Sunday, September 09, 2007

Husband's Packrat Switch

Fran has inherited something really obnoxious from his mother's side of the family. Oh, holy packratness. Recall this post, which shows the apartment we took over from MIL *after my MIL moved out of it.* My MIL is not the biggest packrat in her family, either, although by some stroke of good fortune slovenliness does not also run in the family, so while there is an abundance of *stuff,* it is at least *clean stuff,* and even, for most of them (8 kids in that family, most but not all of them affected by the packrat genes) well-organized stuff.

So it has been horribly difficult to thow things out in our household. "We can use that" and "I have something in mind for that" and "but that's still good" and "that's still worth something" come up over and over and over again.

Did I mention I live in a TEEEEENY space? We're trying to make 525sqft work here. So for the most part it goes in the shed. And gets dusty and jumbled. Or it goes in one of his stashing-spots (a large box in the bookshelf, the area on top of the kids' clothing/toy closet), which have been overflowing lately.

This is becoming horribly frustrating because I need more space for my own textbooks and clinical supplies, and because I can use every spare inch to create spaces for my children to feel like they can do activities easily and comfortably - a really important thing when you're trying to allow them to direct their own homeschooling.

Now, from time to time he's flirted with turning off his packrat tendencies. Usually it is an itty bitty *blip* ON/OFF "just kidding" kind of flirtation. But on Friday he walked out of the house to see me with a massive "give away" pile on the grass, and said - "you know, normally I'd see that and be all - we can use those motors in those vaccuum cleaners...but I think I'm done."

Those of you who live with packrats (or have or whatever) will know how completely odd these words were, falling out of my husband's mouth. I covered the give-away pile with a large tarp, awaiting the day that I can drive them off to donate them (today or Monday, haven't decided yet), and he still hasn't rescued anything, even the perfectly good rotary fan or the really neat-looking garage door opener parts. YAY PERSONAL PROGRESS. YAY CLEANING OUT THE SHED!


Danya said...

Wow, I'm still stuck on 535 square feet. Is that serious!?!??!

Niki said...

If you have a really good connection you can go here:

and see how my house looked a while back. I've rearranged a lot since then, but if the question is the size of the place...that's still it.

~L~ said...

holy moly.

my mouth is agape.

good for you guys!

*d* said...

YES! Now, can you get that attitude bottled and sent to my DH?

Danya said...

Wow, thanks for the visual aid. You've made great use of your space!!! Congrats on the "de cluttering!"

Aimee said...

Ten years ago, when husband and I were courting, occasionally, on friends' birthdays or whathaveyou, I would go into my stuffed-to-the-rafters closet and pull out something I'd been saving for umpteen years and fashion it into a gift. Husband (who was "boyfriend" then) would smile and say, "You know, that's one of the things I love about you--you're so resourceful."

Now, whenever he opens our closet he says, "Can't you get rid of some of this stuff? You've had it around for years and you're not doing anything with it."

Maybe Fran could give me lessons. I have a problem and am looking for a 12 step program in my area.