Tuesday, October 20, 2015

morning invitations * release


There's nothing like packing up all your earthly belongings for a great big move to let you know that you've accumulated way too much stuff.

Way  .  too  .  much  .  stuff.

Earlier this year, we quickly lost track of how many bags and boxes of paraphernalia we got rid of in the process of moving.  And since we've arrived in our new home, the same is true all over again.  A quarter of a year later, we've already lost track of how many bags and boxes of miscellaneous gear we're continuing to haul out the door to the local swap shop.  Resale store.  And the dump.

I wouldn't wish this kind of overwhelming / irritating / frustrating experience on my worst enemy ... if I had one!  Enough already.

I just finished soaking in the simply brilliant common sense tactics of Marie Kondo's huge best seller, the life-changing magic of tidying up ... especially when it comes to sorting through clothes, books, and personal momentos.  I do recommend it highly {minus a few oddities like talking to our pocketbooks and setting up a shrine on a shelf}.  But til you can grab hold of her book, how 'bout simply TAKING 15?

This is an easy-peasy morning invitation, a little can-do routine for any time of day, really.

1 room.  3 bags.  15 minutes.

>  Grab 3 bags - 1 for trash, 1 for donations, 1 for stuff to sell.

>  Set the timer for 15 minutes.

>  Move clockwise around one room, focusing on one drawer / closet / pile at a time.  Completely empty the drawer or closet, putting like items with like.

AS YOU HANDLE EACH ITEM

notice if it makes you smile ... or if you say ugh  

discern if there's joy ... or frustration  

ask yourself this huge question ... can I live without this?

>  Your goal?  Toss 15 items into the TRASH bag.  Release 15 items into the GIVE bag.  Place 15 items into the SELL bag.

>  Refill the drawer or closet only with items you love or use.  Period.

>  Store the bags-to-go in an out of the way place til tomorrow when you repeat the 15-15-15.  When filled, act on your decision.  Dispose.  Donate.  Sell.

Chances are you'll be so pumped while doing this that you won't even notice when the timer rings!  And just think ... if you did this each day, at the end of the month:

You'd throw out 450 pieces of junk.

You'd give 450 decent, usable items to someone who could make good use out of them.

You'd sell 450 items on ebayCraigs List, at a garage sale ... or simply choose to donate instead.

Yes, we CAN have space and time and energy and freedom to spare!  We don't need to spend our lives overwhelmed by arranging / sorting / moving / dusting / cleaning / organizing / shifting our accumulations from one overcrowded space to the other.

White space would become our new best friend.

And we'd be free to love and serve and minister and say 'oh yes!' to the invitations God extends our way.

If only we'd be willing to release all we grip so tightly in our grasping hands ...

~



<  home 

haven  >

~

36 comments:

  1. The title made me smile! When we watch some of those shows on HGTV, people saying they need a bigger house, we look at each other and say, no, they need to get rid of the stuff! The deeper meaning of your last line isn't lost. There is misplaced comfort in the familiar whether it be physical stuff or internal. A good principal to hold all things loosely. They are all God's anyway.

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    1. Holding all things loosely. I love that, Debby. And when our hands are open wide, it hurts so much less when we have to let go ...

      Appreciate your wisdom here this morning and kicking off this conversation.

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  2. I'm not into holding onto stuff. Our house is not all that big (big enough for two and a grandson to visit occasionally). But I don't like clutter for clutter's sake. I agree: hold on loosely.

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    1. Sigh. Honestly, I've found it a HARD struggle to let go of some of my stuff ... but less to haul around and deal with has gotten more and more appealing.

      And I do love the white space that's emerged. It stills and quiets me.

      Thanks for jumping in today, Bill. It's good to see ya' again!

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  3. In a series of 3 moves, I went from 3000 sq ft and more outdoor storage to 1350 sq ft now. I have thrown away and given away thousands of dollars of stuff I accumulated over 40 years. It has been quite freeing to have only the bare minimum now and only rarely do I miss anything I tossed!
    Good Post--Good Advice!

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    1. Good point, Lulu ... there's very little if anything that I wish I had kept. I feel free-er and lighter and unhindered. And I want to get rid of more. You can't take it with you ... and our kids don't want our junk, either ...

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  4. Linda, I love this title and post. My husband and I move quite a bit with work and so we have gotten in the habit of going through our home each season much like this book suggests (haven't heard of the title before). We've lived in everything from a 4000+ leased home to a 1300 ft home. It's your loved ones that make a space special. I've found great joy in these seasons of giving. We meet so many wonderful people as we give things in donation. When we list items for sale, we hear such amazing stories from people God brings into our life; we get to speak about Jesus and we also get the opportunity to gift to those who are really in need. I think these are some of our best memories. The conversations/people are wonderful.

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    1. I love how you share about the joy of giving, the people you've been able to reach out to, the love of Jesus that you've shared, Kim. THIS is memory making at its finest, this is loving well, this is true freedom.

      Thanks for all you've brought to the table today ... your encouragement is so very substantial.

      ;-}

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  5. What a great invitation you have here this morning, Linda! RELEASE! I love it! I discovered the same thing you did when I prepared my home to sublet. We threw away boxes and bags and boxes and bags of STUFF! One thing I love about living in Turkey is that you can always put stuff to the side of the dumpster (instead of inside) and know that it will be taken and used, no need to make another trip to the dumpster.

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    1. Betsy ... thanks for sharing a bit about how this all rolls in Turkey! Cool!

      My husband and I head off to the dump every other Saturday or so ... there's a little swap shop there where you can drop off and pick up things for free {I've done both!} There's areas to put furniture and building materials that can be used again by someone else. There's bins for clothes and shoes and all kinds of stuff.

      I love free-cycling!

      ;-}

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  6. 450 each/month? Wow! That's a lot of "stuff". We have moved many times in the past 21 years. Yes, like you, there are lots of boxes. The book you mentioned sounds like sound advice to whittle down cardboard usage in the future. ;-)

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    1. If I never see another cardboard box it'll be too soon!

      You hear my heart, Kristi, I know you do with all the moves you've made over the years. We could learn alot from your experiences ...

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  7. I may have to re-visit that book. I started it but gave up when she was telling me to "talk" to my belongings and "thank" them. A bit too much.............but maybe I can glean a few things..............

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    1. Absolutely, Val! Like all books, it's best to read with a faith-filter, passing on anything that doesn't align with the truths you believe or that you discern doesn't sound quite right.

      I'd love to hear your input after you pick the book up again! And no, I'm not talking to my pocketbook or saying good-bye out loud to my discards!

      ;-}

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  8. I just put a hold on Marie Kondo's book at our local library, Linda. (I'm 373rd in line for 72 copies, so I'll be waiting a while.) I like to keep things tidy, but this 15-minute, three-bag process sounds good for getting rid of the stuff I don't care about, don't use or don't even like! (And there's a certain little person in my house who could also benefit from this technique!) I love practical posts like this!

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    1. Yeah, the book's in big demand. I was on a similar waiting list at my library, too. It's a nice, easy read ... plenty of great ideas so that we don't have to be sorting and tidying and tossing over and over and over again on a big level. Good stuff!

      Let me know how the 15 minute deal goes with that certain little person, Lois! I'd love to hear from parents of kids who do this together as a family project and make a little party out of it!

      ;-}

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  9. I LOVE this, Linda! These are great ideas for helping to deal with an overwhelming task! It seems that we spend the first half of our lives accumulating more and more stuff and then trying to figure out what to do with it the second half of our lives. Foolishness ultimately helps us become wiser about "stuff". This one will be worth reposting for all of us!!

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    1. Feel free to re-post, to share with your social media tribe, whatever, Pam!

      Foolishness is a word that most of us would rather not take on as our own. But it is accurate. That I know from my own life experience! Enough already!

      ;-}

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  10. I desperately need to do this in my own house. I am currently doing it for my dad who just moved to assisted living. My house has so much stuff but when a child moves back home it makes it harder to go through things because you can't get through to where all the stuff is stored. I love the 15 min. rule and the the 15 items to throw away, give away or sell. Sounds like a challenge I can handle.

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    1. Sometimes the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, right?

      ;-}

      I'm all about showing myself some grace on these kind of things, Mary ... especially when there are bigger fish to fry. One day, one little bag at a time, right?

      Easy does it, girl.

      We're 2/3 done the 31 Day Challenge. AND we're surviving!

      ;-}

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    2. I know! Hard to believe the challenge will be over soon. I prepared a lot of posts ahead of time but am now in the prat of the challenge that I need to get to my writing each day!

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    3. We're in the home stretch, girl! Hang in there!

      ;-}

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  11. Oh, wow! This is good stuff, Linda! I was so frustrated during my moving process. I wish I would've been able to read this then. It would saved me so much time and effort. Thanks for sharing! Peace and many blessings to you, Love! :-)

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    1. Yeah, I hear you, Tai ... it's the unpacking process that's frustrating me ... but also freeing me up as I continue to let go of even more stuff. I'm glad you've enjoyed reading these ideas.

      Thanks for your encouraging words, friend ...

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  12. Thank you for sharing the book. There are 14 holds on the paper version at our library. I'm looking forward to reading a Kindle version. We're in our new home and have unfilled cupboards and are perfectly fine with it. It's nice having extra space that doesn't need to be filled.

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    1. Can't wait to hear your take on the book, Jonathan! But if I hear that you're talking to your wife's pocketbook, I'm going to have to come pay a little visit!

      ;-}

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    2. haha sounds good. We'll endeavor to keep our shelves shrine-free too!

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    3. give that beautiful wife+ a hug from me, will ya'?

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  13. Linda,
    I've kind of gotten to enjoy clearing out my clutter -- although I did start 2 years ago and I'm still continuing! Of course, the volume has greatly decreased, which is a good thing! Clearing things out that are just taking up space in our lives does so much more than just the literal visual -- I think it speaks to our souls too, and leaves us free (in so many ways) for new things God has for us! I would like to see any vintage items you got rid of though! My vintage clutter giveaways to the resale have been mostly restricted to dishes and lamps -- and oh, the space in my cupboards -- bliss!! :) xo

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    1. Absolutely, Valerie! The state of our spaces affects our souls and minds. And visa-versa! I love traveling lighter ... and though I think of all those vintage treasures from time to time, I don't miss having the clutter all about me.

      It all started with taking down 100+ vintage kitchen gadgets hanging on the soffits maybe 3 years ago ... one thing led to another and then it was farewell, farewell, farewell. It's kind of neat knowing that other collectors are now enjoying these former friends ...

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  14. We all have so much stuff. Sigh. I'm all for releasing it back into the world to bless someone else. White space is good for my soul too! Thanks, Linda.

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    1. I sigh less with most of it gone ...

      ;-}

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  15. I found your post through your comment on Joshua Becker's post. This reminds me of my parents. Years ago they went from a four bedroom, two bath, 2-story house to an apartment! Oh man, the unloading they had to do! Twenty-two years later they still move occasionally from apartment to apartment and work on downsizing each time. My dad discovered a book about keeping 100 things, and as a semi-horder he's been able to let go of a lot of stuff, which makes my mother happy! Between them and Joshua as inspiration I've been on a mission to declutter my own home. Boy, is there a lot of stuff collected over 20 years, but I'm plugging through. I love your idea of spending just 15 minutes a day - that can make a pretty decent dent! Thank you, Linda!

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    1. Hi Kathy ... how thoughtful of you to leave such a substantial comment months after this post was written! It means so much that you'd take the time to let me know that it hit home for you ... literally!

      Blessings!

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda