Pack Rattiness


Hey guys!  This is my second entry! What an accomplishment… 🙂

So today I cleaned my study. Actually, more like cleaning to the max. My parents had me throw away everything I didn’t need. They’ve told me to do that before, but being an ardent, self-proclaimed pack rat, I needed everything and so the trash bins remained empty. Today, for the first time in my life, I was forced to throw everything out! All my notes from old courses that stacked up in closets over the past few years landed in recycling bins. A heap of books I’ll never read are now piled in the garage, waiting to be driven to the public library and possibly find a new home.

My room emptied and I feel really sad. The stupid thing is that I know I would never go back to my old Earth Science meteorology packet or read a random Business Statistics book my mom used a few years ago. Still, I wanted them at hand. My arguments were: “I want to look at the stuff I doodled in my 8th grade American History binder,” “I’m going to read Meals in Minutes, really! I promise I will if you let me keep it,” and “I’m going to use this outdated Roget’s Thesaurus that has pages falling out even though I use the internet each time I need to look up words. I’m going to need it.”

Yes, those are pathetic arguments, I know. And I know that it’s better to be free of the clutter. I have a better organized workspace now. Yet despite the logic and reasoning, I want to dash right now to the recycling bin and retrieve my French Infinitives Worksheet along with everything else. I get this regretful feeling that everything I throw away I kill. I wish I could “resurrect” everything I “killed” and store them all in a huge warehouse. Funny thing is I would probably never step foot into that warehouse if I had one.

Another funny thing is that my gene for “pack rattiness” wasn’t expressed when I was ripping the brains out of the short stories I wrote as a child.  During that time I had contempt for everything I wrote (which I elaborated on in my “About” page). I’m guessing that even pack rats don’t keep things they hate. 😛

I just did some research on “pack rattiness.” I used Wikipedia… not the most reliable source (I once saw and deleted a random sentence about some guy liking homosexuals in the middle of an article about biology) but this isn’t an AP course research essay. I read that the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization created a “Clutter Hoarding Scale.” It goes from “Level I Hoarder” to “Level V Hoarder.” At first, I laughed partially because I found “hoarder” to be a funny looking and sounding word but then I realized that compulsive hoarding is serious, even if it’s only mild with me. An elderly woman died when firefighters could not reach her in a fire because her house was flooded with clutter! You can read what I just read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsive_hoarding

I’m glad to hear that drugs and psychotherapy are used to treat compulsive hoarding. From today’s journey, I discovered a little more about my “pack rattiness” and stretched my mind a little, learning about mental conditions. I just hope no one thinks I’m a freak for wanting to keep some books (yeah, just some…) and I really hope that when I’m older and have more responsibilities, I won’t give in to my hoarding genes and make my rooms look like this:

(Photo courtesy of Google Images)

Yuck. I promise myself right now that the above will never happen. 🙂 Remind me, guys, in ten years.

That’s it for today! I hope you had fun with me on my journey of discovering the meaning and condition behind the label, “pack rat.”

Thanks everyone! Goodnight.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Pack Rattiness

  1. Adeeba

    I’m a bit of a pack rat myself. Not to your level, but I do feel the tiniest tinge of sadness when throwing out (to be recycled of course) stuff from school. I don’t know I feel like it’s part of my life, but I realize its stupid of me to keep things like that that don’t matter.

    I think it’s in part because my mom is totally the opposite. She’s a really neat person so she throws out everything she thinks is useless. When I was younger, there was many a thing I was forced to part with. A lot of it was artwork from when I was younger, and I really wish I still had it as bad as it was.

    Haha yes, Level V must be the people on Clean House. That show is the bestt.

  2. Yes! I hate throwing random papers out from school!

    Adeeba, I think we really are long lost sisters. Are you sure your mom isn’t my mom? For instance, when we went back to China to visit last summer, I found my old drawing – there were three penguins and it was called, “One Happy Family.” My mom labeled it as useless so I had to fight to keep it!

    I’ve never seen that, but it looks interesting. And I can related to it… 🙂

  3. Holy crap that’s an actual disorder?! Woah.

    Sooner or later, your room will be filled once more, with many old ‘artifacts,’ and you’ll have to clean it out once more… 😛

  4. blahblahblah

    that picture is hot like you.

  5. Hey Angi–just a thought. If there are (a few) things that you really aren’t sure you want to part with yet–why not pack them away for…I don’t know…6 months…a year. If in that time you didn’t go looking for them, then without opening the box they’re packed in–just get rid of them. If you went back for something in that box–keep that one thing.
    Obviously I believe in streamlining belonging. I have a whole blog about it. But I’m not without a heart. 🙂 There are even things with which I will not part.

  6. sicary

    hm…wow. I’m like a mix. cuz of my mom I have the intense urge to throw out all the little things she made me keep (i.e. getting an award for perfect attendance in 4th grade). Although at the same time, I also keep a lot of random stuff that I have to discard at the end of the year cuz of my parents/sisters. So I basically have to throw away everything I 1) don’t hide, or 2) don’t “need”. So my desk goes through biannual phases of pack rattiness to almost a sterile cleanliness and back.

  7. d000d i was listening to npr and they were talking about hoarding and all the types of it and stuff… haha i thought of this post when i heard it xP

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