Redundabundance {How to Declutter Without Guilt}

1. Disease of excess, caused by repetitious acquisition.
2. The continual desire and ability to obtain more and more of what one already has too much of.
3. Cause: affluenza.
4. Cure: reduction in possessions.

The thrift store donation truck just left my driveway with the leftovers of 
TWO garage sales that I had in the past week.
One on Saturday, then again 6 days later on Friday.
Garages sales that I swore I would NEVER have again.

It took me three months (from the time I placed the first tchotchke
in a yard sale box till the donation truck pulled out of my driveway)
to almost completely purge and simplify this house to ready it for staging.

As I selected each item for removal into the garage,
I also deliberately questioned the reasons I had kept so many of the items.
Did I keep excess because of:
Sentiment (the pictures from my grandmother's house)?
Gift Guilt (worried that the giver would notice I no longer used it)?
Regret (what if I need this leftover paint, these cookie cutters, the melon baller)?

(Setting up for Garage Sale, first hour.)

As I have learned to let go of more and more clutter (aka blessings turned burdens)
through the years, I find myself becoming more and more organized.
Organization is a pleasant by-product of releasing stuff we no longer need or use.

(Setting up for Garage Sale 3rd hour.)

As I let go of stuff, the less I have to organize.
As I let go of stuff, the more confidence I gain to consistently, without regret,
emancipate my time and the spaces in our home.
As I let go of stuff, the more power and control I have over the choices of what I acquire.
As I let go of stuff, the less distractions I have.
As I let go of stuff, the less overwhelm and anxiety I have.
As I let go of stuff, I experience freedom.

(Setting up for Garage Sale, 6th hour.)

Stuff that is unused, yet kept, requires space and management.
And time.
Lots of time.
Moving it around. Cleaning it. Working around it. Moving it around.
Do I even need to mention the money I've wasted on buying "organizers"
to store this unneeded stuff?

(It's 8 A.M., and the garage door door is UP!)

What's funny is, lots of people tell me I am organized.
It's true.
But, even I get tired of "putting it all away somewhere"...
into containers, baskets, bags, closets, bins, cupboards,
until the next time I open these organizational gadgets to discover
I STILL don't use these things.

(I purged 30+ vintage cookie cutters; keeping only the ones I use year after year.)

(Sidewalk chalk (behind the lamp)?! Really?! My daughters are teenagers!)

(How many necks, wrists, and ears do I have? Do I need so much jewelry?)

(These boys just stuck a pink pricing sticker on their mother's backside.)

(I kept the set of these for a year, trying to figure out how to make a better seal around the inside of the lids.)

(Lord, give me the patience to endure my blessings.)

(Immediately after the second Garage Sale.)

Clutter isn't always about mess and disorder (some "clutter" is considered "cozy").
It can consist of too much stuff that is carefully and cleverly arranged.
Sometimes, order camouflages excess.

(Immediately after the second Garage Sale.)

(Before the donation truck came. Yay! My car fits back in the garage!)

(Before the donation truck came.)

This last step in "stuff removal" was extremely amusing to me.
I didn't know my daughter was taking pictures of the discussion I was having
with the fellas removing the stuff.

I imagine the conversation went something like this:

ME: Hi, Mr. Stuff Removal Guy, I'm glad you're here!
Mr. SRG #1: I haven't decided if I'm glad I'm here or not.

ME: Do you think the truck Mr. SRG #2 is backing up will hold all the stuff I'm donating?
Mr. SRG #1: Uhhhh.

ME: I think the truck looks too small.
Mr. SRG #1: Uhhhh.

Mr. SRG #1 and Mr. SRG #2 (thinking to themselves): Where in the world did this lady get all this stuff?

ME: Do you think the truck is big enough?

Mr. SRG #2: Uhhhh.

Mr. SRG #1 and Mr. SRG #2 (thinking to themselves): Where in the world did this lady get all this stuff?
ME: Let me help you, you must do this more quickly before I change my mind.

Mr. SRG #1 and Mr. SRG #2 (thinking to themselves): Where in the world did this lady get all this stuff?

ME: I guess the truck IS big enough.

I doubt I am cured of Redundabundance Disease.
In fact, I'm sure it will come back.
It may not be cureable.

But, it can become benign by asking myself a whole new set of questions:
What if I placed sentiment on something or someone living?
Could my "gift guilt" be replaced with hope that a new person could gratefully use the gift I let go?
Maybe my regret over things I've given up can be replaced with contentedness with
the stuff I actually use and need?

I've decided to trust the Lord to meet my needs,
to be more aware of my purchasing choices,
to question the true value of "things",
to wait before I make decisions, so I can respond instead of react,
because anything exceeding my needs are just extra blessings from Him anyway.

Our lives are rich when we are happy with what we have.
~1 Timothy 6:6



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  1. Hey Leslie,

    You have really been at it big time and as usual inspire me to want to do the same. Where did you get all of those tables to put stuff on? I want all those cookie cutters....I love the old ones:)

    Let the staging begin....

  2. I'm there, girl. But I have the opportunity to do this with each move... I guess we all do. Only this is Move #20 in 30 years.

    Was it on your blog that I read
    S.howcased T.reasures U.ntil F.avor F.ades

    Woo-- isn't THAT the truth!

    Lord, help us is right.

  3. hee hee hee , haa haa haa, I enjoyed that. Especially the imagined conversation with the truck drivers.
    I'm not sure I have much left to clear out, but I'll give it a try. ;-)

  4. I loved this post, Leslie! And oh, how I need to follow in your footsteps. My husband would think he was in heaven if I would just give away half of what we have. Honestly, I think that's the greatest gift of love I could give him--wonder why I don't just DO it? I need to think about that. Thank you for challenging me!!

  5. Kelley, yes.
    Showcased treasures Until Favor Fades!! You remembered?!
    20 moves in 30 years? That'll keep you cleared out, huh?
    I have moved 22 times in my life, but have been at this home for 10 years. Lots of stuff accumulates in 10 years.
    Mrs. Smith :) I have stuff EVERY SINGLE day I am clearing out! Ugh.

  6. man, you had a lot of stuff. Stuff I would have grabbed too!

  7. Such a great post Leslie! I don't think this whole blogging thing helps with the temptation to keep buying more, huh? :-) I fight it all the time but I think the fact that we moved several times growing up really helps me to not hold onto things just because. Sure is hard figuring out that need vs. want issue! We are beyond blessed and this is a good reminder to remember where our "treasure" should be! :-)

  8. I'm right there with you! I've been clearing out the last 2 times I moved. Now, I'm really getting ruthless about it. If I'm not using it, others can be blessed by it...and I can keep the memory without the item.

    Good for you!

  9. Leslie as I'm reading your posts, I am agreeing with you and looking through your garage sale at all the stuff I would have bought from you!! I guess your cure is my gain! :))

  10. I'm currently reading a book called "It's All Too Much." It's written by Peter Walsh and is all about our "relationships" with our stuff and how to let it go. I'm at that place where I need to simplify... I've done it before and it is very freeing!

  11. Great post. I don't think I've ever read that passage of scripture. I'm going to study it!

  12. I purged and then purged some more, Leslie! I had a donation service come and pick up everything. Even now that we are moved, I am preparing bags and boxes to donate to a thrift store here!

  13. I needed to hear these great words of wisdom, Leslie. Thanks so much for sharing! Take care.

  14. I bet it felt wonderful to let all of that go. Even the sidewalk chalk!lol I sold a box of sidewalk chalk at our last sale, what a funny coincidence, being that your gals and my gals don't need it anymore...he he I had a need for chalk and that was the only chalk I could find at the Dollar Store. I improvised... :o)

  15. Leslie,

    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
    Luke 12:34

    Thank you for this post. I am also in the process of purging/simplifying my life of 'stuff' and making room at my 'inn.'
    Miss you.


  16. Cute post Leslie!! I need to have a big old yard sale's funny how many things we really aren't planning to and won't use but just keep storing. Donating to the thrifts always makes you feel good in more ways than one :)

  17. LOVED your post. There is so much freedom in letting go of stuff, and not letting your heart (or home) be ruled by it. Very inspiring--thanks for the reminder. I did a purging exercise last January, and now I'm thinking I should do it again this coming January.

  18. love this post, the pictures with the truck crack me up! Doesn't it feel great!!!!
    (uggg...blogger won't let me sign in My uncommon slice of suburbia)

  19. Feels so good, doesn't it?

    Stopped by again to see if we could talk soon. Have missed your voice.

  20. Just happened upon your blog checking out your organized kitchen, specifically your refrigerator. I laughed when I read about all your stuff that you got rid off at the garage sales. I recently went on a purge streak and sold off a bunch of stuff. I've been toting around two boxed in my car in order to drop off at the Restore...

  21. Hi...I wish I could have been at your garage sale :) I wanted to let you know that I posted some of my re-do's still trying to figure this blog thing out. I need a personal trainer :)
    Have a blessed Sunday!

  22. Well, that was hard for me! I saw stuff I have been looking for at G sales! One ladies junk is another's find! :)

  23. You go girl! Amen and amen.

  24. You go girl! Amen and amen!

  25. I know the feeling. My mom and I just started to clear out our unfinished basement on Saturday. We made improvement, but there is still a ways to go before I will be happy with the results. It makes it harder though when the mess involves other people things and especially when they aren't willing to freely give it away; even little nick-knack things that wont earn much revenue.

    We plan to join our community yard sale this summer, so hopefully most of the unused items will go outside and someone else will find a home for them.

  26. Love this post. My husband and I may or may not be moving to another state but its a possibility. We have been discussing how much stuff we are.taking and what we will try to sell/donate. This was inspiring and I needed the motivation. I am a SAHM with 3 kids age 3 and under so freeing our home of excess is a must. Thanks for the inspiration again and God bless you and your family.

  27. hi leslie,
    i loved ur post, and daily i plan to declutter my home but im too sentimental to let go of things, kindly guide me how can i cure my senti problem
    God bless u

  28. One of the things that has always helped us purge at our house is to remember the word "abundance." We looked at charities in the area that take donations: women's shelter, animal rescue, community outreach center... We are so much more fortunate than so many of these people and we think "but for the grace of God go I". Helping others by donating our excess-truly paying it forward and paying it back

  29. I love the term Redundabundance Disease Leslie! It's so true. I'm working my way towards curing our family of it... or at least putting up a good fight against it. Thanks for sharing such a great perspective in this post :)

  30. Just stumbled upon your site, am loving it so far. Another good way to help get rid of things that you are keeping for sentimental value is to take a picture of them. Sometimes you hold onto things because you don't want to forget them. A photo takes care of that for you.


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