This year we are taking back our home. Filling our home with too many “things” has gone on way too long. All along I was saving these “things” for the sake of being frugal. I mean, you never know when you are going to need that third can opener! What if the other two aren’t working?! If I don’t keep it all, I may run the risk of having to go out and buy another one…gasp! As a recovered pack-rat, clutter-bug, collector of things, whatever you want to call it, I am going to share with you some reasons why being frugal does not need to include keeping everything for those “just in case” moments.
Frugality doesn’t mean you have to buy everything just because it is a good price and you might need it some day.
Our house was filled with many things that fit this category. What was the problem with that? We never used them. All they were doing was taking up space. It turns out we didn’t need those things anyway. The “just in case” moments never came. The extra things just brought more clutter, more cleaning, more stress. I finally reached a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. We had to clean out the house. Now I take each item and make a decision whether or not to keep it by asking the following questions:
-Have we used this in the past year?
-Do we have something else we can use instead of this?
-Is there any real reason we would need this any time soon?
-Could someone else truly benefit from having this if we gave it away?
That last question is really what has fueled our house clean-out. As we continue to give away what we don’t really need we are seeing God’s blessings all over the place for our family. This only makes my resolve stronger when it comes to cleaning out the clutter.
Frugality means not having to buy extra because you are taking good care of what you have.
When your house if fill with excess, it is very difficult to take care of it all. How many times are toys broken because they are left on the floor or shoved into the back of a toy closet that is too full? What about clothing? If you only had a handful of shirts, wouldn’t you work a little harder at keeping them in good shape? The same is true with shoes. If you only had a few pair you would most likely do your very best to take care of them. When we take care of what we have, we don’t need to buy extra. We don’t need to fill our house with those things we don’t need right now.
So what does frugality mean to me now?
*Frugality means staying away from the places where I am drawn to buy just because I see a good deal (like garage sales and consignment shops).
*Frugality means being content with what I have instead of always wanting what others have.
*Frugality means having time to clean my home instead of wasting time picking up the clutter.
*Frugality means living with a minimal amount of possessions that can be easily cared for.
*Frugality means giving of your excess to those who are in need.
*Frugality means separating wants from needs.
I am so excited about this new direction for our home. We are reaping great benefits from giving our excess to others. It no longer takes a whole day to clean up the house. I no longer feel overwhelmed with the amount of things we have in our house. I no longer have to try to find a place for all of those things. I no longer feel that our house is too small. I am working hard to live with a feeling of contentment.
How about you? Have you discovered how wonderful a clutter-free life can be, and how much money it can really save you? If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try. You may surprise yourself with how wonderful it actually is!