I'm talking about the OTHER kind of Pack Rat, which is also referred to as Compulsive or Pathological Hoarding...
...the acquisition of, and failure to use or discard, such a large number of seemingly useless possessions that it causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as mobility, cooking, cleaning, showering or sleeping.
Okay, so most of us are not at the pathological stage just yet, (although I do know at least two people who are), but it still seems that we like to keep useless stuff - to the point where we will even store junk someplace else if we don't have enough room in our house!
As of year-end 2007, a total of some 52,000 self storage facilities have been developed in the United States on industrial and commercial land parcels, usually on three- to seven-acre properties. There is more than 2.2 Billion square feet of self storage in the U.S., or a land area equivalent to three times Manhattan Island (NY) under roof.
The U.S. self storage industry generates more than $20 billion in revenues each year.
[ Wikipedia ]
My parents have lived in a modest duplex for... EVER! In fact, my dad (who is 77 years old) was raised in the house. A hundred years ago the house had four apartments but was later renovated into two - one up and one down. I grew up in the downstairs apartment which had 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an office. This month we moved my parents from this house into a two bedroom apartment.
The plan was to only bring some of my parent's "stuff" to the new place. But my wonderful cousin, (who volunteered to pack up the house since me and my siblings live out of town), ended up packing ALL of my parent's belongings / house contents before we could tell her what we DIDN'T want!
One hundred (or so) boxes of "things" arrived on Friday. Today is Sunday. I have been to the garbage dump 3 times and have made 2 generous van-filled donations to the local Goodwill. The van remains full with the 4th dump drop.
Last night I really understood what Jesus meant when He said,
Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
[ Matthew 6:19-21 ]
(I think I'll clean out my closets when I get home.)