The Darker Side of Stuff

I’m putting our house on a diet. It’s Boxing Day, and all I can think about is how over-stuffed it feels in here .

I can’t escape it; in every corner of the house (and sometimes, it’s not even confined to the corners) it is there, accumulating. 

It feels suffocating. It makes household management seem impossible, an unreachable summit.

But beyond that, there is another feeling.

Is it embarrassment? Shame? Guilt?

I definitely think there is such a thing as false guilt. Is that what’s happening here? Perhaps I just feel embarrassed about my lack of organisation…

But this is not false guilt. Because beyond revealing my lack of organisation and the feeling of suffocation, having an over-stuffed house is a spiritual issue.

Directly, owning more than we need is greed. Indirectly, it is also contributing to the oppression of others (as I discussed here, under point 3).

So I think this sick feeling in my gut is more than just embarrassment, it is the gracious and firm prompting of the Holy Spirit, pointing out an area that needs growth (or perhaps, pruning?).

This will take time, and I’m thinking it’s going to be one of the main things I work on in 2016, in two parts.

  1. Growing in contentment in Christ – this tackles the problem of greed at it’s core, which is not being fully satisfied with Christ.
  2. De-cluttering the house – this tackles the material problem of having too much stuff.

This morning, in the middle of feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff, I wrote a quick list of stuff to get rid of, just to make a dent in it all right away. Then we worked on it through the day. But I have some more ideas for tackling the stuff over the coming weeks and months.

Anyway, I thought I might make this a bit of a series on the blog, with “challenges” as I go, in case anyone wants to join in. But even if no one else joins in, I figure this will be a good way of keeping myself motivated and accountable.


House Diet – Challenge 1

Donate or Throw Out (depending on quality):

  • 5 items of clothing
  • 5 pairs of shoes
  • 5 books
  • 5 toys
  • 5 pantry or freezer items
  • 5 thing from the bathroom cabinet
  • 10 pieces of rubbish





4 thoughts on “The Darker Side of Stuff

  1. This is great Jess! I feel the same way about all my stuff. I love getting stuff but I’m never satisfied and just want more stuff. My lifestyle doesn’t fit with my belief about this world and the world to come. I’m on board for the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know what my small group at church did? We had a “garage sale for orphans”! (Google it, it’s an organization). We took all the “stuff” that was creating clutter in our homes, sold it at a big garage sale, and donated the money to orphans! We only made about $750 because only poor immigrants from south america and india came to shop so we had to keep knocking the prices down, but that was good in it’s own way that local poor people were being helped too.

    I know it’s not really seasonal to do that right now, but it was a very cool!

    I have ADD so I have to be an anti-clutter fanatic. Most women just don’t understand their limit when it comes to how much “stuff” they can manage before it starts managing them.


  3. Welcome to the blog, Lee lee.
    That’s a great idea, about the garage sale for orphans.
    Would you say your house is pretty organised most of the time, or does it go in cycles?
    Honestly, I don’t think greed is just a women’s issue, although it probably manifests differently for men and women much of the time.
    I also think it’s entirely possible for someone to have a very neat and well organised house, but still have too much stuff. It’s just that in my situation, the physical state of the house has tipped me off to a spiritual problem.


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