Guest Blog: Getting Out from Under Clutter

Getting Out from Under Clutter

One day I just woke up and seemed to be buried in clutter. I do not know how it happened or when it happened but it did. I do know what happened though. Life happened.

It was several years ago now when we moved to this home. It came about through a series of catastrophic events in my life at the time. My spouse left, I got into a terrible automobile accident, and we had to move. My mother was living with us along with my thirteen-year-old son. My daughter was off at college at the time but rushed back to help us out. She was a godsend at the time. She helped me to find this home, which was about a third of the size of the home we were living in. She contacted a relocation company to move our things and also found CarsRelo, who moved our vehicles for us. She did all the organising with for that, as I’m not always great at that sort of thing. She then moved in with us to help out because I could not walk. So between my stuff, mom’s stuff, and my daughter’s stuff we were jam-packed.

The garage was full of furniture and boxes and the house was crammed with too much furniture. We had not planned on living here long and my daughter wanted to eventually get back to her life as she knew it. Like I said above, life happens and things do not always work out the way you plan. With my daughter trying to finish college, my son going into high school, and me taking forever to recover, not only physically but emotionally, we ended up being here a lot longer than we expected.

We tried for the longest time to pick up and move stuff around to clean underneath to keep the mess at bay. My mom was really good at this and she was the one doing most of the work because of my inability to get around. A few years went by and even though we were still surrounded with stuff it was not overwhelming. Then more life happened and after college my girl got a full-time job which kept her away. At the same time, mom started to get sick. We found out she needed carotid artery surgery and a triple bypass. Up until this time she was out cutting down trees with the chain saw we had gotten her for Christmas and she was seventy-seven.

After her surgery she stopped eating, was very weak, and was riddled with urinary tract infections. She could barely get up to use the restroom let alone do anything else. She ended up losing thirty-five pounds. So needless to say she was not cleaning. My daughter was working all the time and my son was busy being a teenager. It only took a short while before there was a noticeable change in the house. The dust was mounting and things started to pile up.

Since I was limited in what I could do it began to get out of hand very quickly. Not only was the house out of hand but I was also taking care of mom and we were going to the doctors at least once a week. I was exhausted and found myself in tears most days. My daughter did her best to help out when she could but no matter how fast or hard she worked it did not seem to make a dent in the clutter. We needed to get rid of a whole lot of things and there just was not enough time in the day for all that needed to be done. We were drowning in our own home under a sea of clutter.

The only time I get out of the house much anymore is to go to church and a Bible study every Tuesday evening. These times are precious to me and I have made some wonderful friends. I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to have the opportunity to meet the wonderful women I have met.

In the past few weeks I have felt so overwhelmed and have been praying and asking the Lord to help me with this house. It is hard to find rest in a home that is overrun with stuff. One Tuesday night I was so overwhelmed with it all that when the ladies asked how I was I finally had the courage to let them know what I was dealing with. It is so embarrassing to think of others seeing how we live that I had kept it to myself. I was surprised by the love and encouragement I received from my friends. I should not have been because I knew what loving women they are but so often it is hard to admit situations like we are in to others.

Several of the women said that they would be more than happy to come over and help us out. It was so encouraging but at the same time I did not know how I was going to feel when they saw the inside of my home. They asked me to call but I could not bring myself to do it. One lady kept calling me and asking when we were going to get started. I confessed to her that I was ashamed and she assured me that she cared about me and nothing could change that. So I told her to come and take a look.

When she came over I took her from room to room and all she kept saying was, “That’s doable!” I just looked at her and cried and kept hugging her over and over. She told me that we would just take on one thing at a time, for as long as I could handle it, if that was only thirty minutes that was fine. She assured me that it was not impossible and she did not run away screaming. This particular woman has the most beautifully decorated, immaculate home I have been in for a long time. I thought for sure she would flee the scene and never return.

She has since been here in my home working side by side with me and my daughter when possible. I have never seen anyone work so fast and with the ability to make decisions about what to keep and what to discard. And the whole time she is working she is chatting and making everyone feel at ease. I know the Lord sent her to us because I was asking Him for help. What a blessing.

Not only has she been helping with getting our home in order but in doing that she has encouraged us beyond measure. I am the type of person that sees the overwhelming mess; she has shown me that if you do not look at it as a whole but as separate little projects it is actually manageable. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Chinese Proverb)

You may be wondering what the point of this story is. There is a threefold reason I shared this with you. Life does happen and things sometimes get out of hand, that does not mean you are a bad person. We need other people in our lives and we can not stay shut off away from the world around us when we get overwhelmed. We need to trust in the love and kindness of others and give our pride to the Lord and let Him handle it. Just make sure the people you are trusting in are trustworthy. There are all kinds of supportive groups of people around that can help you. If someone hurts you then get away from them and seek out friends who are loving and kind.

It only took one person to come in and help us, not a team of people, just one loving person. If you find yourself in a situation like I am in then seek help from someone you trust. A family member or friend who is really organized can help more than you know. The most important thing I have learned is to look at it in small areas not on the whole and not to overdo it until I am too tired and want to give up on all of it. I just keep hearing my friend say, “It is doable.”

Since getting our home back in shape, we have even been inspired to start some renovation work. We would love to add value to our property by updating some of our fixtures and fittings, but it can be difficult to find the money to begin projects of this size. Loans can often be a useful way to pay for any home renovation projects. One of our friends recently had some renovation work completed on her property after using an online logbook loans calculator to workout home much money she could borrow based on the value of her car. If you are thinking of taking out a loan, just remember to do your research first.

Always curious, Ashley Hardway is constantly learning and passionate about sharing what she learns with others. Based in Houston, Texas, she loves to help families grow stronger, help their environments and communities, and keep moving forward! Check out @NannyLady on Twitter to connect and find out more

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