We immediately throw away anything in our home that is broken and can't be fixed. For example: This week the kids and I did a puzzle and one piece was missing so the puzzle was immediately tossed in the trash. No “Oh maybe it will show up so we’ll keep it.” (Really that's never going to happen.) We tossed the puzzle. Why? #1 No one likes to do a puzzle and have a piece missing at the end – lame – it’s broken so it’s time to go. #2 My kids are learning not to hoard trash. We don’t keep junk in our home. Period. #3 My kids know that if they don’t take care of their toys, puzzles, and games then they get tossed, so they are learning to be responsible.
In addition to tossing broken items, we also give away items that have not been used at least once in the past year. So for example: Christmas decorations are acceptable but the food processor that was never used and the children’s book that was never read get donated. (The one exception to this rule is that I’m keeping my 7-year-old son’s clothes for my almost 2-year-old son.) My kids also know that about every six months we purge toys/books and give at least a trash bag full away.
Over the years I’ve gotten some “flack” for my clutter free philosophy because “What if you need that item in the future?!? Aren’t you being wasteful to get rid of it?” It is true that there have been a handful of times where I wish I had kept an item, but the vast majority of the time I’ve never missed the things we’ve given away or tossed in the trash.
It does my soul good to be clutter free. I think that to hoard items that are not being used would be selfish and show a lack of trust in God’s provision. Why should I keep an item collecting dust in storage because I might use it when I can give it to someone else who can definitely use it? To hoard would be to allow myself to become consumed with selfishness and worry. I want to have a heart that is giving and trusts God to meet my family’s needs. It has been such a blessing over the years to bless other families with strollers, clothes, toys, dishes, and more. God has always faithfully provided for our family, and it is our joy to bless others with items they need.
I’ve been thinking about this so much this past week because God’s provision has been so real to me over the past few months. After Isaac was born Greg and I thought we were done having children, so we gave all of Abbie’s old clothes away to other families with little girls and as Isaac outgrew items we gave away his infant car seat, baby carrier, bumbo seat, etc. to expecting couples. Then last spring – surprise! We have a baby girl coming in January, and we have no infant items or clothes for her. But you know what – I don’t regret for a second our decision to bless others with the items we could have used for her. True it would be nice to have those things now, but God has so faithfully provided everything we need for our sweet baby girl from huge items like a car seat to little items like bibs.
The journey of watching God’s provision for us after we chose to obediently be givers and not hoarders has been such a joy! We have almost everything we need for our precious baby girl, and I don’t have any doubt that the other items listed on our Amazon Baby Registry will come in over the next few weeks. We have such an amazing Provider!
So my challenge for you is this – are you a hoarder or a giver? Do you keep items that are broken/stained or not being used? Or do you joyful give those items away so that they can be used by others? Do you keep items for fear that you may someday need them? Or do you trustingly give those items away knowing that if you do need them again that God will provide them for you?
Choose to be a joyful giver who trusts in their Almighty Provider!