It Must Be Genetic

My nine-year-old daughter is a packrat.  She saves everything from old shoe boxes to school papers from first grade to the tags that we take off her new clothes.  Every nook and cranny of her bedroom is filled with stuff that she’s buried away like a squirrel in the fall.  I’ve wondered for a long time why she is like that.  After all, I am probably the complete opposite of a packrat…throwing stuff away if I can’t find a good place to keep it.  But today, I found a clue to her behavior.

I was lying on the bed, chatting with my husband about our plans for the day as he cleaned off his closet shelf and cleaned out his top dresser drawer.  As I watched the items that he pulled out and sorted, I came to the realization that packrat-ness runs in the family.  And the more he pulled out, the more I laughed.

From his closet shelf, Sarge took a bayonette for an AK-47, a large roll of glow-in-the-dark tape, and a gun-cleaning kit.  He found an 18-year-old Army cap for his dress greens, a couple of military medals, a pair of red suspenders, and some ear protection for when he practices shooting.  He also pulled out a magnetic tool picker-upper-thingie and, strangely enough, an antique clay thrower. 

Then he moved on to his top dresser drawer.  It has not been deemed a “junk drawer” officially…it is supposed to hold his socks and underwear.  However, after seeing what he pulled out of it, I may need to relocate the socks and underwear.  The top drawer collection included two maps of Michigan, two armbands that were worn in Iraq, two exercise bands given to him by his physical therapist (which have never been used, by the way), and some paperwork on how to control your cholesterol.  He also pulled out a padlock, a deck of “All American Dad” playing cards that one of the kids got him for Christmas a couple of years ago, an old pair of glasses, two old cell phones, and a “make your own office stamp” kit, which in all fairness he gave to me and I just haven’t used yet.  The more he pulled from that drawer, the more I laughed.  He tried to defend himself, saying that he isn’t a packrat at all, but by the end, I think even he was amused.  I told him it would make a great post, and he tried to act mad at me about using him as fodder for my blog.  But I think he saw the value in such an array of objects being pulled from such unlikely places. 

So it seems that Blondie comes by her packrat habits naturally.  She’s just a chip off the old Sarge.  Mystery solved.


  1. December 20, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I am not a packrat myself, but wonder if I should mend MY ways. When my bff’s husband died he left behind many drawers and boxes filled with the type of things you are describing. They are a great comfort to her.

  2. Sarge said,

    December 20, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Next weekend, let’s go thru your “stuff” hidey holes and see what we find.
    You see, I think you may be a packrat in hiding… or denial. I think poor Blondie may have gotten it from both sides.

  3. Sarge said,

    December 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Oh, and you forgot my array of various knives (14 to be exact) in my Longaberger golf basket on my dresser.
    It’s not like you can just throw away a knife, right?

  4. ohmommy said,

    December 20, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I am a packrat to! Everything is a memory, no? LOL… so sweet.

  5. April said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    They say it traces back to the Great Depression. I’ve gotten better, but for some of us, it’s a lifetime struggle I think.

  6. December 22, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Gee, I think we might be married to the same man 😉

    So I have to worry about my kids picking that up too huh? *groan* lol

  7. Jaina said,

    December 29, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Too funny. I’m trying to nip that habit already. I go in and out of being a packrat. So far I’m doing well weeding out the junk. Call it a New Year’s Resolution.

  8. melissa said,

    January 3, 2009 at 12:44 am

    everyone that lives in my house…are packrats. it’s horrible!! thank goodness there are tons of drawers and closets…we can hide it pretty well for company!!
    happy new year!!
    2009 will bring with it a coffee date for us!!

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