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Sunday, August 19, 2012

To Pack, or Not to Pack...

...THAT is the question. At least recently that's been the question around our house. Why, you ask? Because we're about to embark on the biggest move we've ever made. Not quite as big as the one Catherine Gayle made this week -- I think she might have a few extra hundred miles on us -- but still, NYC to Southeast Florida is a pretty darn big move.

So, obviously, we've been going through the house with a fine-toothed comb, trying to determine what we really need and what we can get rid of. To be honest, if it was up to me, I'd get rid of everything! Okay, maybe not everything, but darn near close to it. It's my husband who's the pack rat, although he'll deny it up and down.

However, I think this little goodie we found in storage yesterday says it all...

That's right. It says exactly what you think it says: Things Dr. Snuggle Peed On. And in case you're wondering who Dr. Snuggle is...that's our cat. Now, we weren't being sentimental about his pee, of course, but rather the things he peed on. All of which we threw away yesterday.

Oh, and then there's this one...

A lovely glass dolphin, who's sole purpose in life is to sit on a shelf or mantle and look pretty. Except...his tail fin broke off about 8 years ago...the primary part of his anatomy that allowed him to stay upright! So instead of being on display, he's been in a box, wrapped in newspaper. Finally, E let me send him to the recycle bin...8 years later.

But okay, okay...let he without sin be the first to condemn, right? I'll admit I've hung on to a few things, no matter how useless or broken. Like this Mary Englebright picture frame...

 
 I loved this frame, and for the longest time it had a picture of my high school besties and me at our friend's house, playing hookie from the last day of school. But it was falling apart and even when my nanny helped me glue it back together, it didn't hold up.  So, I let it go.

But despite all the arguments hubby and I have had these past few weeks about what deserved to stay and what needed to go, the before and afters of our little girl's toy collection should give you an idea of all the purging that has actually gone on in our house. Seriously, the Salvation Army should mount a plaque in our name after the dozens of carloads we've taken to their donation center! LOL!

 Before...


 After :)

So, what about you? Are you a pack rat? Do you have 10-year-old useless stuff that you just refuse to let go of? Or are you the type of person I want to be? The one who gets a thank you card and has no qualms about immediately throwing it in the recycle bin once you've read it? (How could you do that?!?!?)

-Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar

43 comments:

  1. Ugh - I remember these days. A year ago, my family moved from Oklahoma to India for my husband's job. It's a two year assignment, but we had to clean out our entire house because we're renting it while we're out of the county.

    I started out really excited, because my husband is the packrat in our family, and he'd left a month before to get things in India settled. So I thought "yes! this is my chance to get rid of those social studies notes on the USSR he's been saving since 6th grade."

    I made good headway for about a week, and then the date creeped up on me...and I ended up just stuffing things in boxes so I could get them into storage.

    Sigh.

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    1. Oh, no! What a bummer you didn't get to finish purging! Hopefully you'll get to open those boxes *alone* when you get back to the States -- maybe you'll just be able to dump them all in the dumpster!! :)

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  2. LOL. You can tell I'm an Okie. "creeped" is "crept" to all of you out there who use the English language properly.

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    1. LOL. I'm from Arkansas originally, Lorenda, and I say creeped too. Then I have to go back and correct myself. :)

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    2. The Texan and Okie languages are fairly similar, Lorenda. I understood you perfectly. In Texas, one might add something like "and the date darn near creeped up on me..." But it all means the same thing. :)

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    3. I love "creeped" -- too cute! LOL!

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  3. Jerrica,
    You made me laugh this morning. I love the broken dolphin and envelope of things Dr. Snuggle peed on. That is hilarious! I've gotten pretty good at getting rid of things over the years. I've also been very motivated by everyone else moving. It has made me want to purge. You know what else is a kick in the rump, watching "Clean House". I haven't seen it for a while, but any time I have it on, I'm up and cleaning my house about 15 minutes into the show.

    If anyone is a packrat in our family, it's my husband. But even he is getting better. :)

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    1. Oh, I love that show, Samantha! I haven't seen it in a while, either, but definitely a motivator. Usually, I can just put on HGTV and be motivated. LOL!

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  4. Like Samantha, I have been motivated by everyone moving to get rid of stuff. I want an uncluttered house again. We don't have just one pack rat. I think it is a combination of all of us. The longer you live in a house the more you accumulate and we have been in this house for awhile. I have a few vacation days left this year and hubby and I were talking last night of using those to gut the house. I can't remember the last time I went through this house and just dumped crap, but it needs done.

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    1. Good luck with your purge, Jane! I think it's hardest to get motivated when you have nothing motivating you. I wouldn't have done all this if we weren't moving. LOL!

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  5. Yay for getting rid of stuff! That was the BEST part about moving, aside from getting to where I want to live. LOL. I tossed a good 10 to 15 bags of stuff straight into the trash or recycle bin. I took five carloads to Goodwill. It was so freeing to finally say goodbye to some of that stuff.

    I must admit, I am a pack rat. Not to the point of being a hoarder (I need only watch Hoarders to realize the truth about that one, despite my occasional fears), but I hold on to a heck of a lot of stuff that I really don't need to keep. Doing a big move is about the only time I ever go through and purge.

    It would be much easier if I could just toss/recycle/donate as I go. I've just never been able to get myself to do that. I'm sure much of that is learned behavior. Both of my parents are serious pack rats...much worse than me.

    I have to constantly remind myself that, while I have a hard time making myself take the time to toss stuff occasionally...I have no qualms whatsoever about tossing it once I get started moving. Thank goodness. I wouldn't want to have to move all of that garbage here. Ugh. Thinking about it gives me the shudders.

    Good luck with the rest of your purging and packing. :) I can't wait to hear all about your new place and see pictures once you get settled.

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    1. We're so much alike, Catherine. I could just "ditto" everything you just said. LOL!

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  6. The toy collection is what got me. Yep, we have the same issue in our house. LOL!

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    1. Those toys...but I'm realizing that "out of sight, out of mind" is SO true....and that also refers to stuff that's so buried in a toy chest that no one will ever play with it. B is playing with WAY more toys now that we have less!!

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  7. Haha Jerrica, I use to be a packrat, until our last move. I was worry that we weren't going to make our weight limit. So, I started purging left and right. Ask Hubs do you need this are you sure and so forth. I have been trying to get rid of a drafting desk since we got married. Hubs was attach to it, because he's had it since high school. I finally won. It's amazing how much stuff gets collected. However, you have the premove purge and the after move purge. The after move purge is interesting too, because you go why did I move with this.

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    1. Congrats on the drafting desk!! LOL! And yes, I'm curious to see what happens when we start opening boxes after the move...more purging, I hope!! :)

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  8. I love moving for the sole purpose of being able to do a clean purge. Actually, remodeling our kitchen/dining room/living room last year allowed for the same thing. I am semi sentimental (I'll keep most hand written cards), but most *things* I can do without. On top of that, my decorative style is super sparse, so I have very little cluttering my rooms.
    My biggest sin is hoarding clothes that are too small. I mean really, even if I lose the weight, will I really want to rewear some decade-old pair of jeans??

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    1. Ha! Great point! I FINALLY got rid of a pair of red dress pants that I've had for almost 12 years! I was determined to fit into them again, but I finally gave up the ghost...especially when E looked at them and said, "Those are SO outdated!" LOL!

      P.S. I SO want my decorative style to be "sparse"!!

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  9. I just sent the last of the kids to college (sniff sniff) and yet I still have a ton of boxes from our last move 8 years ago filled with their toys. TOYS! I packed those boxes, paid movers to move them across the country, and they're still sitting there. ::sigh:: The big question is will I take them with us on our next move?

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    1. LOL, Cynthia! I would say keep one special toy from each kid and toss everything else (see, I can be brutal when it comes to *other* people's stuff ;))

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  10. That envelope is priceless! LOL!

    My Youngest is the sentimental one here. Just yesterday we took a shovel and did the yearly purge of his room. I sent him out to the storage shed with something, and he came back in with a bag of toys he'd put aside for his cousins last year. Sigh.

    It's a never-ending battle!

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    1. So true, Deb! I hope B turns out to be one of those super organized people!! LOL!

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  11. I feel your pain! My husband and I, both packrats, have been clearing out our house in preparation for a big move. We're moving 400 miles, but the tricky part is moving from a big house with a full basement and a 2-car garage to a 2-bedroom condo. I THINK we've whittled our belongings down to the bare minimum. We'll find out when the movers drop everything off at the new place!

    Good luck with your move!

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    1. Oh, good luck, Becke! Downsizing is hard, but it'll feel SOOOO good!!

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  12. Wow! I am so impressed with your decluttering! Also, I actually giggled aloud when I saw the envelope with items that had been peed on. Hilarious! Hope your move goes well.

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    1. Thank you, Caryn :) Glad I could provide some laughs today!

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  13. Jerrica ~ I think you should get that plaque! (And I should get one from Good Will. 20+ bags of clothes, toys, sheets, etc. were donated from my house this year. And I have three more to go so far.)

    It is hard to get rid of things that have a sentimental value, but I need less clutter even more these days. :)

    Good luck with your move!

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    1. Yay for purging!!! LOL! And thank you...I think I'm gonna need it! Ha!

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  14. Hum, what is the difference between a pack rat and a hoarder? According to my husband I probably qualify for both!

    Unfortunately, or fortunately, he has a habit of throwing away boxes packed away in the attic with things I'll "need" again someday!

    Recently this back-fired on him when clothes I had had saved from the 1960's fit again when I lost weight and I had to go out and buy "new clothes" instead! Unfortunately I discovered to my displeasure that they have "switched" the sizing of clothes since back then! I was so excited to finally fit back into a size 8 until I discovered that they are the same "size" as a size 12 back in the 1960's!

    I guess those actresses aren't really wearing "small" sizes after all!

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    1. Oh, no! What a horrible thing to discover!! LOL! I'm sure you still look fab, no matter what size your clothes say ;)

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  15. Wow, be honest I'm a very disorganized person *oops
    Yes, I have so many stuff which already more than 10 year-old, and of course Useless! ;)
    I have to learn some of your habit then... ;D

    ladymilano

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    1. Lady, it's taken some time, and it's much harder with a toddler running about...but it *can* be learned. Thanks goodness for Pinterest!

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  16. I'm definitely a pack rat. I don't get rid of anything, but I do keep everything neatly organized. My husband hates all my stuff. :-)

    You must be crazy moving down here to South Florida. It's hurricane season now, and there's a few storms picking up in the Atlantic.

    Good luck with your move.

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    1. Diane, we had to get down there before all the snowbirds invaded and jacked up rental prices! LOL! And before winter. I just can't do another winter up here!!

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  17. Jerrica, I despise clutter and would throw out everything not in use. If I can't fit into the clothes, toss 'em. If it sits on a shelf and takes up space (and if coming from my hubs side of the line, is also UGLY), out it goes. Hey, have you used that toothbrush today? Get rid of it. But my husband is sentimental about stuff. Ridiculous, useless, take up precious space stuff. I have to clean out my children's rooms when he's at work and they're at school so no one catches me dragging garbage bags out of my house! Good luck on your move!

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    1. Hahahaha! I love you, Andris! I so admire people like you. When we meet in person, I need you to rub up against me, okay??? LOL!

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    2. Don't toss the toothbrush if they haven't used it today. MAKE THEM USE IT. LOL.

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  18. Jerrica, my hubby is the pack rat in this house, too. I don't understand it but alas, I do love him lol. I'll keep a few things but most of the stuff I deem useless goes out the door rather easily. I hate clutter. I have enough of that through everyday living. So I try to keep my counter tops and table tops as bare as I can because I know hubby will place mail, newspaper, mountain dew cans, change, keys and any other number of objects on them and so then I must clean it up.

    I've tried really hard this year to keep the clutter to a minimum and stay organized. Especially my desk area. So far so good. It's never totally clean thanks to my habit of eating at my computer but it does stay relatively decluttered. It helps in the long haul to maintain that once you've moved. It's getting into the habit of tossing stuff that's hard to overcome. Good luck with the move and good luck with keeping your life decluttered!

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    1. Yay! Another one who can toss stuff without another thought. I love it!

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  19. I am the extreme opposite of a pack rat. My husband says I would throw away the deed to the house if he didn't watch me carefully! Good luck with the move!

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    1. Hahahaha! That's too funny, Julie! I love it!

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  20. Holy crow, I am SUCH a pack rat. I get it from my grandmere, who had an entire garage full of stuff that had to be cleaned out when my grandpere died & they sold the house! I'm not a hoarder or anything, but I hate throwing away papers and magazines and anything the kids made and books and did I mention papers? Yeah. Lots of random sh*t. Lol! Anyway, we have been doing to same, in preparation to move to a new house also, & it sucks. Sigh. ;D

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    1. LOL! Olivia, when Bella first started using paints and colors, I wouldn't throw out ANY of it! We had wrinkly pieces of paper with gobs of paint on them drying all over the house. LOL! I finally realized how ridiculous that was and tossed them all. Now I only keep special things she does in art class. But I agree...it's HARD!! Magazines too...Pinterest has made it much easier for me to get rid of those :)

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