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Reusing and upcycling in projects does not give you a free ticket to become a pack rat.

I spent all day cleaning and de-cluttering my office in preparation for baby #2 to move out of our bedroom and into his own room. It is a nightmare trying to figure out what to do with everything, mostly junk, that I don’t need or want but can’t seem to get rid of.

You know you are a pack rat if:

  • You have more than 5 things in your home that you haven’t used or looked at in more than 3 months
  • You have boxes that were never unpacked at the previous move
  • You find yourself saying, “I could use this someday. I can’t just throw it away.”
  • You also find yourself saying, “This is too interesting to throw away.”
  • You have a least one box of “stuff” that is just memorabilia that never made it into a scrapbook. Face it, how can you get rid of pictures even if they are really out of focus?

Lately I have been really enjoying repurposing items around the house. However, there is more freedom in being able to let go of an object (throw it away, recycle it outside of your home, give it away, etc.) than in keeping it in hopes that you will work it into your schedule. There is more freedom in knowing that you can say “no” to stuff lingering in the corners, filling the closets, and causing love ones to stumble. There is more freedom in having a clean, uncluttered room, than in having a room filled with junk you don’t know the extent of.

Can you say no to stuff? It is so hard, but it is SO much better.

In Luke 18, Jesus meets a rich man who wants to have eternal life. Jesus encourages him to follow the ten commandments, but the man says he has followed them from a very young age. Verse 22 says, “So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.'” Strange for Jesus to tell the man to sell all of his stuff? Why would Jesus say this? Finally verse 23 says, “But when he heard this, he(the rich man) because very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”(NIV)

This passage says more than just becoming poor in order to be a Christian. Jesus knows that because the rich man is “very rich”, the man is more focused on keeping his stuff than what is really important, following Jesus completely. He is a good man, but can he really get rid of his distracting possessions in order to commit to the truth?

Having too much stuff is confining whether you believe in Jesus or not. It can take time away from your family because you have to clean all the time. It can be stressful and cause health issues if your house is not very clean, or if there is mildew growing.

I have too much stuff. I grew up in a family that kept stuff. It is heredetary. It is easy. It is UNNECESSARY. I am still working on it and still have too much of it. I am not perfect and I know that stuff is causing problems in my life. Oh to live simply!

Get rid of your stuff. Don’t be a pack rat.