How to clear clutter, keep a clean house & get rid of stuff

Being a CEO of Me® is all about balance and doing our best, even in our households.  This doesn’t mean having a house that’s always sparkly clean or that everything is always in its place.  It simply means creating systems that work for you & sticking to them that allows you to live in a happy, healthy environment. When we learn how to clear the clutter in our homes, we can open up room for growth and abundance in all areas of our lives,

I lived in a small 520 square foot, 1 bedroom apartment for several years. When I first moved in, it felt huge (it was the first place I lived in after moving out of my parents home). As the years went by and I began purchasing more things and as my home-based business grew, that apartment began to feel about as big as a refrigerator box.  I was slowly starting to suffocate because of all the stuff that was stuffed into that small, stuffy space.

When it came time for me to move into a house, I promised myself I would not ever let my new house become so stuffed. I did a clean sweep and got rid of over 1/3rd of my possessions. I wanted a home I could live in, feel comfortable in and be able to invite friends to spend time at. 

I mostly didn’t want all that external baggage around me anymore.  When our homes are cluttered and overstuffed, it damages our mental, emotional and physical health.  We feel guilty because we can’t seem to catch up, much less stay on top of the mess. We are embarrassed when people come over and always making excuses.  Lots of times the stress from the mess can even make us gain weight & cause us to become lazy because it’s just too much to tackle so we just keep putting it off.

It can be hard to let go of stuff though. We often allow stuff to take the place of people, relationships and even love in our lives.  When we get hurt or lose someone or something we love, we cling to the things that bring back those memories or that make us feel safe from the pain.  Shopping and obtaining things can also become just as bad as being addicted to drugs (ever seen the TV show “Hoarding, Buried Alive”?).

We have to ask ourselves where our heart really is?  Does all of that stuff really benefit us?  Does leaving the mess just because it’s too much to deal with do us any good at all?  Does it move us any closer to being the person that God intends us to be?  Are we really being good stewards of all our blessings?  Is our home an example of how a CEO of Me’s home should be? 

I can promise you once you learn to let go of your material stuff & you gain control of your household again that you will also find an amazing sense of freedom. You will be able to let go of a lot of mental stuff that is piled up and cluttered up & damaging your ability to be the best that you can be.

I have also learned that when we clutter our homes and lives up with material possessions that we block abundance in other areas in our lives – from our income to our health and even relationships.  When we remove the things that aren’t really serving the person, life and relationships we want in our lives, we create space for those things to enter and expand in our lives.

A few resources that helped me learn how to clear clutter and do better with housework include:

Marie Kondo’s book “The Magic Art of Tidying Up”

Leo Babuata’s book “The Power of Less”

After learning some of these methods and taking some time to implement new systems, I have been able to keep my house fairly neat & organized all the time without having to spend a lot of time & energy to do so. 

The biggest thing for me was doing a clean sweep and letting go of things that I was holding onto because I was emotionally attached to them. I also had to realize that I am not defined by my possessions, how much stuff I have, what brand of clothes or type of car or size of house or the decor I had, none of those things defines us. It is who we are on the inside and how we treat others that defines us.

A few years later after realizing I was beginning to accumulate too many things, particularly clothing, I also began working on minimizing my wardrobe using a capsule wardrobe & organization method. I explain more this blog post Beginner’s Guide to a Capsule Wardrobe & Organizing Your Closet which gives many more tips for organization and decluttering.

Make a commitment to start living more by living with less. Work on 1 room or one corner of a room or 1 closet in your house to start with.  Then tackle the next room, corner or closet. Once all the extra stuff is out of the way, you can begin implementing daily & weekly systems that will enable you to stay on top of your housework and maintain a healthy environment in your home & your heart too!

Did you enjoy this post or learn something from it? I would LOVE it if you would leave a comment below and / or share it. Thank you!

  • Thank you for this article and these wonderful Bible verses. I have been praying for a way to help tackle this problem. This is truly something that I struggle with. It seems like it should be easy to get the house clean….I mean everyone else seems to have it figured out….but I have never been good in this area. For those that have never dealt with this problem, they may not realize how much anxiety and stress this can cause someone. Maybe I need to buy you a plane ticket so you can come down and help me. 🙂

    • aww, you’re welcome Caryn! This was an older post I found and felt it was still relevant to share again! I would love to come visit you in general but I also would love to come help declutter and organize, lol… I’m an organizing junkie and love it. It’s hard, I was a pack rat for years and years and still end up with more stuff than I need. I force myself to clean out at least every other month. I am so much more at peace, happy and calm when the house is in order. It’s never going to be perfect but as long as it’s clean and there isn’t clutter and stuff around, that’s ok with me. Hugs my friend!

    • I feel the same way! I feel I need someone to help get organized. These same verses have convicted me for some time but I’ve put off been lazy overwhelmed loss of my parents and lots of other things. I want to get it done I have a major desire to but fb pinterest seem to flood my time. Much needed prayer.

  • I couldn’t agree more Misty! When we moved oversees 2 years ago we sold or gave away almost everything. It took 3 major garage sales, and visits from every friend and family member to get rid of everything. I was shocked at how much we had accumulated. I made the decision never let myself go back to that lifestyle. We recently came back to the US and it was so easy because we did not have a lot. We live in a small home with limited storage, but that is ok with me because it keeps me in check and discourages the “storing up” of earthly treasures which I know I do not need but can be so tempted to hoard in this culture.

    • Thanks April! It is amazing isn’t it? Like I don’t even miss half that stuff that I couldn’t let go of. I try to make myself clean out at least a couple times a year now and if I buy new things I make myself donate the old stuff (or yard sale it). It is hard though in our culture and all the influences pushing messages that we need more, more, more… Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  • Great reminder Misty! I love the TNT (Today Not Tomorrow). I used to follow the FlyLady, but it has been years. Your post gave me the gentle reminder to go revisit and start re-implementing some of her strategies. One thing that I learned through her site that has stuck with me is getting dressed, down to your shoes. As a work from home mom, I have the luxury of looking however I like. I can take a shower…or not. But, I hear that advice in the back of my mind and I (usually) choose to go ahead and get ready for the day. 😉

  • I was fortunate to come in contact with your blog and will follow to try to put myself in perspective to get n track and accomplish my goal of giving things up.
    For some ( like me) it is very very hard. I do tend to be ceintamental over memories of folks I’ve crossed paths with in life. Thanks for this start of information to get me going.

  • This is conformation to me that what I am doing and the direction I am going is the right path for my life.A new retiree so much stuff, to little space for what really reflects me. Use it up , wear it out, make it do , or do with out has be my way of thinking and it’s still to much.So I have been giving it to someone else who truly has a need.The need will present it’s self if we just look and listen. Thank you

  • I’m really glad that you mentioned the book, “The Power of Less.” See, my mom is a hoarder, which is why my siblings and I want to help her get rid of all her clutter. Because overcoming hoarding habits is a process of both habitual and mental change, I definitely think that reading that book will help her realize how much better her life could be with a cleaner environment.

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