Templeton had a habit of picking up unusual objects around the farm and storing them in his home. He saved everything. (from Charlotte’s Web by E B White)
When my great grandmother died many years ago, I strongly remember going into her house with adult family member to begin the sisyphean task of going through her stuff. Her house was filled to the brim with all manner of junk–everything from family keepsakes and photos and old financial documents to empty tin cans and used paper. We all picked out some things that we wanted; I still have a green, yellow, and white lace doily that belonged to her. I still don’t know how the house was ever made livable for another person, but somehow it was.
I also have a tendency toward packrattery. It’s not particularly strong, but I have to make a very conscious effort not to save EVERYTHING that might possibly be useful at some point. I do pretty well at getting rid of stuff when it’s no longer useful to me, but it find that it takes an even more concentrated effort not to buy all kinds of stuff for no other reason than that I want it. Not because I need it, or because it’s useful, but because it tickles my fancy at a given moment. My goal in life is never to have more stuff than I can easily store and locate, and I have to remind myself of that goal pretty often. Like today, when I went to IKEA with some friends. That’s a dangerous place, you know? But I like to think of Templeton the rat to help me get through such situations. 🙂