Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Trash Rat

I've often been told that I'm a pack rat. My house is full of stuff that gets used very seldomly...if at all. I don't get rid of anything. I keep clothes that no longer fit. I have stacks of outdated magazines that I have no intention of ever reading again. And VHS tapes. We have LOTS of VHS tapes...most of which are unlabeled, but probably hold old recordings of VH-1's 8-Track Flashback.

I also have many unused bars of hotel soap, hand lotion samples, leftover fabric panels from old sewing projects, craft supplies, non-Fiesta dishes that I can't bear to part with, shoes that don't match any of my clothes, half-filled tubes of moisturizer that I no longer like, empty CD cases... The list is endless.

But I've realized that I'm more than just a pack rat. I'm a trash rat. I tend to hang on to useless garbage that should have been thrown away ages ago. Things like price tags, UPC stickers, boxes, and their ilk. These are examples of new item packaging that should have been discarded shortly after said item came home and went into use.

I justify keeping these things in case I have to return an item to the store. Not a bad idea, in theory. But when the Anthropologie or Banana Republic tags and stickers sit in my bathroom drawer for a three years--two years after I quit wearing the garment they were attached to--then we have a problem.

Same with our iron. When we bought a new one, I saved the box and receipt on the closet shelf just in case the purchase didn't work out. Five years later, the iron still works fine. We have no intention of returning it. In fact, Panasonic probably no longer makes this model. Yet for some reason, the dust covered box is still sitting on that shelf.

Back in March, we attended a couple of family weddings. Shortly before the events, I bought a new pair of pantyhose to go with my dress. Four months later, the cardboard pantyhose envelope is still in my dresser drawer.

But at least I'm not a completely hopeless case. A few weeks ago, I bought some new drinking glasses. As I unpacked them, I carefully peeled off the price stickers and lined them up on the kitchen counter..."just in case". After a week, I finally threw the stickers away. There was no point in keeping them. At this point, the worst thing that could happen is that a glass might crash land on the kitchen floor. That would be an accident...certainly not a defect of the glass that would warrant a return to the store.


Menchie said...

LOL! I can't believe you keep all those price tags and receipts! My mom is a pack rat too. :D

I'm the other extreme -- I throw everything away! Utterly ruthless.

Ms. Val said...

Menchie, I need to save these things! It's a sickness, I tell you! I've had too many incident of throwing things away and needing them later. I once threw out a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. It got mixed in with the Christmas wrapping paper. Now, THAT hurt!