The holidays are over and many of us have more junk now than just a few short months ago. While it is easy for us to do some cleaning out and giving away, a “pack rat” cannot. A pack rat’s house or apartment often looks like a storage space after a magnitude 7 earthquake. Everywhere you look there are piles of clothing, old electronics and newspapers or books. Stacked from floor to ceiling are piles of things that most people would throw away. Even the car of a pack rat looks like mobile storage.
To a pack rat these are prized possessions. Pack rats have connection to things that the rest of us don’t understand and would never let them be hauled away. Moving a pack rat in Cincinnati can be the biggest challenge for their families and the movers that load and unload a pack rat. Deciding to keep or give away every item in the home is a new battle.
Here are 10 tips for moving a pack rat:
- Take responsibility. – You will notice we say things like “moving your pack rat” a lot. One of the best ways to deal with a pack rat is to think of him/her as your responsibility. This is not them against you. You are there to help them and they are just like your own child. If you begin thinking of them that way it will make the trials to come a lot easier to bear.
- Decide what to keep. – When it comes to deciding what stays or goes with a pack rat, believe us, everything will be a battle. Pack rats store everything. They may even hoard items that are dirty, broken or even dangerous. The sad fact is a lot of it will have to go. A pack rat can’t store everything forever. The best attitude to have when you find a pack rat is calmness and patience. Just keep in mind while packing a pack rat, as hard as it is to imagine, this is much worse for them then it is for you.
- How much will fit? – Many pack rats are downsizing. Often their uncontrolled spending has put them in a financial bind and they have no choice but to change their living situation. That smaller space means less room. Moving a fully packed 2 bedroom apartment with a storage unit into a 1 bedroom apartment is not realistic. Call your pack rat ahead of time and make sure they understand that they understand anything that doesn’t fit will get thrown away.
- Get rid of a LOT! – So you have decided what absolutely has to go. There is still to much stuff though. Pack rats have more belongings than they will ever need or use but they refuse to let go of anything. The challenge is trying to convince a pack rat to throw away or donate something several times when moving into a new home. One good way is to find a pack rat a charity or cause they believe in and donate items to that. Something that will help them feel like their valuables are going for a good cause.
- How much does a pack rat cost? – The cost of a pack rat is often higher than the cost of of a normal move because of all the extra work. You need to be prepared for the additional costs of extra moving boxes and any additional time or weight the moving company will have to add. The less items there are to move, the less the movers or storage unit will cost.
- How safe are pack rats? – Moving a pack rat may be a strain on your your brain and personality but it can also be a real risk to your physical health. A pack rat’s home truly is a dangerous place. Obstacles that could be tripped over, piles of unknown objects that may come crashing down and then they are often very filthy. We often find soiled clothing, medical supplies, broken or sharp objects and more. We always advise wearing gloves and safety glasses when dealing with a pack rat.
- Write out an organization plan. – Pack rats claim that their mess is organized but no one else can see it. The best way to deal with this is write out a plan of how to organize your pack rat and have everyone sign it. Make sure they sign it because you will need to go over the agreement at some point with your pack rat.
- Dealing with inaction. – Pack rats feel a strong connection to the items they have hoarded that no one else will understand. A pack rat may truly want to move away and start fresh. Still, the idea of losing control over their belongings often will paralyze them. They are simply overwhelmed and unable to help. The best way to handle this is stay calm and constantly emphasize the importance of what they are doing. Mention how much this will improve their lives and how proud you are that they are doing this. A pack rat needs positive support, criticism only makes them feel more helpless and fight for more control.