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Sentimental Pack Rat in need of practical tips for clearing out

11 replies

Earlybird · 27/05/2007 12:55

Our flat is in desperate need of a major clear out. I made the first serious pass this morning, but there's a big problem. In order to decide what to keep, what to sell/give away and what to bin - I must go through it all. Going through it is where I get stuck.

Attempted dd's toys this morning, and both of us got sentimental about her old toddler toys - just hearing the sounds of her alphabet bus brought back so many vivid memories that would have been 'lost' without the 'prompt' of the familiar squeaks/squeals, etc.

Next I tackled my lingerie drawer, which I am sad to say contains bits/pieces from my past - old nursing bras alongside sexy bits of lace from a almost forgotten free/single girl's life (can't believe I ever fit into them!).

Now clearly, I am not going to spend ages playing with toddler toys or staring at old knickers/bras, but throwing everything away makes me nostalgic for past phases of my life that are long in the past. And, for whatever reason, the physical items somehow give me access to intense memories that aren't prompted in other ways. Clearing out feels like binning large bits of my past.

How can I ever balance my sentimental leanings with a need to de-clutter? Please tell me I'm not the only one... Anyone got a method of clearing out that would suit a packrat?

OP posts:
PinkTulips · 27/05/2007 13:03

dunno but if you find the answer can you let me know?!

about the old toys, my mom kept some of my nicest toys from when i was little and they've just een passed on to dd and ds and they're their new favourites so some things are worth keeping

SheRa · 27/05/2007 13:04

Don't know if this helps but photographs take up a lot less space than the actual objects, take pics of things, (even your sexy undies!) and then put them in their special box. That way if you are hankering after a trip down memory lane of your single days/ baby days you open the appropriate box and reminisce away. Also, if you recycle it, charity shop, freecycle etc the items go on 'living' with someone else enjoying them. Get rid of stuff is liberating, sometimes the past can hold you back...

Cappuccino · 27/05/2007 13:34


she's a schmatzy old bird but she'll get rid of your stuff for ya

charliecat · 27/05/2007 13:37

Possibly get a large box and put 1 item in it that you can go back to and sniff, or feel or hear, and charity, recycle the rest. is a good place to offload your unwanted but still useful things.
And someone else will get use from them.
I am a hoarder myself and my house is buldging at the seems with CRAP.
Its just CRAP. And I do sort and shuffle and recycle...but it grows back.........

Earlybird · 27/05/2007 13:55

There are some interesting ideas here, which I'll give some thought to. Thank you for the suggestions.

In the meantime, I've turned my energy to kitchen cabinets. I have no problem sorting/throwing out things that are out of date! I just found a can that had 'exploded' in the depths of a high cabinet. Yuck.

OP posts:
Earlybird · 27/05/2007 14:20

Would be curious to hear more from SheRa and others about how clearing out old stuff is 'liberating'. Please elaborate so I can grasp this foreign concept!

OP posts:
Dogsby · 27/05/2007 14:21

whast IS a packrat

Dogsby · 27/05/2007 14:22

also imo if you dont lok at it regularly ythen tis tat,
bin it

Earlybird · 27/05/2007 14:43

packrat is a hoarder. And cod, your unsentimental approach is probably a bit more of the attitude I need.

I think dd is following in my footsteps - as I was binning a few things earlier, she wailed 'but Mum, I made that for you'...

OP posts:
PondLife · 27/05/2007 15:59

Message withdrawn

NineUnlikelyTales · 27/05/2007 16:05

I don't think you need things to trigger the memories, just make time to remember. You need room in your flat/life for the things you use now.

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