J-Factor, Have You Increased Your Risk of Being Hit?

15 May

Now before I get all you students of thermodynamics excited, this has nothing to do with thermodynamics.

The J-Factor to which I am referring is one that my husband coined the phrase for at our home.  It has to do with the “Junk Constant” as he calls it.  He says that at any one point in time there is a certain amount of broken things in this world and if one thing gets fixed something else must break to keep the Junk Constant in balance.  So if we have something broken at our home and fix it, it means that because of the Junk Constant something somewhere else must break.

The J-Factor or Junk Factor is the amount of stuff that you own and how you are affected by the Junk Constant.  I believe that the more stuff you have means you will be hit by the Junk Constant more frequently.  It will make its way back to you sooner than someone who has less because your percentage of stuff in this world is higher than the person who has less.

One thing I thought about the J-Factor was that if I own very little but the things I own are just necessities such as the furnace I use to heat my home in the dead of winter, my car to get to work, washer and dryer, and other appliances and I don’t have much else then when I do get hit by the Junk Constant the impact may be greater on someone who has less than someone who has a lot of stuff. 

I think I’ll take my chances with less even if the impact may be greater because if I haven’t spent all my money on unnecessary stuff chances are I will have the money to fix or replace that which is broken.


Posted by on May 15, 2010 in Reflections


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4 responses to “J-Factor, Have You Increased Your Risk of Being Hit?

  1. Linda Anderson

    May 17, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Wow, very profound! And a great way to look at our stuff! We have way too much stuff and right now, we’ve been hit by the J-Factor in that our furnace either needs replacing (huge cost) or repair (minimal cost). Our dishwasher is nearing the end of its life – we have it on life-support until the J-Factor in our lives calms down a bit. We had a breakdown on our farm tractor this winter (huge cost) and my weed-eater has been a challenge (minimal cost). I loved our study at church about missions, poverty and our responsibilities in this life. Among the many messages was about the amount of “stuff” we have and what we can do with it to help others. So, they had an auction to help our church preschool, and the youth group is having a garage sale – great way to thin out our stuff! I’m liking having less!

    • flyinggma

      May 17, 2010 at 9:34 am

      Thanks for your comment. I am finding it easier and easier to get rid of stuff. I don’t mean just wait until an item as little or no useful purpose left in it. I am finding things that are still good that I can pass on to others to use. It is such a freeing feeling to not have to deal with so much stuff.

      Besides my husband, my favorite man in this world is my garbage man and Wednesdays are my favorite day because it is garbage day. Each week whatever I put out for the garbage man he takes and its something I never have to deal with again. I love taking out the garbage!

  2. Thomas Stazyk

    May 17, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Believe it or not I used to have what I called the “Steady State Theory of Home Maintenance” that basically worked the same as the J-Factor. It was a nice way of saying that something is always going to go wrong.

    Interesting corrolary about less stuff means greater risk, but I agree with you that these days less is more.

    • flyinggma

      May 18, 2010 at 7:50 am

      In a book I am reading “The New Frugality by Chris Farrell” is my new favorite quote by Henry David Thoreau which says, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” The life I now imagine for me is one where the time I have available is not ruled by my possessions but by me.


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