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Clearing clutter and being grateful

How many toys and clothes and shoes do our kids really need? Do you ever look at your home and stuff and realize that you have WAY too much? I do it, often, unfortunately. I know that we have way more than we need.

I want my children to be grateful for what they have been given, not wanting more all the time. We've worked at teaching them the characteristic of being grateful, but often times we need to teach it through our own examples. If our children see us giving of our own things to others, they will desire to do the same. I think my husband is such a good example to our kids of this -- he is very generous with things, time, and his gifts.

I want to encourage you with this upcoming "season of giving" to be mindful to teach your children to be thankful for what they have by giving some of it up and by taking care of the home they have. Oftentimes I get emails from moms wondering how they can get their teenager or the little child to clean up after themselves, put things away, or get others in the house to maintain the home the way it should be {be grateful, obedient, and respectful}. It saddens me to hear moms say that they can't get their kids to clean up their rooms or put things back. Why is that? Is it because they are both disobedient and ungrateful? Or has mom set the example?

I admit that teaching my kids to clean up after themselves and put things back "where they belong" {not where it's convenient, which could be the floor} is something I have to daily instill in them and it can be a lot of work to do that. Reminding and giving consequences for not doing it have been what have helped my children to be much more consistent with this area of their lives. I have a feeling that if there were consequences great enough for most children, they wouldn't "forget" where it went or that it had to be put away.

I challenge you and your family to take a thorough look at your home, rooms, garage {and basement} and start getting rid of things that others could use or that you really don't need. NEED. Be an example to your children and give things to others. A couple of ladies from church started a free cycle group about four years ago. It's through Yahoo Groups and members from our church {and regular attenders only} can sign up to receive the emails. People post their things on there that are needed or giving away for free. The church even gave us a spot so we can leave our items with the person's name on it who it's intended for. It's an amazing ministry. It's been such a blessing to hear others list that they needed something and then another person had it laying around in their garage not needed and filled that need - for FREE! One year I even organized a Ladies Boutique in my home where anyone was welcome to come and get clothing and accessories for FREE. What a blessing it was to see so many ladies and teenage girls benefit from this.

Are you setting a good example in this area? How are you teaching your children to be grateful?


Becky, Organizing Made Fun

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