De-Cluttering

Difficulty Parting With Stuff Could Be A Hoarding Disorder

Being stuck at home because of the pandemic has made me face the truth that I need to do some painting. I have a new gallon of paint ready for needed touch-ups and closet doors. Feeling I should start with the closet doors in my bedroom, I realized that the closet inside also needs painting. I told Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, that cleaning out my closet would cause me too much stress. The painting will have to wait.

Ed said that it should not take me long to empty the closet with an eye to recycling, fixing, cleaning, or mending articles. I should be able to trash or donate some of my junk and have a smaller accumulation of stuff to put back in a newly painted closet. De-cluttering and downsizing have been simple for Ed.  He and Ruby have not moved in forty years. His downsizing has been painless in that he has not had to face parting with the stockpile of items that might have value someday. When in doubt about keeping or trashing something, Ed takes the things to his farm. His empty barn is a refuge for the stockpile of just-in-case stuff that he might use or need someday.

Many of us are not good at downsizing when it comes to closets, basements, garages, and sheds. We hang on to what we might use or need someday. Hoarding is defined as a persistent difficulty parting with possessions even when their actual value is questionable. A hoarding disorder is when one has an excessive accumulation of little real value, but the collection is perceived as too important to part with.

Possessions like money are hard to keep in the right balance.  How many possessions do we need? What should we keep or save? What should we discard or give to another who could use our stuff or needs it more than we do? Part of our sinful nature is the desire to have more than enough. It is often seen as wise to store up, stash away, collect, stockpile, and accumulate possessions and money. Possessions and money promise security and contentment, but in our craving for them, we may wander away from our faith in God.

1 Timothy 6:7-9 reminds us, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of the world. But if we have food and clothing with these, we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

In Matthew 6:19,24, Jesus warns, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Our contentment is found in fighting the good fight of faith. Our heavenly Father knows our needs for food, clothing, and shelter. He gives us our daily bread and calls us to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. These are to be the treasures of our hearts.

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Raymond Maher
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