I’m watching all of this spring cleaning going on and you know it makes me smile. Who doesn’t love to “get organized?”  But there is this part of me that thinks we are missing the point entirely [as we clean and take pictures and write and post and organize and post some more].

Our lives are so cluttered these days. So are our minds. In a season when much has been eliminated, we still somehow manage to fill the space, mostly with an underlying angst that permeates everything.

That feeling, like an unmade bed, has become our haunting. We can’t quite put our finger on it, but it follows us and whispers, “Something is undone.” But that something is not a chore on a checklist. That something is us.

The thing about decluttering is we’re starting in the wrong place. In an effort to make it easy, we’re tidying up instead of tending to the soul. It’s so much easier to organize a drawer or clean out a closet.

The sustainable change you are seeking? That deep cleaning begins with what’s going on within.

Our sanctuaries take on who we really are—
our confusion about priorities
our distraction and lack of focus
our unwillingness to let go of the “unnecessary”
our avoidance of addressing family dynamics
our disconnect from the here and now
our willingness to invite poison in
our disappointment with the lives we’re living now
our lack of purpose and passion.

What is right in front of us, is nearly always the mirror we avoid looking in. That unmade bed? It might be because at some point we intend to crawl right back under those covers. But maybe the energy we lack has more to do with enthusiasm than it does hours in a day.

The cluttered mind says, “no”—no to decisions, no to commitment, no to starting and to finishing. The cluttered mind exhausts and confuses, robbing us of our clarity, our sanity, and especially our peace.

We feel it before we are even consciously aware. That tightening in our chest isn’t incidental. The internal systems are doing their job—guarding our hearts while we play in the minefields of someone else’s malintent. In the midst of our day, our work schedules and time with loved ones, we let something or someone in that doesn’t belong. The shutdown begins. When did we stop regarding the subtle warnings that our bodies give?

Decluttering. It begins with awareness of what’s really at stake. Because restoration isn’t only about cleaning out drawers, but breathing new life into the neglected places of the heart,
so that home becomes our sanctuary—  
a place that nurtures the best of who we are
that fills and not depletes
brings joy and not frustration
inspires and not incites—
not a place to run from,
but a place to rest and re-energize within.

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