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July 4th, 2005, 04:11 PM
Why do we save all this stuff?
I am in the process on "paring down".... getting rid of some things that have accumulated around the house. For me, its mostly clothing and sentimental items., but amazing how this can really add up over the years.
I hang on to things I cant bring myself to throw away - things with "meaning" on a personal level. But cant keep everything - forever.
Or things I keep "in case".
In case I lose that 10 pounds, in case this comes back into style.. in case I might need this.
But... what are the chances I WILL? And if I do.. buy more.

My hubby is a true pack rat, though. Tools, gizmos doodhads and thingamajigs. You name it... he's got it.
Get RID of this most of this stuff, I'm telling him. But - he is loathe to part with any of his "valuables".

Are you or signifigant others pack rats or do you systematically downsize belongings every so often?

I'm hoping to be down to a spartan bare- bones minimum by the time I'm finished.
Garage sale, donate.. anything. Out, damned junk. ;)

July 4th, 2005, 04:16 PM
My younger daughter has this big plastic container full of every note she and her friends have ever passed each other in school!

July 4th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Shamrock,I could have a GIANT garagesale and if it was not soo much work I would,I have an abundance of nic-nacs :D Hubby is terrible,we have a household-items collection once a year,including just about anything....I put it out and hubby takes it back in :D He's much worse than me...
Clothes,a couple of times a year,I have a couple of garbage-bags full to give to Salvation Army.
We had a funny incident this year,hubby had a 3-piece corduroy suit in his closet with bell-bottom pants and not the modern version!I told him it had been there for 20 +yrs,he said he would still fit into it...ha,ha
What a joke that that time he weighed 118lbs,now he's a whopping 168lbs...the rest you can imagine :D
One day,I will throw everything out and have a tidy home :thumbs up

July 4th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I am quite the packrat myself. I'm sentimental you see. There are memories attached to everything afterall. Recently though - my husband and I started implementing the 1 year rule when we had to reorganize the house (we've got 3 little kids and another on the way -- we need space!!!). It goes like this: If we haven't looked at it, looked for it, thought about it, or really needed it for the past 12 months... Then we shouldn't keep it.

We made it easier on ourselves by donating just about anything we can afford to charity. That way I don't feel bad about doing away with things I am sentimental about... I am simply giving them to someone who might actually USE the stuff. When I started thinking about it this way I realized it was actually rather wasteful for me to hoard all this stuff waiting for the day when I might need it... Maybe somebody can use it right now!

I found a bunch of boxes full of stuff when we were cleaning up... that we had moved from our last house to this one... They were never unpacked. It was stuff that I couldn't get rid of before for sentimental reasons - but that I would never display or use... It took a few days of soul-searching but I was finally able to bring the boxes -- still unpacked -- to a local charity. I figured there they would be someone else's treasure boxes. :p

July 4th, 2005, 05:42 PM
My step dad is the worst, his ENTIRE family are pack racks.
My stepfather has over 20 winter coats, and will not throw even one of them out.
He still had his matress/box spring, and frame from when he was 16 years old (over 30 yrs ago) and was ARGUING with me about whether to throw it out or not. It was sneaked outta the house when he was at work. UNHEALTHY!

I myself, am not a pack rat. I hate clutter,it annoys the hell outta me. About every 3 months, i go through the house and do a major cleaning, anything that gets in my way, gets tossed.
This last time, means I have no boxes left in my close at all, the floor of my closet completely empty, and the hanging space about 1/4 full.

July 4th, 2005, 07:26 PM
Aghhhhh! This is sooo timely. Hubby and I are "collectors", meaning packrats! My mom is also one. We just sold our house and have a month to move "stuff" into a storage shed. Now to find the right larger house for all of us and then sell her house. I try not to get overwhelmed, just concentrate on one step at a time. Problem is, some stuff is hard to get rid of until we know where we'll be moving to and what furniture will fit. Consolidating two households! At least, Den-Den and Corky seem to be happy being in a 2-dog household!

July 4th, 2005, 08:47 PM
I am a packrat and LOVE it (mostly). I am bad at getting rid of paperwork, receipts, old newspapers/brochures/pamplets.

But me and BF are also collectors. We collect comic book/sci-fi memoribilia. We also collect books. We have 100's and 100's of books and probably just as many collectables. I collect M&M stuff, Charlie Brown stuff, Superman stuff, and female sci-fi/comic book stuff (anything with females, like I have this AMAZING wonder woman mug, and this dragon fighter stikfas girl...) Oh yeah, I also collect Mugs. I have 2 cupboards, three shelves each, full of mugs. I get mugs of whereever I travel. I have a complete collectors set of campbell's soup mugs. BF collects Lord of the Rings stuff (we have an entire "Billy" 6 foot tall, 3 foot wide shelf JUST lord of the rings books, games, figures, and it doesn't even fit all that we have) and he also collects world war 2 memoribilia and comic books (mostly batman related...he thinks batman is better than superman. WHATEVER!). He is a big sci-fi/fantasy book fan. His favorite writer is Neil Gaiman (if you haven't read anything by him, I suggest you do. American Gods is good, so is Neverwhere).

We are total geeks. I didn't even think about all the computer/video games we have until just now either. We also count down the days each summer until Toronto Comic-Con ( at the convention centre (two years ago I got to meet Conner Trineer-AKA "Trip" from Star Trek Enterprise. He is cute! last year I met lavar burton, and the guy who played Chewbacca!). This year the famous people that will be there are Elijah Wood (Frodo-LOTR), James Marsters (Spike on Buffy), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi-ST:TNG), Linda Park (Hoshi Sato, Star Trek Enterprise), Tim Russ (Tuvok, Star Trek Voyager), Erica Durance (Lois Lane, Smallville), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane, Superman) **I totally want her autograph**. There are lots more. I can't wait!

So....getting rid of our junk isn't an option. It just needs to be dusted a lot (and moved higer up so Odin doesn't get it and chew on it).

July 4th, 2005, 10:43 PM
Are you or signifigant others pack rats or do you systematically downsize belongings every so often? Every sentimental item is a picture of its history. There are so many memories you just don't think of until you see the object.

So ya, I'm a pack rat. :D

July 5th, 2005, 02:00 AM
My husband is a packrat and also collects a few things. I keep sentimental things, that's about it... those kinds of things I can't seem to part with.
He's got so many gadgets on his workbench in the basement, he can't even work there if he wanted to, it's ridiculous!
One example of him being ridiculous.... we got this electric knife from my mom (used) about 6 years ago, we NEVER once used it. I was going through kitchen cabinets and I was ready to toss it, and he wouldn't let me. He hasn't touched it in 6 years! Come on! (it's long been thrown out now, he doesn't even know, and he won't either because he NEVER uses it ;))

I feel sorry for the people who have to go through our home when we pass away... so much crap.
An old family friend got revenge that way after she passed on.... her house was packed with nonsense. She had labels and UPC codes from different products, she used to cut them all off, save them up and then you could send them in for gifts, or so I hear. She had boxes and boxes full of them. She also had a zillion packets of sugar and nutrasweet. She had huge boxes of pinecones in her closet! What's up with that?

Anyway, I get rid of what I can, except things that means a lot to us, or things that belong with a collection. Otherwise we'd have to move! :p

July 5th, 2005, 03:22 AM
Safyre, I'm totally with you.. My parents are awful packrats.. their house is a mess with junk.

Having lived like this, it turned me into a neat freak. Things don't have to be perfect, I do keep some random stuff, but it has to be pretty organized... And I dislike clutter.

My Mom freaks because I will go on cleanign sprees to try to fix their house... I can't find anything.. not sure how they do, but my Mom claims she knows where everything is and movign it is bad because she 'needs to be able to find anything she wants at 3am in the dark if need be'.

July 5th, 2005, 11:52 AM
I feel sorry for the people who have to go through our home when we pass away... so much crap.
An old family friend got revenge that way after she passed on.... her house was packed with nonsense. She had labels and UPC codes from different products, she used to cut them all off, save them up and then you could send them in for gifts, or so I hear. She had boxes and boxes full of them. She also had a zillion packets of sugar and nutrasweet. She had huge boxes of pinecones in her closet! What's up with that?
I got to go through my grandmother's stuff after she died and I LOVED the junk. Gives you more of an understanding of who the person was. What is not important to you now may be important later, and may be important to your children. They have a different set of memories, thus a different set of objects to trigger them.. You never know.

July 5th, 2005, 01:20 PM
I prefer to think of myself as a collector instead of a packrat. I collect Vivi Crandall prints, dragons, wolves and nemadji pottery. I also have a huge number of books. I do go through my clothes twice a year though. I have to switch wardrobes for summer versus winter, so as I am packing up one season's wardrobe - if I haven't worn it at all that season, or if it doesn't fit then out it goes. We have a consignment store here that I really need to take some stuff to. I read somewhere that for clothes, you are supposed to turn all your hangers the wrong way. When you wear something, put the hanger the right way. At the end of year, go through and get rid of the stuff that still has the hanger backwards. The article said that the average person wears 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. I don't have much storage space in my house, so I tend to get rid of kitchen appliances, etc., if I haven't used them recently. So I am a packrat for certain things I guess.

July 5th, 2005, 01:43 PM
We're total packrats. When we moved from our last house, we also move 27 coffee cans FULL of moirettes/screws/nails/whatever. You see, I married an electrician, and his motto is, "well, I might need it someday...." ARGH.

I, on the other hand, am not a packrat. I just don't throw anything out until we move.... :p

I LOVE watching TLC's Clean Sweep. I want them to come to our house.

July 5th, 2005, 05:51 PM
i am not a packrat, i am a magpie :D :D (when i was a kid mum used to call me a magpie with al lthe animals i brought home), we like shiny things and collect anything....

i collected sad humans and animals when younger....i used to collect sad animals as a kid, if an animal looked hungry, lost or sad it was comin home with me.. we had a menagerie...and mum says i also collect sad ppl, she says that i always bring home ppl with the biggest problems, she says it another version of the sad animal....

now i collect stamps and books and such much better than ppl with problems for sure and they dotn steal your stuff or give you a hard time...but i hoard rubber bands and pegs, i love to recycle them and can think of nothing more useful in the kitchen.... this magpie, im fine, i have lots of space and organisation, now hubby....

does anyone out there need some giant piles of tin or that crap metal stuff that you build cars out of?? or how about a good 100m of black tubing that may one day make a watering system or something just as stupid???? or a bunch of old vacume cleaners that one man is SURE can be fixed one day, the list goes on.... all items are free and i will even birng em to yoru house, jsut take it PLEASEEEEEE....