Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Proverbs 15:16 (KJV)
How appropriate considering so much of what I've been into lately--natural, simple, back to basics... From the books and magazines that I read--Mother Earth News, Grit, Suburban Farmgirl, MaryJaneFarm--to cooking from scratch and raising chickens--thanks to Pioneer Woman and the above magazines--to the products I use--homemade lotion, lip gloss, natural shampoo & conditioner, cleaning supplies, etc...
After reading Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider, I am inspired to regain control of my stuff and put it in it's place--literally and figuratively! She gives a 10 day "plan" to go through your house. The goal here is based on a quote from William Morris "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." To go through your house one room at a time completely emptying it of stuff (except furniture and wall hangings, unless you want to), cleaning it from top to bottom and then... THEN comes the hard part. Going through your piles and filtering it through those 2 things: useful and beautiful. It doesn't mean living with nothing or a barren house, but making the decision--is the item worth more to me or is the space and having less to care for worth more? Oh how attached we are to stuff... She also addresses souvenirs and momentos, giving us "permission" to let go of them, that it doesn't mean we loved the trip or our time with family any less.
Please understand me, the goal is doesn't deal with just the stuff though. I recently read this about simplicity: the simplifying of one's life in order to focus on things that are most important and disregard or avoid things that are least important. I want my focus to be about the "things" that are important, that have true significance--God and people/relationships. But by choosing to deal with my physical stuff and it's hold on me and to live simply, I free up my time, resources, and attention to pour into the most important things--loving God and loving people! I want to be free to be used as God sees fit without the stuff holding me back. You know what I mean, that thought that "oh, I can't invite them over, the house is cluttered and a mess" or "I can't make a meal, drive her somewhere, spend an hour or two listening to her, etc for her I've got laundry, cleaning, etc... to do." Can you tell I've heard those in my head before? By getting rid of the excess and waste, the house should run more efficiently, freeing me up to spend more time in God's word, more time seeking His face (and not His hand), and more time loving and worshiping Him which will overflow into loving others as God loves them, not as I see them, but as He sees them.
The beginning of the year seems like a good time to do this, so I started it a couple of days ago. I did the living room yesterday. Should be heading on to the front room (library) and dining room today, but I feel that the kitchen is REALLY what needs it. Time to get rid of all those extra gadgets that I know don't get used! If in doubt, I love the suggestion to put it in a box somewhere else and if I haven't gone to get it in 3 or 6 months, apparently--I don't need it! So time to go empty the kitchen, if you don't hear from me in a few days, you may want to send in a search and rescue team!