Thursday, November 19, 2009

getting rid of your oldies but goodies

For the past week or so I've been doing a major sweep of my house. A little background:

The boy and I moved in together right after college graduation. Our first home was a little apartment which we loved, but it wasn't vary spacious and we knew that we wouldn't stay there for more than a year and didn't feel the need to unpack things we didn't need. Because our college makes seniors move out of the campus apartments the day after graduation (mean, I know), we didn't have a chance to do a thorough investigation of what we were taking and leaving and a lot of stuff followed us to the apartment. A year after living in the apartment I got into law school and had to move to be closer to my campus. After discussing our options, we decided to buy a house which was an exciting but daunting task and we found a home we loved and were ecstatic that it was ours. Unfortunately, we couldn't move in until the week before first year orientation which left enough time to unpack all of the essentials. The remainder of boxes/bags/suitcases full of random junk went into the basement or one of the spare rooms and we promised that we would go through it a weekend at a time until we either unpacked or gave away what we didn't want.

That was 3 years ago.

Now that I sit around the house all day and have spent the last week and a half watching the first 5 seasons of "The Office" (which, I'm sorry I ever said that show was bad. It's genius), I finally decided that the time has come to go through everything. I thought it would be easy because I would want to get rid of everything. Here I am sitting in our office, surrounded by stuff, and I don't want to let go of anything.

A few examples:

1) I really started to love clothes when I was 15. Ok, I've loved them for my entire life, but I got my first job when I was 15 and could actually buy my own stuff. In the boxes I found a bunch of slip dresses that I bought from Contempo Casuals (and had to hide from my mom) as well as some cute dresses that my grandma who I only see once a year gave me. I stopped wearing them in college because of my love of Mother's Frosted Animal Cookies and other late night snacks, but due to my recent weight loss, they fit me again. I know that chances are slim that I'll ever wear these again, but I have so many memories attached to them that it kills me to put them in a box to give away. I feel really selfish about this.

2) As a political science and sociology major, I was always really proud of the notes and outlines that I made for every test or paper. Apparently I had so much pride that I didn't feel the need to throw them away when the class was over. I think I convinced myself that some day I would need them. I have no idea when that day will come. I spent time going through those notebooks and laughing at things I wrote in the margins (example from undergrad ethics: wow, that girl really answered her phone in the middle of class and left the room. She thinks she's the shit. I really don't like her...) I managed to part with these notebooks as well as the insane number of handouts/cases from law school, but I couldn't get rid of the outlines. Yes, I have them on my computer but I scribbled in the margins in marker while I studied and somehow I think they're important. I did put them in binders though, so I guess that's an accomplishment.

3) I love girlie magazines (Glamour, Elle, Allure, etc) and one of the best ways for me to relax is to chill in bed reading them and marking the pages of outfits that I love but can't afford but will find a way to recreate. This is all well and good, but then I save them in case I want to reference them later on. Does this happen? Of course not. I know they need to go because they take up a ridiculous amount of space, but I wonder if I should rip out those pages I marked. Will I really look at them? I have no idea. I guess if I'm questioning it, the answer is no.

4) I've gone to a ridiculous number of concerts and back in high school and early college, a large portion of my wardrobe consisted of band tshirts. When seeing a band that I really loved, I always bought a shirt. I have 6 Blink 182 shirts...and that's just the beginning. I decided that I can't part with these. When I was younger I loved looking at my dad's band merch and I'm hoping the some day my kids will do the same. Or think I'm silly. Either way I'm ok with it.

5) Being in a sorority = more tshirts/pins/pictures/pens than I could ever need. They're all in a box on a shelf in my closet next to the band shirts. Don't think I can part with them either.

6) We've managed to acquire a lot of random trinkets in the past 8 years from various holidays or just because. I definitely have memories associated with 80% of them, but I'll never use/look at them, but I feel guilty giving them away.

Am I the only one with this problem? I've actually parted with a lot of stuff, but I know I can get rid of a lot more. What to do, what to do...


Jenn said...

i've tried not to be a pack rat - but i can't help it.

i'm like you - my biggest vice is t-shirts. band t-shirts, sorority t-shirts, etc. i think the same way as you do that vintage t-shirts always come back into style, and someday my kids might want them! :)

Carissa said...

I am a serious pack rat so I understand your dilemma completely! It is sooo hard for me to throw stuff away. I have a bunch of sorority shirts/paraphernalia too. and way too many magazines (I eventually throw most of them away, but I do save all my glamours and anything we SJP on the cover. I am so ridiculous!). and I have so much school stuff, notes included, in my old room at my parents house.

see, I think I might be worse than you!

Bayjb said...

I can purge when I need to but most of the time, I'm a huge pack rat. And the fashion magazines, I TOTALLY DO THE SAME THING. Why do I hoard them instead of tearing out the articles? I have no idea