Monday, October 13, 2008

Memories competing with air hockey

It's another one of my secret shames - I am a packrat, just like my grandpa. Both of us have a hard time parting with mementos and we tend to collect a lot of things that many people find to be "junk," but not to us.

I keep Playbills, concert programs, charms, photos (I have boxes of photos), stuffed animals, books and pieces of art. My dream is to one day have built-in bookshelves to store the seemingly endless books that I've collected, but since that won't be happening anytime soon, they sit in boxes.

For a while I stored this stuff in my parent's attic, which seemed to be the black hole of storage, until I came home for visits and my stepmom had painfully endless tasks for me to do up there. I think she was doing this so that I would eventually move my stuff out of the attic rather than consolidate herself the endless wardrobes of clothes that she never wears or the boxes of shoes that also lined the attic and took up the space. I'm sure that was an oversight.

So one day, dad and I boxed up all my crap and moved it to grandma's house, where she had an empty basement. Now grandma is calling and asking when I can move some of that stuff out so that she can have more space for the air hockey table for the grandkids. Seriously. My childhood mementos and memories were in jeopardy so my slacker cousins could have an air hockey table. Are you kidding me?

Grandma comments when I see her that I have a lot of useless stuff, but to me, it's not useless. It's nice to box up parts of your past, good and bad, and visit it every once in awhile. This stuff may be useless to her, but to me, it's remembering sitting on the benches at Summerfest for my first concert (Bon Jovi) and the summer I managed to read "The Great Gatsby" and "Gone With The Wind." Trust me, I was a total bookworm nerd.

I can part with things easily now, like magazines, newspapers and small pieces of paper I somehow hold on to, but in the end, I know what is valuable to me and I hold on to it, hoarding or not. And so far my stuff in her basement has been able to accommodate the air hockey addition to our family, that is until the Foosball table comes into play, then we'll have to talk.

Do you have something(s) that you collect or cannot part with?

39 comments:

Rachel said...

my parents are pack rats, but now they are working on me. Every time they visit from Detroit they bring a box of stuff. One time my dad just took out one of my old drawers full of crap and dumped it in a box. There was trash in there!

howitstarts said...

I keep a lot of stuff too although after dealing with all of my grandma's stuff, I am trying to be a (somewhat) organized packrat. I have a lot of photos, tickets, programs, etc. that I keep meaning to make into awesome scrapbooks but somehow, I haven't gotten to it yet. All of my books are still at my parents' house waiting for me to have adequate storage for them.

Mandy said...

I am a complete packrat, as is my mom who says she got it from my grandfather. Its been passed down for getnerations. I have a lot of stuff that most people would consider "junk" but to me, its wonderful memories.

Angela said...

I still have the dress I wore as a flower girl when I was three years old. What the hell am I going to do with that?

I also have all the diaries I wrote in since I was in 5th grade. So, including my current blog (which has archives going back 5 years), I have a record of my life since I was 10 years old. Crazy, right?

SarahBeth said...

I don't consider myself a "pack rat" so much as sentimental. I have lots of childhood things stored down in my grandparent's basement (i.e. my dollhouse) that I don't necessarily NEED, but I can't bear to part with. Unfortunately, my grandma is constantly badgering me and asking me why I need these things and why I can't get rid of them. And even though I know I don't really need to keep them... I just WANT them. They're a part of my past... or something.

SA said...

My mom is like that. I'm trying not to be a pack rat but I'm starting too, keeping things I know I should throw away. Like I cut out newspaper articles and if there was just one magazine piece I liked I will keep the magazine.

The cycle continues. Sigh.

Ashley D said...

I like to think that I am a pack rat who knows what to throw away. I like to keep sentimental items and have several boxes of stuff in my mom's garage, but I hate clutter, so I try to down size when I can.

Ben said...

No but I have a collection of the newf's garbage that I'd like to throw away.

He keeps EVERYTHING including receipts from McDonald's orders from 2005.

I want him dead for cluttering up our house.

Jenn said...

I wouldn't call myself a pack rat, but I definitely hang onto certain things. I have a box in my mom's basement with my favorite stuffed animals, a few school awards and a couple other childhood mementos.

I'm pretty good at keeping that stuff organized. I get one childhood box, one teen box and right now I have a couple of photo boxes full of cards, postcards, and tiny gifts from the last 2-3 years.

wontletlifedefineme said...

I think it's mainly my photos I can't part with. Although I'm a tiny bit of a packrat too. I keep concert tickets and everything, but I put them on a notice board in my study, so it makes the room a bit more personal and cosy.

Anonymous Amy said...

i like my stuff but I try to keep as uncluttered as possible. I move a lot so hoarding boxes of nostalgia just isn't conducive. i hate getting rid of stuff but it is also somewhat freeing.

Maki said...

I tend to save a lot of things. JT thinks I'm hording the place. I'm getting better at get rid of stuff, but I do save my girls' art work. I cherish their drawing or things they make.

But, I need to learn to let go some of them because I wouldn't be able to keep up!!!

CC said...

I'm a terrible pack rat! I keep shoeboxes full of mementos like ticket stubs, notes from friends, cards, etc. What can I say? They all have memories tied to them.

What's funny is that I always accuse my mother of being a pack rat (she is!) and tell her how she keeps way too much useless crap lying around. I guess its true, one man's trash is another's treasure!!!

L.C.T. said...

A whole box in my loft. Which gets added to every couple years or so with the newest memories!

Dabby said...

I absolutely cannot throw out flowers (on the rare occasion someone cares enough to give them to me). I let them dry out and then save one or two, just because.

thatShortChick said...

i'm definetly not a packrat because i find such indescribable joy in throwing out certain things.

but i DO keep every single photo i can get my hands on, birthday cards with handwritten messages, and playbills/concert tickets.

Mega said...

I keep things that people give me. And apparently I'm collecting movie stubs in my wallet that +1 and I have seen. Awe, aren't I special.

HBee said...

I have all my old journals that I can't see myself ever parting with. They are funny. I have asked my mom to save a couple of my childhood toys, but for the most part those things are gone. It is kinda sad, so I feel your pain. But I'd suggest that you keep only a few key pieces. Maybe you could photograph the rest and make a sort of scrapbook or photo album of all your memories. You could even write descriptions next to them. Just an idea...?

Ginger said...

I keep a lot of memento-y stuff too. Besides the boxes and boxes of photos, I've got a hope chest full of random stuff--the corsage from my first prom, notes from my first boyfriend, tshirts from various events I've participated in...and I'm sure there's more at my moms house!

Endless Randomness said...

I hoard all the silly notes we used to pass each other during class.. dating back to '96. Yes, I'm a little ashamed but these notes remind me of those carefree days :)

LBluca77 said...

The only thing I seem to save are old broken cell phones. I currently have 2right now.

I have no idea why I save them.

lifeintheleftlane said...

I definitely have some pack rat tendencies. I keep cards from people. And also used to have the boxes of pictures. Now they're all on my computer.

stealthnerd said...

I actually wrote about this today in regard to the clothes in my closet! I can't part w/some things. But out of the closet, I'm still a pack rat--I always save with the intent of scrap booking. Even if I never do it, I love looking back at everything.

ToughGirl101 said...

What I can't part with is an old teddy bar that my parents gave me when I was 7. It was like my safety blanket, I had it with me in germany and anywhere I ever travelled. I have it now.

When I cry, I hold it close. It's something wonderful from m childhood that I hope I can give to my children.

Daisy said...

Ah, I love hearing about all the mementos people have. I definitely keep all my things- I've got notes that my friends wrote to me in class from when I was 10!! But every now and again I have a huge clear out and give my clothes or books away to village fetes and charity shops. I just can't keep everything and as I keep moving I've had to shed a lot of things.

Nilsa S. said...

This is a really interesting topic. Because I HATE STUFF. I mean, I don't get all lovey-dovey over material stuff. I hate clutter. And I am the first to purge. In fact, it's become a dispute between Sweets and me, because he doesn't always want to throw away. So, I've relented and formed a give-away pile. Though, the one thing I like keeping around are photographs.

Katelin said...

oh man i am such a packrat too, it's slightly ridiculous. i keep playbills, movie stubs, pictures and more pictures. when i moved recently i finally downgraded a bit but i still can't help but save my report card from third grade, i mean, i might need that one day, haha.

elle michelle said...

Nope, not sentimental at all. I think that's what happens when you live in tiny apartments... you don't have a choice! Seriously, I'm now wondering what the shit I'm supposed to do with my wedding dress. I have to keep it? Yeah -- THAT'S how bad I am.

Rachel Eden said...

Totally keep a box on mementos, still and always will. I have a Fischer Price table I painted/decorated that I refuse to give up. It sits at my parents house on the east coast.

Megkathleen said...

I throw everything out. I can't stand clutter! My boyfriend made fun of me because when I moved in I threw a ton of stuff out, my senior yearbook, among them. My rule is if I don't look at it for over a year its gotsta go.

Miss Grace said...

Aside from the fact that I hoard yarn, I also still have a bunch of my grandmother's and great grandmother's clothes...that I wear...

bianca said...

It's so hard for me to get rid of anything. When my mom moved, I told her not to tell me what she tossed from my old room because I know I would just ask her to keep everything. She decided to keep a bunch of stuff for me to go through and toss...and I kept it all. It's too hard because there's a memory with everything!

Alexa said...

i'm all about throwing crap away. but after the fact.

like i'll have a drawer full of shit that i at one point thought was worth saving then in a random state, i'll throw everything away.

i'm weird.

surviving myself said...

I am the opposite - I throw everything out and then regret it.

Athena Valentine said...

My father passed the pack rat ness to me over the years and although I get the distinct urge to purge, I simply cannot. I also keep photos, napkins and sugar packets from road trips with friends, brochures and simple scraps of paper. Its a bad addicition. I also keep mementos from people because I feel bad for chucking them. Its a weird weird thing.

EMD said...

i have all my ticket stubs of all the concerts i have ever been too...its definitely something i cant ever get rid of....i went to my grandparents house to clean it out after my grandpa died in 2004 and found a lot of neat things...best thing we found: a newspaper that read: WAR!! Dated Dec 8 1941...pretty neat

Princess Pointful said...

I have boxes upon boxes filled with notes I passed in Grade 9 sitting in my parents' attic. There are also boxes of my diaries (I wrote a lot, if you could guess) up there-- I am terrified of them falling into the wrong hands!

EP said...

I am very much the same way. I like to keep mementos, too, and sometimes, my mom and dad cannot figure out why I want to hang onto them.

I like your attitude about it. I think it's crappy you have to move all of your memory boxes, though. :/

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