I actually wrote this a few days ago and had decided not to post it. Last night I was talking to my friend, Amy, and she was talking about how she was cleaning out, trying to get rid of more than she ever had before. She used the exact phrase I had written in the post, “I feel like all I do is manage my stuff.” And she was thinking along the same lines as the conclusion of this post. So here it is – enjoy reading!
Why is that cleaning out your house also cleans out your mind? It is such a mental relief to get stuff out of our way. For me, this has taken on many different methods over the years. I’ll never forget when I first started, we had been married for awhile and there were household items from when we first married that I didn’t want anymore. My style had changed, I now had two children and some things were just not practical. I also wanted to simplify life. So I literally started in one corner of the house and went through every room. It took a few weeks. By the time I got finished, I felt like I needed to do it all over again.
I will admit the first time that I cleaned out so drastically, most of the stuff made it to my garage. When my garage got too full, I a huge yard sale. After that I faithfully had one every spring and sometimes fall. I felt that I had gotten pretty good at keeping things cleaned out, but I STILL always had stuff. It perplexed me that I could sell so much and turn around and within just a few months I had more stuff. I’m honestly not a spendaholic, you can ask my hubby. :-) But I do have a large, generous family and they were always giving me stuff.
First I had to admit that although I’m not a spendaholic, I had to take a look at the stuff that I did buy that I didn’t really need. The hardest part of breaking the “stuff” thing in my life was to find a way to very politely and kindly thank my family for thinking of me but to say “no” when necessary. When we moved four years ago we had a large yard sale. It was fantastic not to have to move that “stuff.”
I committed at that moment that I would not let our new house get into this state. I was determined to park in my garage (which I still do), something we didn’t do at our old house. (of course our old house had a small one car garage.) So with the current house came the 3rd child and yep – you guessed it – more stuff.
Well, I’ve honed my cleaning out skills again and though they are far from perfect, still came in handy in this last stage of cleaning out. I’ve done consignment the last four years and kept the kids toys and clothes weeded through, but OH MY GOODNESS stuff still accumulates.
This time it was different. We got rid of books, clothes, and wires (don’t ask me what kind, I have not the slightest idea. B just said they didn’t match anything we had so I took the opportunity to get rid of it.), we got rid of so much. It was wonderful. And I was able to make some money to go on my mission trip.
So now we are to the heart of my thoughts today. I’m praying that the Lord will help me be more “stuffless”. I don’t want my mind or my life, or my house for that matter, to be cluttered again because it keeps my thoughts occupied. If my thoughts are occupied with stuff then they are not occupied with things that are eternal. I want to be about the business of helping my neighbor, praying for my friends, loving my family, and bringing glory to God. And no, I don’t do that right now as much as I should… and sometimes it’s because I’m too busy managing my stuff.
I will still allow my children to have things. I’m not going to force my husband to get rid of something that holds significance for him. But there has to be a healthy way, a Godly way to deal with this stuff. I am about to go to Africa, where a bouncy ball would be a prized possession.
So I will keep searching God’s Word and praying to figure out how to be reasonable and Godly about our stuff. I am praying for you too to find ways to be “stuffless.”