The Funnest Game Our Kids Ever Played!

Keep or Toss

When our kids were little they accumulated tons of things without even trying. Toys, books, games. Twigs, rocks, shells. Drawings, crafts, things that defied categorization.

So my wife invented the game “Keep or Toss”.

The rules are simple. Any time she decided the kids’ rooms needed de-cluttering she’d call them in, pick up anything that was not put away and ask a simple three-word question “Keep, or toss?”

Here’s the fun part: If our son or daughter said “Keep” they had to find a place to put it. They ended up saying “Toss” a lot.

Oh! the mirth this game engendered in us all.

Keep or Toss

Brian Gardner’s recent post on de-cluttering brought that game to mind. He talks about tossing out the clutter in your home and the things that clutter your mind. His tips are helpful, although it’s up to you to find the specifics for what you need to toss in your own life.

It might even work at my office:

To the left of my computer

To the left of my computer

My computer

My computer



To the right of my computer. Does my office need a game of keep or toss?

Spiritual Tossing

I think our spiritual lives can benefit from a good round of Keep or Toss sometimes and, as my kids found, sometimes it’s important to find a place to keep some things too:

If you are over-committed at church, it might be time to toss a ministry or two (or three or more). Then again, there are some you might definitely want to keep and you know from the rules of the game that this means you have to find room for those ministries.

If your prayer time, Bible reading, journaling or other personal spiritual practice is falling behind whatever schedule you set for yourself, you might need to look at letting go of something and then make a place for those you decide to keep.

If everyone around you clamors for your attention – friends, family, boyfriends and girlfriends, bosses and co-workers, professors and classmates – so that you feel you never have a moment’s rest, you definitely need to turn to the One whose desire for your undivided attention leads not to exhaustion but to sustaining you in all you do.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 51:22.)

Remember, you are God’s righteous child because of what Jesus has already accomplished for you. There is no effort you need add in order to be eternally sustained in the hand of God. (John 10:28-29.)

Only you know the clutter that keeps you from enjoying the life God has given you. Whatever it is, I suggest a rousing game of Keep or Toss.

Here’s how to know what to keep:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8.)

Anything that falls outside that?



This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Funnest Game Our Kids Ever Played!

  1. Jeannie says:

    This is great, Tim — especially at the start of a new year when there’s a tendency to do a lot of “stock-taking.” And using that Philippians 4 verse as a guideline is very helpful.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Jeannie. That passage helps identify what to keep and toss, but I find I still try to keep hold of what I shouldn’t sometimes!

  2. Aimee Byrd says:

    Tim, your wife is a genius! I am totally stealing that one! And yes, I also need to do the whole keep and toss with my own life. But just a word of advice, make sure you keep the coffee on the desk at all times!

  3. Lesley says:

    I’m definitely stealing the Keep or Toss game idea. 🙂 I’m a decluttering maniac. I just took a load to Goodwill last week and I already have a new giveaway pile started in the garage again. Thanks for the conclusions you draw about keep or toss in our spiritual life. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to things. I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase, “it’s on a choice between bad and good but good and better.”

Talk to me (or don't)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s