I still have a lot to do in the area of simplifying. I think the best plan is to enlist the help of my husband in the toy room, because he is so unattached emotionally to stuff. He was born organized and after eight years of marriage, I have loved what I've learned from him. It feels good to let go of things, and I've never missed the things he's asked me to part with.
For all of you fellow pack rats out there, I recommend skipping the yard sale route and just giving it away quickly before you can change your mind or form any deeper emotional attachments to it. We tried a yard sale this weekend that was fun, but the work it takes to set one up doesn't pay off, and I've found that giving it away is a lot more gratifying than trying to sell your stuff. That being said, yard sales are a fun option if you are up for it.
Our neighborhood did a community yard sell that we participated in on Saturday, but unfortunately every other subdivision in the city seemed to choose the same weekend to do their community yard sales as well. We competed with some of the larger, more popular neighborhood yard sales, and lost. We are going to try again next weekend since everything is already set up and priced and that will give me an opportunity to find more to sell.
My daughters (4 yo and 5 yo) had a lot of fun with the sale. It took awhile for them to join in (they are a lot less excited about Mom's conviction to simplify than Mom is), but eventually they got excited about finding toys to sell. They made $2 each on Saturday, and hopefully, they'll get more next weekend. We are using it as an opportunity to train them to give (tithe), save, and spend their money. We go to the Saturday night service at our church, so they got to immediately experience taking a portion of their money from the yard sale to give as their gift to Jesus for the children in India. It was a good learning experience for them.
I like Rae's suggestion of asking for experiences. I've also done that myself, but I haven't asked specifically for that only. I think this year when I get the question around Christmas time about what would the girls like, I'm going to ask for a family zoo pass, passes to the Discovery Center, music CD's, and a magazine subscription for my youngest. This year for her fifth birthday, Karissa received a subscription to "High Five Magazine." It is the preschool version of Highlights Magazine and it was a GREAT gift. She asks me daily to stop by the mailbox to see if her magazine has arrived. The anticipation of something coming in the mail is great for her. I know that there are lots of children's magazines for all ages that would make a great gift that can be recycled after it has been thoroughly enjoyed. I'm just thankful that we are all done with birthdays for the year, so I have a lot of time before Christmas to figure all of this out and organize and let go of what we do have. I've also heard the quote, "You can't organize clutter, you can only move it around. You have to get rid of it." Isn't it amazing how much stuff can drain the life out of us?
Well, I guess I've thoroughly explored this topic in my quest to figure out how to prepare for Benjamin's homecoming and how to use the long wait time without going crazy. Stay tuned for Part Two of Becky's Period of Preparation Discussion. Hee Hee.