I personally love winter. I prefer colder weather and enjoy seeing the snow, bundling up with sweaters and scarves, and getting cozy with warm blankets by a fire with a mug of something hot, but there is something truly great about spring. Something fresh; something freeing.
Spring is the perfect time to go through our belongings, weed out the items we don’t need anymore, and make some room, to declutter. While this is important for our physical living spaces, it is just as important to do within our own selves.
A declutter and detox to make room for the better and healthier.
When we neglect a little “spring cleaning” both in our homes and in our hearts, not only do things get cluttered, but there can be things taking up space that don’t need to be and that aren’t beneficial, and perhaps, there are things developing that shouldn’t be.
So what is clutter? It’s the things in our lives that are not dealt with. You know, like all those clothes that you no longer wear because they’re too big or small or you simply just don’t like them anymore. It’s the stacks of magazines that are occupying your desk space that are from five or more years ago. In the same way, the clutter in our hearts can be the unforgiveness we’ve not addressed that has now become bitterness. It can be the jealousy that has become the envy that arises every time a certain person’s name is mentioned or a certain face is before us.
So let’s address this spring cleaning of all our clutter in two categories: the physical (our homes or apartments) and the spiritual (our heart and soul).
If you’re like me, you may have limited living space and must be mindful of what you own. We know from Matthew 6:19, 1 John 2:17, and 1 Corinthians 7:31 that the things of this world will not last, so I believe it’s important that we keep our materialistic possessions narrowed down.
Ask yourself, “Am I hoarding? Is this necessary for my daily life? Will I use this at all within the next year? Is this sentimental or insignificant?” If you’ve got a box of photos or that blanket your grandma sewed, sentiment is fine, but if something doesn’t have meaning, purpose, or worth to you personally and isn’t crucial to your life (like all those taxes you have to hold onto in case the IRS gives you a visit), then it’s likely you need to toss it. You don’t necessarily have to throw these things in the trash, so try donating them to a local shelter or nonprofit that may be in need. Some stores even take lightly used clothes in exchange for a discount (for example, H&M). Sometimes our spring cleaning looks like actual cleaning, but sometimes it looks like dwindling our possessions. Be sure to ask yourself and honestly answer some questions like the ones I’ve shared and then act on those answers.
Alright, this is where things can get really personal. The first thing is prayer. Pray that God will open your eyes to what needs to be addressed and that you are willing to 1) accept that it needs to be dealt with and 2) act on dealing with it. Then get into Scripture. See what it says in context about what you need to work through. We are told several times in Scripture to weed out the ungodly attributes and characteristics that can take shape in our lives (James 1:21, 1 Peter 2:1, Colossians 3:8, Ephesians 4:31-32, 5:1-21, Galatians 5:13-26). Let the Holy Spirit stir and convict, mold and grow you in this area or areas.
God loves us as we are but loves us too much to let us stay as we are. He desires to see us grow more like His Son and to be holy as He is, and that does mean some difficult stretches of brokenness and growth. Find accountability in whoever can help encourage and edify you in this. It can be easier, and even more fun, when you’re not doing it alone.
No one really likes spring cleaning, let alone cleaning in general, but it’s vital for our well-being. It’s an aspect of life that should not be neglected because when clutter is not dealt with, it becomes hazardous to our health. Although we should be addressing these things long before things begin to spiral, right now is the perfect time to open your windows, dust off the shelves, and grab those trash bags – time to clean.