We’re preparing to move in the very near future and as I sort through our belongings, I’m just overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff that we have! I’m constantly getting rid of items, but it seems as though they multiply in the night. I know that so many of us here in the United States have this issue and it’s mind boggling to me. How do we acquire so many items, especially when families like mine are so intensely frugal and aren’t really out there shopping for fun or “wants”?
When my husband’s grandfather passed away, we were given a lot of his items. They were wonderful, quality items (most of them) but they were triples and doubles of items we already had. My parents, hoarders at heart, have given us truck loads of items over the years. (Seriously, my dad never visited us in Washington without a pickup truck full of items!) Friends have given us many great items, and Anthony and I started out our marriage with most of our house put together already, from items we either owned previously, or purchased together. Add in a couple of crib midgets, and well, you have a house overflowing with stuff!
Most of this stuff has absolutely no value to me. I don’t know what to do with it. I can’t use it because I’m already using other items. I don’t care for most of it, and it makes me sick to look at it, knowing there are people out there who live in garbage dumps and dig among others’ discards just to find clothing and shelter. Why should I have all this stuff in my possession? What purpose does it serve me? None. It is a distraction from what really matters.
The devil doesn’t come to you dressed in a red cape and horns. He comes disguised as everything you’ve ever wanted.
So all the things lying on my floor right now in disarray are things I actually wanted at one time? Well, yeah. Truth be told, there’s so much more than what’s on my floor right now that I’ve really wanted – that I’ve spent a lot of time coveting. It’s easy to covet, especially when we believe that the item(s) will bring us happiness, joy, comfort, relaxation. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve purchased pretty organizing baskets to keep my kitchen, pantry, bedroom, bathroom, living room in line. Most of those baskets found their way either to the Goodwill or to the trash can because they were poorly made.
We’re spending our pay checks on trash, people. Look around at the items in your home right now. How many things are a poor use of God’s money? How many items are going to break soon, if they’re not broken already? How many items do you use on a daily basis? How many items sit, waiting in drawers, cupboards, on shelves just waiting to be used?
A couple years ago, I read a really amazing book by Dave Bruno called The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul. Let me start out by saying that I resist change out of fear, so it takes a long time for stuff to set in. 🙂 Now, I’ll say that lessons from this book keep coming back to me. I absolutely love the idea of only owning 100 items, but I don’t really know how to make that happen when I’m drowning in stuff!