Making Room For God by Mary Elizabeth Sperry

(Notre Dame: Ave Maria, 2018), 129

Jordan's Notes

  • Time is valuable. When we have tons of clutter or too much stuff, we waste time. Extra time to find the things we need or put things away in already full places, etc. Time could be better used elsewhere
  • Decluttering saves money. We can be more intentional with our purchases to avoid clutter.
  • Declutter reduces stress.

  • Material possessions aren’t bad. We need to be seeking to live holy and virtuous lives. Do our things push us towards God or away?

  • Decluttering isn’t simply a matter of tossing out our abundance and living with less...Decluttering isn’t just about discarding possessions. It’s about limiting our possessions to things that are either necessary or truly memorable.
  • Don’t buy on impulse...probably won’t use.
  • Make sure things are in easily accessible places so you actually use them. Hence a benefit of being organized
  • Think about greed and gluttony. Stuff isn’t sinful but it can lead to sin
  • Instead of just Lent, maybe abstain or do some form of penance every Friday. Doesn’t just have to be giving up meat on Fridays in Lent
  • Fasting, almsgiving and prayer can help us declutter our lives and focus more on God
  • Pray through the mess both figuratively and literally
  • Saying no to something bad is far easier than choosing between two goods
  • A healthy and holy relationship with our possessions is marked by stewardship
  • Both our prayer lives and our decluttering efforts need us to focus and to discipline our minds and wills to resist distraction
  • We live in a world that promotes individualism and we need to focus on the greater interconnected world
  • Our culture emphasizes constant buying.
  • Pope Francis has called attention to this throwaway culture. In a throwaway culture, utility is the only value.
  • The extra cost in your closet belongs to the poor.
  • The Rule of St. Benedict - goal is sufficiency not excess
  • We should choose to be grateful for what we have and not always seeking more
  • Meal planning is a huge winner in helping eliminate food waste
  • Other ways to help the earth - composting and finding ethical sourced companies and food brands
  • When decluttering, get donations out as quick as possible so you don’t take them back
  • Maintain your momentum - decluttering and the spiritual life are never done.
  • Routine is key! A routine created a rhythm that adds to the serenity and order in life.
  • Friday Tidy!
  • As the clutter in your home decreases, you’ll be less likely to bring unnecessary items into your home.
  • Sorting through our possessions can make us more aware of the bountiful gifts God has shared with us.