Suzy Says
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Love/hate: packrat-itis
July 12th, 2002 by suzy in Uncategorized

Love/hate for Friday, July 12, 2002
Packrat-itis

I seem to be having a hard time lately coming up with good titles. I must be in need of a creative consultant. I’m like this New Yorker cartoon.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. My philosophy is: if you haven’t looked at it, touched it, or thought about it in, say, three years, you don’t need it. The object in question should be given away, donated, recycled, or just plain thrown out. If the object is of a particularly negative emotional or unpleasant nature, you might even want to burn it, like the girls on “Friends” did with their ex-boyfriend mementoes.

This does not apply to sentimental articles like wedding albums, family photos, love letters, etc. Everything else: get rid of it if you don’t really need it. I agree with William Morris, who said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” And also – though this is a little extreme, even for me: “I have never been in any rich man’s home that would not have looked the better for having a bonfire made of nine-tenths of all it held.”

When I was a poor college student, my girlfriends and I would get together once or twice a year. We’d go through our closets and bring with us the clothes that didn’t fit, were no longer fun, or had been mistakes. You know you have some clothes like that in your closet right now! And we’d trade. It was a lot of fun, and whatever was left over was given to Goodwill.

I think it’s liberating to get rid of things from the past that you don’t need or use, and it makes me happy to donate items to places like the very underfunded Humane Society near where my brother and sister live, knowing that it helps animals in need. You might be surprised to find that your local SPCA or Humane Society needs things as simple as newspapers and old towels.

So the next time you do your spring cleaning, think about what you can give away or recycle. Your house will look better, and you’ll feel better.

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