There is just too much stuff in my house, too much stuff in my garage, too many CDs I haven’t listened to in years, too many books, too much clothing, too much craft stuff. Too much.
So my resolution for this year is to get rid of what I don’t use and what I don’t need. Some of our stuff hasn’t seen the light of day in years (I have a lot of dressers and built-in storage in this old house). It will take extended and persevering effort.
I was inspired by a story by Linda Gordan to begin the project. Her story on decluttering appears in an anthology by the West Michigan Word Weavers, The Transformation Project (available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords) Here is a link to Linda’s blog: http://lgordonblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/christmas-misery/
Further inspiration comes from the blog, Becoming Minimalist: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/ This blog by Joshua Becker has inspired hundreds of thousands. This morning, he posted on his Facebook page,
“Use only what you need and give the rest away.”
I may not know exactly what I need, but I have a pretty good idea of what I don’t need. I have dishes I never use, although my kids say I should keep them for them when they move out. I have stuff put away in drawers that no one has touched for five years or more. Books that no one will read, again – unless I get them out of my house. Craft supplies for projects I will never start, and many I don’t want to complete. I have given some of this stuff away in past years. However, I have never completed the process.
Having gone through my mother-in law’s possession after she died this summer, and seeing the stuff of my parents are bringing with them as they move from a tiny mobile home (one bedroom) to an apartment in Michigan, I see their lifetimes of accumulation. Both of our parents downsized many years ago.
I have a big house, which is full of things I no longer need. If I ever decided to downsize, it would be overwhelming. I am not a hoarder, just a distracted accumulator.
Yesterday, I drove by the World Mission thrift store, and the parking lot was full. People were dropping off boxes and bags of stuff. I need to be doing that, I thought. So yesterday I started. But I may need to call the truck.
Last year, my goal was to reduce the cynicism in my life. I am continuing in that effort. This year, I would like to reduce the clutter and the distractions, so that I am available in mind and spirit for what I am called to do.
“12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (Hebrews 12:1, the Bible, NIV)