As humans, we have grown accustomed to social media and TV advertisements swaying us to believe that living the good life means spending more, eating more, and having more. We only have so much time to spend on ourselves, to share with our family and friends, and to divide up among the various activities in our lives (work, church, exercise, volunteer work) that sometimes there isn't any time for rest. So if you think about it, when you have too much of anything, it'll take much more time to take care of them, clean them, repair them when they break down or need mending. When you have too much "stuff," they start to consume you.
With the holidays fast approaching, sales advertisements will be everywhere to motivate us to purchase more things that we probably already have and don't need. Radio and TV commercials will try to convince us that it's the season to start shopping for loved ones, friends, and co-workers. We'll be tempted to buy things online, order off catalogs, and put the latest and greatest toys and gadgets on layaway. And we'll be enticed to get all the doo-dads to make our home look like Martha Stewart decorated it. But before you get yourself into more debt and buy things that you will probably regret later, look through what you have already. Scrummage through your holiday boxes and evaluate your finances.
This past weekend, my husband brought down our fall bins from the attic. We had two containers filled with Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. I'm happy (and proud) to say that after going through everything, I was able to mark one of the bins "garage sale!" I picked out the things that I thought would be worth keeping (at least through the fall season). Who knows? I might get rid of more things when I'm ready to pack them back up.
After I put up our fall decorations and had my kids squealing for joy as they played with trick-or-treat baskets from last year, I decided to take on the winter bins. Convinced that I can get rid of at least a quarter of what we have already, if not more, I asked my husband to bring them down. I remember that after Christmas last year, I had already gotten rid of quite a bit of things before putting the bins away. But I am sure that we can still minimize more. So that's my challenge for the week: to take on all these bins.
When are you putting up your fall decorations? Or have you done it already? Did you get rid of anything that made you think, "We don't really need that?" Have you found yourself starting to have the holiday shopping itch? Before you do, let me ask you these questions: Do you really need to buy more things? Can your money be spent for something more important, or can you put it into your savings account instead? Can you spend your time making memories with family and friends rather than shopping? Before you get taken in by the holiday bug, take a deep breath, look around your home, and be content with what you already have.