After a week, I'm only on #12. Mind you, we count 20 magazines as "magazines" (= 1 item not 20.) It's not like things haven't been moving out of the house before that, either. This past year, every time "the Blind" or "Disability Services" or whatever charity called, I promised them at least one bag of stuff. You know, I can't remember what was in those bags. I haven't missed any of it.
- Possessions take time to clean, store, and use. Therefore, they take time from relationships and other priorities.
- Things may offer false self-esteem. People won't like us more because we set a pretty table or drive a fancy car.
- Stuff costs money, which we earn by working. Before buying, consider how many hours of your future you'll invest in your new plaything or clothes.
- Gluttony is not just about food. We can over-indulge in God's blessings, encouraged by materialism and advertising. Then we feel food, obese and unable to move, trapped by too much "good stuff."
- Could we invest in others as we clear out our lives? Can we bless someone less well off who needs our excess bedding or furniture? If we have adequate resources, would someone unemployed be able to sell our collections and live off the proceeds? (I have a few of these: any takers?)
- Consider a No-Purchase month. Mine is until Christmas. I admit I've filled several online shopping carts, then hit the delete button. WHEW. Purchasing is addictive and I need to STOP IT! How about you?
I can breathe in a few rooms. The living room and dining room now usually await guests, tidy and picked up. I'm rarely embarrassed about the state of the kitchen, though hosting last Sunday's lunch while the walls were being painted was a challenge. (Things normally on the walls and counters lay in piles, helter-skelter.) My office wouldn't please a perfectionist but everything I need is at hand and the floors and desks are clear. Our bedroom is emptier.
I gave several of our kids the annual ornaments Grandma and I bought for them each year. They weren't grateful. Or nostalgic. It was just stuff. One couple traditionally has a 1' tree, hardly big enough for 25 years of two ornaments a year. Whether they keep it or not is up to them: once one becomes an adult, "precious" things get to be your own decision! "Keep or toss. It's up to you, kids!"
What are your challenges as you look through closets and examine your rooms and offices? Have the blessings become burdens?
What are you going to do about it? Why not start with the Throw Away Fifty Things workbook: find it here. I'd love to hear about your initial reaction and any progress in the comments below.