Three Reasons I Love Getting Rid of Stuff

Donation-Box

Since I’m moving to Texas in January, I’ve been trying to minimise the amount of STUFF in my life. I’ve given away dozens of bags of clothes, books, fabric, trinkets, etc, and thrown away quite a few bags as well, and I actually find it quite refreshing.

Here are three things I tell myself as I’m getting rid of stuff:

1. If it doesn’t bless me, it doesn’t belong in my home.

This statement is paraphrased from something I read in a FLYlady book of my mom’s years ago. It easily applies to the clothes I never wear and books I never plan to read, but it also helps me sort through memorabilia I kept because I felt I “should.” Of course I don’t want to get rid of everything that holds a memory! But not all memories are good ones, and I should never feel obligated to keep a thing just because it’s tied to a memory. The first time I put this principle to use was when I got rid of a soccer jersey from a year I didn’t really have fun on my team. I still remember the revelation of freedom I felt when I finally refused to be guilted into holding onto something that wasn’t blessing me!

Everything I own should “earn its keep” by adding value to my life–be that spiritual, emotional, intellectual, or practical. Even some things that once added value may eventually overstay their welcome. (There’s really no reason to stash a decade worth of birthday cards from everyone I’ve ever known!) If it doesn’t bless me, it doesn’t belong in my home.

2. I know who I am without all this stuff to remind me.

Another reason I often keep stuff is to remind myself that things happened and touched my life. It’s as if I believe that all these old show tickets, event fliers, and crew tshirts are puzzle peices that add up to who I am today, and if I get rid of them, I’ll be losing a part of myself. But guess what – those experiences are part of me. I don’t need the memorabilia to remember that they happened. I don’t need all my old character journals to remind me that I’m an actor. I don’t need all the little toys to remind me that I had a good childhood. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with saving some things, but I’m not betraying those parts of myself by letting go of the physical evidence. I think there was a time when I relied on all the evidence of my experiences to tell me who I was. I’ve grown and become so much more secure as a person, and I don’t need them anymore. I know who I am.

3. I’m more free to say “yes” when God calls me to travel.

This is the reason that has prompted my frequent donating sprees recently. I’ve moved so many times in the past six years, and every time I’ve managed to live for months or years out of just what I can fit in my car. It’s astomishing how little I “need” to live a full and happy life! When I own less stuff, I’m more free to be available and responsive to God’s call to move to Crestline, or Kansas City, or Dallas. If in the future God calls me again to move suddenly, I don’t want the amount of stuff I own to be any kind of hindrance to saying “yes.”

 

I’m far from a true minimalist, but I really do want to live unhindered by material possessions. I’ve been inspired by a number of books and blogs on the subject of minimalistic living, and if you’re looking for something to fuel your own motivations, I suggest you start with a few of the posts at Becoming Minimalist.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Happy 2017 from Kansas City! | Fragrance Arise

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