Monday, September 15, 2014

Guest Post!

 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


  1. We are in the midst of a major declutter- I appreciate the encouragement. It may be a little heavy handed, but not too. :) I did try to click on the link to but the link appears to be broken.

    1. Thanks Laurie, I fixed it!! It feels so good to declutter, doesn't it?

    2. Way to go Laurie! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. She is so cute! and the boys are so cute too! Best of luck to her business! I am amazed she will find time...aint nobody touching my 1982 electric typewriter...ha...just kidding. Best of luck to her. She looks like a sweetheart.

    1. Oh, my gosh, they are the sweetest little boys EVER! And she lets me kiss her baby and lets him get his slobber all over my face and chin...Her oldest, who is only, is he even 4 yet? Calls me "Mrs. A-----" it's so cute!!!! Her middle boy loves me like Sims, not wanting me to leave him to cook lunch! This is an amazing family I tell you!!

  3. Love the quote!!!! Love the entire post!!!! My family always makes fun of me for decluttering so much. David said to my mom just yesterday, "Patty hasn't met a garbage can she doesn't like!" My laughed. But they don't get it. We don't need the "stuff". I give away all that I can, the rest, (the real junk) goes straight into the trash. My kids say I "patty=tize" . Let them talk ;) Now I must go and copy the quote so I can read it to them at breakfast in the morning.

    1. I love you Patty. I am known to throw away things too...when I tell the kids if they don't pick up their things, they will end up in the trash, I'm not kidding and they know it!!

      Isn't that quote awesome?

      We gave away a 1/2 of a freezer chest full of meat today. (to Tom's men in recovery) It's been sitting there waiting for us to use it. Only kept the hamburger, chicken breasts and a few pork chops. Seriously, if we want a steak, I can plan for it in my bi-weekly meals, buy it and make it. Why do we "store up". Need to go through my food for the food shelf tomorrow too.

      Why do I like to stock up? I shop every 2 weeks. I only need 2 weeks worth of stuff.

    2. haha, so I'm not the only mean mom who throws toys away?

    3. Don't let the haters get you down, Patty! Best of luck in your endeavors. :)

  4. Thank you Laura, for the inspiring post!! Do you want a couple pounds of hamburger?

  5. Jamie, Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun writing this post and am so grateful for your support.

    Your food shelf purge is inspiring! Thank you for the offer of hamburger, but please feel free to give it to someone else who might need it. My parents always bring up some for us when they visit. I do appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity though.

    Jamie, basically, you're amazing. Thank you for letting me do this!

  6. Great post Laura! Thanks for having the guest post at your place Jamie. Being an organizing/decluttering junkie isn't always easy since I tend to go a bit CRAZY sometimes. I seem to hit those points when one day it's like "there's too much stuff!" and I settle into a day or two of being crazy mom/wife decluttering. With kids clothes I have saved a ton of stuff. The last two years I've started passing on the boys stuff to friends who have boys younger than Jonah. It just seemed pointless to keep it for so many years when I am not sure if I will ever use them. I'd rather someone who really needs them could use them instead.
    I'm quite intrigued by Laura's business. Did she come up with it all on her own or did she have to buy into the business? Need a business partner? It almost seems like something I could do for some extra money. Just curious. Pass my name along to her if you'd like.

    ps...I like her business name too. Very cute!

    1. Having boys 12 years apart, trust me, those clothes don't keep as good as you'd think anyway! Like all the elastic on sweat pants, socks, swim suits, even some jammies, does not keep, it deteriates!! I give away what I can..or borrow, at least it's just not sitting there....

      I'll let Laura answer the questions you have about her business.

    2. Sarah,

      Glad you liked the post! The business is something that has grown very organically with me the past few months, between conversations with my girlfriends to convictions grown in my prayer life and through life circumstances. When I found out there was a National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), I was sold! I just started the business on my own and used some funds raised from GoFundMe to purchase my website and to start classes with NAPO. I'm really looking forward to growing my business. As I do so I'll be sure to let you know when I need a partner! Feel free to email me with more questions:

      God bless!

  7. Love this post! The use of the is thought provoking!


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