Sunday, September 27, 2015

Making Space

Today I carted a car load off to Value Village:  a chair, a microwave, winter gloves.  Rob and I have vowed to make some space in our lives, but it is tough to get rid of stuff. Lots of reasons, I guess... it might come in handy again someday, it's too nice to get rid of, but there are so many good memories etc. etc. etc.

We're still hanging on to the furniture from our living room makeover, shifting the pieces to the basement.  Now I think we may donate to  Furniture Bank. They will collect gently used pieces and will even issue a tax receipt, although you still need to pay a pick up fee. Donated articles are then cleaned up and provided free of charge to people who can make good use of them.

Furniture Bank has evolved to become much more than about a simple transfer of furniture from those who have, to those who don’t. The Furniture Bank movement is one of empowerment – of individuals transitioning out of homelessness, of women and children escaping abusive situations, of refugees and newcomers to Canada.

Last year, over 25,000 households were supported by the charity. 

I might be able to make a couple hundred bucks selling the pieces, but I'd like to think of these finding new homes with hopeful beginnings.

Don't Just Declutter, De-Own was a great little post I came across when searching for 'declutter' images.  “Owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more.”

At its heart, organizing is simply rearranging. And though we may find storage solutions today, we are quickly forced to find new ones as early as tomorrow. Additionally, organizing our stuff (without removing it) has some other major shortcomings that are rarely considered:
  • It doesn’t benefit anyone else. The possessions we rarely use sit on shelves in our basements, attics, and garages… even while some of our closest friends desperately need them.
  • It doesn’t solve our debt problems. It never addresses the underlying issue that we just buy too much stuff. In fact, many times, the act of rearranging our stuff even costs us more as we purchase containers, storage units, or larger homes to house it.
  • It doesn’t turn back our desire for more. The simple act of organizing our things into boxes, plastic bins, or extra closets doesn’t turn back our desire to purchase more things.  The culture-driven inclination to find happiness in our possessions is rarely thwarted in any way through the process.
  • It doesn’t force us to evaluate our lives. While rearranging our stuff may cause us to look at each of our possessions, it does not force us to evaluate them—especially if we are just putting them in boxes and closing the lids. On the other hand, removing possessions from our home forces questions of passion, values, and what’s truly most important to us.
  • It accomplishes little in paving the way for other changes. Organizing may provide a temporary lift to our attitude. It clears a room and subsequently clears our mind, but rarely paves the way for healthy, major lifestyle changes. Our house is too small, our income is too little, and we still can’t find enough time in the day. We may have rearranged our stuff… but not our lives.
On the other hand, the act of removing possessions from our home accomplishes many of those purposes. It is not a temporary solution that must be repeated. It is an action of permanence—once an item has been removed, it is removed completely. Whether we re-sell our possessions, donate them to charity, or give them to a friend, they are immediately put to use by those who need them.

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