Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Simplify! My Life Lesson with Stuff

If you follow me on Facebook, (and of course you should) you'll see that I was posting about the Simplifying Challenge.

I tried to take part in the week long challenge of getting rid of 8 items, every day, for a week. (I had heard about this from a friend, who heard it from another friend.) Also, after I googled, I found it on this website, The Everyday Minimalist.

I didn't say I didn't succeed, I just said I tried. When I started in my bathroom, I got rid of more than 8 items (you know all those dental flosses and mini tubes of toothpaste you get from the dentist?). That was really easy.

Then that night, as I sat and thought about my next task (my closet) I really felt anxious. I try to go through my closet often, but I find that I get so attached to my clothes. You know, you dig into the back and pull out a sweater from 2001, sigh, and think, "I remember that winter, when I got this sweater, and how awesome it was. The sun was sparkling just right, and I had my first (fill in the blank) and it was just the best winter EVER!"

Then, as that memory is fresh and new with all those feelings, you look at it and say, "Well, you know, I could TOTALLY wear this again. I can dress it up to be in style now." And with that statement, it goes right back into the BACK of the closet, where it will sit again, until we reminisce about it another day. Of course, without ever WEARING it.

But, back to my simplifying. I've been having quite the change of heart lately. I know it's because of several different things, but mostly because of the Lord. 

My husband laughs (not all the time) and calls me a hoarder. I beg to differ, because I'm totally NOT! And really, you should see his garage. Oye!

But, I honestly still have clothes from when I was in 8th grade (just to give you some perspective, I'll be 30 in just a wink of an eye). Pretty sure B.U.M. Equipment long sleeved shirts aren't still trending ANYWHERE! (Please feel free to laugh now.)

But, when I started this little challenge, I thought it would just be good to clean up a little and donate our items. Change is good. But I also realized, that perhaps it was meant as something more.

I tend to get so wrapped up in stuff. Mostly, just trying to make sure I have enough like everyone else. I felt that God was giving me a mission. He was saying, "Get rid of it. There are others out there who need it more, and I will always provide for you."

It was like a breathe of fresh air. Maybe some of you don't know what I'm talking about. But, I honestly felt that's what he was telling me in my heart.

The next morning, after my evening revelation, I set forth to doing it. I knew that if I didn't do it that day, that I would come up with more excuses as to why keeping all this stuff, would be OK. And I didn't want to keep doing that same old thing anymore. I wanted to break that cycle of clinging to the old, unused, unloved stuff.

This was difficult, but I did it. I have virtually an empty closet. I have a few pairs of jeans, work out clothes, and a few dresses and tops. Pretty bare. I even went through my jewelry drawers. Socks-ditto. (I had socks with bows on them. Yep, another phase. Moving on...)

I had a few different piles-homeless shelter, Salvation Army and rags.

When I went to drop everything off, again, I knew it needed to happen that day. I felt a little sadness as I approached the first drop off. But, as I got out of the car, I felt a rush. An "Out with the Old and in with the NEW!" I knew I was doing the right thing.

Someone else could use this stuff. They didn't just have to sit in my closet as old memories, collecting dust.

When I got home and took inventory of what I'd actually done, I was kind of in awe. I missed none of it. What a relief!

This was a new step for me. Laugh if you want to, but I think God was telling me that by getting rid of my "stuff" that I was clinging so hard to, I was showing him that I have faith in him. That the worldly "stuff," will come and go, and that I shouldn't be so attached to it.

And when I can be at ease with not being attached to "stuff," life gets a little easier to deal with at times.

There will still be times where I have wants. (What girl DOESN'T?) I still have a Christmas wish list and a few other little things that I'd like to have while here on this Earth, during this very short time. However, they aren't going to define who I am, and how I live my life. They are, in the end, just things. And as a wise man once said, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."

So, in one sense, I didn't do the whole week. But in another, I got rid of WAY MORE than just the 56 items I was hoping too!

Happy Simplifying to you all! May you enjoy your new space!

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  1. You did awesome! I love purging every season and really feel everything should have a place. I tend to sometimes get attached to items and I give myself time to hang onto it and then if during the next purge I have not displayed it properly or worn it..out it goes!

    1. Thanks! It felt awesome! I feel that it will be so much easier to do in the future too, now that I've taken the first big step! It's like a huge weight was lifted!


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