I suffer from packratitis. My husband also suffers from packratitis. This is a problem.
I decided to tackle it head on and clean out one of our closets.
This, of course, was brought on by the fact that my inlaws are starting to go through their closets and I'm sure they're finding stuff and going "why the hell have I had this in here for the last 20 years?" Since I don't want to do that 15 years from now, AND because we have limited storage space anyhow, I figured I'd get a jump start on the process.
I went through 2 boxes of stuff and threw out approximately a box worth of stuff, and have another box worth to give away.
I found a book that I was holding on to because it reminds me of the last trip my family took to South Dakota (never mind the fact that I have a PICTURE OF US AT MOUNT RUSHMORE SITTING ON MY DESK). It's one of those 'pocket sized books' about art. And while we were at the Crazy Horse memorial, I decided it was more important for me to sit in our van looking at this book than it was for me to look at the still unfinished memorial. Yeah, I don't know why I was holding on to it either.
I found a coloring book. That hadn't been colored in. It was bought while I was in high school as entertainment for the 12 hour plane ride to Ireland. This is something that managed to go to Ireland, come back from Ireland, sit in my bedroom for a year, go to college with me, and move down to Austin. All without me looking at it for more than a few seconds. Yeah, that's going to Lon's house next time we go over there.
I found the book that was given to all the chaperones for our Ireland trip. It had itineraries for each day of the trip, lists of which people were on which flights, and listings of which people were the chaperones for which kids.
These are items that I've had for about 10 years that I've used (if you could even call it that) maybe one time. Shawn isn't much better. oh sure, he doesn't suffer so much from the "MEMRYS! PRESHUS MEMRYS!" so much as the "I might be able to use this broken hands free headset I found in the parking lot, if I just fix it..."
[aside] E.G. the man owns like 15 pairs of cargo shorts. 3 of them are sitting on top of his dresser because they need a button sewn on, I don't feel like doing it, he obviously isn't missing them, and yet when I put them in the "donate" pile (with button pinned on in a sandwich baggie), he's like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Those are perfectly good shorts, I just need to sew the button on them!" and so they go back to sitting on top of his dresser for the next year. [/aside]
And THIS is why we have to stay on top of packratitis. Because otherwise, we're going to be like the people you hear about in the news--the ones that died when their stacks of old newspapers and back issues of National Geographic fell on top of them and the fire department people couldn't get to them in time because they were too busy wading through all the little sugar and ketchup packets that are stored in the living room because all the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen are already full.