May 17th Pack Rat Day

Most of us are at least a part a pack rat. If we collect things, we are at least somewhat a pack rat. If you walk into a room and stuff starts to fall on your head because it’s been stacked up there, then you are probably on the wrong end of being a pack rat. The idea that “I may use that sometime” or “I can fix that” generally lead to being on the wrong end of being a pack rat. I am very guilty of doing that, being a part of theater and video, I tend to think I can use anything for some reason. Of course when I do break down and throw something away, well… that’s when I need it! And the pack rat in me comes back out.

How to celebrate – Be proud of what you have saved. If you can’t get in a room anymore, look what you might finally get rid of. Make a record of what you are keeping and where you’ve put it so you can find it!

May 17th National Pack Rat Day

We all do it, well almost all of us. We keep something because we think we will need it some day. Of course, when we do need it we can’t find it since we have piled all that other junk on to of it with other stuff we think we will need someday.

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Some of us keep things. Broken lamps, microwaves, televisions that we intend to get around to fixing one day. Naturally we have already bought ten or twelve news ones to replace the one we have been saving to fix. We may even be saving a few of those replacement ones as well.

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And then there are those pesky papers we keep because might need them sometime. There is always that fear that we may need that receipt we kept because we wrote it off back in 1964 and the IRS might be calling. Of course you’ll never find it if you really need it.

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I admit it, I am a pack rat. I would love to get rid of some of the stuff I have but… what if I really do need it? Can I ever replace it? The thing is, if you can’t even remember you have it, then you can probably live without it.

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How to celebrate – Get rid of some of the stuff you’ve kept. If it feels like Christmas when you do finally find what you are looking for, you are probably a pack rat. General rule, if you haven’t used it, worn it or thought about it in six months… it can go.

 

May 17th National Pack Rat Day

Okay, I admit it, I am a pack rat! Or at least a recovering pack rat. It’s just all that stuff you never know where, or when, you might need! And to have to go out and buy what you have already had just seems wrong!

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Alright, never mind that you can’t find what you know you’ve saved because it’s under a pile of other junk that you don’t really need either. That means you still have to go buy whatever it is because it will take you a months worth of Sundays to find it. But that’s okay too cause at least you’ll have a spare for the next time you need it!

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And it’s sort of fun to go searching for what you are pretty sure you kept, but can;t honestly remember. Look at all the cool stuff you uncover that you had forgotten you had, or didn’t know you ever had.

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In theory, if you haven’t used something in a year it’s time to get rid of it. Unless, of course, you think that you might use it once again. I haven’t really used my mind in over two years but I don’t think I’ll get rid of it! Aside from all that have you ever really check out a rat?

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They really can’t carry all that much!

How to celebrate – Clean out that closet today (And put it all back in tomorrow). Determine those items you really won’t ever use again and give them to someone who will. Tell your wife, husband, children (Whoever) that being a pack rat is your hobby and tell them you don’t interfere in what they do, they should leave you alone with all your junk!

May 17th Pack Rat Day

First, I know I have something of value in all my stuff. I am not sure what it is and I’m not sure what it’s worth but I know it’s there and I know it’s valuable.  Someday someone will come into my place and offer me a small fortune for something I have.

Second, I know I will need something I have someday to complete some project I have. I need to keep all these small pieces and parts because just as soon as I throw it out, I will need it.

Third, all these things are memories for me. They take me back in time to when there was a special moment or remind me of some special person. I started my collection when I was ten and now I am seventy, that’s a whole lot of memories.

These are the three main reasons someone becomes a pack rat… and I ought to know because I admit it, I am one!  What’s worse, I use all three excuses for my “collection”.

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What doesn’t have some sort of history to it? Letters and notes from old acquaintances and more. If you are a collector you have to have everything you can find that goes with your collection. When you no longer have a use for something but it may still have a value in your mind you save it for a garage sale. You find out quickly when you hold that garage sale that apparently, though what you thought had value, really didn’t. Seems no one else wants it either.

I think there’s a little pack rat in all of us. We may not want to admit it but do you really need to keep all that stuff you have?  Try just listing everything you have in one room of your house without going there to look at it. Chances are, if you can’t remember it on your list, you really didn’t need it in the first place. I know I have items that I’ve had for twenty years or more and I haven’t touched them in nineteen years.

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No one knows who started Pack Rat Day. That’s probably a good thing because we’d be saving stuff to commemorate that!  All I know is that when I go to my refrigerator and see that picture my two year old son drew I’m just as proud of it now, seventeen years later, as I was the day he did it.

How to celebrate: Revisit those items you have kept over the years they will take you down a trip on memory lane but look for those items you can live without and donate to a museum or collector. Make a note in the calendar to go through one space every 6 months, whether that is a closet, room, garage, etc. and think about truly getting rid of the items you have not used in those 6 months. Just get rid of some of the junk. Everytime you buy or get something new, donate something you already had. Go through mail when you get it and throw away immediately what you do not need. Before buying something to add to your collection, make notes of the pros and cons of owning it, you may be better off just not bringing it home in the first place and your wallet might thank you too. Eliminate storage space. Don’t buy a bunch of extra dressers, drawers, cubbies, foot lockers, etc. If you put it in storage, you are most likely never going to use it again!