To select well

My beloved attic hideaway, filled with far too many old things

My beloved attic hideaway, filled with far too many old things

“To select well among old things is almost equal to inventing new ones.”
Nicolas Charles Trublet

On the day after Christmas, many of us are sifting through our old belongings to make room for the new gifts we received the day before. But some of us have a hard time parting with things, even if we no longer need them. Learning to practice discernment about what to keep or discard can help us make use of what we already own, eliminating the overwhelmed confusion of finding and choosing among too many possessions. Today, I challenge myself (and you) to create space for new things by choosing at least five items to donate or throw away, and to start using, TODAY, at least one or two articles that you’ve been saving for someday.


  1. Good advice!!! I will try!!!

    • OK Carla, now you can give me some accountability calls to see if I’m following my own advice! πŸ™‚

  2. MaryAnn

    What a beautiful way to prompt us to get going on a “task” that has many layers of merit! My mother-in-law died in 2007 with rooms full of things she had been given, saving them for “good”; most still in original boxes. She was born in 1913, so remembered well having next to nothing during The Great Depression. My mother was born in 1916, raised on a ranch in New Mexico. Their family was the place for others to go for what was needed. So, she did not have the same view of the depression. Just last week, I looked around & decided to find “good homes” for some things that need to be shared! Thanks for your eloquent advice!
    I love you & continue in prayer,

    • Mary Ann, I am a real packrat and also like to recycle or re-use everything. So I have some real challenges in this area, although I do keep my living spaces pretty clear and organized most of the time. Once I read about the connection between overly-zealous “saving” and anxiety, it all made sense to me and I am trying to move away from trusting in things, even favorite things with sentimental value. If something is especially difficult to part with, I take a photo of it before giving it away to Goodwill. Happy 2013, and please give our best to your family!

  3. Good Evening, Julia! i too prayed for that discernment after my 1st overseas mission trip in 2003. When i saw how happy many of the people in the DR were with very little possession; yet, greater wealth than many of every experience with their relationships. i realized they really had much too teach me and i prayed not to forget those lessons when i returned home. For almost 10 yrs, if it can’t fit into ole’ Betsy; it can’t come with me.
    Praying without ceasing for you & yours and “Counting it All Joy! Agape Love to you & yours.

    • Hi Kate, it’s so nice to see you here again. We too have learned much from our travels. I still have a lot to learn about letting go, though! Thanks so much for your continued prayers for us. I wish you and your family many blessings in the New Year.

  4. Megan

    You’ve inspired us! Drew and I have been making a Goodwill pile this weekend! Great advice.

    • Thanks Megan! I still have huge problems with getting rid of stuff, especially any sort of reading material. πŸ™‚

  5. Rene

    Ah, reading material…

    • Hee-hee, I just can’t bring myself to pitch all those old books. It took many years for me to realize that just having a little library to browse on a rainy night was fun enough to justify keeping them. I get all my books used, for nothing or next to nothing, so it’s a frugal pleasure. And I try to keep them circulating; once I’ve read something, I usually pass it along to another book hoarder πŸ™‚ .


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