Clear The Stage: the great clutter seige of 2013


Last month, I opened my garage door after an errand to find that every…single…thing on my garage shelving, aka Home Accessory Central, had hit the floor.

Freakishly (too much stuff?) the screws holding the shelving had come completely out of the studs.  Glass was everywhere and my  home accessory cache was in a puddle of paint thinner spread across the entire garage.  Why paint thinner you ask?  Soaking paint brush of course.

My precious candle holders, vases, trays and lamps had been whispering for me to let them go for months.  I didn’t listen to their pleas and so my plan to have a peaceful evening watching Les Mis was put on hold.


Last week, The Nester of It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect  to be Beautiful fame, posted a challenge to put away all the accessories in your home for one month.  A drawbridge in my chest snapped shut.  When that drawbridge creaks, it’s an indicator that I need to step outside of my comfort zone and take action.

I trust The Nester.   She hasn’t steered me wrong yet.  She’s helped me love my home despite its imperfections.    So, I gathered up the drivel that’s been decorating my house and packed it away in the garage.    I’m all in!    By my trip to the kitchen for my third cup of coffee, I was missing my favorite black frame.  After I re-read the challenge, she said that big pieces of art can stay, so back it went.


It’s been 24 hours since I gathered my treasures.   I expected to go through some kind of mourning complete with a black shawl, but have been surprised to find out that there’s very little that I miss.  The Nester sometimes calls it quieting the house.  My junk cubby that’s been screaming my incompetence for weeks?  I got a little inspiration yesterday after I destuffified and shut that cubby up!!,


Several larger pieces in my home are in need of face-lifts and I feel a bubble of creativity rising to the surface.  My children are usually quick to notice changes around the house, but interestingly enough, they’ve not said a word.  My husband did, but he’s used to my addiction to change.

I once painted our entire living room four times in one week. Six Days,  Four Different Shades of Green, Three Coats Each.  The last shade cast the worst shadow over the room and reminded me of  an ugly garage where I once played ping-pong in the 70’s. My girlfriend and I screamed with laughter after I realized that I really didn’t want a green living room.  She’s a great partner in crime and said “paint that room taupe already.”  She was right and drove me straight to Lowe’s.  Sometimes we need a push out of our comfort zone.

At the risk of a Jesus-Juke, I have to say…..

There are people in my house who are struggling with putting passions and activities ahead of God’s voice (one of these people may or may not be me).  Jimmy Needham has a song called Clear the Stage and no sooner than I removed my stash, his song splashed all over my heart.  I hadn’t heard it in months and when a song appears out of nowhere, I’ve learned to pay attention.

Clear the stage and set the sounds and lights ablaze

If that’s the measure you must take to kill the idols

Jerk the pews and all the decorations too until the congregation’s few and have revival

Tell your friends that this is where the party ends

Until you’re broken for your sins you can’t be social

Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store

And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

You can sing all you want to you can sing all you want to and still get it wrong

Worship is more than song

These words are striking a chord in my soul and quieting my home this particular month could not be more divinely appointed. My son and I are traveling in July to Ukraine where we’ll put on a camp for special needs children and their caregivers.

I’m expecting that our perfectly ordered little lives are going to spill out and be shattered with the same force that my garage shelving hit the floor.  This simple act of quieting my home and my heart seems to be the beginning of some contemplative preparation for our trip.

I’m hoping to be able to post once or twice while we’re gone. Later this week I’ll be writing about perspective and dog-eared grace. And at some point, I’ll do a followup about the things I’ve learned living in a quieter home.

You really need to do yourself a favor and visit The Nester.  Her blog is absolutely amazing and today she’s featuring links to many other great bloggers joining her in destuffocating their homes.

If you decide to join me and quiet your home, would you let me know how it goes? Even if you just quiet one room or one table.  I think you’ll enjoy the quiet! 

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I'm a forty something women managing a busy family, working as a hair designer and trying to use my big-girl words.

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