Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Battle with Stuff

I confess, I once was somewhat of a hoarder. Now, I'm not talking about the sort of hoarder that ends up on that AE show, but, well.... I am a former packrat.

I'll spare you the details, but I've come a long way, and now moving is so much easier when you're not hauling around boxes and boxes of junk.  I even found myself willing to part with boxes stuffed with poetry from my teen years. Solemn, depressing stuff- I don't care to drag it around anymore.

Letting go has been...... well, it's been great. We have managed to get rid of nearly half our belongings, and I must say, at some point.... it becomes addictive!  A house with less stuff- void of clutter- is easier to keep clean, which we all love.

Today's culture is obsessed with stuff. We're consumed by consumerism. My husband and I were talking about "the old days", when children had a couple toys and that's it- maybe a doll or a wooden horse Ol' Pappy whittled.  Kids are so loaded with stuff, and they don't even play with most of it!

We began asking people to quit giving us toys for Christmas and birthdays because I feel like it's just a waste of someone's hard earned money.  Sure, some items get played with a few times, but the kids have the things they prefer, and those are usually the toys they can play with together.  With four children in the house, the toys can quickly pile up!

The other day, we asked the kids if they would go through their stuff and bring us the things they didn't want anymore. They loaded up a sack with toys they were no longer interested in!

Brandon and I have also gone through our things several times this year. We've been able to get rid of kitchen items, clothing, knick knacks, furniture, and much more. Brandon tackled several boxes stacked in the garage. I let him go through them because I knew if I did, I would be tempted to keep things we didn't even need. I mean, these things had been boxed up for nearly a year, so I obviously am not missing any of the items inside!

This has all been a great time of conversation with our children.  We've discussed how we need to be thankful for what we have, but we don't need to hoard it nor do we need to be obsessed with obtaining and gaining and buying more and more stuff.  One of them commented, "Yeah, 'cause the less stuff we have, the less stuff we have to clean, and the more time we get to spend together!"

Wise children!

1 comment:

jjrm said...

We have been on the same mission this year. It is even to the point when I grab something and put it by the door that the children say "Are we going to give that to someone else". I want to be focused on giving rather than receiving.

Thank you for sharing and encouraging others to view their stuff in another way.