/ / / An Unplanned Video of my Clutter – Making Your Home a Haven

An Unplanned Video of my Clutter – Making Your Home a Haven

If you have accepted the Fall Challenge, your candles are lit, soft music is playing and you’re praying for peace. Are you feeling a difference? We are!

When I told my husband about this next challenge he said “you really should have a guest post for that one!” We laughed – Why? Because it’s about dealing with clutter – one of my weak spots.

Here’s week #3’s Challenge: List a few of the spots in your home that make you visually stressed. Now go buy something for that spot – like a basket to put it all in! Work on cleaning up clutter. Throw things away.

While you’re at it – clean up some clutter in your spiritual life. What gets in the way of your peace spiritually?

I’ve had some feedback from readers that felt I appeared to have it all together.  So, on the spur of the moment last Friday night, I decided to make  an unplanned video to show you what I lo0k like and my kitchen looks like on a normal day.  Real life is messy and you will see, I am far from being a perfectionist.  My kitchen faucet could honestly be dripping 20 years from now and I don’t think I would care lol!  It drips right behind me while I work on my computer and I don’t even notice it! Maybe it’s because I have that music playing right? lol!


(If you can’t see the video click here.)

 

We have a two part challenge – first let’s strive for creating a haven:

1. Pick an area of your home where clutter collects and put something there to contain it. For example, I keep a basket at the bottom of our stairs to collect all the little things that need to go upstairs. My family agrees that we need a bigger basket – one the size of a laundry basket would be more appropriate because often we are carting up stuffed animals, books, toys, my purse etc.

Today I'm sharing with you an unplanned video of my clutter as an illustration of what happens within us when we let things go unchecked. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #friendship #makingyourhomeahaven

 

Put a bin to catch papers in the kitchen, office, family room etc. – as you can see mine is overflowing. I told you my husband suggested a guest post on this one lol!!!

Today I'm sharing with you an unplanned video of my clutter as an illustration of what happens within us when we let things go unchecked. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #friendship #makingyourhomeahaven

 

I also love using buckets to organize – you can read about that at this link!

2. Set a timer for 20 minutes, grab a trash bag and walk through your house throwing stuff away!
Throw away old magazines, broken toys, papers etc. The rule is if you haven’t used or worn it in a year – either give it away or throw it away. Clutter attracts clutter. If you are a pack rat this is a challenge – take this challenge – you won’t regret it and trust me you won’t miss these things! Things will never make you happy. Unused clutter only weighs you down.

Now on to the spiritual part – let’s get down to business!

I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Pause here at your computer and answer this question…what sin have I not confessed?  Now confess it!  That’s all and be free!

All of us carry the stain of sin. Sin is something we all have in common. At any moment we may sin again…
Often times we let ourselves off the hook too easily. We justify our sin saying “I’m just discerning not judgemental. I’m just truthful not rude. I’m just sharing prayer requests not gossiping”

Anne Graham Lotz says “Repentance must be a spiritual discipline or you will become a hypocrite. Root out basic sins early in your life.”

Most of Women Living Well’s readers fall in the 20-40+ range…we are young! Root out those sins now before they become habits – do not get cozy with sin!

So today – this is a call to repentance. I am down on my knees with you and I want all of us to be right with God. Practice repentance daily – free yourself of spiritual clutter.
If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it’s going – if you are a blogger copy the button code along the side bar into your blog post, write about how it’s going and link up on Women Living Well’s Wednesday Link-Up Party!

You are all doing an amazing job so far! I so appreciate you joining me on this journey!!! Persevere!

Walk with the King!

wlw

Walk with the King!
*To see the list of weekly challenges, go to this post here.
**Thanks to Stacey from Musings of a Music Making Mommy, there’s a button code for the “Making Your Home a Haven” button, on the sidebar! Thanks Stacey for sending me this code!
***If you don’t want to miss a post from this series, Subscribe via email to my daily posts here.

83 Comments

  1. Hi Courtney,

    You are too funny! Thank you for being real and honest. The shoes on your floor, that happens at my house all the time.

  2. I have taken the challenge and loving it. We are on our second candle already and I keep music playing as often as I can. I have hung verses up to help me speak grace and love to my children and I will stary decluttering my home a my HEART this week. I need it:)Thank you for being such an open book and for being so honest!! You are an inspiration!

  3. Hi Courtney,

    I think all of us spruce up a bit when we make videos on our blogs. We’re human and we want to make a good impression. However, I must admit, it was “fun” to see a little disarray because it helps us to “know” each other a little better. The reality is, we all have a little clutter that we can clean up! As you said, “life happens”. . .and it doesn’t always happen according to a perfect plan. Thank you for showing us this unplanned video because believe it or not, it is encouraging. We’re all working together to make our homes a haven for our families. God bless you!!

    -Stacie

  4. Thank you, Courtney! People think that about me from what I post on FB, but I don’t have it all together either! I appreciate they you want to be professional, but you are very authentic in every story you tell! We are all imperfect people striving for perfection. I’m a first born and it’s tendency that I’m laying at God’s feet this week! But we know that you love your family and God and that is why we love fellowshipping with you!

  5. LOVE LOVE this video girl. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes it is hard to see that the person on the other side is REAL and goes through the same struggles that we go through. Thanks for being real!! LOVE ya

  6. Thanks for the video. I appreciate the fact that you take time to look professional in your videos. If I want messy and cluttered I can just look around myself. I actually love being encouraged to do better and love to look at organization videos etc. I am really sorry for anyone who “needs” to see other people’s clutter in order to feel good about themselves.

  7. Thanks for posting this Courtney. I struggle daily with organization and time management (and trying to get my teens to pick up after themselves seems like a losing battle). It’s weird because I actually really enjoy cleaning, but putting away clutter is one of my least favorite things to do.

    We take our shoes off at the back door too, and after a few days there would be at least 10 or 12 pair of shoes by my back door needing to be put away. I bought one of those chests with a cushion on top to throw the shoes in until they could be put away, but it just stays full of shoes!!! I joke with my family that I wouldn’t want a cleaning lady, but if there were such a thing as a “clutter-maid” who would just stop by once a day and put everything up, I would be the first in line to hire one….. .lol.

    It’s nice to share these things, because instead of judging and being judged we can all help each other to find solutions. We all have our strengths and weaknesses!!! I really love to cook, and so lucky for me, my husband says he would rather have the little bit of clutter with a wife who can cook, than a perfect house and ramen noodles………. haha 🙂

  8. Love the video – thanks for being real!!! I have been working on decluttering for a while now. One of my hot spots is the kitchen table. But, I recently put a vase of (fake) flowers on it for a center piece and that is the only thing that has been on it (besides during meals) f or the past few weeks – yay! I’ve been making myself clean up right after we eat and also taking care of mail as soon as it comes in the door. I LOVE having a clear table. Now to tackle the rest of the hot spots…..

  9. I really love this post! Thank you so much for being honest. I know that I have been impressed by your “togetherness” in reading your blog. But more than anything it has been an encouragement to me. I think…I don’t know for sure…that people think the same thing about me (that I have it all together). But behind closed doors and tucked away into small (or slightly larger) places is all the clutter. It’s good to know that other people have those secrets too 🙂 but that they are willing to be honest about it.

  10. Courtney, Thank you so much for this video! I was thinking you really had it all together based on the previous videos I watched. Thank you for showing us your cluttered side! It’s not nearly as cluttered as mine, but it does give me hope. 🙂
    Blessings,
    Becky

    1. Well I am SO glad I dispelled that thought because girl – I am SO flawed and in need of Jesus’ grace day in and day out!!! There is hope 🙂 and give yourself grace – we are all a work in progress!

  11. Too funny… I JUST wrote a blog (scheduled to post tomorrow morning) about fall and stuff that goes with it. After reading so many posts about fall and seeing pictures of all the pretty decor, I decided to take pictures of not only the pretty, but also the not so pretty. Just keepin’ it real.
    I’ve been reading along, and love your ideas! I homeschool my boys, and find that lighting a candle first thing in our kitchen and playing music (instrumental only, while they’re trying to do their schoolwork) is so soothing to the overall atmosphere of our home. I’ve done both of these things for years. We seem to be on the “same page” :). Looking forward to the rest of this series!

  12. Thanks for sharing, Courtney. Love the video! You’re an awesome, wonderful, Godly woman, and I appreciate you opening yourself up and sharing with us! Thank you for all of your encouragement!

    1. I hit “post comment” before I was finished- oops! I keep doing that! ugh!

      The Fall Challenge has been going really well. The last few weeks have been, literally, the most stressful of my parenting career to-date. My six year old ran away, and was missing for more than two hours. My five year old was violently ill and didn’t sleep for more than one hour, for two days straight. The Fall Challenge has REALLY made a difference- it has helped me stay calm and grounded during all this madness, and helped me remember my desire to seek God first. This Challenge is a lifesaver!

      1. OH my word 🙁 I’m so sorry. Just remember that this season of life does not last forever. Add ten years to your life and you’ll have a 15 and 16 year old! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Keep walking with the King and he will see you through the hardest of days!!!
        Much Love,
        Courtney

  13. my husband and i try to have music on when we get home in the evening, and i’m definitely remembering to light those candles – it does change the way you feel doesn’t it? there are definitely some clutter spots in our house (partly because we’ve recently moved) but i’m looking forward to tackling those this week! thanks for this reminder. 🙂

  14. As I write this, my kitchen is clean. Floor mopped, dishes put away, not a single thing out of place. And yours still looks better. Why? Because I live in a trailer that’s older than I am. That’s what’s frustrating sometimes….it seems like the house itself is working against me. People that live in nicer houses have a LOT more “wiggle room” for things to be out of place and yet their space still looks nice. And I’ve yet to find a homemaking blog written by a fellow trailer-dweller, lol.
    But…..I’m only 22, and I do dearly love this particular spot in the world. So there’s still lots of time for me =D
    Though I must say, I find it funny that a pile a bread in the corner is a problem, whereas I walk into my kitchen and go “oh crap, the fuse to the refrigerator blew again”. =/

    1. I used to live in a single wide mobile home with 3 kids 4 and under for about 8 years….no matter how much I cleaned its STILL looked and felt dirty! I know how you feel!

    2. Rachel – at 22 I was a newlywed, working my hubby through college with a tiny tiny kitchen – it was always cluttered and I had NO idea how to cook lol! I learned a lot of lessons in that apartment through homemaking disasters! lol! I’ve come a very long way!!! I need to write about those days sometime – if I can remember them lol! I’m an old lady now hehehe!
      Courtney

      1. Courtney,
        It would be so fun to read about your early marriage days! I’m newly married. I have no problem maintaining a schedule, staying organized and doing my job as a professional at work, but homemaking has been a bit of a learning curve. I was so wrong to think that my business education would prepare me for homemaking! lol

    3. I do know how you feel. I’m 30 with two kiddos and a hubby. We live in an older, rental home. Try not to compare your home to others as hard as it may seem(it’s hard for me too!)! Over the past 3 years God has taught me a great deal about the ‘place’ in life that He’s given me and put me in. We live in a society that is driven by things, so it’s hard not to think that way. I know there is a reason we are where we are, and the same goes for you. I may never live in a nicer home but that’s okay. God has me and my family where He wants us. I am blessed and Jehovah Jireh provides for my every need!

  15. Hi Courtney,
    Love the video. Thanks for the tips. I saw in the video the drippy faucet and if you do not mind I have a tip. Place a bowl under the drip and collect it to water plants or make a cup of tea, etc. In the Northeast there are a few night out of the year when we need to have our faucets dripping so our pipes do not freeze and I always try to recycle the water. Have a blessed day 🙂

  16. I honestly wouldn’t call that clutter. I would call that life ( by the way, I love your blog-and don’t think I’ve ever commented before).

  17. yes…that is not clutter. 2 dishes in the sink and a few things on the counter…you should see my counter some days. thanks for the encouragement though..

    1. I agree lol, I appreciate you sharing Courtney, but I still think you have it all together!!!that is not clutter AT ALL!!!

      1. Lol!!! You guys are funny…so maybe I should have kept on walking through the house and showed you the rest…but I seriously did not want to bore you all!!! Maybe next time hahaha! 😉

  18. I so admire your willingness to be “real”. I think you look just as beautiful without the make-up being freshly done. (Also, your sweet spirit always shines through and that’s true beauty.) As for the clutter…I don’t think it’s too bad. I wish I could come on up and declutter for you. It’s a stress reliever for me. I have other issues, but clutter isn’t one of them.

  19. Love your website. A friend from my small group shares your site in FB.
    One thing I have started doing to avoid clutter is that when you are out shopping, think about the real need of that item. Sometimes we think we NEED a particular item when in reality we don’t. Think about where you will place that item in your home. Or, if it is an article of clothing, ask yourself if you will actually wear the item. Since I started doing this, I have found myself not purchasing as much stuff and it giving me a little more jingle in my pocket.
    Blessings to you, your family and week.
    April

  20. You know, I thought your clutter was pretty light, but it started to dawn on me what my husband sees when he sees a little clutter here and there – he sees it cumulatively. It’s not just the the top of the stairs has some things there, or just the art supplies or dishes or mail or kids’ school stuff — it’s all of it. Thanks for the perspective and the challenge!

  21. Courtney-
    Thank you for the video and being real. I recently started following your blog….since your challenge was posted on Karen Ehman’s blog. Anyway…I am encouraged by your words of wisdom and your love for the Lord and family. I do struggle with clutter and organization, so this will be a good challenge for me. I have not been too consistent with the candle and music, but have been praying for my family and a peaceful home. Please pray that I can improve with my homeskills and enjoy my role as the keeper of the home. You have such a wounderful ministry! Keep up the great work!!!

    1. I’m saying a prayer for you right now. It truly is something that we learn – so give yourself room to grow and be patient. Just work on it a little each day and before you know it you will blossom and bloom :)!!!
      Courtney

  22. Oh, I LOVE this post. That’s what I’m talking about Keepin’ It Real!! haha. Seriously though – thanks for sharing. Every day life in any home with children will bring in “clutter”, but a homeschooling home doesn’t have a chance to always remain clutter-free. I am a pastor’s wife and I am always just a little bit nervous that one of my members is going to stop by the house unannounced for something. It is what it is though! I also love what you said about spiritual clutter. Hopefully I’ll have my blog post up this evening. Thank you for the challenge and God bless ya!

  23. Oh, I loved this one. I LOL on the cartoon picture and shared it with my husband. It is way true. Loved your video and the ideas for making your home a haven.
    Blessings to you and keep on enjoying your journey!

  24. Sorry for this random question. I’m a little behind on your site, and I’m about to embark on the “Completing him Challenge”! 🙂 I was wondering if you have it in your convenient categories under a different name? Just hoping to bypass finding each individual post separately. If not, it’s totally worth it! 🙂 Thanks so much.
    Blessings to you,
    Lora

    1. Yes, look under archives at the subject title “Marriage Challenge” they will come up in backwards order – but they are all there – just keep clicking back :)!

  25. Courtney – thank you so much for this post! I have been lighting a candle and praying for peace in my home and am beginning to feel a little bit less stressed. I am truly trying to be more patient with my husband and our kids.
    However, just yesterday my husband and I were discussing our home and all of the clutter that is around and it made me aware that it is a serious source of stress while I am at home. I am constantly trying to clean, pick up and put things away but the fact is that there is just too much stuff. Why did I spend money on things that just take up space and have to be dusted?
    Thank you for putting this challenge out there to work on de-cluttering my home. I will definitely be working on it over the coming weeks.
    Thank you also for sharing Grace Full Mama’s blog about contentment. I am a “stuff-a-holic” and know that I really have to dig into God’s word and learn how to be truly content.
    This life is a learning process and I am so glad to have found your blog – you have truly made me consider many different aspects of my life and made me realize more of why I am the way that I am.
    I pray that you will continue to be a voice for God to wifes and mothers out there for many years.
    Thank you so much.

  26. Just wanted you to know I appreciate all that you’re doing in your life as a mother and wife AND your mission to women. The Lord is working in my heart lately to get things under control and create a home that’s a haven. It’s a BIG struggle for me, though. So, I’m sitting here in tears because your clutter is at a level I could only dream of right now. I’m drowning in laundry, dishes, discouragement, and basically despair. Not making excuses, but for background, it sorta goes back to how I was raised. My dad was a pastor, mom was the church organist, Sunday School teacher, mother of 5, and she had to work full time because of the tiny salary my dad earned. I truly do not know how she did it. I do know the stress was unbearable at times, and she did wind up battling cancer. Needless to say, I was not taught homemaking, organization, or other “haven” skills. Now, somewhere along the way, the super sonic jet called life took off and I now have 4 precious children of my own, my husband is a police officer, and life is STRESS. Don’t know how to climb out of this except with the strength of God. Spiritually speaking, when will that strength that only God can give for this task fill me up? Practically speaking, I sorta need a “mom” to a teach me the basics. Just don’t know how to make it better, and I believe this is the root of disharmony and stress in my home life. Sigh….

    1. Kate 🙁 I’m so sorry. Do not be too hard on yourself…give yourself the grace that God gives you. Some of my greatest mentors have come through authors. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about a great organizational book – I encourage you to read organizational blogs such as http://www.karenehman.com and http://glynniswhitwer.com/ Try to do one or two of their ideas and slowly you will see change. I’m still a work in progress too!!! We are in this together girl!!! Hang in there!
      Courtney

  27. I LOVE your video. Thank you for being real with us. I think we all like to look at others sometimes and say, “Well, if I had this or that like she does, I wouldn’t have this mess….” or whatnot. I know I’ve been guilty of it too often. You are so cute and I appreciate all you do for us! 🙂

  28. Courtney,

    It was really encouraging to see your unplanned video! It makes me feel better knowing that I am not the only one, that are others like me, just living day by day and trying to get chores done each day. Without over looking who God puts in front of you. Thank you so much! As I said before, and will again, Your blog is very encouraging to me!

    ~Dylanna

  29. Hi Courtney!

    Thanks for the unplanned video! Whenever I’m over at a friend’s, and they say something like, “Oh, I’m so sorry for the clutter,” or “My house is such a mess!” I stop them and tell them that I love seeing messy houses! LOL! For one, it makes me feel good that a friend is comfortable enough with me to let me see some clutter and mess here and there, and also it convinces me I’m not the only one!! 🙂

    When I first started homeschooling, a dear friend from college who also homeschools invited me over to her home to show me their classroom and talk to me about getting started. As I walked in I could tell that the house was not as clean as I had seen it in the past. She said, “I was going to clean up more, but I decided not to, because the truth is…this is how my house usually looks as a busy homeschooling family!” I was so grateful for that, and I always think of her when I feel like I’m wading through clutter just trying to catch up!

    Well, off to start dinner and tackle the clutter point in our home today, the kitchen mail/phone/catch all counter!! Thanks for the encouragement! I needed it!

  30. Courtney,
    I just want to thank you for your website, your videos and all the encouragement you give other women. I think you are the cutest thing. I stumbled upon your website awhile ago and, as a result, did the Good Morning Girls study over the summer. What a blessing that was!
    Anyway, I think you are very real and down to earth and I appreciate that. I don’t homeschool my 3 kids, but I’ve you’ve inspired me in many ways to be a better mother and wife.
    Thank you for taking God’s gifts and using them for His glory.
    I wish we lived in the same city as I’m sure we’d be good friends! I live in OKC.
    Blessings,
    Jennifer McElroy

    1. Thanks Jennifer – you are so sweet!!! It’s amazing how God can knit hearts together via cyberspace – isn’t it!!! Keep walking with the King!!! And thanks for the encouragement!

  31. Too funny – I was in the middle of some crisis cleaning (having folks over tomorrow) and took a quick break and found your video!! I thought “No – not Courtney!!” I love your ministry – just the way it is!!

  32. First off, that is NOT dirty to me, LOL!! That’s still pretty together. 😉

    Second off, I cannot believe people UNFOLLOW you because you set a great example!! Obviously I know you’re not perfect and everybody has their “issues”, but come on?! You’re the type of woman I WANT to follow and learn from!
    Keep up the great work Courtney and keep up the professionalism! 🙂 Love ya!

  33. Hey Courtney!

    I have been trying to do your 31 days…Making your Home a Haven… Thanks for your video’s and kind words!! They are an encouragement! I only wish my kitchen was as cluttered as yours:) at 8:30 pm!! My two small children make a MESS of our home by 10pm I have it all picked up and ready for the next days clutter!! Lighting my candle (which is on the stove) seems to help with the stress of the day… as I spend most of my day changing diapers, tripping over small toys, and chatting with a 1 year old and 4 year old! Light music has always helped me stay focused on completing my tasks for the day!! I pray in have a BLESSED rest of your week and May you feel God’s Peace as you take care of your family! Love in Christ! Mollie W.

  34. 😀 Oh, how this video made me SMILE. Courtney, you are brilliant for making this one. Seriously, your ministry is so very encouraging in so many ways. But this one was fun and unexpected. Yes, you ARE real. It’s one of the things that drew me in. I can relate because you allow yourself to be transparent as you minister.

    I always say, want to see how clean my house is? Well now, that all depends on what time you stop by. We do 2 “clean-up on aisle 9’s” every day. If you come just before one of those clean-up times, whoa. You’re likely to think we’re messies. Come just at the right time and you might just think we have it all together (which we DON’T, I can say with certainty). Loved this fun, real glimpse into your daily life and I very much appreciate that you are willing to show your readers that you too deal with clutter and clean-ups.
    Blessings,
    Toni

  35. Yes, I was encouraged. Thank you. I also have a bread and paper pile, and countless others. Thanks again, I needed the encouragement.

  36. Courtney.. this is why I love you so much! You have always been REAL to me. My level of clutter and mess supersedes yours but I know that you probably have really bad days yourself. Thank you so much for this encouragement.. it was a great video. May God continue to bless you and your family and your awesome ministry. I truly appreciate all that you do.. this challenge has been so rewarding and encouraging for me.

    Take care and God bless!

  37. I love anything organization related. I’m actually reading now “I Used To Be So Organized”, by Glynnis Whitwer, another Proverbs 31 speaker and author.

    Paper clutter is my main issue.

    Thanks for the give away!

  38. Hi Courtney, I just love that you posted this! Yes, your home is still cleaner than mine would look if I hired someone to clean it…but it’s your HEART that shines through in all your posts. How anyone could fail to see that and fail to see how you truly reach out to everyone and want God’s best for them, I don’t know. God bless you for putting yourself and your home out there all the time, for blogging what God lays on your heart. You’re a blessing to us all, no matter how clean/dirty your house is!

  39. Thank you for posting the video Courtney! I love how you always try to be real and bare your heart (I’m not sure if I used the right “bare” spelling, but I hope you know what I mean). Your blog has been SUCH an encouragement to me, I am doing the Fall challenge, and it really has made such a difference! 🙂

  40. Very refreshing video,i guess people love having someone to look up too and i must say you set a great example following Christ and serving and loving your family.I guess when we have down days we are so focused on us that we forget many women across the globe go through the SAME issues(keepin a tidy home,loving God trying to be the best wife and Mom etc…) we are all in it together as we serve the Lord.The people that unfollowed you probably felt convicted i guess.Cleaning and tidying is so repetitive it can get fustrating.Your blog and ministry is such a God-send and i mean that. Keep your light shining. Blessings from the UK.

  41. Love the video. I does always look perfect in your photos and videos. I enjoy seeing the realness of your home. Thanks

  42. i’m alittle late to the party. i had saved this email to get back to your blog and watch the video. I’m just getting back to it. I really appreciate you posting this. It is noce to know that i’m not the only one working to keep the house clean and yet life gets in the way.

  43. Thank you for this! It is nice to see a leader like you show me that you’re human. I shows me that you are a humble leader who isn’t perfect. PS – they don’t shut closet doors in your house either? I thought it was just me!! LOL

    Blessings!

  44. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and really enjoy it. Here lately I have been spending time in the archives; your marriage category was wonderful!

    So, anyway, I wanted to mention your “clutter” video. This was great! It’s always nice to see “behind” the scenes and to know you are truly an everyday person who has clutter. :O)

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