I am definitely not a pack rat, but I am not a neat freak either. I may throw away more stuff than most people but I do get sentimental about certain things. Yesterday was the day I decided to clean house. And since I wasn't really interested in washing windows and toilets, I decided to concentrate on the boxes in my guest bedroom that have been taking up space and collecting dust since I moved in six years ago.
They mostly contained old books and folders of papers that used to be important to me. Like my finance textbook from business school: Handbook of Modern Finance (1988). It was boring back then and I have only kept it this long because I had invested over $100 on that little bugger. And my personal copies of studies (from my business consulting days) that clients had spent tens of thousands of dollars on (and I had spent hundreds of billable hours on). I just don't care what the per capita consumption of paper in Poland was in 1990 anymore. Or what percentage of Alabama's forests was owned by industrial landowners.
Now I mainly care about cakes and cookies and pastries. So I also tossed the textbook containing formulas for calculating a standard deviation (and scores of other formulas), also known as Modern Statistics. But I kept my dictionaries. Even the Polish-English Paper Industry Dictionary (signed by the author), and the Finnish-English and French-English dictionaries (not signed but earmarked). I also kept the pocket-sized map of Paris (by arrondissement) because the street names and locations probably have not changed in the last 20 years. Who knows, I may go back there some day and it would come in handy.
And I kept copies of the many industry magazines that contained articles I had written during my career in the forest products and paper recycling industries. I read them over and decided they were still interesting, and could not bear to give them up.
I may change my mind about some of this stuff. The trash man does not come until tomorrow.