I’m minimizing slowly but steadily!
We’re now down to two crock pots instead of three.
Leaps and bounds being made here, I tell ya!
In all seriousness, I really have been making good progress. Especially considering the time of year and the near constant influx of new toys and clothes.
I did a pretty good destash of my kids’ clothes a few weeks ago. I was able to donate two huge garbage bags of stuff. Yesterday I halved the amount of stuff in our toy box. (I cannot express the level of combined peace and fabulocity one feels when there is OPEN SPACE in the toy box.)
Let me tell you… Attempting to up your newbie minimalism game DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON can be tough. We are extremely blessed and often exchange many, many wonderful gifts. It can feel overwhelming to have rooms full of wrapped gifts, new toys scattered everywhere, and giant mounds of new clothes to find hangers for. But what a blessed mess! Because of the love and generosity of family and friends, we have only needed to actually purchase clothes for our children a handful of times in their whole lives. How amazing is that!?
I’ve realized a few things and developed a few strategies to make the most of the season without going into full on minimalist panic mode from the chaos and then following up that panic with immense “but we’re so fortunate” guilt. I hope this helps some of you too!
Action #1. Prep Errthing.
Destash heavily in the weeks before. Clothes, toys, kid stuff, adult stuff. Clearing out not only gives you room to work with, but it also gives you an excellent sense of what you and your kids actually need and what you don’t really use. Clearing the clutter makes visits at home and traveling much easier. Plan your schedule and visits to allow for a recoup period so you can get yourself refocused before going at it again. Spacing events also helps give your kids some time to detox and unwind from the excitement and RED DYE SOAKED SUGAR IN EVERYTHING. STAAHHP.
Action #2. Destash Wisely, Graciously, and Cheerfully.
During the destash process, be on the lookout for regiftables, hand-me-downs, shelter items, etc. I’ve noticed in our town people leave warm clothing and blankets tied to trees in parking lots for the homeless and less fortunate. There is always someone needing a warm jacket. With all the opportunities to be a blessing and be blessed during this time, there is no reason to keep any “umm, this could maybe be useful to me” items.
Action #3. Learn to Accept Blessings.
This was actually a hard lesson for us to learn. When we started attending our current church, we realized that many within our church family love to give. Whether it be a helping hand, a small comfort item, or palmed cash covertly slipped over during a hug. To say it was awkward for us is an understatement. When we asked our pastor about it (Should we let people do this? Should we give the money back?), he basically told us to remain humble and not refuse a thoughtful and faithful blessing from a sister or brother in Christ. If someone feels a pull to give, let them give. Both sides receive joy in this. And remember that we are blessed so that we may also BE a blessing.
Side note for funsies! – We did the shoeboxes from Samaritan’s Purse this year. My husband and I were standing at the back of our SUV in a parking lot trying to decide what we needed and how to best pack our boxes. A wonderful lady approached us and said she had asked God for direction in blessing someone today. And then she handed us $50. We thanked her profusely, wished her a blessed day, and then bought $50 more worth of stuff for extra boxes! I’ve heard it said, “God will get it to you if He knows He can get it through you.”
Action #4. Always Remember Jesus.
With soooo much going on and so many physical or material aspects of the season, always keep your focus on Jesus. Giving away your old items, or even giving away brand new items, is so much easier and heart fulfilling when you really open up and accept that you’re not just giving things or donating your old crud. You can make your home a happier place AND bless others mightily. Maybe you’re like me and often struggle with thoughts of “we have so much and others have so little.” Now is the time to remind yourself that Jesus was sent, not because we deserved Him, but because our Father in Heaven loves us so much! Be blessed. And when the blessings fill you up to overflowing, start blessing others just as much!