Thursday, November 20, 2008


I think I need some advice. The short story is that we have moved to a new place where we have less space than we have had in the past. As a result, I have been going through our belongings and trying to organize and find a place for them. As I go through boxes and containers (that haven't been opened in several years) I have started to wonder if I am a pack rat.

I have never really considered that I have a problem when it comes to getting rid of things. Sure, I always had an extremely messy room as a kid, which I shared with my poor sister who is the most organized and neat person I know. Usually it got so bad that one of two things would happen: either she would get fed up and clean it herself, or she would divide the room in half with masking tape and tell me that I couldn't cross the line until my side of the room was clean (I should mention that the doorway of the room was on her side, and I would take her actions serious enough that I would jump over her side and out the door, just not serious enough to actually clean the room)...

Over the years I think I have become a much tidier person than I once was. I have always made sure to keep the house looking clean and clutter free. I thought my junk drawer (you know, the one everyone has in their kitchen with takeout menus, spare change, scissors, mail, pictures, etc. etc. was normal, even though Jason labeled it as "the drawer of doom". Oh, and I had a couple of these drawers). Thanks to these drawers and other secret spaces, I became really good at hiding all sorts of "stuff" that I have been holding on to. I am now at a point where I don't have the room to hide it. The dilemma that I now face is that I'm not sure which of these treasures I should keep and what needs to go. Here is a list of a few things I have been holding onto and my excuses for keeping them:

*High school prom dress (I might wear it again?)
*Wedding cards (Should I toss them or keep them?)
*Passes and detention slips(to laugh about the times I was "being disruptive in class".)
*College binders (Someone might need a 13 page Spanish paper on Frida Kahlo someday...)
* A white seagull feather (Story: my cousin gave me the feather when he was little and I decided to save it to show to him one day. Now he's 16 and I think if I showed him the feather he would be thinking "what the....")
*Notes from dear people (I would never throw your note out:)
*A lot of old purses and bags from Sally's (Salvation Army, such memories of those trips!)
*Thousands of beads (It's possible I will take of the hobby again.)
*A ceramic snail (It was a gift.)

I should probably stop here because this list could go on for some time. I guess the question is: Am I being a pack rat, or do you hold on to these types of things too??


  1.'re a packrat! While it's wonderful to have some sentimental things around to make you laugh or encourage you or to show your kids someday, they should be in a memory file, or in scrapbooks. General rule of thumb: If you haven't USED it in the last 6 months...TOSS IT! You'll feel so much better, trust me!

  2. Erin... I'm a pack rat too!!!!! and it's driving my parents crazy b/c most of the stuff is in their basement. My advise: donate the prom dresses to the Cinderella project which provides girls who can't afford one all the glitz and glammor of their prom totally free (this goes for bridesmaids dresses too), save the sentimental wedding cards (toss the one I gave you b/c I'm sure I didn't write anything gooshy inside), donate the purses back to Sally's so another 17 yr old can walk in your shoes (unless of course you're using them), give your cousin the feather as you intended and then he can toss it if he wants, keep only the funniest hall passes or tape them into a journal and try to sell the snail on Craig's list...maybe it's worth something! Otherwise I'm with Becky, it feels so great to declutter! The pictures of Mitchell are amazing, he is the cutest baby in the world.


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