Follow up to paralysis, and the packrat.

fatalxsunrider43 Dec 7, 2010

  1. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

    Wow, what a perfect subject at a right time for me. Especially right before Christmas when even more useless stuff enters our homes and ends up where?,,,in the garage ! Yes, the paralysis of trying to make progress on a layout is staggering.


    Here is my take, paralysis, the packrat in all of us, or who we were born to. It all starts in the space that I plan to build the lay-out. The garage thats 20' x 20' being that space. When one sees the boxes upon boxes of stuff that accumulates over the years, or inherited, it is really puzzling to think, why in the heck is all this useless stuff stored and kept. Boxes of plastic flowers and plants, paper and statements that will probably never be used. Lord have mercy. When my parents passed in 1999 they left my brother and I a 2 story house full of antiques and other good sellables, and we have profited from this stuff...but....for it is all this stuff that keeps me making progress on the layout. Is this the american lifestyle to packrat good junk or bad, hoard useless possesions.


    I have to either sell this stuff, which I have been doing for the last 10 years, or to give some away, which I have given away alot of toys to children of friends etc. Even with all this effort, I still find myself with enough stuff to get rid of that will take the next 6 months to clear it all out for good. I'll have to build a shed in the back yard for the lawn equipment and the bicycles. Hopefully the to be shed will have enough room to hold the tool boxes, sawz-all, etc etc. My son even comments,,"dad, I do not want to inherit a bunch of stuff that I cannot use or make sense of " "Please do not do what grandma and grandpa did by surrounding themselves with material possesions". It just makes for a difficult situation for those who end up with it. I would say to all, live a material simple life.
    keep only the most important items, decorate a home as simply and as cleanly as possible.


    By only what you will indeed use and that is able to be stored away
    out of sight. It if were this way for me and it is getting much better, I would have been able to start the layout. But as it stands, I am 6 months out. I am not going to give up as it is a battle I am fighting everyday. something has to go everyday, or something shred everyday. Try to sell everyday. Do you all understand my basic frustration ?
    I think you do as this is an unintentional & common way of life for many and I am sure that I am not alone in my goal. Whats your horror story of stuff or junk ?

    As you can see, what used to be a garage you could not even walk into, I have made progress.


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2010
  2. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    you have no idea how much my dad has....he is an organized pack rat with over 40 Lionel steam locos...and that is not the start of it. He has been selling off his old car magazines and racing programs for years. I will have a feild day selling NOS Ford parts on Fleabay...anyone need a set of V8 60 piston rings?
  3. OleSmokey

    OleSmokey TrainBoard Member

    He! He! Tweet and i both have lived and traveled for about 14 years now. 3 years ago my health started to give me issues and have about figured out what is happening. We both volunteered to help out with there thrift store. That was almost two years ago. Over that time there has been things thrown all over the cab area in front. clothing, Kitchen items and all kinds of modeling stuff as i could get it. All kinda of stuff for the motor home and some for the trailer. Since the thrift store has had a new maniger and i stepped down i have had more time for workng on the coach and when the 1st part of January is here..I will be making a short trip to get down closer to Tucson and i am able to breath better down there. About 1200 feet lower. And i have a friend that will help me to cover the trailer and get it ready so i can start-up the layout. We have been placing stuff into those plastic crates and placing them under the tarp and covering with another tarp for to keep everything dry. Trouble is i have a pack rat that lives here too! She seems to see something that she Could use for some kind of hobby of whatever. I keep telling her to stop bringing all that stuff here to clog up the cab area!! If i die before it won's really matter to much but if she does before me...Three quarters of all the stuff here are going to be sold or dropped by a thrift store or goodwill, ect...
    Yep been there, done that!!Good luck on the cleanup,Smoke :tb-smile:
  4. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    My dad was born and raised during the depression. That generated a distinctly superior breed of packrat.
    He kept 20 year old newspapers from his hometown, solvents of all types. screws, wire, vintage electronics equipment.

    In the end, my mom brought in a donation group and a dumpster...that experience killed most of my personal packratedness.
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, your garage appears to be quite tidy. I've sure seen much worse!

    Boxcab E50
  6. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member


    You sir, are an amateur!!!

    I can respectively take out to the curb as garbage, and on the same day, donate the same volume of material that appears in your photo! .... and not make a dent in the basement....

    We are in the process of getting our house in shape to put on the market. One should never live in the same house for more than 10 years!

    Based on the television programs (American Pickers and Hoarders) the volume of "stuff" pales by comparison..... but parting with hardware (of which you will need the very item the week after you get rid of it!!) and lumber accumulated for building THE LAYOUT... is very, very difficult. I even had to break up a full set of kitchen cabinets (replaced in a complete remodeling project that I have just finished) that I was going to use in my staging room.

    In addition, having been a lifelong Model Railroader and N Scale Accumulator, I have a pretty good volume of "Hobby Shop in the Basement" stuff. Even having my NTRAK club meeting, Friday Night Operating Group and Wednesday Night N Scale guys over for a Garage Sale didn't make a dent in it..... even though I was practically giving the stuff away and also sold a bunch of stuff up at the NMRA convention afterwards. My wife is a Quilter and Knitter, and she's got a room full of her "stuff"... but I've got a considerable head start on her and she'll never catch up to me, as hard as she tries....

    Having a pretty complete collection of all the magazines and a decent collection of books, railroad drawings, etc. doesn't help either. The thought of having to schlep all of it down to our retirement venue is sobering.... but just when I will actually have time to do something with it why get rid of it???

    A real problem, to be sure!!!

    Charlie Vlk
  7. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

    It is so good to know I have kindred spirits with the same challenges concerning the material stuff. I could not get over just how tidy and clean the Oakville Sub rooms were, even during the construction, it was immaculate. Well, I suppose we all have something to accomplsih. Best of luck and may your motivation be great.

  8. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    I have made a miniscule dent in the stuff under and around my layout space-

    by donating 1240 photographs to a university history archive.


    Of course, now my computer memory has lots more stuff on it-- the pictures I might want to refer to for modeling, and for illustrating my posts here. And I need to replace the stuff I did NOT give away that is not pertinent to regional history.

    And I need to find somebody in Houston or Corpus Christi or in between who can use a church approximately compatible with G scale, built 60 years ago by my dad to use in a church fund raising project. Model church needs a good home...

    We need to clean out my late mom's garage.

    Here is the prototype (actually located next to a RR track!) and my N scale version...
  9. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

    You might want to contact at the Fairplex in Pomona
    California regarding this beautiful building.

  10. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

    If you think you have it bad, just watch a couple episodes of Hoarders on HGTV. Think that will probably cure you....Mike
  11. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

    Watching hoarders *WILL* cure you...

    I haven't see one train piece on that show, yet.
  12. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

    It is my personal opinion, ( and please take it as such ), that very few of us (model railroading community)..........actually have layouts. There are a variety of reasons, as varied as the number of people involved, but it is my belief that a lot of us are held back by our mistrust of our own abilities. A lot will say...."well, I don't have the time", or..."I don't have the $$$", or......"etc., etc.".
    I have been blessed in two ways:
    my favorite part of the hobby is actually "building" the layout, and, I have a good friend who is a cabinet maker & a model railroader, so bench-work has always been less of a problem than it might have otherwise been.
    We have a small "N" scale club where I live, and of half a dozen or so members, only 3 of us have ever had layouts. The rest are "hoarders", with all the aforementioned reasons.
    It is my belief ( & experience ), if you want it bad enough, and you are willing to dive in & ask questions, and make mistakes!!....that it will come to pass.
    Another thing that has been helpful to me is to get the "empire" mentality out of my head that I think is fostered by the magazines. Most of us will NEVER be Tony K., no matter how hard we try. My 2 cents...........:tb-cool:
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    If they ever find a hoard of pre, or post-War Lionel, I volunteer to do all the cleanup work!

    Boxcab E50

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