Forgotten Items of Sentimental Value

March 24, 2011 at 7:31 am | Posted in Life and Living | 3 Comments
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When I moved out of my parents’ house, I took the majority of my belongings with me.  I wasn’t moving far, but I wanted to be as independent as possible, so I didn’t want to use my parents’ house as my own personal storage unit. The few things I left behind I planned to pick up at some unspecified point in the future.  I left behind some books, stuffed animals and my collection of dollhouse furniture — nothing I was going to need anytime in the near future and nothing I was ready to part with.

And why couldn’t I part with these items?  A lot of them had some sort of sentimental value, some sort of memory tied to them that I wasn’t ready to let go of.  We all stuff our closets with memories in the form of physical objects only to stumble upon them during some massive cleaning effort or some purposeful memory searching effort.

So I have been taking these items home with me, one at a time over the past 4 years that I’ve lived on my own.  Very often, I end up giving the stuffed animals to my dog, who will have 30 seconds of enjoyment out of them before they end up with their stuffing on the outside, but it’s more fun than I ever had with them.  But I can’t do that with the ones that have sentimental value.  At this point, there aren’t many left that don’t have this “value” and what I am now noticing is that if they did at some point have sentimental value, I no longer remember why.  Where did the memories go?  I held on to some of these things for 15 years or more.  I know that I got the stuffed kitten from Chuckie in Kindergarten, but what about that bear?  I know the Chinese dolls are family heirlooms, but where did that sheep come from?

I’m sure that I have these memories somewhere in my mind, but the physical items are no longer jogging my memory.  It is kind of funny how that happens.  We are so focused on the material items that we forget the memories that make them special.  But the memories aren’t lost. They are within you somewhere — somewhere that can never be thrown away.

The Hoarder in All of Us

July 13, 2010 at 7:46 am | Posted in Life and Living | 3 Comments
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We’re all guilty of holding onto things. Let’s face it.  Some stuff has sentimental value. Even if it’s just an old hat or an album cover.

When I first moved out of my parents’ house, I wanted to get everything out. I wanted to be completely independent of my parents and to me that meant not using their house as storage.  I was mostly successful in my venture. About 99% of my stuff is out of their house. The few things that remain are some books and stuffed animals I don’t have a place for.  Ok, the truth is that if I bring stuffed animals and dolls to my house, the dog will destroy them in 30 seconds and some of them are worth something, whether it is memories of my grandparents long gone or original dolls that are impossible to find.

There’s been a lot of talk about moving around me lately, so I’ve been going through lots of piles of stuff.  I spent many hours in my parents’ attic helping them purge.  Some stuff had never even been unpacked from when they moved in nearly 30 years ago.

I don’t know if it’s an American thing or what to have so much stuff.   I’d love to see some statistics on the amount of storage facilities that exist in our country in comparison to others.  There is definitely a comfort we find in owning stuff. Ah, the great ownership society.

But some of this stuff isn’t even worth trying to sell on E-bay. I mean, come on!   Who cares about your action figures?  Ok, someone might, but really, selling your Super Nintendo? I just can’t deal. I’ve been trying to make it a habit that whenever I buy an article of clothing, I get rid of an article of clothing. I usually put items in one of the many drop boxes within walking distance from my apartment.  This is me doing my part to give back, while purging myself of excess.

For some people it is just so hard to throw away stuff. I’ve watched my mother try to get rid of old baby clothes (yes, 27 and 30 year old baby clothes) and have a tough time.  I must admit that the TV show Hoarders really puts things into perspective.  The intensified versions of hoarding represented on the show are testament to this serious issue we all have.

The other day, I was cleaning out the trunk that I’ve had for 15 years. I originally purchased it to bring to sleep-away camp (I don’t know what it is about trunks and sleep-away camp, but it’s kind of a thing).  Most recently, it has served as my coffee table, storage bin and stage for my dog’s daily butt rubs.  But I was getting rid of it and some of its contents too.

I got rid of my HS graduate cap. Seriously held on to that thing without even knowing it for almost ten years. What’s the point? It cost all of 2 bucks and I wore it for 2 hours in my life.  I still have my class ring, photos and my memories.

One day, all of this crap won’t mean anything to anyone.  But if you are lucky, a few gems will go the distance and stay in the family for years to come. But it probably won’t be your pet rock.

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