Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 … Out With The Old, In With….Whoa!

I love Beginnings! I love Once Upon A Times! I love making decisions to better myself, my life or the life of my family. I love stories and being a part of new story, on chapter one, that’s the absolute best thing in the world!

Well, it’s that time of year again! We’re here at the brink of making resolutions. We’re here at this awesome, incredible point of decision … To DO or not to do. To CREATE or not to create. To DREAM or not to dream. Pretty heady … but, before we do all that I believe it is important to do a little ‘housekeeping’. Physically and mentally we need to just say: Whoa! Heads up here. Time for a little consideration. Is what I am about to decide on a blessing or an added burden? Am I going to tackle more than I can or need to handle? Am I going to add to an already too full life? A new club membership, a vow to lose that extra weight, an inspirational book club subscription, a new sports league to join, a charitable work to be a part of … it’s all well and good with a few actions to go along with our considerations.

We have to reduce the baggage, let go of the pounds of stuff or it will make it next to impossible to carry on to completion any new resolution. Out with the old must take on meaning and call us to doing so we can indeed be free to resolve to improve our role in the scheme of history.

Out with the old is a necessary, but a sometimes difficult, part of life. Deliberation over what is of worth in the things we have and deciding what can be trashed, recycled or still used must be done. Life is filled with times when we get rid of the extras or the nonfunctional. We try this method or these products and if they work, great, if not, go to the next. It’s how we live … experimentation, or trial and error. The key factor here is - taking stock or inventory. This is necessary so as to be able to survive in life … without being surrounded in utter chaos and clutter.

Okay, so, this is all well and good with the stuff life is made of … the things we have, the clothes, the gadgets, books, papers, maybe even something as big as a car … but you have to draw a line at what is truly disposable. Be careful not to undervalue life and what we have. What is throwaway and what isn’t?

When assessing the past year, let’s look at some disposable vs non-disposable life-stuff. First, we’ll go with out-and-out disposable and for me, these should be pretty cut and dry. Well, actually one of the first items is maybe a surprise … out with the old in the matter of TIME … hmmm.

***Time-clutter is such a biggie in today’s world. We not only get involved in keeping up with the Jones in material stuff and nonsense we think we have to keep up in schedules, club activities, sports leagues for the kids. Community and church activities take precedence over family meal-times and game-nights. Our homes so easily have become a point of reconnaissance on how to conquer the week’s activities rather than being a refuge of strength and renewal. Our family life can be so cluttered with good works that we lose the core of who we really are. Before adding one new program or good deed, re-assess the Old Way and pattern of your TIME. It just may be you want to discover a New Way of living fully and loving deeply with a renewed sense of peace. Just decide: OUT with the hurry-hurry rushed lifestyle that is killing you and yours.

***Clothing/shoes is a biggie folks! Clothes can pretty much be re-cycled, shoes are a little harder  … Personally, I love a good Thrift Store or Goodwill deal. I’m not crazy about yard sales but have been known to stop if I am in the market for something in particular and see a good lay out on someone’s front yard. But for you die-hard mall or outlet addicts, wow! the year-end sales are fabulous, I know! Fashions are erratic and so I never have gone much into spending the big bucks on keeping up. Good classic lines and simplicity are more my standard. Because I choose wisely, I am more apt to hang on to clothing for myself for a number of years but am quick to give-away and change out. So, to me it’s easy to say out with the old when it comes to clothes. However, because it is so easy to collect clothes nowadays it seems we have over-flowing drawers and closets for us and our children. Purging our closets and dresser drawers from room to room in our homes is a must! Share your stuff … Out it goes!

***Books/magazines are something our family tends to collect and then turn-over but the really good ones, we will be inclined to hoard. The so-so category books are very quickly put into the out with the old box. With membership sites and kid corners in major bookstores, magazines and books for kids can pile up easily as well. Keep the classics but chunk others as they out-grow them. Of course, every kid has their favorite so make sure you take feelings into account when making decisions to give-away. Otherwise, bless someone else with these goodies – Out they go!

***Toys and gadgets seem to accumulate in every house – at least in houses of people I know here in the states (things aren’t so easy to come by other places in the world). I guess because we have turned into this nation of infomercials, ebay buyers, flea markets, outlets, yard, moving, rummage, and whatever sales, besides Craigs list and Jennys list … well, we have become consumers of the next best gadgets and gizmos and toys – our houses are bursting! Look at what you have, reassess its value to you and chuck what you can … out with it! Share with others, re-gift, whatever … to reduce!

***Papers, correspondence. Yuck! Piles of paper seem to reproduce overnight at our house. I hate this part of life … well, not personal letters and cards from folks … that kind of snail-mail I LOVE! However, paper junk … how in the world did our name and address get on so doggone many mailing lists!?! We get so much junk and even though we try and trash as it comes in there are those pieces that tend to be ‘if-y’ but redundant! So for some it, straight to the burn pile (or for those in the city – the shredder). But really, all this paper? File what absolutely must be saved … and the rest? out with it!!

***Food! Wow, this is getting to be a cluttered part of life as well! Our cupboards are fairly bursting with favorites and also, new foods we decide to try out this week or month, or we go berserk-o with taking advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free, and double or triple coupon promotions. We’ve become a land of not just providing for our needs but indulging in desires so much so that we’ve transformed into gluttons! Have you seen how every, single magazine has the next best tip on losing the pounds! Seriously, re-evaluate your bodies’ needs and the health of your family. Get rid of unnecessary, give it to someone who can use the surplus. Decide for this next month, or even, for the year of 2010, that buy-one-get-one-free means: the local food pantry is being blessed! Extra $$ in the budget will go to a food ministry! Yay!  And those “all you can eat” buffets … they are absolutely the worst thing you can do for your health! Spend those $$ on your charity of choice and eat at home. Out with the old habits of self-indulgence!

Here are some good tips to consider when making the decision “out with the old…”

  • How much is this worth?
  • Should I throw it away or try to sell it?
  • Does the this hold any sentimental worth?
  • Do I really need it? Or do I barely use it?
  • When was it last used? Can I remember?
  • Where did I get this? Was it a gift?
  • Did I buy this from another country?
  • Could it be an antique? Collectable?
  • Am I going to miss this?
  • Will I use it in the next week to 3 months?
  • Is our life blessed by this?

So, let 2010 be a year of deciding to reduce, de-clutter, appraise what is valuable in our life and definitely, with all this accumulated STUFF, go with … OUT WITH THE OLD!

Tomorrow we’ll look at some stuff that makes up our lives and it is truly NOT DISPOSABLE! Yep, in all our busyness, our priorities get screwed up and sometimes we need a few gentle reminders on just what to throw away and what is valuable enough to KEEP, or even fight, to hold on to!

Here are some great reads for a little help in Out With The Old!


922630: 101 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter 101 Ways to Clean Out the ClutterBy Emilie BarnesBetter than a how-to television show, this compact resource written by home management expert Emilie Barnes, can help you transform your home, church, or office into a clutter-free zone. With 101 tips to choose from, you’ll soon be on your way to ridding your rooms of piles, stacks, and disarray. Paperback.


924627: The Quick-Fix Home Organizer: Making Your Home Beautiful and Your Life Clutter Free The Quick-Fix Home Organizer: Making Your Home Beautiful and Your Life Clutter FreeBy Emilie BarnesGot a minute? Use it to your advantage when you put Barnes’s fast and easy ideas into practice! Sharing ways to infuse peace and personality into your home and workspace, she helps you start and finish projects successfully, organize paperwork, get the most out of your daily planner, and more. Formerly titled The One-Minute Home Organizer. 144 pages, softcover from Harvest.

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