Monday, February 6, 2012

Clearing Clutter by Moving Mama

I've been packing for my family's third move in four years. My kitchen looks like this:

When one moves as much as I do, you learn a few things along the way. I found myself considering starting a third blog entitled "Moving Mama" as I shuffled boxes and totes, cleared out closets and threw away useless items.

As I think back, I've moved a total of twenty-five times since I was born. This will make move number twenty-six. I've lived in five states, going on six. I started in Indiana, where I was born. My parents moved us to Kentucky when I was two, and my sister and brother were born there. When my grandparents' health started failing, my parents decided to move back to New York, where they were from. We moved around New York for awhile, settling in the Catskill Mountains when I was in third grade. I grew up there, and I moved another nine times during my college years. Once I married, we remained in the Catskills until Vic found salaried employment with a concrete company. We moved six times before that date, and they put us on the road, going from job site to job site. We've lived in Alabama and South Carolina. We are facing our third move with them (Vic's fourth - he's been in Indiana for six months), which is taking us to Georgia. That's a lot of packing, moving and unpacking.

In the process, I've discovered that "stuff" isn't as important as family. We don't have a bunch of furniture, decorative items or clothing. Most of those boxes you see contain books and DVDs. The rest of it is a few boxes of bathroom items, kitchenware and the kids' toys. Why? Because what's most important to us is keeping our family together. It isn't about how many things we can acquire. It's about keeping God in our midst, keeping our marriage solid on the Rock and giving our children a secure foundation to grow on and live by.

Do I tire of moving around? Every now and then I pray Vic could find a job that would pay as well and keep us in one location for more than eighteen months. But where is the adventure in that? We love seeing new places, experiencing new things and making new friends. The kids have adjusted to the point where they start getting antsy after that year and a half goes by. "Is it time to move again?" my middle son asks. He senses it just as his father and I do. We remember to make it the experience of a lifetime for them. We remind them to find God in the midst of the moving. What new aspect of Him and His glory can they seek out in the new places we travel to?

So, as I clean out the closets another time, I look forward to what God has in store for us in the next town, state or maybe - one day - another country. I throw away the junk and remember to keep the memories.

Watch for more from me concerning frequent moves. I may have found a niche. ;) In the meantime, if you're moving or not, Glynnis Whitwer of  Proverbs 31 Ministries has been running a series about cleaning out the clutter on her blog. Stop on over and discover ways to clean out the "junk" in your home. And check out her book, I Used to Be So Organized. She can help you reorganize your home and your life in 2012.


  1. Hey Alycia, Glad you're staying sort of close! I agree with you that there is something about moving that makes you want to de-clutter. I need to de-clutter. We've lived here for nine years. God has been calling me to get rid of things and let others enjoy them. So your post is timely to remind me to de-clutter and bless others. Love ya!

  2. I'm actually getting the itch to move! We have been in this home the longest of anywhere in my life-5 years- and I miss the process of sorting and tossing and really being honest about what our family needs as we pack to move. I may just need to pretend we're relocating soon so I can clear the clutter :) I love your outlook, friend.


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