I don't usually watch Oprah. However, when Adeena, my eldest daughter, phoned me yesterday and told me to turn it on, I was astounded. There was a story about a woman who had hoarded all sorts of stuff for many years.
After they took out seventy-five TONS of garbage, they still had enough items to fill a 10,000 square foot place for a rummage sale. In the house, they found food items under mountains of clothing. They found mold and mouse nests. It was a disaster!
It makes you wonder why someone would hoard like that. She was lonely. Her children were grown and gone, and she had lost a couple of siblings. But she shopped so much and kept so much stuff that she could barely walk through her own home.
Now, I have never been that much of a hoarder, but I must confess that I do like to keep things, just in case. I may need that thingamajig or that thingamabob some day. I look at broken items, trying to figure out if I can re-use them, or fix them. It is often difficult for me to throw things away.
I have thought about it, and I do believe that it is because we lived for many years with a lower-than-most income. I didn't have the funds to replace things, and I learned to be frugal and make do with what I had. I kept clothing, because with 12 children in close succession, there was always someone who would wear that dress or those pants.
As I watched the woman, Sharon, tell her story, tears streamed down my face. She was overwhelmed by the clutter. She had no idea where to begin. Her love of things had eliminated any contact with grandchildren or children - her youngest grandchild had never even set foot in her home.
My clutter-bug isn't that bad. I often have my married children over, and the grandkids are always welcome.
But what I noticed is that I keep too much stuff, and this has weighed me down. I don't want all t hat stuff - I want just enough to be able to accomplish my goal: building relationships with others that will glorify my Heavenly Father and encourage those I love.
Linda started an organization project almost two years ago. We have continued with that project, and the results are amazing. We are nearing the goal of "a place for everything, and everything in its place". I have thrown bag after bag full of stuff out; I have given away boxes and bags full of books and clothing and other items to Goodwill. Around Christmas time I bought myself one of those little labelers, and that has been a great tool for organizing cupboards, office stuff, and so on.
It was good to see that I am not alone in my hoarding; and even better to know that this can be overcome.
Today we threw out 4 bags full of "stuff" from the upstairs. Holey socks, unmatched mitts, broken baseball caps, torn books, and so on. We got rid of piles of stuff!
Oh, the freedom you feel when you don't have stuff cluttering up your life. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow!
Let everything be done decently and in order. Our God is a God of order.
Lord, make me like you!