My sister gave me a book for Christmas that I just finished last night: Unstuff: Making Room in your Life for What Really Matters, by Haylay and Michael DiMarco. Great book. Recommended to all. I think I'm going to read it through again right away.
The authors mentioned a challenge they gave to themselves -- get rid of 10 items a day for . . . I think it was a month. I started thinking through all the crap we have in our house and thought, we could each of us get rid of 10 items a week for a year probably. (I say a week because doing it every day would add the stress to my life of figuring out what to do with all of that stuff. Having to figure that out only once a week is not that bad.)
"Unstuffing" sounds wonderful to me. I often feel much too stuffed in my house. Not that the house looks "stuffed". I mean, on a good day, you wouldn't walk in and think we're hoarders or anything. But we have so many things -- books, toys, kitchen tools, other tools, videos, games, etc. etc. -- that we store away, just in case, that we never use. And for some reason, they weigh on me. Just the fact that they are there and we don't use them. I have the urge to use them or get the heck rid of them.
But as my husband said last night, I'm much more motivated to get rid of them if I know that, wherever they're going to, they're going to be used and needed and appreciated. If they're just going to go stuff someone else's house, that's stupid.
The DiMarcos talk about being a conductor of things rather than a collector of things. They quote somebody as saying that our excess is the debt we owe to those who are in need. These are concepts I need to percolate on and let them really sink in, so I feel more energized to do the work to unstuff our lives.
Of course, then there's the matter of convicting the rest of the family in the same way . . .