter? Share your thoughts here. 

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