January 12, 2021


From the AMR Archives ©2013. Revised ©2021

#alphamegaradio #christianity #lifelessons #decluttering

(Ref: 2 Corinthians 2:9 | Psalm 41:1-3 | Hebrews 13:16)

A soft voice of reason speaks far more profoundly than a loud scream of opinion. A simple few polished antiques easily stand out on a furniture showroom floor. A single rose almost always brings a smile, while a dozen wind up shoved in a vase and are quickly forgotten.

Hitting "shuffle" on our play list doesn't have near the effect of hitting "repeat" on our favorite song. In the mind, each nugget of truth plants deep roots, grounding it firmly; while every nugget of speculation grows tentacles that pull the mind all over the place; yet it [the mind] never seems to learn anything.

Our lives are often cluttered. Our homes are cluttered. Our cars are cluttered. Our work spaces or school desks are cluttered. Our minds get cluttered, and yes—even our hearts get cluttered.

Our first question is usually, "How do I remove the clutter?" But the real (and most important) question is, "What is all this clutter?"

In each area of our lives where clutter exists, we tend to start with maybe one or a few things that are highly important to us and hold something of value. Then the accumulation begins...

We add things that we don't intend on keeping or never really wanted in the first place. We hesitate to throw anything away, because of a brief underlying insecurity that at some time, in some way, certain things may be needed or serve of some value to us. God forbid that we ever find ourselves in real need of anything, right?

After all, it's only human to cover all the bases ahead of time; speculating on all the proverbial "what ifs" that we can concoct in our minds, right? Is it?

So we rationalize it away, while stressing out. Anxiety rears its ugly head in our minds, in our hearts, in our spirits... even in our bodies, while the clutter just piles up. We’ll say, "I'm gonna get to that later."

When "later" comes, something else in our lives has cluttered up our schedule, so we casually procrastinate on doing anything about it. Time and time again. Does any of this sound familiar? Would you be honest, if it did?

We take our cluttered minds and hearts and get into our cluttered cars, to go to our cluttered jobs or classes... then go home to our cluttered homes, viewing our cluttered yards on the way inside. Breathe... just breathe.

Simplicity cries out to us on the inside, despite that during most of our waking moments, we're looking for new ways to complicate and add more stuff to the already overwhelming load that we carry around and look at, each and every day.

We think, "But this is just how it is," as we let out another long-winded gasp, and we just keep going. No time to slow down. We’ve got to get things done, right? There are people to see, things to do; always room for a bit more... if we only try harder, and work longer. Concentrate. Don't stop now, or we'll lose our momentum, right?

But in all of this, that inner voice of reason asks, "Who are we really trying to impress with the madness… ourselves or others? What is really the point of it all?"

Fast-forward. So, we decide to slip downtown to the local drug store to pick up some pain reliever for that nasty, persistent headache that we’ve had all day. And what a day it's been, indeed? After all, "Nobody understands all that I have to juggle! I need a vacation! Something's got to give here (sigh)!"

But, oops… We were so preoccupied and busy during the drive to the store that we seemed to have forgotten where we had parked the car. So we get into our cluttered coat pockets to find the electric keypad to locate it.

It beeps, reminding us, "Ah, I parked over by the store dumpsters to avoid the crowds. I can’t stand the thought of dealing with crowds right now. The thought of that alone raises my blood pressure.”

After our store escapade is finally complete, we exit, thinking, "Man, that line was long! Way too many people in there!" Our head is now cranking out the pain. Bass drum pounding between the ears kind of headache. As we approach our car, a voice yells out from near the dumpster, "Hey? Excuse me?"

We ignore it because the last thing we want is to be bothered. One more thing today, and we're just gonna snap! It's to that point. Yet the voice continues, "Hey, I'm sorry to bother you. Do you happen to have 50 cents so I can buy me a Pepsi? I’m really thirsty."

Out walks a frail man, sickly in appearance. His skin is shriveled and his clothes are ragged. While we notice that he also walks with a slight limp, we can't get over the horrible smell coming off his body. He's shivering slightly, but appears to be bundled up quite well-prepared for the chilly night air. Do we engage?

Show-time. We quickly blurt out, "Sure," thinking that giving the man some change will get him to leave us alone, so we can get back to our hustle and bustle. His lips are clearly dried out and cracked, most likely from being outside in the elements.

"Thank you so much!" he cheers back to us. "I haven't had anything to drink all day, and I was just thirsty—is all. Sorry if I bothered you."

The man, now smiling, loudly asks, "Do you live around here?"

The last thing we want is to get wrapped up in conversation with a clearly homeless man, who is holding us up, slowing us down. But we'll concede and give the ever-courteous, "Um, yes… do you?" before awkwardly walking away.

But we have no idea what awaits next. "Yes, actually I do… right over there," says the man proudly, as he points to a homemade tarp canopy over by the dumpster where we parked the car.

What? Surely he must be joking. That's... it? We softly mutter under our breath, "You live… there?"

"Oh, yeah," he responds.

"But how do you make it?" we ask.

He quickly replies, "Oh, I have everything I need. Well, actually, I do now, since you helped me out with that Pepsi that I've been saving up for! And thank you, by the way! Yeah. I'd say... that I'm blessed! You have a nice night now, okay?" Then the man happily limps away into the store.

"Blessed… but how?" we're thinking. Wow. We notice that our killer headache has now strangely gone away. On the way home, we remember the simple rear-view hanger that started the clutter in our car. Ah, what an awesome memory! That was forever ago! A slight smirk forms, almost taking on a life of its own...

We pull into the driveway, catching view of the first rose bush that we ever plantedlong before the yard was packed with stuff.

After walking inside, we notice that old couch that we bought when we first moved in. It's now in the corner, replaced by an entirely new furniture set and wall-sized, super-deluxe widescreen TV. Oh yeah... That's "the dog's chair" now. Yikes! Yet we find ourselves smiling incessantly. Something's new and different. Yet it’s just like an old friend at the same time. Odd…

"Oh boy (sigh)," we’re thinking, as we glance over to notice that we have three new voicemails from the boss at work. Instead of listening, we unexpectedly break form and turn down the ringer. And after thinking about a million things all day long, we strangely only seem to have one singular thing on the brain now… how great it would be to have a Pepsi.


Fictional story? Yes. But does it speak to how pervasive and damaging it can be to our mental health and overall well-being—to try to continue the "cluttered" lifestyle while burning the candle at both ends? Absolutely.

Could it be that over-doing it and living the "busy-body" lifestyle often contributes directly to disorganized physical spaces and the accumulation of excess clutter? Decades of clinical research suggests just that.

Wait. Let me get this straight? The more we push ourselves to keep doing more and more in ever-decreasing spans of time, the more likely we are for our lives to spiral into chaotic, disorganized, and cluttered messes? Our literal physical spaces? Even in our thought processes and cognitive minds?

Whaaaat??? Oh yes. Yes, indeed.

DID YOU KNOW that 7 out 10 people around the world (especially in the U.S.) only get minimal amounts of sleep and relaxation; spending most of their waking hours working or trying to stay busy doing things that are merely perceived as "productive," while avoiding true relaxation... in other words, burn-out?

DID YOU KNOW that coincidentally, 7 out of 10 people also report having bouts of prolonged anxiety and depression, along with various associated health issues—during the course of their adult lives?

DID YOU KNOW that 2 out of 3 children in the U.S. develop early signs of anxiety, fatigue, and exhaustion—often by the age of 8?

DID YOU KNOW that most people today (on average per day) spend less than 1 hour free from interacting with some type of electronic gadget or technology... only reading 20 minutes or less... spending less than 30 minutes outdoors and even less exercising? And resting the mind and/or meditating in some way, with no distractions? We're talking 10 minutes or less. Per day. Then there is lack of quality sleep, which is an entire subject and blog of its own.

Now that we've scratched the surface on chronic "busyness" and over-exhaustion...

DID YOU KNOW that in nearly all situations, the very perception of the presence of physical clutter (in severe cases—"hoarding") and the lack of practical organizational strategies... can actually trigger bouts of depression and anxiety?

DID YOU KNOW that the aforementioned often go hand-in-hand, in that: depressed and anxious people often lethargically allow their personal spaces to get overly cluttered and disorganized; that very some clutter and disorganization contributes to their growing more depressed and anxious? In other words, clutter is a "stress-factor" all in itself...

DID YOU KNOW that embarking on an effective "de-cluttering" strategy of a person's physical space, as well as of their daily routine—can bring dramatic improvements to that person's overall sense of well-being; largely reducing the realized crippling effects of depression and anxiety?

In fact, the less enclosed, cramped, and cluttered we perceive our physical and mental spaces to be, the more our sense of overall well-being grows; largely due to increased releases of chemicals in the brain and neurological system, like: serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and other important endorphins that promote a sense of calm and well-being.

And lastly,

DID YOU KNOW that God didn't design us to operate this way? In fact, even He chose to "rest" one day; instructing humanity to take a break from their labors as well; in addition to emphasizing the importance of balancing work and rest!

Yes, God designed our bodies and minds to be incredibly resilient. But even so, there are limitations; limitations that our generation largely fails to recognize. Therein lies the underlying culprit of many chronic illnesses...

Constant stress and anxiety, along with pushing ourselves beyond our means and limitations... lead to huge spikes in cortisol (the primary hormone released in our body's natural "fight or flight" response)—the root cause of inflammation.

Inflammation is the root cause of most all chronic disease and disorders, not excluding autoimmune disorders—which have been exponentially rising in the last 20-30 years.

Today, think about what you can cut out from your physical spaces? What really needs to be there, and what doesn't? What have you just been holding onto because of sentimental attachment or "I'll get to it later" mentality... that serves no practical purpose in your home or overall needs? Ask yourself, "What value does this thing serve?"

Today, think about all that you try to pile your plate up with in your daily functional routine? What things are actually necessary (in God's provision for your life) to meet your and your family's needs, and what things are being placed there—just to fill up time, to give you a sense of being more productive?

Materialism is a destroyer, as well as an idol-maker. Likewise, the unnatural compulsion to feel adequate by means of absolute productivity and absolute engagement—are much the same, in a mental and psychological sense. As Christian author/pastor Timothy Keller has put it, "Your idols will eat you alive."

Well said, brother. Well said.

Feel free to pass this blog along if you're blessed by it and/or feel that someone that you know might experience the same.

Have thoughts, tips, or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks, and have a blessed day!




LINKED-IN OP-ED: Kids To Face 'Epic Tech Withdrawal'

How Decluttering Can Actually Benefit Your Health

How To Clear Your Mental Clutter In 10 Minutes Or Less


  1. Very well said! Decluttering our homes, our life, our mind can have so many positive effects. Great post, throughly enjoyed it, cant wait to read the next one!

    1. Thank you! More on the way! Do you have any personal insights on how to declutter any of the areas you mentioned? Brainstorming is a great way to expand ideas... God Bless!

  2. I personally like keeping things in order, everything has its place(as far as my home goes).I like being neat and tidy, and organized(makes things so much easier).
    As far as my life, I like peace, not drama(try my best to avoid it). My mind, is the hardest part, but with that said, I pray about everything, release it all to God! Let his will be done! God Bless and hope you have an amazing day!!