Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Rid of Stuff

I have been reevaluating some of my priorities recently.  Primarily, I have been thinking about "stuff" and what items are worth keeping vs. what needs to be given or thrown away.  It is so easy to accumulate souvenirs, gifts, craft and school supplies, old toys, music, decorative items, etc.  Where is the line?  How much of my stuff is worthy to be stored in boxes or closets if I don't have room to display them?

This is a current battle, so I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do believe there is hope.

Every move or "spring cleaning" -- which tends to happen randomly for me regardless of the weather --  is an opportunity to organize and clean out.  Well, I was married earlier this year, and many, many things were deaccessioned from my personal "collection" at that time, but it wasn't enough.  I still had to ask my parents to store things for me, some items were actually abandoned in my room, and still others -- the things I am struggling with right now -- made it to my newlywed apartment only to be left untouched for months in boxes and closets.

By the way, "deaccessioned" is a tactful word I learned during my library days, and I couldn't resist using it here since it is practically useless in everyday life!

Now that Zachary and I have a little bundle of joy on the way, I am realizing that the stuff I have been putting up with will soon be even more in the way than it already was.  For example, the tote that (up until yesterday) sat in front of my dresser? I will need those bottom dresser drawers for baby clothes sooner than I may realize. I will not want to move a heavy box every time I want to dress the baby. One small victory: I did clear that and a few other areas yesterday and was able to deaccession a large box full to overflowing!

I was recently inspired by a blog post I read at Under African Skies.  Jessica and Rachel were closing their blog in anticipation of their move to New Zealand, and Jessica posted a follow up comment on their post that listed the few things she was taking with her.  She wrote:

We are excited about the move and it will be like starting a new life! We have sold/disposed of just about all worldly goods (All I have is a suitcase full of clothes and a few personal items, my Bible and a smallish box of things I just couldn't get rid of, and of course, my guitar!

It made me stop and think.  "Could I do that?  Would I be capable of leaving behind almost everything?"

What freedom would come if I stopped thinking, "What do I not have room for?" and instead focused on "What am I able to keep?"  In other words, being thankful for what I have room for and graciously giving up what I don't have room for.

In this season of thankfulness, I wonder, is thankfulness more than just being grateful for what I have right now?  Could it be a willingness to part with things I have kept for years while still having a content, grateful attitude?  The Lord has blessed me with more than I need, but that doesn't mean everything He blessed me with in the past is supposed to be part of my current blessing.  

So, the battle continues.  I threw a lot away yesterday, but there are more strongholds that need to come down.  We still need more room where the crib will go!


Joy said...

I understand your battle. When my husband remodled our second floor, he made a room-size closet attached to my study for my fabric and craft supplies.I am constantly going through things to see what I don't need. The closet is like a "monkey on my back" as the saying goes. I have found if I do a little bit each day, the closet is manageable--not always, but sometimes. We have an eight room house, believe me, I know what you are going through:-)
God will make a way where there seems to be no way. I'm praying for you, Zachary and the Baby.

Robert said...

"Deaccessioned?" That's a first! (...For me, certainly.)

Nice post.