I was reading on Rhonda's Blog about how part of living a simple lifestyle is caring for the things you have. You aren't going to just run out and buy something new to replace it. SO you take better care of it in the first place.
I look around my house and get so depressed. I see so many things that I have not cared for as I should have, that are now broken and needing fixed. Sadly, most of the items cannot be fixed easily, so I will have to use some creativity. But if I had only taken better care of what I have.
And it hit me, that a BIG part of why I do not care for what I have is that I have an abundance of STUFF! I have so much STUFF that is mediocre that I do not have time to care for EVERYTHING!
I have so many clothes that the laundry piles and piles up and the really nice cedar laundry sorter breaks under the weight of it all. :( I have so many towels and sheet sets that it becomes cumbersome trying to fold them all and fit them into the linen closet. So they just pile up as dirty and then there sits a clean pile of towels, grab from the top if you need to "clean" one.
I have so many tablecloths to protect the table and so many fabric placemats, that they have no real place to be stored and so become cumbersome and not used, and therefore the nice table that God blessed us with starts to become damaged. :( And worst of all, they just get piled up in the laundry room so I can barley get in there to even do the laundry in the first place!
And I had to think about why the girls don't like to clean and care for their stuff. I know that part of it is from Momma's lack of desire to clean and care for stuff. But I know another part, the same part that overwhelms me, is that it is very overwhelming to have too much stuff.
A free toy at a garage sale is fine, but multiply that by three children and 4 times a month and it adds up!!
Shopping at Goodwill is fun and fine if you know what you need. But buying things just because you can get them on the cheap is just another way to fill your house with junk.
Ok, so BABY STEPS!
I have started with clothes. My girls have way too many. I had finally pared all mine down, but something inside me just snapped or something and I bought a ton of new skirts (all from Goodwill, but I did NOT need 20 skirts! WHAT WAS I THINKING!).
I have started only buying brand names from Goodwill. That will at least help me to get GOOD quality clothes (not Walmart reselling at Goodwill for what they paid for it new at Walmat). And it can be pretty difficult to find brand names at Goodwill because by the time I get there, things have been pretty well picked over. :)
We have also started already with garage sale season coming up. I will not be buying any more toys for the children. Well, I might buy things for Christmas and the occasional "I Love You" gifts. But I think that by making the children spend THEIR money on toys, they will learn to be selective about what they spend their money on, and they might be more included to take care of it. AND they will have to get rid of something they already have in order to get the new toy.
And it will also encourage them to get rid of more stuff because they will get money for it AND be able to spend it on things they want (like the souvenir from vacation or
the toy they really want).
And this will NOT be a double standard. I too will have to get rid of something before bringing something new into the house. If I want a new skirt, which one am I willing to part with? If I am buying yarn or fabric for a project, I need to make sure I finish the project. If it is something to sell, then I sell it and if it is for personal use, we use it. Having a small stockpile is OK, but nothing like what I currently have. Again, too much is overwhelming. I look at all the fabric that I have and all the projects I intended them for, and get overwhelmed and do nothing.
Time for a change. Actually PAST DUE time for a change!
Three things I am thankful for:
laughing with my children
EE's bright eyes when she smiles
a loving husband
Autumn Tea & Mitten Strings: Chapters 1-3
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