Generation Cedar

Housewife wearing curlers Portrait over white background

How can I be a good steward of God gives me and still live with simplicity?

We all know that more stuff is more complicated. But what of our good stewardship over what we are given? What about being frugal and saving things for a later use?

Ginger mentioned in the last post how many clothes are given to her. We are blessed in the same way. We are given so many wonderful clothes that we rarely need to buy any. But, what if you simply have too many? Honestly, I really struggle to get rid of perfectly good clothing. If you have someone to pass them along to, that may be a good answer.

I have a plan…

As I wait in our temporary home and plan how to keep our lives simple now that we are starting with a fresh slate, I have a plan. Perhaps it will inspire you to do something similar.

I’ve heard suggestions of the large family clothing dilemma go something like: “Save each child a play outfit, a couple of dress outfits and a few things in between, and get rid of the rest”. Sounds good at first, but I can’t do it. What happens when those few things get stained or torn? What happens when they grow out of them? Back to the store to BUY new ones when we just gave away perfectly good clothes.

So…I’m planning the “Crawford Thrift Store”. We have an extra room in our basement. Once our home is rebuilt, I plan to outfit this room with clothing racks, shelves and places for shoes. I will THEN give each child only a few outfits and shoes to keep up with. I will put any surplus in the “store”, keeping it locked and only accessing it as needed. Anticipating the same “disposable mindset” I mentioned in the last post from knowing there is an abundance of clothes behind the door, it has crossed my mind to require a child to buy new shoes or clothing from our “store” if he lost them due to carelessness. To me, this is the best of both worlds. Rooms with lower maintenance, good stewardship of what is given, and the chance to teach our children the value of money.

This concept could be applied to most items that seem to multiply in your home.

Two Important Questions

In other “stuff” areas besides clothing, Tsh Oxenreider, author of Organized Simplicity, says to ask yourself two questions regarding every item in your home:  “Is it useful?” and “Is it beautiful to some member of our family?” If the answer is “no” to both questions, get rid of it.

She also suggests taking inventory of things like kitchen utensils. Isn’t it better to have one really quality skillet than trying to store six cheap ones? Clean out, have a yard sale, and spend that money on some quality tools.

Getting rid of it or finding a good place for it for later use will free up our time, our energy and even our “emotional clutter”, giving us more room for REAL living.


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15 Responses

  1. My mama used to do something similar with school supplies. (We’re now all grown and not “in school” anymore.) At the beginning of each school year, we were given a designated set of school supplies and a roll or two of nickels. The remainder of the school supplies were priced by nickels, and we had to purchase anything that needed to be replenished or replaced. It worked beautifully!

  2. What a great idea! And you’ll be prepared to bless others easily should the need arise. I need to do this with my books…LOL

  3. I think we do hoard too much stuff. I was recently packing for our family holiday and I couldn’t decide what to take. I had half a dozen of my daughter’s dresses and I couldn’t make my mind up which ones to take. Then it struck me the reason why I couldn’t decide is simply because she does have a ridiculous amount of clothes for a ten year old girl! I mean really, does she need ten dresses and half a dozen skirts just for the summer months? Of course she doesn’t! My trouble is I love to sew and make her lovely dresses, she’s a girly girl so never complains of that!

    When we got back from holiday I had a good wardrobe clear out. Not just hers, but for the whole family. I ended up with four black sacks full of good quality clothing; one of them was almost full of shirts belonging to my husband (he’s a ‘shirt’ man rather than a ‘t-shirt’ man so must have had thirty shirts!). I considered putting them up on Ebay to make a little extra money, but I decided to donate them to the local church. The church collects clothing to hand out to needy people.

    Maybe you could do the same? I’m sure that there are many people who need clothing, particularly in your area – so many people lost everything, as you yourself did.

    Since culling the wardrobes I’ve found that deciding what to wear is so much easier too!

  4. Love reading your posts about simplicity, Kelly. We’ve discovered that if you have less stuff, you have less to clean and keep track of and therefore more time to enjoy each other as a family. Keep it up! 🙂

  5. We’ve been going thru a major kids’ decluttering lately and I can’t wait for it to end! I love the results, but I have a really hard time keeping my cool when I’m decluttering a big job like this (we just moved baby into the girl room and are moving the boy room). My mind feels cluttered when I’m in the midst of the big mess that occurs during organizing. I have this compulsive need to hurry up and finish it. I told my hubby: I can’t keep 12 boxes all open in my brain! I need to close a couple boxes! lol
    Regarding what to keep and what to toss: Our youngest son is 6. I figure even if this baby turns out to be a boy, I’ll have to store these clothes for 6 years! Not gonna happen. If we finally produce a boy (all our bio kids are girls), we’ll probably get tons of clothes given to us. ha!

  6. I always hear/read these questions to ask yourself re: how to pare down, purge, and get rid of things you don’t need. I have yet to hear anyone address the issue of having a spouse who WILL NOT get rid of things-clothing, broken lamps, magazines, etc. In a Christian home and marriage, what is the spouse who wants to purge junk supposed to do when their other half opposes progress in this area?

    1. Put them in a box and put them in the attic. 😀 I stored my husband’s old holey college t-shirts for years. Compromise is worth it when it comes to our marriages.

  7. Oo, I love this idea. One of my pet peeves is overstuffed dressers/closets. No one likes to put laundry away in that situation and so it gets procrastinated.

    Thanks for the tips! I love the minimalist look but it is stressful for me to achieve it.

  8. I currently am running two blogs, one is for design & development and I have a pagerank of 4 on it and I have loads of good articles. . And I have another blog where I have rants, health tips and photography.. . Should I merge them or should I keep it seperate?.

  9. kelly, I know this was an old post. I was just wondering if you ever did the family thrift store and how it worked out . thanks

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