5 Tips to Avoid Becoming a Pack Rat. By Guest Blogger, Erika R.

By Guest Blogger, Erika R.


5 Tips to Avoid Becoming a Pack Rat

Photo Provided by Guest Blogger, Erika R.
Photo Provided by Guest Blogger, Erika R.

The term pack rat has negative connotations and for good reason. That’s because in its mildest form, it means clinging to items most other people consider to be junk. On the more extreme end of the spectrum, a pack rat who holds on to items or refuses to throw them out may suffer from something like obsessive compulsive disorder that needs treatment.

Regardless of where someone is in that grouping, here are five ways to avoid becoming a pack rat:

A Friend Indeed

When you’ve decided to sift through material that continues to grow, it might be easier to have a friend help you. Quantum Storage explains that the individual doesn’t have any emotional attachment to the items involved, and thus can offer cogent reasons why they should be discarded or given away. In many cases of this type, family-connected items bring out sentimentality, and downsizing becomes easier when someone you can trust is helping you make these decisions.

Don’t Fix It, Toss It

In many cases, items lie around waiting to be fixed or repaired, with the prevailing belief that they’ll be taken care of “someday.” If it hasn’t been dealt with in months, then you likely don’t need it, which makes it an easy decision to simply discard the item(s) into the trash. Holding on to it without making an effort to repair or fix is virtually the definition of junk.

The Maybe Box

A compromise can be reached when you put items you might need into a single box. It allows you to hold on to them, but forces you to discard items that can’t fit inside. In the future, the box can be used to save something else—but with the understanding that something from the box must be tossed out.

A Photographic Memory

As noted above, sentimentality often plays a part in holding onto items long past their time. You can still maintain your memory for many items by simply taking a photograph of the item in question. That allows you to look at it in the future, without it cluttering up your home.

Use It or Lose It

With something that might be described as the one-year rule, you should be able to make a quick decision about a number of items. This means that if you haven’t used the item over the course of a year, it likely isn’t as important as you might think. Therefore, it can become easier to make this decision.

While everybody would love to hold on to each memento from the past, no matter how trivial they may seem to another individual, that simply isn’t a practical consideration. Unless you live in a mansion, there simply isn’t room to do that and could eventually be a safety risk for those who live there. The easiest steps to take in avoiding this situation is to follow the steps above.

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