Friday, November 11, 2011

What Will You Do with the Old One?

Or Decluttering 301

I can't believe how long it is taking me to declutter! Of course, it might help if I didn't go off on rabbit trails. This morning I got online to get ideas about whether I could actually donate a somewhat raggedy blanket. What did I find but a controversy about donated clothing being sold to Africa. The websites I stumbled upon claim that we are putting African textile workers out of jobs. So I had to try to find more on this. Is it true? Which charities do this? I didn't find the answers, so I hope I'm not sending YOU off on any rabbit trails.

I did find a website (although it was a website in Australia) that said St. Vincent de Paul gives clothing to needy people and then sells the surplus in thrift shops. Oh, yes, I had forgotten. And their clothing donation bins are accessible here. I suppose I could get them to pick up other things, but for me, it's more convenient to donate my other stuff to Salvation Army, who sells their items at what I believe are fairly reasonable prices for today's thrift market, and who provide rehabilitation centers.

As I went back to contemplating the blanket, I remembered a woman I met through my local Freecycle who deals in dog rescue. So I emailed her, and she was grateful for the blanket.

But, looking for new homes for old items reminded me of an old story that my husband and I love. I would like to share it with you. I don't remember what book it came from, except that it was a book by Dr. Robert H. Schuller. I found someone quoting it again online. I hope it's a short enough quote not to break copyright as I post it here. But it is, after all, an old fable.

"There was a Chinese wife who said to her husband. 'I would like a new coat.'

Her husband said to her,’ What will you do with your old coat?' She said, 'I will make a bed cover out of it.'

He said, 'What will you do with your old bed cover?' She replied, ‘I will make pillowcases out of it.'

He said, ‘What will you do with the old pillowcases?' She said, ‘I will make new cleaning cloths with them.’

He said, 'What will you do with the old cleaning cloths?' She said, ‘I will tie them together and make a mop out of them.'

He said, 'What will you do with the old mop?' She said, ‘I will chop it up in little pieces, mix it with cement, and we will patch the holes in our cottage in the springtime.'

He said, 'All right. You may have a new coat.'"

1 comment:

Esther G. said...

MM, I love this post!! Very inspiring, especially the story your shared.