On the surface, I am very neat and organized, but underneath the facade, I am, at heart, a pack rat. A collector.
I come by it honestly -- most of my family is the same way. But unlike most of my family, my collections are organized, to say the least. My clothes are in order. My CDs and movies are alphabetized. My tchotckes are all in their assigned spots.
When I was helping my dad out after my mom's funeral, we were looking for some paperwork about the house -- specifically the addition that they had built onto the back. Over the previous Thanksgiving, I had bought my mom a filing cabinet so that she could start putting her stuff in order, but apparently, her version of organization and mine were polar opposites. I eventually found the papers in three different files -- one marked "house," one marked "addition," and the last with no label at all. Other things that I found in those three files included my brother and sister's birth announcements, my bat mitzvah invitation, and a newspaper photograph showing my nursery school graduation.
My files are not like that at all, although I will admit that I have a tote of old pictures and clippings that I have intended to put into scrapbooks for years and just haven't managed to get to yet. But unlike my mom, they are all in one place.
Anyway, when I was packing and cleaning up some stuff, I found that I had a sizable collection of which I was unaware -- a box collection. Alas, they were not the useful packing kind; they were decorative gift boxes. Some were small, some were large, many had interesting closures -- one, from Sephora, was fastened with an elastic band with a feather -- and all of them were stuffed into a dark little corner of my closet -- along with yards and yards of wrapping paper and ribbon.
I don't know why I save boxes -- I almost never use them. And I know I never use them. But I keep doing it. Until tonight, when I stacked as many as I could inside one another and made the trek down the hall to the garbage.