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”.
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.
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!