January 31st was a big day for our family. It was the day we spent the money we had earned from our “excellent clean.” Several months ago, hubby decided we needed to have an “excellent clean” of our home. We did this several years ago; however, as all of you know, things that are not excellent have a way of sneaking their way into the home when no one is looking .
We are determined to allow only excellent things into our home. One way to do this is by periodically cleaning out the junk. Now this isn't housecleaning stuff– no mops and dustpans here. This is going through movies, books, toys, boxes, bags, clothes, etc. and determining if something is really excellent, as it applies to our family.
Shane made a wonderful poster, showing the family how it would work. He determined a method of payment. For example a small toy or book was a dime. If something was really hard to part with, he determined an amount up to $2.50. The amount he paid depended on the size of the item or how important it was to someone in the family. The children were all excited about this and we got to work. Now this wasn't an overnight project– truth be told, we are still not totally finished. There are still some areas (mud room, closet, etc. that haven't been gone through or revisited yet) but Vision Forum's 20% off sale ended Jan. 31st, so we had to have the bulk of it done by then.
I have absolutely no idea how much stuff we threw away, burnt, or sent to Goodwill. But I know it was a bunch of stuff. Most of the things were not difficult to part with. But some were. There were a few that we even sat out and asked the children to pray about — every time they concluded that they weren't excellent and that they were willing to part with them.
Last time we did this, Hannah was probably 4 years old. (We didn't have the resources then, and there was no money to pay for things). There was a Lion King sweater and bean bag chair that someone had given us that she adored. She gave them up, and God blessed her. The next week I found several sweaters at a yard sale with neat animals on them– one was a horse's head with yarn for the mane, another was a dog and I think the other was a cat. She got back three-fold what she parted with. She also ended up with this cool little doggie chair to replace the bean bag.
Satan is sneaky. Last time I parted with my copy of “The Wizard of Oz” — actually I couldn't. Shane had to throw it away for me. I cried, and cried over giving it up. I knew it was the right thing to do but I grew up watching Wizard. It was probably my all time favorite movie. Last year, we let our defenses down and purchased another copy of it. Yep, you got it– out it went. But this time I was able to throw it out, no problem. No tears, no regrets.
Honestly, I don't think anything that has gone has been missed. We rarely watch a movie, so the movies that went haven't been noticed. We made a point to only purchase those things that are excellent for Christmas. And we had a wonderful shopping spree at Vision Forum — now just when is that box going to be here?
**** One thing I forgot****
The last weekend, Shane offered double $$$ for things parted with. This helped to part with things that we knew should go but weren't really “bad” just not “excellent” BTW, by the time it was all over, we had over $200.00 to spend. And… the box is on it's way. Whopee!