Christmas is over and we decided we were going to clean out the garage. We agreed in advance that we would get rid of stuff that we accumulated over time that we really didn’t need.  It’s funny how easily things accumulate and clutter up the space, and thus making it difficult for even one car to fit in a two - car garage. To be honest I wish the garage was the only place that we have to worry about being cluttered, but unfortunately it’s not.

The problem with clutter is: When you are looking for something in particular you aren’t always guaranteed to find it when you need it. The reality is… it’s so much easier to find the necessities if all the other junk were removed. 

How Clutter Happens

We all collect things for a number of reasons. Maybe you think you’ll need to use it later, or it has sentimental value. Maybe you spent good money on it so you feel you need to keep the item, even if you haven’t touched or used it in months, or even years. You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago that you swear you’ll read. Or those killer pair of shoes that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion. But the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things and it literally hurts your brain to come to terms with that fact.

The more you’ve committed emotionally or financially to an item, the more you want to keep it around.

When it comes to physical things, merely touching an item can cause you to become more emotionally attached to it.

I read an article about Apple stores and my recent visit to Apple confirms what I read. The article stated… “Apple is familiar with the effect of touch on your psychology and has brilliantly designed its retail stores to help you build an emotional attachment to their products.”  If you have visited an Apple store you will notice everything in the store is designed for you to touch and play with, This gives you a sense of connection to the item. This psychological connection to things is what leads to the accumulation of stuff.

Clutter Isn’t Just Physical

The numerous notifications from your Insta-gram, text messages, Facebook accounts, and anything that goes “ping” competes for your attention. The overconsumption of digital stuff has the same effect on your brain as physical clutter. This clutter affects your ability to maintain focus and perform tasks.

By the way, My wife and I accomplished our goal of cleaning the garage and it is so much nicer. But, as we enter a new year with fresh starts, I am committed to setting aside opportunities to de-clutter my heart and mind which is even more important than the garage.   If you’re like me, my heart and mind gets weighed down with clutter. I know if I don’t take the time I need to spend with God and let His words pour over me, my thoughts become saturated with my list of things I need to do and past and future worries. When that happens it is difficult to remain focused on that which ought to have priority in my life.

The truths of God’s word have taken residence inside of me but the clutter does a great job of muffling His voice. How much easier it would be to find – God’s truths – tucked in your heart if all the junk were removed.  So let’s be intentional about removing the things that distract you from hearing His voice.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8