Other People’s Stuff

So far, we are making slow progress on our journey to minimalism. We have cleaned out our playroom and donated some clothes and household items, but we still have a long way to go. Although we are making changes in our lifestyle and home, we have come to the realization that our over-accumulation of stuff is not all our fault.

Much of the stuff that we have in our homes was purchased by people outside of our immediate family. We tend to hold onto it because it was a gift, and we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or we know that it was expensive, so we feel like we are obligated to keep it.

We also accumulate a lot of toys from hand-me-downs from friends or family. For example, my daughter just inherited a tub full of Barbies and accessories from my brother’s girlfriend. Her daughter has reached the stage when Barbies are no longer cool enough to play with (I’m not sure I will ever reach this stage!), so she gave them all to my daughter.

When I say all, I mean ALL.

barbie

People mean well .They really do.

Earlier this week, I struggled with wording for my son’s birthday party invitations. I wanted to let family and friends know that we are simplifying, and we would greatly appreciate their assistance, without offending anyone. I finally finished and mailed them today. I hope they are well-received.

I have started addressing my own de-cluttering fears by acknowledging my habits and addressing the issues behind them, but other people bring a whole new set of “stuff” to the table, with its own set of issues. As for now, we are just going to have to address each situation as it arises. It is easier to take a box of items to the thrift store than to ruin a relationship over it.

Although it may not be easy to convince other people of our “why” for simplifying, there are two very important reasons I must stay on track: my son and my daughter.

They deserve it.

If you are having trouble finding your “why” Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist provides a thought-provoking list of why kids need fewer toys. There are some great benefits including being more creative, responsible, resourceful, and less selfish. It even reduces fighting among siblings.

We SOOOOOO need that in our home right now. My children act like the Bickersons.

Becker also provides a guide to losing some of what you already have and for keeping it under control. On Becker’s blog earlier this week, Denaye Barahona, of Simple Families wrote in a guest post:

“The kids of today need minimalism more than ever.”

Obviously, I agree. That’s why we’re on this journey.

How do you feel about it? Leave me a comment or find me on Twitter.

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