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By Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now!™
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Helping a Pack Rat Get Organized
by Maria Gracia
The wonderful, sentimental Pack Rat. So nice.
So loveable. So out of space! Pack Rats
desperately need more room, but can't bear to
part with their stuff.
There are boxes of old records, books since grade school, reams
of old, outdated paperwork, various decades of clothing, piles of
magazines, calendars and planners more than 10 years old, old
board games gathering dust, toys from children that have moved
out on their own years ago, plus that horrible artwork from dear
Aunt Martha, taking up every last nook and cranny of space. I've
known Pack Rats that are literally possessed by their
The Pack Rat keeps everything--and won’t get rid of anything.
There's an inconceivable abundance of opportunities to acquire
things in our lives.
Here are 10 ideas to help Pack Rats free themselves from clutter
1) THINK ABOUT IT. Determining why you’re a Pack Rat will
help you focus. Are you a sentimental person? Are your items
proof of places you've been, work you've accomplished, or
how much work you have ahead of you? Does the thought of
decluttering seem like such a bear that you can't find the
motivation to do it?
2) DON'T BE A PRISONER. Beware of being held hostage by
your possessions. When your stuff begins taking over your life
and you spend all your time climbing over things, looking for
missing items, and fretting over where you’ll put your next
treasure, you are wasting precious time that you can never
3) TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL. If your children pick up on
your Pack Rat style, they will have the same problem when
they're out on their own. If you begin to get organized now,
your children will see how important it is and hopefully, follow
4) RECOGNIZE CLUTTER. As a rule, if you don't use it or enjoy
it, it's nothing more than clutter. If you don’t know what it is, it’s
clutter. If it’s too nice to use, it’s clutter. Toss it or give it to
someone who will use it and appreciate it.
5) MAKE IT A FAMILY GAME. Get your family into the De-
cluttering Game. Make a party out of it. Play music, have
refreshments, Toss-Toss-Toss. Have a pending reward ready,
such as a big family dinner at a favorite restaurant after you've
significantly reduced your clutter!
6) DESIGNATE A MAY COME IN HANDY BOX. If you save
things you feel you may use someday, create a May Come in
Handy Someday box. Place those things inside and when the
box is full, discard something before you put anything else in.
7) USE THE ROTATION BOX SYSTEM. Instead of displaying
everything you like at once, display a little bit at a time. Keep
the rest boxed up in storage. Every few months, put a few of
these things in your box and take a few other things out for
8) FIX IT OR GET RID OF IT. Have you ever put aside broken
items with the expectation that you’ll get them fixed one day?
Chances are, these items are still where you left them and
they’re still broken. Immediately schedule a date on your
calendar and repair them when the date rolls around or toss
the items right now while you have it on your mind.
9) PICTURE IT! Take photographs of possessions you don’t
want to forget, but don’t have the space for. Save the photos
in a scrapbook. Keep the memory, rather than allowing the
memory to take up space.
10) AVOID THE HALFWAY HOUSE SYNDROME. You know.
That’s when you put things aside that you’re not sure what to
do with. These temporary storage areas almost always turn
into permanent storage. Force yourself to make a decision
whether to keep or toss.
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