the cost of clutter

One thing I’ve noticed since staying more on top of things is that I don’t have room for my stuff anymore. My plastic food containers won’t fit in their assigned drawer anymore. Bryan’s t-shirts and underwear won’t fit in his dresser drawers. The closet is overrun with clothes.

Before, when I never cleaned out the refrigerator, I kept running out of containers for my leftovers so I bought more. I wasn’t getting the laundry done in a timely manner, so Bryan bought more t-shirts, underwear, and socks to avoid running out. And when he needed dress shirts or pants for special meetings, he hunted around near the washing machine where they were left hanging.

I can’t tell you how many things I’ve re-purchased over the years, even though I knew we already had one – I just didn’t know where it was. But as I slowly go through random boxes and bags of crap in various parts of the house, I continually find myself exclaiming, “THERE it is – I’ve been LOOKING for that!”

My selfishness, laziness, and lack of maintaining my household was costing us money.

closet organizerIn cleaning out our closets and dressers, I took six bags of clothes to the Goodwill – mostly clothes Bryan hasn’t been wearing since he lost weight, but there was one entire bag of socks. Socks! He had a whole bag of socks he could actually live without, now that I’m keeping up with the laundry!

I did purchase this closet organizer to help make use of our small closet – the downside of living in a quaint, turn-of-the-century house. But this was money well spent, along with mountable lights on the door frame, powered by lithium batteries. Clothes are much more visible, and less likely to get shoved into the dark recesses and forgotten.

And my plastic containers for leftovers? Pulled them all out, matched up lids to containers, threw out any that were missing pieces, donated ones I didn’t need, and reorganized the drawer to make it easier to find things.

As I’ve been putting my house in order, I’ve tried to re-purpose as much as possible, not buying new things unless I’m sure I don’t already have something I can use. I’ve taken baskets from the kids’ rooms to use for office supplies, a tub for outdoor toys that I now use for gardening supplies, and crates for my craft supplies that I now use for toys. I have so many resources within my own home – much more than I even knew, now that I’m uncovering lost treasures.

I wonder just how embarrassed I’d be if I added up all the money I’ve spent on buying things I didn’t really need. What a waste! What a glutton I was for stuff when I didn’t even know what I had! It’s much better to be a good steward of all I’ve been given, maintaining an organized home.

5 thoughts on “the cost of clutter”

  1. Amen Sister! Too much stuff….I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately. I get this way every six months or so where I just want to throw everything away – too many papers, too many TOYS, too many closets filled with too much stuff! I’m about to start on my house…thanks for the motivation!

  2. Same dessert, different flavor…
    I have had very similar realizations around here! More for me with buying things impulsively instead of making lists of what I REALLY want and waiting for those. I’ve given many bags to Goodwill that I cringed to think of the new retail value of.

    But the cleansing of having it gone is the ultimate freedom: reminds me of how God removes our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west So liberating!

  3. Jen,
    Once you are done organizing your house, wanna come over and help me out here? I pay for your trip. I am serious. I am getting drowned underneath all the clutter. Help!!!

  4. Oh man, I know. I often wonder how much money I’ve spent on NEEDLESS items. Not just organizational things, but things I’ve re-bought because I couldn’t find them…in the clutter. Ugh. GREAT post! 🙂

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