Kaye Harper: de-clutterer extraordinaire and queen of less. She gives workshops on how to remove the extraneous from your life and fill it with peace, joy, and space instead.
And she’s a fraud.
(note: links in this post may be affiliate links which will give me a small commission at no additional cost to you!)
Look, I don’t like to call my own character such a libelous word, but look. Truth hurts. Her cupboards may be clean, organized, and free of stuff she never uses and doesn’t want, but that doesn’t mean she is.
What on earth am I talking about?
Mind clutter. Online clutter. Guilt clutter. Oh, Kaye is loaded with that one. It’s stuffed in all the little places she hides so well.
And she’s not the only one.
And that’s kind of my point. There is more than one way to clutter one’s life. You can do it with hobbies, “friends”, social media, email, Pinterest–the list is endless. And really, these are harder to spot and harder to eradicate. They creep in, take over, bury you in frustration, and leave you weary in mind and body.
And I blame Kaye for all of that in my life. Because I can. And because she can’t defend herself. Oh, and because she’s not real.
But all is not lost!
You can eliminate a lot of it without a lot of stress. How? One. Thing. At. A. Time. And here’s a list of ways I’ve heard of people doing that very thing!
- Cut out direct sales parties (some people I know only allow themselves to attend “kick off” parties when friends begin their businesses and then decline future ones. They simply contact their representative if they want more information and delete all Facebook invites after the first. When asked, they say, “I’m sorry. I want to support you and I will–just as soon as I need something.” I bet Kaye would do this.
- Unfollow people on Facebook who cause stress in your life. You don’t have to unfriend Aunt Crankypants but you can turn off notifications and unfollow her. That way, you can make a note to stop on her wall once a week or every other week, say hi, and move along. It’ll cut out a lot in your feed and voila! No emotional stress!
- Reevaluate hobbies. Some people have a dozen hobbies. That’s GREAT as long as those aren’t creating guilt from UFOs (unfinished objects) or creating too many “SQUIRREL” moments (you know, you’re halfway done with that quilt and BAM! You see this cute doll you want to learn to make! Maybe choose one or two to focus on for the quarter–or year.
- Classes. This can be related to hobbies. It also translates to kids. Do you need six classes a month? Does “Mom’s Night Out” refresh you or stress you? Go every OTHER time if you don’t want to give it up but it’s too much right now!
- Pinterest. It’s a guilt producer if you let it. So schedule your Pinterest time and stay off if it burdens more than blesses you.
- Bible Studies. I know people BURDENED by the many (or unhelpful) studies they’re involved with. It’s Bible so it’s important, right?
Have I lost my mind? The Bible is important! We can’t cut out Bible Study Tuesday! You can if it isn’t doing what it’s supposed to. If you aren’t learning, if it’s dragging you down spiritually–. Wait. Yes, I see the looks of incredulity through the computer screen.
And yes. I know it’s happening all over the US. Men and women, every week, attend Bible studies that actually hinder their spiritual walk. How? Well, just listen to their words and tell me how it wouldn’t? These are things I’ve heard people say about some of their Bible studies.
- I’m not comfortable with the book they chose, but I’ve been going for years. I don’t want to just quit because I don’t like the book.
- Our church has a silent but blaring expectation for attendance.
- No one actually reads the book. They just sit around and gossip.
- I have to wake the kids up, they get cranky for missing their naps, and then our whole day is shot. I think my kids are learning to hate it.
- It’s so expensive. Between the books, the leader gifts, the lunches or evening coffee things–I can’t afford it, but I can’t say that I can’t afford time in God’s Word!
- I think it would be worth it if we actually read the Bible instead of some book that sometimes mentions it. I’m tired of people expecting me to be excited about someone’s opinion of the Bible instead of the real thing!
And that last one? It’s the one I hear most.
That and number 3 up there. Tell me how those are not damaging to one’s spiritual growth?
It’s true of many things, not just Bible Studies. Classes that started out helpful but you never progress. Library time where you end up leaving more often than not because the books chosen were too much. Instagram where you scroll for fifteen minutes before you find a post that interests you. TV shows that you started, liked, and now stick with because you’ve been with them from the beginning, but you don’t even care anymore.
Declutter this stuff from your life. I am. It’s my goal this week. What do you cling to that clutters your mind or life that you really don’t want, don’t need, and won’t miss?