Hello My Name is Laura and I’m a Borderline Pack Rat

Packing has made me realize that I have a semi-serious problem with throwing things away.  I can’t always do it.  I haven’t quite reached the status of pack rat, BUT, I have come across a few things in the back of the closets that put a curious expression on my face.


Item #1 – old cookie tin filled with wine bottle corks.  I’m not sure what to do with the corks, or the tin, but they seem to be happy together.

Item #2 – ribbons. Apparently I think it’s appropriate to save every ribbon attached to every candle, gift bag, and home-made soap I receive.

Item #3 – broken DVD player.  This I want to blame more on The All-Star but I’m just as responsible.  I think we both think he’ll fix it one day.  It’s going in the garbage today – this item definitely makes me a pack rat!

Item #4 – old pots with wood enhandles crafted by my great-grandfather.  I don’t have the heart to throw these away, nor do I think I should.  I never met the man but feel very sentimental over these pieces.  Plus I can use them when I go camping.

Item #5 – Grateful Dead t-shirt (purchased in 1993).  For no reason should I be caught wearing this old rag of a shirt but  it pains me to part with it.  It’s actually very soft and comfy, just a little frayed.

Item #6 – Several empty jars of various sizes.  Am I planning on jamming one day?  Perhaps, but not with old salsa jars.

Item #7 – Paper shopping bags from random stores – also wine bottle paper bags (not sure where those even came from).

The list goes on.  I did just attempt to make it a little shorter.  The paper bags stayed.  The t-shirt went into a bag for Goodwill.  Then I took it back out and put it in again.  It’s now sitting folded on the desk.  The jars are gone but the corks aren’t.  Obviously the tin has also stayed. I threw away the ribbons in a fit of frustration.  I know what you’re thinking, I could use them for crafts.  I’ve tried to so many times to use those darned things and I’m giving up (I miss them already!)

So what is the deal, why do I save so many things?  It’s partly due to my great desire to reuse, rather than throw away and rebuy.  The idea of something I threw away sitting on a dump pile for all of eternity just makes me feel wrong and evil inside.  Some things, like the jars, I almost feel comfortable recycling, but not everything can be recycled, or I don’t know how to go about recycling it.  So I stick them in the closet for a rainy day.  Well folks, it doesn’t rain much in California and these things still don’t see the sun.

Now that my life is in boxes again, I’m faced with the hard truth that either I cart these forgotten items all over the county or I simply GET RID OF THEM.  After all, you can’t save everything.  I really do have a strong desire to minimize.  But I’m also afraid.  I’m hung up on the “oh I might need it one day” feeling.  Or “I spent money on it, what a shame to throw it away.”  The truth is that more stuff will always come and most of the things I throw away will eventually be forgotten.  It’s true.  It happens every time.

What items do you have packed away?

2 responses to “Hello My Name is Laura and I’m a Borderline Pack Rat”

  1. My partner just went through our loft the other night – it was quite a state after trying to locate a tent for his brother a few months back! So he kindly offered to sort it out, but I didn’t realise his first stage of sorting it out was to chuck his version of ‘rubbish’ directly from his hole in the roof, down to the bottom of the stairs!!

    The whole process took a few hours, and in the mean time, I was working in the office, every so often needing to get down the stairs – surprise surprise! While making my way through the firing line and clambering over ‘rubbish’ on the stairs, (which was near impossible) I came across bits & bobs we’d picked up from car boot sales and family members, but we never found homes for them, so they ended up – and stayed up – in the loft!
    We also had the old tech stuff, such as a big old computer screen, which, after the fully-manned lowering of the old heavy weight technology, we set up for my laptop…we were soon wondering how we managed to work on it ‘back in the day.’ We also appreciated why we had upgraded and how far technology had actually come!

    When it comes to clutter just collecting dust, we need to be brutal! We’re all a little reluctant to change. I’m sure half the stuff my partner left in the loft will not be used or remembered until the next time we try and find the tent, which co-incidently was in the loft after all!

    This is a great article and I look forward to reading more of your stuff

    All the best


  2. Thanks for comment Marie!
    It’s good to know I’m not alone. It’s amazing how things accumulate. At least your loft is a little lighter now. Oh, how good a little “cleaning” can feel.
    Be Well,
    Laura L.Ac.

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