Waste not; Want Not!

As the daughter of parents who endured the Great Depression on a diet of potatoes and coffee, I learned to “waste not, want not.”  But then I married a man whose motto is, “If in doubt; throw it out!”  And so established a sometimes humorous, sometimes stress-filled, yin-yang relationship with stuff.

Being a professional Nomad much of my adult life helped me release many of my squirrel-ish tendencies.  Now that we have nested in one place, we have begun to accumulate.  Recently I asked myself, “Do I really want to leave all this stuff for my children to sort through after I’m gone? Never-worn shoes too uncomfortable to wear; blouses I liked in the store, but now question my taste; frayed jeans that have seen “better days”; skirts, once chic but now “iffy” at best; dresses too tight for primetime, even with the help of Spanx?

My kitchen cupboards are cluttered with plastic containers I dare not throw away, lest I one day find the matching covers.  My book shelves?  Ooh, parting with a book, even a boring one, is a traumatic event.  But worst of all, is the garbage I’ve stowed in my brain, a treasury of shattered dreams, useless fears, and painful insults.

Lately I’ve adopted a rule of thumb.  If I’m not using a piece of clothing, a never-to-be-read book, or a household item someone else could enjoy, I let it go.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of usable space gained once I de-cluttered.  However that moldy, mildewed trash stacked in the dark, decaying corners of my memory is not worth dumping on another human being, only on God.   Jesus said, “Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” Psalm 55:22 KJV.

Waste not; want not is a good motto for loving others; while Richard’s motto, “When in doubt, throw it out,” is good advice for the rest of life’s clutter.

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