youíre like me, youíve read Ė
Wait. Start over.
If youíre like me, youíve pulled twenty-five pairs of shoes out of your closet to get at your ďto be filedĒ boxes, and then spent hours sifting through your piles of receipts, old Christmas cards, miscellaneous scraps of paper, and grade school homework, in order to find those magazines youíve been meaning to look at.
youíve read article
after article purporting to give advice on how to organize, streamline
your housekeeping, and deal with all that stuff.
As one of
two packrats sharing a one-bedroom apartment, Iím always on the
lookout for help with my ďstuff problem.Ē
The expert neatniks who pen this advice are full of ideas on what
to do with your belongings, but they all start with the assumption that
what you really want is to reform your packrat ways.
Sternly, they admonish that the first step in any neatness
campaign is to throw out as much stuff as you can.
After all, you donít need
most of it; itís just an obstacle to their prescribed housekeeping
plans. Being a packrat is looked upon as a personality flaw, an
illness to be cured.
know about you, but I donít want
to stop being a packrat. Itís
who I am. And the narrow
interpretation of what people ďneedĒ doesnít cover me.
Sure, a lot of my stuff serves no practical purpose, but thatís
not the only kind of need. Some
of my stuff has sentimental value.
Some of it ensures that Iím never lacking a Halloween costume.
Some of it is just, well, neat.
I donít want to reform; I want to manage the stuff I have,
without judgments about whether itís too much.
With that in
mind, Iím going to share some tips on how I coexist happily with my
stuff Ė a guilt-free lesson in how to be a happy, healthy packrat.
one: take inventory.