I can see this, having struggled with the mania of owning things, namely too many things, for quite some time. There are few good, satisfactory ways of dealing with this struggle without the extreme intervention of nature. How many people really methodically pare down their belongings at will?
Anyway, this is all in the context of the current fires in L.A., which threatens the home of another columnist that I adore: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2009/09/01/los_angeles_fire/
The current Station Fire is terrible to behold, and a good collection of images is here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-0826-morris-fire-pictures,0,2039975.photogallery
As you consider the devastation of these events, it's hard to not think of what it would take to pack up your life and flee. Maybe those beloved things you've chosen in your hypothetical evacuation should be liberated from all the clutter in your life. It's impossible not to consider, but nearly as impossible to actually carry out (short of a hard push by the hand of God).
Worth thinking about. I ponder Voluntary Simplicity a lot, and so I am inclined to see that vein of meaning in a lot of different contexts and stories.