“It is more blessed to give than to receive”
We often start decluttering because we have the feeling of “stuffocation”. In one of my earlier blogs we looked at 6 Steps for starting decluttering and how we can begin to get some order into the chaos and sort out the stuff that has crept up on us and invaded our space.
One of the key questions to ask is “What do I really need?”
This then helps the clearing out process as we have a much clearer idea of what is really worth keeping. To be honest, if I haven’t needed it for many years and there is no strong likelihood of it being needed any time soon it ought to go.
I have to confess that, unlike my husband, I’m bit of a hoarder. I often have a niggling feeling that I may need it one day. I also get really sentimental about stuff, especially stuff that has a story behind it which reminds me of friendships or travels or times past.
I recently stepped out of the front door to find our original 1930’s stained glass windows outside with some beautiful old tiles. Derek had been clearing out the shed where they had sat for the last 5 years gathering dust. I felt my stomach tighten; how could he get rid of them without asking me! They were so beautiful and had resided here for the last 80 years. But the windows were so draughty and after one freezing cold winter we knew they had to go – replaced by double-glazing with a replica of the pattern. I knew he was right but it hurt to get rid of them, which is why he hadn’t succeeded the last time he had tried to have a clear out!
That evening there was a knock at the door, and a lovely Spanish lady Rosi, who lived nearby, asked if we were getting rid of them. She’d spotted them earlier in the day and was really quite excited. She made mosaics and stained glass. Suddenly I could picture my stained glass windows loved again and finding a new life in someone else’s home. Perhaps having a clear-out wasn’t so bad after all.
Who can I bless?
This experience got me thinking. Perhaps there was a second key question I needed to ask myself: “Who can I bless?” That question taps into my generous spirit rather than my hoarding tendencies!
Who can we bless? It becomes a challenge to think creatively about the stuff we’ve got and how it can be used to be a blessing to others.
It may well be an idea to look at our non-essential possessions and ask whether someone else might need an item more than we do. It might be someone we know or a charity working with a particular group of people.
I love the initiative running at St Michael’s Southfields this week “Stuffocation – The Big Give”. It is a great opportunity to declutter and support 4 great charities in the process, Traidcraft, The Food Bank, Learn2love2read and Book Aid.
Traidcraft is collecting any old, broken or unwanted jewellery (snapped chains and odd earrings are ideal!) or any old/foreign banknotes to raise cash to go towards Traidcraft’s life-changing development projects in East Africa and Asia. Recycling for Good Causes will reuse and recycle the jewellery, giving proceeds to Traidcraft Exchange and saving precious raw materials in the process. You can order a freepost envelope or use the freepost address (here).
A second great charity to support is Book Aid Charitable Trust which collects Christian Books and sends them to those in need in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Checkout their website for local collection points There is also a similar charity http://www.bookaid.org which sends all kinds of pre-loved books to libraries in Africa.
Perhaps you know of a great charity which is collecting pre-loved items? Do email me at Alison@planetandsoul.org as we would like to include them on our website.
So why not ask yourself as you look around your home today: who can I bless?