Sunday, September 2, 2007

slight snag

It has suddenly occurred to me (as I was sorting through the contents of a closet) that I have accumulated quite a bit of stuff over the years. I am, after all, a pack rat by breeding.

When I was growing up, the contents of my great grandmother's basement rivaled the selection of any thrift store. If you ever needed anything, it was always a good idea to check the basement first. I have several pieces of furniture that came from that basement, but it was also a good source for board games, glass jars, lamps, aluminum pie pans and the occasional forgotten treasure.

"Oh mother, why do you insist on keeping this junk," my grandmother would ask as my great grandmother, who hit adulthood right around the Depression, squirreled away safety pins, baggie ties, plastic cups, scraps of fabric, gift bows, wrapping paper, etc. etc.

"You might need it one day and then you'll be glad I'm keeping all this junk," the old woman would say with a huff.

Sure enough, the day would come, when we had to ask if there was a big sheet of plastic, a toilet paper holder or an extra broom down in the basement. There usually was.

As I begin to go through my closets, in an effort to consolidate as much as possible, I argue with myself.."I don't really use this....but I might need it some day."

I may need to rent a small storage building so that I can appease the pack rat in me while achieving my goal of moving as little as necessary.


  1. My mother was a pack rat, but not a good one. After she died, we found rows and rows of canned foods in the cellar, some dating back over 40 years.

    My partner's mother is a pack rat. She once called Bing in fright because there were "explosions" in her basement. Bing went over to her house and discovered a stash of over 30 old mayo jars, their expiration dates long past. We were in the midst of a heat wave and my MIL refused to turn on the a/c and the jars were exploding one by one. That was an incredible mess. She had bought the mayo because it was "on sale."

    I, on the other hand, tend to throw away things and then regret it. I grew up in a messy, sloppy house and was determined that MY home would be tidy. So, in the spirit of tidiness, I actually threw away my daughter's first pair of shoes.

    I pine for those shoes now.

  2. I throw away everything...but my mother is the opposite. Last week, before I moved back to school, I went hunting for a floor lamp and I found yards and yards of old fabric...probably from the 70s...that is now draped all over my ceiling, giving it this cool tent effect.

  3. So, Alice, what exactly are you planning to do? Tell us more.