February 8, 2010
January 5, 2010


When my husband was alive, I said to him, “Do I have to wait for you to die before I can have a neat home and an organized cellar?” Unfortunately, I did have to wait. One day, several years after his death, while looking for an item in the cellar, I was assaulted by a chair which slid into my ankle which took several months to heal. It cost me $450 to have a handy man come in and take the majority of the items to the dumps. Maybe I should not have discarded my working Tandy Shack computers because I have programs now that I can’t view. I no longer was able to find printers to connect with the obsolete technology and my frustration over-road my memory that I needed at least one of them to view my disks.

However, my husband also kept useless items that no longer worked such as worn spark plugs. He said he kept them just in case he needed them. The logic of that escaped me as I said to him, ”If you are replacing them because they are not working, how will they help you when the new set is no longer functional?”

Some of the reasons for lack of motivation to correct this disturbing life style is listed below. There are probably even more that I have not considered, but the majority are here:
Items represent history, memories of the past that we exist and come to us as inheritance. Letting the things go scares the person that the memories will disappear.
Childhood observations often create a remote control on our lives. What did your parent(s) do with material goods not presently used? We model their behavior.
A poor or poverty background- may trigger an emotional need to feel secure. You may need that item in the future. (This can be acceptable if you have the place to store the item in an organized fashion so that it does not disrupt your life. This is thrifty and allows money to be spent on necessary items as there is no need to buy them a second time.) It becomes a problem when organization breaks down so that you are unable to find the item when you need it and must purchase another one, anyhow. One has to ask oneself, “Is the clutter worth it?”

Each item has some kind of connection such as: love/liking/memories of happy times which triggers possessiveness of items.

The heap of material goods often makes it impossible for any type of organization which then creates a feeling of being overwhelmed.

In nearly all cases suggesting or insisting that the person clear the home/area/office/and so forth creates a feeling of insecurity or panic or both. The emotional ties have a strong hold on the pack rat.

Depression, or physical exhaustion from illness or overwork can leave no energy for daily tasks so that may be the only reason for the lack of keeping up with the amount of items kept. Occasionally the problem is biological or structural which causes the brain to exhibit obsessiveness. A medical physician is then needed to determine the cause. For example: It may be that playing soccer with many blows to the head has created some damage. Fortunately today’s science can usually fix most problems.

Additional help can be done with: learning to let go, organizing and creating new attitudes towards clutter which can aide the pack rat to restructure his/her life.