Life was so simple.
I remember our first home in 1971–a small brick house with pink trim, rented from a man whose deceased dad had had a perennial green thumb. Something was always blooming in the yard. There were 2 small bedrooms–one with a door that opened to the backyard. We had a small living room, a kitchen, and a tiny dining area. I remember picking up our mail off the front closet floor. That’s where it fell when the mailman pushed it through the slot outside into the closet. I remember that our pink bathroom had “issues.” The wall was crumbling into the bathtub, so we could not bathe or shower in there. The landlord was always coming to fix it, but always got sidetracked. Luckily there was a basement shower. I showered before dark because we shared the basement with a “pet” bat.
That little house was furnished with the 4 rooms of furniture my hubby had purchased for $400. We had a bed, chest, and dresser–that bowed in the center after our first move, presumably from items that had been stacked on top of it. Dennis’ bedroom office held a desk, chair and file cabinet. We had a Formica table with 4 yellow and brown chairs (in the kitchen) and a black vinyl recliner and studio couch. The back of that couch folded down to make a bed. I remember the night our friend rolled over too far on the back, and the whole couch rolled with him, and both crashed to the floor. Dennis brought 2 step-type end tables and 2 yellow lamps. I contributed another Formica table and 4 red and black chairs for our “formal” dining room and my great-grandmother’s cedar chest that served as a TV stand for years.
My mother-in-law bought me a black rocking chair with red cushions that first Christmas along with a yellow and white umbrella stand filled with peacock feathers confiscated from my father-in-law’s birds.
Better Homes and Gardens would have had no interest in our black, red, and yellow decorating scheme.
But we were so happy. We could zip through cleaning that house in an hour on Saturday morning and then spend the rest of the weekend with his parents and our horses.
Life was so simple.
And we have way cool stories.
I think back on those days and realize I really was happier before we started exchanging furniture with character for new pieces and then antiques. And then inherited things. And collections. And paper. And clothes–to fit expanded activities. And toys and kids clothes and more furniture and more collections and books. Wait–we aren’t going to talk about the books.
Then there were bins and boxes and shelves needed for storing stuff. But it began to spill over as our lives got more complicated. Instead of taking care of things, I moved things from here to there. I lost or forgot about bills. We were late for important dates because we couldn’t find the right clothes or directions. Finding those half dozen pictures for student of the week created a major crisis and, yes, even temper tantrums.
You get the picture. We were under a full-blown clutter attack.
What is clutter? Clutter consists of “stuff” that fills our hunger with emptiness. Things that:
1. Steal our joy.
2. Steal our peace.
3. Steal our energy.
4. Steal our focus.
And it’s more than environmental.
I’ll talk about that next time.
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” Hebrews 12:1
What is stealing your joy, your peace, your energy, your focus?