©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

“Decluttering in our house? Seems like fiction,” my husband said with a grin (or was it a grimace?) when I shared this writing topic.

Don’t worry.  He’s definitely still in the KEEP category.

What should we throw out? Pass on? Keep?

In my house, papers breed!  Papers from places I’ve worked, projects I’ve handled, events I’ve organized.  They’re in file cabinets, plastic tubs and scattered atop my desk. 

Then, there are clothes.  Although I’ve donated lots to the rescue mission and Dress for Success, it’s time to accept that if any remaining items are two sizes smaller, they deserve a happy home!

One size smaller?  I’m keeping those.  Label that “Storing Hope!”

Oh, and books.  It’s possible we’re addicted.  I’ve not only stopped counting how many books we own, but also how many bookcases we have. We give away over a hundred gently-loved books a year, along with borrows for vacation trips or surgery recuperation reads.  Are you thinking mini-library?!

Home declutter is the hot topic of the day, but what about… A Spiritual Clean Out? 

What should we throw out?  Pass on?  Keep? 

Throw Out

Whatever blocks a close and deepening relationship with the Lord. 

Let’s look in the closets of our minds and hearts and purge any negative items piling up.

  • Any bitterness or unforgiveness still hanging in there?
  • Are anger or arrogance our accessories?
  • See any slander or strife stacked up?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Hebrews 12:1a NIV

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31 NIV

Give to Others

The love we’ve found through Christ.

Don’t hide it or hoard it.  Share it with others.

Through gifts of time, hospitality, spiritual encouragement, financial resources and forgiveness, we can show His love to others.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Romans 12:13 NIV


Trust in God.  Community with others.

What matters most?  Our relationships with God and with one another. Despite any stains, shrinking or torn spots in the fabric of our lives, when we place God first in our “keep” pile and add others second, we build our hearts and homes with what will last and hold value.

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  2 Thessalonians 2:16 NIV

Now, here are…

Seven Fun Ways to Declutter Your Home

  • Ask a candid (but kind) friend to go through your closet and help you choose what should stay and go. Guys – just ask your wives.
  • Pull out all your pants; pile them up; put on a movie or music and try them on. If they don’t fit and you can’t dance around in them, let them go to another two-legged creature.
  • Give those travel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, etc. you’ve been saving to someone who will use them. Call today to see which shelters accept them. Had them longer than two-three years? If in doubt of their usability, don’t pass them on.
  • Host a Refresh and Read party. Line your stairs with books (or tables, counters and couches if you’re in a one-story), and invite friends to come over for refreshments and books to carry home.
  • Build a shelf above your garage door on the inside. Store Christmas and holiday décor in plastic tubs there until the season comes around. Before putting the tubs up, go through and see how you can make someone else’s holiday more festive.
  • Invite out-of-town friends to visit. A sure motivator to neaten guest rooms, the experience will, more importantly, result in fun friend time. Maybe you’ll convince them to carry some items home.
  • Host at least one or two get-togethers a month. Benefit both from the interactions and the preparations you’ll do – provided you don’t throw everything in the closet.  (Uh…you haven’t been watching me, have you?)


What category of household items do you need to declutter the most?

Which friend(s) would you trust to tell you what to get rid of in your closet?

What do you think needs tossing during your spiritual declutter? 


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™




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