One of the happiest days in my life was when I learned “cleanliness is next to godliness” is not in the Bible! Now, you will never see my house on an episode of hoarders (although right before a huge project, more than one room might qualify) and I don’t think the health department will shut down my heavily Clorox wiped kitchen any time soon. I will readily admit to the fact that my house will never pass a white glove inspection or be featured in a magazine with minimalist decor standards.
I used to feel really guilty about it. Finally, one of my best friends told me to “get over it”. I looked at her with shock. I had been raised in a household where our drawers and bedrooms had to be kept perfectly neat at all times. Saturday mornings, we all cleaned the house together for most of the morning. My housekeeping wouldn’t meet the standards of any of the women I had known growing up in the era of homemakers.
As my friend continued to explain, her rationale for her own “clutter” around her house started to make sense to me. Within reason, clutter means activity. My personal clutter right now includes homeschooling our daughter, writing Bible lessons for mission teams to an orphanage, a craft project for homeless children, my daughter’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, donations ready to head out the door to several charities and more.
What does the clutter around your house reveal about your family and its projects? If the clutter is from children who have not been taught to help mom and take good care of their possessions, then yes, some cleaning and some training are in order. If, however, your clutter is the clutter of spending quality time with your children and their friends and helping others, then I say “Power to the Clutter!”
A life cluttered with serving others and sharing our faith with them is a well-cluttered life. To serve others means we often have projects in process or waiting by the door to be delivered to them. Our kitchens may be covered in flour as we bake cookies with our children for shut-ins. Our foyers may be covered with the still wet footprints of guests who dropped by our house for advice or comfort. Our dining room tables may need to be cleared of projects for others before we can even think about dining on them.
When you walk into your adult child’s home, which would you rather see – a sterile, magazine photo shoot ready home with no action for God or a slightly cluttered home over-run with love, service and faith sharing? Now, I know some of you are able to do both. I honestly believe that may be your special gift from God. It may allow you to entertain on the spot in ways I must have two days advance notice to achieve! For the rest of us though, “Power to the Clutter!”
Do you surround your kids with the clutter of love, service and faith-sharing? What projects are creating clutter around your home right now? I would love for you to share with others in a comment below.