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You never know, we just might need that someday.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kuhjäger, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. kuhjäger

    kuhjäger
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    A lot of people in my family are pack-rats. I don't know if it is an Irish thing, as in both Ireland and here my family is like this. Maybe it is part of being a product of the depression, I don't know.

    Now, we aren't those pack-rats you see on the news, with news papers up to the ceiling, and 50 cats about, but they still can't seem to just throw things away, or to stop accumulating new items.

    My grandma for instance had 6 George Foreman grills tucked away in a closet. My grandpa had 50 small American flags that were put on his lawn by real estate agencies over the years, and 12 other flags in the hall closet, including flags with 48 stars, as they had been around for so long. Above those were school projects some of his students had done 50 years ago. Literally, this was 2002 and the projects were dated 1952, in addition to filing cabinets with ever lesson plan from his 40 years of teaching. Every battery he had ever used was saved in the garage, in a huge crusted over mess that the EPA probably should have handled.

    My grandma on the other side was very similar, however the thing that stuck out the most to me was her collection of Bicentennial quarters.

    She must have had 4-500 dollars worth of those things stashed around her house. Did she think they were going to be worth something? Did she have a crush on the drummer boy on the back?

    She also stashed packages of cookies around the house, as if they were her rations for WWIII. Wilmington De would be lying in ruins, but she would have her fucking Milanos.


    Focus: What are some things that you just can't seem to throw away? Is it sentimental? Are you convinced that someday you "just might need it?"

    Alternatively: Do you have any pack-rats in your family? What were some of the strange things they kept?
     
  2. shegirl

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    I have every single concert ticket stub I've used/seen stashed away in an old jewelry box. There was a time I managed a big electronics dept., we sold tickets for ticketmaster in the dept. as well. Needless to say, I've seen many concerts, from good seats too boot. Ranging from SRV to GnR to James Taylor. Look at me being all eclectic.

    No packrats, unless you count my shrine to Brett Favre. Wait a second, his middle name is Lorenzo? What. The. Fuck.
     
  3. Woody

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    Focus: I might not NEED these things but every computer video game box I have, I keep, I do not throw out but keep as a memento in my closet. Any boxes that appliances come in we also keep and any old computers we have? Got all of those too! Never know when you might need to boot that old Windows ME Hard drive to get some important porn...errr information off of.
     
  4. LindseyBluth

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    My mother-in-law is a horrible pack-rat. She is the type of person who scours the Sunday ads from the newspaper and buys 10 of everything on sale. Then she makes my father-in-law put it all down in the basement or in their junk rooms (They have a 5 bedroom house and 4 of them are junk rooms.) The junk rooms are to the point that you can barely open the door and definitely can't walk into the room. When my mother-in-law wants something, she sends my poor father-in-law to go get it, and he has no idea where to start looking. So they end up buying more.

    They have 3 full size refrigerators and 2 deep freezes and they are all packed completely full with food just going to waste. Of course all of it was purchased in bulk on sale, but they will just end up buying more since they won't eat it before it goes bad.

    They love to give gifts that they randomly find in the junk rooms. A few Christmases ago I got 2 Old Navy sweaters (size XL - way too big) that smelled like they had been stuck in a box for 10 years. Not surprisingly, that's exactly where they were. When my husband told them that we would need to exchange the sweaters, I got a coffee pot (from the junk room) that was made in 1985.
     
  5. Omegaham

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    My mom is 49, and she is a pack-rat.

    She collects paper grocery bags and throws them onto a huge fucking pile in the garage. And when that gets too big, she folds up said grocery bags and stores them in... more grocery bags! The basement has a huge amount of junk, mostly old toys, baby clothes, and grocery bags filled with grocery bags. She was using the beautiful pool table in said basement to store these baby clothes, so I got a shitload of trash bags and bagged them all. She went ape-shit, screaming incoherent gibberish at me. I love mental illness.
     
  6. E. Tuffmen

    E. Tuffmen
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    Wires. I have lots and lots of wires. RCA plugs, car chargers, telephone cords, adapters, extension cords, computer cables of all types, speaker cable of various gauges, etc. I have a veritable Radio Shack in my office closet. I cannot seem to get rid of them and I acquire them at an alarming rate. I also collect concert ticket stubs and receipts from important events like my first date with my wife, the first movie we went to, the first movie I took my son to, things like that. I even have the receipt from my old Atari game system I got for Christmas when I was 12. It cost 129.00 and was purchased at TSS. Yeah, I'm crazy.
     
  7. JGold

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    I can't bring myself to ever throw away T-shirts. I wear seven or eight during a typical two-week laundry cycle, and I have about 25 stuffed into my drawers. The shirts I wear are usually the same from week to week, so out of those 25, there are about 10 that actually have purpose.

    I don't usually buy T-shirts from clothing stores -- I buy them on trips, at favorite bars or restaurants, at concerts, etc. So they all are tied to a certain memory. Even though I got a free shirt from The Sidebar, a bar I went to like once a week during college, and I've worn it once in the past two years, I can't bring myself to get rid of it. Maybe I'm just overly nostalgic.

    This wouldn't be a problem, but I continue to add new shirts to the collection. Most of which I never wear. And my drawers are already overflowing. I'll know I have a serious problem when I have to buy a bigger dresser just to accommodate my T-shirts.
     
  8. ghettoastronaut

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    I see a lot of immigrants / descendants thereof claiming that their ethnicity is the most thrifty. Fuck that noise. You haven't seen shit until you've seen Dutch people. The Dutch became a pretty big empire not from ruthless conquering like the British, but out of fucking thriftiness.

    My grandmother would, no shit, inspect the peels from the potatoes that my aunts peeled for dinner; if there was too much potato on the peels, she would re-peel them to eke even more flesh out of the potato. My mom isn't quite so bad, and has a healthy sense of not wasting money, but she still refuses to throw stuff out, or attempts to give things away to people that really should have been in the garbage 10 or 20 years ago. This would mean stuff like having me go through my drawers once a year to get rid of clothes I had outgrown, and then upon seeing the clothes I wasn't going to wear anymore, returned half of them, and left the other half sitting around the house indefinitely. Or, yelling at me for using a paper towel. I, in turn, am generally averse to throwing things away. Then, every once in a while, I remember that I'm an adult and live on my own and grab a garbage bag and throw out all the worthless crap that I've accumulated and won't ever use again.
     
  9. onehotchick

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    Antifocus

    My grandma was the anti-packrat. She threw everything away. You would actually have to show her things and tell her "Gram, this is very important, it is NOT garbage. Do not throw it away." I am pretty sure it was a reaction to being very poor as a child and having to use things over and over again until they fell apart. If she threw something away that someone needed she would just tell us to go out and "buy another one, that is what you have money for".
     
  10. dixiebandit69

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    My mom was always a terrible packrat/ clutterbug, but when we got hillbilly cable (an 8 foot satellite dish) in the early '90s, she went nuts buying things on QVC and the Home Shopping network. She would buy things that to this very day I cannot fathom a use for. She bought jewelry sets, doll collections, clothes, organizers, knick knacks, etc.
    After she died, my dad and I returned the UNOPENED packages.
    We got $16,000 back.

    My dad, however, is an anti-packrat. I'm sort of in the middle.
     
  11. amyjrn23

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    I'm sure some of ya'll remember the 80's. There used to be a Mcdonalds charity that wanted people to collect pop tops (aluminum pull tabs from soda cans). I don't think anyone does this anymore, but don't tell my step-dad. He has thousands and thousands of pull tabs in mason jars all over his house. I don't have the heart to tell him that no one does these anymore.
     
  12. zyron

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    http://www.pulltabsforcharity.org/home

    There are still groups that collect them.
     
  13. utgjohn

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    This.

    I got the pack rat gene from my father. Every now and then I go through the house and see all the shit that has accumulated, realize that I will never need a prepaid Virgin Mobile phone from 6 years ago and start throwing a ton of stuff away.
     
  14. jordan_paul

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    Ive collected atleast 35 usb cords for ipods, mp3 players, cameras etc that i dont use in the past 5 years. Its getting ridiculous at this point, but its due mostly to my laziness. Most times Ill use a USB cord and throw it in a drawer or in my computer bag, behind my bed, etc. I forget where I put them so when I need to use one, Ill run out to my local surplus store and buy atleast 3 more because they are so cheap. Now when I go to get something in my desk drawer or get around to cleaning my room, I find all the usb cords Ive lost. Then over the course of 6 months the process repats itself.
     
  15. Mexicutioner

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    I have been helping my great aunt clean up her house and go through her things since the beginning of the summer.
    She, along with all my other great aunts, are ridiculous pack rats. The reason for all of that being that they grew up very poor and remember the Great Depression so much that they want to be prepared if something like that were to happen again.
    The aunt that I help has a ton of money in the bank but she knows what people went through that had money in the bank when our economy collapsed. Out of this situation, though, you get some craziness.

    She had a trash pickup the other day that I went to help her get ready for.

    Among the things I tried to throw away but she would not let me:
    Styrofoam
    Wooden boards to nothing in particular
    Metal rods that were rusted and sticky ["I can turn that in to a metal guy and get some money for those!"
    A broken terrarium ["DON'T you go and throw that away!"]
    A microwave that doesn't work
    A broken mirror ["We can remove the glass and use that wood!"]
    Rusted out shelves [Again, because they were metal]

    The funny thing is that she pays really well and treats me to meals all the time but is very particular about her money otherwise. She is a great person in our family that actually helped me buy my laptop and allowed me to work it off because I was trying to get one before I went to LA to cover the Klitschko fight after my last one broke. I wasn't going to be able to put the money together for a week or two and she knew that and helped me out. She also took care of my dad a lot of his growing up years and is one of those people in my family that I never knew much about until I started getting older and more interested in my family's history.

    I am the very same way with my concert stubs. Other things I hold onto for sentimental value are my press pass/media credentials from all of the fights I have covered, as well as any bout sheets, programs, or posters relating to any of the events I have covered. I have always had an obsession with fight posters and if I ever wanted to frame everything I have and hang them up, it's going to take an Evander Holyfield type house to do it, and I don't think I'll be making that kind of money soon.
     
  16. Pinkcup

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    My grandmother is a QVC addict and horrible pack rat, and we have to go through her tiny two-bedroom home once every couple of years to clear shit out just so she can enter/exit each room. By the time we visit, she's already blocked into a tiny pathway from front door to bedroom, no wider than one person. It's absolutely ridiculous.

    Some things we've found were:
    -Numerous sets of silverware each year (seriously, who needs more than 2?)
    -A FUCKTON of Princess Diana/9-11/Mother Theresa/Ronald Reagan memorabilia
    -Crappy crystal figurines by the truckload, still in unopened boxes
    -Tile samples stacked from floor to ceiling
    -Every single Thomas Kincaid picture ever mass-produced
    -Cases of unopened Girl Scout cookies (I actually liked this, since I snagged a few cases of Thin Mints for myse....I mean, my roommates)


    None of it is necessary, and none of it is quality stuff. I can understand hoarding furniture that has been in the family for years, pictures, even insane amounts of clothing. But if you haven't even seen it in 12 months, maybe it should go into storage somewhere.


    Because of this, I toss everything. The only thing I come close to "pack ratting" is a plastic tub of papers my little brother has drawn on over the past 16 years. He used to "color for Sissy" every day when he was younger, and I absolutely cherish those silly things (somewhat stupid, I know). I even keep the rude notes I find in my suitcase after I leave home that say shit like "Pinkcup is a tard" or "FATTY!!!!!" just because he wrote them and it makes me smile. Someday my folks will go through that and wonder why I don't toss it, but whatever. At least it isn't crystal swans.
     
  17. numeric

    numeric
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    I have parts from all the electric guitars I've ever built or modified stashed in various small boxes around my room. Pickups, bridges, tuners, pots, wiring, necks etc, and all the screws that hold them together.

    My father has one of those little black cabinets with lots of drawers for screws and such, but his is filled with every type of cartridge he has ever come across. From .22 Long Rifle to .50 BMG, about 70-100 different calibers, some extremely old (1886 Lebel, anyone?)

    We also have an old radio/TV repairman's vacuum tube suitcase, completely stocked with more than 250 different tube types.
     
  18. cultex

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    Anti-Focus:

    I have a very strict "6 week rule". If I haven't used it in the last 6 weeks, it gets tossed. The only items that are exempt from that rule are books and hiking/camping equipment.

    Alt. Focus:

    My entire family. They all seem completely unable to throw anything away. When my grandparents passed away, it took my dad and I 3 weeks to clean out their house. Working 10 hours a day. 3 weeks!! And that was throwing everything out, just walking items from the house to one of the many dumpsters we had parked out front. I think that scared me for life as far as being a pack-rat.

    I've threatened my parents many times that if their house gets that bad, I'm moving them into a home, going back to their house, and burning that mother to the ground.
     
  19. breakylegg

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    Up in Seattle I had the distinct pleasure of living inbetween a paranoid schizophrenic and a packrat. While the schizo was all over the board, the packrat was at least lucid and friendly. I use to wait and watch her come home from work, unlock her door and squeeze her fat self inside, inching in sideways as if on the ledge of a high rise. After she shut the door there'd usually be pieces of trash or newspaper sticking out around the door's edges. Never saw inside her place as she never once lifted her shades the 3yrs I lived next to her. The bldg had no A/C and so in the summer, especially in the dog days, everyone opened their windows. Otherwise the heat was intolerable. Not the packrat. Whenever I felt down, I use to imagine that crowded Hell next door with the fat lady squirming around in all that trash and in seconds I'd feel better.

    Thanks, packrat.
     
  20. Spoz

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    I am almost over an addiction to hoarding crap. We have rubbish collection days here, and I used to walk around, checking out each house's rubbish pile, and taking the good stuff (photocopiers, air conditioners, TV's, computers) that were mostly pulled apart for spare parts, very few of which I ever used.

    My dad is the complete opposite, and the amount of crap I used to keep around the house was the cause of many arguments. I think his attitude has rubbed off on me though, I now have a much better sense of what is and isn't useful to keep. My box of random cables often saves me a trip to the electronics store for example.

    Whenever I hold onto something sentimental now, I usually do it knowing that I will feel better about throwing it out in a month or two, so that's what happens. It sits in my room for a month or two, not being useful or providing any enjoyment, then I throw it out. The time period is gradually getting shorter and I hope one day I can just throw things out to begin with.