Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be packrats.

There’s nothing like a good spring cleaning session to get the blood moving. Or boiling, in this case. The big project this season is prepping our garage for its transformation into my wife’s art studio. That means massive cleanouts of both of the garage (to be her studio), and the basement (so it can hold the crap we moved out of the garage). Ugh.

I was hacking away at the mess in the basement when I stubbed my toe on yet another box of old railroad magazines that my dear departed father had dumped on… er, bequeathed to me. It brought back nightmares of cleaning out his house a few years back, hauling away staggering piles of pure rubbish. Twenty thousand or so paperback mysteries? I might be exaggerating, but not by much. Why does one person need to hold on to every paperback they’ve ever read? I found magazine collections reaching back into the 1940’s, and quite a few single issues dating back much farther than that. You’d think that having a full, bound collection of Model Railroader magazine spanning multiple decades would be interesting enough to draw a few interested in purchase. And you would be wrong, at least as far as I can tell.

So today, I loaded my pickup with yet another bedload of old mags, swearing that this was the last of them (yeah, right), and got them ready for the big newsrack in the sky. As I was grunting and cursing my way through the job, Linda lightened my load by regaling me with a story she heard recently of an older couple who were literally buried in an avalanche of trash in their own home. The husband died as a result, his wife was miraculously found alive after a week. I think she was trying to cheer me up.

So once again, it’s springtime. And again, I rededicate myself to cleaning the junk out of my life. All those issues of Computer Pilot magazine? I’m recycling them now, while I can still heft them myself. Say what you will for a life well lived, I think one of the kindest things you can do for your family is leave them as small a pile as possible to clean up.


One response to “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be packrats.

  1. All too true. I dread my parent’s home for that reason most.. three stories of memories piled up there too….. They will both be 88 years old this year… !

    Similar to our own home, by the way, with an attic full of ‘valuable junk’. Just today Nina has been pressing me again to put our many bicycle holders, ice skates, doll houses and what have you on eBay.
    But just handling the announcmenets and subsequent calls holds me back… don’t have time for that either.

    However, with the house up for sale next week we will HAVE to get rid of all the junk.. or pay for storage and subsequent moval when we find us a new place. Not really an option either.

    Why do we do this, indeed ????

    P.S. I hope you SAVED the Computer Pilot articles that ‘I ‘ wrote !!!

    LOL !!


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