In three months we’ll be moving 2400 miles, from Memphis to Seattle. Right now I’m trying to start the process of decluttering all the crap we have built-up in this apartment. Thankfully, we have two enormous walk-in closets to store everything, one which we can’t even step into because it’s piled about 5 feet high with STUFF. Most of it is wedding presents and baby things. Where do you put an exersaucer when you’re done with it? That thing is huge! We have so many serving dishes and fancy-schmancy china stuff that we got for our wedding, most of which I’ve used once or never. I’m thinking we’re going to store a lot of that in my parents’ and in-laws’ attics when we move since I’m sure I’m going to want to use most of it when I’m older and actually have a kitchen that would support its use.
Beyond all that, though, we also just have so much “memory stuff.” I have in a box probably every photo I’ve ever taken in my life, all the way back to junior high summer camp. Part of me clings to the thought that ONE DAY I’m going to desire with all my heart to see those things again and I will never be complete without them. ONE DAY I’m going to want to wear those bell-bottoms that I wore my freshman year in college…that I haven’t been able to fit into for years. ONE DAY I’m going to need to smell pumpkin spice (or vanilla sugar, or cinnamon, or evergreen) and my life will be wrecked since I threw away that half-burned candle. I’m a bit of a pack rat.
I cleaned-out my closet the other day and sent 4 garbage bags to Goodwill. On top of the 6 bags I sent last Fall. Let’s just say that most of that was clothes that I haven’t worn in years. Things that I bought when I was skinny and kept telling myself that ONE DAY I was going to lose weight again and I’ll REALLY be sorry that I didn’t keep them around…shirts that have shrunk over the years and no longer covered my belly…things that have just gone out of style…. Part of my problem is that I get very emotionally attached to things because I associate them with memories. So, those pants I just threw-out that were the pants I wore the day Clay and I started dating? I’m mourning them. It was hard. But my gosh, I haven’t worn them since 2002!!!!
Like Merchant Ships has a great post about purging the things you own that are unused and unnecessary. Perhaps this can be a spiritual disciline, to release those things that we’ve accumulated over the years but like to keep around “just in case.” To ask ourselves what do we really need and how many black shirts do we really have? Some memories are worth holding onto, I think, no matter how trite or how much a waste of space. So I’m gonna keep the pictures, but I’m gonna chunk the candles. I want to feel the freedom of being surrounded by less stuff that just sits there and doesn’t do anything for me.
What do you think? What would you keep that’s a silly memory object and what do you need to get rid of?