My daughter and I are totally in love with the TV series: This Is Us.  I am not a big crier but for some reason every time we watch that show I cry!  I cry happy tears, sad tears and for seemingly no reason at all.

 

The show shares the entire story of a family from both the parents’ point of view and from the kids’ point of view.  As most families do, they go through many ups and downs together.

 

This Is Us is a great example of what truly matters in life. For those of you that don’t watch this show the Dad dies when the kids are teenagers.  If you pay close attention they are more curious about who their Dad was and why he was this way.  They don’t linger on what he had they reminisce on who he was.  With the exception of a few poignant things they never bring up the things that their Dad owned.

I think the way we want to be remembered can really affect how we live in this world each and every day.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

-Matthew 6:19-21

I don’t believe that this scripture is saying we shouldn’t love anything here on earth but I do think it is telling us that we should be careful about what we “treasure” meaning we should be careful of putting too much emphasis on stuff.  Our biggest treasure should be our relationship with God.

 

Do you find that your material possessions give you goals and your only reason for living?

 

Does your stuff affect how you feel about yourself and how you live your life? 

I want you to know there is a bigger calling for your life than how many things you can collect! 

You are here to collect but it is not things…it is wisdom, memories, character traits, ways to give, ways to do God’s work, love and so much more.  None of which has anything to do with how many things are in your home.

 

What is in our heart and how we contribute to making the world a better place is what matters to God.  After all, someday those possessions will be gone and at that point what will be left of your time here on Earth? 

How will people remember you? 

Trust me, my friend, you will not be remembered for how many pairs of shoes you owned!  (unless maybe if you are Jackie O)

 

As a professional organizer, I have had the experience of empty out countless homes.  Clients have hired me to do this for them when a loved one has passed away.  I have also done this for both of my grandparents’ homes. 

 

It is a really crazy experience, to be honest with you.  It can actually be very overwhelming.  But each time I have done this the same thoughts go through my head:  I imagine how many hours that person worked to obtain their possessions and how many hours they spent cleaning, rearranging, moving things in and out.  And yet even though they gave so much of their time, energy and money to these things here the stuff still remains on earth when they are gone. 

 

What is it all for? 

 

My sincere prayer is that it was all worth it and that the stuff gave them joy while they lived.  I feel compelled to stop right here for a minute and say something you NEED TO HEAR even though it may be hard. 

Taking responsibility for the majority of your things before you go is a gift you can give your children. 

If you have things you can part with now…don’t wait.  If you are getting older and you have things you want your children to have when you are gone and you can part with it now…do it!  By gifting these items to your children now you can experience the joy of giving!

Stuff passed down from generation to generation is only memorable if you share the story behind it. 

Tell your kids about the time you all went on vacation and purchased that ornament.  Organize those photos into a story that they can watch come to life.  Explain how your grandfather worked to save up for that ring he gave your grandmother.  If it is really and I mean really important to you, tell your children why.  And not in a guilt-induced way! Speaking of guilt…

If you have a history of guilting your children into taking your stuff you need to stop now! 

I have seen this time and time again.  In fact, I have a good friend of mine whose parents consistently drop items they no longer want at her house to “give her”.  She doesn’t have the heart to tell them no so she waits until they leave and right out to the curb it goes! 

 

Why do parents do this?  Because they have not learned to part with things themselves. 

 

They would rather have their kids take it then give it to a local non-profit that will put it into the hands of people that actually need these things!  My advice: ask once and if your kids decline kindly say “OK no problem”!  After all, these are YOUR things that YOU bought. This doesn’t mean your children will have the same taste or attachment to them and that is OK. 

 

My point about taking responsibility for your own stuff before you leave this earth is also because it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to clear out a deceased person’s belongings…trust me!  Your children will miss time from work, time with their spouse and time with their own children to get the job done.  So the more you can tackle your stuff now the more time you will save them later.  They will greatly appreciate this, trust me!

 

*Learn to clear the clutter that doesn’t mean anything and live on purpose at the upcoming Created Order Conference! 

* Get your home organized with my step-by-step guide Organize Now!

 

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About Author : Jennifer Ford Berry
Hi there! I am Jennifer Ford Berry or some people like to call me "Life's Organization Expert". I am super passionate about helping people get organized and stay that way! I have written a series of books called Organize Now! I contribute my organizing tips to National magazines, radio and TV shows. I am here to help you realize that your life is not about stuff...it is about living! YOU can live an organized, healthy and exciting life one baby step at a time. Let me show you how!
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