mental clutter, simplifying, Simply...Living For Him

Categorizing Your Clutter

I’ve been thinking a lot more about practical ways to reduce clutter lately and have categorized them into three areas each for both physical and mental clutter. I hope this helps you to understand how physical and mental clutter can affect us and perhaps it will help you to evaluate how to handle both. Once we recognize how balanced or unbalanced our stuff is, then we can begin to take steps to start simplifying.

Physical Clutter:

LEVEL 1: Basic Items to Live

If you think about it in levels, there can be three tiers to our clutter. At the foundation of physical clutter would be the stuff you need. Or shall I say, the stuff you really need; which actaully is much less than you probably think 😉 We can get kind of minimalistic on this but let’s just say we won’t take it to extremes, but there are the basics in your home-furniture, clothes, basic supplies, etc.  Also, all of these things have a definite purpose and without them your life would be different or even difficult.

LEVEL 2: Things That Bring Us Joy

The next level would the extra stuff we love and those things that bring us joy. They are not a burden. Perhaps these would be things like electronics, books, some toys for kids, a few sentimental objects, but mostly everything in this level still provides some level of purpose. They also add beauty to our life in some way. However, we could live without them if we had to at some point. These things do not add stress to our life but provide comfort or delight.

LEVEL 3: EXCESS CLUTTER THAT BECOMES BURDENSOME

Lastly, there is the extra stuff that we really don’t need and truly isn’t providing much of a purpose. This is the stuff that tends to get moved from one pile to another, and never really goes away, yet never really helps us in the long run. These things end up being stored up, and the sight of them may cause stress.These things are often difficult to part with because we might need it “someday.”  Although, 99% of the time, someday never comes. This level of stuff should be absolutely smaller than the first two, but for some reason, it seems this pile is growing. We constantly are trying to find new ways to manage this stuff, yet we never really deal with the stuff in the first place. 

Mental Clutter:

LEVEL 1: His Truths

Then there are our thoughts and they can also be categorized much the same as material items and physical clutter. At the very base of our levels for mental clutter would be what we need the most- His Word and truths, lovely thoughts, and pure thoughts. This is integral and many times this level is seen as an add-on later, when really this is the level which should be so full, because out if it, everything else flows. Our very being, every fiber of our soul, should be woven with the Truths of His Word. Out of those truths, we allow other thoughts in and are able to truly discern what should come into our mind and what should leave. This is our most essential level and should constantly be overflowing with His truths. Remember, our thoughts will determine our actions in life.

LEVEL 2: Purposeful Thoughts About Real Life Issues

The next level will be those things we need to deal with in life. We may fill our minds with problems to solve, or interesting books, ideas, etc. We have our everyday circumstances to deal with. Yet the most important thing to remember is that without the first level being full, this level can get out of balance. We aren’t able to deal with these in the proper perspective if the first level isn’t in check and full.

LEVEL 3: Mindless Chatter and Useless Information (Ends up in Overload and/or Anxiety)

The last level, and the one that should be most guarded and kept free of clutter, is the useless chatter- the mindless information and myriad of things all vetting for our attention these days, that are often meaningless. Sometimes we may numb our minds because we don’t want to deal with the important. These things often come from the internet, television, and even other’s voices. For me this level often causes anxiety- it’s the thoughts that I often feel weighed down by or can’t escape. Once again, when I realize that the first level (His thoughts) have not been filled properly, this level gets out of control.

Now that we have broken down what comes into our homes and our minds, may we move forward recognizing our needs versus our wants, or truths versus useless information. May this helps us to all simplify in some way, these areas of life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you feel you are balanced or is one level toppling over? Are you keeping the third levels much less than the others? How do you keep things in their proper place? What are you struggling with? Let’s encourage each other!

 

Learn more about having less stuff and MORE JESUS this summer!

Grab a ticket now before prices go up!

simplyretreat2017

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

Simply Living for Him

Our First Simply Living for Him Women’s Workshop!

This weekend I had the tremendous blessing of getting women together for or first Simply Living for Him Women’s Workshop. This was an afternoon designed to get away from the hustle and bustle of life for a bit with other women and seek more Jesus.

We talked about simplifying and reducing clutter, but mostly we talked about the whys- why do we have so much clutter and are still discontent, how does stuff make us feel, and why we can’t turn off our minds at the end of the day?

In the end, it’s never enough time to really delve into these topics but I hope to continue to offer more in the future.

There are so many practical ways to simplify and I am not about giving you one more “system” that is supposed to be the be-all-end-all to end your clutter. Ultimately your clutter or issues are between you and God, and it is my desire to point you to Him so that He can ultimately help you to focus your mindset before you can even begin to tackle the externals.

Clutter is just stuff. It will never go away though if we don’t get to the root issues. And I truly believe in the end that the remedy to clutter and chaos is Jesus. The more we desire Him, the less we desire of this world.

If you would be interested in a workshop in your area please contact me at karen@simplylivingforhim.com. I am hoping to do more of these in the future. I already have my eye on the Spring season and returning to Chester to hold a Spring Cleaning Hearts and Homes Workshop.

Stay tuned for more info! And please contact me if you would be interested in a workshop!

We broadcasted LIVE on Facebook- in case you missed it!


Learn more about having less stuff and MORE JESUS this summer!

Grab a ticket now before prices go up!

simplyretreat2017

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

Simply Living for Him

20 Ways to Simplify Your Life Starting NOW!

Simplifying is such a buzz word these days, and for me, it is about SO much more than just getting rid of “stuff.” It is about understating the heart behind why we have so much clutter, and why we think we need so much. It is about focusing on the fact that God is all we need, and nothing else can fill that void.

Yet as a society, we have bought into the lie, that more stuff equals more happiness. And the more we toil and attain, the more unhappy we become. Our houses are full, and our hearts are empty.

We also have more information than ever and are completely overwhelmed as to what to do with it all.

So in order to even begin simplifying, we need to start by knowing our Creator, and our purpose- which is to know Him and make Him known. The closer we are to Him, the less we will desire to fill up on stuff.

So while many things on this list will help you to practically simplify, many of them will also help you get to the heart of the issue. Enjoy! And may you simply live…for Him…

1. Get outside. Right now, put away the computer, the book, the phone, or whatever is taking up your time, and get outside. Take deep breath. Notice the sounds outdoors, and feel the air on your skin. Notice the things that we often take for granted. How the birds interact around you, the squirrels, the bugs…notice the details of a flower. Connect with your Creator. Realize there is so much more to this life than just ourselves! After just 20 minutes of truly noticing the beauty around you, the simplicity of it will fill you up.

2. Choose to meditate on a verse. Just pick one and truly focus on it. Close your eyes and focus on His Word. Fill your mind with His thoughts, to replace the worldly ones. (Philippians 4:8)

3. Look around the room and notice how much of your “stuff” you will take with you to eternity. None. Remember to have an eternal perspective and not an earthly one.

4. Go to your closet and decide to keep only the things you will wear this year. Giving is always a blessing. So give away what you don’t wear, or will not wear.

5. Go through your children’s toys and work with them to give away what they don’t play with anymore. Better yet, just put most of it away, and see if they even notice. 😉 Then give those things away.

6. De clutter a room. Just start with one room. Don’t get sidetracked and go to another room. Choose just one room a day, and do it well.

7. Turn off the noise. Choose to “fast” from the Internet for a day. You may even decide to do it for more than a day, when you see how much more clearly you can think. Mental overload weighs you down. Then when your fast is over, set strict internet times and stick to them. No excuses.

8. Do a kind deed. Anonymously. Not because you want to be noticed, but because of the act of kindness itself. When you do that, it will take your focus off of your own needs or desires, and the feeling of giving will fill you with more joy than any material item can bring. Try it!

9. Make a recipe from scratch. Slowly. This may sound counteractive to simplifying, but sometimes the act of slowing down and not rushing through something helps us to appreciate simplicity. Make a recipe without rushing through it, just to “get it done.” Appreciate the steps, and the work and time it takes. Slowing down, helps us realize how much a fast paced world complicates things. Just enjoy the act and the work of the task. Then invite a friend over to enjoy the fruit of your labor!

10. Keep a journal. Write down the things that you are thinking…slowly and beautifully. It will help slow your mind down, so you can focus.

11. Invite a friend over for good old fashioned tea. Don’t worry about making a fancy spread. Forget Pinterest even exists. Go the old fashioned route of enjoying each other’s company, and not the fluff of the perfect spread or fancy tableware. God wants us to focus on relationships, not outside appearances.

12. Write a letter. No, don’t type, email, or text. Write a letter. With a pen, and paper. Take time to appreciate someone else and tell them so.

13. Don’t let junk mail come in the house. Head straight to the recycling bin from the mailbox and throw away any junk that comes in, before it can clutter up your desk.

14. Plan your meals. Take just 30-60 min per month to pick out meals for the next month. This has simplified my life in so many ways. I can enjoy my afternoons without worrying about what to make for dinner. (Free printable here) And remember, your family doesn’t need a Pinterest perfect meal- they just want to eat. Do it together 🙂

15. Go through your children’s closets and pick out a few good outfits for Sundays, a few play outfits, and a few extras. Put the rest aside to give away or to save for later. This makes for much less stress in choosing outfits and such. Don’t foster the attitude in kids that outfits are so important. When they grow up, they will already know the value of a simple closet.

16. Volunteer. I promise that when you take the focus of off yourself and your needs, life becomes simpler. Fill any voids you feel, with things that matter. Not stuff.

17. Read your Bible. Every morning, before any other thoughts have a chance to creep in. When you seek Him first, everything else falls into place. And His Word is transforming. It will transform your life.

18. Choose to have less {stuff}, and do more {things}. Today instead of shopping for things that provide instant gratification( that will wear off), use your time to do something with eternal value. Visit an elderly friend, serve at a local mission, spend time in prayer. Try a “no spend” challenge for a month. I bet you will see just how much you don’t really need.

19.  Keep at least one day on your calendar open with no commitments. Choose for that day to be a day to catch up on things at home, and spend quality time without rushing around.

20. Pray. Ask God to help you simplify. Ask Him to help you focus on the things that matter to Him, and not to the world.

Learn more about having less stuff and MORE JESUS this summer!

Grab a ticket now before prices go up!

simplyretreat2017

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

 

 

 

 

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