Today I have a guest blogger, my friend Laura.
She recently started a business helping people
If you remember, I've decluttered a lot
But it is a constant work in progress,
and because of the quote Laura told me once,
(the one she starts her post with)
I am constantly asking myself,
"Do I really need this?"
Here is my friend Laura, from
“The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your
wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of
the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the
acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.” – St. Basil the Great
It’s a little heavy-handed, I know. As an organizer, it’s not a quote I pull out for everyone: but
I know that you, Jamie’s loyal readers, will get this one. Collectively and individually we have a
lot of stuff.For good reason, I know! Many of us have young children and aren’t planning on being “done” (if there is such a thing!) anytime soon. Several of us have the space for it: storage rooms, or if not that, at least enough totes to fake it. Some items we store were gifts that we can’t get ourselves to admit we never liked, or garage sale deals that we keep thinking we’ll use someday. Last, but certainly not least, we have precious memories piled on precious memories, in shoesboxes, small bins, and even cardboard boxes.
Can I be honest? That IS a lot of stuff: but I think what we have, as a culture, the most of, is fear. I think that we’re afraid to let go of the stuff we don’t need, aren’t using, don’t truly have the space for, or haven’t looked at because what if we might need it someday?
In other words: What if God doesn’t provide?
Like I said, a little heavy handed.
Yet there is an element of truth to it. As Americans, we’ve been blessed with more than enough. In our own lives, we know that God has always provided, that He watches over us and guards us. Have we returned that favor? Have we acted in His stead towards others?
There is some prudence in keeping what we think we will use or need. But is there an alternative to holding onto all the extra stuff? Could we create a picture album of our children’s old art work instead of letting their cardboard projects rot in the basement? Could we acknowledge that our kids maybe don’t need a closet FULL of clothes? (The extra bonus to that is less laundry!) Maybe we could finally admit that holding onto our old wedding gown isn’t the treasure we thought it would be, and we could give it to a grieving parent instead.
When we seek the alternatives, when we live like God will take care of all our needs—when we give what we have to others—we find that we’re living in peace. When we love what we have, use what we’ve been given, and not worry about the rest, we’ve found freedom from “stuff” and are able to act as God’s hand to the poor around us.
We also, I’ll add, leave behind a beautiful legacy for our children. Sure, they won’t have an attic of old stuff, but they will have a tradition of generosity: of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and giving without counting the cost.
Laura is a wife and mother, who runs the business O Happy Day (!) Organization when she is not corralling her three boys. You can find more information about her business (and her October specials!) at O Happy Day (!) Organization