Storage, Stuff & The Economy

Spring. A time to clean, no?

My wife and many good women and not a few men go a little clean-crazy
about this time of year. And of course if you think about it, it’s a
good idea.

I don’t know that Spring is the issue, but at least once each year
(should probably be a quarter or ever bi-monthly…) it’s time to go
through all the stuff and do a yard or garage-sale, give it to a
re-sale shop or in some cases recycle or hit the dumpster with it.

Basic soap-and-water and dusting stuff needs to happen, sweep up the
garage, shop or shed, get tools in some sense of order again,
whatever, it all makes sense.

But in much of the western world and certainly America, we have far
too much junk, stuff we’ll never ever use again, do we not? At least
seems true for most of us.

My wife and I have lived in an intentional Christian community for
most of our lives, living in one room. We have a basic amount of
storage available to us, and every so often it’s time to discard one
way or another. The humbling truth is even people who live pretty
simple lives and aren’t hardcore materialists can STILL accumulate a
lot of stuff! Reminds me of the great Veggie Tales line when the one
character asks the other where he’s going. The guys answers “To
Stuffmart, I gotta get more stuff!”.

After 9-11, or for our Japanese friends in crisis, or for those rebels
in Libya, etc., “stuff” means sooooo little! Clutter can of course,
even get in the way of relationships.

Jesus told us “a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his
possessions” and to “store up treasure in heaven, not hear on earth”.
But one of the issues of our present economy is that many people have
so little money that “stuff” isn’t selling like it was only a few
years ago. And there is something about our being moved by the ad
agencies to buy ever more stuff we don’t need and will rarely if ever
even use.

I understand how the fallout of all this hits corporate execs.,
workers and even the need to jump-start the economy- but economizing
seems like it’s near always a good thing, no? The biblical (and
practical) concept of “stewardship” comes to mind.

Some of you may not know (blatant plug if you live near us in
Chicago…) one of our mission businesses happens to be a self-storage

While we love the business and use some of the facility for those who
live in community here at JPUSA, the fact is that not only large
cities but nearly every small, even super-small town I drive through
has a self-storage place if not two or three! Americans apparently
have a lot of stuff!

Likely, some of that stuff isn’t just antiques or great gear stored as
an investment. A lot of it is just not needed, but for whatever
reason, there it sits.

A.W. Tozer and many others speak of the need for simplicity. An
ever-increasing mound of stuff complicates life.

For years I’ve enjoyed using old “obsolete” computers which run Linux
(my fave operating system) fast and great. But even then I regularly
clean up extra files I know I’ll never use again. Along and along I
try to save space and order my various desktops, laptops and pdas with
a sense of “am I REALLY ever going to use this again?” in mind. I do
the same with our storage. Every so often it’s time to just CLEAN!!!

I have a load for the computer recyclers nearly ready to go.

As much as I love books, I do the same with them. The same question
comes to mind: am I ever going to crack these pages again? If I really
am, keep it. If not, move it out.

Sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot for lack of cleaning up. Nice
for the self-storage companies… but not real sensible toward living
a prioritized life of stewardship.

Matter of fact, I have a bunch of clothes I need to get over to our
freestore at our shelter soon… because it’s a fact I’m not going to
wear all that stuff and it’s been piling up for awhile!

Partly it’s a matter of economizing. Partly it’s a matter of priorities.

Something to think about in Easter week…

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn



  1. Please ask Marg or Ron Brown or Tom Fulghum to get their family or all the families to pray for my husband Larry who was dx w/stage 4,mets,inoperable CA.Thanks Ruth Glazier Rost

  2. Well, Self Storage service providers provides numerous uses for home and business owners, not to mention help to reduce stress levels by knowing valuables and critical materials are safe and secure. If looking for more information than websites for self storage helps you lot.

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