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What the Stuff!: Thoughts and Clutter


Everyone’s got it. Whether it’s a little or a lot, we all have stuff. We don’t truly realize how much stuff we have until we have to pick it up and move it somewhere else. Mind you, I’m not talking about the big things like furniture, but all the little stuff we end up collecting without much thought behind it. I’ve come to find that there are three main stages of a typical moving scenario that you go into:

  1. Organized Mover- Your intention here is to make sure everything is organized and has a place by the time you get to where you’re going. You’ve thrown whole rooms into boxes in hopes this will help you to look through, throw out, or keep whatever is in it. You feel centered, accomplished, and filled with patience.

  2. Impatient Mover- You now have all of these boxes full of stuff and you have to look through them. You become less picky on what you want and don’t want, but still trying to make the move organized, just faster. You‘re now impatient, rushing, and a little on edge but still trying to play it cool.

  3. The Done Mover- You in your mind have now decided that everything will be burned to the ground because quite frankly, you do NOT want to look at any more items and you just want to be moved in and finished. Things are just getting thrown places and you don’t care what it is or where it’s going. You’re frustrated, stressed, and completely over it.

Welcome to my life for the past 12 days and counting. My intention starting out was to not make the same mistake I did when I moved before. The last time we moved, we had about a day to get out and threw everything into a giant moving truck then dumped it all in our new garage. It took forever to go through and it was awful.

This time around, we have more time to sift through everything and place things where we actually want them. I hoped this would give me the upper hand on our stuff, making it a less anxiety-inducing situation. Starting at stage 1, I felt confident in my system of decluttering and organization I had in place. Even thought I could be good enough to write about it at one point. But as the days went on and I returned day after day to the boxes and the stuff, my confidence and patience began to wear thin. It didn’t feel like I was even making a dent anymore.

“Was someone adding more stuff while I was gone or something?!“ I'd think to myself when I walked in the door each day.

The big stuff was all gone at this point. All that was left were the small things. You wouldn’t think that the small things would cause so much anxiety and stress, but put it all together, it was incredibly overwhelming. During my transition into the Done Mover, I went to church just like I do every Sunday. This last Sunday was Mother‘s Day, so it was geared toward all the women and moms in the church. I felt like I was on the line of functioning and burn out and tipping toward burn out.

As I sat in service with the headache I had from trying to sort stuff the day before, my pastor said something that caught my attention.

”The average person has 50,000 thoughts in a single day.“ He then talked on how Paul stated that we need to take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and how it matters what thoughts you focus on. This got me thinking: 55,000 thoughts. 55,000 things that enter and exit our minds. That’s a lot of stuff. Stuff that can make or break our moods, perceptions, reactions, and interactions depending on which thoughts we decide to set our focus on. Our thoughts can easily spiral out of control, causing us to shift unexpectedly and over little to nothing. While thinking on this, all I could picture was the mountain of boxes filled with stuff sitting at my house. A bunch of little things that had overwhelmed me and turned me sour. It wasn’t 55,000 things but enough to make me feel outclassed and outmatched by it. I’ve seen on different social media sites how clutter can directly contribute to your mood and reactions. Never thought I would believe it until now. It’s been such a struggle to be in a good mood while trying to declutter and whatever mood I was in would just carry over through to the rest of my day. It’s not fair to anyone else in my life. They didn’t cause me to stress out and become frustrated, that’s on me and my thoughts.

After leaving church, I thought to myself: “It was a great message and all, but how could I apply it?!“

In my mind, taking your thoughts captive sounds a lot like centering yourself. I’m not one to be into “New Age” technics, but I’m finding that there’s something to centering yourself. Controlling your breathing and learning to just be still is a lot harder than I thought it would be. For the 5 minutes I got it right though, it was worth it. Centering calmed my mind, slowing down the thoughts enough to really reflect on what was entering and exiting my brain. This in turn made all the thoughts blasting through less overwhelming and easier to focus on. It gave me time to ask myself, "Why is this here?" and "Does this benefit me or not?". In a sense, centering helps pack your thoughts into different boxes of what you want to keep and what you wish to throw out. It's definitely something I recommend looking into to and learning more about.

It’s something I’m trying to learn and navigate still, I’ll update you guys in about a week or so 😊. I’m a work in progress in this department and there’s nothing wrong with that. Any movement forward, no matter how slow, is still forward.

As for the moving part, I have a very wonderful friend who took my blow torch away and is helping me with all my stuff. She’s in a way helping me to take captive my stuff and sort it all out with a calm mind. The boxes finally look like they’re diminishing and progress is being made. I’m thankful for the friends that can look past the overwhelming and make it simple. I’m making my way back to stage 1 slowly but surely.

That’s all from me this week! I hope you have a blessed rest of your week and I’ll see you next time!

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