Friday, July 18, 2008

Confessions of a Packrat

I admit it. My Father was right. My husband is right. Everyone (and there have been many) who has ever made the observation was correct. I am a packrat.

We are fortunate to have a good size shop on our property. We also have a fair amount of storage space in the house. The amount of storage space we have within the house itself would probably be considered plenty for most reasonable folks. I'm thinking perhaps I have surpassed the realm of reasonable in this particular matter.

I've made good use of the storage space inside the house. Every shelf inside the doors of our storage space has been crammed full, and for the most part, neatly stacked. The multiple shelves located within our two good sized closets are also utilized to their full capacity. Those two, rather spacious areas do a fine job of containing perhaps an eighth of the items I have managed to accumulate over the years.

My second storage space, that which contains the "spillover", the items I couldn't manage to fit in the ample storage space within the house would be the shop. The shop is large enough that one could probably fit 4 average sized vehicles with room left over. My "spillover" takes up probably 1/3 of that space, and we're not talking a single layer!

Last week the kids were more than happy to go on a treasure hunt with me in the shop. We managed to empty several bags of clothing, transferring a small portion of them to another bag which will ultimately be transferred to a couple other containers which we have added to for the kids. These would be baby clothes and such which hopefully they will pass on to their children one day. Some of the clothing we removed was placed in yet another bag, to be freshly laundered and donated to a thrift store. The bulk of the items however were piled into several boxes to be toted inside, laundered, separated into two piles, one for fabric, and one for Mom to try on.

I oohed and aahed at the memories each piece of clothing brought back. I was tickled to note most of them actually fit once again. However, there were those items I wondered about. I just wasn't sure that darling top I wore in 7th grade would be considered so darling when being worn by a 51 yr. old woman.

Did you catch that? 7th grade! I've been packratting since 7th grade, and somehow managed after moves around the country so numerous I've lost count, to tote these things around until now. No wonder my Father would become so frustrated at my insistence to hold on to every little thing! Thank goodness my husband didn't look inside those bags and boxes as he complained at the number of items he was packing around from house to house, from storage unit to storage unit, and finally to our current residence. I'm thinking there's some clearing out to do in my future.

One thing I'm not planning to pare down though, is one ever growing collection that I could never bear to cut back on. It has been my dream ever since I can remember. I'm thinking it all began the first time I walked into a library and saw all those wonderful books, all lined up so neatly on shelves. Or perhaps it was the first time I checked out a book and enjoyed it so much that I could barely handle returning it, having it leave my possession. My dream, which in this day of electronic, touch of the keyboard information, may seem odd to some, was, and still is to have one incredibly large library. A library packed full of every informational, instructional, historical, educational, recreational and just plain enjoyable book I could possibly get my hands on. Not one of those books is ever leaving my home! I have already put in my request to my nearly 11 yr. old son to assist me in building more bookshelves for my ever growing collection. He seems more than willing to comply with my request. He may be the only person in my family who completely understands my passion for books. Because of him, as well as his younger sister, who is rapidly joining the "club" of book appreciation, I am confident, that one day, when I am no longer about, my vast collection of books will go to good, loving homes.

The clothing collection, however...... There may be a quilt (or 3, or ? ) in my future. There! You see? I just knew I'd find a use for them at some point! ;-)


HDMac said...

Hi Sister! You MUST be my sister, as I am a PACKRAT too! too funny! I am starting an organizing journey! lol. And I am going to do this journey! I think that making a quilt out of those things that are precious to you will be an EXCELLENT idea! Make USE of that which you loved but no longer have use for! I am just smiling, friend. I love reading your blog. You have a gift for writing!


toomanyhats said...

Oh man...that's genetic too...

Kim's Mom said...

You two have no idea how much better I feel, knowing I'm not alone in this! LOL