Could it be five years ago that I started it, every day choosing six books from the overflowing shelves in my office, six books to put on the table just outside of my office, six books to go to new homes, every day. Yes, five years and a month or so ago, I recognized that there would never be enough room at home to put all these books, and probably more importantly, I was surrounded by young adults at the other end of their careers who could use these resources.
By the end of that year, all the books I had put on that table had disappeared, and I still had dozens of books I could not bring myself to give away. You see, I do so love my books. At least some of you must be able to relate to that.
Many of the books related to classes I had taught, especially Contemporary Christian Writers starting with books on prayer by Gordon and Bounds, then the English writers Chesterton and Lewis, Germany gave us Bonhoeffer, and the US gave us the Schaeffers, both of whom influenced countless believers in the last half of the century. And we haven’t even discussed the women, like Amy Carmichael and Corrie Ten Boom and you get the idea. So, I carted those books home, eventually giving many of them to the faculty member who took over that class when I left.
But back to the getting rid of six books a day, five days a week as a way to downsize…It worked! And as I consider the reality of how we will pare down so that we might one day return for real to a much smaller, perhaps tiny, house, we have to find a way to remove a lot of stuff from our living quarters.
That’s when it came to me, it had worked once before. Maybe it could work again, though this time I do not have a table outside my house for people to visit regularly. Just not sure the neighbors would like that option.
So the boxes we filled and then emptied as we moved into and then back out of our tiny house have been repurposed. And the first one refilled. This time, maybe because I know it will get difficult, I am hoping to put five things, not six, in that box and all of its successors, five things Monday through Friday.
This week I worked on cleaning the kitchen cupboards and moved a set of dishes, (that should count for a lot days) making place for the Corelle from the tiny house, then extra baking pans that I won’t use – and haven’t in too long, and even a tablecloth or two. My kids sure know I love a nice tablecloth.
Since we got home from the tiny house, I have found new homes for a number of things, but probably will be making a lot of Salvation Army runs with boxes of other things. I am confident in giving through Salvation Army that the money those things will bring in as they are sold will be used in many God-honoring ways. And of course, I am hoping we will find other homes for the spillover. I am not sure what else you call things that you may have loved and used but won’t fit in the downsized home we are aiming for.
Maybe I will do the sock drawers next or the scarf holders. I wore all of those scarves to work, yes, one at a time, but most of them have not seen the light of day in a long time now. And it’s time someone else used them to finish their outfit or warm their necks on a cold day.
Carol Brennan King