Yesterday I experienced one of the most encouraging and satisfying moments so far on this journey of minimalism. My two daughters demonstrated genuine generosity and released 32 items of clothing and 5 beloved toys.
Here's how it went down....
Due to Christmas and birthdays and miscellaneous reasons, both girls have added clothes to their wardrobe in the past couple months. Since neither of my girls really needed anything new, and because we are trying to practice the one in - one out guideline, it was time to evaluate and make some decisions.
As we went through everything in the closet and storage bins, they were able to choose their favorites and donate the rest. Their results far exceeded the one in - one out concept. When they finished with the clothes, they excitedly asked if they could move on to their toys. Smile.
Why were we so successful?
For the past year, I've intentionally led them through decluttering sessions. Some have been hard and produced very little fruit. Others have been like a game and produced great results.
The key to our success hit me yesterday when I kept hearing them say, "I think another child would really like this."
You see, we've found a place where we volunteer regularly. It's a children's outreach warehouse that collects donations for children and then fills requests that come in from social workers. The girls love going there to sort donations and to fill bags. We've even taken the grandparents there to volunteer when they were visiting. Like our monthly nursing home concerts, volunteering at the children's outreach really has become a favorite activity. In fact, my oldest daughter has requested that the family volunteer there the night of her birthday. How cool is that?
I guess I'm writing this to encourage you to be intentional. It's hard work and takes extra time and discipline, but it will pay off. I'm noticing this in so many ways right now.