The Human Factor

I’m picking up some spiritual disciplines this year, and I’m excited about sharing them with you in the future. And I’m working on some other disciplines, namely decluttering and cleaning and organizing my space. That one has hit a little snag. Or a huge snag.

You see, my problem is I don’t live alone. I have these people all over the place, and they all have stuff. And they’re all bigger than me and more stubborn, and I have no idea what to do with them.meerkat_family

It’s not that bad, of course. I love my family more than I hate their messes. However, trying to find order in my house is definitely made more difficult when the people around me don’t share my vision. They all claim they want a cleaner, less cluttered, more visually appealing space. And yet that doesn’t seem to apply to their stuff. Their stuff isn’t part of the problem. Their stuff is treasures. The mess is everyone else.

Short of throwing away things while people are gone, I’m stuck with things I don’t want around the house. I have to get over it and accept it. Not to paint a terrible picture of my family–my older boys, especially, will be heading into the world soon, and some of the things they hold onto will be useful in their new homes. So I can let that slide. This year, two of my sons will likely leave home, and with them goes their stuff. I’ll try to be patient

Compromise. Knowing what I can control and what to let go. Open communication as I try to explain how much the excess and the mess hurts me to my soul. Maybe they don’t get it.  Maybe they fear the empty spaces. But I owe it to them to find out, understand, and work through it. We need to come to some kind of shared visions. A simple life isn’t worth damaged relationships.

My youngest is the easiest. He needs a bed, his computer, and maybe two changes of clothes. He is the least stuff-oriented person ever born. Decluttering his room took about six minutes, and we threw away everything. Even the clothes would have gone if I didn’t insist he change every now and then. But the others are different. All of them are different, so their ideas are different, their ideas on cleanliness, clutter, simplicity.

This little journey has been constantly enlightening. Dealing with my own expectations. Fear of simplicity becoming the idol of the year. Communicating with my family. It all seemed so simple, but God keeps tossing lessons my way. I love it, and yet I’m also tempted to hire someone to take it all away one weekend. But the lessons and the problems and the internal discoveries–that’s definitely part of the process. At least I hope it is. If this is easy for everyone else and hard for me, I don’t want to know. Please let me live in ignorance.

2 thoughts on “The Human Factor

  1. I so feel your pain! So I started with de-cluttering my bedroom where only one other slob lives besides me. Last weekend we too 7 bags of stuff to Goodwill. 7 bags from my bedroom. Sheesh. I figure if I can maintain THIS space then we can tackle the rest of the house, one room at a time. I may be done some time in 2019 just in time for my girls to finish high school. 🙂


    • I have a HUGE stack of Goodwill bags in the center of my kitchen. I thought surely that would force us to take that final, painful step of putting it in the car and hauling it away. I was wrong. Now I am beginning to decorate around the stuff. This decluttering is not for sissies!!


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