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Today is National Pack Rat Day!

By · 5/17/2011

Not sure if you’re a pack rat?  Ask  yourself these questions….

Do I “own my stuff” or does “my stuff own me”?

Are my collections so large that they are taking over my shelves, window sills and counters?

Am I paying hundreds of dollars a year for a storage unit because my basement is already stuffed?

Are my magazine racks holding magazines over a decade old?

You get the picture…..

It is time to show your “stuff” who’s boss and send your inner pack rat packin’…….

Take some action today and ask yourself, “why” do I keep holding on?

  • Is it sentimental? If you do not have room to honor it or use it, give it to another family member who will treasure it.
  • Is there perceived value? It is worth nothing if you are not using or enjoying it, so get some money out of it.  Take it to a consignment shop, sell it on eBay, or have a yard sale.
  • Will I feel guilty if I get rid of it? If the person who gave it to you loves you they would not want you to feel burdened with something that you do not like or have no use for.  Find someone who needs it, and donate it. Give that amazing bird candle to a bird lover, or that awesome talking fish to your favorite outdoors-man.
  • Am I really going to take up that hobby again? If you used to knit, but realize that you no longer have time for it anymore, go ahead and donate your supplies.  Give it to the ladies at the retirement home, or donate it to the knitting club at the high school.
  • Will I need it “someday”? Probably not!  But, go ahead and designate one big tote as the “might need it later box”.  Write the date you are placing the item in the box on a post-it note and stick it on the item.  Every six months to a year go through the box, if you have not used the item, it is time to say good-bye.
  • Am I afraid to let go of information? Use the tear and toss method with all those magazines.  Make a commitment to go through three magazines a day.  Quickly flip through for anything that you think might be interesting to read or keep for reference. Tear out the item, staple it, place it in a page protector, and put it in a 3 ring binder labeled “To Read”.  Recycle the magazine,  70% of it are advertisements that are taking up space in your house.
  • Do I need to repair it? Fix it, or toss it.  Get out the super glue and put it back together, sew that button on, or take it to someone who can do it for you.  Just do it.

So, what can I keep?  Ask yourself these questions….

  • Do I love it?
  • Does it make me feel good?
  • Do I use it frequently?
  • Do I have room for it?

If you answered yes to all of these questions then go ahead and keep it!

Send this article to a pack rat that you love.


  1. Hey Daniele,

    Great article! My father-in-law was a SUPER packrat…even when he was in a care facility with Alzheimers, he’d take spoons, paper, etc. and stash them away “just in case”.

    It was a real wake-up call to my DH (darling hubby) who has some of those same tendencies…

    Thanks for a great article. I’ve printed it and left it in DH’s mancave as a reminder. :-)

    Sandy :-)

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