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To do lists...everyone has them.  I’ve had them all my life but I have one that I have had, literally, for the last 7 years.  We sat down this past weekend and realized something extraordinary.  It’s nearly done.  After 7 years, this particular to do list will be complete before the end of this month.  Now, perhaps you think I’m a bit silly to feel so giddy but I do.

You see, I am, or was, a pack rat..of the highest order.  7 years ago, when Jess and I met, I had a townhouse basement full of tubs and boxes, mostly full of junk. I had boxes in my bedrooms, boxes in the corner of my living room.  It was absurd.  I could not throw anything away.  Moving across the country in less than 2 weeks notice sparked my first toss session..but the stress of it nearly ate me alive. The move from Northern California to Southern added to my stress but it was less traumatic.  

Now, here I am, 2 years later, preparing for the move back to the east coast and I find that I am literally 4 boxes away from having sorted and tossed everything that I deem has no value to any normal human being. I’m on my second shredder and what I’m keeping isn’t really organized properly but from that mess back in my basement to having less than 3 dozen tubs of storage is amazing to me - and 6 of those tubs are Christmas things.

I never realized what a weight all that stuff was on my shoulders.  I feel lighter, empowered, proud of overcoming my emotional traumas that kept me tied to bits of things that were nothing more than weights around my neck.  It’s been a long road, looking at the issues that I had to deal with along the way to make this possible, but worth all the effort.

Life is good, despite the challenges of unemployment and the concern over the yahoos running the government.

The rest is still Unwritten!



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 13, 2009
    • I am a pack rat.... you don’t want to know how much junk I have and fortunately, I moved from a small house to a bigger one.  So, the junk boxes were moved (filled with 10 years of dust) and are now in the basement collecting more dust.

      I have to confess, I save the plastic to go salad containers thinking I can make a salad to go at home and bring to work.... hmmm, now I have too many.  This is just one example.  I am BAD, BAD BAD.tongue out



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Smiley1962 wrote Mar 13, 2009
    • I have never been a pack rat.  I think it was because of my mother growing up.  She was a very bad pack rat and still is.  It made me crazy.  Even now once in a while I will go over there and clean her house when she let’s me, but then it goes right back to the way it was.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Sullivan wrote Mar 13, 2009
    • CD, I used to be that bad, trust me.  I do understand but if you can conquer it, you’ll be stunned how good it feels.  The key is dealing with the issues that make you pack rat stuff.  For me, it was childhood issues.

      Terma, thanks! Great suggestion...I have no doubt that you‘re correct about that. Especially since I am going to do my best to have a place for everything...and if it’s not worth creating a place for, I don’t need it.

      Smiley, good for you.  I grew up with a neatnik dad who would throw out my things indiscriminately..hence my determination to always control what I kept.  Good luck with your mom.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 13, 2009
    • I feel so wasteful... My dad (still alive) and constantly reminds me and it is an auto play recording “Don’t be wasteful.  You’d never know when you need this.  There can be another way to re-use this.” yada yada....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Sullivan wrote Mar 13, 2009
    • I understand that and there’s validity in it, no doubt. In today’s economy that’s especially true.  So, it depends on what you‘re hoarding as well as other factors.  Saving take-out containers isn’t something I’d recommend...reason being is that plastic and/or styrofoam that is not designed for long term use can harbor harmful bacterias and such and can really be unhealthy to use over time.  A well purchased set of storage containers can be much more healthy and allows you to wash them properly to ensure they are safe and clean.  Reusing grocery bags is worthwhile, saving old mail from 1986 (don’t laugh, I did it) is not.  Recycle if it’s in your area.  Donate to charity shops...that’s not wasteful, it’s providing for folks that are not as fortunate for you in the things they have.

      Since I also had the basement full of stuff, I’ll make another suggestion to you.  Take it one box at a time...go through it.  

      1.  If it’s of no real value, toss it.  Then, sort what’s left

      2...things I can donate that some needy family could use and would make them happy rather than gathering dust in my basement

      3....things that I can give to friends and/or family so that they would be blessed with something useful that would be loved rather than gathering dust

      4....things that can be recycled and go on to make new things that people will need.  

      5....Then, whatever’s left that you are really attached to, can you use it in your current house. If so, do it. If not, then is it really worth the space to store? If so, put it back in the box and move on to the next.

      Just a suggestion, of course. Everyone must decide their own limits with “stuff“.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Mar 13, 2009
    • Good for you Susan!!!!
      Seven years ago when I moved into this house, I brought very, very little with me.  (Mainly my books)  It amazes me how much I have accumulated in such a very short time.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bluerose wrote Mar 14, 2009
    • China - I’m with ya!  I never realized I was a pack rat til my boyfriend called me on it.  Another problem I have is not having the TIME to go through all that clutter!  But when I do, it feels good to get all the crap out of my house.  One room at a time.  One corner at a time.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Mar 27, 2009
    • Yeah Suzi!  There’s nothing like moving to help you sort out your stuff.  I’m amazed at and kind of admire people who can pack everything they own (sans furniture) into a car and just go.  Best wishes on your move back to South Carolina!

      Catfan



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