Do you sell your items on Ebay , Craigslist, or even yard sales at a discount price to make some extra money? Or maybe you are just doing it to offer your neighbors a great deal? I love scoring gently used items at hugely discounted rates and I am sure you do too.
The beginning of each year should bring new hope and new beginnings, but for me the end of 2012 brought the biggest challenge of my life. I am fashion editor, mom to a 3 year-old, and people often think my life is perfect. I get to touch amazing clothing, meet celebrities, eat a great restaurants, attend fabulous parties, and work with extremely talented people. I do have an incredible life, But is that what life is all about?
2012 brought about many changes. A relationship ended. I moved from a 4.5 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom home and now it was time to move again. I truly believe our heavenly father knows everything and has our best interest at heart, so I decided to ask God for some direction.
Through this process I discovered I was not supposed to move down the street or to another city in Texas, but to another state 25,000 miles away. New Jersey to be exact.. For how long? Who knows but the journey I would go on next would take me on the biggest wake up call of my life.
I was in shocked and many doubts came into my mind. Especially when I realized I would be moving to Montclair New Jersey, a town I had never heard of, which happens to be the sixth richest city in America.
God knows how much money is in my bank account, so why on earth would he send me there? Some of my family thought I was crazy, but the truth is God ALWAYS knows what is best. His plans are bigger than our plans and his purposes are bigger than we could ever imagine.
Of course fear of the unknown and all of the above began to set in. I had so many questions and so many things didn’t make sense. If God told you exactly how things were going to work out you probably wouldn’t have faith. Often times we do things for the reward and not for genuine reasons. When God holds back the details you can rest assure something amazing is going to happen.
In my dream I had a conversation with my alter ego Chanel and below is our transcript from December.
Brandy, look at how many suits you have and some of them you haven’t even worn this year at all.
There’s only 6 and do you know how many I have given away this year?
A lot.. Not just the old ones but the good ones too
But look at how many you still have left. Wouldn’t you rather give some away?
But I already did, and the ones I have left I will never be able to find them at such great prices ever again. They cost too much to give away
Yes, but you are not in the same line of business where you need to wear suits anymore
But what happens if I get back in that line of business? I will need my suits
Yes really! I can’t afford to take my money to buy something I already had in my closet. I AM NOT RICH
Well keep two suits if it makes you feel better
Well what if I need a brown suit and I only have 2 black suits because I just gave it away?
Do you really need a black and a brown suit? You aren’t even wearing the six you have right now.
I am making less money than I have in a very long time.. I don’t have $200 to spend on a suit. Some of these suits are worth $500. Why should I give away something that I might need?
To give someone else the advantage. Don’t you realize that there are people who would actually be using your suits instead of letting them collect dust? People who are really less fortunate than you.
I donate things and when I sell things I give people a really great deal. I have cleaned out my closet many times and I am holding on to things I really need. I am charitable right?
You are, but how much more charitable could you be?
But giving away my work clothes will put me at a disadvantage and that doesn’t make sense.
Well let’s move on to your coat closet, you have 5 coats rights?
Yes, but I have bought these 5 coats and jackets over 4 years. I just keep my clothing in good condition.
Do you know how much good you could do if you gave 3 away.
I have given my coats away.
But have you done it to make room for more coats or because you just don’t like the style anymore
My gosh, you are killing me here. Well I guess I have done a little of both
What if you just gave it away because you already have “More than enough”. Giving your extra coats away you would be giving someone else the advantage.
If I give everything away I will be putting myself at a disadvantage.
Is it really about putting yourself at a disadvantage or is it because you paid too much for these items to give them away?
Well who would just give away things they need for FREE? This is just crazy
Is It Really Crazy?
After lots of tears, I realized I was being selfish and as little as I felt I had, so many more people were in greater need. Going through a breakup was hard. I felt I had already lost so much this year, so being asked to give away even more things was even harder. After lots of thought I realized this was something I was WILLING to do. Are you?
I rather a mom looking for work get my $400 suit for free instead of me selling it to anyone. Every day it collected dust in my closet was one less day I could be making a difference in her life.
I rather a women get my maternity clothes instead of going to work feeling uncomfortable because she couldn’t afford clothes or shoes. I rather a man who can’t afford a coffee table take mine.
Taking the Leap
I was already moving halfway across the country on a leap of faith, so why not do the same with my personal belongs. People started to ask me what I would be doing with all my furniture and of course I said,” I am taking everything what else would I be doing?” Things didn’t exactly turn out that way.
What started with my closet turned into my entire home.
Here were my options:
A. Sell my items-Craigslist, Garage sell and e.t..c
B: Put them in storage until I got settled in my new place
C. Store them at relatives house( who had no room anyway)
D. Drive the items to New Jersey
E. Give it away
I choose option E. I gave away 90 % of my belongs and sold one item for $150 . Everything I gave away had some sentimental value to me, but I continued to ask myself why does it hold such a high value? We threw a party in my closet and I cried as many of my favorite items left my home. This was really hard, but sometimes we have to make the tough choices for the greater good. I gave away the most expensive item in my closet, my Jimmy Choo Ramona bag.
Out of the 400 items of clothing I kept 50 items and I plan to cut that down to 35 items this summer. I didn’t plan to give away this much, but the need of everyone else was greater than mine. I was moving across country and people right here in Grapevine, Texas could use my stuff. From art work to rugs, to my sons toys to designer dresses I had only wore once.. I gave and gave and gave.
At first it was very painful but by the end I was the happiest I had ever been in my life.
Who Got My Stuff:
I searched online for charities, and told a few friends what I was doing.. I ran into friends who were struggling but ashamed to tell people, so I helped them.
I reached out on social media and would carefully screen each person to see what their needs were before handing over the goods. I gave away my couch because there was no point in shipping something to another state when there are plenty people right here in great need. I trust God would provide anything I needed now and forever.
My couch went to a single mom with 4 kids. They were embarrass to have friends over because they didn’t have a couch. Did I need the couch for my new home? Yes, but she needed it more.
A few people maybe took advantage of my kindness, but they will have to answer to God not me.. Plus we all make mistakes. I have taken things with the wrong intentions as well, who are any of us to judge?
God loves a cheerful giver, so we can’t get side track by thinking everyone is out to use us. Some are, but that is their problem not mine.
What I Learned:
This experience was overwhelming and gratifying all at the same time..
Giving up things wouldn’t create a disadvantage for me, but would give someone the advantage.
I learned to stop being selfish and holding on to things. Things that we are holding on to for LATER a lot of people could be using these items NOW.
Whether it’s a baby crib or a pair of shoes, we must give these things away to people who truly need them. And good stuff. As a country we must give away new well made items or gently used well made items.
Trust that God will provide you with everything you need and know that giving things away is helping the world become a better place..
The Take Away:
I am not telling you what or how much to give away, this is something for you to decide. I hope this story will inspire you to take join me in the summer sacrifice challenge.
The Conclusion: Give Up To Get More
I am a fashion editor.. I care about clothes.. I love looking at beautiful fabrics, art work, and shoes, but not more than helping someone else. By living with less I am happier.. clutter free, and inspired to help others.. I didn’t move and buy all new stuff. I have a desk from Goodwill, a bed and a few small items.. When the time is right I will get more, but for now this is perfect for me and my son. Instead of putting value in stuff I want to put value in people. You aren’t expected to sacrifice things you don’t have, but I am sure if you look around your home, you will realize you could live with a lot less.
The Challenge: This summer I am starting the summer sacrifice global challenge which will benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. ( and this is why I am in New Jersey in case you are wondering) By May full details of this nationwide event will be rolled out.
What you can do now: Look around your homes and see what items you would be willing to sacrifice. Or if you plan to shop on Amazon Prime Day tomorrow, buy a couture inspired piece of fashion for a charity. Ask yourself if someone right now could be using this item a little more than you. Join the movement and follow Small Sacrifices Count on Facebook & Twitter for the latest updates on the challenge.