Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pack Rats

Genus: Packus Ratus
Pack Rats...Us?  Oh yeah.

Salem set an all-time record for rain in February. This dampened our opportunities for outdoor fun, but it gave us time to work on clearing clutter from our lives.  I think we need another six to eight months of record-setting rain to fully accomplish this!

If you haven't read Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,
I highly recommend it.  It is a bit over the top, but basically delivers some very worthwhile tips for minimizing clutter and maximizing space.  Months ago, I switched to her space-saving method of folding clothes and towels and ended up with empty drawers.  Everything is easier to find and very calming to look at.

When decluttering, Kondo's says to gather similar items from all over the house. She has a point. Studies show that people have an average of 6 pairs of reading glasses. As you can see in the above photo, Queen Rat is above average.  Way above average. There is a pair for every room in the house, each vehicle, and extras at differing strengths for use at the computer, or sunglasses for running or gardening.

In my childhood, we had once pencil (sharpened with a knife, so it had a funky point) and maybe two pens near the phone.  (One dial-up phone - in the kitchen - on a shelf - out of reach) This lack of access to writing implements caused this deep need to have multiples of every kind and to treasure them.  (If that statement triggered your BS alarm, I agree. I am just trying to rationalize my hoarding.)

As an aside...after I relocated all the pens and pencils to my desk to sort, I heard a noise out front. Parked across the street, were two students from the local high school, standing next to their truck and smoking pot.  (It is legal here, but not for minors and especially not for anyone driving.) Being a faithful Neighborhood Watch member, I flew into action to note the license plate for my call to the police, but I couldn't find a pen!  There weren't any in the usual places because I was in the process of decluttering.

After testing each pen and finding nearly one-third to be defective, I was able to reduce the hoard to just a few in each pertinent location.  Now I have a bag ready to donate to the public library.

Lest you think I am the only pack rat in the family, I gathered all King Rat's totes and spread them out on the floor.  They took up the entire room.  When I brought King Rat into the room, he just smiled and said, "Yeah, so?"


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