Clutter is Just Noise: a Look at Finding More Peace in Motherhood
Have you ever looked around at the things within in your home and spotted the piles of clutter and just felt a ton of emotions tied to it? Anxiety. Overwhelmed. Exhaustion. Regret. Tired. Guilt.
Clutter for me is a huge thing. I can’t stand it and while we try to do a good job of not allowing it to happen, it sometimes does. We always tend to have a paper stack of school papers, mail, crafts and more that builds up on the table or kitchen counter. IT. DRIVES. ME. CRAZY. And there’s no one else to blame other than me because I am the one that’s putting it there, but sometimes I just don’t know where else to put it. So it builds and it builds until it becomes a task that needs to be taken care of.
Clutter can be mind crippling in a sense. You can read of many women who share their testimony that when they lifted the clutter from their lives it led to less anxiety, less anger, less resentment, less impatience and so much more. More time enjoying life, more peace, more joy and much more grounded emotions.
Clutter comes from so much around us though; it’s not always just the mail stacked in the corner or the junk closet overflowing. It’s the obligations we have to do, it’s the running around that has to get done and the things you feel you have to do to compare to everyone else. It’s the noise we hear when we’re in our silent time or it’s the mental to do list taking over our thoughts during church. It’s the things that keep you from enjoying a spring day with your children on the weekend and it’s the toys all over the house that sometimes make you enjoy motherhood a little less.
Recently I was at a retreat where the priest said “Clutter is just noise.” And I knew he met all of these things. All of these things that we think we have to do and have to have here on earth to be fulfilled. That our children have to have all of their wish lists (I’m guilty of this too) and that our homes have to be top notch with the latest trends and pricey high tech things. We think our children have to do 4 extra curricular activities each just because other successful kids do this. We think that our children must make every single party and activity and buy every single school picture package and keep every single Happy Meal toy. It’s these little things that add up as just MORE.
I believe that in finding more peace in life that the key isn’t more…it’s less. It’s less obligations and less to do’s. It’s less things that you have to have and less toys to throw in a closet. It’s buy less and give away more. Finding peace is hard in today’s fast paced and over busy world. Mothers everywhere are dealing with anxiety and children have rooms full of toys they don’t touch (guilty again on this part) and trying to pray in church sometimes is like trying to see how many random thoughts you can bat out of your head in a five minute time span.
Clutter is all around us. It’s taking over the modern family’s life and it’s hard to ignore. Finding peace shouldn’t be so hard and removing clutter shouldn’t be so dang hard either. I want peace and joy. I don’t need a perfectly tidy home but I want one that I feel joy in and not anxiety in. I am thankful for my children’s toys and want them to remember exciting birthdays and more, but I also don’t want things just sitting there and not even being touched. Too much is just too overwhelming.
I challenge you mamas that if you feel overwhelmed and anxious often to observe the “clutter” in your life. Could you benefit from less on the calendar or could you benefit from less in the home? Sure each and every person is different battling different things, but consider the clutter in your life. Your children will love you without all of the fancy things and they’ll still thrive without iPhones, 3 foreign languages and over the top Pinterest parties.
Do more of what brings you JOY. Get rid of some of the things creating the “clutter” in your life so you can feel peace. So you can pray in silence. So you can sleep peacefully. And so you can just BE present and happy in your home. Your home should be your own personal haven and sanctuary - make it that way!
Let’s stop the trend of more is better. Let’s embrace the old challenge that “less is best.” Silence is beautiful and earthly things are sometimes just noise. Fill your home up with the things that bring you joy and have your children help you purge through their toys. Make more time in the outdoors and add less to your calendar if you can help it. We can’t bring all of these piles with us anyway, so we may as well get rid of them now.
Live your life with less and you’ll likely have more!