I absolutely love Pinterest! I was a Pinterest-er even as a child—cutting out magazine pictures and pasting them into various notebooks when I was really small, before graduating to file folders when I became a young adult—stuffed full of ideas that I was sure I would someday need. Now, I Pinterest. I love finding craft ideas to do with my kids, food ideas to drool over, and inspirational mantras to remember when I really don’t want to work out.

During one of my recent forays on Pinterest, I came upon this gem of a blog post:

200+ Things to THROW AWAY!!

This is all about de-cluttering! I have four kids. Let me say that again: I. Have. Four. Kids.

… which means I have clutter. It’s simply a part of life with children. However, what I love about this ‘pin’ is that there are some REALLY quick ways I can declutter—200 ideas for quick de-cluttering!

clutterImmediately, the 10-15 boxes that I had been saving because, well, what if I REALLY need a box?!? Tossed into our dumpster. Oh, and clearing the old wire dry cleaner hangers & plastic store hangers out of our closets? Heaven! Instantly, I felt lighter, like I had let go of burdens I didn’t realize I was holding onto!

I have not completed all 200 of the suggestions, but I am moving through the list! As I sorted through … wait, let me preface this before you think me a crazy yarn hoarder … My mother was a professional crochet-er, so I inherited a LOT of yarn from her. One of my girlfriends moved a few years ago and I inherited a LOT of yarn from her as well. Plus, I really love soft, beautiful yarn & am always convinced I will find the perfect project to match the perfect yarn I just fell in love with at the store.

Throwing away bags or donating hangers to Goodwill is one thing, but getting rid of perfectly good yarn is hard enough! I decided to have this be my Good Samaritan service this week—and I looked for ways to use my need to slim down my yarn pile to also help someone else. And I found lots of ways to help!

All of the acrylic yarn went to a girlfriend in a Mennonite old folks home. She belongs to a crochet/knitting group that makes afghans for the homeless. (What a wonderful use of time, right? I wish I had the time to do that!) They need acrylic yarn—they have hands and time, but finding yarn for the blankets is always a challenge. So I donated my acrylic yarn that has been sitting around, useless.

IMG_0227-CopyThe expensive yarn that’s gorgeous, but I simply have too much of? Given to a friend who is always making little gifts of scarves and baby blankets for various members of our congregation. She has the time and skill to use this yarn that was just sitting in my closet, useless.

What about all of the odds and ends that are rolled into balls, but there isn’t enough of to make a project with? An entire large plastic bin FULL of these odds & ends went to another friend, an elementary art teacher in a low-income community. She was so thrilled to have fun, colorful yarn options for her kids to rummage through! Again, it has been sitting in my closet, useless.

All of this yarn, useless for so long and now being used to lift and bless so many. All because of de-cluttering.  It makes me ponder—what else do I have taking up space and time that is essentially useless because it isn’t being used to bless another?

This makes me excited to continue to de-clutter my home—what else will I find that I can bless another’s life with? What is weighing me down that might lift someone else? Last week, we changed out the 20-year-old light fixtures in our home. All of the old fixtures still work. Instead of throwing them away, as I would have done before my yarn experience, we are donating them to Habitat for Humanity. The extra carpet and padding that has been in our basement for years? Going to the same.

To read more of Emlee's articles, click here.

To read more of Emlee’s articles, click here.

What a wonderful blessing for OUR family—we get to breathe easier because of clearing out the ‘stuff’ that accumulates over time AND we get to help. We don’t have a great deal of time to donate right now. We are in a busy season of life; however, we DO have plenty of clutter that we can certainly clear out!

Once again, I find myself so grateful for this experience of trying to life as the Good Samaritan—the lessons continue to surprise me every week and little by little, I find that my life is more peaceful, more happy, and more useful than it was before I began this journey.

About Emlee Taylor
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years. 

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