I really have no idea what got into me.
It was all so sudden and unexpected. Maybe it was stress that brought it on. Or perhaps it was a deep, spiritual insight. Then again, maybe it was just the heavy garlic in the pasta I’d had for lunch.
In any case, the light went on….
We were burdened with too much stuff.
More than I could handle. Certainly, more than this mom could manage. And, clearly, more than our children could control. I knew this because we couldn’t seem to stay on top of it, no matter how hard I tried.
To be perfectly honest, it had become a source of friction between them and me and I didn’t like it.
Our stuff was holding us back and weighing us down.
So I called the children together and quietly started talking to them about treasure. This was a word even the youngest could understand. Oh, yes, they knew about treasure.
How much treasure should we really have and where should we keep it?
This sure got the kids thinking. They didn’t want to be greedy. We wanted our treasure in to be in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
Now maybe you’re jumping ahead, “Oh, so she decided to declutter.”
But you see, I’d already tried that before and it didn’t seem to work for us.
No, what I’m talking about is quite different. Rather than sorting through mounds of things and deciding what we could get rid of and what we’d hang onto. I did something totally different.
We looked at our pile of stuff and decided what we would keep.
But that’s it.
Everything else had to go.
It was so simple and so easy, I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before.
We picked out a specific space for clothes and a specific box for toys and that space determined the amount of things they could keep. We then had a big party passing along all the remaining items to others who needed it far more than we did.
And you know something? The entire process took only one afternoon.
Here’s how we were set free from so much stuff….
I gave each child a clear, plastic box (like this 16 Quart Stacking Drawer) and let them pick out what was most dear to them—as long as it fit in the box. When the box was too full? They had too many treasures and needed to pass along those things to others (or the trash). Each child kept their box under their bed.
Now if God suddenly called us to the mission field (could happen!) or we invited someone to stay with us (has happened), we were no longer tied down by our possessions. We were free to say “Yes!” and didn’t have this huge management issue on what we should do with all the stuff.
Freed From the Trap
If you’re wondering if the children felt sad or deprived? No, I’d say it had quite the opposite effect. They felt free. They could now clean their rooms in less than 20 minutes. Our house was generally tidy and our evening pick-up took only a few minutes. Mommy was less stressed and we spent far less time looking for lost items. It was a win-win for us all.
So if you happen to be like me and find yourself balancing more than you can manage?
If you want to simplify your life, but a big project like decluttering seems rather overwhelming?
Consider freeing your family from having so much stuff.
Live free. You’ll love it!
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:21
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matthew and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children. She’s also the author of the popular marriage book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband: A Life-Long Journey to Love. You’ll find that she’s rather fond of dark chocolate, French press coffee, and deep friendships (though not necessarily in that order). Lisa encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother over at Club31Women. You can also keep up with her on Facebook or Instagram.