There’s this book called 7 by Jen Hatmaker.
I started reading it a little over a year ago – because frankly, the eBook was on sale and I love what I’ve read from Jen before. She’s HILARIOUS! So, why not??
This book. It slowly began to eat away at me. And it started changing how I think about stuff. It challenged me to be different. To stop the machine. To make a difference.
Jen goes through 7 different experiments that deal with the excess in her life: Food, Clothes, Possessions, Media, Waste, Spending, and Stress.
Possessions. I can REALLY relate to her struggle with this.
Hello, my name is Starr and I’m a pack rat.
Here’s what Jen had to say towards the beginning of the chapter on possessions:
“2,465 square feet.
Two living rooms.
Two and a half bathrooms.
Ten dressers and armoires.
Every last one of them packed full. I invented an engineering trick to get them closed that I should patent. Some cabinets are stacked so high I have to remove forty pounds of stuff before I can retrieve the bottom dwellers. I don’t even know what’s in some of them.
About three times a year, I rant around the house, screaming at our stuff: “What is all this? How did this get here? Why do we have so much junk? How am I supposed to keep up with all this? Where did this all come from?” And then I remember:
I bought it all.
I suppose acting like someone snuck into my house while I was feeding the homeless and filled my shelves with more black shirts and a fourth set of Legos against my will is probably ignoble. To hear me fuss, you’d think I was a victim of drive-by consumerism. Guess what, doves?
I’m a part of this little game.
I see it (on you, on them, in their house, at Target, on TV). I manufacture a need for it. Then I buy it. I use it a little or not. I store it/shelve it/stack it/stuff it/get tired of it, then wage war against it one day when all my little things are strewn about as escapees from their shelves and drawers.”
Excerpt From: Hatmaker, Jen. “7.” B&H Publishing Group, 2011. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.
Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/CCSfD.l
Can anyone else relate?
I’ve been working – SLOWLY but SURELY on getting rid of the excess.
What makes me sick? That there’s still so much more to give away in this house. We can’t possibly use all of these clothes, all of the home decor, all of the blankets, all of the STUFF!
My current struggle? I’m in no way organized to know what all we have. We have bins in the attic. We have bins in the bonus room closet. We have bins in the bonus room. We have bins in the garage. Bins, bins, BINS!! Honestly, I don’t think we have an empty bin anywhere to be found. They are all full.
Sad. Incredibly sad.
Later in this same chapter, one of Jen’s friends that is participating in the experiment with her decides to organize her bonus room so that she can be ready in a moment’s notice to give things away. Whenever she heard of a need, she acted!
I want to be like that. I want to be READY to act. I want to be ready to give. I don’t want to be crippled by the stuff anymore.
I introduce to you the Bonus Room Closet in all its glory:
“What’s in there?” you may ask.
Oh dear friends. There are bins labeled “Pocketbook Junk” that I have carried with me since 2003. YES> that would be stuff that gets left inside pocketbooks that I just dump in a pile when I need to clean out a purse that I haven’t used in ages. I’m not even lying.
Then there’s a bin that has baby shower gift bags that I’ve had since 2007. I will never ever buy another baby shower gift bag. Wait. Yes I will. When I’m out and I forget the bags I have at home and so I have to stop at Target on the way to the shower. ‘Cause that’s what I’ve done a thousand times. Unbelievable.
There’s home decor items from staging.
There are clothes to donate.
There’s scrapbooks I’ve never opened.
There’s a clarinet on the top shelf.
There are cans of fake white snow I bought at Christmas to redo a white tree…that I never did. Maybe next Christmas.
Do you see my struggle?
This has to end. (To which Brian says, AMEN~!)
I hereby declare the month of April as our “Organized to Give” month at the Haigler house. We’re gonna get rid of the trash, pull together the items to donate and put ourselves in a place to be ready to act when there is a need.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress throughout the month during our #trashouttuesday posts.
Anyone else want to join us? If you don’t struggle with stuff, maybe you have another goal that you want to tackle in your home during the month of April. Need some accountability? Comment below or send me a message at email@example.com and I’ll check in with you 1x per week.
Let’s join together to make a difference, shall we?
Proverb of the Day:
She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. [Proverbs 31:20 NLT]
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