Mar 17, 2009

Phase 1: Week 5--Evaluation

I HAVE been going through those darn memory boxes. S - l - o - w - l - y is how it's going. There's a huge mess in my den now with all sorts of stuff in stacks.

The great news is that hubby is letting go, too. He even threw away an anniversary card I gave him. Wait a minute--he threw away MY card??? I'll have to talk to him about that one!

Here's my criteria for keeping something that's been around for years "just because it exists":

  1. Can I take a picture of it and throw away or yard sale the item?
  2. Is it something I want my child to have?
  3. Do I need to keep ALL of it or just the parts that hold a memory?
  4. Does it make me feel happy to look at it?

My examples:

  1. 2 little dresses, a sweater, and a single glove I wore when I was in first grade. The clothing is damaged and somewhat soiled. For these I will take a picture.
  2. A wallet hubby received when he was a boy. It's still in excellent shape. Son is now the proud owner.
  3. The book the funeral home put together for my FIL is full of empty pages. I tore out the ones that gave information and will put them in a protective envelope. The rest of the pages and the bulky notebook are in the trash.
  4. A stack of letters I wrote to my parents when I was in college. My parents were NOT happy that I went away to college and made it a point to ignore my letters and my calls. Those letters that I wrote asking them to write and trying to sound like it didn't bother me just don't bring me any happiness now. Sure, I wrote a few things about my college schedule, etc., but I don't need these letters to remind me of those things. SO, out they go!

By doing this I was able to reduce my memory stuff by 50%. It really, really felt good. We've been moving from place to place and region to region with those things around for 25 years.

Ahhhhhhh! Liberty!

Is there anything you've held on for eons that you have decided to let go of recently? Please share what it is and HOW you were able to get yourself to release it. You'll encourage others with your own example of willpower!


Jitterbug said...

Wow! You're not pulling any punches with this streamlining... The "memories" stuff is the hardest. I finally had to set myself some criteria when it came to cards. If they didn't write some kind of personal message longer than their signature - out it goes! Now if I could just come up with a criteria for photos.

By the by, you have an award awaiting you at my blog. Stop by for all the details!

Anonymous said...


I'm loving this series, thanks for the updates!

I agree -- the memories stuff is the most difficult to sort through. That's what a lot of our "stuff" is. I like the idea of keeping the stuff that you intend to pass on and that brings a smile to your face.



Roxanne said...

The thing I say a lot about "memory stuff" is this: If it didn't exist, would I miss it?

JUST BECAUSE IT EXISTS does not qualify it as something to keep. Just because it made it through the years doesn't mean it has real sentimental value.

I may have to blog about this one. I feel some "preach" coming on...

Thank you, Jitterbug, for the award. I'm finished my entry about it and just posted it.

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