100 Ways To Cope With Stress – Day 20 – Unclutter your life

I have a confession — I love to watch TV shows about hoarding. I am fascinated by the hoarder’s mentality. Sometimes I am appalled by the grossness of what they hoard and how they relegate themselves to this unclean lifestyle.

I don’t consider myself a hoarder as they are portrayed on TV. You can see lots of carpet and flooring in my house, and you don’t have to walk on top of piles and piles of clothing. But I do hoard some things. My refrigerator is always crammed full of food. I don’t know what has caused me to think I need to store so much food that sometimes gets thrown away because it’s gone bad. Is it a lack of trust God will always provide?

I also hoard books, but I think that’s because I am a writer, and I love to read. I look at my books, as they clutter up my bedroom, and I think to myself, “I will never have time to read them all.” And yet, even this Saturday I plan to attend our town’s  annual gigantic book sale in order to find book treasures.

I hoard Ziploc bags. Don’t ask me why. The other day I organized my pantry, and I discovered I have 600 of those mini bags. Yes, I am a hoarder in some instances. But my house is fairly clean and straightened – it’s just food, books and baggies which seem to clutter up my home and my mind.

The dictionary describes clutter as, “To fill or spread over in a disorderly manner”. A good website I found on stress caused by clutter is http://stress.about.com/library/lifestylequiz/blcluttercomment.htm. An excerpt from that site says, ” As several studies and a recent poll on this site have indicated, people experience plenty of stress from jobs, finances and other areas of our lives. When we come home, we want to feel like we’re entering a refuge, safe from the demands of life. But does your home provide a safe harbor from stress, or is it causing you additional stress that you might not be aware of? If you have a cluttered, poorly decorated or somewhat disorganized living space, home relaxation can be virtually impossible!”

I think it’s important to ask ourselves the reason behind why we collect things to the point of clutter. Is it a lack of faith or trust in God who declares He will provide even if our resources end? Is deep-seated bitterness or anger causing depression and affecting how we feel about God, ourselves and our homes? I think clutter is an outward expression of what is going on inside.

In my life, I can understand the source of buying too much food or too many books, but I can’t understand about the bags!


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