You Have Shaped My Thinking

Change Starts WithinDear FlyLady and Friends,

It has been a long time since I’ve sent an email to you. I just had to tell you how you have shaped my thinking.

I noticed an estate sale going on in my neighborhood and went to investigate. I don’t usually do the yard sale/garage sale thing, but occasionally, I’ll look at estate sales since some of those items are not just cast offs, but real items the family doesn’t need. I don’t know who’s estate this was, but I can tell you one thing about the lady that used to live in this very fine home. She “collected” things. There were at least five complete sets of china (not counting the ones that were sold the five hours before I entered the home myself).  There was every kitchen gadget you had ever seen advertised on TV there. In the living room and dining room stacked on multiple tables and shelves were enough special collection Christmas villages and other Christmas ornaments and decorations to generously decorate 10 homes for Christmas (remember, this is what was left by the time I got there). I saw approximately 75-100 cookbooks and dozens of diet books. There were enough giant plastic tubs of “beanie babies” – remember them? – to supply a huge Children’s hospital for about six-eight months of give-a-way toys. There were unopened sets of sheets, curtains, quilts and spreads. There were four large racks of clothes, most of them with their price tags still attached. The basement had enough yard decorations for several homes. Also, there were at least four sets of golf clubs and numerous other adult toys. I can’t even imagine how much stuff there was those first few hours!

I purchased some of the sheets, curtains, and a huge tablecloth for our sewing ministry at church for just a few dollars. They appear expensive and unused and will be used to make walker bags, migrant bags and bible carriers.

All I could think of as I was driving home was how much junk this family was having to deal with. I’m sure there were a few priceless things they have taken possession of for themselves, but most of it was just stuff to them that needed to be dealt with. Thanks to you, my family won’t have to have an estate sale. I’ve never collected for the sake of collecting. I saw what that did to my Mom’s home. But I don’t have boxes of stored stuff either. If I’m not using it, it no longer belongs here.

I’ve been learning from you for over 2 1/2 years. Because of my back and other physical issues, I’m not allowed to do the heavy housework, but thanks to you, my home is always neat and clean. When the maid comes to do the heavy stuff, I have to convince her that the floors really do need to be vacuumed and mopped. The bathrooms really do need to be washed down. The kitchen really does require wiping down all surfaces and mopping and that the furniture really needs to be dusted. My swish and swipe of each room helps make it all look just fine in between her deeper cleanings. I love our home now. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing us the joy of living in decluttered homes we keep clean and neat just for us! I feel spoiled.

May God bless you all for the gifts of love you share with us,

Brenda in Alabama

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