I may have mentioned before that we live in a very tiny house. 960 square feet. With 5 kids. It's getting very cramped. So as you can imagine, I'm always on a quest to find space in this house.
I am not a clutter person, but many people in my house are. : ) I tend to throw things away willy-nilly, while lots of people in my house tend to save everything they've ever laid eyes on. "Just let me get my hands on your stuff," I say. Last week, I cleaned out the boys' room and filled 4 trash bags: 2 to throw away and 2 to donate. I inspired my self! I was so inspired by my own inspiration, that I decided my girls needed to be inspired, as well.
And a little spending cash was just the inspiration they needed.
I offered them $5 smackaroos for each FULL trash bag, which could either be trash or donations (but not a mix of the two. Duh.) You should have seen the stuff fly!
Suddenly, crumpled pieces of paper and plastic beaded necklaces weren't so special anymore. "Do you think I need this anymore?" I was asked several times. "NO!" was my friendly response.
I encouraged them to look at each item and decide if it was a true keepsake, or just something they kinda liked. I was amazed at their ability to throw stuff away or willingly give it away. They just needed a little push.
We donate our stuff to a couple of different places: Goodwill and a local ministry called ABBA (All Babies Born Alive). ABBA provides services, supplies, and help to local mothers to encourage them to have their babies. They even provide free sonograms so that a pregnant girl can see the life that God has created inside her. ABBA also has a resale store which accepts donations. So, we donate lots of our goods to ABBA, and we like to stop in from time to time and see what's for sale.
We discussed ABBA over dinner the other night and how our donations help them minister to mothers. It helped the girls to be a little more excited about where their belongings were going and how they could benefit others.
So, in one day, Claudia filled up a big trash bag full of donations. Chloe did 1/2 a bag of trash and 1/2 a bag of donations; she's not finished yet. The girls get a little spending money. I'm getting some extra space in this house. And ABBA gets a little more working capital.