Wednesday, February 4, 2009

confessions of a Pack Rat

These bits of colored threads would  look great in a clear glass Christmas ornament. I think that's what I am saving them for

There was a defining moment yesterday and now I think the time has come to admit I may have a problem. 

I am a pack rat. 

It's not like I collect things, I just can't bear to throw things away that I know can be used again or that can have some other purpose. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem if I had more space, or maybe if I was more organized. 

I think my Mom gets it. She brought me a big bag of old denim jeans (and a pair of corduroys to boot). There is just so much you can do with denim! Recently she gave me a bag of old scarves - heaven! She's also trying to reduce her own amount of things in anticipation of moving and has been bringing me all sorts of goodies she knows I could use. 

I really have  tried to let go and have offered some of my things to others on Freecycle - baby food jars, large yogurt containers (with lids!), old magazines. No one seems to be interested. So I keep them.

Maybe this is hereditary. My Grandmother was a pack rat. I could joke about her problem back then, before I could relate to it. She would save old TV Guides, when I would ask her about this she would tell me she was going to read them someday. She lived on her own in Florida and when visiting I would have to clear a space at the table so I would have a place to eat. This was no easy task as there seemed no place to put the pile of things that I had moved. Looking back I always thought it was really funny (before it happened to me). My grandmother sewed all the time. Big time. She made all her own clothes and was always making things for needy children. She passed away before I began to sew. (I can't even imagine if I would have been able to inherit her sewing things). If she were alive today I believe she would be sending me things to add to my collection. I would have looked forward to these packages of her discards with great joy. 

So yesterday's incident made me realize I may have a problem. My husband was cleaning out his clothes. He had gathered together a bag to bring to the clothes drop. When I saw him come down the stairs carrying this bag I felt my heart skip. He doesn't exactly approve of my "clutter" and he wasn't going to let me rummage through first. I knew what was in that bag. All sorts of fabrics that could be used to create things, landscape quilts, batting for pot holders, unlimited possibilities. I couldn't protest, I've already got so much. But he did leave the room for a moment. I couldn't resist. I made a dash for the bag and rescued some of those old clothes. A few pairs of jeans (how could he) and a striped shirt that I know will make the perfect sail for a quilted boat. I stashed them back upstairs and came down as if nothing had happened. What an adrenaline rush!

so this is my confession ... please tell me know I'm not alone!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I love it! I would do the same thing!

  3. Great post! I'm somewhat of a pack rat myself. I collect "papers" I swear. Mostly bills.....

  4. You and I were separated at birth. I am certain of it. I could have written that, with the exception that my mother is a tidy freak and keeps things to a minimum. Everything else you wrote is dead on ME!

    There, fell better?