Thanks for the Memories … and the Clutter

Awhile back, probably as my parents were moving from one locale to another, they delivered several boxes of my childhood crap artifacts. Old pictures, letters, knick knacks etc., neatly packaged into storage bins that they no longer wanted to keep at their home. Since then, the only purpose these (until recently) unopened boxes served was to take up space in my closet. What’s a girl to do?

As I moved from apartment to apartment in my 20s, my level of “sentimentality” greatly diminished based on the fact that I lived in very tiny places without space to store that which wasn’t essential — yes, all those shoes were/are essential. But all those love letters (yes, I’m talking pre-email days here folks) from long forgotten boyfriends? Meet my shredder. Random school papers and projects that for some reason I felt compelled to keep? See ya. Sure, I kept some things that were meaningful to me, but most of the items ended up in the trash.

Livin' it up, 1970s style

I finally took a look in the old memory boxes a few days ago, thinking that perhaps I could at least consolidate the bins to save some storage space. It was an interesting exercise, as I realized that for the most part the items within represent my parents’ memories of my childhood, as opposed to mine.

There were pictures that I assume hung on my bedroom walls (Holly Hobbie, Raggedy Anne and Andy, the Seven Dwarfs). I vaguely remember the dwarf pictures (yes there are seven individual wooden-carved pictures, as clearly that was all the decorating rage back in the ’70s), but not the others. All the stuffed animals that were given to me by … somebody? some time ago? Who knows, I was never what you would call a stuffed animal person. My baby shoes and casts I wore to correct my club feet as an infant? Um … how precious and tiny? While I happened to find a few gems left over from my college years, the true childhood memories in the bins simply do not belong to me.

For now, I re-packed the items and returned them to the closet. I don’t really know what to do with them, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to give or throw them away. Anyone in a similar situation? How much stuff from your childhood do you hold on to, and what do you toss?

I guess I’ll save the project for another day.

Life After Normal

2 Replies to “Thanks for the Memories … and the Clutter”

  1. I am a pack rat and have kept a lot of stuff. There are memories that I don’t want to forget and I am afraid that if I get rid of them, the memories will be gone as well. This drives my husband crazy as he is the type of person to always throw things away. One of these days, I may find the courage to get rid of stuff. I don’t really know when I will be ready but I am sure it will happen at some point.

    BTW, I love that picture of you and Luke! Amazing how blonde he was when he was little.

  2. I adore this post! How intuitive to realize that these are your parents’ memories and not yours. I love that, I feel the same exact way. Sometimes when I look back I can’t believe it was me. I am such a different person now. I like to keep a few things but only for my daughter, like pi phi sweats and all that good stuff. I keep yearbooks but that’s about it. The carnation from my first boyfriend on Valentine’s day doesn’t serve any purpose in my life!

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