Although options like the Packtite mean people don’t need to throw their potentially infested items away in order to get rid of bed bugs (and probably shouldn’t — at least not without rendering them bed bug-free), decluttering is often part of the bed bug experience or its aftermath.
A bed bug infestation at home forces us to carefully consider our possessions — which ones are important, and which we can live without.
There’s nothing like washing and drying thirty blouses or twenty pairs of trousers to make you wonder if you might be able to make do with much less. Underlying such thoughts is the sinister feeling that you may yet have to do all this again, and — God forbid — again.
Theresa Braine tells such a story in “Banishing Bedbugs Means Scouring Memory Lane.” She writes,
A bedbug infestation puts you through a mandatory encounter with every single one of your possessions–ready or not, here they come.
Many people go through them quickly or simply chuck it all. Others find ways to disinfect their things. I chose the life-examination route.
The next day I woke up ready to divest myself of my past.
(The Suzy Homemaker washer had to go, but the Gloria Steinem autograph and Camp Fire Girls memorabilia were keepers.)