About the Author

Now graduated from her role as a homeschooling mom of 8, Dawn Camp devotes her time and love of stories to writing her first novel. She enjoys movie nights, cups of Earl Grey, and cheering on the Braves. She and her husband navigate an ever-emptying nest in the Atlanta suburbs.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Dawn, I really appreciate this because my struggle is with paper and books, which makes things look surface-cluttered. Books are literally everywhere! And your comment about decisions struck me because indeed that is true. I should file or act on individual pieces of paper which, of course, are filled with words and decisions postponed. Ah, I just had a eureka moment. Words are my clutter, and even this is a biblical dilemma, as in, ” . . . Let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:2b). 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing the “why’s” of decluttering and the purpose: peace. What was the book you read?

    Happy New Year, dear one.

    • The book was called The Genesis Principle: the ABCs of Throwing Disorganization, Procrastination, and Personal Humiliation Out of Your Life Forever by Patty Chirico. Lynn, I love the way you connected your dilemma to the verse in Ecclesiastes! Good to hear from you, friend!

      • I always love hearing from you, Dawn! And thank you. This is inspiriing me to sort, file, & pitch!

  2. Dawn, this subject has been on my mind so much lately. If opposites attract, then that describes my husband and me! I am a minimalist almost to the extreme. He loves stuff everywhere. I am very slowly moving stuff out. Donating if it’s useful and tossing if it’s not. I feel God calling us to a downsized simpler life. It will be easier if we are ever on the same page. Thanks for this post confirming my belief that simplicity means more time for worship, fellowship, and relationships.

    • Donna, there are areas where I’ve had trouble getting my husband on board, but he appreciates what I’m doing. I’m trying to lead by example in this area and have conversations about the things it feels like it’s time to release.

      • That’s a great approach! I will definitely try it. Sometimes I feel like he is bringing stuff in faster than I can take it out. For him, it’s 32 years in the Navy and not enough room for the things that had real meaning for him. Thanks again!

  3. “Clutter is postponed decisions” how true how true! Clutter in my spiritual life is me not taking my junk to Jesus to put in it’s proper perspective. It might not be a sinful thing that needs to be gone but a priority issue or a need for deeper understanding of the person of Christ. Thank you for this everyday household chore example to tie to my need to be getting to know Jesus better!

  4. I struggle with this because you never know when you might need it – so how can I throw it out or donate to someone else? ?!

    • Nancy, when the time comes you need it again, it will be provided. Blessing another will bring joy to them & you in the meantime. ;~)

    • Ruth gave a great answer! Ask yourself how long it’s been since you used or needed this thing and how difficult or easy it would be to replace. If it’s a bigger item, is there someone you know who needs it more who would loan it to you if you need it?

  5. Dawn,
    This is a sign! I needed your post today to get me started on getting rid of the clutter. I keep putting it off, hoping it will go away. It doesn’t. The clutter only takes away my joy and I feel overwhelmed. You’ve encouraged me! Thanks!
    BTW I live in the Atlanta area too! I love oils and I’d like the name of your organizer. Can you share?

    • This is a sign for me too. Especially since it is the second post I have read about this very subject in the past few days. I tend to be very sentimental, and I have a hard time letting go of things. So now the closets and bookshelves (and every corner of my bedroom) are filled with “stuff”, and it’s all so overwhelming! I definitely need to read that book! Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

    • Rita, just begin—every baby step is a victory! We just moved to Sugar Hill and love it here. My oils book is called It All Began in a Garden and the journal that goes with it, My Essential Oils Companion, releases this summer.

    • Susan, the book was called The Genesis Principle: the ABCs of Throwing Disorganization, Procrastination, and Personal Humiliation Out of Your Life Forever by Patty Chirico.

  6. Decluttering makes my heart happy. My challenge has been where to find time in my day to work on piles when so many other tasks and to-do’s demand my attention. I appreciate your reminders in this post. I’m going to carve out some time today to begin dealing with the hot spot on my kitchen counter.

  7. Love this but definitely not practical with littles. I’m amazed at the clutter they make even if you don’t have a lot of stuff.

    • M, I have a friend who once told her husband if he came home at night and things looked exactly the same as when he left, she’d worked really hard to maintain. When you’ve got littles, even maintaining takes work. Maybe he can help the littles clean up after themselves for half an hour at night while you tackle a separate area?

      • That tends to be what we do. Unfortunately it never seems to be enough, ha! I have had to let go so much lately.
        I hope someday we can have a very organized home. The maintaining part made me laugh – yep! maintaining is the best I can do most days. Or, the days my house look the messiest are the days I got to deep clean (because while I was deep cleaning they entertained themselves. Lol)

  8. Hey Dawn,

    Great post! I’m in the process of moving from my once upon a time Mom-Life in the burbs to Mimi-Life on the farm, and I’ve decided (more like been convicted) that I do not need to keep 26 years of homeschool curriculum, left behind kid stuff or those even great ideas we once set aside, right???

    I’m also looking forward to the peace I know decluttering will bring not only to me but also to my kids. It’s kind of like saying a sweet goodbye to one season of life and bursting onto the scene of the next. Right???

    But I have to say, the in-between is kind of overwhelming. We’re only moving the keepers into the new place, and it’s filling up fast, and though we’re not in a rush because we’ve still got the old place for now, it’s emptying out much slower than expected.

    All that to say, I’ll read and reread your post to stay focused. Give away, throw away, give away, throw away, give away, throw away… Thanks for the encouragement. Here we go living parallel lives again.

    Hugs to you and yours!

    • Lora, we need a good catch-up session. 🙂 I’ve got a sellers account on Amazon and I’ve listed lots of homeschool (and other) books there and I’ve got boxes separated out to do a curriculum garage sale this spring. I’ve passed some books along to my kids for their kids, but I’m learning to release things that none of us will need for several years.

  9. Thank you, as this is timely, my family is moving again, I am doing just that as I am about to sell some furniture. I don’t think I’m leaving this earth quite yet, but I would not want to inherit my clutter to my daughters. That’s something I think about as well.

      • I would note that I had literally no physical object from my grandfather (who was a minimalist), and he sold two vases that he had bought while serving in WWII. My father found out that he’d sold them, bought the vases back, and gave one to me and one to my sister, and it is lovely to have that one thing from my grandfather. *But* I don’t want dozens of things from every special person in my life – for those other than my parents, I’m vaguely aiming for One Thing that either they made or that was meaningful to them/us in another way, and that fits into our life reasonably.

        So! Decluttering is great, when you have too much clutter! But maybe check with your kids whether there’s anything specific that they want, before getting rid of *absolutely* everything other than what you need for your current life, like my grandpa basically did…

  10. Dawn,

    We are people who hoard stuff. Proof is the many self storage businesses showing up everywhere. Everyone wants to keep little reminders of their children’s art/school work or things your parents had or wore. But Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    Several times a year I clean out my closets. Going through clothes or blankets & donating them to charity. For one thing I can’t stand clutter of any kind. If I think I have to much stuff I just give it away. Knowing someone out there can use it. Also to make room for new items. Plus should we ever move I don’t want to take a bunch of “crap” with us.

    Blessings 🙂

    • So true! The Scriptures tell us to help the poor, the needy and foreigner. It became a ministry for me to say that if I didn’t ‘buy’, or collect or pay for anything that was truly of no use in my earthly life, then I could minister to someone else in the world whom did not have enough food, freedom, clothing or safety. This transformation included several books on missions and ministry but to God be the glory that this is now how the Spirit leads me to make decisions. Ask yourself, if I don’t pay for one storage unit, how can the Lord use those $ to give someone an abundant life?

  11. I very much NEED TO DECLUTTER , just as you spoke of, MUCH TOO MUCH STUFF❗️My problem is deciding just what to do first so I guess I need to pray to the Holy Spirit….

  12. I, too, struggle with clutter and would live to know what book helped Dawn work through this particular challenge. I struggle with this as my mother abs both my in-laws passed away in a short period of time and it is all surrounding me.

  13. As I read this it all made very much sense. I used too be a caregiver but had gotten very sick and almost died. I am somewhat handicapped and with that my house suffers. My mom passed also 3 years ago and that added to the clutter. I’m embarrassed to say but if I get dinner made, the kitchen cleaned and (sometimes) get the beds made its amazing. Even fixing the beds puts me in a different frame of mind and tells me I had better start clearing out all this c!utter. I have a long ways to go but trying to get there. Thank you so very much for this enlightening article, believe me it made so much sense!