Spring Cleaning De-Clutter Challenge

By on April 18, 2016

By Carol Lovegren-Miller –

Finding a coupon that expired in 2002 on my desk, alerted me to the realization that I have a clutter problem.  As a result I took the clutter challenge: give away, throw away or sell 2016 items.  I was sure that I wouldn’t find 2000 things because I regularly fill a “give-away bag” in my front closet, but surely I could part with 16 items.  When I delved into dusty closets, drawers and shelves, I found not just 16 items but 216.

How freeing to have clear counters and spacious, organized shelves and drawers again.  Best of all, I am not likely to miss what I got rid of because I looked for possessions that I have not used, read, or worn in the last two years. I tossed old craft projects for which I have no plans, shampoo that I would not purchase again, books I am not really interested in reading, a lamp waiting to be repaired–that I haven’t repaired, a bowl that is “too nice to use”, cleaners that were such a good buy that I couldn’t pass them up even though I didn’t really want or need them, and tablecloths given to me that I don’t use or even like!


IMG_0372 - CopyClutter in our home and garage often prevents us from finding what we need, forcing us to buy the item again. Once my husband, Kyle, realized that clutter costs him money, he jumped right in to de-clutter his space as well. He started out by demanding that I throw out my useless cans of paint.  Ironically, when we sorted through the cans, we discovered most of the paint cans were from his projects, not mine.  Even so, we disposed of three cans which were taking up valuable space.    

As clutter accumulates, we find ourselves renting or building more storage areas.  Worse, our expensive car sits in the rain because piles of junk fill our garage. Junk that must be moved, repaired, cleaned, safeguarded, and worked around. 

In fact, working around clutter makes the chore of cleaning a much bigger task.  More disturbingly, when our house is cluttered we are hesitant to be hospitable and invite others into our home. IMG_1499

Clinging to clutter preempts generosity. Those trouble-making, dust-collecting items could be a huge blessing to someone else.  So what if we gave away a sander and then later realize that we needed it.  The blessings we have bestowed on others and the advantages of less mess outweigh an occasional oops.

Many heirlooms being saved to pass on could be passed on now.  That tarnishing silverware may be on our son’s wish list… or we may discover that no one in the family even wants the silverware!  It is inconsiderate to burden heirs with the painful job of having to sort, give away and sell piles of deteriorating possessions.

IMG_1495Years ago I resolved to follow the one-in, one-out rule1.  For example, for every Christmas gift I bring home, I look for something to toss to make room for the new treasure.  The old adage–use up, make do, and do without–also helps reduce clutter. 

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 wise King Solomon observed, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under the heaven… A time to keep and a time to throw away….” 

Delight yourself and others, take the 2016 clutter challenge!


1”Clutter’s Last Stand”, by Don Aslett.

Carol Lovegren Miller and her husband of 32 years, Kyle, share a passion for wilderness adventures, teaching, and Jesus.

Carol Lovegren-Miller

About Carol Lovegren-Miller

Carol Lovegren Miller has been married to Kyle for 32 years and has three grown children. She bakes, cans, organizes church events, and substitute teaches in between her adventures and writing." Carol can be reached at [email protected]

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Spring Cleaning De-Clutter Challenge