Throw away, give away or keep?


Sitting on every shelf, lurking around every corner, staring us all in the face each and every day are the things we live with, in and around our homes. From memorabilia, technology, photos, clothing and everything in between, all of us have homes that are filled with things that make them homes...our homes. We've been in our current home for nearly a decade and as you might imagine, that means our home is quite "plush" with things that make it a home, but lately we've been seeing the things in our home in a new light. The sad but obvious reality we now have to face is not all of the things in our home are coming with us to Croatia.


Our family is now looking at the things in our home through this new lens...Unfortunately, every item in our home must find a fate in one of these three categories...Throw away, give away or keep. Its awful to see the things that make your home a home, in this light, but to decide the fate of each item in our house is part of the journey we have chosen for our lives. So here's the breakdown of this awful but necessary choice and how we try to reconcile this painful exercise.

1) To throw something away is to admit that its been used, loved or cared for in a way that it can't be passed on to another family, friend or loved one. None of us love this choice because it means something we love ends up in a landfill, but for certain items we need to face this reality. As the activator in the family, this is my preferred choice, because I favor the right here, right now option. If it's gone today, we won't have to deal with it tomorrow. It feels harsh at times, but this option can be the best when a healthy dose of reality is needed. 

2) To give something away is the second choice when an item can live a new life in a new home with a new person. This keeps the item in use and allows it to benefit someone at a different stage or life or different need level than our family. The kids like this option best, because they love the idea of someone else benefiting from their items in the future and we as parents love this option because it teaches generosity and gives the kids an outlook towards a future beyond themselves.

3) To keep something is the hardest choice because we get so little space to keep things, both for transportation as well as in our new home which will likely be less that half our current size (roughly 1400 sqft). To keep something means it must be able to be packed into a family suitcase and transported with us. Our goal is to only take with us what can be loaded onto an airplane and that really makes the keep list short.

In the end, this is a healthy, but painful part of our journey. To simplify our lives is part of our preparation for Croatia and it teaches us so much about what is really important in life. Its not the things that make a home a home, it's the people and the memories and the times we share together, so even as we make these difficult decisions, I'm thankful we can share these moments together and grow as a family through them.