Clutter And The Curse Of The Pack Rat

Some time ago there were a string of posts on various blogs about clearing out “stuff” from your life. At around the same time, my favourite essayist Paul Graham posted an aptly titled essay “Stuff” on his site. Taken together, the general consensus seems to be that we are all struggling to deal with an abundance of material possessions, and the sad reality is that these possessions aren’t worth anywhere near what we feel they are.

When I was younger I was an avid role-player (Dungeons and Dragons in my earlier days, White Wolf towards the end). There was a seemingly infinite number of rule books, all hardbound with gorgeous illustrations (some of bare-breasted monsters such as harpies that were quite titillating, pardon the pun, to a 7 year old boy). They cost $20 each when I started playing, but a number of them sold for $30 when I was in high school (when I look at them occasionally now, they seem to be going for $40 or $50). Occasionally you’d come across some used role playing game (RPG) books at a garage sale or used book store and you’d feel like you’d discovered gold when they were going for $5 or $10 per book.  Read More…

This article has 9 Comments

  1. Joshuah Deming

    My problem isn’t so much the paper clutter as it is with electronic gadgets. Cant get enought of them.

    I’m getting another iPad today!

  2. Martin Rutgers

    You raise a good point. In Japan there is such limited space that people are forced to learn to be less pack ratty. Me thinks though if the space wasnt an issue they’d be as bad as us.

  3. Ricardo L

    A cluttered living room is a cluttered mind. We have too much stuff here in the west while people overseas are just happy to be breathing.

  4. Billy S.

    Wow, i cant believe someone remembers that episode. And it wasn’t the Twilight Zone. It was Amazing Stories. Aired way back in the late 80s.

    Thanks for the memories.

  5. Morris

    Wasnt there a Twilight Zone episode where this guy horded all kinds of stuff cuz a leoparcun dude told him if he did he would be rich?

    It ended up the guy became an old, homeless man but one faitful day when pumping gas a rich collector noticed a rare artifcact in his car and bought it off him for millions. The sad truth is that he was too old to celebrate it. Even the leperkun character was old too. lol.

  6. Ismael Annivich

    My gf’s purse is littered with all kinds of knick-knacks. Its crazy the bag carries 4 different cellphones. Ones from different phone generations that she never uses but she carries anyway. Her reason? In case someone in the past calls them :/

  7. Salvatore Cone

    Never had this problem. I only carry a money clip and nothing more. I am a minimalist and love it.

  8. Giovanni G

    When i was growing up i use to think little pieces of junk were liviing, breathing people and so were my friends. People thought it was funny. I just thought it was normal.

  9. Leroy E.

    My wife is a genuine pack rat. Can’t toss a thing without giving a second thought on another use for it.

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