I’m a packrat

I’m so over my house … It’s cluttered, dirty, and dysfunctional. I have discussed with Keith the idea of having a decorator in and having them redo our entire living space but that costs money and since I don’t know if we are going to be here 6 months or 5 years, it’s hard to know how much to spend on remodeling. Finally, today we rearranged some furniture and did some cleaning, and decided we’d rid ourselves of a few pieces of furniture and then replace the carpet. I’m going to purge… And then we’ll have 1-800 Junk come pick up the furniture and however many bags of trash I manage to collect. Keith has already made one trip to the local Salvation Army to donate some items and is willing to make several more trips.


14 thoughts on “I’m a packrat

  1. Leslie Creech

    Mary–I need to do the same thing! After a while, you just can’t stand it anymore. Blog about your results so you can inspire/motivate the rest of us.

  2. Angie

    I’m always purging. I keep a shopping bag right by the front door and as I find things that can be donated, in the bag they go. When it’s full, off it goes to Goodwill. As for hiring a decorator, even if you don’t stay there, it could be a good investment when selling. Maybe you just need a change of carpet and re arranging of furniture or some new pieces furniture. Keep us posted. If you hate house work, hire someone to do the heavy cleaning. I still do my own cleaning just because I think it’s good exercise. I wouldn’t say I like it though! :o)

  3. Penny G

    You have the same problem I do. I like stuff and then when I don’t need it anymore, I never get around to getting rid of it. Bed pillows are my downfall right now with about 20 in my 3 bedroom house, not to mention decorative pillows and body pillows my husband uses when his back is acting up. I also like storage furniture and since I have it -I fill it full of more stuff. I purge and in 6 months I have filled it all up again. I have clutter of old books – including everything from The Prophet to Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten with a side trip to Chemistry, Physics and Math reference books and Multiple books comparing world religions. IF your clean out works maybe it will motivate me again. Good luck we all need the inspiration.

  4. Dasha

    Have you a friend whose house looks great? Perhaps you could ask him/her over to give you some suggestions – offer some sort of barter deal, or a small payment in appreciation. There must be something you could do that would be great for them and easy for you. My favourite barter is “meals on wheels”. Absolutely everyone loves to think that they don’t have to do dinner tonight!
    Good luck.

  5. Marilyn

    There’s always Freecycle.org where you post things for free and people come to you and take things you no longer want. That unwanted furniture is exactly what someone else is looking for and you don’t have to pay someone to haul it away. Also Craigslist is another place to post things for free, plus both keep things out of the landfill. I’m at the point you are, wanting to get rid of things, but you have more energy than I do. I usually put things in boxes and bags and stow them in the garage until the feelings pass 🙂

  6. Judy

    Mary – LESS is more. I’ve purged during two moves in the past few years and it’s wonderful to pretty much know where everything is and to know what’s in each storage area. We need so much less than we think we do.

    (My first question would be “why do you have two sofas that are positioned so that people on one can’t see people on the other?”. My second would be “why so much brown?”. Your quilts are beautiful and colorful – your living room does not say “Mary” or “Mollie” like your quilts do.

    Books on Feng Shui can give you great ideas for furniture placement and clutter removal. (Check one out from the library; don’t buy it!)

  7. Sara

    Oh, I can so relate! Both my husband and I come from a long line of packrats and we are keeping up the tradition well.

    We had our kitchen remodeled a few years ago and the contractor gave us 3 bins: 1 for stuff to keep, 1 for stuff to donate and 1 for stuff to toss. The donate and toss bins were huge and the keep bin was small. Very effective…….but 4 years later, I do not miss anything I gave away! Now, I need to do this for the rest of the house

  8. SaraF

    Me too – the packrat genes run deep in my family. I did a lot of purging when we moved into this house nearly 8 years ago. But the clutter has grown again here too. We have fewer options here for donating or getting anyone to pick up furniture, but I have to do something soon. It has been weighing on my mind too. It’s good to see someone is able to conquer the problem.

  9. Dee Dee


    You ankle sure looks painful and that bag of ice looks cold! Don’t work too hard and take care of your ankle.

    Coming up with a plan that works for you is the hardest part of purging. I like that the company you picked to help does recycling and donations. We live out in the country so putting items on the side of the road (in front of the neighbor’s house) with a “FREE” sign on them works well for us, especially as I do not want strangers coming inside our home.

    I think it is natural for us to fill up any empty space we have no matter the size of our house. I also keep a bag by the door and put things in it that are no longer needed/wanted and when it is full I drop it off to a donation center when doing errands.

  10. Linda H

    My sister IS an interior designer and I am always asking her for advice. She says the least expensive way to update your home is with paint … changing a room’s color will make the world of difference. Carpet change is an EXCELLENT idea … we are in the middle of that right now and are using Lowe’s to do the job and putting in Stainmaster carpeting (good price, no tax and free installation). VERY professional job, too. Like some of the others, I keep a plastic container in our garage and whenever anything needs to be disposed of it goes in that container and when full dropped off at Goodwill or the Women’s Resource Center (which supports our area’s women/children shelter). Purging is hard to do but it’s a good thing to do and it feels GREAT when done.

  11. Diana

    I think at least 80% of Americans live with clutter. I hide mine we’ll. So if you’re ever visiting me, don’t peak into my closets!

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