The Demotion of Junk

For those of you who don’t know, I am a pack rat. I admit it. I like to save every thing so that I will be able to enjoy it… later. However, I do maintain that I am a very tidy pack rat. Most all of my fabulous treasures are stored nicely and neatly in containers, stacked in various locations.

Today I started on the huge project of cleaning out some of our garage “junk.” Jesse gets offended if I refer to his stuff as “junk.” Whether it’s stuff or “junk” we both have a lot of it and I really can’t figure out why we choose to keep some of it.

Here is how stuff works in our house. We buy some little trinket, a souvenir, or an awesome thrift store find that we have to have. I try really hard these days to evaluate how much I really do need an item, knowing that there is a limited amount of stuff that our house will hold. For a while, this item is first-class stuff. It’s proudly displayed on a desk or a shelf so that we can look at it often.

After a while, we get tired of looking at a particular treasure. The item receives it’s first demotion to second-class stuff. It is then tucked away in a drawer or put in a closet. It’s still fairly accessible, just in case it makes a come back to first-class stuff. This is a fine storage solution until the inevitable happens… newer first-class junk is demoted, making it necessary for more space in the second-class locations.

Junk drawer

Now the item is officially classified as third-class junk. It gets put in bins out in the garage. We have no idea what is in the bins or why we need all the stuff in the bins, but for some reason we can’t bring ourselves to part with select pieces of our junk.

Storage bins

Eventually we have to empty some of the bins, lest we run out of space. After years of holding on to these little trinkets, we can finally bring ourselves to part with them. It’s not a very fun job, but it is amusing to see what we have chosen to keep. Here are a few examples of things that I was “saving.” I have no idea why they were necessary to keep, but they are now in the trash.


Key chains. The cow one used to moo when you squeezed it, but it has long since died. The frog… I have no idea the significance of that one.

Key chains

Power bubble tape dispenser. Does anyone else remember bubble tape gum? This dispenser held it and when you pressed the button, gum would come out like a tape measure. On the plus side… at least it didn’t still have the gum inside it!

Gum dispenser

Glitter pens. Only a few of them were open, all of them were completely dried out. These didn’t fend well being saved forever.

Glitter pens

Scary pins. I painted these myself, but they kinda scare me. No wonder those were kept in the garage.

Scary pins

I’m proud of myself for being able to get rid of some stuff, but there is still a long ways to go before are garage is back to being neat again. Then the cycle of junk can continue once again.