Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Want to be happy? Consider clearing out the clutter

Living with fewer things is an opportunity to grow a richer spiritual life, says blogger

(Spring 2019) Editor’s Note: This year’s Lenten Day of Reflection for Women was on April 6, after this newsletter went to print and before you received your copy. We thought the “Spirituality of Decluttering” would interest you so we asked the presenter to reflect on the topic and write a summary, to which she agreed. Enjoy!

by Katie Zurawski

An overstuffed closet. Stacked papers on the kitchen table. A calendar filled with appointments. These  have become the standard for everyday life. So much so that the average size of an American home has nearly tripled since the 1920s. We live in a world where we can have anything and everything we ever wanted… in two days or less. Yet we still find ourselves unhappy, unfulfilled even lonely at times. Why is this?

It’s because we want to be happy. We fill ourselves up with things and to-do’s because we think it will make us or our loved ones feel good. While we may enjoy this happiness temporarily, the moment is often fleeting. That’s because the “stuff” will never satisfy that yearning for love and joy. True love and joy can only come from a meaningful relationship with Jesus.

So how do we start cultivating a more satisfying life? We open our Bibles and learn from Jesus’ example. Before He began his ministry, Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert alone. It was an intensive period of fasting, prayer, and renewal. Jesus purposefully stripped away the “clutter” to better hear God’s voice.

This Lenten season presents the perfect opportunity for us to do the same as Jesus did during those 40 days. We start by purposefully creating more calmness in our cluttered homes and cluttered minds… removing the unnecessary. When we do this, we begin to hear God’s voice more clearly and strongly.

Moving through the process of decluttering, we start realizing that our connection to things has never been about the actual stuff. The desire comes from somewhere deeper whether it be jealousy, a scarcity mindset or even depression. A conscious decision to live minimally allows for a richer spiritual life. Simply put, when we have less stuff to manage we have more time for the important things.

Katie Zurawski is a member of St. Raphael Parish, Oshkosh. She is professional organizer, blogger ( and self-proclaimed neat freak.

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