Quarantine

It’s so hard to think right now. Decisions are being made daily that’s changing the world around us faster than we can mentally prepare. Half of us panicked and the other half of us can’t find food because we didn’t panic. Vacations have been canceled that were planned for over a year, weddings are postponed, faith assemblies can’t gather, and people are depressed because they can’t watch sports.

I heard a story about a man at our local Walmart hoarding ramen and canned soup. Meanwhile, an elderly lady reached for a can and he told her to back off because he wasn’t done. He cleared the shelves and she didn’t get a can of soup. We shouldn’t live in a world where an old lady can’t get a can of soup. We should be sharers.

Amidst all of the chaos, now is a better time than ever to declutter and not because we’ll be home needing something to do. No, because there will be a need and if you are struggling with clutter already, it’s something you can do to prepare yourself able to fullfill a need should it arise. Many of us may not have extra money to give, but we might have stuff we aren’t using and we don’t know what this pandemic will create a need for. Do you have too many towels, plates, or linens someone else could use? Let’s use this time to take inventory.

I worry about the aftermath because we can’t just stop the world and pick up where we left off. What is this going to look like a month from now? Where will peoples’ jobs be? How will some afford to live unpaid for weeks? How will small businesses survive? What are single moms going to do while the kids are out of school? How will this effect those is domestically violent homes when victims are forced to be with their abusers day in and out? As this quarantine is implemented to keep more of us well, it will cause great distress on the mental wellness and financial health of many. There is no perfect solution.

The reality for many people is that the next few weeks/months will be very stressful. The hurting will hurt more. I believe that if there is good that we can be doing by donating our stuff, then we should. Not IF there is good that can be done. Good can be done when we donate our usable excess. Let’s do whatever we can to take care of each other through this.

I talked to a lady a few weeks ago living in a rehab center that also runs a well known thrift store in our area. She explained to me just how much the center does for the ladies that live there and it’s more than I could ever imagine. The center provides everything – shelter, transportation, clothes, food, toiletries, in addition to drug rehabilitation. All made possible through the sales made from the thrift store. All made possible by the donation of others.

We don’t always get to see where our donated stuff ends up. It’s easy to get hung up on wanting to see the happy ending for what you give. In our Christian small group, we talked about how the act of giving (anything) shows gratitude to God. It’s our giving that expresses our gratitude, not someone else’s receiving that expresses our gratitude, so we can’t always concern ourselves with where our donations go. Giving is what makes us kinder humans. It has nothing to do with the recipient.

I believe this quarantine will put our stuff into proper perspective. For those of us that panicked, we cleared the shelves of necessities – food, medicine, and toiletries. Nobody rushed the dollar bin at Target.

Truthfully, when you’re stuck at home for several weeks, you’ll get a good feel for the things you use, need and enjoy on a daily basis. Everything else can be reevaluated to go to someone else that can use it or be donated to a ministry.

It’s a trying time we’re in right now. So many layers of anxiety weighing on people. Many of us will be quarantined without the virus. Some of us are living in homes full of clutter that already stresses us out. Take a chance to reflect on the good the clutter has the potential to do for someone else and let it go. Now is the time.

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