My Name Is Susan and I Am A Pack Rat…

Moving is like an archeological dig if you are a pack rat, and I am one.  I come by this naturally.  My grandmother was the queen of pack rats.  When she broke her hip and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the duty of cleaning her home of well over thirty years fell to my parents and uncle.  Her freezer I am told was like cutting through the layers of the Earth.  On the top you had relatively new items, while in the middle there was mystery meat from 1980.  Keep in mind that she fell in 1993.  By the time they reached the bottom they had found 7 years worth of Christmas candy still wrapped in the colorful ribbons and bows that she had been given from her students at Headstart.  Oh yes, I come by it naturally.


One would think that in a house that only has 4 closets that you wouldn’t be able to accumulate stuff, but let me tell you that isn’t a hindrance.  It just requires you to be more creative.   I will save anything, and do.  If it had a purpose once it may again.  However what I don’t realize at the time is that at some point either when I move, or when I die that these things must be dealt with.  So why not pitch them immediately?  Well you never know when it may come in handy.


Other than boxes from cellp phone purchase, my digital camera, and a collection of licence plates here is a sampling of some of the more interesting items that I found.  A Nokia cell phone from when Cricket was the best cell phone service in the area.  I think I paid $100 for it.  I remember when I got it, I was jazzed because you could change the cover colors! 


Oh and then my favorite find.  10 cards of pantyhose from the 1970’s.  Yes I know I wasn’t born until 1974.  These were aquired from another notorious packrat–Mary Katherine.   When she died once again the duty of shoveling out was handled by my mother.  I was so taken with the fact that she had saved these that I wanted them too.  You never know, sky blue, egg plant purple, and burnt orange may come back into vogue for nylons soon!


There there was this.  Jacob’s boutenire, and my wrist coursage from my Senior prom!  Ironically I had them stored in a diaper wipe container.  Or rather my mother did before she made me take over custody of the box in which those were held.  See, I began my pack ratness early!  Another item from that same box was my Grim Reaper costume.  When I was in college I worked for Payless Shoestores at an outdoor mall.  My manger made this skull on a stick thing, and I held it in my hand.  Lets do the math, I graduated from highschool as a size 8.  Four years of college and 20 lbs later this costume fit.  It is now 2008, so we are talking 11 years and 24 more pounds since college was over.  Why then do I need this costume?


Finally, in case I ever wanted to start my own bottling company I found a few of  these.  If that enterprise fails I suppose I could always start a bottle flute band or something.


Oh yes, my name is Susan and I am a packrat…hence why the garbage men now hate me…




8 responses to “My Name Is Susan and I Am A Pack Rat…

  1. My name is Kathy V and I am a pack rat too. In the closet, I know there is a box of wedding invitiations and reply cards from my wedding about two and a half years ago. In the closet, I know there are about 20 phone books older than they need to be to still be current. And I don’t even want to talk about what is still lurking in the closets and drawers at my parent’s house. I really should go trhow some of that stuff away but you know it is really hard to part with the enormous pinecones I collected from my trip to North Carolina when I was like 11. Afterall I could still paint them and use them in the Christmas decor this year!

  2. My name is Lavon and I am a pack rat. Recently I decided that I was no longer going to be a pack rat and cleared out 3 bins of scraps of fabric and I was pretty comfortable about doing this.

    Then I found a craft book that was all about using SCRAP FABRIC instantly I was sick about clearing up space.

    I will never do that again! its to tramatic!

  3. I think you and my husband must have been separated at birth. His motto seems to be if you keep something for long enough you will find a use for it. Drives me absolutely barmy!

  4. I struggle with being a pack rat and the need to purge. I often throw things away only to wish I had kept it… My parents are the pack rack kings – they would have you beat (to the point it is scary) and I fight against that urge.

    Good luck as you sort through the stuff!!

  5. This had me laughing out loud!!! I still have my first cell phone, from 15 years ago and the boxes and paperwork from every one since. If you find the cure to this disease, please pass it on!!!

  6. I have boxes that haven’t been open since 2004. I’m slowly going through them and either donating, selling or trashing. I have a goal [without a target date ;-)] to rid our house of unused items.

    Good luck is all I can say.

  7. Cassie (DS Friend)

    My name is Cassie, I’m a pack rat also!! It drives my husband crazy!! Everytime we have moved (6 times in 9 yrs) he makes me go thru things and throw out. I tend to not throw things out behind his back!!! I have a problem, LOL!! I’m so afraid if I throw something out, I’ll need it in a month. It’s a sickness, I know!!
    By the way, I too have a cell phone just like that!! 2 of them actually, and you know what? They came in handy. My daycare kids now play with them. See, you never know when something will be needed!!

  8. My name is Jamie, I am also a pack rat. My biggest vice is magazines. Sure that pack easily but they are SO FREAKING HEAVY. I remember when Hubby & I were moving he threw down and box and was like, “What the hell is in this?” The first People magazine with Friends on the cover, Princess Diana’s death well documented by several different publications, every magazine with Def Leppard on the cover from 1988 to about 1995. I could go on and on.

    Sadly, due to Hubby’s insistance, many of them are not with me anymore. Sniff.

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