Memorabilia – Take 2

Memorabilia – Take 2

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As the start of the school year draws near, I feel a renewed energy for minimizing. I had grand plans to declutter every last corner of my house during summer break, but like most teachers, my long list of summer to-do’s usually goes undone. We need the time to relax, to refresh, to realize that our public servant salaries are justified by this glorious, three-month stretch of free time.

In any case, this morning I confronted my wedding memorabilia. During my last major memorabilia purge (see my Memorabilia – Take 1 post), I ignored the wedding boxes. I simply didn’t want to deal with them, so I let them sit until my minimizing motivation kicked in, which, for whatever reason, happened this morning around 10:30.

I opened the boxes to find, among other things: my wedding veil and tiara, a box of wedding programs, wedding cards, the silk flowers from our cake, every single ticket stub and museum brochure from our honeymoon to Nepal (I think I once had grand plans to turn them into a scrapbook, but I must face the facts – I am not a scrapbooker!), and our guest book. Ugh, I thought. This will be work!

But it actually wasn’t that bad, and it only took me about 30 minutes. I kept asking my favorite memorabilia minimizing question: Who am I saving this for? I also asked, Will I really want to look at this later?

In the end, I whittled the boxes down to two letter-sized poly envelopes, which I labeled “Anniversary Letters” (Josh and I write each other a letter every year on our anniversary – have to save those!) and “Wedding & Honeymoon.”

Then I tossed the envelopes into my one and only memorabilia tub in the attic.

I highly recommend poly envelopes for storing memorabilia. They are easy to label and clear, so you can see the contents within. In my memorabilia tub, I have poly envelopes labeled “Childhood,” “High School,” and “College.”

The best thing about having one memorabilia tub is that it makes you closely interrogate what goes into it. As I looked through my wedding items, I kept asking myself, Is this worthy of space in the tub? Since I know there is only one tub, I am picky about what goes inside. Setting spatial limits truly does limit your clutter! (And, of course, if the tub gets full, I will have to remove some things. Again, limits work!)

I also saved my veil and tiara for my daughter to use for dress-up.

Here’s a brief look at the things that didn’t make the cut. I donated some souvenirs from our honeymoon, our cake cutters, and my wedding necklace. (That was a hard decision, but really, I had completely forgotten my wedding necklace existed! It wasn’t expensive and it had not been a special gift, so I felt okay donating it.)

Here are the things I tossed: all the cake flowers, the extra programs (I saved two), all the wedding cards, the ticket stubs and brochures from Nepal, and my guest book. I felt a little guilty about that last one, but really, when am I ever going to look through my wedding guest book? Like all memories, my wedding memories live in my heart and my mind. I cherish all the people who came to our wedding, but the guest book is not those people. It is simply their names on paper.

Decluttering is a process, one step at a time. I’m guessing most of you have at least one box of unnecessary stuff in your house that you could sort through tonight while watching the Olympics. Freeing yourself of that one box is a simple, vital step toward freeing yourself of all those boxes. Where is that first box? I think you know. Go find it!

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