I saw it before I made it up the stoop. There was a gift bag with pretty paper sticking out the top and a decorative tag dangling from the handle. As I got out of my car, locked it behind me, and made my way to the door, I could make out that the gift was for me. It was a small package, but the warmth that spread through my heart was overwhelming.
As I slowly peeled away the tissue paper, I discovered what laid inside: non-alcoholic drink syrups. They were part of a gift set with four different floral bottles and a small booklet. Within the bag was a note that read,
“Dani, I saw on social media that you are eliminating alcohol from your life. This was a gift to me, but I find I don’t use it. I wanted to rehome it with you in hopes that it will be a gift on your journey.”
Although one bottle had been opened and the box had a tear, the gift was so incredibly special to me. A neighbor had connected with my journey, saw an item in her home, and wanted me to have it. It reduced unused stuff in her home while bringing a little bit of life to mine.
I began to really think about rehoming.
Many of us have experienced the seasonal pull to “downsize” or “purge” items out of our homes. Often these items find themselves at our local thrift stores. Our homes may become cleaner, but this method doesn’t give way for connection.
I was so moved by my neighbor’s thoughtful gift that I took a quick turn around my kitchen and found a mug we never use but made me think of a friend and neighbor down the block. I packaged it up and walked it down with a note that said, “This mug of mine made me think of you and I wanted them you have it.”
Then a week later, the little old lady who lives alone across the street said she was given a ham, and it was too much for her, so she brought it to us.
And so it has continued. Little pieces of my home are finding their way to my neighbors with meaningful purpose, and pieces of their homes are in kind making it to other houses. I love this way of looking out for one another, of caring for each other, of sharing what we have too much of with those who could use it.
The gift of connection and rehoming. Of care and purpose. Of simplicity and mindfulness.
Take a spin around your home. Do you notice any items that you don’t use but you think one of your neighbors would appreciate? Can you imagine that person using and enjoying your gift? Think about how rehoming items from your house might foster connection, care, purpose, simplicity, or mindfulness in your life and in the lives of those in your community.