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       Volume I - December 20, 2008

‘Tis the Season to Be Generous
(and Clutter-Free)

by Alice Osborne

We all know there is a LOT of need amongst us right now—business layoffs, budget cuts, slowdowns, shut-downs, and so on, have created some real financial stress and hardship for families. With this in mind we wanted to share a simple idea on how we can help: let’s send everything we don’t like, use, need, want, or have room for, to our local charity (specially warm outerwear).

The above just happens to be the definition of clutter, and we all have it. Sharing it not only benefits others, it will benefit you! First and foremost, when you remove everything you don’t like, use, need, want, or have room for, you create a house of order, which is so much easier to live in. You’ll seldom lose things, it’ll be easier to clean, it’ll look nicer longer, and family is more inclined to help with the housework when the clutter is out. It’s a fantastic way to prepare for the new year!

Despite the benefits of living clutter-free, we run into folks who think they’re “getting along just fine with all their stuff” (they always tell us they know where everything is). But that’s not the point. Stubbornly hanging onto it (for whatever reason) is not only foolish but selfish (keeping things we don’t like, use, need, want, or have room for, when someone else will like it, use it, want it, and probably need it, just isn’t nice).

And this leads us to perhaps the greatest benefit of living clutter-free: there’s room for PEACE. When you remove clutter, you remove the confusion, chaos, frustration, anger, mess, contention, etc. created by it. With the clutter gone, there is now room for matters most—PEOPLE. And when we put others first in our lives, we find peace and joy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these hallmarks of the Christmas season could linger in our homes the entire year?

To invite the spirit of peace into our homes, we must clear out a spot for it. SHARING all the stuff we don’t like, use, need, want, or have room for—“lifting the hands that hang down”—creates peace and spreads joy. By taking care of the poor and needy in this way we’re demonstrating what’s most important in life—and there’s no better time or season for offering this help than the one we’re in.

So as we deal with the last bits of “getting ready for Christmas”, let’s do some de-cluttering—let’s share the things we don’t like, use, need, want, or have room for. It’s not just the season to be jolly, it’s the season to be generous, and as we are, we’ll find the peace and joy that comes from putting first what matters most!

(If you’d like detailed help in removing clutter, see Alice’s book, It’s Here… Somewhere, found in bookstores and on

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