JoJoCieCie asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

Packratting...Is this an illness?

I'm a packrat! I don't think I'm a hoarder; ( that might be a more serious condition!) I like to think of myself as a collector! However, I sometimes get overwhelmed by my sentimentality and attachment to certain items. I save old magazines, ( I'm going to read them all someday!) I have lots of old clothes ( when I get skinnier, I'm going to wear them all someday!) I have lots of taped VCR movies,( I'm going to sit down and watch them someday!) I love pillows, ( they're here and there, and everywhere!) You get the picture! Whatever I save, I have tons of it!

What unusual things do you "collect"? And do you have a hard time throwing some of this stuff out? For me, there's always a reason I have to keep it! What makes us packrats do this? is there a cure?

My house is clean, I'm very clever at hiding the stuff! ;~)

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    packrat hoarder its all the same thing it is a serious illness and you should maybe seek help

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure, I think it could be. Imagine if the worst happened and you got run over by a bus, and someone had to clean out your house. Would you be embarrassed?

    My 78 year old single aunt died 4 years ago (on my 40th b'day). I was her executor. She was stylishly dressed, clean, active in the community, an avid gardener, dancer. basically a very with it lady. But the house, it made me cry more. we found 40 slips, 40 ... It took us weeks and over 200 leaf/garden size trash bags (i bought them in boxes of 50) to clear out the clothes in her modest sized house. Then there were the books, vcr movies, mismatched plates, glasses, linens etc. We donated what was usable.

    Finally, we gave up, the house was being sold as a tear down for the valuable property, so we just stopped hauling junk out, and when they bulldozed the house, they carried away the junk with the rest of the debris.

    I do not mean to be harsh, I am offering that as a worse case senario. It taught me a lesson and since then I am diligent about organizing and sorting closets and donating a couple of times a year. I am even training myself not to buy things, based on the view that I don't want my nieces making fun of me 30 years from now, saying what the heck was she thinking buying this junk. lol

    oh yeah one more thing, i finally have lost weight and can fit into those skinny (haha size 16-18, instead of 22-24) clothes, from like eight years ago. and oops none of the casual clothes fit right, the waist on all the jeans are almost at my boobs now. The dress clothes are ok because I always bought very classic styles. so maybe I need to be careful about what clothes I keep too. btw still keeping some fat clothes jic.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are not a packrat/hoarder. You are like me, a Clutterer. Even though you are good at hiding it. I too am very sentimental about stuff. I collect the plastic/paper bags from stores in different countries I visit. I collect spoons, postcards, rings, mags like Martha and Sew News; ones that help you with stuff. I keep "fat clothes" and "skinny clothes" in Rubbermaid tubs in the attic. I keep all my kids' clothes that aren't ruined in case I have another. My g-mother just went to assisted living and gave me her flatware, some dishes and stuff I am never going to use, but I can't throw it away or give it away because she's my g-mother. I understand completely. There is "clutterers anonymous" out there, but none in my area. What you need to do is go to the bookstore and read the self help books on clutter and it will help a bit with the emotions. Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    My rule-of-thumb is that if I haven't touched in in over a year, Im not going to need it. Donoate the things that fall into that category. You just have to do it and not think about it. Force yourself. If you have to move three times in a month like I did, you will learn quickly that having more is not always a great thing. Good luck...

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm in your category but I'm quite sane. I collected elephant figurines for a long time; now most of them are in boxes because I'm collecting owl figurines. I have tons of pictures my grandkids drew for me; I have yards and yards of fabric boxed up. Enough clothes to open a Goodwill of my own. Crochet books, quilts, afghans, jewelry, buttons, books, books, books, books. And the list goes on and on. I keep trying to "weed" out lots of things but I just keep filling up the spaces. There are so many memories tucked away but there's a lot of stuff that needs to go. Thanks for reminding me.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You could be obsessive-compulsive. This is only one symptom of the disorder, but if you show any other signs you might want to see a doctor if it's bothering you enough.

    Here are a few places to look, just to see if it's a possibility.

  • 1 decade ago

    it is an illness...and, many people suffer from will get worse as you get older..

    my suggestion would be to sort out all the things u have not used in one years time...and, then take them and donate them to a church thrift shop...or someplace were someone else can benefit from them..

    it will make u feel good...

  • 5 years ago

    There are lots of people who would make fun of the possibility of changing their destinies. This is due to the fact that it thinks that no one gets more that what is put in his fate.

  • 1 decade ago

    It’s not an illness, it’s a habit. I myself do it too. I even keep strings of yarn. If someone’s leaves fall of one of their fake trees, I get them and put them in a bowl. If I see something that I take interest in, I take it and put it in my bowl. Broken pieces of metal, pockets from old jeans and beads from necklaces. Everything.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think if posessions are the root of your life then you might need to rethink your priorities. It's good that you question yourself.

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