Home Organization Tips

7 Steps to Get Rid of Your Packrat’s Stuff

Your task is clear.  Here are the steps to take to get rid of your packrat’s (the Messie) stuff:

  1. Resolve to improve the degrading living conditions that have been forced upon you.
  2. Let the Messie know your plans to throw something out long ahead of time.
  3. Speak reasonably and calmly.
  4. Don’t go into detail.
  5. Give him a chance to retrieve his things.
  6. Do the deed when the Messie is not at home if possible.
  7. Speak with love and care.

If you do all of these things, the best-case scenario is that the Messie will be relieved and grateful that a job that had weighed heavily on him was done. More important from your perspective, your life will be better.

Of course, in the case of those with severe problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, this approach will probably not work at all. The best approach with more serious cases is through the techniques of a behavioral psychologist. If a Messie resorts to physical violence, it is important that you remove yourself from danger and seek professional help.

Listen to your own judgment. Then make your plans. Maintain flexibility in how you accomplish your goal, but be inflexible in your resolve that you will not continue to live as a victim of disorder.

With careful maneuvering and respect for the Messie, you’ll make progress toward your goals. It will not be easy on anybody, but living with the mess is not easy either—for anyone. Ease is not part of the Messie picture. If the Messie looks clearly at the mental profit-and-loss statement of the situation, he will decide to abandon the cluttered lifestyle.

Taken with permission from When You Live With a Messie by Sandra Felton.


By: Sandra Felton

iMOM Contributor

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