Stuff is defined as matter, material, articles. We all know this, but we never expected it to have such a hold on us. There comes a time in all our lives when we must deal with our stuff!
Maybe you are moving, or perhaps you need to make room for a family member to come to live in your home. That guest room rarely used can become an office or a craft room. Whatever the scenario, we have to come to terms with our stuff sometimes.
I’ve had to do this several times in various circumstances. When I do, I’m reminded how temporary things are. What once meant so much at one time can be sold at a garage sale or even given away or left behind!
Perhaps it is human nature to hold on to things tightly, and because of that tight grip, it is hard to let them go.
2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
2 Corinthians 4:18
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
Perhaps the last verse makes the point best regarding our stuff.
A couple of hours is all it took to flood our basement one day when we were out running errands. We were expecting to open the door and enter as usual but were aghast to step into water instead. Our washer hose had busted, and several inches ushered us instantly into survival mode.
For days, large fans roared, and we spent a large portion of time in our basement. Not only was the living room floor ruined by water, but the basement also. That water had made its mark in our dwelling place and interrupted our daily routine and thoughts. What was not in plastic totes was left to absorb water leaving cardboard boxes and their contents saturated.
Silently the water soaked all kinds of things from furniture to keepsakes.
In the end, the cleanout sessions were marked by surprising ease in decision making. It seems that once items are damaged, it becomes easier to discard.
What we learned about storage:
- Put your stuff in plastic totes. Special things can go in heat/moisture protecting ones.
- Take time to put dates on your pictures. You can purchase photo containers, and if you label the container for a specific time frame, then there’s no need to label each picture.
- Label your boxes – Use a permanent marker on tape. Later, if the contents change, then you can rip off the tape label and put on a new one without scratching through words and leaving a mess.
- Mold grows – If items have mold, it is best to part with it. Some things can be wiped down; most can’t; just let it go.
- Learn to love the black garbage bag – Throwing away is good. Whether you are filling the bag with giveaway items or garbage, do this more often, then the task won’t be so daunting over time.
Right now, we are busy cleaning out again. Thankfully, it is not because of any catastrophe. We are doing it to save some money. Our last move was a downsize that we weren’t prepared for. Consequently, a storage unit became immediately necessary. Recently, we’ve moved everything out of the unit into our carport and are going through these things.
Things to remember:
- We have to guard our hearts and not allow our stuff to be more important than God Himself and other people.
- Running our race well as Christians require these cleanouts from time to time.
- Some of our stuff does matter.
But sometimes when faced with divorce, death, moving, catastrophic events, re-purposing, you learn to let go of stuff. At the beginning of this new year is an opportunity to look at your stuff. What do you need? What can be thrown out? It takes courage. Ask God to help you on this unique journey.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.