June 7, 2008

Confessions of a Pack Rat

Ok. I admit that I am a somewhat of a pack rat. I have trouble discarding precious items that symbolize specific memories. I fear that I will want that New Years plastic hat next year or that I will need those worn-out shoes for some day painting fences outdoors. I worry that I will not remember a vacation from 13 years ago without the novelty snow globe or think that I will be able to use those scraps of paper for some future craft project. I have a real problem throwing things away.

However, I've been researching "packratism" online and I realized that I am not nearly as bad as some people out there. Wikipedia has to say about the issue:

Compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding) is extreme hoarding behaviour in humans. It involves the collection and/or failure to discard large numbers of objects even when their storage causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as moving around the house, cooking, cleaning, showering or sleeping. Hoarding rubbish may be referred to as syllogomania or disposophobia. A slang term for a compulsive hoarder is pack rat or packrat.
Woah! I am not THAT bad. But I do have some advice for fellow packraters like me:
  • It's ok to let stuff go. There is no need to keep completely unnecessary things.
  • A good way to part with stuff is to just keep one item that can represent an entire group of things.
  • If you donate your nice old junk then maybe someone else can actually benefit from it who needs it. Lets face it, You don't need 20 purses, 14 of which you haven't touched in the past year.
  • Or if you have time, you could sell your stuff on Ebay which means $$ for the things piled on the stack of junk blocking the path to your bed.
  • The most important thing to remember is that it will feel good to clear the clutter from your life.
However, after saying all that, I filled up two huge bags of stuff to donate to Goodwill and my mom was practically going through everything saying, "You can't get rid of this."

Gosh. Way to make me feel guilty. At least I know where I get it from...


  1. I have to admit...I'm a packrat as well...and I get it from my family. It makes me sick when I try to throw things out, but I can't. When I was younger, and even now, when I gather stuff up, my mother gets upset and makes me feel guilty which then, of course, makes me angry.

  2. I would be glad to throw away things for you. You have no idea how much I like to get rid of things. I went home for one weekend and got rid of a grocery store bag of stuff that I do not ever need. My rule with clothes, if I haven't worn it within a year, then I will probably never wear it ever again and I should get rid of it. Jenn you know that I would love to see the inside of your room. I can only remember seeing it once. I would help you get rid of stuff plus organize things. Everything has a place; it just needs to find that place. Maybe it is a family thing though. My father is a pitch-it kind of guy. Although my mother is a pack rat.