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Stuff, Junk and Other Mess Makers

You know that moment when you feel like you’re about to lose it? You’ve had it up to here and you’re about to blow a gasket. I had one of those the other day. I even wrote and scheduled a nice little blog post about all of things that went wrong with three nifty little solutions for us to try out together.

But let’s face it. A few bullet points and a checklist aren’t really going to fix it. Not for me; and probably not for you. Am I right?

Here’s the short story, maybe you can relate. I was going about my just-fine day when I thought I could squeeze a workout in before school with the kids. (Maybe being selfish was my first problem!) When I went to lay my yoga mat down, I realized that there was to much stuff in the way, again! 

That’s when it happened. 

How many times do I have to sweep this room?

Why is there another layer of toys?

Why didn’t you put this stuff away before you got out another thing?

Clutter collection baskets.

That was the trigger. Stuff, junk and other mess makers.
If you don’t know me well, I need to tell you that I actually have a reputation for being a ruthless pitcher of stuff. I’m no hoarder. And I’ve worked with my kids on putting away! 

So I thought that if I, an infamous donator/dumper of junk was still struggling with a clutter battle than maybe someone else out there could relate.

At first I thought part of the problem was my personality. I’m the artistic, squiggly lines, never do things the boring old way type of person. So naturally, I’m not going to spend my days following my munchkins around picking up after them just so my house is picture perfect. Hello! I can just collect it in a basket and do something way more fun and beautiful! Procrastination station!

But then I had a chat with a couple of friends of mine. The kind that are wonderfully different than I, whom I lovingly call my “straight lines, label-making, by-the-book” friends. They seem to have housekeeping super-powers and usually pay me this “compliment” when they come for tea: 

“I love how you’re comfortable having me over, even when your house isn’t perfect.”

Mind you, this is after I cleaned. Thank you..? Yes. Thank you. 

I actually am glad they come over and breathe our very “lived-in” air. It’s good for both of us.

Anyways, these very tidy friends of mine were (surprisingly) just as frustrated with the toys, laundry, storage etc. The only difference is that I choose to live with a little clutter because my personality doesn’t demand otherwise. So instead of being frustrated by seeing clutter around them, they are frustrated with the amount of time they spend containing it.

Maybe you’re like me. Or maybe you’re like them. But the chances are, managing possessions has gotten to you before. 

Well friend, I’ve realized that the solution is not in any checklist. Nope, not even my own. There isn’t a flow-chart or a bin system (not even IKEA, gasp!) that can relieve this angst that comes with a never ending to-do list.

You see, the issue isn’t the stuff…it’s us.


The way we view the things we own dictates how we treat those objects. In fact, everything we do reveals what we believe deep down. Most of us choose to believe that we’re saving money, pleasing our family or just remembering something special by keeping an indivial item. But those items add up to a house-full, maybe even over-full.

So before we go diving in to spring cleaning, minimalist living or flow charts, can we just do one thing together?

Can you and I just pay attention to our attitudes about the stuff

If you notice you’re the sentimental stuff-keeper, maybe keeping a journal of the special memories would free you from holding on to the thing. 

Or if you’re the type who just wants everyone to enjoy themselves with all of it, maybe it’s time to do an experiment. On separate occasions we have packed up all of our children’s toys/clothes expect a favorite few. Try it; see what happens. For us, we got the most cheerful kids we’ve ever had. Now I’ve learned it might just have to be a yearly occurrence.

When the stuff goes away, play goes on! Sailing, swords & sharks with cardboard boxes.

I think if we can become truly aware of the unhealthy attitude inside, we can each begin to take the right next step toward a peaceful home.

If you’re a Christian, you might ask the Holy Spirit to reveal wrong beliefs about possessions and replace those with Truth from the Bible. 

If you’re not try thinking about, even meditating on the peaceful home you’d like to have and ask yourself what’s keeping you from that. 

I’m with you. I refuse to accept these frustrations, small or large, as standard. Will you do this one thing with me, believing that we can have a more beautiful everyday?

Published inHome & Kitchen


  1. I agree so much with this post. It’s definitely about attitude at some point, and not the chores/stuff or even the time.

    • eliciajohnson eliciajohnson

      Thanks Lauren!

    • eliciajohnson eliciajohnson

      Thank you. I think more of us battle with this than we even realize!

  2. Love this! I can identify with the “stuff frustration” and love your ideas and thoughts on it. I feel so privileged to call you a friend! 💗

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