Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cleaning Out the House, Literally and Figuratively

We had a garage sale last weekend. It’s a lot of work – sorting through drawers and closets, gathering things together, sneezing through the dust in the attic, exploring boxes that haven’t been opened since we packed them up in Pittsburgh six years ago. I put a price sticker on each item -- on toys and games we no longer play, CDs we no longer listen to, picture frames, kitchen and house wares, collectibles. On memories.

We hauled it all outside to the driveway before daylight. Early birds perused the boxes before we even had everything organized, but that’s to be expected. Then we attended to a fairly steady stream of shoppers until mid-day, when we boxed up the leftovers for Goodwill. For our efforts, we gleaned a few hundred dollars. But more importantly, my house feels lighter. It’s a great feeling, purging the excess, releasing what is unused; the unnecessary stuff that merely takes up space and creates clutter.
The whole process got me thinking about more than uncluttering my house. I pondered what I might eliminate from my life, to make my spirit lighter and less messy. How about stress and worry. Situations that cause me disappointment. Negativity of any kind. Yes, these things need to go. Somehow I suspect this will require a longer process than having a garage sale. But with even greater benefits.

I recently participated in a study with my church, First Presbyterian Church of Lake Charles, on Tommy Newberry’s book, The 4:8 Principle: the Secret to a Joy–Filled Life. It is based on Philippians 4:8:
. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

It’s the same concept as having a rummage sale of the soul. Purge the negative. Focus on the positive.
It’s a lot of work. But so worth it.

What do you need to rid from your life?


Jan Newman said...

Hi, Angie. Last time I had a garage sale, I made enough to cover the permit. I'd love to lighten my house and myself. It's a good question -- what I need to discard.

Angie said...

You need a permit to have a garage sale? Hmmm . . .

Brenda D said...

Love this, Angie....all so very true.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Thanks, Brenda!

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Jan is probably the only one in the city that gets a permit. :)

Love the thought of decluttering things in my life. I'll check out that study. Sounds great! When we get home from OK, we'll be decluttering too -- but no garage sale. Too. Much. Work.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Jess, I look forward to you coming back to Lake Charles! Miss you!