Exploring what life could be like if we weren’t buried in clutter, burdened with too many possessions, and surrounded by chaos.

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The Reformed Packrat: Life is one big “No” after another

July 15th, 2013 · No Comments · Excess of Possessions, Packratting, The Packrat Mind

In our neighborhood (and perhaps in the country at large), a custom has developed whereby when you no longer want an item, you simply put it out on your parking strip and it’s gone within a few hours. You don’t even need to put up a “free” sign, it’s understood that it’s up for grabs. I think all of us neighbors are just trading each other’s stuff around.

This works so well that you have to be careful not to leave anything out there by mistake. Like if you’ve brought over some stuff from your storage unit and it’s been unloaded from the truck, which has driven away, and you’re gradually schlepping the items into the house. You turn your back on your grandmother’s mahogany end-table for two minutes and there it goes. And it’s not stealing — the person really thought it was a freebie.

It can happen.

So when I spotted these gorgeous library drawers on my neighbor’s parking strip across the street, my first thought was that they must be in transit. But no, then I saw she’d posted a “free” sign to quell the inevitable doubts.

library drawers

If there’s anything that turns me on as much as stationery supplies, it would be library catalog drawers. Be still my heart!

I could not believe what I was seeing. I rushed over and inspected them. Mint condition, avec cobwebs. Then I rushed back to check the internet and see what they were fetching on ebay. (Not all that much, actually.) The hell with ebay, I wanted these babies for myself. Breathless, I darted back across the street. The library-drawer neighbor was standing next to them, chatting with another neighbor. I said, “I’m thinking about taking these.” Neighbor 2 said “you might have to fight me for them.”   I said, “Ok, how about we each take a set?”

In the end, we both decided against it. I don’t know her reason, but as for me, I just don’t have room. And besides, I reminded myself, I already have one set of these.

“So?” my Self argued back. “Since when is that ever a reason?”

“Since now,” I answered firmly. “Where would I put them?”

“I can think of lots of places,” insisted my Self.

“Yes, but Lindi and I want to be able to walk around in our own house. As opposed to pole vaulting.”

“You are such a party-poop!” retorted my Self, stomping off in a pout.

And she was right. I’ve gotten that way, of late.

I let the drawers go. Ow. That was hard.

library drawer

Do I regret it? Well, no. I guess I’m proud of myself. But it still hurts. I love those drawers. Love.

I ran out and guzzled a large java chip milkshake. Normally I’d say “no” to a large java chip milkshake. But not today. Today I say yes. For that I have room. My stomach is stretchable. My house is not.

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