Pack Rat Fever Is Curable

Most people who define themselves as a pack-rat usually hate to get rid of their belongings because they might need it down the road.


The main problem for a pack rat is what to do with all the stuff he or she accumulates. Being a good organizer does not necessarily mean you have to get rid of everything you have, but it does mean keeping things in an organized and orderly fashion so that when the time does come to use it, you’ll be able to find it. Organized pack rats usually find space to store their stuff in one place.  A disorganized pack-rat can become overwhelmed by ‘stuff’ and their family life and mental health can suffer as a result.  It’s very easy to get depressed and feel blue when it feels as though the clutter is closing in on you.


Ideally, you should strive to keep those things that are truly important, throw away the remainder, or maybe have a yard sale once in a while. Some community education programs offer one-day classes on organizing closets and homes, and these may be helpful if the clutter level is getting unmanageable.  There are also people and services that you can hire to come in and sort through the piles of stuff if it is too overwhelming. Be aware these people are very good at their job, so be prepared to make the hard decisions and throw out some things.


Sometimes it’s very difficult for a pack-rat to break the habit of hoarding and keeping things.  If you have a family member who is a pack-rat, offer to help them weed through their belongings and get a handle on the situation.  If the pack-rat is you, it’s time you asked yourself some honest questions.  Make the process of weeding through things as pleasant as possible.  Most likely you’ll be able to have a huge yard sale, or some community organization will benefit greatly from the donation of your unneeded items.

After you’ve purged your excess items, work on developing a long term organizational goal that will send up a red flag to warn you if you are beginning to collect too much stuff.  Remind yourself how hard you worked to get rid of the excess and how good you felt afterwards.  Take a picture of your house in after mode, and look at it every time you thing you’re starting to slip back into your old habits. Keep on top of the clutter so the clutter doesn’t overwhelm you again.

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