Stacks & Stacks of Stuff


What if Jesus returns and sees my house like this?

I admit it. I’m a stacker. I’m a stuffer. There are towers of Rubbermaid plastic bins in my garage, my attic, and even a few in other spots. My desk has stacks of papers. And my drawers? Let’s not go there. I’m an executive, a leader, a multi-tasking monster than juggles like nobody’s business…..a woman who accomplishes things. How could I let my house get like this?

booksI think it just slowly happens over time. I always PLAN on getting back to that project or filing that paperwork, or going through the kids’ things from school. I’ll just put this magazine here because I WANT to read it. Can’t throw it away until I do. I WILL put those adorable VBS crafts in a scrapbook. I will. And I’m CERTAINLY going to have that amazing quilt made with all of these t-shirts so I can’t get rid of them. Just not sure when. I really NEED to read that article about SEO so I’ll print it and stick it on this desk stack. Instead, it all just ends up getting saved for that “day when I have time.” You know…..later.

Now let’s be clear. I’m not proud of this situation. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s embarrassing. I don’t want my children to sign me up for the HOARDER show because I still have that stuffed turkey she made in first grade, the first baby onesie he wore, and that paper he scribbled on in his first big kid class. I want to be an example to them of order and organization.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 6.52.51 PMI used to think I was the only one. And then I started talking about it…..and I could see the relief in other women’s faces. One friend shared that her marriage is suffering because of her stacking. Someone else told me they don’t have play dates at their house because of clutter. One said she only holds meetings in her conference room at work because her office has become overwhelmed with stacks. And even another told me she has to pass on having her small group over because she is afraid of the judgment. Just do an online search for Bible studies on collecting, messiness, or hoarding and we realize we are not alone.

I feel ya’, sisters. We all PLAN on doing something with all of this stuff. We didn’t set out with the goal of collecting so much we are putting Target out of stock on storage bins, Ziploc bags, and manila folders. It just happens. Over time. A little bit at a time so that one day we look around and it’s overwhelming. Whether we only have that one junk drawer, or our house is off limits to family and friends, let’s get over the overwhelmed feeling together!

This week, I found myself doing some reading in 1 Chronicles. It’s not the easiest book of the Bible to read. There are lots of lists and names. In between all the genealogies, there are some interesting pieces of history. King David knew his son, Solomon, was going to build God’s temple, so he started amassing thousands of tons of gold, bronze, and other precious materials so Solomon would have everything he would need for the project. God gave David very specific details on the architecture, materials, and labor that would be needed, so David recruited overseers, hired workers, and organized the families who would work in the temples. David instructed Solomon about the temple building in 1 Chronicles 22:14-16 (NIV):

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 6.52.43 PMI have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as those skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.

David made sure every single thing was planned in advance, even though he knew he would never see it completed. Why? It’s because David was listening to God, and God is a God of order. God didn’t just want any old temple. He wanted an organized, well-thought, planned to the max monument…..because it was important.

Oooohhhh. That reason is really why we should maintain order in our homes. God has a plan for everything in our lives because we are important to Him. He doesn’t want us to feel guilty and overwhelmed as we look around our houses, offices, and attics. He doesn’t want us to be Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 6.53.14 PMtoo embarrassed to open the door to a neighbor stopping by. As we seek to follow God’s plan for us, our relationships, families, and work, we can’t forget God also has a plan for our WHOLE lives.

“But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way,” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

Ladies, we’ve got this. We can lead teams of people and face challenging tasks head-on at work without breaking a sweat. Let’s figure out how to get on top of those stacks, too.
The first task is to declare war on the stacks. Think like a manager, since, after all, we ARE the managers of our homes. What’s our attack plan? Here are some considerations:

Now that we have a plan…..GET STARTED! Let’s not plan some mythical marathon day a month from now that will never really happen. Let’s start now.

Get other people out of the house. While some of us want someone with which to do this project, there are certain people we don’t want around. Schedule something fun for them and get them gone.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 6.53.01 PMLet it go! Now! We are probably never really going to have that garage sale, drop things off at the consignment store, take the pictures to list things on eBay or those new Facebook community groups. We don’t have the time. That lack of time is what got us here in the first place. It’s ok. We are busy, working women. Besides, if it’s been stacked in a corner of our house for five years, NO ONE WANTS IT!

Now, maybe the hardest part. We have to keep it up. Clutter is like a Gremlin. It multiplies when we’re not looking so it is a constant process.

AND let’s remember to HAVE FUN while we’re at it. This process doesn’t have to be a daunting task when we break it down. Remember, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,” (Colossians 3:23).

Now I wish it were this easy but I know it’s not. So we also pray continuously. We pray for energy, peace, and real friends who don’t care that they have to move stuff to sit down on the couch. And most importantly, we pray for the release from guilt, shame, or embarrassment. Guilt is not from the Lord. Shame is not from the Lord. Embarrassment is not from the Lord. Stewardship, order, and grace ARE from the Lord. Let’s pray for Him to pour out those blessings over us for the rest of our lives.

Jesus, I’m ready! You won’t find me hiding behind my stacks when you come back for me! I’ll be opening the front door wide, inviting you to come on in.



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