Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

To Keep or Not to Keep??

on September 26, 2012



How do I decide what to get rid of – asked by a friend, who asked and initiated the How I Travel….part 1 and part 2 posts.  Her actual question was this:

“I have another question for you for another possible blog post…how do you decide what to keep and what to throw away or donate in your home? As you know, we have a big house and while I don’t think of myself as a hoarder, I have trouble getting rid of something the kids might need down the road. How do you make those decisions especially when you don’t have extra $ to replace items easily? That’s a big issue for me…I don’t want to get rid of things and then have to run out and buy it again!”

First off – it’s hard.  I think women, some, not all, in general get attached to things.  It’s why we don’t let go of baby clothes because we might have another.  It’s why we don’t get rid of that doll even though it’s losing an eye and both legs.  It’s why we can’t seem to let go of the book that is yellow with age and stinks so bad you can’t read it.  We get attached to our stuff – for us – emotions are our own worst enemy at times.

I was bad, well I still am but I am getting better.  I’d hold on to anything if there was an “if” that it might get used “someday”.  My friend above has a HUGE house,  too big for me even (yes, I’ve told her, I think 😀 ) if we had 10 more children – but I have a small house (624 sq. ft) so getting rid of things is somewhat of a necessity.  As a reviewer I get lots of products coming in to my house, with children there are lots of gifts and clothes, etc and as homeschoolers where school is home and home is school – well it can get cluttered and fast.

I think first about this verse:

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through or steal.”  Matthew 6:20

It’s not a bad thing to have some treasured heirlooms, I have my Great-Grandpa’s harmonica – and I plan to hand it to one of my children one day.  I have four bullet casing from my Grandpa’s funeral, one for me and each of my children.  I have the family Bible that was given to my mom and dad when they were married – now that they are divorced it’s a treasured item.  The problem is where there is no space or they become an idol.

After that above verse I then think when I will use it again?  If it’s a fiction book I likely won’t read it again and it’ll be awhile before my daughters can read it – it goes.  If Bethanne outgrows clothing it goes since there is no one to pass it on to – unless it’s something that has a special significance but that is very limited.  Most of Christian’s outgrown clothing gets passed on as well.

I recently got rid of a lot of school and curriculum – when I thought about it I knew I wouldn’t use that specific program again.  When Christian finishes 1st grade math, I’ll sell it, unless I’m pregnant before then – which at this rate I doubt it but I’ll hold on to Bethanne’s 3rd grade since Christian will be using it shortly.  I have some high school curriculum that I’ll use for Hannah and will still be viable so I hang on to that but stuff from the dollar store I haven’t used or that reading curriculum that just didn’t work for us – it is gone.

I refuse to get rid of our bassinet, all three children have slept in it, it was a gift from my dad and step-mom and I hope one day that my grand children will sleep in it.  I am considering letting go of the exersaucer, even though all three have used it, simply because it’s taking up room and becoming ‘dated’.  I do hold on to some baby clothes, some are special like coming home outfits and some are “just in case” clothing.

I’m sure something else will come to me, and if it does I’ll do another post – right now it amounts to what I really need?  will I really use it?  has it reached it’s use by me?  is it really trash?  is it able to be donated? and overall where am I storing up my treasures?


2 responses to “To Keep or Not to Keep??

  1. Laraba says:

    Thanks Sarah!

    I know you saw our many bookcases. Do you hold onto books that might possibly be good resource material but that the kids aren’t using now?

    I think books are one of my biggest challenges! I hate getting rid of books though I do get rid of some. I think with a Kindle now and access to library books online that it is easier to get rid of some things in that I can download them easily from the library instead of keeping track of them as books.

    Thanks again! I am enjoying your answers and will ask more as they occur to me. You are a wise woman.

  2. Sarah Bailey says:

    Hi Laraba, you’re welcome. Yes. I do hold on to things that will be good resources for later – like I have some high school science and I keep that because before I know it I’ll be needing it. However for things like fiction books or other curriculum I sell it or give it away. I just finished a couple good books and they will make great resources both now and in the immediate future so I keep those. But books that I absolutely don’t agree with, such as if they have old-Earth theories or support the doctrine of no Hell, etc I get rid of them or if they are book that just won’t have any bearing on my life – I read one book while good, it was written for moms who still seem to have one foot in the world while trying to be Christian.

    I too enjoy the ability to check out books from a multitude of libraries now and it’s very handy for the children and of course I still check out physical copies.

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