Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby…
We are only 22 days into the new year and how many of us that made promises for this to be the year of all those changes we have dreamed about to finally come true are still moving ahead to make those changes?
How many dining tables are still covered with unopened bills and most of last year’s newspapers we keep saying we are going to read? How many beds are still covered with clothes that we can’t find room in our closet to put away? Has that exercise equipment that you couldn’t wait to get set up become a clothes hanger for those new workout clothes?
What has happened to that “can do” spirit that just 22 days ago was alive and well? I know life gets in the way but why do we allow something that was so important to us just 3 weeks ago get pushed to the side once again? If you are like me this is not the first time you made this same list of new year promises. Is it the promises that we are making that keep us from moving forward or is it just not worth the effort to keep going?
Maybe when we make these plans to make this the year we would complete those unfinished projects or clean out the clutter or finally lose the weight, we failed to count the cost of money, time and motivation. I have so many great plans but somehow, someway, when it comes time to get started and I have either lost the will to make it happen or I realized it was going to take more time, energy and money than I have. So instead of backing up and rethinking the project I just give up and walk away, then I begin to feel like a failure before we are even half way through yet another year.
With age should come wisdom, but I seem to be missing out when it comes to being realistic about why I can’t seem to keep promises I make to myself. After taking some time to really look at why I continue to make the same promises year after year without any progress being made, I think I have come up with one of the major reasons and it is that I want instant gratification. I want to see progress even before I finish making my list of this year’s resolutions.
I can’t understand why after the first 30 minute workout I can’t go into my closet and everything that I have purchased for the last 5 years (2 sizes too small) doesn’t fit. I worked so hard for the whole 30 minutes with no visible difference, and so begins the downhill spiral to the end of my weight lose goals.
While I am in the closet trying to make room for the new clothes from this weekend’s shopping trip, I can’t find enough hangers or room so they just get put on the bed or hung over the treadmill until I get this mess cleaned out. I get frustrated when I notice the clothes still hanging untouched from last year when I promised I would lose the weight to be able to wear them when I made that purchase. Now I have once again given myself and new and improved reason not to go near that closet or at the very least until I can fit into last year’s new clothes.
If you are like so many of us that have come realize that money doesn’t grow on trees, when we get rid of things we are also saying goodbye to wasted money. I am not sure how much sense it makes but isn’t the money still wasted if the clothes we don’t wear and don’t fit are still hanging in the closet instead of given away. Maybe we need to realize that the being able to bless others by giving the items away, outweighs the money we wasted on a purchased.
This year let’s set realistic goals, maybe lose one pound a week, get rid of five pieces of paper each day, give away three pieces of clothing per week, we don’t wear or no longer fits the body we have today, pass on kitchen gadgets that we don’t use or do not fit in our kitchen and get rid of one item a week that no longer serves it’s intended purpose (toys, dried paint, scraps of wallpaper, old suitcases, etc.).
You will be surprised how doing a few things each day will add up over a week or a few things each week will add up over a month and before long the task will be completed and you will ask yourself why did I wait so long to get busy on clearing out that clutter.
My biggest reason why I can’t get some of the projects started much less finished is “I do not have the time”! When I started to divide the project up into small and doable time frames I was surprised how much I can get done. Very few projects need to be finished in the first 15minutes you begin the work. Most can be divided up and completed in baby steps. You never would expect to see a house built and decorated in only one day. So give yourself a break do something small to make progress and keep working at the task until you have finished and are ready to move to the next one.
This is kind of like growing as a Christian; we think we have to know everything before God can use us. If that was the case I promise there would be a lot of jobs undone at every church in America. God doesn’t want us to do His job; He just wants us willing to do the job He gives us. He never calls someone to serve that He doesn’t equip them with all they need.
Many of the “life lessons” that we go through are in preparation for a job that is ahead, maybe someone will need to hear the lesson you learned by going through that time in your life. Maybe someone taught you something that someday you will be able to share with someone else. Lessons in life are not given to us to fill up our time here on earth; they are there to make up usable vessels for Christ. Maybe when we are learning something new we need to be aware that others are watching and learning through the way we handle the lesson. Do you want to watch others learn from you and do as you do?
This week decide on one project that you can break down into doable parts and each day do something to get that job finished. Remember baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. If it’s worth making a new year’s promise, it’s worth doing!
Love you to Jesus,