Heather recently joked that the only thing keeping us from being full-on hoarders was the fact that you couldn’t find a dead cat under a pile of garbage in our home. Well, after spending countless hours cleaning out our old place, I’ve started to think that that might only be because we don’t have a cat. I’m only kidding… we’re not that bad (something Rigby can attest to as she’s never once been left under a pile of garbage), but I nonetheless am committed to stopping our pack rat ways at the new house.

A huge part of the problem in our old place was that it had NO storage. There were average sized closets in each of the two bedrooms, but that. was. it. While this was manageable at first, it got out of control as the years went by and Mike’s stuff + Heather’s stuff became Mike’s stuff + Heather’s stuff + Rigby’s stuff + Maddie’s stuff + Annie’s stuff. It was like pouring water into a cup that wasn’t getting any bigger. Eventually it got filled to the brim.

Thankfully, the new place has more storage including a two car garage. My worry though is that we might become one of those families whose home looks nice on the inside just as long as no one sees the festering disaster that is the garage. A childhood friend’s home was like that, and whenever anyone got within ten feet of the door to the garage his mother would scream “DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR!!!!” as if there were dozens of rabid, drooling Dobermans in the garage desperate to get out.

We’re not going to repeat past mistakes at the new house though. That’s because, while cleaning up the old place, it became very clear to me what stuff just wastes space in your home and should NOT be saved. These include:

  • CDs – I have easily a thousand of these and they take up at least ten square feet of my home. No more. I am going to import them onto my computer/iPod/Time Machine and toss out the physical CDs. Okay. Maybe not for the artists I really like, but that old Spin Doctors CD gathering dust definitely is getting this treatment. It’s baby steps, people.
  • VHS tapes – I don’t even own a VCR anymore and yet I have hundreds of these things stacked in my closet. Ugh.
  • Blogging Conference Swag – Heather has WAY too much of this stuff all throughout our home. My new rule is that if a month after coming home it hasn’t been used, opened, or even moved from where Heather first set it down… It gets tossed.
  • Magazines – Why oh why do people (and by “people” I mean me) save these things? It’s not like I ever re-read them. Sorry “Will and Kate” commemorative issue. It’s the trash for you.
  • Old Clothes – Dear Mike, the Nineties are not coming back. Time to toss out the grungy flannels and 90210 style button down shirts.
  • Miscellaneous Crap – I realize this is vague, but if you, like me, have a bobblehead of Jack from “Jack in the Box” on your shelf, then there are things you need to purge.

That’s a good start, I think. Any other “waste of space” items you know of that we should avoid saving? We really don’t want to end up on a future episode of Hoarders!