2003.7.16 – packrat living

The wedding was a success. The honeymoon was lovely. The apartment is a mess.

Yes, the presents have all been opened, looked over, and stacked in the most out of the way spot. A few items are in use. The rest wait patiently for their spot on the kitchen counter, bathroom vanity, or bedroom dresser.

This is the life of a packrat. Always attempting to throw out or give away excessive things, but eventually filling the spaces with more stuff.

In the month of May there were 5 garbage bags full of clothes taken to the local AmVets for donation. Three boxes of Christmas Decorations and one box of sheets were also dropped off. Despite the giving away of a multitude of clothes, the closet and dresser still remain packed to the brim.

The only good that came from the purging was the disposal of several articles of clothing over 10 years old. Yes, there were flannel shirts and corduroy vests. Even a pair of acid washed jeans. Heavens!! Clothes that went out of style in the eighties and had been packed up and moved into four different residences since the beginning of the nineties, are now in the hands of charity. Hopefully to be worn by people who can actually fit into them.

Moving on to the kitchen. In April a small renovation was done. The microwave cart was added to the already miniscule kitchen space and several appliances were able to be freed from their boxes. The blender, espresso maker and milkshaker were all set up in a nice looking manner atop the microwave. They have yet to be used, yet still look smashing and are happy to be away from the storage they had languished in for years.

In the living room the coffee table complains of clutter. The mail and other detritus that has built up is only the work of one week of dropping. Things tend to be set down and eventually die there. Weekly organizing takes place but within a day or two it is back to normal.

The room that is designated as the dining room has become the magnet for the bulk of the wedding gifts, mentioned earlier. These gifts cover the table, bar, racks (bought especially for the gifts) and floor of this space. There is barely room for a foot to be placed in order to lunge toward the table. This area has been tackled but once since the return from Toronto and will take several more attempts to get organized.

Eventually all this clutter will be gone. The packrat moniker will no longer be viable. Energy is valuable in this quest for organization. It has been elusive thus far.

In time, everything becomes garbage. The dilemma of the packrat is in the throwing out of things. Which things deserve to see the garbage can, goodwill bag or storage container. In the quest for organization things become blurred. Is it really necessary to save that collage that was made in 8th grade art class? Even if it is the coolest looking thing you made in junior high? Even if it gives you fond memories of an easier time?

I cannot judge. It is painfully obvious that I am a packrat. A hoarder of the tenth degree. My clutter is immense and continues to grow daily. I realize that to other people this may seem like a problem. To me, however, this is my way of life. The apartment has not reached immovable status of late (like my old bedroom at my parents house eventually did), so I feel that I’m doing well. As long as the junk gets moved around, turned over, and some of it actually given away, I feel that I will be okay. I don’t need a therapist or a professional organizer. The help I need is inside and one day I will release it and make my space more livable.

Until that day, I will relish my clutter. Love my junk. Be proud of my status as a packrat. After all, it is better than being a neat freak. Isn’t it?


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