October 11th, 2007 06:34 EST
Declutter More Than Your Home, Holiday Preparation
When it comes to getting ready for the holidays, some people start shopping, others start baking, and at least some start by cleaning out those places where clutter piles up.
But as expert Nancy Twigg will tell you, the places that need decluttering are not just a desktop or the corners of the family room. Instead, Twigg advises getting at the root of the problem by decluttering our hearts and lives.
"When it comes right down to it, the source of much of life's craziness is clutter. Clutter in our minds, in our homes, and in our finances. Think of all the energy and effort you expend each day just dealing with clutter. Think about the emotional stress and strain it causes you," she said.
"But clutter goes much deeper than having a messy desk or a disorganized pantry. Clutter is an issue of the heart."
Twigg, author of From Clutter to Clarity: Simplifying Life from the Inside Out (Standard Publishing, October 2007) writes from her own experience in simplifying her own life. She challenges people to clarify their lives emotionally, in their lifestyle, and in their personal finances, to strike at the roots of the clutter that rules so many people's lives. Rather than just giving tips about simplifying, the book addresses the issues that cause life to be complicated in the first place.
"Cleaning out closets and drawers is one way to deal with clutter," Twigg said, "but clutter is much more than old magazines, outdated clothes and kitchen gadgets you never use.
"The only way to truly simplify life and achieve clarity is to deal with clutter from the inside out. If we declutter our hearts and minds first, clarity will begin to show on the outside as well."
Twigg defines clutter as any possession, habit, thought pattern, attitude, or activity that (1) you don't need or use anymore, (2) doesn't fit or work for you like it used to, or (3) doesn't add value and meaning to your life as it once did.
As she weaves stories of others' experiences into each chapter, Twigg challenges common American assumptions about the importance of possessions, relying on technology, and consumer debt.
While she's at it, of course, she also adds practical advice for how to tackle the physical clutter of the stuff that surrounds us and holds us back.
In fact, she calls Hebrews 12:1 "the clarity principle" as it admonishes us to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
Twigg's expertise comes in part from her own family decision a few years ago to live simply. She and her husband left professional positions in corporate America to work from home and raise their daughter, learning how to manage on less and gain freedom and time.
It is a process that still continues, she says, and there are still days when simplicity seems hard to grasp.
"I wanted to keep my life simple, but I couldn't do it by my own power," Twigg admits. "It wasn't until I stepped back, took a deep breath, and asked for God's help that I regained my focus and composure.
"Simplicity is a gift God graciously gives, because only He can enable us to fully experience it," she concludes.
Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Standard Publishing is a recognized leader in providing Christian products and resources for churches and families. Since its founding in 1866, Standard Publishing has been providing true-to-the-Bible resources that inspire, educate and motivate Christians to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. For more information, visit www.standardpub.com.
About the author: Nancy Twigg is an expert who writes and speaks on living simply. More than 8,000 people read her monthly online newsletter, Counting the Cost, and she is the author of Celebrate Simply. Nancy lives a happy, decluttered life with husband, Michael, and daughter, Lydia, in Knoxville, Tenn.
OTHERS ARE SAYING:
Nancy has done it again. From Clutter to Clarity contains the how of getting clutter out of your life, instead of just the why like so many other books. Nancy uses stories of real people to make her points, which makes this an entertaining and fast read. Tired of feeling busy all the time? Read this book.
--Dave Ramsey, best-selling author, nationally acclaimed speaker, syndicated radio host
From Clutter to Clarity shows women how to simplify their lives in a way that will lead to permanent results. Instead of focusing on the ever-popular quick-fixes for the problem of a complicated lifestyle, Nancy helps readers address the real problem: a cluttered heart and mind, which leads to cluttered living. Through personal examples and success stories from other women, Nancy gives readers hope that, with God's help, they can achieve the clarity and meaning in life they desire.
--Emilie Barnes, internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and organizer
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