Collector or Packrat?


via Pack Rat Cartoon – Bing Images.

It occurred to me after watching hubby spend two days changing twenty clocks back which do not include electronic clocks that change themselves and watches that we have a lot of stuff. Along with hubby’s clock obsession we have a house stuffed with old stuff, vintage stuff and some real antiques not counting the two of us.

I started collecting in England while living there we collected royal memorabilia, silver, little glass animals and some old furniture. Thank goodness we were limited by the military for what we could ship back. Then we started antique collecting by visiting flea markets, old barns, antique shops and tag sales. After awhile the collections seemed to start collecting us as people found things they knew we would be interested in.

We were limited then because we lived in a one bedroom Queens apartment but managed to fill the corners and book cases. Oh did I mention we have a book obsession too?

Well about twenty years ago my mother in law sadly passed on and we ended up with my father in law in a two family house with all the stuff they had collected over the years. I am glad my mother in law was not a collector but after so many years there was still a lot of stuff. All of a sudden now we have two kitchens, two living rooms and a huge basement. Let the madness begin!!

Between my inlaws and ourselves now we have almost 100 years of stuff. Then the father in law passed on and we decide after not being happy being landlords to selling the two family an buying a smaller house. Yippee out with stuff but what stuff?? For three days it seemed I did nothing but empty old vases and kitchen crap out of the basement pantry. Visions of myself being found under a pile of kitchen equipment that had avalanched ran through my head. Finally we just tossed stuff out one of the neighbors I swear would watch from her window and when we put stuff out would scurry down to the curb and scurry home with it. Espresso makers that were more of a pain to use one cup at a time, waffle makers that never saw a waffle, the thousands of vases, flotsam and jetsam of years of life out to the curb. Car stuffed to the ceiling and driven the seven blocks to the smaller house emptied again and again. Never ending.

Finally we extricated ourselves from the two family to the smaller house with only the “good” stuff and the necessary.

After settling in I discovered we had enough Christmas crap to do Macy’s window so I put it in a rescue auction to help out some wonderful people and rescues I met on Facebook. Say what you will about Facebook but it does help charities and rescues are my favorite. At last a good way to get rid of the good crap that it was too good to dump. Yippeee but wait what is that ohhh look how cute. Hmmmm only one thing I will only bid the opening bid it will help them can’t possibly win it. Well you guessed it as soon as the good crap that I couldn’t dump got shipped to the lucky auction winners got out a new box came in for me for the good crap I bid on from someone else.

Then I retired. When you retire you need to take up a hobby right?? Well I decide that I will do these auctions to help. Had wonderful people sending me more good crap for the auctions. Auction stuff in the attic, all over my little office and stuffed in the coat closet. Postage went up so I decided to only do small things for now. Took up jewelry making so now I have a basket of hobby stuff as well as mailer envelopes and boxes in the office.

Does this sound at all familiar? What is it about stuff that brings more stuff?? Like guppies they seem to procreate all on their own.

I have given up and do send out stuff for the auctions but have decided that a good dumpster or skip can sort it out after I go to that big collection box in the sky. Wonder if it has good heavy shelves.

A long time ago I had a really brilliant older friend that I admired greatly. She said to me “You spend the first half of your life gathering things and the second getting rid of them.” Wiser words never have been spoken.

Thanks for reading and share your collections with me I would love to hear about them.

By Gale A. Molinari

Sharing my views on just about everything that enters my mind. Fasten your seatbelts it is going to be a bumpy ride. I am just a lady of a certain age somewhere between the dinosaurs and stalactites. Musing over lessons learned and sharing those with others. I really am interested in your views on what I write so fire away and thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. this is my poetry blog perhaps you would enjoy that too!!


  1. Reblogged this on marilynmunrow and commented:
    I agree with you about stuff gathers more stuff. Thats how people become addicted, or in English terms hoarders. I think we all have the tendancy to hoard things, but most people have a sort of trigger that tells us where to stop before it becomes addictive. I find that getting rid of things, especially fake friends, is really uplifting myself.


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