National Pack Rat Day

National Pack Rat Day is observed next on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 (165 days from today).

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National Pack Rat Day on May 17th every year encourages people to do some late spring-cleaning and to make space for newer, more useful things in their lives.

There is a problem that starts small and grows to the point where it is often life-destructive. We all collect small household items, and maybe sometimes we're not as meticulous as we should be in keeping our homes and fireplaces clean, but in moderation, there aren't any wrong with that. Some people collect everything, thinking they are thrifty, conservative, or simply resourceful. Sometimes that's true, and other times they're staring down their throats and are on the brink or in the middle of a very serious problem. National Pack Rat Day is a warning to you to take a moment to look back at your life and determine if you have things you don't need.

History of National Pack Rat Day

According to Meriam Webster, the phrase pack rat dates back to 1885 and refers to a species of wood rat known for its function of storing food and random objects. Today, the phrase is used loosely to describe people who do the same.

Many people even describe themselves as pack rats because they keep things they may need in the future, such as tools, boxes, and clothes. Have you ever cleaned up the nearest thing and thoroughly checked each item, throwing and donating things so you have a clean space? Then a few days or weeks later find out you need a particular item that you gave or threw. It can be a document or a container, but it never fails. In an age of recycling, reuse, and repositioning, pack rats weigh every item before they throw it away and give it away.

Observation is an opportunity for the rats among us to test our collecting propensity. Do we really need t-shirts from 1975? When was the last time you used the L-wrench that came with a prefabricated play center that you no longer own? Of course, the moment you sort those toys out and give them away, your only child will announce that you're about to become a grandparent. You didn't hold onto those herd trends long enough.

While the history of National Pack Rat Day isn't very clear, it does bring awareness to a more serious subject. Hoarding disorder is the ongoing difficulty of getting rid of assets regardless of their value or usefulness. People with this difficulty can sometimes feel severe anxiety and distress when it comes to arranging or dividing their property.

In some cases, hoarding can be a symptom of another disorder such as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Large cases of hoarding lead to a hindered quality of life as living space can also be constrained by clutter or items such as newspapers, broken electronics, and old furniture.

In recent years, there has been a sensationalist approach to hoarding in some media. Experts say this disorder is not simple to treat. While cleaning and organizing can be helpful, the underlying factors that cause a person to develop such behavior should not be overlooked.

There is certainly a difference between hoarding and collecting. Collecting involves finding, collecting, and organizing objects as both a hobby and a source of pleasure. While a collector will often display their finds with pride, a hoarder may feel embarrassed and upset about their possessions.

How to celebrate National Pack Rat Day

The best way to commemorate National Pack Rat Day is to eliminate any tendency to become a rat. Spend the day cleaning, getting rid of things you don't need anymore, and tidying up. To help you decide which items to discard, ask yourself how often you use them or will use them in the future. Another way to spend the day is to celebrate being a rat. Don't clean anything, don't throw anything out, look for items other people are throwing away and find items to buy when rummaging through the store. However, let make sure you don't collect so much that you're putting yourself on a trajectory to become a hoarder.


National Pack Rat Day has been observed annually on May 17th.


Monday, May 17th, 2021

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Friday, May 17th, 2024

Saturday, May 17th, 2025

Also on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

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