Unpacking The Rat

Did anyone catch yesterday’s Dr. Phil? I must say his timing is impeccable. While Sierra was napping yesterday, I decided to also take a nap – Hey! Leave me alone – I was tired from running with Sierra in the jogging stroller to my fitness class and back. 39 minutes into her nap the Recycling truck made it’s rounds… It never fails to wake her up, and I often have a tough time getting her back to sleep. Yesterday was no exception. After 30 minutes of rocking and singing she was back down. But then I was wired – so I came downstairs to procrastinate watch Dr. Phil. I *should* have been doing my cleaning – but I was thinking of what Kiran commented about this being my maternity leave and that I should enjoy it. I turned on the TV and lo and behold! The whole episode was about hoarders and pack rats… Yeah – talk about making me feel guilty.

Hoarding is not just a cluttered home or an extensive set of collectibles. Hoarding is the excessive storage of items in and around the home, to the extent that all available space from floor to ceiling may be occupied.

Hoarders keep an extreme, disproportionate collection of items, such as newspapers, magazines, empty containers, old clothing, paper, trash, rotting food, and sometimes animals.

Hoarders become emotionally attached to everything. They are unable to distinguish trash from treasures. Hoarding “feels right” to the hoarder, in spite of health and safety consequences. From: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/DPWES/trash/hoarding.htm

OK – I’m not a hoarder – but if I don’t take control now, it’ll soon look like I am. I just can’t believe how much clutter accumulates. It’s awful – we’re such a consumerist society. When something breaks we rarely get it fixed – we just go buy another one and hold onto the broken one. Why? I hold onto it ’cause I feel guilty throwing it out – guilty ’cause it’ll go into a dump or landfill and may never be broken down. And paper watse – so many trees are being cut down to create flyers and ads that I glance at then immediately put into my blue bin. Gah! It’s awful, completely awful. It’s easy to see how hoarding begins.

!@(before.jpg popimg: “Hoarding”)< - Check out this pic… Isn’t it awful? The family on Dr. Phil yesterday had to move out of their house and into a trailer ’cause their house had become unliveable. The sad part is that now their trailer is getting to that point. I’m using it for inspiration – my basement is getting pretty bad. I’ve asked Cosmo Boy to build shelves down there for me so that I can sort through the crap and decide what can be donated, recycled, sold at a garage sale and yes – what can actually be kept (ie: Sierra’s baby clothes for baby #2).

Hmm – I could go on and on more – but my time would be better spent de-cluttering…

5 thoughts on “Unpacking The Rat

  1. Donation works well for us. we determined that I am a collector and crafter. I will collect stuff such as comic books, ornaments, themed merchandise. But I am also a crafter… I will hold on to stuff because “in my mind” I can make something with it one day down the road. Much like the FlyLady, there is another organzition book that we follow called “Cut the Clutter” and we that as well.

    I find that even the things that I want to donate takes us space, but I am trying to box it up and label it. That way it’s organized clutter and I can get rid of it quickly without wondering what is in that box. I’m also trying to unload alot of the race t-shirts that you get for running races…

  2. Whoa, I’ll be right back, I have to clean my cellar (no it’s not that bad;-) Here in Germany we have a “junk day” a couple times a year where you can set out all your old furniture, applicance, recycleables etc and they pick it up for free. It’s a pack rat’s blessing! Now what do I do with all my race T-shirts?

  3. Well I’m not a hoarder (much) but my house is packed with stuff – not to the extent of that pic – mostly because I’m always buying more stuff, not so much that I’m keeping so much old stuff. And then I do give a lot of stuff away to my son, my ex, so sometimes that’s a good clearing :)

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