Sunday, March 18, 2018

30-Day Minimalism Game: Day 18 + Too Many Keepsakes

This eighteenth day of the 30-Day Minimalism Game was incredibly hard - and I know it's only going to get more difficult during the last 12 days of the game. Because I've almost run out of easy things to purge - or have to wait until closer to my moving day to purge them - so I'm forcing myself to make those tough decisions.

Day 18

I got rid of a number of really difficult sentimental items today, but have chosen only to share pics of the items that weren't so personal. For today I got rid of: 1 and 2) Two microfiber scrubbing cloths (recycle); 3-5) Three bendy cable ties (give away); 6) A small saw (give away); 7-9) Three cloth bags that came with linen purchases (give away); 10-16) Six cat food dishes and a container (not shown); 17) A cat placemant/food mat (not shown); 18) A kindle cover (not shown).

The two microfiber scrubbing cloths were easy to purge as they didn't work nearly as well as I'd hoped they would when I bought them, so out they go. The three cable twists were part of a set of four I purchased just for the white one which I used to bind the pull for our window covering so that it wouldn't be a hazard to my cat. The small saw was something I purchased to cut down some small boards to enclose an area that the kittens got into beneath our cupboards. I won't need this tool anytime soon so wanted to give it to someone who might use it.

The three cloth bags are ones that came with my bed linens that I thought were so pretty and that I'd use for something someday. I never did. But I finally took off the sewn-in labels and am giving them to a family member who definitely can use them to store things. (They are also serve as nice packaging for some of the items I'm giving to that family member.)

The sentimental items that I am not showing are: Six food dishes that belonged to my two cats who have since passed away - three for one who passed in 2013, and three belonging to the other who passed last year. I've kept a favorite bowl for each, but finally let go of these six. I purchased a small keepsake container in 2013 for my cat's keepsakes but never used it and found two identical keepsake boxes for their things which I've used instead. I let go of an older food mat that was previously used by my cat before we got her a new one that was easier for her to stand on when she got older. I let go of my Kindle cover that she used to love to knock over, rub against, chew on.

So that's 18, I think.

For tomorrow I plan to go into some of my keepsake decorative storage boxes and see if there's anything else I might be ready to let go of. While I have a few more non-sentimental items around the house, there are certainly not 294 of them.

Too many keepsakes...

When I was much younger I used to hang onto little knickknacks and all sorts of things that I thought were cute or were attached to a memory. But many of those things were discarded by my mother when I moved away. And while my father stored many boxes of my things when I went away to college, quite a few were accidentally destroyed in a flooded basement.

So I think I clung extra hard to the things I did have. The lack of control over my things and over my life in those early days and the inability to say goodbye to them on my terms made me hold on that much harder.

But when my things started to become a huge burden - especially those keepsake items that didn't have a proper place, didn't store easily, weren't useful - I knew I had to get rid of them. And yet, for the most part I couldn't.

Because I'd hung onto things for such a long time I couldn't imagine letting go of them. If I let them go it was like I'd wasted all that time. Or if I kept them for so long they must be valuable to me.

Over the years I sought out different storage solutions and came up with some pretty good ones for many of my items. But there were always those ones that were oddly sized or shaped that didn't have the "perfect place." So I'd find new solutions. And so on and so on.

And I did purge some of those things, slooooowly. But ended up with three file totes of scrapbooks and photo albums, and eight decorative letter boxes and card boxes which contained other scrapbooks, notebooks, and other miscellany.

While it isn't all that much for a lifetime of living, it is quite a bit when I'm someone who moves every couple of years and who lives in apartments where pests are always a risk, so everything needs to be secured and sealed "just in case."

And as much effort and love I put into storing things in such a pretty way (and digitizing most of those things), the physical and emotional weight of them, year after year, move after move, takes its toll. And my love for these memories does get tarnished by the weight of having too many keepsakes of those memories.

So I'm hopeful that I will have the courage, once and for all, to just let go of some (if not many or most) of these things.

To be continued...

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