09 December 2009

#343 Confessions of a Pack Rat

Danette has recently informed me that I am a pack rat. At first, I disagreed with her analysis of me. I mean, really, I keep a clean house, my fabrics are color coordinated, my spice rack is alphabetized and every jar/can/container in my pantry faces me in carefully sorted rows so I can see at a glance what I have. Not to mention they all have the date written on them when I purchased them, with the oldest dates rotated to the front after each shopping trip. I write my shopping lists in the order in which the store is laid out.
I had to back away from my picture of myself and insert Danette's picture of me. Organized does not mean I don't save things. It just means what I save is organized!
So I set out to try and see what she sees. I began with a junk drawer. I managed to pull out 10 pairs of old eye glasses and holders that I never use nor will I ever use. They are now in a bag for the Lions. I next found a cupboard that was so full of old kitchen items which I have not used in over 20 years that I had to giggle at some of them. Actually, they are still in the cupboard, I then got sick and had to stop my pulling things out.
Until the Christmas break, I am taking note of all the areas where I do indeed save things. Check these out....
These are Camp Fire uniforms. I became a leader of a group of girls back in 1976. Yup, one of those is from 1976. So why do I have these hanging in the guest room closet? I need to answer that question before I'll ever be able to part with them. Too many warm and fuzzy memories are attached to these little uniforms.
Okay, here is the next one. I don't think thread has sold for 29 - 39 cents for 40 years! So how the heck do I still have spools of thread that are that old? Well, I'll tell you. Because I sew a lot and thread is expensive. I used to have every color in the rainbow in every hue possible, but I have now whittled them down to just two shoe boxes. That's pretty dang good. (Although, I did just buy 15 new spools last week when they were on a super 50% off sale priced at ONLY $2.50 a spool!)
I don't feel bad about 2 shoe boxes of threads (yes, they are all organized by color inside the shoe boxes!) And I try to use up the old ones first.
I do have to attack several areas in the house: the attic, my closet, the loft in our barn because I recall having old yearbooks and French text books that I certainly have not looked at in most likely 40+ years.
So maybe my guidelines should be something like this: if I have not used it in 20 years, find a home for it. Hmmm, is that being wasteful?
Nope! Danette reminded me that I have to think of her and Kari and Jack. If I should die before them, they are going to have to deal with all this crap. Okay, new guidelines: if I have not used it in 10 years, I'll find a home for it.
I have my mother to thank for all this stuff. She lived through the Great Depression and taught each of us how to save, save, save. Not waste. Everything is good for something! But she didn't have a huge house and a barn to store all her things. I may just start thinking about the idea of living in a smaller place and what would I really take with me?....Hmmmm, I'll work on that.
At least I'm thinking about all the stuff I have packed away. Maybe that's the first step to breaking the pattern. I hope so.
Maybe I'll research and see if there is a 12 Step Program for Pack Rats......

1 comment:

Kate Wille said...

Don't feel bad Sandee, have you ever seen that show Hoarders on a&e? those people have paths through all the stuff in their houses. One of the first steps to keeping something is asking yourself, "if i get rid of this will all those memories go with it?" usually that answer is no. I'm a magnificent purger, possibly because we move every other year. :o) good luck with your introspection!