Friday, September 18, 2009
Get Rid of Excess
A friend came over this morning to help me go through and organize clothing. I removed all of the maternity clothes (and boy, that felt good!). I went through a bag of little boy's clothes that I had been given. Cleaned out newborn clothes that Luke has already outgrown...and toddler clothes that Will has outgrown. Pulled out bins of my oldest son's old clothes to see what would fit my 6-year-old John for the fall. Piles and piles of clothes.
What amazed me was all of the excess. Too much of all of it. So much to sort. So much to organize. I was shocked at how much clothing my children have. My heart felt sad at how much I had stored up when so many children around the world go without. I think that sometimes it's easy to accumulate too much when you ARE frugal...I shop thrift stores and consignment shops, and since they are so inexpensive then I justify buying more and more more. Wouldn't that extra bit of money be better used to give to those in need instead of buying more stuff? And guess what all of those clothes lead to? More laundry! No thanks!
All of that excess just weighs me down. It's clutter...both physically and emotionally. It makes the closets and drawers too full. It makes for more laundry. More organization and work for me. Too many choices for the children when I tell them to get dressed. They feel overwhelmed and then I do too! I just read a recent post that talks about the Waldorf philosophy of clothing children simply...I didn't agree with all of the ideas, but most of it made a lot of good sense. A few basics is all that anyone needs.
So I am paring down the closets. Each child only need 2-3 pajamas, one package of underwear, and one package of socks. About seven shirts and pants. One or two nice outfits. One pair of tennis shoes, one pair of Crocs, and some nicer brown shoes for church or eating out. A little more shoe variety for Katie since, well, we girls like shoe-color variety :)
I need to get rid of shirts that don't wear well now that I am nursing again...and also purge the closet of random clothing I have bought at thrift stores that never really fit well to begin with. And declutter my purses and canvas bags. And shoes...
We really don't need as much as we think we do. And it feels so good to let things go. To lighten our home of excess. It somehow frees our souls. And with the holidays coming, it's a good idea to declutter and freshen things up now before the hustle and bustle begins.
Take 20 minutes and tackle a closet. Drive the items to a clothing drop-off bin (we have them in our grocery store parking lot!). And then be intentional not to bring in too much clothing the next time you hit a sale! Just because it's a "good deal" doesn't mean we need it!
And then do something good with that extra money you saved. Buy a friend a cup of coffee. Send someone a gift. Support a missionary. Sponsor a child. Ridding ourselves of excess frees us up to love and give to others in a new and fresh ways.
May the "excess" in our lives be an excess of love and kindness and goodness and service...not of stuff. Give us the grace to make it so, Lord Jesus.
photo by happyone