I will not be a pack rat

When my big green recycling container with wheels was dropped off on my front lawn last Thursday, I was practically giddy with excitement.

Well, all right, not practically – I was giddy with excitement!

I was not a fan of the small plastic bin. I could not set it out when rain was in the overnight forecast or when the wind blew, and balancing it on top of a snow drift was unpleasant.

More often than not, I hauled my filled-to-capacity recycling bin to the collection area at Ace Hardware because I’d either forgotten to place my recyclables curbside for pick-up, or because of an aforementioned weather issue.

While the big containers will be so much easier to deal with, that is only part of the reason why I’m so excited.

Most importantly, I can finally clean my house.

Now, don’t start thinking the inside of my house could be a featured episode on that television show, Hoarders. That’s the show where people accumulate so much stuff that they can’t sleep in their own bed or sit at the kitchen table. Hoarders are more apt to have a house of hallways lined with stacks of overflowing boxes rather than actual rooms with space to move.

After watching an episode of Hoarders before downgrading to basic-basic cable, I promised myself I would not become a pack rat.

Enter the handy-dandy new recycling cart on wheels!

Mine is already half-filled after one day of emptying totes – two totes. There are at least two more – maybe three – left to go.

These totes are/were filled with nearly every story I’d ever written since I started my career in journalism in 1994. Uffda, that’s a lot of newsprint! The two, filled-to-capacity totes I spent my Saturday sorting through contained years 2008 to present.

I saved my Farm Bleat blogs and all of the Honor Flight features I’ve written, and nearly everything else went into the recycling bin.

There had to be half a dozen stories each on farm land values, algae blooms, conservation efforts, new library discussions and county bridges. There were countless stories on people, public health threats and meeting recaps. In a few weeks or so, they’ll all be strapped in some big bale of newsprint out at Schaap’s, and I feel not one bit of remorse.

In fact, it feels good to dump life’s clutter once in a while!

One might ask why I saved all of those newspapers in the first place, and I’m not sure I know the answer. I think at first it was the novelty of having my name at the top of a story. Also, we didn’t have the online archives back then that we do now.

Saving the papers quickly became a habit – kind of like how I always lock my car door even when it’s parked on the yard at the farm.

Anyway, I still have some work to do – but I must pace myself. I don’t want to put too much pressure on my new recycling bin this first week.

Besides, the last of the totes are in an upstairs closet, and I’m pretty sure I’ll need some big, strong guy to get them out of there and pull them downstairs for me.

Oh three brothers dearest, who will be the first to volunteer?

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