If anyone has been there, how did you involve (ie convince
) your family. I was and still am a single parent, so whatever I say goes. You might explain that you will make, or save, money that can be used for a single, big purchase that will benefit all~vacation, car, etc., or the money will be used to benefit others, which is even better.
How did you go about doing it? Did you do it a little at a time or all at once?
We moved, was making a fresh start and it was going to be costly to move all the things I had accumulated and been collecting for years, so I decided to just keep my most cherished things and only what could fit into a 4x8 trailer and the back of the vehicle and the rest went to an auction house. That gave me more money for making the move and transition to a new home.
The second time I had a huge three day yard sale, with the determination that EVERYTHING would leave the property, so whatever price we had to take to accomplish that, we did. Then, anything left over was given away to a family who came with a big flat bed truck and made several trips to haul it away. After that big clean out I determined to never get to that point again with worldly possessions hanging around my neck like mill stones....and I never have.
What was the hardest? The hardest was the things I had accumulated for self sufficiency...then it became easy when God opened my eyes to the fact that there is no such thing, really, and that He desires us to be dependent upon Him for our needs, instead of our own power to sustain ourselves. Among other things that were the hardest were those things I had made, repurposed, refurbished, etc., or were collecting for growing or preserving foods.
The easiest? All of it, once I had set my heart and mind on it. God had inspired me to let go of material things I valued, carried around and accumulated through these verses: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Matt. 6: 19-20 Verses such as this and others let one know what is truly important in life .... and it isn't the things of this world that we carry around like so many little gods. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
What was the best way to handle "family heirlooms", etc. Just....let go. Think about all the family heirlooms of all the families since the beginning of the Earth and ask yourself how important they truly are when viewed from an eternal perspective. Think to yourself, "In a thousand years is this going to be important? To whom? In 100 years? In even 10 years? Why? What makes it so very important? If I had to pick up and make a quick move somewhere and could only take 10 items, besides my family, would this be one of them?" If so, would it help your family in some way to take it along? If not, it's not very important.
Ideas? Start with clothing...that's an easy place to start. Realistically look at what you wear and what you do not wear often or even never, then reduce your clothing and shoes to what you absolutely need to do your daily life. No extras. Not even if they are really pretty or really cute or you just can't find anything like that anymore, etc. My rule of thumb is always...if I have not worn it in a year's time, I will never truly need it. Be ruthless and very practical. It's a good place to start practicing that practicality~you will need it to get through the masses of stuff in the house, the outbuildings, etc.
Then stop buying things. Stop even going to that section of the store unless you absolutely have to do so to replenish a piece of your wardrobe due to it being worn out. We stopped even shopping retail and started getting almost everything we buy at Good Will...that place is a real eye opener, especially when you find an item that still has its original store tag on it and you realize that someone bought those shoes for $84 and never wore them even one day...then they wound up on a shelf for $2.99. And that's what they truly are worth...just $3...but to those people they weren't worth anything or they wouldn't have given them away.
Once you realize that, you'll hardly ever buy anything retail again because you realize that this world is smothering in material goods and most items will be bought, hardly~if ever~used, because they were bought on a whim, then they are given away as if they are worth nothing to the original purchaser.
Then, if you have to buy something to wear, determine you will remove an equal number of items of clothing from your closet that very day and sack them up to take to Salvation Army or Good Will, if they are still decent for wearing and to the trash or rag bag if they are not. Don't wait until you have time to do it, either...if you had time to buy a piece of clothing, you have time to remove one from a hanger and place it right into the store bag you have in your hand in preparation for taking it away.
After that, you can apply that mindset to each and every room in your house...I'll warn you, the kitchen will be the hardest and so will the outbuildings~tools, hardware, stored things to be used "someday if we need it", etc. But, if you truly want to streamline your life and, ultimately, live a more simple, easy life, then you'll stick with it until it's all done.