Doing more with less. Minimalizing.
It sounds so Christian, doesn’t it!
Yet commercials, items on a sale rack, or seeing things the neighbors have (coveting) leads many to purchase more stuff. Stuff that requires us to cram our closets to the max, rack up $1,000’s of credit card debit, and rent storage units.
A friend has been sharing on Facebook her journey of decluttering her home using the popular Japanese method of Marie Kondo. Intrigued, I did some research on Pinterest to find out more about the KonMari method. Understand I have not read any of Marie Kondo’s books. I am strictly going off what I have learned in cliff-note versions.
Here are the main points that I found in my research.
- Organize by category, not by room.
For example…instead of organizing the toys in the playroom and then those in the bedroom, pull all of the toys to one location and sort.
- Hold everything to decide whether to keep, give, or sell.
Place the item in your hands and see what emotion it brings.
- Only keep things that “spark joy.”
Keep the items that create a joyful feeling when holding them.
As I spent time thinking through the process, I realized there is a major piece missing in the KonMari method. And I believe this missing part of minimalization is the most important.
According to Marie Kondo, keep only the things that bring you joy. But through the process I discovered that getting to the root of why you have the item in the first place is just as important as deciding what to keep. Our desire to accumulate stuff, our inability to let go of things, and not putting the items we own away correctly is a joy-robber which keeps us from serving God to our fullest.
The desire to collect and keep “stuff” circles around a heart issue.
A heart issue?
It was a surprise to me too!
This is what I saw in my children and myself through this process.
1. Wanting more is being discontent.
I love the verse from Philippians 4:12 that says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Paul learned what it meant to be content in all circumstances. I want to develop in my children a content heart and accumulating more stuff doesn’t help develop this character.
2. Hoarding is caused by fear.
While the second half of Hebrews 13:5 is a familiar verse, I was unfamiliar with the first part. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Instead of hoarding, I need to remember that God will never leave or forsake me. I don’t need to live in fear.
3. Incorrectly putting items away stems from laziness.
Colossians 3:23 is my favorite parenting verse, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” My kids and I discuss that when they hide things or don’t put items away correctly it is not working with all their heart for the Lord. Instead, it is laziness.
Of course there is a balance in all of this, but in our home I noticed that the reason why we had overflowing closets was a heart issue – being discontent, fear, and laziness.
Desiring to remove issues of the heart and build a content spirit in my kiddos and myself, we grabbed garbage bags and dove in. We don’t want stuff to rule us and give the enemy a foothold. We want to be free to bless others and glorify God.
How About You?
Are your closets overflowing? Is “stuff” killing your joy? I encourage you to spend the next week praying about this and I’d love to hear what you learn.