Thursday, February 15, 2007


I've been continuing the never ending work of decluttering. I have worked in Isaiah's closet for the past 2 days. Since he doesn't use his closet, there is a lot of stuff in there for storage. I am a horrible sentimentalist. There are things that should have been thrown out long ago! I have finally parted with the following items: letters from my boyfriend when I was 15, the acceptance letter I got to go to Malone College, my high school band uniform garment bag, some plastic arrows that a wrestler threw at us during a high school tournament, some stickers I "borrowed" off of the bleachers at the University of Toledo (#10 and #13), and the list goes on.

I love my memories! I have had such a great life and I love reliving it when I see some of these things. There are so many things I would have just forgotten. I wish that I had kept a journal throughout my life. I do have one now, but by no means is it a daily thing. I also have one for each of the boys to record things they do and say in.

In other respects, I know that I could get rid of everything. I have plenty of memories alive in my mind. I often think of the Amish who for religious reasons don't want their pictures taken. How would my memories be different if I didn't have pictures? It sure would be nice to never look back and see "how fat I was". No memories stirred by seeing pictures of long ago loves or bad relationships. Of course, there would also be no comparing pictures "does the baby look like I did or like his father did"?, Did my hair look better longer or shorter?, or Look how much weight I've lost!

Sometimes I wish I could start all over again. What things would I treasure and what other things would I never allow in my house? It is so hard to get rid of things once they are in. Especially when they have been given to me by someone else. (In recent years I finally got rid of a Chem-lawn sign that Amanda gave me from her parents yard. I know, I have a problem!). I try to remember that when giving gifts to others. I also tell people, if you don't like it now or don't like it in the future, get rid of it! You won't hurt my feelings!

I have gotten better of the years. I am still sentimental over homemade things people have given me or things that I absolutely love. However, I am able to throw birthday cards and thank you notes away within a week or two of getting them (as long as they are just signed and there is no deep personal note on them). I actually take them to work where our residents recycle them into bookmarks. I can throw away pictures my boys have colored as soon as they go down for naps (right now they don't even care and I do keep the best ones). I am making progress.

The best tip I ever received for getting rid of something with sentimental value is to take a picture of it. You still have the memory, but it doesn't take up nearly as much room. I have done this with stuffed animals and tacky things that residents have made me.

Those are my rambling thoughts of this morning. Tune in next time for another exciting tale from the Simple Homemaker.


SamandSawyersMom said...

I don't personally think that you should have gotten rid of letters from when you were 15. Those would have been awesome to read to your grandchildren. I never understood that part of you that had to declutter those things. I remember looking at your "pictures" you took of precious things before throwing them out and wishing so badly that I had had such a thing in the first place. While I do not think you should keep everything, I think you should rethink getting rid of things that simply tell a story and a letter does, so does an arrow shot to you. I know how you feel about wrestling and those arrows would start that story in 20 years for your children or family. I don't know. I wish I was as good as you about keeping it in the first place. I would never get rid of those things...too special. Lawn signs, the 100th picture colored of the day and crap bought at a yard sale are things I can let go of.

Cheryl said...

I was going to suggest the picture thing. I just take it a step further and scrap about it. It helps because you have the picture and the story to go with it. You could do the same thing in your journal. Put the pictures in and write the story that goes along with it. I am going to have to start Ryan's art work scrapbook. He makes so much stuff between school, Kinder Haus ( a weekly craft class we go too) and crafts at home. I have a lot of it in one of those HUGE Ziploc bags they show people putting sports stuff in on the commercials. Anyway I'm glad you are getting it accomplished you won't miss it once it's gone but you will like having the space. There is my rambling for the day.

Crystal said...

I like keeping sentimental things too. I still have a tag from a Christmas present my Grandma Irvine gave me years and years ago! She's gone now and I just can't throw away the tag because it's got her handwriting on it and it's so special to me. I threw away all my teen love letters and notes from friends years ago. I can throw away anything as long as it's not "special" to me. I don't think I have the pack rat thing goin on.....but it's probably because I have very few good memories of my life. There are some good ones but most are not something I want to remember, I guess that's what keeps my house from being so cluttered!

Char said...

I tend to keep "silly" things. I have the hardest time getting rid of certain things, like clothes that I loved on the boys when they were baby's, or their first pair of shoes. I save special cards and letters from people, but I usually toss out Christmas cards and birthday cards unless they have something special in them. I save things like flower petals, my children's teeth and I even saved Jacob's belly button cord thingy. haha! I think I did finally throw that away - ew! haha!
I did throw out some things recently that I took pictures of. That felt good! Todd is the pack rat in the family!!!! I think the boys gained that chromosome because they are like that too. I think it is a kid thing though for awhile. Anyway, glad you got rid of some things Lura! Especially that long lost love letter! I mean, come on, you are married to my brother now. Why would you even neeeeeed another man's (boys) love letters! LOL

Jamie said...

I'm definitely a pack rat in our family. I still have every single piece of clothing both of my children have ever worn, sorted and labeled by gender and size downstairs in bins in the basement. I have gotten rid of some of their toys, but kept a lot of their favorites to store. I have 3 bins of my own personal momentos from childhood and early adulthood (including a maternity shirt I wore during both pregnancies). Lots of great things, that just warm my heart when I pull them out and I can't wait to share them with my kids when their a bit older. Since I don't have scrapbooks of my childhood, these are my story!!