Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why Do You Post Pictures Of Your Clutter?

"I'm embarrassed for you, why would anyone post pictures of their mess"?

Let me explain. I have been messy like this my whole life. It is the way I relate to my stuff. I'm coming to understand that it is quite selfish of me to continue to relate to my stuff this way when there's three other humans living with me! But I'm lacking deep conviction about the mess.

About 2 months ago, I cleaned and purged the sunroom, the stairs and the dining room...and guess what? They are a mess again. What happened? I just picked up the stuff (which is good!) but true heart-level change did not occur. So I am seeking true repentance in this area. By taking and posting pictures, I'm exposing the truth of my is painful to SEE what I'm doing. This exposure helps break the bonds of this stronghold in my heart allowing a deep work of heart-level change in my attitudes, intentions and motivations.

This blog is also an act of faith, I am believing in the same way that I was able to overcome my poor cooking skills (see ) I'm hoping to see positive change with regards to housekeeping as I obey my conscience. I intend to post before and after pictures.

This blog is for ME...but you are welcome to come along. Thanks for following me. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Next Steps

I'm completely overwhelmed with the task of decluttering. In listening to my conscience, I need to get up with John around 7:15am which is an effort of self-government for me! But because it is a response to obedience, I was able to do it this morning!

I made a list of the things I would have done last night before bed. I used that list for this morning and it went really well! I'm already looking forward to doing it again tomorrow!

So I was thinking that I need another book to read during lunch since we finished the last one a week ago. I heard in my conscience, "why not put reading on hold for a short time and use that lunch reading time to start sorting in the kids' bedrooms"?

OK. I'll do that today and I'll write about it later on.


PHOTO: playroom

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Messy & Clean

We've been married over 20 years...and we "just happened" to have a breakthrough discussion before dinner tonight! I was telling John about my new blog about self-education towards cleaning and keeping the house tidy. We have the same old discussion...I think what needs to happen is a massive purge, get rid of stuff, organize what we have so everything has a place (I call this "ground zero" meaning everything is in its' place). He thinks that is impossible and not the way to solve our problem...then we argue why we think our way is the best way. Nothing changes. Our discussion tonight took a different turn as I listened to him talk about the process of digging out (which we've done many, many, many times in the past) but tonight I LISTENED (because "love listens" or rather "it is loving to listen and not interrupt").

John asked me, "how did you clean your room growing up"? When my room needed to be decluttered (much like the photo above), I moved my furniture around for a fresh look...I put all my junk in a pile, rearranged my bed, desk and dresser and sorted through the pile. A light bulb went on for him..."Michelle, that is exactly what you do with the house. You toss everything in a huge black plastic garbage bag, vacuum and then try to get back to sorting through the bag. That method really hasn't helped move us forward, so I have a suggestion.

He continued, "I think we should start in the kids' rooms, sorting through everything on the floor a section at a time. Let's do that and go from there. I also think we should be putting things away. It is ok for "projects" to be left out (like Sarah playing plushies on the stairway or Daniel doing a puzzle) but at least once a week those things need to be put away, too".

He suggested that we both have strengths in the area of organization but I've never been able to reach escape velocity and have a happy, tidy home. And he wants to help with that so we can move forward and be free from clutter.

We had this conversation over dinner with the children. We really like to discuss of the things we all discussed over dinner was the 4 possible outcomes of a messy house:
-messy and dirty (untidy house and filthy as in dirty, unclean)
-messy and clean
-tidy and dirty
-tidy and clean

As a family we determined that our house is: MESSY AND CLEAN which means there's a ton of junk around, major clutter, but we don't have filth. I was glad we all agreed because that was my pick: messy & clean. So at least we know we only really have one area in which to focus. That in itself is kinda encouraging!

So we continue talking for now. But look what's happened just since I posted! I responded to my conscience telling me to invest in this area as a focus of self-education by starting the blog...and a few hours later we discusssed as a family that we're Messy & Clean and the job of decluttering is actually HALF of what I thought since we're not dealing with Dirty! That's a great start! I look forward to what's next... :)

PHOTOS: sunroom

First Post-Tidy House

If you are joining my from then WELCOME!

I spent about 7 months of self-education about my lack of cooking habits which is documented in that blog. I'm at a point where I feel "educated" in that area! Huge changes were made in my family...we began eating dinners every night together with a meal prepared by me! My kids eat a homemade lunch every day and I now have a system for meal planning and preparation and feel that I can build on that firm foundation in the future. I find that I'm just taking pictures of dinners over and over...there's no real growth now because I'm working the system that is now in place. Hooray!

I've been so burdened about my home. It takes all I have just to keep up with the daily stuff...laundry, dishes, picking up and living life, let alone DIGGING OUT of the mess that exists. It's like being in financial debt. I have all the same monthly obligations which use up everything I bring in (daily chores & living), but there's nothing in the budget to reduce the debt (energy and time to declutter).

I did dig out of the sunroom and living room about a month ago. But no lasting is a mess again (different, but the same). No real change is occurring so something needs to happen at the heart-level.

I'm hoping to post these pictures with the faith and hope that the Lord will bring change and I'll be able to see the journey and at the "end" see a clean house that is kept tidy! In the same way I can see my growth and change through my self-education about cooking.

PHOTO: front hallway
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