Are you thinking about spring cleaning? Or are you still organizing post-Christmas. I confess I have Christmas decorations still sitting waiting to be stored.
It seems that organization has become one of my hobbies. I keep trying to find more and more clever ways to store and/or display my belongings. I love to quilt and having lots of fabric available is like having paints available to a painter. However, it has now become a collection. I rarely have time to quilt but I keep buying fabric because the sale cannot be beaten and the new fabrics are incredibly beautiful. The colors of my sewing room are like artwork to me and so I justify it.
This year I have made the decision to stop buying fabric. A couple of years ago I imposed a one-year moratorium on fabric purchases hoping to get it under control. Finally, I have come to the realization that I can’t live long enough to use the fabrics I already have…so no more fabric purchases for me. I removed the Joann Fabrics notifications from my phone since they come nearly daily to let me know about a great sale.
But if that were all, I might declare myself a collector and move on. Unfortunately, it seems that every year or so I decide to rearrange my stuff. I use Pinterest to get great ideas about how to do that. I purchase storage systems/shelves/displays and still there is too much stuff.
How long does it take for one to recognize that having the proper storage solution isn’t the answer? The answer is reducing the amount of stuff. So I’m on a mission. My children, the local organization who cares for refugees and those seeking asylum, and Goodwill have been and will continue to be the recipients of carloads of stuff that they can choose to keep or pass on to someone who wants it. Some of it has gone straight to the dumpster as I wonder why I was holding on to it at all. How did I accumulate all this stuff and why do I still have it?
According to IBISworld annual self-storage revenue was estimated at $38 billion in 2017. Depending upon whose report you use there are between 44,000 and 52,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. This coexists with the reality (according to the National Association of Homebuilders) that the size of the average American house has increased by 50% in the last 40 years. Houses got bigger, average family size got smaller, and still, we have possibly 52,000 self-storage facilities.
Why are we holding on to all this stuff?
There is a great deal of need in the world. Your local church is working to reach out to help sisters and brothers in need both in your neighborhood and around the globe. There are many organizations that are trying to provide for the needs of others. And, yet, we hold on to so many things we are not using…and possibly never will.
I know I’m not alone in this. The statistics of self-storage, as well as my conversations with others, support that knowledge.
Are you thinking about spring cleaning as the days get warmer and we get that occasional glimpse that winter will come to an end?
Perhaps it’s time to decide to stop buying storage systems and find a way to bless someone else with some of the things you are hanging on to.
It may be helpful to consider why you are holding on to it? Does it make sense? Is it worth having to clean around it, over it, or find a way to store it? A recent book on tidying asks “Does it give you joy?”
Maybe it’s time to bless someone else with it while making the decision to not continue to spend money on stuff you have to find a way to store.
What good could be done with that money? Who could you help? I trust you can find many ways to care for others with the money you will redirect. If not, I would be happy to make suggestions.
I have a lot of work to do. But I am hopefully started down the right path. Are you ready to make that journey too? Imagine the freedom of having all that time available to you that you spend on organizing and cleaning around things…imagine the good you can do by redirecting your money to causes that can support the beloved children of God who have great needs.
Where are your treasures?