Store It? Sell It? Give It Away?
The date was set. We were moving to Belize. What should we do with our houseful of things? Store them? Sell them? Give them away?
As we grappled with the idea of moving to another country, we started bumbling our way through decisions of what to do with our things. We sold our cars, lawn mower, washer and dryer, and chest freezer, but we kept our couches, dining room table, and bedroom suite. We had only been married three years and our furniture was still in good shape.
We also kept a lot of our kitchen things, linens, and décor. We kept most of our household basics, thinking if we’d come back in a few years we’d have most of what we needed to set up housekeeping again. Davy’s grandparents offered to store our things in their warehouse free of charge, an offer we’ve been very thankful for.
Three years after we’d moved, with no return date in sight, we visited the warehouse where our things were stored. As we dug through our boxes, we shook our heads. Why had we kept some of these things? A whole tote of children’s winter clothing? It could be years ‘til we’d ever need it again, and will we have a child who would still fit into them? Lotions and medicines? Outdated, they all went into the trash.
If I were to redo that time in our life here’s what I would keep and what I would get rid of.
- Heirlooms and mementos
- Any décor, dishes, or kitchen things that you truly love. Don’t decide to keep them on a basis of how much you use them, but rather, “Does this spark joy when I use it?”
- Items that would be expensive or hard to replace such as a kettle set, Tupperware, or silverware
Get rid of:
- Anything with an expiration date such as lotions, salves, medicines
- Any disposables like toilet paper, pads, or paper plates
- Children’s books and toys. Take favorite books along.
- Silk flowers or other décor that won’t store well. Also, any décor that will look dated if it’s stored several years. Generic things like bud vases, picture frames, and glassware that can be picked up at nearly every garage sale or thrift store.
- Any furniture that you don’t love, especially ones bought used. We bought our dining room table at a thrift store, and it served a purpose, but every time I see it in storage, I wish we’d gotten rid of it.
- Children’s winter things if you’re moving to a warm climate.
Most of our things are stored in a warehouse, but we keep a few things at my parents’ home and use them while on furlough such as car seats, Sunday shoes, pack and play, Davy’s suit coat, swimming toys and life jackets. I have been to Pennsylvania twice in the winter now, and I wish I would have kept my coat out of storage so I could use that as well, but with the children growing and changing sizes, it’s easier to borrow.
Store it? Sell it? Give it away? If we can remember that our things are God’s and hold them with an open hand, and if we can trust that He will provide what we need, we will be well on our way to making sound decisions about our Stuff.