Clutter Clean Out
By Terri Savelle Foy
One of my favorite subjects to share about is pursuing your dreams and your goals. Why? Because I personally discovered this is key to having a successful life. And not just goals that are wishful thinking, but goals for your life that you really plan to achieve.
I’m going to share with you a success principle that I believe will prepare you for promotion. Right now God is preparing you to move into the next thing he has for you. And I want to help you step into this promotion.
You’re going to think it sounds really simple, and it is, but its impact on your life is profound.
Did you know that clutter blocks success? It’s been said that the way you do ANYTHING is the way you do EVERYTHING. That means if your house, car, or office is a disorganized mess, your life and your mind could be a disorganized mess too.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the average executive wastes 6 weeks a year looking for misplaced files and papers. Imagine how your life would be different if it was more organized. Perhaps you would reduce the amount of times you are late or your bills are paid late; you would waste less time looking for things, you would spend less money replacing items you can’t find. You would experience a new level of peace in your home. Beyond all of those benefits, I believe you are also positioning yourself to receive more blessings from God. When you are faithful over the things you have, God can give you more.
If we are honest with ourselves, we can acknowledge the side-effects that come from a cluttered life. Clutter will cause you to feel overwhelmed, it robs your energy, costs money, takes away the peace and beauty of your home, and simply makes life harder.
It’s true that when projects (even ones around the house) go unfinished…. not only do they take up physical space but they also take up MENTAL SPACE!
All of your unfinished projects are DRAINING your ENERGY and STEALING your PEACE!! That is why Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 14:40 to, “Let ALL things be done decently and in order.”
It is really difficult to be successful with what God has entrusted to us when we are not organized. Why? Clutter and disorder cause a lack of peace, confusion, and waste time.
Let me ask you, “How many unfinished projects do you have in your life?” When we don’t complete what we start, we leave clutter in our lives and we aren’t free to fully embrace our future.
Finishing what you start is a success principle that can take you so much farther in life. Maybe you’re the type of person who gets excited about projects, but then you lose enthusiasm and somewhere along the way you just quit. For example, maybe you bought a language course because you want to “parle francais”. But after practicing for two weeks driving to and from work, you got tired of it and quit. Now nine months have gone by and all you can say is, “Ou sont les toilettes?” (Where are the toilets?)
Maybe you went to a scrapbooking party, got all excited and spent $250 on the 12×12 album, the cute stencils and the cutouts, but then it took you three days to do one page so you quit doing the scrapbooking. Now all the scrapbooking tools are piled up in a closet.
Maybe you visited a workout class at a gym and you felt like a fool the first time you did it. But then you caught on to it and you liked it. So, you signed up for the twelve month membership at the gym, went for two months and now you don’t even want to think about working out.
Or maybe you started writing a book and you’ve written two chapters and half of the third. Go back and finish what you start.
Years ago when my parents had no money—I mean, they were believing God to put food on the table, driving a car with like 200,000 miles on it—my Mom learned a profound principle that absolutely changed her life. This principle put us on a course that helped us become more successful and more blessed than ever.
The principle came from three simple words—“finish your laundry.” That’s it! Finish your laundry. The principle that God was revealing to her was this: Finish what you start and take care of what you’ve got.
Mom says that when they were going through this time of lack and insufficiency in their lives, she got into habit of never really finishing the laundry. She would wash the clothes, dry the clothes, and then put them all in a big pile and throw them on the guestroom bed.
She would leave them in the guest bedroom all week, two weeks, however long, just leave it there. And if she needed anything, she would go into the guestroom and just grab the clothes she needed or pull out the towel she needed.
Until one day while she was in there pulling something out of the pile, she just heard the Lord say, “Finish your laundry.” And she thought, what’s the big deal about finishing my laundry? And the Lord began to teach her to finish what you start and take care of what you’ve got.
Your laundry isn’t finished just because you wash it, dry it, and throw it in a big pile. He taught her to actually take the towels, fold them up, and go put them away. Then you have finished what you started.
It sounds pretty simple and pretty basic, but it comes straight from the word of God. Listen to Matthew 25:21 says, “You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things.” Another translation says, “Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things.”
Now that’s exactly what happened in Mom’s life. As she began practicing the habit of finishing what she started and taking care of what she had, then God began to bless her with better.
And you know the same principle is true with everything. You could be believing God for a new car, but the one you have is junky and the lining is ripped out of the roof, French fries are all stuck in the seats and straw wrappers tucked in little places. It’s dirty and hasn’t been washed since 2008, but you’re believing God for a new one.
This is a principle from the word of God. Clean that car up and take care of what you’ve got so God can bless you with better. Empty out all the trash, wash those seats off, vacuum up the floor, go get the car washed, do something! Take care of what you’ve got and show God that you’re going to honor Him with the small things so He can bless you with the bigger things.
I recently read an article from organization expert, Jennifer Ford Berry, about the cost of clutter. She says, “Clutter causes you to feel overwhelmed and depressed. Clutter robs you of energy and steals 50% of your storage space and makes life harder, you have to look longer, travel further, and dig deeper to find what you’re looking for.”
Clutter takes away the peace and the beauty of a home. It’s been said that the average individual wastes over three thousand dollars a year on disorganization. That’s a lot of money!
Finish what you start. Don’t look at all the messes in your house and clean a little bit in every room. No, start with one room. Focus on that one room until you feel good about it, and set it brings you peace. Grab your phone, set your alarm for twenty minutes. See what you can get done in twenty minutes time.
Do it again the next day. And do it again the next day. You know what? After you’ve been doing something for twenty minutes every day for a month, that’s ten hours of getting organized! You won’t even miss the twenty minutes! So that’s something you can do. JUST START: focus on cleaning out the clutter in your life.
Clutter can be found anywhere and its not just your physical surroundings. Anything taking up space in your mind that is left unfinished produces clutter. Clutter blocks success. So not only do we need to finish what we start and take care of what we’ve got but we
need to clean the clutter out of our lives.
Clutter can be any disagreement between the way you desire your life to be and the way it actually is.
Physical clutter is easy to understand (car full of trash, bills piled up, boxes needing to be unpacked, dishes in the sink, a messy room in your house, etc). However, mental clutter can be even more limiting.
Mental clutter is anything taking up space in your mind that is left unfinished. It could be:
• A phone call that needs to be made
• An apology that needs to be said
• A relationship that needs to be ended
• A book that needs to be finished
• A bill that needs to be paid
• A thank you note that needs to be written
• A will that needs to be settled
You can accomplish more of your goals when your clutter is cleaned up. Why? Because your mind isn’t pre-occupied with all that you “need to be doing”. It’s done. You’re at peace. Now, you can focus on the bigger picture.
The most successful people I know are organized people. They have a place for everything and a time schedule to do what needs to be done. The opposite is also true. It is very likely if someone’s house or car is a mess, their mind and life is a mess.
The Bible tells us that God wants us to prosper and have success (Joshua 1:8). However, I’ve discovered that when we are surrounded by clutter, success is hindered. Even if you enjoy a certain level of success today, I guarantee that if you remove clutter from your life, you will see an even greater level of success.
I encourage you to start by walking through each room in your house and writing down what needs to be done to clean up the clutter. It could be:
• Master Bedroom
• Wash sheets
• Clean off night stand
• Pick up clothes on the floor
• Put shoes in closet
• Dust mini-blinds
• Vacuum floor
• Make bed
After you’ve gone through each room and simply made a list of what needs to be done, choose the room to start with. Organizing experts recommend starting with the room you spend the most time in AND start with what’s visible to your eyes. Don’t start with the inside drawers of your dresser. When you can see your progress, you’ll stay motivated to finish! Set you alarm on your phone for 20 minutes and go for it! Do this every day and you will be amazed at the peace and energy that will result from a clutter-free life.
When you are free (of all clutter) you’ll see your dreams and goals more and more clearly. And as your vision becomes clearer, you’ll see the next step – and then the next step – leading you to successfully accomplishing your goals and fulfilling your dreams.
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For years, Terri Savelle Foy’s life was average. She had no dreams to pursue. Each passing day was just a repeat of the day before. Finally, with a marriage in trouble and her life falling apart, Terri made a change. She began to pursue God like never before, develop a new routine and discovered the power of having a dream and purpose.
As Terri started to recognize her own dreams and goals, she simply wrote them down and reviewed them consistently. This written vision became a roadmap to drive her life. As a result, those dreams are now a reality.
Terri has become the CEO of an international Christian ministry. She is an author, a conference speaker, and a success coach to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Her best-selling books Make Your Dreams Bigger than Your Memories, and Imagine Big have helped people discover how to overcome the hurts of the past and see the possibilities of a limitless future. Her weekly podcast is a lifeline of hope and inspiration to people around the world.
Terri Savelle Foy is a cheerleader of dreams and is convinced that “if you can dream it, God can do it.” She is known across the globe as a world-class motivator of hope and success through her transparent and humorous teaching style. Terri’s unique ability to communicate success strategies in a simple and practical way has awakened the dreams of the young and old alike.
Terri shares from personal experience the biblical concepts of using the gift of the imagination to reach full potential in Jesus Christ. From stay-at-home moms to business executives, Terri consistently inspires others to go after their dreams. With step-by-step instruction and the inspiration to follow through, people are fueled with the passion to complete their life assignment down to the last detail (see John 17:4).
Terri and her husband, Rodney Foy, have been married since 1991, and are the parents of a beautiful redheaded daughter, Kassidi Cherie. They live near Dallas, Texas. For more information about Terri, go to www.terri.com.