Saturday, May 1, 2010

The End of My Pack Rat Days

It's been a busy week.

We spent a great deal of time getting ready for the county wide yard sale. It's amazing how much stuff we'd accumulated over the years that just needed to go!

I have to admit that in the past I was something of a pack rat... but I can also say that the past few years have certainly changed that. With our limited, already crowded little space I realized early on in our marriage that I needed to get rid of a lot of stuff.

I started out with my clothes. I'd estimate that 75% went to the soup kitchen I used to volunteer at. Paul did the same thing, but we never even unpacked quite a few of the boxes that went into my parents' storage locker. This past month though, we finally started.

For all you pack rats out there I can honestly say that getting rid of stuff does get easier. In fact, I've kind of gone to the opposite extreme. As I emptied out box after box and sorted them into three piles, "keep," "throw out" and "sell or donate" I felt relieved. The keep pile was always the smallest. The throw out pile was usually the largest (I had kept a ridiculous amount of old papers and notes).

I apparently come by the pack rat gene honestly though, because my college boxes were just the tip of the iceberg. My mom had saved most of the clothes I'd worn... over the course of my life... so there were boxes of pink in every size from newborn to adult.

I did save a few boxes. I pulled out the beautiful dresses that we got on our vacation to colonial Williamsburg the summer after fifth grade. And a few other special "school picture" dresses made the cut as well. Sadie fit into some of my outfits (for the record, they were outfits I wore when I was five...) and those made the cut as well. Everything else was for sale.

One discovery did make me very happy!

These days Paul and I don't do much clothing shopping. We buy sneakers and pants once a year, usually after Christmas. The old ones usually have holes in them for a few months leading up to Christmas (maybe we should switch that around so that it's not during the cold months!). We usually shop the garage sales too (although I must admit I have gotten extra outfits for each pregnancy of the "take an additional 80% off the sale price" rack at Penny's and I keep my eyes peeled for maternity sales when the seasons change!).

Earlier this week, however, I came across a box of shoes and I have to say that I am thrilled. During college I was obsessed with shopping. And I worked quite a bit. So many of my paychecks were spent at the local mall (wow... I wish I'd saved, even a little bit back in my carefree, thoughtless days!). These shoes must have come from one of those shopping trips... because they were hardly worn (and they included a new pair of sketchers and a couple pairs of boots!).

Now I did get new sneakers this year... but I made one crucial error. A few weeks after I got my yearly pair of shoes I was playing with Sadie on the back porch of my parents' house and I slipped my feet out of them. I must have carried Sadie back inside barefoot and completely forgot about my shoes until the next morning... when I discovered that our local band of foxes had also discovered them... and chewed them. They were still wearable, but they definitely weren't like new (those foxes! They love stealing things and carrying it off into the forest... so I suppose I was lucky they were there at all).

Anyways I've rambled on quite a bit more than I intended to. The garage sale was a success. We had two very busy days! And now it's time to relax. A little at least...

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