Learning When Enough is Enough

You can learn a lot from planning a yard sale.

As I’ve been going through all of my ‘stuff’ and my kids have been going through all of their ‘stuff’ we keep making the same comment over and over and over again:

“How did we get so much ‘stuff?”

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You may better understand how this mystifies us  when I explain that we don’t buy much stuff.

Seriously.

Holidays are exceptionally modest.

A one gift policy for birthdays.

Still, well have so much stuff.

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Oh, how I love this smile.

Most of these acquisitions were collected PP (pre-Parker) when our wallets weren’t so thin and our focus on the necessities weren’t so vigilant.

In those years we acquired a lot of stuff.  Even after a few years of tossing, donating and selling we still have, well…a lot of stuff.

For this yard sale I’m determined to down size even further.  Drastically so.  My goal is to determine how much is enough for our family.

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These two are the best of friends.  Parker thinks the Blue Eyed Girl hung the moon.

How much do we need to be happy?  How much do we need to have our home run smoothly? How much do we need to thrive and have our needs met?

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It’s a personal question.  What my family deems to be enough might be way less than your family could be comfortable with, or may be way more than your family might need.

By knowing how much is enough we make living within our means much easier.

By owning just what our family needs to thrive teaches us gratitude.

It frees us from the  ‘Everything will be wonderful when I can finally get that new (fill in the blank.)’  syndrome.

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The view from my front porch.  How rich am I?

It’s less clutter to care for both physically and emotionally.   When I first got married the decorating style was cluttered country.  During any holiday the more painted wooden cuteness you had setting out, the better.   Spending more ensured a better holiday.   This idea has obviously caught on seeing as I saw Halloween stuff in the stores last August.

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With Parker’s health often tanking just as the holidays begin, I’ve learned that you can have wonderful experiences with just a few cherished items on display, depending instead on the spirit within to bring  joy to celebrated days.

A huge change from the me that used to believe every room had to have some sort of decorating going on.

It’s easier to put up.  Easier to take down.  Easier to keep track of.  More time focused on what is really important.  Family.

I plan to put my theory to the ultimate test as I offer up most of my decorations and anything else not needed on this year’s yard sale tables.

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The stream that runs behind my home.

I find it interesting that I now dream of a new raspberry patch, more strawberry plants and an apple tree rather than yearn for more scrap booking supplies, the latest in couture, or any more stuff.  Raspberries, strawberries and apples can sustain my family.  Stuff cannot.

Choosing what we must buy through a concept called ‘selective materialism’ encourages us to purchase higher quality (within our budgets) items that are durable and well made.  These are items, that in the long run, wind up costing us less, simply because they last longer.

This doesn’t mean that everything we purchase must be new.  I know when I purchase an item  that still looks great after it’s been owned by someone else, then it most likely is going to still look great while I own it.

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I love how he crosses that little leg over his knee.  He does it when he is asleep too.

I know it’s a concept that goes against our consumer driven society and economy.  I also know that ours isn’t the only family looking to shave off as much from our budget in order to  keep ourselves afloat.

Less.  It’s the new more.

6 Comments

  1. Mary
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    Apr 15, 12
  2. Barbara
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    Apr 16, 12
  3. Lee R Apr 16, 12
  4. Chris Apr 16, 12
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    Apr 16, 12
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