If you know a pack rat, sign in here!

Ireland
June 3, 2007 12:14pm CST
Take a look at the attached photo of my husband's workshop. How he plans on getting any work done here, is a mystery. Slowly but surely he has filled every nook and cranny of the house, and I have unfilled it right behind him! He then started on the other outbuildings, and it is a constant battle to get rid of all the all the 'things' he 'needs'. Do you live with someone like this? Worse, is it YOU who is the packrat?
12 people like this
28 responses
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
3 Jun 07
oh do I !!!! just be thankful your darling husband keeps his "treasures" to a confined area! my husband's sickness has invaded every place around us! Sometimes I feel as if the garbage is the "other woman" it is horrible.
4 people like this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
They spread, believe me. And I toss ;-)
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I live with three pack rats. I live with my son' family. Talk about pack rats. My son does various work for grocery stors and draggs home the desplay cases and some of the signs because he might be able to use it some day. His savings have spilled out of the storage shed on to the surrounding ground. His wife is also a packrat.She save glass jars the laundry room is filled with various baskets and books. My granddaughter a 20 year old is just as bad, She save empty glass soda bottles, Mcdees toys because they are cute. She saves every thing any one has ever given her. I have to go through things every once in while and get rid of stuff that I don't use. I would like to know what makes people this way. I did'nt raise my son or grandaughter this way.
3 people like this
• Ireland
3 Jun 07
Another corner of the shed that isn't even his! - Another corner of the shed that isn't even his! Thisused to be his grandparents kitchen before he took it over for storage! LOL! He is planning on restoring it.
My mom is a bit of a hoader, but she doesn't hold a candle to your family or my husband. I don't understand it either. He sees timber to be stored for who knows what future project, and I see firewood to heat the house. Here;s another corner of the shed he isn't supposed to put anything else in. Do you get rid of their stuff when they aren't looking? I do it all the time!
2 people like this
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
4 Jun 07
No I don't touch any of their stuff. I wouldn't dare.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
I have to be very, very sneaky. There is always a version of the Inquisition if I get caught.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
3 Jun 07
You lnow my other half is forever getting on at me to get rid of my books (which I do tend to give away any way!) while he has taken over both the garden shed and the kids play shed and is always adding to it with other peoples unwanted things, like old tv/video cabinets and old bits of carpet - you name it! lol Isn't it fun sweety? xxxx
3 people like this
• Ireland
3 Jun 07
It's amazing really, like a bit of an obsession. I huck stuff out all the time when he isn't looking. He never actually uses any of this stuff, so he never figures out I have gotten rid of it. Do you toss stuff?
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
3 Jun 07
I used to sweety but haven't been fit enough for over a year - I dread seeing what state the sheds are in! His idea of tidying up is to stuff things in the shed or loft! xxxx
2 people like this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
Oh I forgot about your surgery! Well, you should get to keep your books, anyhow. I meant to say that before. They aren't clutter, lol, just his stuff is clutter!
1 person likes this
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I sincerely believe that my hubby could easily be considered the 'king' of packrats! For instance, if I empty a spice jar in the kitchen (plastic type with screw on lid or lid with a popup shaker) he will save the empty container...."to put nails in." If I empty a cottage cheese container in the kitchen, it too is saved. His reason, "It is great to put paint in when I'm doing touchups." It is endless.
3 people like this
• Ireland
3 Jun 07
We are in the same boat, my friend. Do you secretly toss stuff out? I do it all the time and he has so much he never even notices!
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
3 Jun 07
oh my goodness~! I do secretly throw things away - otherwise he goes through every trash bag I fill up and then I find items I have thrown away, hidden about the property...just sitting in the weather and being useless anyhow. I take a sack of trash with me every time I go to town so that I can dispose of it with him unawares! I sneak out of the house at 2 in the morning to throw out the trash bag I had hidden in the kids room till garbage day. Garbage trucks come around 3 in the morning. The only problem is I can not discard things sneakily with the same swiftness and speed as he can (and does)replenish the junk!
3 people like this
• United States
3 Jun 07
Oh yeah. On trash day, after hubby leaves for work...I grab a trashbag and make my rounds!!! Ha! Modestah, I can just see you up at 2 in teh morning, carrying a trash bag over your shoulder...much like Santa Clause! Ha! Too funny!!
3 people like this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
3 Jun 07
My husband is the pack rat. He's got parts to fix cars that we no longer own. He's got an old car he's been renovating for the last 10 years that needs certain parts, but he's got 2 or 3 motors for the car. He hasn't decided which one he wants to use yet. When we built our house almost 30 years ago, he saved the left-over insulation. A couple of years ago, he built a big two story garage, and he wanted to use that old insulation, but my son talked him out of it. He's got his extra garage filled with junk now. He will take anything in and store it for friends that don't have room. I could go on and on, as to things he's cluttered up the house with over the years. One thing that all of our friends remember is that we once had about 20 broken television sets lined up all along the rec room wall. He was going to fix them someday. They were there for a few years before I was able to talk him into giving them away. One good thing is that he occasionally goes on a purge and gets rid of things he doesn't need any more. He did clean out my side of the garage so I can have some of my things in there, like my bike and my rototiller. I'm also thankful that he's not as bad as his mom. She saves empty margarine and cool whip containers. All of them. She used to save labels and boxes from everything too, just in case they ever had a refund offer. Her basement is filled with this stuff.
3 people like this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
That is the bad thing about not moving frequently, it does pile up, doesn't it? Our husbands sound a lot alike. we actually got a skip/dumpster last summer, and filled it to the brim but the place is still full of crap he needs. He has a motorbike, too and would do the same you are describing with your husband's car but I have convinced him to keep it elsewhere so they boys won't fiddle with it. I can only imagine the maopunt of paraphenailia that thing would generate!
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
4 Jun 07
your husband had a broken television collection - for mine there is a broken lawn mower and weed trimmer collection - I think he must have 18 lawnmowers along the side of the lean to - and at least a half a dozen trimmers!
2 people like this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
4 Jun 07
He's got a few riding lawnmowers that he stores in the neighbor's barn. We had some weed wackers in there too, but I'm not sure if they're still there. He used to have several stalls in the barn full of junk, but he cleaned that out. Good thing the neighbors don't mind.
1 person likes this
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
3 Jun 07
How did you get in to my garage? My garage looks similar to that. Mainly because when we bought this house and moved in last year I just put everything in to the garage until I had time to sort through it. Well I still haven't found time yet but pretty soon I won't have much of a choice because my fiancee will pick a day and drag me on out there. My fiancee is like you she is constantly going behind me to declutter things.
3 people like this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
You've only been there a year and it looks like that? Your fiancess ought tell you today is the day, my good man. If you have another rising water episode, it would be best if all that stuff is put away. Out you go, go on, get busy :-)
@dana234 (2116)
• Spain
3 Jun 07
I admit it. I´m a bit of a pack rat. A mild version though. I ´ve got various carpets which are hopelessly stained under my bed. They are rather old, but nice, not taking into consideration the stains. I keep them there because I could always cut them up one day (cotton carpets) and put them in the bathroom or whatever. The other thing are shoes. One of our spare rooms is full of shoe boxes. Some are that old that they´ve become fashionable again. I never wear them, but keep them just in case. It would be reasonable to give them away, but I just can´t get myself to do it. Oh, I´ve also put our old washing machine that was still working in that room, in case the new one stops functioning. There are few other little things, but I better not carry on...
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
No, not you Dana! I admit I am a bit the same with old clothes/shoes. I do eventually get rid of them, but I seem to store them for a couple of years before I admit to myself they need to go.
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Oh my poor dear I sympathsize with you and my heart goes to you....I bet every time you see the "workshop" you want to scream--I'm actually the opposite...a neat freak...everything in it's place, nice and tidy and organized so I can find things in a NY minute--my neighbor on the other hand....yikes ....it looks like a tornado went through it.....I mean this is a lot MORE than clutter--you can hardly walk in her apartment....she's the type that can't throw anything, and I mean anything out...several times I tried to help her clean up a bit but gave up...I mean she actually has trash on the floor and my impulse was to just scoop everything up and throw it out..but oh, no, no, no.---she has to examine every scrap of paper to make sure it's not something good, even if it's only an envelope with a postmark date of Oct. 26, 1986-- My own mom was a bit of a pack rat...when she passed away I did a clean sweep of the place, especially her closet...well all I can say is that it's the first time in decades I can actually see the bottom of the closet! Mmm..want me to come over and help clean?? LOL
2 people like this
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
4 Jun 07
My granddaughter is this way. When I can corner her long enough to clean her room .I have to keep her company to make sure she does theow out al the reciet from every thing she buys. even if it from McDee's
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
I have to wade thorugh al of that to get to my washing machine, too. There are times I can't get the laundry basket in position to get the clean clothes out without moving everyting out of the way first. He is constantly bringing more back, too. It is ridiculous! He had taken over my potting shed, too, which I recently kcleaned out so the kids could have their band practice in there. It is justa waste of good space! LOL, if we want to clean we have to get in our Ninja gear and do it under cover of darkness!
@pyewacket (44031)
• United States
4 Jun 07
Well just let me know when you want that cleaning done, and I'll don on my Ninja outfit....we can synchronize our watches for around midnight....LOL
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Jun 07
My husband and one of my daughters is a pack rat . I can't stand clutter all over the place and they keep everything in site believing that one day they will use it . No matter how much I try to reason with them that when the day comes that they will need to use it they will end up going out and buying a new one as they will never find it in all the mess they have going on , but they won't listen to me at all . Growing up my mom was a huge pack rat and I believe this is one of the reasons why I can't stand it . My cousin and I have a theory that if your mother is a pact rat then you will not be one but if you are not one then your daughter or son will end up being one . So far on the most part the people we have spoke to about this have agreed that our theory is pretty much true .
2 people like this
@estherlou (5017)
• United States
3 Jun 07
When you begin a new hobby, sometimes the acquiring of the tools is more fun than the actual project. I started painting. I collected books and paints and brushes and would always browse for more. On the other hand, painting requires practice and time and consistency and you have to put up with criticism. LOL Whereas...collecting those tools...that is pure fun!
2 people like this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
My kids are just like you! They want all the gear and then doing the actual project? Not quite so much interest! LOL!
@ElicBxn (61063)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I'm the packrat, but so is the roomie
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
Hopefully the cats will keep you in line and not let you take the place over.
@ElicBxn (61063)
• United States
4 Jun 07
90% of the piles are in cat free zones - I wonder why?
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
Don't tell me your cats are making Anti-Clutter Layer Cakes when you guys are asleep? I bet they sneak in every night and are getting rid of stuff under the cover of darkness.
@mimpi1911 (25475)
• India
4 Jun 07
oh dear, you must be having a tough time!! i have seen my mom (she is stil) fighting with my father over his stuffs. he just would not settle for a minor mess! but i quite like this exchange of eternal repartees between my parents, that kind of increases the love and bond. LOL.... good luck!
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
Thanks! I am hoping at this point we will flood and it will sweep all this things away!
@mimpi1911 (25475)
• India
4 Jun 07
LOL... won't he be upset especially when he doesn't have you to blame!!
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
The rain has picked up again, so there is hope!
• Netherlands
11 Jun 07
Hi woodpigeon !!! It that your husband's workshop or my father in law workshop ???? Hehehe...I don't see the different. My father in law has more than just 2 rooms that he use for workshop not include the barn next to his house. Wait...as a matter of fact he use the whole house as a workshop...gulp. God knows how many identical tools/things he has. I have to help him with organize and clean the house...but everytime he found me walking with trash bag, he will quitely following me from behind...soon as I'm gone, he pick up the trash bag, then I will walk behind him said nothing and soon as he's gone I'll take that trash bag again and hide them this time....phew...
1 person likes this
• Ireland
12 Jun 07
I have definately learned I am not in the boat all by meself on this one. I just can't understand wy they do it, but I see those of us who share a l=iving space with people with these habits share similar strategies ;-)
1 person likes this
@owlwings (41799)
• Cambridge, England
8 Jun 07
I looked at the picture and had to do a double-take! Now that is a workshop after my own heart! Yes, I confess. I am a packrat and have always been one. I blame the war. In those days we were encouraged to save everything (and my mother did to her dying day). I got the habit from there, I think, but I am not nearly as methodical about it as my mother was.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
9 Jun 07
Oh, no, not you too! The hardships of war would explain the generation ahead of my husband, but not his, lol. He just likes to collect things :-)
4 Jun 07
Unfortunately both my partner and i am both packrats and the house is crammed full of *stuff* and the garage is full as well :-) I have been trying to get a lot of the clutter cleared out but I'm sure it breeds in the night as there is always a heap of stuff waiting to be sorted and dumped.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
Breeds in the night, lol, I think you are on to something. Clutter is just like Tribbles.
@Bee1955 (3885)
• United States
4 Jun 07
Pack rat lair - closet
Egads, that's nothing next to my husband - the West Virginia pack rat. We live in a small 2-bedroom house and he has it packed from floor to attic with all sorts ofstuff - some he doesnt remember! He;s filled the attic, the storage spacew in our walk-in closet, his mother's room closet top shelf, the utility room and in 5 tall bookcases in the livingroom --- not to mention wall shelving! And all this was AFTER he purge for 3 days with several garbage bags full of stuff in the front lawn to be picked up so I could have a small space after I moved in - 1 bedroom wall)!
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
Oh I am so sorry! It always starts with one area and then just spreads and spreads and spreads and spreads, doesn't t?
• United States
4 Jun 07
I am the same way i will fill up my office with stuff from work and never thorw anything away! to me your husband workshop looks better then what i got going on over here! by the way what does he do in the workshop i can't tell by the picture.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
He doesn't do anything in th workshop. He has to do his work on the patio now. Shame, because he has a lovely 8' work bench with all the vices and so forth buried beneath all that...whatever it is.
• United States
4 Jun 07
I am a reformed packrat. I was really bad for a long time but slowly things are getting better. I have gotten into the mindset that if I haven't used it, seen it or thought of it in 6 months it is trash. I have been working to clean out my house for the last year.. yes I said ONE YEAR! lol. We have 6 people living in a 3 bedroom plus we still have most of my 18 year old's crap. I have given her until the end of summer to get it out or lose it all. Such a mean Mommy I am lol.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
"if I haven't used it, seen it or thought of it in 6 months it is trash." That is my bottom line, too.
@anaknitatay (1335)
• Philippines
4 Jun 07
I have always been a pack rat and proud of it. i don't think there's anything wrong with being one. Now a disorganized pack rat is another thing altogether. - lol Why don't you offer to help him organize his stuff? Keeping things is okay as long as it is livable however if it starts interfering with your "peace and prosperity" just better throw it out. :)
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
You just honestly can't organize it. I am just trying to keep a path clear to the washing machine, and if it is small enough to fit into the fireplace or hidden in the garbage, I burn it. As far as he is concerned, it is all organized. And he wants to add to the pile.
• United States
3 Jun 07
I have to admit it is me. But I am making a conscious effort to stop collecting junk and set a goal of reducing my material possessions by half in one year. I set the goal about 6 mos ago and feel I am on track to reaching it.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Jun 07
Well, admitting it is the first step ;-) I am sure you will reach your goal. I showed my husband the pics and responses and we were off to the races about how he isn't at all a packrat. He needs more stuff!