I am a recovering pack rat. Every day is a struggle. I used to be really bad. I remember as a child holding on to some of the most insignificant things. Every broken toy could be fixed or had such sentimental value that it couldn't just be tossed out. Every sticker I ever got from school was lovingly put in a little bag to look at and peruse at my leisure. That rusted paperclip still had some life left and it was okay to keep all of the single pairs of socks. You might find the match some day!
I don't know if my pack rattedness (yes, I made that word up) came from not having much as a child? Every thing I received was a "precious gift" to me. Even if it was a ugly, UGLY sweatshirt designed by a family member (sorry if you are reading this) I would keep it for years because the guilt of giving it away was almost too much. That's a lot of pressure to put on a seven year old!!!
I still have BOXES of things at my mom's house. I think I keep them there so that I don't have to deal with it. Every time I go and visit I try to throw something away and it is just too much for me. I have boxes of Barbies and stuffed animals from my childhood. Yeah, we all have those things, but many of my dolls have their heads broken off and the stuffed animals are stained or biological hazards. But still...how can I get rid of them? I have shelves lined with knick knacks and Wizard of Oz collectibles. I have a drawer full of old eyeglasses! Why do I need them? My prescription, and taste, have obviously changed since 5th grade, but there is this overwhelming power that won't let me throw them away. On a recent trip to my mom's house I found a picture of a boy that I had a HUGE crush on in 10th grade. This photo was of course taking "Paparazzi Style." Umm, did he even know my name? Probably not. I can't toss it though. No, I don't have this undying love for him either. I think he became a priest.
Why is it so hard to get rid of these things though? Really, I want to know the answer!!
I thought I was doing so well with getting rid of items. I really did. When we started packing up boxes for our recent move I tossed a LOT of stuff. We donated, sold, recycled, and trashed boxes and boxes of items. When we moved in I was proud of what I had gotten rid of from the old house. As I am unboxing the remaining items though, I have to come to the realization that there is still a lot of "stuff" left.
I just uncovered a tub full of costume type clothing. I remember in college how hard it was to find costumes for some of the larger individuals. I received a personal donation of dresses for sizes 20-28 and I thought, "Wow, this is great! I can hold on to these for the next show that I help costume." Yeah right! That was almost ten years ago and I have no plans on doing a show that just happens to need formal beaded dresses from the 1980s/90s. Do I really need to keep that old sweater vest and shirt I bought to possibly make a Star Wars costume? Oh, they are also about ten sizes too small, but the fabric is PERFECT!
It is rough. These clothes are just staring at me while I'm typing. I want to just throw them in the trash right now. I know though, that the minute they touch my (still sewer smelling) trash can that I will get the call that someone needs my help costuming "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding" and that the actress playing the mother of the bride just happens to be a size 24!
Plus, there is always the thought that these items are worth a monetary value. Maybe, just maybe I can post these online and make a buck or two. Ummm, is spending five hours on Facebook on the Garage Sale site REALLY worth the three dollars I just made on that dress? Nope, but as I'm writing this I see that those same ugly beaded dresses are getting "likes" on the site. Who knows, maybe someone will buy them!
It is hard though, especially with Craigslist, Ebay, Facebook, etc, because everyone (including me) things that their items are worth something. Well, they are only worth what some one is willing to spend. Should I keep my pack ratted (again, another made up word) items until I get a dollar amount that seems right? Wouldn't it be better to just throw them away? Some items are not worth donating! After the big tornadoes last year people were donating items left and right. The problem? They were donating their unwanted leftovers...broken Christmas decorations, stained clothing, baby items that were recalled. Sometimes things just have to be thrown away (if they can't be recycled).
My therapy session is over. I promise to throw those dresses away tomorrow morning...well, that is as long as no one wants to buy them :)