My IRL friend Stephanie is hosting a Living Simply Saturdays Series on her blog. She addresses the clutter in our lives being about a cluttered heart.
For many years I kept things I didn't really need. I had boxes of things I might use one day. I convinced myself that I was being a good steward by not getting rid of them. I was fooling myself. My real motivation for keeping things was fear. I grew up poor and we have spent many years of our marriage just surviving financially. My true heart in keeping things was a fear of not being able to replace them five years done the road. (There is a true stewardship of things and I feel a need to be wisely frugal but that's not where my heart was)
Several years ago God got a hold of my heart and opened my eyes to another way of looking at things. First of all my hoarding was a lack of trust in His provision. Secondly, if I had something someone else could use and I kept it "just in case" I was NOT doing good to others and putting them before myself. So I slowly started finding people to give these things too who needed them. It freed my heart from holding on in sinful fear and blessed others in need. All I have is His, therefore it should be used for the better of others and not my little kingdom.
I have found such joy in giving things away, of not holding onto something that takes space and energy in my life to maintain. That energy and space can now be used for my family, which is my top priority in the day in and day out.
I also used to keep way to many things for sentimental reasons....this too was another self focused venture. Keeping too many things related to memories only clutters my shelves and my life. Dusting tons of trinkets takes time :o) What I now do is take a picture if it's that important or simply write in my journal about the object and event related. That way it is recorded and remembered but not in a way that creates more work for me or detracts from my available time to my family.
Take a trip over to Steph's blog and read the other entries. I found this encouraging to ponder and make sure I haven't fallen back into old patterns. I must confess baby stuff takes up a lot of space but it's only seasonal :o) The bonus is, most of my baby stuff was given to me with a heart of generosity. I attend the best church on earth!
Now please don't challenge me to get rid of the many many books that are laying around my home....I'm just not ready for that :o)