They just can't bear to part with their stuff
Helping A Pack Rat Get Organized
by Maria Gracia
How Clutter Stole My Life
The wonderful, sentimental Pack Rat. So nice. So loveable. So out of space! Pack Rats desperately need more room, but can't bear to part with their stuff.
There are boxes of old records, books since grade school, reams of old, outdated paperwork, various decades of clothing, piles of magazines, calendars and planners more than 10 years old, old board games gathering dust, toys from children that have moved out on their own years ago, plus that horrible artwork from dear Aunt Martha, taking up every last nook and cranny of space. I've known Pack Rats that are literally possessed by their possessions!
The Pack Rat keeps everything--and won't get rid of anything. There's an inconceivable abundance of opportunities to acquire things in our lives.
Here are 10 ideas to help Pack Rats free themselves from clutter and stress:
- Focus. Determining why you're a Pack Rat will help you focus. Are you a sentimental person? Are your items proof of places you've been, work you've accomplished, or how much work you have ahead of you? Does the thought of decluttering seem like such a bear that you can't find the motivation to do it?
- Don't be held hostage. Beware of being held hostage by your possessions. When your stuff begins taking over your life and you spend all your time climbing over things, looking for missing items, and fretting over where you'll put your next treasure, you are wasting precious time that you can never buy back.
- Help your kids. If your children pick up on your Pack Rat style, they will have the same problem when they're out on their own. If you begin to get organized now, your children will see how important it is and hopefully, follow your lead.
- Recognize clutter. As a rule, if you don't use it or enjoy it, then it's nothing more than clutter. If you don't know what it is, it's clutter. If it's too nice to use, it's clutter. Toss it or give it to someone who will use it and appreciate it.
- Make it a tossing game. Get your family into the De-cluttering Game. Make a party out of it. Play music, have refreshments, Toss-Toss-Toss. Have a pending reward ready, such as a big family dinner at a favorite restaurant after you've significantly reduced your clutter!
- Make a someday box. If you save things you feel you may use someday, create a May Come in Handy Someday box. Place those things inside and when the box is full, discard something before you put anything else in.
- Use the Rotation Box system. Instead of displaying everything you like at once, display a little bit at a time. Keep the rest boxed up in storage. Every few months, put a few of these things in your box and take a few other things out for display.
- Fix it or ditch it. Have you ever put aside broken items with the expectation that you'll get them fixed one day? Chances are, these items are still where you left them and they're still broken. Immediately schedule a date on your calendar and repair them when the date rolls around or toss the items right now while you have it on your mind.
- Take a photo. Take photographs of possessions you don't want to forget, but don't have the space for. Save the photos in a scrapbook or photo album. Keep the memory, rather than allowing the memory to take up space.
- Avoid going half-way. Avoid the Halfway-house Syndrome. You know. That's when you put things aside that you're not sure what to do with. These temporary storage areas almost always turn into permanent storage. Force yourself to make a decision whether to keep or toss.
Shop home improvement at Overstock.com
Free Idea-Pak and E-zine filled with tips, ideas, articles and more to help you organize your home, your office and your life at the Get Organized Now! Web site! Copyright 2001 - by Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now! www.getorganizednow.com
Take the Next Step
- Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
- An organized home can save you quite a bit. The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to an Organized Home can help you save both time and money getting organized and staying organized.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor
Prices keep rising while my income remains stagnant and I worry I am heading for debt trouble. Tell us: Yes, I think I am heading for debt trouble and could use some help! or No, I am not in debt trouble but I am always looking for new ways to help keep my budget on track!