It really makes you evaluate your every purchase from a whole new angle :). I have recently been combing through the house yet one more time trying to, once and for all, weed out all of that *stuff*, and holding a garage sale trying to get rid of it :). Up to a couple of years ago I was addicted to sales ads and the clearance aisle at Wal Mart. You also would have found me at other's garage sales many Saturday mornings and stopping in at consignment shops every time I passed just in case they had something new that I wouldn't want to miss. You have no idea how much of the stuff sitting out on those tables at our garage sale were things I had picked up on just such a table not so very long ago! Part of me looked on in anxiety hoping that my *stuff* didn't become an undue burden on someone else, wondering when I sold yet another toy or video, do they really need that? Many people would comment when they saw our tables heaped with toys, "Your kids must be growing up!". "Nope", we'd answer "We have three girls under eight and another baby on the way, we just had too much stuff!". Many looked at me as if I were crazy :).
This was the third time in two years we have dug all of our *stuff* out of the garage for others to find a new home for and we have done very well every time but there is something even more valuable than money that I have gotten out of the experience -I've learned what *stuff* is! I've learned something isn't a bargain just because it's a great deal, you have to actually have a use for it. In other words, if you find yourself thinking, "Oh! I could...!" your first response to yourself should be, "Yes, but will I?". Often the answer is probably not, don't we already have enough to do?! I've also learned the lesson of quality over quantity, that one nice $10 dress for your daughter's doll that she plays with ALL of the time is a much better deal than 10 "things" from the dollar store that will end up lost, broken, or at the bottom of the toy bin for life (or at least until the next garage sale. Two or three God-honoring books on the planets are better than a dozen that teach from an evolutionary world view. Your one year old will get a lot more enjoyment from a sandbox, even if that is their only birthday gift, than if you splurge on a bunch of...whatever. And I have learned that it's when you start seeking first "all of these things" instead of "the Kingdom" that all of those other things call out to you and before you know it your home is a cluttered mess and you realize what you thought you "needed" has become but a snare to you.
Isn't the "straight and narrow" hard enough to traverse without having all this *stuff* cluttering our way?
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all of these things* shall be added unto you."
*Food, drink, and clothing...not *stuff* :)!