Notes From ( the Packrat’s ) Nest…Reflections on Messy Minds

Notes from the Nest:

Common Characteristics of “Pack-Rats”- 

(in no Particular Order.) 

Note: These symptoms can be telltale signs of Mental Illness: OCD,  Depression, etc, and other physiological degenerative disease. Alzheimers, Dementia in general.

  • Denial and Resistance to change
  • Obsession with Minutia
  • Complete blindness to overall ( mess) disarray but will fixate on things like arrangement of art on a wall or objects on a shelf
  • Does not get rid of things that no longer serve them on any practical basis.
  • Clothing that does not fit, stashed away, in graduated sizes, for years.
  • Holds onto mounds of their children’s clothing
  • Holds onto mounds of papers, of all sorts: newspapers, old bills, cancelled checks, etc
  • Can sleep in a bed, having mounds of mixed items and their pets sleeping with them, night after night: this is called the “Rats Nest”
  • Mildew, Mold, Cobwebs and Dust is not an issue, although they might complain about it.
  • Every room might look alike because each room has the same piles of boxes and stuff (extreme cases)
  • Surfaces are unattended: countertops, shelves, tables, desk, bed, and on.
  • Lots of small framed photos on many surfaces. Too many to focus on. Used as decoration.
  • Obsession with “keepsakes” as if they are the event where they came from, itself.
  • Full Suitcases with tiny scraps of things in them, clothes, medicine, forgotten for weeks, months or years.
  • Duplicates of many items…lost track of posessions
  • Old Rotting Food in Fridge and Cabinets
  • General shoving of things to the back of cabinets, closets and piling on top of surfaces and shelves
  • Resistance to moving things out that are no longer useful or are in bad condition
  • Collecting of things, for the sake of collecting stashing them here and there. No specific interest in what is collected, just that things have “value” in their mind, for whatever emotional reason, and perhaps buy them because they know they have true market value but hold onto them, and never liquidate.

Add your own observations in the notes area…


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