I remember when I was a kid and our dog Bandit would have puppies, we would wait until they were old enough and weaned, then stand outside our local grocery store with them in a box and a sign that said ‘Free to Good Home’. It was so difficult to give away those sweet, fluffy puppies! Even as a kid, I only wanted to give them to people who seemed like they were nice and would really love the puppy and were happy to have it.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m not dealing with extra puppies (thank goodness!) But, sometimes it’s still really hard to part with things that pull on my heartstrings. Take the puzzles pictured above. When I pulled them out of the closet where they have been sitting for months with the rest of the games, being continually passed over by my kids who have grown too old for them, I knew it was time for them to move on to a home where they would be used and loved. They remind me of the times my youngest child and I would sit on the floor and put all of them together, then stand back and survey our work. Memories of the little chats we would have while we tried to fit the pieces together are special. I kept the puzzles in perfect condition, making sure every piece was accounted for, every time. Alas, kids get older, and honestly, those puzzles haven’t been put together once in almost two years. My children have moved on to wanting to help with our 500 piece puzzles we pull out occasionally.
I’ve written about this several times, but I wanted to write about it again because it is something that is important to me. I don’t sell the majority of the stuff I declutter, I donate it to someone I know or to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. I’m not saying that as a ‘holier than thou’ to anyone who decides to sell their stuff instead of give it away, I’m just saying that it helps me be more intentional about what I purchase in the future, and also intentional about who I am decluttering my possessions on to.
Do we stop to think when we are decluttering about where our items are ending up? Are we adding to other people or organization’s clutter, or are we helping them in their lives or mission?
Is our ‘stuff’ going to a good home?
With that question in mind, as I have decluttered recently I have started thinking about where my clothing, beauty products, kitchen spoons and other items are ending up. Am I unloading them carelessly onto other people and places, or am I making sure they end up in a ‘good home’? Am I decluttering them through the most responsible channels, either through recycling, donation or tossing in the trash?
Decluttering feels so good on it’s own, but feels so much better when the items are given a proper, good home to go to, wherever that may be.
What do you do with your ‘stuff’ you get rid of?