Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm a compulsive keeper...hanger-onto-of-crap...

Hi... my name is Grumpy F., and I am a packrat. *groan* When I die, I'll be that old lady who makes the news for living in a house filled with papers, books, boxes, and other crap that is literally taking over the house. (no cats, though... I'm allergic.)

I can't help myself. I somehow super-glue emotions to inanimate objects. EVERYTHING has sentimental value to me. And for everyone around me, that means clutter. And mess. And stepping over everything that I cannot, for the life of me, just freaking throw away. Sometimes, it's that tiny thought in my brain that says, "Don't throw it away! You're going to need it as soon as you do." I hate that little thought. It makes me feel a little OCD.

Since I'm so busy at work during the better part of the year, weekends are pretty precious to me. I do NOT want to spend my 'free' time cleaning. Ugh. So, that means that the clutter becomes hills. Then mountains. Why can't I just throw this crap away?!?!

I did finally do some major work yesterday at home. I needed to do as much laundry as physically possible (man, I have a lot of clothes!) before I leave for my conference*. I also needed to get all the off-season clothes stored away. Farm Boy finally kindly brought me the storage containers from the basement. I filled those suckers up.

As I was working on all of that, it just morphed into clearing out some of the clutter. I'm telling you... I could bag up all the garbage of a third world country with all the plastic bags that I save. Here are some of the things to which I tightly cling:

-plastic bags from grocery/discount stores
-shopping bags (the nice, sturdy paper ones with handles)
-receipts (TONS of them)
-old mail
-empty envelopes
-shoe boxes (I have a huge shoe tree AND a shoe cabinet... why do I keep empty shoe boxes?)
-all other boxes (tiny, small, medium, large... all of them)
-greeting/birthday cards
-wrapping paper
-tissue paper
-socks I've had since the 1980s (not that I wear them in public or anything... but sheesh! I got those pink and green striped ones in LONDON. C'mon! I have to keep those!)
-my main character costume from the musical I was in my senior year in high school
-old cell phones
-clothes that I will never want to wear again in this lifetime

... and the list goes on. Yesterday, I made myself throw out the plastic bags, boxes, and containers (all will be recycled), and I put some clothes into an AmVets bag. I threw away the receipts and old greeting cards. The expired coupons made it to the trash, and so did some of them that are still good. What do I need with a two-fer pizza coupon anyway? The only boxes I saved were for a couple of seasonal shoes and boots.

It's a start. Oh, and I can see the carpet in my walk-in closet. I feel better about it. A little. And if I need something that I threw away, I'll just have to go buy another. Which leads to my next compulsion... shopping. But let's save that for another post, shall we?

*I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a conference in San Diego. But of course... I'll be checking in, because I have to post my fabulous photos. Plus, I'm going to catch a ghost at the Whaley House. On camera. So, I'll post that, too. ha ha


Stinkypaw said...

Ever watched "Clean Sweep"? My mother sold her house to move into an apartment (last weekend) and she had to get rid of a LOT of things. I felt like Peter on Clean Sweep - "the sentiments/memories are in your heart not in that piece of paper or whatever". I know, easier said than done! I have ALL my birthday cards since my birth (like the one where it says "Baby girl Stinkypaw") until last year - I'll be turning 40 this year... imagine! They're in boxes, chronologically.

Glad to read that you took care of recycling or donating stuff. I have this moto "I use it or it goes", so if I haven't used something in the last year or so, it goes to charity or elsewhere, but it has to get out!

Enjoy San Diego and take lots of pictures!

goldennib said...

I'm the same way. My new rule is to purge right away. Sort the mail the day it arrives, don't buy new clothes without getting rid of one of the same of the old, stop pretending I'll use 300 Crystal Lite cups some day, etc. I grieve with you sis'ta'.

MiMaw said...

Didn't realize there were other "Packrats" besides My Man and I who subscribe to the thought, "Don't throw it away! You'll need it as soon as you do!" We are on our 4th move in 20 years and a lot of the sh-tuff has made each of the moves.

Have a great time in San Diego!