Packrats in Anthem AZ

You have likely heard of the pack rats that reside in our beautiful desert.  I’m sad to report we have two living in our home! When two pack rats are joined in wedded bliss the ensuing years can be a disaster.  Frequent moves are the only thing that has saved us from becoming one of those houses they show on the news periodically. You know what I’m sayin’, the house that is so full of stuff and junk that the firemen risk their lives trying to clear a path to reach the fire’s origin.

I finally decided a week or two ago that I’d make a list of every area of our home that needs cleaning, sorting, and dumping.  Lists in the past haven’t always worked because they would be too general like “clean the closets”.  Well, when you have 4 closets it’s just daunting to think of tackling them all at once.  In my case I would just manage to lose the list!    This time I made a very detailed list, room by room, so when one task was completed and I could cross it off the list, there was a huge feeling of accomplishment.  It helped when Jerry and the cats exclaimed, “Good job, Mama!”

In all fairness to Mr. Computer Genius Packrat, he has been working on installing a new security & doorbell system to deter burglars from breaking in and stealing our stuff.  Oh that they would sneak in and carry off some of the stuff! Seriously!!!

Now you know why I haven’t been blogging in a while.  The list started out with 30 items and I’m down to only 20!!!!  Of course, that doesn’t include the garages because whether he likes it or not, Mister Packrat is going to help with those once the temp cools down to below 90 degrees.  That gives him a good 2 to 3 months to think about it.  You seriously may not hear from me for a while because I’m on a mission to cross those remaining 20 items off the list.  Would love to hear any advice you might share about getting organized.

Love & blessings from a recovering pack rat!


  1. Linda Johnson

    Charlotte, you did it again…..created a hysterical message we all need to read because I think most of us are packrats. Just save this one little thing, it won’t take much room……and, oh yes, this, too……gotta keep that!

    Now, back to work on the last 20 items……, Linda

  2. Sissy

    To(plan to) have cardboard boxes in each room labeled:
    1. Keep
    2. Pitch
    3. Donate
    Seems to help as well as :
    ***if you haven’t used the items AT ALL this past year, clothes included, get rid of it!
    _Blessings on this project but in the long run, you’ll feel better and life will be simpler!

  3. Peggy Cupkie

    You know, Char, aging somewhat diminishes the urge to race into something. So I would suggest you slow down with this endeavor, or at least limit the daily time you put into it. I have heard many agree with Sissy, to discard clothing you haven’t worn in a year. My gosh, that would deplete more than half my closet! I lovingly look at some of those items on hangers that seem to scream, “Are you kidding? You think you’re going to fit into this again?!?” So enjoy life, your kitties, and let Mr. Genius keep some of his “stuff.” Love you, Cupcake

  4. Jane Hedman

    You are in inspiration! I need to do exactly what you are doing, but can’t get very far until Ken agrees to buy into the dispose/donate plan. SO MUCH STUFF we never use! I like the idea of disposing or donating 2 things for every single new purchase we make. Could be a hard sell, though.

  5. Sally

    great piece, Char!
    I just accomplished that daunting task…..when I sold my
    But now it’s starting over….got to be diligent.
    You will feel weightless when over….good feeling!!

  6. When we moved to Florida and knew we were facing 1,100 sq feet instead of 2,800, I had to really get serious. Will it fit? Do I really need it in Florida? I did what Sissy was talking about. I went room by room – pack, donate, sell or throw away. I still brought things I didn’t need, and have accumulated more, of course, but 1,100 sq feet continues to insist that I “keep it slim.”

  7. Julie Brown

    Yes, I like the one closet at a time plan. When we get older, it is difficult to multi-task. I had an item that could’ve been used for a white elephant gift, but we just found a couple that has a room made just for this item. So you never know when something will line up like that. And it seems that every time you finally throw something out that you’ve been holding onto, you need it soon after.

  8. carla marrington

    Love this – seriously! I’m trying to do the same but without a plan – not such a good idea. Think I need to sit down and make a detailed list like you did. Inspiration arrives in TheCharlotteFiles! Thank you. Carla

  9. Judi (Barnhard) Spillman

    What a “hoot” you are! I appreciate your determination and realism about getting rid of “stuff” no longer needed. We have been on this journey as well and seem to find multiple reasons for “stopping for a break”, At our age (77 & 78) it is an allowance that birthdays grant! A friend recently told me that when it is particularly difficult to part with a treasure take a photo of it, write a story about it, put both in a scrapbook and give the thing away. We also combined households 21 years ago and this 10 pound sack no longer holds 30 pounds of potatoes. Courage……go get an iced tea and put your feet up!

  10. Jan Newton

    Hahaha! Great blog post!
    We just moved for the the third time this year. It’s amazing what a move will do in getting rid of useless stuff. Now, if I could just FIND the useless stuff I brought with me and stored in a mystery closet, drawer, cupboard or garage box. ;( Keep up the fight!

  11. Cherry J. Leslile

    Good job, my friend!!! I’m proud of you! This is fabulous! When I finally did this, everything felt lighter. Life seemed easier, somehow. My cousin, who is an interior designer, helped me get rid of my “stuff” with a very cool idea. It goes like this…you get three boxes and into them you put:
    1. Give Away – It always helped me to visualize a needy person using (and loving) the item I was giving away. As a servant of God, that helped me be more willing to let go of it.
    2. Throw Away
    3. Rainy Day

    The first two boxes are obvious, and easy to let go. The “Rainy Day” box is for items you’re just not sure about. You think you should probably let them go, but you’re not quite ready to part with them. You put them into your “Rainy Day” box, and then put the box into the attic, (or basement) and on a rainy day, if you’re so inclined, you can go into the attic and look at them. Simple! After a year or two, if you find that you’ve needed to go to the attic to look at any of the items in that box, go ahead and take it out and bring it back downstairs for you to enjoy. Otherwise, it will be easy for you to let it go. I found that I never once went up in my attic to look in my Rainy Day box, and it was easy for me to let the whole box go. 🙂

    Some more great advice that this same cousin gave me when I was 50 years old: “At our age, it’s time we start getting rid of things rather than accumulating more.” ♥

    Best wishes on getting organized! Writing down the plan like you’ve already done is half the battle!!! So proud of you!

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