Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Letting Go of "Stuff"

I got into a bit of a cleaning spurt today. In the closet in our master bedroom are several large plastic containers filled with items that really haven't seen the light of day since we moved 2 1/2 years ago. They were taking up room in the closet and serving no real useful purpose. I decided it was time to do something about it.

A couple of the boxes were full of clothes. I sorted through them, throwing away items that were ruined beyond repair (why exactly had I packed those in the first place?), keeping a few select items, and putting everything that no longer fits into a bag for Goodwill. At this point, I feel it is time to accept that my stomach will never be quite as flat as it was before I had children.

One of the boxes had office supplies. Those I took out and put in my husband's office. Another box was full of family photos. While most are dated at this point, I took out the frames. Another day, I will remove some of the photos are replace them with new photos in need of homes.

Some of the boxes simply had to stay. There is no other place to store my wedding memorabilia and I am not ready to part with it yet. I figure some day my kids will get a kick out of looking at it. Another box holds a few old school papers and my and my husband's diplomas.

In any event, I did manage to clear out five boxes and make some space in our closet. Of course, what else can you do with empty containers but fill them with more stuff! After my six-year old son David got out of school today, I had him help me go through all of his papers and projects from the year to see what we should keep and what we should throw away or recycle. The volume of paper a kindergartener creates in a year is truly amazing. I tried to impress upon him that we didn't need to keep every paper, but many he had an emotional attachment to. He isn't ready yet to let go, which I do understand. He worked hard on those papers and it is hard to throw away your work.

We probably cut the volume in half, which at least is now stored in a plastic box which can go in the basement instead of overflowing a bureau drawer. I know that in time he will be ready to part with the bulk of his papers. When he is 15 I doubt he will care about his coloring papers from Kindergarten. Then, he will be ready to let go.

1 comment:

martha said...

Hi Patti! I have boxes in the garage dated every year that the girls have been in school. Emily has one for each of the 2 preschools she went to, kinder, 2 first (1 from Conn and one from AZ) and a 2nd grade. Lulu has her preschool box. I have saved every single thing that they have brought home! I know it is so unlike me, but it is nicely organized by year (labeled on the outside - year, school and teacher). I use the flat underbed boxes so they stack up nicely! Maybe someday I will go through it and only keep a few things, but they love to go through them and Emily loves to see what she did in kinder! It is amazing how much their work changes in just a couple years! Don't get rid of anything yet.