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Confessions of a Pack Rat

I moved this weekend. No, not overseas. To another place in N. Portland. I know, not nearly as exotic as moving across the ocean. However, I am thrilled to be reunited with some of my stuff after 3-4 months of wondering, where is that book, or shirt, or whatever.

That’s on the upside. The downside is that I have also come to realization I own way too much crap. Seriously. It’s actually embarrassing to lug that many boxes into a house (and it’s only half of it!) Part of this can be blamed on November/December’s frenetic throwing-random-things-into-boxes craze. Deep down inside, however, I know the truth: I am a serious packrat.

I blame my mother for my inability to throw anything away. Even those times when I could find it in my heart to toss such treasures as that 8th-grade biology notebook, chances are my mother would fish it back out again, saying, “Are you sure you won’t use this?” To which I, thankfully relieved that the precious treasure had been saved, would concede that yes, maybe, at some point in my life, I will be thankful for the chicken-scratched definitions of words that come up in every day conversation, like what technically defines an amoeba.

This seemed to happen for almost everything school related – yes mom, you’re right, I will at some point decide that those notes on such wretched books like The Crucible will save me from ever reading them again, or that I’ll someday spend 5 hours digging through half a ton of paper to answer a nagging question about American history, instead of taking two minutes to ask all-knowing Google. The item-cling also happened with momentos, ‘I kinda still like it’ articles of clothing and who knows what else, now banished to a forlorn existance under my old bed, brought out once a year when I return to Minnesota with a promise to ‘go through my stuff’ and ditch maybe half a dozen items that animals have rendered no longer worth keeping. I can always find a few things to push off onto my mother or other family members as well, because passing it on to people you know is almost as satisfying as keeping it yourself (maybe because you think you could somehow get it back again if you needed to?)

At this rate, assuming no other accumulations, I could pare down the first 18 years of my life by the time I die.

However…I digress. Since graduating, the notebooks have been replaced by bank statements and the mementos are offset by random household items. I still keep an excess of clothes a size too large (what if I gain weight??? These are some rad outfits!) and enough personal toiletries for a family of four, should I ever have one.

But, I have made a resolution. I am going to focus more on buying items that I really like, instead of items that are so-so but cheap. I am going to stop ‘stockpiling’. I am going to give more to Goodwill. And, as I unpack, I am ONLY going to keep the things I will use. Really.

Besides, I’ve already told my sister to bring a spare suitcase.

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One response to “Confessions of a Pack Rat”

  1. Mika says:

    Hey, I want to check out your new digs in NoPo one of these days. Thanks for coming down to the SePo Hood the other night too. It was cool meeting your sis and funny how you two really don’t look that much alike.

    Moving is a pain for sure, but you think it’s bad now?! Wait until you have 2300sf of crap to move…

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