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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Organizing and Time to "fess up"

For most of my adult life, I've had a secret. One that plagues my husband and makes our home a little crazy at times. Being a meanderer, who often ponders things too much, doesn't help. It's sort of a sickness that I've been both secretly proud of and also ashamed of at some points in my life. I'm sure that things would be a lot easier and simpler if I could overcome this obsession and just admit it...say it out loud...come clean...let go...easier said than done. Much easier said than done. And in some ways, I can see the practicality of both sides of the issue. If put to the test, I could argue my point quite least in my own eyes. But maybe if I write it down, I'll be able to either get past the feelings of guilt I'm having right now, or appease my mind enough to convince myself that I'm really being quite Maybe.

Here goes...My name is Sharon a packrat!...there, I've said it. When it comes time to throw some things away, I can usually see another use for them and dream up a plan to use them in the future. My intentions are good, you see, but my "future" may be years away and it should become obvious how that could begin to be a problem. Now I'm not like the folks who only have paths through their homes or anything like that and I don't have empty baked bean cans lying around or stacks of unused paper napkins that I've saved from restaurants but my attic and garage are loaded with good intentions. I'm not talking about garbage here, folks...I'm talking about perfectly good things.  Things I can use to "build" other things. Future projects that need other components before they can be completed, things I just don't have time for right now... and things... I'll probably... never... get around to reusing.  ...That was quite painful to admit.

Of course you've heard the green motto, "Reduce, reuse, recycle." And that's where some of my justification comes from. Why throw away perfectly good things if you could use them to make something else that is quite useful and cost saving? Why load up the land fills with things that will still be in the same shape when I'm dead and gone when I could reuse them to make things that I/we need? It makes perfect me. Now my husband is the type of guy who throws everything away with the idea that if we need one again, we'll go buy one. That is completely against my philosophy as a green mama and can be very hurtful to our pocketbook.

So I guess the compromise will have to be that I organize my stash into a more compact hoard and eliminate things that I've had on hand for years but have never used. The only problem with that is...and I've had this happen before...within a week/month, I'll need the things I threw away and I'll be kicking myself! Maybe what I need is a book that will guide my wandering mind with new ideas about reusing things so I don't have to throw them away. That idea makes me smile and it's something I can live with.

Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest. I feel as if my burden is a bit lighter now. So...I'll wait for the next rainy day and dig into the black hole to unearth my saved treasures and hope that I don't see the reasons for saving all of them quite as clearly as I did originally. 'Cuz that could be a disaster!


After reading a few comments from my original post I've come up with a plan.  Since it seems that several of you share my creative penchant for saving seemingly useless treasures for reuse and a new life, I'll share it again here.

PRA (Pack Rats Anonymous) starts soon. I'm gonna need a sponsor! Maybe I'LL write a book on creative ways to reuse/recycle all this stuff! It can be the PRA handbook leading wayward hoarders of truly reusable stuff to find ways to use it up while making the world a greener place to live.  It's a win/win situation!...Right?

I'm already making mini greenhouses from the large plastic boxes that organic salad greens come in...they can also be used as storage containers for all kinds of stuff...they are stackable and clear so you can see what's inside...I could use them to store my own greens from the garden...the large flat surfaces are great for making clear windows for all sorts of projects...I made a protective cover for the screen part of E's iPod cover that I knit from left over pieces of wool yarn and felted. Speaking of left over yarn...I made a cute little camera bag, too...and I mixed colors to make a nice bag that receives lots of compliments. 
Wool sweaters that can be made into cool bags for all sorts of projects...jeans to line them or make into other things.  Holey socks for, well, you can read about that here if you haven't already.  And truly useful things like this greenhouse.  Good things can come of this...right?

Don't get me monologuing on this! I think I'll write that book with full color pictures of my projects.  See? can be therapeutic to my addiction. Maybe I can successfully turn my problem into a money maker and I'll become known as the "Reusable Stuff Guru" and...

I think I need to lie dreams are making me giddy!

Sharing my confession with Jenny and friends @ Alphbe-Thursdays


  1. I thought I was reading about myself. I am the SAME. I keep things thinking they'll come in handy one day until my hubby complains and then I decide to throw/recycle them. And then the next day, I'll kick myself for throwing them away because I just found a use for them. *sigh*, is there a support group for this?

  2. Oh dear, I fear many people share your obsession. I really need to clean out a few closets too! :)

  3. I'm the same way and my husband is just like your husband. He thinks nothing of tossing things where I spend so much time just contemplating whether or not I should get rid of something. I'm not a hoarder, but I sometimes wonder if I could become one. Of course, I don't have a lot of room to keep basement and no usuable attic or garage because of the heat and humidity. I do rent a storage place, but I know I have way less than people with basements and attics. I always find sentimental reasons to keep things. Good luck!

  4. Honey and water! I need a lift for my face! No pun intended! You have a great blog. I am glad I came over. COme visit me too. Jenny is a hoot isn;t she? I met the greatest folkds thru her! Anne

  5. My husband is a pack rat, but not because he's green. He just can't part with anything!

  6. Sounds like you were talking to yourself, and almost worked through your "secret"...LOL Then thought again of it all.

    We do not have an attic that will store goodies, no basement either. The guesthouse/cottage has become my storage for things that I cherish, luv, and know that someday will be put to good use.

    Hooray for working to leave a lighter footprint. It is the little things that make such a huge difference!

  7. Girls, this is too funny! You all are making me feel better already! So, in response to these original comments, I'm sharing a plan I've come up with in the body of the post. Check it out. For those of you reading after the change, you've already seen it.

  8. @mom2kiddos Not sure how foks are notified of followup comments but I hope you see this...
    My plan for a group is now included in the article! You can be the first member in this charter!

  9. I don't hold on to much, typically I get rid of most of the junk that finds it's way to my door. I do, however, have a real problem with books. My house is so full of books that I don't have room to collect anything else!!

  10. My husband believes almost everything has a second use.

  11. A great post! You echo many of my own thoughts...though look out if I get "in the mood" to clean out an area.
    Knew I was in trouble when the empty manicotti holders from the box of pasta ended up in my sewing room...they just happen to hold spools of thread perfectly!

  12. @taylorsoutbackGood job! Keep that in mind and check back later.


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