A few years ago, Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a conference talk entitled "Good, Better, Best". This talk really has changed my life and I use the principle he taught CONSTANTLY. It applies to everything in our lives. How we spend our time, what items we have in our home, what we purchase, what we eat. Everything.
I'm in the process of purging our home and we're using this principle again. I want simple. I want less stuff so that I can take care of the stuff we have. I don't want to settle for the Good - I want the Better and the Best.
I started this process with my daughters' room. We pulled out all the toys, all the books, all the stuffed animals and will be pulling out all the clothes. Books and stuffed animals were easy - We laid out the books ALL over the living room. I had no idea how many books we had! Then I had each girl pick their favorite 5 books. And we repeated that until they had each picked 20 books. I had them look at the remaining books - "Are there any books that you are going to be broken hearted over more than the ones you have in your keep pile?" Princess1 swapped out 1 or 2 books. Princess2 had to have some help with swapping out some books that we wanted to keep for ones that we didn't feel were the Better or the Best (sorry Dora books).
I put away the books we decided to keep - about 100. And then I laid out the remaining books all over my couch and took pictures. They were then posted on Craigslist to sell them. My husband and I picked $20 to sell them. He wasn't confident we could do that. But then I counted the books as I put them into boxes - just over 100 books! So I made sure the Craigslist ad said there were 100 books - so 20 cents per book. I had SO many responses to this post. But the more important part - we are moving closer to the Better and Best and simplifying our home and lives.
Interestingly - the girls have 1/2 the books they used to have and are reading MORE!
We did the same thing with the stuffed animals. When I gathered them all up, I had 2+ large garbage sacks full of stuffed animals. The girls picked their favorites - about 5 "large" and 3-4 "small" stuffed animals. It's just enough that will fit in a single file across the foot of their beds. The rest? I recently heard that the local Juvenile courts will accept stuffed animal donations to give to children who have to go through the courts. We experienced this ourselves when our adoptions were finalized and the girls loved receiving their animals. So I suggested this to our family and the answer was a resounding "Yes!". Now I just need to call the Court and find out when I can bring them the stuffed animals.
Why is this working when previous attempts to clean out didn't? 1) The girls are involved in picking the Better and Best items to keep. 2) I've asked the girls if they like cleaning up everything that gets scattered all over their room. Their answer is no. So let's have less stuff that we need to clean up - their response "Okay!" 3) The items we're not keeping are leaving our home quickly and are not given the chance to make it back into circulation.
So I have been successful with the books and stuffed animals. Toys are still making it out of the box where they are being stashed. The problem with them is I'm trying to find all the pieces/parts for the girls to be able to pick their favorites and then to either sell or donate the remaining. Guess I better get the remaining rooms done to find those parts. And do it now!
This process is working for Me! For more Works for Me Wednesday, check out We Are THAT Family!