Clean Sweep

Clean Sweep. It was on Saturday mornings on TLC. I used to watch it religiously.

The team chose two rooms to "sweep".  Literally, every single item from the two rooms were hauled outside onto tarps.  The homeowners were given two days to sort their clutter and pitch what they didn't need. Items were place on separate tarps in piles labeled Keep, Sell and Toss. Meanwhile, two rooms in their home were redesigned by professionals. The items placed on the Sell tarp were then sold in a yard-sale on the second day, with anything not sold going to charity. The rooms were redesigned with the carpenter on-hand to design beautiful new furniture, or modify existing. When the rooms were done, the transformations were usually so amazing that they were hard to believe. 

The biggest change, of course, was the elimination of heaps of stuff.  And the professional organizer helped the couple work through several emotional attachments and other issues connected to their belongings.  

How freeing it was and what joy to see a clean, swept room!  Pun intended.

I like this philosophy.
Each item must be handled intentionally and dealt with.  

An audio book I have been listening to is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  (I actually have both the printed and audio version. :) This was recommended by 2 of my friends that have read my blog. I am about a 1/3 of the way through it.  (I like a lot of her ideas although there are several things she says about the "life" of objects I raise my eyebrows over.)
I have, however, picked up several good tips so far.

1.  Handle every item. Every single item.
2.  Ask yourself this question, "Does this spark joy?" 
3.  Get rid of it if it doesn't. 
4.  Gather ALL like items together in one area.  ie:  Clothing (all seasons--start with off season first), all books etc.

As you handle each item, carefully and mindfully listen to your inner dialogue.
For instance, I picked up a jacket that I own and thoughts that ran through my mind were:
This is so cute. I bought it on clearance. What a good deal I got! It was on my birthday. I was with my dear friend. Have I ever wore it? It makes me look pale. But I bought it and better wear it. Why did I buy it? I better hang it up and make myself wear it. Maybe if I put a cute scarf (like this cute one from my daughter-in-law) with it... And so on and so on.  
Did any of this dialogue bring me joy?  Uh, no. Except the memories of spending the day with my girlfriend. 

So, how about hang onto the good memories and get rid of the item. Wow! The baggage of emotions that are spurred by this ONE jacket...crazy. Baggage of remorse, guilt, putting myself down, and feelings of inadequacy.

I know, I know...this may seem a little over the top.  

But I challenge you to do it.  It takes a little practice.  Listen to you talk to you.

2000 item challenge. (Get 2000 items out of the house in 2015...maybe we should make it 2015 items!)
Here is an update:  448 items

Many more are sorted out but not bagged up.  
I think I better start selling some stuff.  :)  
I was on a roll in the spare bedroom until it came to the Legos...that will be another day's blog.

May God bless you during this time.  Forgive yourself, He does.  It's okay that you and I have made purchases that weren't so good. It's okay that the item has served it's purpose for you.  It's okay.  Let it go! Keep the broom going! 

For fun I Googled "clean sweep in Bible" and found this...

1 Peter 2 1-3 So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.  MSG
Make a clean sweep and be sure to "fill up" again with God. (Luke 11:25-26)
Keep on Keepin' On,
Tip:  Recycle vases...check with your local florist and see if they will take them back!  I found 14!!!
Schedule time to de-clutter!


Amy Larson

Amy Larson is a coach, writer and speaker. Through challenges of her own she has become an advocate for living with freedom- free from home, mind, body and soul clutter. She is winning the battle with chronic Lyme Disease and is an encourager to all women who want more out of life. She helps women uncover lies that keep them stuck and entangled with practical, yet life-changing strategies.