Is It A Sin To Be A Pack-rat?

Growing up on a farm out in the middle of nowhere we were taught “Waste Not Want Not”.If a thing had value then it was kept,because who knows,you might need it some day.And besides it’s a long way into town to buy one or two things.

I still save rubber bands,mayonnaise jars,leftovers,and on and on.Soda cans go to the recycle bin,old clothes to the charity thrift store.Yet according to my husband I’m a pack-rat.

Is it sinful to hang on to “things” that may come in handy later on down the line?After all it’s not as if I went out and bought un-necessy items,I just keep stuff instead of putting it in the burn barrel.Like the plastic containers that once housed oleo or cottage cheese.Why throw it away when it can be re-used???

I’m sure it is possible it could be a sin, but it’d be hard to see some of the exact circumstances for it. More though, I think the question would better be is it prudent to save what you are saving? Try to discern that, if you think it has a reasonable chance to be reused.

There is nothing sinful about being thrifty and prudent. There is a point, however, at which being a packrat is unhealthy. Obsessive-compulsive hoarders take it to an extreme. But, it’s not a sin to suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It could maybe be a sin to not seek help for the disorder if it is negatively impacting the lives of your family. I have seen cases where the childrens’ health and safety were at risk because of a hoarding parent. To not be willing to try and address this issue could be sinful, I suppose.

And too the flip-side to this: Is it sinful to throw away things that have usefulness?That is the way we were taught as in"It’s a sin(greed) to take more food than you can eat"That’s why mom always ate last.She(then later on me) would eat whatever the kids didn’t so the food would not be wasted(seventh commandment)

I’m a pack rat myself. But I have a hard time justifying too much stuff. I have a small apartment and have limited space. While I know it’s tempting, I just can’t save every jar, margarine container, whatever. I need to leave room for what I really need. Like, food, clothing, craft supplies. Actually, on the craft stuff I have to watch that as well. I get the old “Well, I might use this/do this someday” syndrome. If you really don’t need it, or will never use it, get rid of it. Ask your husband’s help on this. He has to live with the horde as well! :eek:

Darn! Wish the answer was yes. I’m tired of the piles around here.

I can see “waste” as gluttony as easily and being a pack rat. Keeping buttons or other things that may be useful in the future is one thing. But “too much stuff” is starting to take a toll on me.

On this one episode of “Wifeswap” (before it jumped the shark from interesting to stupid) one of the wives was a proffesional organizer. And of course, the other wife was a slob. But it the organizer’s system of deciding what to keep and what to save as she cleaned out the slob’s house was actually really interesting.

Ask yourself: “Do I love it? Do I use it? Does it make me money?” If you answer yes to at least ONE of those questions, then keep it. If you naswer no to all three, then throw it away, give it away or sell it.

In the past year, I’ve been using this system and it’s given me a good handle on keeping the clutter down. However, as an artist, “does it make me money?” means I get to hold onto almost any craft supplies or material that comes into the house. :wink:

I keep 1 box in a closet for things that “might be useful”. When I put an item into the box, I also put a sticker with the date on it. If I take an item out of the box and use it, I remove the sticker and put it on a regular shelf. About every 3 months, I clean out the box. Any item that has a sticker on it that is 1 year old and therefore hasn’t been used, I dump.
Regarding containers for used food etc, I keep several of the size I regularly use and replace these often with new ones, dumping the old ones. I keep 2 larger ones and 2 smaller ones than my regular size.
Old clothes: anything than hasn’t been worn in a year gets sent to the thrift shop, reused as dusters (I then dump all the “old clothes” older dusters) or if the condition is too bad for either the thrift shop or dusters, they get dumped. I do this twice a year.
Too much clutter is stressful for me and if I keep items for a long time, I begin to grow sentimental about them. To me this is then an unhealthy attachment to things.
Gearoidin

Ebay is you friend :thumbsup:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.