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Why are some people packrats?

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 04:47 pm
I really want to know why some people just seem to save everything for the last 40 years, even though much of it may be in boxes that haven't been looked at for the last 39.99 years. What is it about saving or hoarding that they need or like?

Also, are you bothered by dirt? Some people are just really dirty - even their bathrooms and kitchens. I wonder how anyone could eat anything that comes out of a dirty kitchen and I'd like to know why they don't care about years of guck stuck on food bottles and dishes and whatnot.

I can take a little mess but some people live in it up to their hip bones. Why don't they care?

I would love not to be bothered by this; unfortunately, I don't see that happening. Dirty dishes, dirty ketchup bottles, dirty sheets, dirty floors, dirty counters just ick(s) me right out.

I need to know this, so if anyone can tell me why, or suggest some reasons, I'd appreciate it.

Thank you.
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Type: Question • Score: 20 • Views: 4,263 • Replies: 42
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 04:51 pm
Oh my gosh. I saw a car in a parking lot the other day that was absolutely crammed full of trash. Seriously, there was a spot cleared for the driver; I doubt they could even see out their rearview mirror. It wasn't like someone was packed to move or anything either, it was pizza boxes and empty cans and just trash. It was even a newish SUVish type thing.

I'm not real tidy and I was astonished.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 05:28 pm
@boomerang,
Good point, Boomer - I also need a clean car. My ex picked me up when I went to pack up my stuff and I was covered in dust by the time I got out of the car.

Still wondering what it's all about.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 05:31 pm
@Mame,
You don't want your car looking clean and tidy in my neighbourhood. It's almost a guarantee it'll get broken into. Used to drive mrs. hamburger crazy when she came to visit. <shrug> It's a reality in some areas.

Cleanliness and tidiness seem to be very different interests/attributes to me.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 05:38 pm
ya keep about a dozen weasels in your car. That usually scares em off. Weasels like to sit up on the dashborad and look out at everybody , sorta like those meerkets. Really creepy.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 05:54 pm
@Mame,
Some people are just clueless slobs and some people are mentally ill. My husband has a good friend who is a nice guy, but definitely in the clueless slob category. About once a year, he invites us for dinner and I find a way to get out of it for fear of his food handling and filthy kitchen (I never have and never will use his bathroom). I was dog sitting for him once and I had to get some dog food out of the fridge. There was so much mold and scum in the refrigerator that it looked like a rain forest. I also noticed little teaspoons in various containers that looked like he was eating directly out of them and then putting the spoon back for later. He once served me tea in a mug that had a lipstick impression on it - I handed it back to him and told him it wasn't my color. He actually just took a towel, wiped off the imprint and handed it back to me. I was so shocked I couldn't say anything. I just held the mug until he wasn't looking and tossed the whole thing in the sink.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 05:57 pm
@Mame,
I know what you mean mame. My wally is a quasi pack rat.

Oh, I'll buy something I use, like shampoo, whatever, but not Another miscellaneous item just like 10 others put away somewhere.

my first take is mindless mass consumption.

maybe it has something to do with an instinct of saving for hard times....but animals don't do that, do they?

well, squirrels and bees...
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 06:09 pm
@Green Witch,
Geez, that is just gross. I would eat before I went there and then just shove food around on the plate. Eww.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 06:11 pm
@chai2,
I can see buying and storing stuff you're going to use (ie. Toilet Paper - remember THAT thread?! lol), esp if it was on sale, but **** you forgot where you got it (gift), why you're keeping it, stuff from 1962??? That's what befuddles me.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 06:30 pm
@Mame,
i have to admit that i'm a bit of a packrat . just looking around my computer-room (formerly ebeth's bedroom) , there sure is a lot of stuff : photo albums , photos that should go into albums , parts of my stamp-letter-postcard collection , books , magazines , computer stuff ... ...
i do try to keep it clean though - mrs h is VERY good with the dust picker-upper !
keep telling myself : one of these days i'll get at it !
hbg (gnashing teeth - making promises - blaming a2k for requiring attention)
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 06:55 pm
@hamburger,
i horde things i cant lie.

i have about 30 cell phones

a few pdas

25 airs of glasses from lost n found lol the expensive tupid kind

watches and jewlry

i wish i could stop.
0 Replies
 
Wy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 12:31 am
@Green Witch,
My house is a mess. My kitchen -- the floor is dirty but the sink, counters, dishes, refrigerator -- the things that go into food prep -- are clean. I am not a clueless slob. I know what it's like to live in a clean house and I know what it takes to get and keep one that way. I just don't want to be the person who does it!

And I admit to the packrat thing. A lot of what is piled up around me is stuff I need and use, but which has no home. A couple more bookshelves and a filing cabinet or two would help, if I had a place to put them. A lot I could get rid of, but it's all mixed together with the good stuff.

My daughter "did me a favor" and cleaned up my bedroom once. Her method is to just shove everything into a trash bag and pitch it. She pitched two shoes (from two different pairs) and the original of my birth certificate, and I strongly suspect most of my CD collection (in a wallet-type holder). These days, if she puts out a bg of trash I go through it first and haul out stuff like kitchen towels, scissors, new rolls of scotch tape, etc.
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 12:50 am
@Mame,
Quote:
Dirty dishes, dirty ketchup bottles, dirty sheets, dirty floors, dirty counters just ick(s) me right out.


That's the last time I invite you over for a drink!
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 01:02 am
I think you have two concepts here that need teasing apart:

1. Yes, there are people who are slobs or lack the good sense or upbringing to keep a residence in a fit state for human habitation. I am sure that you could find a checklist of the sort used by the authorities when they intervene in those households (ie the parents are unable to care for children)

2. The pack-rat thing - that's different. My parents have collected a lot of stuff, however my mother is a good home-maker and the house is tidy with kitchen clean and laundry a regular fixture. I, however, am a lot slobbier and Mame would probably find my 'pad' a bit of a challenge. The difference between me and the parents is that I don't hang onto things that might be 'useful'. The moment something comes to my attention that I don't need - its gone, baby, gone - I hate the very idea of accumulating things that I can't possibly ever use or maybe don't even need.

3. There is a condition associated with OCD - the sufferer is really unable to dispose of items. They are terrified that they are throwing away something valuable - they hoard items. Even garbage. It is not as though they love the concept of living in filth. The anxiety associated with the possible loss of an item is so bad that they're too paralyzed to perform that without medication and assistance.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 07:12 am
@Wy,
Quote:
And I admit to the packrat thing. A lot of what is piled up around me is stuff I need and use, but which has no home. A couple more bookshelves and a filing cabinet or two would help, if I had a place to put them. A lot I could get rid of, but it's all mixed together with the good stuff.


Wy, I you might want to check out Oprah this week, they did a thing on just this topic and had some great suggestions on how to get started:

http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20081029_tows_messyhouse/1
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 07:22 am
@Mame,
Many of these people are sick. They don't know why they do it but they can't stop. My grandma is like this. Her house got so bad there were literally paths to walk through. It was very sad. She was just diagnosed with alzheimer's (a 5 on a scale of 1-7) so I suspect that this has something to do with her pack rat habit.

You can't do anything or say anything that would make the situation better. If you throw anything out, the person will be angry and hurt. If you say anything, it just goes in one ear and out the other.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 07:30 am
@Mame,
Oh gosh... lots of stuff I can't throw away. When I moved house, binned a load of it - but some things... just can't chuck them - mainly the kidlets items that they "made it when he was 2,3,4,5....) and photos - have boxes to sort thru! BOXES AND BOXES!!!

In a little house now, so tend to chuck more than I used to. It's kinda nice tho when I'm searching for summat that I've put in a safe place, and no idea where, that I find and "old something" I'd forgotten about - memories and all that caboodle. When FQsis comes down, we often look through the old photos, letters from the past... I guess it's holding onto the good times as they were.

Definitely getting better tho at chucking bits and pieces. Finally. I am living in relative minimalist now.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 09:42 am
@Mame,
Mame, I'm a "great depression" baby. We were taught to never throw anything away because we might need it later and maybe a use for it could be found that we didn't have to pay for. I find I sometimes fall back into that ethos but try hard to avoid it. My problem is that I can't find someone to take even the good stuff and I don't want to throw away good stuff that can be used.

My biggest problem now is my physical limitations don't allow me to easily go through things and disgard them. When I first moved to Albuquerque in 2002, I paid an organizer to help me get rid of stuff I no longer need and find places to donate them. But my body will no longer cooperate and I can't afford the cost of the help any longer.

Maybe I should just pay someone to collect the good stuff and set up a garage sale for me.

BBB
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 10:23 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BBB- Mr. P. is the same way. Not only can he not bear to throw anything out, but, just as I am about to tear my hair out of my head, he finds a new use for some old piece of junk that has been lying around.

Up north, we had a basement, and all the junk went there. Now it's the garage, and the attic. Last week, my neighbor fell through the roof of the attic, hurt himself badly, has been in the hospital for over a week, and made a mess of the house. I told Mr. P. that I did not want him to go up in the attic anymore, which pissed him off.

I suspect that someday, when I am alone and need to sell the house, I will have to pay someone to get rid of all the crap that we have.
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 11:24 am
A few years ago I went to my brothers apartment in Washington DC and found every issue of the Washington Post for the past 15 years stacked up all over the place. I picked one up and said "Hey bro look! Kennedy died!" I chided him so much he never invited me in again. He insists that he "likes to read them".
 

 
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