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Buying Less, Making Do

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Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without. {A Time to Clean: 30 Day Challenge} @ AVirtuousWoman.org #ATimeToClean #declutter

A Time to Clean: Day 18

You can read the rest of the posts in this series here.

The idea that Less is More is a good one, don’t you think? The problem comes when we don’t actually put the principle into practice. Hmm, that could apply to a lot of things!

It’s so easy to  come out of a store with bags of things you didn’t intend to buy when you walked in. Like when you go shopping for a new green blouse to go with that skirt you love and you come out with three blouses, a pair of jeans, a hand towel, a candle, a dress for your daughter, two new scarfs, and a pair of boots. All because they were on sale or better yet – on the clearance rack! But you couldn’t find a green blouse in the right shade. So you decided to try the other store and see what they have.

Buying Less

There comes a point when making the decision to buy less really makes sense. In fact, buying less makes so much sense because buying less means less stuff to clean, organize, move around, make room for, dust, and clean again.

Not only that, but buying less could save you a ton of money!

Sometimes living a simpler, less stressful life means that not only do you declutter on a regular basis so that your home stays clutter free, but you actually buy less new stuff and make do with what you already have.

We all like shiny new things. It’s fun! But do we need every shiny new thing that comes onto the market? Could we be happy with what we already own?

Could your money be better used by saving for retirement, helping to build a new church in New Guinea, or donating to your church? What would happen if we sacrificed of our own wants a little more?

Making Do

Making do with what we have is really more about contentment and stewardship than anything. It’s about reusing, recycling, and repurposing. It’s about living a life that isn’t about things but about people.

Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without. {A Time to Clean: 30 Day Challenge} @ AVirtuousWoman.org #ATimeToClean #declutter


I try to live this way. I’m going to try harder going forward! It’s so easy to be caught up in the latest new thing or the latest fashion or the lastest trend. Or to feel like we’re happier when we have new things. The problem with filling up that void in our hearts with temporal things is just that – it’s not lasting. Instead of seeking happiness by buying new things, we should be seeking true JOY which only comes from our Father in Heaven.

“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3 KJV.

I’d much rather hear God’s voice saying,Well done, my good and faithful servant. You helped build many churches in my name and so many people were reached for the Kingdom!” than hear Him say, “You filled your home with the treasures of this world when you could have shared more with my people.”

How will you purpose today to live with less, buy less, and make do?

Today’s Goal

  • Have you struggled with buying too much stuff instead of being content with less? Pray and ask God to show you where you need to make changes.
  • Pray about making hard decisions – about what things you should keep, preserve, or let go.
  • Pick up a journal and write down your thoughts about what He has shown you or print my free prayer journal.
  • Choose an area in your home you want to tackle. I’ll be working in upstairs today.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away. You can donate to our Appalachian Community Center if you’d like.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram – use hashtag #atimetoclean {optional}
  • Leave a comment below about what you chose to get rid of and anything else God has laid on your heart.
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow and spend time in prayer. Use your prayer journal. I’ll be waking up around 6:00 am.


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  1. Thank you. I just love these posts and so does my home! I appreciate all your time and hard work that goes in to this project.
  2. Hi Melissa, I had thought to do an internet sabbatical for awhile and spend time doing other things than reading blogs, but your posts are so well-thought out and heaven-sent that I am taking time here on your site! Thank you for sharing your insights! Our all-wise Lord is certainly giving you much inspiration! :) I wanted to share two thoughts that have helped me, in case they might bless someone else, too. One that I heard/read from several women is to learn to make our own home as lovely and neat as we can, and then enjoy it, without shopping/perusing catalogs/decorating sites/magazines for things to covet/change. I am trying to practice this daily--to every day thank my kind Heavenly Father for giving me a sweet, cozy place for us to live, and be content with it, and not keep looking for ideas for more/better things for it. One of my favorite hobbies is decorating, and it was hard at first for me to not look for more ideas or things to decorate, but the peace, joy and contentment have been worth it. And Jesus has plenty of better things for me to do with my time and money instead! :) A second thought to share, if I may, is one that I also have heard/read from several Christian women. Although it is a temptation to accumulate and save things "just in case" or "We might need it someday", when we give away our excess (i.e. clutter) and bless others, we can indeed trust that if in the future we need that very thing, our faithful Lord, who promises to supply every need, will provide it just when we need it. I am learning to rest my faith in Him and His sure Word of promise, and let go of so much more than I ever thought possible. The beauty of a peaceful, uncluttered home provides the best "nest" for a worshipful atmosphere!
    1. I love your suggestions! You are so right- when we bless others, God will continue to provide what we need. Also, it is so easy to want newer, "prettier" things - and sometimes that's okay - but the temptation to buy new is so strong, we would all do better to avoid places/ magazines that encourage us to be discontent with what we already own. I'm so glad you've been blessed. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas with the rest of us!
  3. Wow I felt like you are talking to me personally. You just described my shopping attitude. Thank you so much for the post. I will start De clutter tomorrow morning. You are doing a wonderful job. Keep up and God bless you
  4. We live in 816 square feet with ourselves, a toddler, and a baby. Constant decluttering is a must. It's good to be reminded of the reasons.
  5. There is nothing more therapeutic than de-cluttering! I reduced my wardrobe to less than 30 items (including shoes) at the end of last year and it's been amazing! Now my mission is to clear my home of all the excess stuff. Since I have 2 little ones this is harder than I expected, but I keep at it!
  6. Good afternoon! I was drawn by your title at a link up. I wrote a very popular article with the same title some time back. http://www.harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com/2013/06/forty-ways-to-use-it-up-wear-it-out.html Perhaps it will give you some new to you ideas to meet your goals. I learned from necessity because we've been very low income for a few years. Blessings, Laura

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