MORE vs less: How Two Experiences Impacted My Decluttering Journey

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Day 28 – Wise words or experiences, how do you best learn?

I asked a group of friends if decluttering is on their to-do list. Without exception, it is. I then asked, is it also on your ongoing to-do list? Most admitted that it wasn’t.

It has been on mine for decades. This year some things happened that made me serious about achieving weekly decluttering goals.

In fact, two experiences reshaped my worldview regarding possessions. The first experience was a trip to Mexicali with 18 people from my church. We fed and prayed for the homeless. We bought groceries for two orphanages. We held VBS and a women’s conference. Lastly, we upgraded the base camp (painting, staining, building a cabin, etc.).

I am sure we made a difference in many lives. I am positive they made a big difference in mine. The foster parents of each orphanage sacrificed to care for the children. In the smaller home, the “parents” foster five children in addition to their two biological children. Twice a week the father sells his plasma for $25 (each time) to ensure a steady income. Ten people live in a one bath, two bedroom home with a kitchen the size you’d find on a small yacht. There is no excess in their home. There is no room for it, or money to buy it.

When I returned and really looked at my home, I was troubled by my surplus. I didn’t have just a little; I had a LOT. I felt embarrassed enough to declutter within a week of returning. Five hours and three trips to Goodwill eliminated my catchall area. It was not wrong to have more than I need. But did I really NEED that many books, craft supplies, clothes, and dishes? It felt criminal to have this surplus, especially since I’ve hardly used these items in the past years.

The second experience is secondhand. While we were in Mexicali, a friend’s home back in Sacramento burned down. Within an hour, most of her belongings were incinerated. All the people made it out alive, but their pets perished. My friend has a new outlook. Things are not essential in life. Living beings are.

I want to have a comfy, streamlined home that is not overstuffed with things. I want to use the money I would use on stuff to help the lives of those around me. I want to use the time I would spend to maintain my things in the lives of others.

I am grateful for these two experiences. They have spurred me on in my decluttering work. I want to use my time and money wisely. And the experiences reinforced the idea that people not things occupy a primary place in my affections.

The following verse is one I’ve been thinking about.Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15  NIV

Your Turn . . . Do you learn mostly from your own experience or from other’s experiences? . . . Has your view of your possessions changed at all because of this post? Why or why not?

Day 28 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I streamlined the items in half of my closet. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all the tee shirts I get from my monthly 5K Fun Walks. (I don’t run.)

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

Entry filed under: Decluttering, Main. Tags: , .

MORE vs less: Would You be Okay With Living in a Storage Unit? MORE vs less: God’s Point-of-View on Clutter

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