Sunday, 24 January 2016

All my possessions for a moment of time

"Enough is enough" I declared as I looked around the house at the end of school holidays, "We simply can not fit anymore stuff in our house and we are drowning in books, DVDs, clothes, craft supplies, pens, pencils, hair ties, necklaces, shoes and loads of little tiny things and it is painful.  I am throwing it all out".  My family just stood by in stunned silence wondering if they too may get thrown out.

Our pantry is full, our closets are full, the toy boxes are full, the bookshelves are full, the jewellery boxes are full.  Every conceivable cupboard, drawer, shelf and bench space in our home is full.  It burdens all of us with a huge responsibility to look after, pack away, maintain, use and appreciate all of these things which is increasingly more difficult.  Each birthday, Christmas, Easter, trip to town we get more and it is unsustainable.

In my infinite wisdom I was going to introduce a moratorium on all presents whether it be clothes, books, craft supplies, ornaments, decorations, cards anything at all, it was all going to be prohibited from Herbgully. Our new family motto was going to be 'Stop buying stuff and start doing things' and our hashtag was going to be #stopthestuff.  It was all perfectly planned.

However, I had dinner with a beautiful and wise friend who suggested maybe I was being a little too extreme, that same night another dear friend just said 'well I will still buy you stuff anyway because I love you'.  The very next day we went to Eumundi Markets and saw so many beautiful hand crafted, clever and amazing things designed and made by creative artisans and my moratorium would've meant my home and life could never be blessed by any of this gorgeousness....EVER.

Further adding to the situation is that we live a long way from all of our family so the giving of gifts is a wonderful way to show our love, our children are loved deeply by many and they are often given gifts as a sign of love.  I recognise that gift giving is a love language and it is how some people show their love, including myself.  However we have run out of room.  Short of extending the house we just do not have the necessary storage space for anymore of anything.

As I wrestled with how to move forward I turned to the Bible and in Luke 12:15 it says "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" and this brings me some comfort because my life does not consist in the abundance of my possessions, Life was not breathed into me so I could spend my days picking up, packing away, tidying up, yelling and feeling exasperated by all that we own.

However I do live in a beautiful world.  The universe was created by the word of God and just in the past six weeks I have been to some of the most gorgeous wonders, including beaches and water falls and mountain streams and it is obvious God withheld nothings from His creation.
He poured beauty into it.  When I look into the faces of my children and feel the intense love I have for my husband I know that God adores beauty and splendour and abundance.  Even strolling around Eumundi Markets admiring the works of so many talented and creative souls, God created them to bring beauty into His world.

One's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions, it has never been and will never be about the stuff but it doesn't mean having lovely things is bad, because lovely things make us smile and bring us joy.

We are going to try the process of holding everything we own near our hearts and determining if we love it, 'no love no stay'.  Once we have more space to think and breathe we can be much more conscious about all future purchases and gifts and I really do think wonderful and unique experiences will make for some beautiful presents in the future.

It is just about being thoughtful and purposeful and intentional in all that we buy so we don't accidentally end up living a less than satisfactory life but rather so we can truly enjoy this life the way God intended.

Do you have any good tips of trying to reduce clutter from your home?


  1. Beautifully said Justine. I have uttered the phrase, throw it all in a skip more than once in the last 12 months.
    My only advice is to small amounts regularly. If it becoming overwhelming then stop for the day. Sometimes we need to 'cure' our thoughts to determine if we are genuinely attached or not.
    I have no doubt I will still demand a skip but we are getting there.

    1. Thanks Debra, it makes me feel so much better that I'm not the only one. I'm definitely going to try recycling/regifting/donating/disposing of small amounts at a time and try very hard to resist too many new purchases in 2016, try and develop some new habits.