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A practical Catholic approach to decluttering for spring

Cleaning out garage

Monkey Business Images | Shutterstock

Daniel Esparza - published on 04/17/24

Letting go of unused items creates space, both literally and figuratively, for what really matters.

Spring bursts forth with life. It is a natural invitation to refresh and renew. Catholics can extend this renewal beyond their homes, into their spiritual lives. Spring cleaning is an opportunity to declutter not only physical spaces, but also hearts and minds.

Just as Jesus urged detachment from material possessions (Matthew 6:19-21), think of spring cleaning as an exercise in detachment. As you sort through your belongings, be thankful for the abundance in your life and then ask yourself: Does this serve a real purpose? Can someone else benefit more from this? Letting go of unused items creates space, both literally and figuratively, for what really matters.

Decluttering with gratitude

But decluttering doesn’t mean becoming emotionless. Some possessions hold precious memories. Think of your storage space not as a dumping ground, but as an archive for precious keepsakes. Make sure you treat them with due respect. As you go through your boxes, make sure you see its contents and allow them to inspire gratitude for the blessings received ­– and that we so often overlook or even forget about.

This focus on what really matters aligns perfectly with Luke 3:11: “He who has two tunics should give to him who has none; and he who has food should do likewise.” Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to identify items that you no longer use but that could bring great joy to others.

Sharing abundance

Consider donating clothing, books, or household items to charities, shelters, neighbors, or even family members who might need and cherish them. By sharing your abundance, you make room for a lighter heart, closer to God.

The act of cleaning itself can also be a spiritual practice. Saints from all times were perfectly aware of the fact that there is a meditative dimension to manual labor. Use your imagination and allow yourself to see every task as a metaphor for something. You can think of dusting off cobwebs as clearing away distractions that cloud your connection to God. Washing windows allows you to see the world with new clarity. Offer each action as a prayer, a small act of service in gratitude for God’s blessings.

Spring cleaning isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s an opportunity to cultivate a more Christ-centered life. Through mindful decluttering, cherishing memories, and sharing with those in need, you prepare your physical and spiritual home for the newness that spring brings in.

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