December 8, 2009
After spending a few discouraging days tripping over toys, trying to reorganize the small kitchen space and doing innumerable loads of laundry I knew we needed to make a change. After a particularly hard day in which I couldn’t seem to keep anything off the floor for more than five minutes, I practically jumped my husband when he came in the door, “That’s it! I’m done with all this JUNK in our house! We need to get rid of it!!!” He looked at me, laughed and said, “I completely agree, Babe. When do you want to start?” What a guy!
We spent the next few weeks going through closets, drawers, counters and toy boxes weeding out “stuff”. Our criteria? “If we aren’t using it and someone else can, it’s gone.” We compiled 4 large storage bins of clothes, toys, "fall decor", unused gift bags etc, held a carport sale and donated any remaining items to a local charity.
The result of this process was another revelation. While before, we were careful about how we spent our money because our resources are limited, now we are careful because we want only what we really need to live. We don’t want to clutter our space and our time with stuff that will require more picking up, cleaning, organizing, etc.
We want our girls to learn two important lessons from our stuff-purging experience. First, living simply is a great way to be good stewards of the world around us. It causes us to consider carefully what items we choose to admit back into our space, which might even include environmental or labor considerations (like no "made in china" stuff). Second, the most important things in life aren’t - things - but the people we are blessed to know. Our new goal is to spend our time enjoying each other and exploring the world together as a family.
The getting rid of “stuff” thing is kind of addictive. I have a feeling that our original clearing house is just a precursor to the next one. In fact, I think I’ll go start a “give away” bag right now!