Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thursday 13 (2nd post today)

Thirteen Signs I Have Pack Rat Tendencies

(On a totally unrelated note, wouldn't that make a great band name??? Pack Rat Tendencies!)

1. I have kept every issue of Real Simple magazine I've received since I started my subscription 2 years ago. Most of them have not even been read yet. But it is the most awesome magazine EVER so I don't care. I will read them one day. As soon as I'm done reading all my other magazines....Allure, Marie Claire, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Cosmo....oh, and I used to have Glamour, but I stopped renewing it because....I didn't have time to read it. Obviously. Anyway, I'm pretty good about chucking all the magazines except Real Simple.

2. I have two shoeboxes devoted to sample-sized Clinique products (from those free gifts) and toiletries. When I travel, I have little samples of everything!

3. There is a gigantic pile of papers in the corner of my bedroom. In it are: monthly updates on my 401(k)s, the top part of all my paid bills, pay stubs, receipts that need to be shredded, bank statements, anything having to do with my house, any receipts I will need for taxes, and anything deemed important enough to file away. Somewhere in there is my sadly under-used passport. And probably a nest of small woodland creatures, by this point.

4. I have kept most of my college textbooks. The ones that were interesting to me, anyway. I haven't really used them since college, but....I love them. And the $3.99 bin at Books a Million? I will have armfuls by the time I reach the register. "After all, I AM a librarian," I tell myself.

5. I recently forced myself to clean out my makeup drawers. Yes, I said drawers. I had some makeup in there from high school. We're talking 1995, people. And even then, it was only my inner germ-o-phobe who talked me into it. Nevermind that I hadn't worn that eyeshadow since I took trigonometry.

6. I have banned myself from going into craft stores. Why? Because I have a plastic roller cart full of impulse buys: acrylic paints, stencils, scrapbooking stuff, a hot glue gun, something called Modge Podge, glitter, beaded trim, confetti, stickers and who knows what else. I have not touched any of it. But I want to.

7. Is it too small? Beat up? Out of style? No biggie. I will make room in my closet. (Although, I am getting better about this as I get older.) I have some bras that are so ill-fitting, I haven't worn them in years. But they were expensive, and dammit, I'm going to get my money's worth!

8. You know how much I love office supplies. Well, guess who owns approximately 25 Post-it notepads. And markers in every color. And fluorescent-colored notebook paper. And 3-ring notebooks, complete with dividers, purchased specifically because they match the fluorescent notebook paper. And 10 or so sets of little notecards for me to write thank-you notes. Index cards, paper clips, more than one stapler, Sharpies, highlighters....need I go on? Keep in mind that few, if any of these items are being used.

9. I have a drawer in my house devoted to memorabilia from every ex-boyfriend since college. I keep it for the sole reason that The Czarina told me to, because "one day you'll have a daughter and she will want to look at all that stuff!"

Number of times I have looked at my mother's box of old love letters from pre-Dad boyfriends: 0.

(I should chuck that stuff, huh? Actually, at this point, I am wanting to do a MAJOR expulsion of all unnecessary items in my home!!! Yeesh! On a good note, though, I am far, FAR better than my roommate, E. That girl needs to go to Clutterers Anonymous!)

10. My boyfriend makes fun of the absurd number of socks I own. For some reason, I always think I need more socks. So I buy them in bulk. And now my sock drawer won't close.

11. At any given time, I have in my kitchen:

no fewer than 5 boxes of brownie/cake mix.
At least 2 kinds of chips.
Several varieties of candy.
2 flavors of ice cream.
3 beverages.
2 kinds of cereal.
Something chocolate and baked.
2 boxes of Chicken Quesadilla Lean Pockets
2 types of shredded cheese
3 cans of beans
4 cans of soup
Probably 35 varieties of spices/herbs
10 types of sauce/condiments/marinades
(there's more, but you get my drift)

Shit, I think I just realized why I'm broke all the time! Time to clean out the cupboard!!

12. I have a back-up of everything for the bathroom: soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, everything. Except an extra toothbrush, which CN and I realized only when it was very late and he didn't feel like crossing the street to go brush his teeth because he was too tired.

"Do you realize you have thirteen rolls of toilet paper in your bathroom?" he said to me the other day. I had them piled everywhere in there.

"Yeah. I mean, it's not like it will go bad. Buying in bulk saves money. And they didn't have a 6-roll size in the kind I like. What?" I replied.

He just laughed and shook his head. I told him to shut up or else I would make him bring his own toilet paper from now on.

13. I have intangibles, too. There are my 20 or so Voices in my Head. My emotional baggage from past relationships. My innumerable guilt trips. The umpteen flaws in my body that I see when I am naked and in front of a mirror. My fears and hopes. All those things I wish I could say, but don't. I collect all of these, too. Just in case I need them one day.


Anonymous said...

I love that you threatened to make him bring his own toilet paper :)

And, yes, you are certainly a pack rat! It just as bad on the other end of the spectrum- I throw everything out. If you're looking for something in my apartment and you can't find it it's probably on it's way to a landfill.

Smug said...

I think that you have inspired me to take a look at the clutter in my own life this weekend. My husband and I are getting on the road to buying a house and moving again will suck (even if it is into our own home), so I am going to take one room a month and get it as cleared out and packed up as possible. Maybe this way, when it comes time to move, everything will be almost all packed!!!

Phantom Hater said...

That is the one benefit to moving, for me. I usually toss a ton of stuff when I move. What you need is an anal retentive anti-clutter person to go through all that crap with you and guilt you into throwing it out.

I'm big on the samples, myself. I get a lot of cool ones from hotels and resorts, plus there is an internet board with a whole list of stuff you can get for free. I realized I had gone a little crazy on the free samples when I received an entire free floor display case of sunscreen samples and travel bottles sent to "Dr. Vandelay, Dermatologist". I'm over the addiction, now.

I have a back-up set of most of my bathroom items, myself. That way, when you run out of deodorant you don't have to run out and grab some. And it's not like toilet paper goes bad or something. The key is efficient storage and keeping things out of sight so you don't look like
this woman!

Another thing you could do is scan your documents and trash the hard copies.

GrewUpRural said...

Recently, I went through a major overhaul of decluttering. It felt so good to get rid of a lot things. It's like a ton of bricks have been lifted.

My approach now is similar to one girls. I throw everything out except receipts and bank statements- I am accountant - it's just who I am.

Jen said...

"The umpteen flaws in my body that I see when I am naked and in front of a mirror."

Oh, the hours I could spend talking about body issues. We could sit around eating a cheesecake and crying about how we hate the way we look. Sometimes being a woman just stinks.

smug - Believe me, once you get a closing date on your own home, all the woes of packing and unpacking will fade away. My husband and I just went through it three months ago. :)

PH - Would that be Dr. Art Vandelay?

Burg said...

I could have written that very same list.. I'm now forcing myself to clean out my "store" closets, but slowly.. You never know when you might need that old shampoo that made your hair oily!

RWA said...

How big is your house again?

With all of the saved papers, office supplies, arts and craft supplies, makeup and food...

Jess said...

Perhaps you could send some of your socks my way? I never have enough. And they keep disappearing -- not just the random single sock after doing a load of laundry. Oh no. I lose like a pair and half every time I do laundry.

Matilda Jane said...

wow.... not only am I wearing a non-matching pair of socks, but one sock has a hole in it.

I am anti-clutter... in fact, if I can't find something, I just assume I probably threw it out. One day I'm going to lock you out of your house and throw away everything I haven't seen you use in 6 months.

teahouse said...

Hey, it's time to get rid of the old boyfriend paraphernalia!

Just think of it:

Old letters from Grandpa to Grandma = VERY ROMANTIC.

Old letters from some other dude Grandma dated before she met Grandpa = VERY CREEPY

Stuck said...

I'm not sure.. but I think teahouse called you a Grandma.

(PS - You have a private blog. I think it's safe to turn off word-verification.)

* meish * said...

I am on a perpetual declutter mission at my house. And I never knew another person out there who shared my love for office supplies. Somehow I feel closer to you now :)