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Any Packrats In The House?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I spent the earlier part of this past evening, about four hours worth, cleaning and rearranging the bedroom. Most of the time involved moving stuff around and going through things to throw out. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a packrat.

It's amazing the amount of useless stuff that accumulates in the closet and in drawers that are seldom used. I have a lot of old clothes in good repair that don't fit me anymore. I need somewhere to drop them off. Goodwill? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Are you a packrat, too?
post #2 of 16
We are now that we have exactly 3 weeks 6 days to move!!!

The smallest things went very noticed such as erasers, my hot glue gun, dessert cups. Things that aren't used often..but i've needed lately and they've been packed by mum! lol

*sighs*
post #3 of 16
Oh I'm such a pack rat! You don't want to see our 'storage room.' It's so full of stuff that when DH was hopping over things to get to the tool cabinet yesterday; he didn't even notice his stack of presents on the floor in there!!! And they were close to the door!!!

I have 2 bags of clothing to go out to Goodwill here. I threw away a whole bag of shoes this summer too. (Plus my best black dressy/casual shoes I'm afraid!) I'm a very sentimental person. I think that's half my problem. The other half is I don't like wasting things. But I have to ask myself, am I wasting it by not sending it off to someone who will put it to good use? It's a never ending battle!

Back when I lived at home about once a year I'd go through my room and clean out. Now that I have a whole home of my own, forget it!
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
A good deal of the clutter I have is empty fish tanks and supplies for them. I have two tanks that need a new top frame/center brace on them because the current ones are cracked through. Besides those two I have another six or seven that are also empty. I'm not going to get rid of the stuff. The empty tanks and supplies, along with the eight tanks that are currently up and running, will be the start of my fish room after I get a house. I don't know what to do with the stuff for the time being.
post #5 of 16
I'm married to a packrat and have some packrat tendencies. After 18 years of marriage, we've accumulated a lot of stuff. Moving last year helped to clean out the stuff, but we moved a lot of stuff that we didn't really need. I'm getting into the habit of doing a thorough purge in my house about once a year, and doing it this week while I'm on vaction.

I've found all sorts of creative places to unload my stuff:

Towels/bedding and old toys can be donated to shelters.
Stuff of some value either gets sold on e-bay or put up on Craigslist
Hold a garage sale.
Donate to Goodwill / Salvation Army.

The year before I moved, the Humane Society participated in a community garage sale. I donated about 5 car loads of stuff and with all their donations, they raised abou $1500 that day. In the spring, look for churches, community centers, etc that are hosting garage sales and you can donate there.
post #6 of 16
About a year ago I started purging my packrat nest.

I started giving things away rather than trying to sell them, and as Goodwill and Salvation ARmy put article donations into their thrift shops to sell to raise money, I started using Freecycle instead - this way it goes directly to the person who needs/wants/can use the item.

I totally love Freecycle! I have gotten rid of SO much stuff that I do NOT miss having in my way!
post #7 of 16
My SO is the biggest packrat in the world and I am the total opposite. He packrats on cars, PC equipment, mail , never ending boxes of receipts, any kind of electronic device, really everything.

When we moved this last year, I threw out a lot, but he "panicked" over some things.
He has 4 storage units full of things.
post #8 of 16
I am a sick packrat I can't throw things out..even old clothes in case I will like them someday again
post #9 of 16
I forgot about Freecycle! I've given away all sorts of good things through that site!
post #10 of 16
I am trying to get rid of my packrat tendencies, but it is hard, especially when you live with a packrat. He was raised by a packrat, his dear grandpa that would collect broken toys and bicycles all year and fix them up for Toys for Tots until they turned him away with a truckload of tricycles and bikes because they were not new, just good as new. He began givng them to the sisters at the convent up the road and they were thrilled to get them. He would also make old fashioned wooden toys and stepstools for little ones to get to the sink. I guess being a packrat CAN be a good thing.
post #11 of 16
I often think I must be! Our house isn't that bad, but I don't want to get to that point, and be featured on the 6 PM news ("Woman found dead in house full of trash. It took 3 days to find her remains under piles of junk."

Lately, as we approach our 3rd anniversary of buying our house, I've been reminiscing about how nice it was the day of settlement. I remember how bare it was, and how nice that looked! It was fun to camp out for 2 days, on the living room floor, all by myself, eating canned soup, and just having the bare essentials (we really moved in 2 days later, but I took time off work to clean and start moving small boxes in). I miss the spaciousness of the rooms. I realize we can't (don't want to) return to that level of non-clutter, but I can re-gain a spacious look by de-cluttering. If you've ever camped, or been in the military, you realize just how little you need to live!

Some tips:

1. Discover what your cluttering weakness is: sports stuff, clothing, knick-knacks, antiques, etc. You may be surprised. I thought I dind't care about dinner plates, until I realized I was buying a lot of cute little dessert plates when I saw them cheap (I do entertain a lot, though. but still...). When you find out what make you tick, work on it.

2. Don't accept "Can-you-use-this" gifts.

3. When solicited for ideas for birthday, Christmas gifts, etc., ask for only practical stuff, or a gift card for a service (massage, house-cleaning, or for a movie, etc.).

4. Just because it's on sale, doesn't mean you need it. Trust me on this one. My weaknessess will be revealed for the world to see tomorrow morning. The 12/26 clearance sales. Please escort me out of WalMart while I still have my dignity. Please.

5. AVOID YARD SALES, FLEA MARKETS, ANTIQUE STORES, AND EBAY LIKE THE PLAGUE.

6. Before buying non-essentials, ask yourself if you really need it. Then, wait a few days.

7. Every few months, de-clutter seriously, in between daily pruning/maintaning of stuff.

8. Box up stuff, mark the date on the box, put it away; re-visit the box in 6 months (DON'T OPEN IT!!!). If you haven't used it, it goes, UNOPENED! (Exceptions: holiday stuff, special occasion clothing that FITS.)

9. Find an easy-to-get to donation spot: Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. this lessens the excuses not to get there to donate. When I got the Xmas stuff out, I wne through it, and got rid of a lot of stuff. The nicest stuff, I boxed up, and sent to a cat shelter charity, that sells stuff on eBay. Yes, it cost me nearly $30 to sent 2 boxes, but it was very nice stuff I thought they could sell, and for a great cause. Always ask a charity first before sending them items, just to make sure they can use them, or want them.

10. Clothing: if it doesn't fit now, it goes. Period. Yes, you may lose weight later, but treat yourself to some new clothes then. Make any stained or nasty stuff into cleaning rags. I cut up soft, fleecy stuff, and make cat blankets for my guys to lay on.

11. Don't take up new hobbies, unless you get rid of the last hobby's stuff first.

12. Books: another of my weaknesses. Luckily, I work in a library, so I know what type of donations they'd like. Also, I know I can take them out, should I want to re-read them, which I do a lot of.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoochNNoodles View Post
Oh I'm such a pack rat! You don't want to see our 'storage room.' It's so full of stuff that when DH was hopping over things to get to the tool cabinet yesterday; he didn't even notice his stack of presents on the floor in there!!! And they were close to the door!!!

I have 2 bags of clothing to go out to Goodwill here. I threw away a whole bag of shoes this summer too. (Plus my best black dressy/casual shoes I'm afraid!) I'm a very sentimental person. I think that's half my problem. The other half is I don't like wasting things. But I have to ask myself, am I wasting it by not sending it off to someone who will put it to good use? It's a never ending battle!

Back when I lived at home about once a year I'd go through my room and clean out. Now that I have a whole home of my own, forget it!
Sounds like me! I can't find a few Xmas gifts right now (part of this problem lies in the fact I have to hide stuff in between wrapping sessions, from the cats, who'll chew on the stuff or pee on it).

I used to feel guilty about trashing sentimental gifts, too. My best friend, Alice, died 6 years ago. Honestly, I can't remember a lot of what she gave me as gifts, but what I do remember: her smile, and all the fun times we had together over the years. I've decided to keep those memories as her "gifts" to me, and pass on some of the other stuff, so someone can enjoy it. (I kept a few things, mostly some cards and letters. I can buy another cat figurine, but I can never see her handwriting ever again, once it's gone.)

Some people take pics of items, then get rid of the items. Never done this yet, but I like the idea.

You have to decide: what's more important, the item, or the memories of the occasion/person?
post #13 of 16
I'm not but John is. I like things to be organized but it's hard when the drawers and cabinets and everywhere else is filled with stuff that we will NEVER need again. But he hates throwing anything away unless it smells bad, LOL.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2 View Post
I am trying to get rid of my packrat tendencies, but it is hard, especially when you live with a packrat. He was raised by a packrat, his dear grandpa that would collect broken toys and bicycles all year and fix them up for Toys for Tots until they turned him away with a truckload of tricycles and bikes because they were not new, just good as new. He began givng them to the sisters at the convent up the road and they were thrilled to get them. He would also make old fashioned wooden toys and stepstools for little ones to get to the sink. I guess being a packrat CAN be a good thing.

To me, that's not being a packrat--those items did get used, and for a wonderful reason. I love your story!

Now, my parents were a different story. Dad wasn't bad most of the time, but he couldn't let go of dead electronics. When my VCRs died, he would keep them, saying he would fix them. The man who NEVER had one, nor did not grow up with them, nor ever had used one. Right. Needless to say, they sat around in the garage for years. Meanwhile, I had bought myself a new one...

Mom was worse. Our house really wasn't cluttered, but she couldn't let go of something that could be "useful". The silliest one: in 1975, Dad bought her a deep-fryer. It died immediately. It got trashed (I'll bet only after a few fights--I was too little to remember). However, the deep-fryer contained the Holy Grail of junkdom--a basket you put the 'taters in, and submerged into the fryer. Ok, you say, a basket could be useful, no? Except for this one--a metal bucket WITH PENNY-SIZED HOLES ALL AROUND IT. Mom was like a pit-bull with a mailman's leg--she wouldn't let it go. Nope. "You could use it for something!" (She never did.) For years, Dad and I tried to sneak it down in trash. It kept re-appearing in the garage. (I call it, "The Gaza Strip of junk"-it was hotly contested, and kept changing hands.) Finally, she only got rid of it recently, as she's selling her house, and moving into my brother's place. Do the math: 2007-1975=32 years.
post #15 of 16
I inherited my packrat tendencies from both my parents. when I moved here from Chicago, I was moving into a slightly larger apartment. I figured I'd have plenty of room.. then i started hauling stuff from my parents house south of here...

My apartment makes me look like I have some sort of mental illness like hoarding... I'm working on it, slowly... I have the next two days, as well as two full days next week, to devote to working on the apartment. I hate my place being so cluttered, but it's hard to cram this much stuff. I've gotten rid of a lot. I sold/donated three bags of books, and will have at least two more soon. I have a goodwill bag of clothes collecting. my papers and general stuff are my downfall.

and I can technically blame my mother for a lot of it. she hoards and does not clean. her idea of regular vacuuming is once a year. all of us kids are doing little things to clear up their house. the rare times my brother visits, while my mother is busy (because she'd get all worked up if she knew), he packs up a small box or three of books. a little at a time. neither of my parents read those books anymore. if I had a larger place, I'd take more of their other books. My brother only takes the sci-fi and fantasy, so there's several hundred more books. At one point, my parents had about 3000 books in that tiny house (along with several pounds of fabric and yarn, three growing kids, several computers, fruit canning equipment, hoards of empty margarine tubs, clothes no one will ever fit, enough dust bunnies to form a large army, etc...).

Somewhere in that house is a knitting machine. I want that knitting machine. it would SOOOOO speed up my scarf making. I just started one last week... I doubt it'll be done before next Christmas. if I have the machine, I could feasibly start selling things like scarves. I just wonder if it'll work with the fluffy 'fur' yarn...

So, to answer your question, yes, I am undeniably, absolutely a packrat. Somewhere deep down inside me is a clean freak screaming to get out. hence a tshirt I have in my cafepress store: Neat Freak trapped inside a Pack Rat.

Amanda
post #16 of 16
I'm a horrible packrat, but luckily I'm married to somebody who throws out all "unnecessary junk". The one thing he doesn't throw out is my clothing, so I've started the "if you haven't worn it in the past year, get rid of it" practice. It's surprising how much more room I have in my side of the wardrobe.
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