Thursday, February 17, 2022

Porch #35 * Less is More

 Welcome back to PORCH, 
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The stuff that surrounds us affects what’s inside of us so if you are in a cluttery space on the outside, you might feel cluttery on the inside, too.  Feeling cluttered and distracted leads to stress and overwhelm.  

Even when you’ve built some tolerance to it, you aren’t operating on all cylinders when it comes to making thoughtful decisions and trusting you know what’s best for you.  
Courtney Carver

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Happy weekend to you!

Less is more.

For one reason or another, many of us are heading to a more minimalist mindset, a simpler lifestyle, a pared down existence.  We're gazing at our dusty collections with less fondness, our endless accumulations have become burdensome, and we're more than weary of moving one overwhelming pile to make room for yet another.  

We crave margin.  White space.  Visual serenity.  And too often we don't even know it.

Living with an overabundance of clutter and meaningless possessions can result in a paralyzing sense of overwhelm.  Too much to take in wherever we turn, too many objects demanding attention, and wasted time pawing through untended stuff searching for something important leads to nothing but frustration, irritation, and a low-grade anxiety.

And we need that like a hole in the head.

Over time, I've discovered that the mental serenity that emerges when there's less junk and fewer tchotchkes cluttering every conceivable surface is a healthy place for me to be.  I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to sit quietly with the Lord and prayerfully meditate on His Word when my surroundings are a chaotic mess.  

Tell me I'm not the only one.

In His untold wisdom, He has created mind, soul, and body to be intimately interwoven.  And when something's out of kilter in one arena, the others often aren't all that far behind.

I could share a million resources, but in the spirit of minimalism and less brain clutter, let's do 6 read-worthy links + 2 superb books + the Scripture -

THE LINKS
Should it stay or should it go?

Are you living in a fantasy world?

Farewell, my little vintage friends

Becoming Minimalists's most popular articles

Unhindered: is your stuff keeping you stuck?

Declutter your home: 13 articles & challenges to help you start

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THE BOOKS
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
Joshua Becker

Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living
Tsh Oxenreider

Biblical Minimalism: Following Jesus from a Life of Abundance to a More Abundant Life
Cheryl Smith
{read my review}

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THE SCRIPTURE
Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or - worse! - stolen by burglars.  Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rest and burglers.  It's obvious, isn't it?  The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Matthew 6:19-21 {The Message}

photo by my creative friend
Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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We've got SO MUCH to talk about!
Linda

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44 comments:

  1. Clutter is my enemy. lol. A cluttered space really detracts from my mental peace. I don't have to be completely clutter-free, but the less clutter, the better. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 'A cluttered space really detracts from my mental peace.'

      I knew I couldn't be the only one 🤪!

      Delete
  2. I'm a huge fan of keeping things simple, Linda. Clutter gets under my skin, too. And if anyone hasn't already read it, Cheryl's book is great on this subject.
    Blessings!

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    1. You're right, Martha, Cheryl's book is a wonderful read combining story, information, and biblical truths all together.

      Good stuff {no pun intended 😂.}

      Delete
  3. Oh yes, too much mess messes me up! Yet I find I also procrastinate by cleaning up instead of getting started too. Learning to balance that and be honest with myself! LOL

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For some reason, procrastination seems to be creeping in more and more around here 🤷 ...

      Delete
  4. You should see my desk right now, Linda. It is crowded with stuff from lights, to full baskets, to binders, to art stencils, to framed pictures to...haha! About once every month, I'll go through and neaten it all up (or when I can't find my pencil). This year is about using things up, instead of buying new, although I did cheat a couple of weeks ago and bought some new paints for my art journaling. :) I so agree clutter can cause anxiety! My desk at work is always clean, yet I seem to loosen up when I am at home office! Thanks for the resources you have shared. I am especially interested in Cheryl Smith's book.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep, there's nothing like not being able to put our hands on something that we need RIGHT NOW to get us to tidy up.

      Meanwhile, I'd love to hear about your year of 'using things up' and your 'art journaling 🎨.' Do tell.

      P.S. I've added the link to my review of Cheryl's book up in the post.

      Delete
  5. I have always been a minimalist! The clutter that bothers me the most is not physical, but the junk in my head!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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  6. Absolutely a clutter buster! In fact, when I am subbing, I have to resist the urge to declutter the teacher’s desk…

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  7. Serenity is lovely. I have too much clutter -- and I love it. I'm uncomfortable in too much minimalism. That said, I do have to downsize. You only can enjoy so much!

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    1. Jeanie, as an old friend always used to say, 'there's a lid for every pot!' Some of my family members feel the same way as you do. And if they're happy with their living spaces, then I'm happy for them 😊!

      And for you, too, friend. May our homes always be warm and welcoming no matter, a sweet haven of rest.

      Delete
  8. I totally agree. I have been slowing purging stuff this year in an effort to minimize stuff and have less clutter. I don't allow a lot of clutter anyway, but there is always work to do. I have read several books on this topic this year as well. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep, the books and blogs can be motivating ... and sometimes we need a bit of inspiration from people who're a few steps ahead of us 👣.

      Delete
  9. Linda, love the scripture in Matthew you quoted. That pretty much hits the nail on the head. I started decluttering STUFF as soon as I retired and I am telling you I was SHOCKED at myself for allowing so much clutter. I am beginning to breath now and I am so proud of myself for the accomplishments I have made in this area. It seemed when I was working I did not have the time and then when I did have the time I wanted to do other things. Some needed and some just because I wanted too. But, now, I am happy camper and loving it. Happy weekend to you. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow! You just retired a short time ago, Cindy! I'd love to hear how you kicked into high gear so quickly. Amazing!

      Retirement is suiting you well, friend 😎. I'm so happy for you.

      Delete
  10. Your sweet post brought tears to my eyes today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of my book. It means the world to me to know that it ministered to you. I am eternally grateful to God for you, my dear friend.

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    1. Hey, friend! I'm always delighted to share your books 📖 📖! You continue to inspire me and so many others with your story, your music, and your tender heart for Jesus. I'm so grateful for the doors He's opening as you continue forward.

      Bless you.

      Delete
  11. I've been purging and collecting items for Good Will too. I don't want our kids to have a mountain of stuff to dispose of when the time comes. My biggest problem is sentimentality--not wanting to get rid of something because So-and-So gave it to us.

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    1. Nancy, yes, yes.

      Some of us know what it's like to have parents take care of business ahead of time ... and others of us have had parents who weren't able or refused to do so. We've all heard horror stories ... and that can be good motivation for us to continue to sift through our possessions and pare down our stuff while we still have the time and energy to do so 📦.

      I've found that most of the next generation aren't interested in our stuff, just a few items that bring back the good memories of days gone by. Thanks for putting this difficult topic on the table, friend.

      Delete
  12. Thank you, Linda. As I get older, I want to rid the unnecessary stuff. I don’t want our only child having to sift through it all. I love Cheryl’s book. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. You and Nancy must have been reading each other's minds, Pam! You guys are inspiring me tonight!

      Thank you 😉.

      Delete
  13. I used to declutter regularly, but lost momentum over the last few years. I'm hoping the links you provided will help motivate me to do some spring decluttering.

    Thanks for the visit and vote on the teacup sweater!

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    1. You're right, it's easy to lose momentum and motivation, Margie. Talking with you all this evening is a bit of the push I need to revisit the basement shelves yet again and say goodbye to another layer of stuff that no longer matters 😏.

      Delete
  14. I'm definitely with you on this one Linda!
    I don't like clutter or stuff that I don't frequently use or need hanging around.

    I don't necessarily like Spartan spaces either but no clutter in any of my spaces for sure! 🤗
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I absolutely agree with you. No spartan spaces and nothing that creates an atmosphere that stifles or makes me feel like I can't breathe deep and relax 😧!

      Thanks, Jennifer.

      Delete
  15. My home was never cluttered. Still, I reduced amount of items in 2012. I did so for lots of reasons including my faith walk. I’m still enjoying the ease of dusting and the open spaces. So within, so without
    I heartily agree with your article. Gail

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sounds like 2012 was a crossroads year for you, Gail. I'm thinking that a number of us would resonate with your story. I love the open spaces, too ... but I can't stand to dust 😞.

      Sigh.

      Delete
  16. Even being someone who can't live with clutter, seems I'm still find things to discard. Even my photography shows my leaning toward minimal 😉 Thanks so much for the photo credit, kind friend.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And that's exactly why I love your creative work, Debby 📸.

      Because calm images soothe weary hearts and rattled brains.

      Delete
  17. Ahhh, my friend. You have hit on one of my hot buttons. I may be a little "touched in the head" but clearing out clutter brings me great joy! I'm working with my mom on their house. And I'm slowly working through my own as well. Creating white space nurtures peace in my spirit. I look forward to checking out some of the links you shared here!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You said it so well, Jeanne -
      'clearing out clutter brings me great joy!'

      And until someone actually experiences this, they won't quite appreciate what you're saying 🤷🏻.

      Delete
  18. I'm 69 and Jo is 71. We are in the process of trying to downsize get rid of things. Should have done it long time ago and it wouldn't be the issue it is now. Do I keep it or do I let it go? Goodwill the the foot of our driveway has been very good for us to unload some things. :) We will continue doing so, especially after our daughter finds her own place again. We are a respite from her heart attack to finding a place where steps are minimal. When she leaves a lot of our stuff will also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we've found that the foot of the driveway can be the perfect venue to get rid of stuff real quick. Most all of us will stop and look at something with a FREE sign on it.

      And then cart it off even if we don't need it 🤦🏻‍♀️!

      Delete
  19. I don't care if house is cluttered
    or is cool clear Nordic blond;
    my daily bread will still get buttered,
    and I can go beyond
    what the things around me say,
    or what they don't (if they're, like, gone!).
    What matters now is every day
    I can still carry on,
    while cancer does trump circumstance;
    I figured that it might,
    and so, like David, I will dance
    through the bleeding night,
    along a clean or junkyard floor
    until I waltz through Heaven's door.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've put new words to arriving in heaven. And I like it. 😇

      Delete
  20. Great help for getting rid of too much stuff to clear our minds. Clutter makes me nervous. If it can't be used I don't want it anymore. The older I get the better I get at getting rid of things. Our two adult children only want our bibles, nothing else. They make it easy for me to get rid of.

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    1. Wow. Your words speak to the character of who your children are, Betty. When all is said and done, little else truly matters 📖.

      Bless you all.

      Delete
  21. Our Father loves order...and so do I. You're so right. It is hard to focus and worship in the midst of disorder and stuff.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. mmm ... a good thought ... He planted this yearning in us, we didn't come up with it ourselves 🌱.

      A beautiful observation this morning. Thank you!

      Delete
  22. You are not the only one, Linda. I need clean spaces. I cannot cook dinner in a dirty kitchen. Relax in a dirty / cluttered house. I need cleared spaces and floors with white spaces. I taught the kids to clean up their toys every night so when they went to bed, there was white space.

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    1. White spaces.

      Yes, yes, Theresa. Not everyone understands, but that's ok 😉.

      Delete