I’ve always been one of those people that swings back and forth from super messy to super organized. And I have a feeling I’m not alone.
But I’m getting better… Honest! You should have seen my first house when we lived in Murfreesboro, TN. I was 19 years old and knew NOTHING about keeping house. Just ask my roommates. Then Nate and I got married, and the roommates moved out, and Nate moved in. I don’t think he knew what he was getting into! But having him around gave me the motivation to start learning how to keep things together. I figured that a neat house would relieve some of his stress, and I love it when he is less stressed!
In the years since, I have gotten alot better at keeping things straight and sometimes organized. Moving into a tiny house helped, because if I leave one piece of paper lying around, the house looks like it’s trashed. I have to keep it clean to keep my sanity in tact, and it helps that it only takes about 10 minutes to clean the whole thing.
You know what else has helped? The fact that I’m going to get rid of almost everything I own and move to Costa Rica next year. There’s no better solution to clutter accumulation than knowing that you can’t keep it anyway.
Truthfully, figuring out what to take and what to sell/donate/toss is a daunting task. What stuff can I buy there inexpensively? What kind of house will we live in? What is worth storing for the times we come home for a few months at a time? What is worth the huge cost of shipping all the way to CR?
Over the next year, I pretty much have to downsize my life into the absolute necessities. I need to sort through everything we have and decide what will make the cut. Doing it at the last minute would be a nightmare, so I’m going to spread it out over the next year. Getting organized would help.
So, since I’ve got pretty good motivation these days to get some things in order, I’m going to jump on it. Of course I want to do more than just “treat the symptoms.” If I’m going to dedicate some time to getting organized, eliminating clutter, and getting rid of some chaos, I need to make sure I’m doing it inwardly as well as outwardly, or else nothing will stick for the long-haul. There’s no point if it doesn’t turn into something that’s God-honoring and draws me closer to the Lord.
So along with all of the busywork this entails, I’m reading a couple of books on the topic:
Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider, and
The Organized Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Conquering Chaos by Staci Eastin.
Both of these books look at the mind and heart issues behind the matter and tackle it from a Biblical perspective (the second book more so than the first). So far, I’ve enjoyed them both. Oxenreider’s is a little more practical, while Eastin’s is more theoretical and theological. I’ll probably review them here at some point, but in the meantime I at least wanted to tell you that I’m reading them, and recommend them (although I’m not finished with them yet).
Maybe I’ll even share some of the progress along the way. I have a feeling this is going to be a long year. And if you have any tips on HOW IN THE WORLD I go about this, please offer them up (: