Wednesday, June 20, 2012

get out of my house!

so I'm really far behind on blogging about 7 stuff (for those who care). May was possessions month. Getting rid of the excess - 7 things a day, intentionally (not just dropping junk at Goodwill) Honestly, I only did okay. Not for lack of want, but for lack of time. May was a super busy month - soccer games & practices, dance class, end of school activities/plays/parties/concerts/teacher appreciation/etc. Going through everything you own is VERY time-consuming...which is probably only a problem for people like me who have WAY too much stuff! I was (and still am) very motivated to get rid of stuff. I HATE clutter & excess & crap I don't need, use, or want. I LOVE giving to people in need.

I am a member of an online yard sale facebook group for Buda/Kyle. At the first of the month I posted that I was giving stuff away to those in need & to contact me with what you need and if I have it I will give it. I wasn't sure if I would get any responses, but I wasn't quite sure where else to start, so I gave it a try. I actually got several replies (and a few nice comments) from people in need. A mom in need of some 4T boys clothes, a pregnant mom needing 5T boys clothes and baby items, a volunteer at the Hays Women's Shelter asking for childrens' swimming items for their summer programs, and a few other requests that I was unable to satisfy like for a window A/C unit, and little girl clothes. The recipients were so grateful - I loved delivering the items to their houses and seeing the little boys excited for new clothes, and the moms grateful for diapers/bottles/blankets/clothes for their babies on the way. It's a completely different experience than dropping off boxes at Goodwill or Salvation Army. I know those businesses do good work and help the needy, but there's such a disconnect from the beneficiaries of those donations that it usually just feels like, "I'm so glad to have this junk out of my house" instead of, "I'm so glad I could bless someone's life today."

I still have boxes of things in my house, and a ton more to go through and get rid of. I'm not stopping just because the month is over. Jesus knew how possessions can become lord over us - the more we have, the more enslaved we are to it. Having a big house comes with big maintenance bills, having computers comes with internet bills, too many clothes - more dressers and closet space needed, the list goes on. I'm not saying we're getting rid of everything, but there is absolutely no reason for every corner of my 3500 square foot home to be packed. I would LOVE to have an empty closet somewhere in the house, or nothing in the attic, or a garage with usable space for projects. I practically wear the same 10 shirts over and over, so why do I need 3 rails full of clothes in my closet. There is a woman at a shelter in need of nice work clothes for her new secretary job, or a homeless man that could get work if he just had some decent interview clothes. St. Louise house needs furniture and other home goods for their apartments for homeless single moms (they let the women take everything with them when they are able to move into housing of their own). I have cupboards full of dishes I never use.

I'm so excited about the freedom I feel in giving things away. And have you even thought about how much easier cleaning is when there's less to clean around? I'm also planning a garage sale (when I'm finally done going through everything) where I'll be giving all the money to a charity (my heart is for orphans and I'm partial to HELP, Family Legacy, and Compassion, so maybe dividing it between them). The possibilities are endless. We have so much to give. We need so much less than we think we do, and if we can just really grasp that and stop consuming and start giving we can make such a big difference.


  1. Getting rid of stuff is such a process. You never realize how much stuff you have until you start getting rid of it.

    And even once you realize how much you have, it's hard to get rid of. At least, it is for me. My mother never got rid of anything she could save. We kept things because they might someday be useful. We kept things because they were involved in family feuds that started before she was born. We kept things because Mom said so.

    Even into the teenage years, Mom had to approve anything we got rid of - and we had to keep what she rejected. Which was just about everything.

    Moving always involved closets full of things no one recognized or remembered, and we had to go through the entire process again. My brothers and I learned now to be sneaky to get rid of things.

    For the last several years, I've been on a quest to get rid of everything I don't need, can't use or have no other reason to keep. Each time I clean out my stuff, I get rid of even more - and each time it gets harder, because I'm making harder decisions.

    We seem to be programmed to want to hold on to things.


  2. so true, Alan. The initial purge can be quite easy, but if you try to go deeper and get rid of more than just what is easy to get rid of, you really have to start making some hard choices. I used to be pretty sentimental and had a lot of items that "held a special place in my heart" that I just couldn't part with. With age and wisdom, I realize that none of this stuff is coming with me when I'm gone, and the memories are what's special - not the items. Not that I'm getting rid of all of my "special" things, but there are certainly less of them these days. And the journey doesn't end with just getting rid of things. The real challenge is not replacing it all with more stuff later.

  3. you are awesome! I love the idea of connecting right away with people who need the stuff - it just motivates you more to find more things to give!

    1. It is very motivating, and it makes it so much easier to part with things that you might otherwise hang on to if you were just packing a box for Goodwill.