I have never heard of Pack Rat Day before! I guess there seems to be a day for everything anymore.

So this topic got me thinking. I am not a Pack Rat and never really have been. If something is memorable to me I would keep it. Then there are those things that were memorable and I don’t know what happened to them.

As a nurse case manager I have been in some homes that several of my clients were right next to being classified a hoarder. Oh my, it was difficult to walk and actually some of the rooms you couldn’t. I was fascinated how someone could live with all that stuff!

I would keep things that meant a lot to me for whatever reason. Even as a teen, I kept things and I was “neat enough” that my parents never said anything. Funny thing is as I aged some of the stuff, I would get rid of and again some I’m not sure what happened to it.

Don’t laugh, I actually kept my teeth if the tooth fairy didn’t take it. I kept them in a nice little box in one of my drawers. My parents would just look at me. Why did I keep them? I couldn’t really give you an answer then or now. I knew they were never going back into my mouth. I did eventually throw them out. As a teenager I probably thought I was a little crazy because I know I could not give myself an answer why.

There have been several reasons why I don’t keep anything that could be considered junk now. Well junk to me. My husband calls everything junk.

The first reason is I got married and we didn’t have room for a lot of things that could be trivial.

The second reason was we moved. Right now in my married life we have moved 6 times. Of course each time things would get packed and decisions had to be made, keep or not?

The third reason was when my mom was placed in a nursing facility. It broke my dad’s and my heart to have to do that. It was just the two of us taking care of her. Basically, my dad had her 24/7. I was still working full time. He didn’t mind because they had been married for a long time and they took a vow so many years before this decision had to be made.

She was in the facility 5 1/2 years. I don’t remember how long she had been there before I gently asked my dad could I go through some of her clothes that were still in the house? I had taken all the clothes she would need to her. There was still a lot. He asked what I would do with them. I stated how about I go through and we could donate to St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. He liked that idea. So, now was the task of going through and either bagging or throwing away. That was tough.

Unfortunately, the fourth reason was when my dad died. He was still in the home they purchased so many years before. The home I grew up in. It was just myself and my husband. He was close with my parents. My brothers had already taken what they wanted and left period.

I have to say disassembling someone’s home especially my parents and the home I grew up in was I can’t even say tough. I don’t have a category to put that in. It was their life I was taking apart. Some things went to the grandchildren. Some things I kept. Then the rest was donated to another agency I knew was good in helping people that already didn’t have a lot.

This took awhile as both my husband and I could only stay and do it for only a couple hours at a time. It was really really hard.

The fifth time was when we had built our last home at least last for now! There was a lot I could and did put in the garage sale. We only downsized 400 square feet and that is not counting the basement. Our new home doesn’t have a basement.

So now I go through things every now and then and my thought is, will any of the kids want this? Will this mean anything to them? If so, I keep and if not it goes to the thrift store.

No I am not a Pack Rat but some day my children are going to have to experience what I did with my parents home. For their sake I try really hard not to keep anything that has no use for me and I know they would not have.

And of course there is still the possibility of another home we could move to!!

To Your Success,


Deb Andrews
Deb Andrews

I mentor entrepreneurs to bring and grow their business online by giving value and strategies that will bring more leads and sales.

    11 replies to "To Pack Or Not To Pack"

    • debra

      Your experiences moving and sorting and deciding to toss or keep sounds so familiar. I also remember emptying my parents home . . . tough does not even begin to describe the experience. Thanks for sharing!

      • Deb Andrews

        Debra, yeah it is an experience I wish no one would have to go through. Thank you for commenting.

    • Kandas

      I’ve been through the experience of sorting through the belongings of a loved one after they passed and I don’t want to put my own daughter through that process! Thank you for sharing your own story.

      • Deb Andrews

        Kandas, those that have gone through it do not wish it on anyone. My thoughts about my children too. Thank you for commenting.

    • Victoria Juster

      This post runs close to home. We’re emptying my mom’s home of 60+ years as she moves into a senior community. So much stuff!

      • Deb Andrews

        Victoria, I am so sorry anyone has to do this. Prayers for you and your mom. Thank you for commenting.

    • I am still in the process of going through my father’s belongings. When my mother died, I had to take apart my parents’ home and then bring my dad home with me. My father passed last year so now I am going through his stuff. It’s really difficult (as you know!) Great post!

      • Deb Andrews

        Dominique, I am so sorry and yes unfortunately I do know. Prayers for you my friend. Thank you for commenting.

    • Angie Vallejo

      My experience with this is when my mom came to live with us 2 years ago and I had to go through her apartment and empty it — donating and bringing to my home things that she wouldn’t get rid of. I am sure it is harder to do this job after someone passes, because you are still dealing with the grief of losing that person. I follow the same as you — I am careful with possessions and “clutter” so that my boys don’t have to wade through mounds of stuff later. I also have learned that our children never have the same attachment to our things as we do, and they will only dispose of them later.

      • Deb Andrews

        Angie, you are so right. Our children really do look at our things differently than we do. Thank you for commenting.

      • Deb Andrews

        Angie, enjoy your mom. This too will not last. Thank you for commenting.

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