The thing is, I'm a horrible pack rat. I acquire things, and then I just can't make myself get rid of them. I have no idea if it's nature or nurture, but I'm definitely at least fourth-generation pack rat. I grew up in a house with my mother and my grandmother, and I'm told my great-grandmother lived there at some point too. I remember my grandmother having boxes of empty Cremora containers in the basement. And all of Patti's toys, because she couldn't stand to get rid of any of them. She had countless skeins of yarn and boxes of fabrics that she was going to make something with someday. The house was stuffed with books and craft projects and knick knacks and papers and... well, you name it. Stamp collections. Coin collections. Patti's doll collection (which I remember having very little to do with).
I have way the fuck too many books. Several chased-and-abandoned hobbies. Too many kinky toys. Clothes I haven't worn in years. CDs, DVDs, and some old videotapes. Did I mention books? Hats. Ancient half-dead laptops that I can't make myself get rid of. The clutter annoys the living daylights out of me, but I've never learned how not to have it.
Every now and then the urge strikes me, and I go on a throwing shit out rampage. I'm in that mood right now, and I'm on a tear. Every time I say, "I can't get rid of that", I ask myself why. Will I ever read that book again? If I haven't worn it in years, will I ever? Do I need that? Why? Cleaning and purging is really profoundly satisfying.
I actually see some light at the end of the tunnel, too. I've stopped buying so many books and DVDs, and I've sort of gotten out of the habit of going hog wild with hobbies. I've almost completely stopped buying souvenirs and knick knacks. I've also stopped trying to buy more and more storage and organization boxes and shelves and shit, in favor of having less stuff to store. It's progress.
Tomorrow I'm taking a big load of books to the book recycling place in El Cerrito. Yay!