A support group for people who want to reduce clutter
both inwardly and outwardly

Clean House – Clean Spirit

Offers support when your “Stuff” gets out of control

(4 p.m., second and fourth Wednesdays of each month)

Is your house “overweight”?  Have you made up your mind to “clean up the mess” only to find yourself overwhelmed and sort of paralyzed, not knowing where to start or even how to start?  Do you wish there were someone who’d understand that you’re not lazy, stupid or foolish, someone who would help you figure out how to get back in control of all those “things” that started out as prizes for working hard but then commandeered your self-respect?

We have, too.   

A couple years ago, when the Reverend Tom Turner was serving at FCC as our interim minister, he mentioned the problem of clutter in a sermon.  Tom’s comments helped us see that the clutter in our houses doesn’t just crowd our physical space; it’s doing a number on our spirits as well. 

After several of us spoke to him about how clutter was affecting our lives, he offered to start a support group for us to work together to find solutions.  That group, known as Clean House – Clean Spirit, meets on the second and fourth Wednesday afternoons of each month at 4 p.m. at our church.  It’s usually listed on our church calendar as simply CH/CS.

Membership is free and open to everyone: members of this congregation, other churches or no church at all.  Led by Tom and two other facilitators with social service training, Jeri Ross-Hayes and Emaline Burnette, we are open, honest and respectful of each other as we work on our specific and group concerns regarding the way clutter has kidnapped our joy.  Although we share articles and specific tips for dealing with clutter in our homes, we aren’t just a “how to keep house” group.  As our covenant states, we are seeking a “clean house and a clean spirit”.  We believe the two are undeniably intertwined.

You may want to come for just a few sessions to get a grip on a relatively small clutter issue.  You may choose to return regularly as you work your way through the clutter that is in your heart as well as your house.   We will welcome you as our fellow traveler on this journey, and we look forward to sharing with you and learning from you.



  •   Provide an opportunity for people to tell their stories
  •   Information and presentations on revelant topics
  •   Time for spiritual nurture, such as guided meditation
  •   Referrals to other sources of help when needed
  •   Events, such as yard sales and help with selling on ebay                                                        


CHCS Covenant

Troubled by the disorder of too much stuff,

we want to learn how to reduce clutter, outwardly and inwardly.

We intend, with God's help, to practice simplicity.


On the journey toward simplicity,

we seek courage to be honest with ourselves,

strength to make good choices when choosing is difficult,

and patience with the process and pace of change.


As companions on the journey,

we promise to be open and welcoming

and to treat one another with respect and compassion.


In the shared hope of living free and well,

we affirm the blessing of God on creation,

the blessing to be caregivers in the community of creatures,

and the blessing of a clean house and a clean spirit.






The following is an article that was published in the "Greenville Journal"


Group helps clear the clutter    by Bethany Leggett/Staff

Have you ever been to a support group for clutter?


The First Christian Church of Greenville has begun an experimental support group "Clean House, Clean Spirit" for discussing the detriments of clutter, both physical and spiritual, in people's lives.


The meetings, which run about an hour, examine the consequences of becoming a packrat.


"There are so many complicated dimensions to owning too many possessions. We cannot say 'get rid of everything’ said the Rev.Tom Turner, who says the emotional attachment behind collecting items often prevents people from getting rid of clutter. "We are focusing more on differentiating between wanting to keep stuff and wanting to own stuff;'


Facilitated by Emaline Burnette and Jeri - Ross-Hayes, members of the' congregation who are also social workers~ the group shares why they, need to hang onto certain items in their lives and how getting caught up with material objects can leave them feeling overwhelmed.


"Americans··have more possessions that ever before;' said Ross-Hayes."When possessions that were sources of comfort become burdensome, clutter becomes a problem:'



The support group does not just focus on the physical consequences of clutter but also delves into the spiritual significance of leading a simpler,c1utterfree lifestyle.


"For Christians in·-America, the freedom to be like Jesus is in part the freedom of a simpler lifestyle,

something at which he excelled and about which he can teach us," said Turner.


The idea for a support group began after Turner gave a sermon about unveiling unclean spirits in the beginning of February. "I did the preacher thing," said Turner. "The text led me to ask in what sense do we as Americans deal with being unclean, which I chose to take quite literally:'


Several people came up to Turner after the sermon to talk to him about their own issues in dealing with clutter. "They asked if Thad been looking through their windows at home," he said, laughing.


With such a strong response from the congregation, Turner decided to have the church secretary, Leslie Tomlin, look into finding  a support group for dealing with clutter. Although Tomlin found groups for compulsive hoarding, a pathological fear to sell one's belongings, she was unable to find anything for mild cases of clutter. "As far as we know, there isn't a similar group in the Greenville area. said Turner.


With more meetings, Ross-Hayes hopes to help the participants get rid of their clutter."We are developing a list of resources to give to the participants for  places where they can donate some oft heir belongings such as Habitat for

Humanity/, said Ross-Hayes.


One participant also proposed a group yard sale or information session about how to sell items on eBay.


The church will host meetings. For "Clean House, Clean Spirit" on the second and fourth Wednesdays of  each month at 4pm. The meetings are open to the public.


Contact Bethany Leggett at

b leg gett@greenvillejournal.corr,.