Friday, March 4, 2011

Storage space

As a society we tend to hold on to things. When we look for a place to live one of the questions that is almost always asked is how much storage space is there. The storage industry is larger than the music industry here in North America. You go into any large store and they have copious amounts of storage bins in all shapes and sizes.

So what is with all the stuff we need to store? There are reasonable explanations for some storage such as camping/outdoor gear, sports equipment, Christmas decorations and gardening equipment amongst others. That being said if you haven't golfed in 5 years you probably don't need your clubs and the same goes for camping stuff if it is never used then why do you still have it?

We've all seen shows like hoarders at least in passing and you know what it can lead to for some. I know people that would fall into that category and it just is so sad. Some people hold on to stuff because they just don't want to let go of the past. For others they actually pick stuff up that was discarded to try and show it is still of use, trying to redeem it when it is really about redeeming themselves. Others still need to get the latest and greatest of everything but just don't know what to do with the stuff they already have. Then there's the ones that feel guilty about getting rid of stuff like exercise equipment because they will start that new lifestyle one of these days and no one can tell them different.

I often wonder what piles of rubbish those storage places must have. There are necessary short term reasons to use storage and people with small businesses use them too for good reason but I'm guessing by and large these places are preying on the weak and exploiting their sickness. I know of someone that had stuff stored when he moved out of town for a job but planned on returning less than a year later. That was over 20 years ago, he never did move back and is still paying for it to be stored. What a waste, how sad but the worst part of it is there are many like him.

Personally, I find it quite liberating to go through stuff and rid my self of unnecessary baggage. The process can be a little tedious. At times it will bring up good and/or bad times(especially stuff stored for a while). I'm not saying divest yourself of everything but most of us(me included) have stuff they are hanging onto for no good reason. Sentimentality doesn't have to be an anchor around your neck. Keep your Granpas old watch but get rid of the beat up old chair he loved. He can't use it in the grave and you don't want to use it here. Unless you are restoring it(and I mean currently, not a far off project) you should dispose of it.

And please, please, please. When I say dispose of your unwanted/unneeded stuff I don't mean leave your junk at the door of a thrift store. If it has no further use take it(or get someone with a truck) to the dump. If it is recyclable then recycle it. No one wants your old pc monitor but some recycling depots take old electronics. You can find out which ones do online. Hold a yard sale, give your useful old stuff to a thrift store or someone who could really use it but it is time to take charge. You will feel a whole lot better.

And now for the spiritual application....

Often we hold on to stuff because of a deeper emotional need to be fulfilled or out of some feeling of control over things since our lives may not always be under our control. God is in control, he knows you and he loves you, just you, not the stuff you have or the stuff you don't have. He will meet you in your deepest hurts, he was there for your best moments too and he will always be with you. He loves you just the way you are. He will fulfill you more than any stuff could ever do.

The stuff you have may have meaning to you but after you are gone they won't mean much to others. If you have something you don't use but you want your son/daughter/niece/friend/etc. to have why don't you give it to them now rather than waiting. If you have rooms full of stuff that is never used and are embarrassed to let other see it then you honestly need help. It is a sickness, nothing to be ashamed of, none of us are perfect so don't feel bad. Do something about it and you'll feel better.

Get rid of the clutter in your life and you'll find you get rid of a lot of clutter in your mind too.

Blessings, and happy spring cleaning to you :)


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