Love Your Stuff or Give it To Someone Who Will

Giving Things Away dog pulling a red wagon

Get Rid Of Stuff

I consider myself to be a sentimental minimalist. Which at times contradicts itself.

I hate clutter because it consumes so much of my mental and physical energy. Too many things need to be cleaned and dusted, which takes way too much time physically cleaning. If I have knick knacks or chachkas all over the place, I can’t help but think, well, maybe if I move it over there, it will look less cluttered.

Being the mother of sons and a house full of boys (their friends), one can not have a great nerf gun battle or marshmallow fight with all those breakable things. So, out of caution for not wanting a casualty with Grandmother’s Irish Girl Music Box, I chose to wrap carefully and put into boxes all the sentimental things. In doing so, I found our home more comfortable to clean, less to worry about being broken, and a place to show hospitality to many. (Pre-COVID, of course- although the day will come soon again!)

Now that my sons are grown (except when they get back together and revert to 8 and 4 years old all over again), I still find solace in less stuff. I still have boxes of sentimental things, but I swap them out every couple of months. It’s like shopping for my own house. I also have a problem getting rid of my kid’s old artwork! I made a plastic bin for each of them of the most sentimental things. They are guys, so who knows if they will care, but it makes me feel better.

Target

When my husband and I got married, it was the rise of Target. Somehow we got into this habitual ritual of hitting Target on the weekends. It was always to buy one thing. We would come out with bags overflowing with things we absolutely didn’t need. One could say, well, at least we were at a discount chain, except that we could easily do this at high-end department stores too.

We were consumerism at its worst! This went on for years and years. It was like a sport to us. Entertainment if you will. Our home was filled. Not in a hoarding kind of way, but clearly, we had issues!

I was introduced to the extreme poverty in Haiti. A friend of mine asked me to lead The Haiti Committee at church. I said, “Sure. Where’s Haiti?” That was the start of my very long journey with stuff. Now everyone has heard of Haiti. Guess what? They are still the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I realized how much I was REALLY spending on things that don’t matter.

Overspending was the drug, and the momentary high was that new area rug or the wall art that would transform our home into HGTV status. (Yes, that was brand new at the time- HGTV). After watching a show, somehow, the house you had was less than adequate.

Learning about Haiti got me to thinking about our community. I still have a heart for Haiti to this day, and guess what? We have suffered here in the DC/ Baltimore area. In fact, quite a bit of it. I think wherever you live also does. Head to a soup kitchen near you. Or right now, pack bags to relieve COVID hunger from job losses.

Giving Things Away

So, years ago, I started giving a lot of my stuff away. If someone liked my necklace (no, I don’t have expensive jewelry), they got it. The same went for artwork on the wall of my salon. If we got new furniture, I thought about friends and family that really liked what we had.  We had so much excess, and like clothing and hair trends, we were getting things that were home trends. That gets expensive (!!) and guess what? It wasn’t really our style either. (which is not necessarily popular.)

Now I am purposeful to purchase only things we intend to keep for a long time. Not something that or trendy or cheaply made and wear out. If you are sitting on a kingdom of stuff that is unused or unloved, give it to someone that truly will love it!

If you are holding on to it with the belief “, I may need it.”, the truth is if you haven’t worn it, or used it in a year, give it away. I believe that too much stuff keeps us stuck in old thought patterns and stole our energy.

A home should be functional to help each member thrive in their academics, work, creativity, fun, and relationships. A home is for showing hospitality to others and should be filled with more love than things. If you have an item that you look at and it doesn’t bring joy, but you’re holding on to it out of obligation, give it to someone that will love it. If your home is cluttered with unused furniture, some families could really use it!

If you are unsure where to give items, think Habitat for Humanity, Purple Heart, ask around your church or synagogue.

Need More Money

If you need money, post on Facebook Market Place, Offer Up, or eBay, and pay some bills.

You have been working for weeks to change your habits, get healthier, and really have lasting changes. You have to deal with your physical surroundings. Make your home as pleasant as possible to be in for you and your family to thrive.

This week’s homework.

Begin to de-clutter the room that is most often used

Day 1-

  • 15 minutes of planning in Daily Goal Planner
  • Remove two items that you don’t use
  • Be mindful of the food you are eating
  • 10,000 steps
  • Drink eight glasses of water
  • Yoga

Day 2-

  • 15 minutes of planning in Daily Goal Planner
  • Remove items that you don’t love
  • Be mindful of the food you are eating
  • 10,000 steps
  • Drink 8 glasses of water
  • Yoga

Day 3-

  • 15 minutes of planning in Daily Goal Planner
  • Continue decluttering and GIVE away
  • Be mindful of the food you are eating
  • 10,000 steps
  • Drink 8 glasses of water
  • Yoga

Day 4-

  • 15 minutes of planning in Daily Goal Planner
  • Maybe it’s time to rearrange some furniture?
  • Be mindful of the food you are eating
  • 10,000 steps
  • Drink 8 glasses of water
  • Yoga

Day 5-

  • 15 minutes of planning in Daily Goal Planner
  • Deep Clean that Room
  • Be mindful of the food you are eating
  • 10,000 steps
  • Drink 8 glasses of water
  • Yoga

Day 6-

  • 15 minutes of planning in Daily Goal Planner
  • Repeat with a new room each week
  • Be mindful of the food you are eating
  • 10,000 steps
  • Drink 8 glasses of water
  • Yoga
  • Print Weekly Goal Planner for Week 6

Day 7-

Rest, Restore and Renew

By doing a little decluttering, giving, and cleaning each week, before you know it, you are going

to have your home humming before spring. Once spring rolls around, we will not want to be inside cleaning and decluttering. This is so easy to do.

Have a great week!

Love, Cris

**Note- If you are a bit of a hoarder or a full-fledged hoarder, this will require the help of professionals or others willing. You will have to commit to and choose that your stuff is not more important than your relationships or life.

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