Second, it's about letting go of what your heart may be attached to - your belongings. Our culture is so loud in telling us what we need, yet we chose the bondage of stuff over the freedom of having less.
I have a difficult time getting rid of anything - sentimental or not. It's revealing of my heart when I look at certain things in my home and think - I could never part with you! Yet I haven't used it in a year (ahem, our sofa seat shoved on it's side in our shed!!!).
To downsize stuff so that your family can fit in your home is a challenge for the heart. I am so grateful that this wisdom isn't about being a minimalist or living in one of those mini-houses on the bay because it's so hot right now, but this is about trusting Jesus with our whole hearts. It's about worship - thanking Jesus for what he provides, and loving him above our things.
Three Tips on Living with Less
There is a lot this podcast has to offer (and with greater detail and experience) if you live in a small home, if you struggle with space, if you find yourself always wanting a little bit more. I encourage you to take a listen as you cook dinner or clean your bathroom(s), but in the mean time (and to wet your appetite) here are three tips that blessed my heart and I want to implement so bad (pray for us!).
Tip No. 1
Go through your house and take out what doesn't fit and is not needed in the here and now. Put it in the garage or a storage unit and see if you need any of it (or miss any of it) within a years time.
After that year, whatever you didn't need or miss, donate, give, or sell.
This method gives you the freedom to TRY out what your house would be like without, but not the permanence so you can go back and retrieve something if you need it.
Tip No. 2
2. Everything has a home.
All your things need a home within your home.
What comes in the home must be given a home, even if it means something else has to go for it to have it's own space.
Before you make a purchase (especially something larger like furniture or a toy) think through where it's "home" will be. This will help you decide if you have room for it. If you don't have the room either forgo the purchase OR choose something that can leave.
Having a home includes the small stuff - like rubber bands, paper clips, shoes and dirty socks. Make a home for things and you will have less mess, less stress, and no junk drawer(s) <-- GASP!
Tip No. 3
3. Consider activities or memberships for gifts
Gifts can be a source of clutter (not all the time, but sometimes). Consider getting "family gifts" like a membership to a museum or zoo or a trip somewhere.
These gifts are a blessing to children who get to have more family time and build memories together.
Don't Live Out of Fear
The biggest thing I took away from this podcast is we don't have to live in a stressed environment out of fear I'll need something. . . someday. There is freedom in letting go of stuff we don't use and a faith building exercise to say, "Lord, if we need it again in the future, we trust you will provide."
I will be the first to admit that makes me so nervous. An actual trust exercise to believe God's provision. But to trust him is to truly be at rest.
So as we prepare for baby two, I am starting the journey of opening my hand and saying - give me wisdom and faith to declutter this home so I can fill it with more children . . . children, after all, are a heritage from the Lord, not more IKEA furniture.
Check out the podcast here: Large Families Living in Small Houses