When You Finally Lose It Over Clutter and Chaos

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That Moment When You Know Your Clutter and Chaos Have Taken Over Your Life

In my defense, it took ten days.

Ten days of jet lag and chaos, ten days of trying to juggle being a nurse and a mom and a boss and a friend.  Ten days of struggling to catch up and keep up with the endless list of to-dos that only kept getting longer.  Ten days of trying to prioritize and give myself grace, of trying to ignore the things that could be ignored and just get done only what absolutely had to.

And then, yesterday, I simply couldn’t take it anymore.

I lost it.

I wish I could say I lost it gracefully, quietly, stoically…. but alas that was not the case.  My meltdown was loud and messy and, if I’m being totally honest, a little bit irrational.

The final straw, the one that broke the camel’s back?

I ran out of clean underwear.

Yep.

Not a pair to be found, not even the ones at the bottom of the drawer that I don’t normally wear because, well, they really should be thrown away.  And suddenly I looked at the huge pile of laundry in the corner sitting next to the still-unpacked suitcases full of more dirty clothes, and the STUFF piled on every surface in every room paired with the dirty dishes in the sink and the dust and debris on the floor, and I was completely and utterly overwhelmed.

In that moment, I just couldn’t take it anymore.  The weight of everything I had been carrying for the last ten days suddenly felt to heavy to bear.

So naturally, I had a little temper tantrum.  Okay, a big temper tantrum.

All the stress and frustration and overwhelm I had been holding at bay came pouring out, and for the next two hours, I very loudly and very angrily cleaned the house from top to bottom.  I changed the sheets and cleaned the bathroom, washed the dishes and swept the floor, unpacked my suitcase and finally attended to all that laundry in the corner.

And while I’m not proud of the fact that I completely lost it for a little while, I can say with absolutely certainty that getting my house back in order was without a doubt the antidote to my overwhelm.

Getting my house back in order was without a doubt the antidote to my overwhelm.

Suddenly I felt like I could breathe again.  Suddenly the list of things I had to do didn’t feel quite so long.  Suddenly I felt a lot more calm and ready to deal with whatever curveballs life threw my way.

The ironic thing is, I know this about myself!  In fact, in the first chapter of my new book, Unstuffed, I explain:

“Our homes are quite possibly the most open and honest reflection of our state of mind that we will ever find. The more cluttered and chaotic we are inside, the more our homes will reflect that confusion. But the opposite is also true. The more we can tame the physical space around us and create an environment that soothes, welcomes, and comforts, the calmer we will feel inside.”

But knowing it and living it are sometimes two different things, and I guess I just needed the reminder.  I think we all do sometimes.

So often in our lives, we find ourselves striving for a grace we have already been given. 

We fill our days with activity, running from one thing to the next, hoping to gain meaning and purpose, but never quite finding it. The world tells us we have to do something to matter, but the reality is the opposite. It’s already been done. The most important task on our to-do list is to simply accept it.

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1-2). This means not just throwing out those things we no longer want or need, though that is an important part of the process, but actively striving for the end goal. In order to get there, we need to have a clear picture of what that end goal looks like.

My challenge for you is this: if you are feeling overwhelmed or on the verge of losing it, is to take an hour or two to tame the chaos in your physical space.  Make the beds, do the dishes, tackle that laundry pile, clear the counters and the dining room table.  You might just be amazed at how much better you feel this week!

Bible Verses for Today

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. – 1 Corinthians 14:33

But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. – 1 Corinthians 14:40

Your Turn

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are to have perfect homes, and I don’t believe God wants us to become like Martha, putting organization above our relationship with him. (Recall the story in Luke 10:38-42, where Jesus visited the two sisters and friends. Mary sat and listened to him as he talked, but Martha objected to the fact that she was left with all the work.  Jesus told Martha not to worry about small things, but to concentrate on what was important – a relationship with him). Yet our God is clearly a God of order, and creating a home with a sense of peace allows us to serve Him and his Kingdom. Do you need to clear the clutter to find time to grow in your relationship with God and others? Are you starting Spring cleaning today? Put on your favorite Christian songs and make it an act of worship time! Join the conversation today on our blog, and don’t miss out on our fun Unstuffed 10-Day Challenge below!

Special Offer

Unstuffed Challenge Ruth Soukup

Are you ready to kickstart your Spring cleaning? Join the FREE 10-Day Unstuffed Challenge and start decluttering your home, mind, and soul! When you sign up you’ll receive a free digital workbook and videos!  Over the course of ten powerful video challenges, you’ll be inspired to calm the chaos in your home and schedule, and instead implement simple solutions that work. From pillows to paperwork and everything in between, this is one powerful decluttering challenge you won’t want to miss!

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The challenge is completely free to join, and all ten videos will be sent right here to your inbox. To sign up, simply click the link above! I hope you’ll join me and thousands of others going through the challenge together this spring!

Ruth Soukup

Ruth Soukup is a writer, blogger, entrepreneur, DIY-er, devoted wife, mom, and above all a child of a loving and gracious God. Her passion is encouraging and empowering other women to find hope and contentment in the midst of daily struggle. Ruth lives with her husband and two daughters in Florida.

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