Good-Bye Hope Chest. . .Hello Freedom from Too Much Stuff!
I'm not sure other girls my age had a Hope Chest, but I come from an old-fashioned family. I got my blue Hope Chest sometime when I was a teenager. My mom got this old chest, lined it in blue fabric painted it up for me. The trunk matched my room that had carpet in varying shades of blue (the shade of the trunk), pink and purple. . .
Now I had a beautiful blue trunk Hope Chest. . .and it was time to begin filling it. .. We filled it with pillowcases I had embroidered in 4H, doilies and sheets that were heirlooms inherited from a great grandparent, Ralph Lauren pillowcases and wash clothes I gleaned while working at a department store internship, and other household items. We shopped sales, auctions and rummage sales back in those days to find things we knew that I would NEED to make a house a home. . .Then, to add to my stash, we put aside "Hope Chest" items like dishes, silverware, glasses, and that sort of thing in more boxes tucked in my parents' basement to use when the time came to leave home and the moving van hauled them to my new place.
The thing is I don't remember using a lot of these things over the years. Mostly I have just carted this stuff from one place to the next. . .some displayed and some left in boxes or the Blue Trunk. . .Then 2 years ago, I felt God telling me that it was time to lighten my load. . .to simplify and make my life easier for my family. We had been in the same house for several years and we weren't using this stuff. Stuff wasn't making us happy. Instead, the stuff was making more work for us. I have given away things and e-bayed, sold on consignment, auctioned and Craig's-listed stuff. .As a result, our house became easier to clean and it was easier to find things in. . .However, we moved almost a year ago to a new house in a different town, still using a large moving truck. We still had more than we needed. Since moving several months ago, I have continued to get rid of things we don't need. We have looked at the things we brought with us, and ask ourselves, "Is this worth the effort to take care of and move around?". . .And, most recently, it was time to sell the Blue Trunk. I just didn't need it anymore. I was no longer hoping in "stuff" to make my house a home.
Instead, I realized my home is made up of my family whom I love and friends who come to visit. My dreams revolve around my God, my family and new interests and activities. I have started to feel so much lighter. I now think long and hard before I buy anything as to whether I really need it or not. I have not yet arrived to minimalist status completely yet, but we are continuing on the path. . .and I am enjoying throwing unnecessary things off on this life journey and buoyed by the freedom of living with less.