Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Cleaning

With only 35 days till our glorious move, I’ve found my days becoming more and more consumed with boxes, tape, and ripped up phone book paper (Yea, I’m too cheap to buy newspaper just to crumple up and shove in a box and who the hell uses the phone book anyways? Not I. I call it being resourceful.)

As I’ve mentioned time and time again, I’m more than happy doing what most people hate (packing) because it serves as a constant reminder that our move is imminent and not just a fiction of my imagination. However, as the boxes are removed from storage and shuffled through and the contents under the bed and shoved in the corners of the closet see the light of day, I’ve realized something I’ve denied for quite some time.

I’m a pack rat.

There I said it. Although it’s kind of hard to deny when you’re pilfering through perfume boxes full of old high school graduation cards and shoe boxes of hand written notes from ages ago penned by a friend now turned mortal enemy. The mixed CDs of past exs, the wine corks of present man friend, the wrapping paper from a special present, the ticket stubs of every movie ever seen since the age of 9.

It’s getting a little out of hand.

But as I sat rereading old letters and discovering decade old Smirnoff Ice caps (yea, I was cool like that), I couldn’t help but think that the junk I’ve accumulated over the years is quite similarly paralleled to my own life.

That is to say, friendships that have been long over but no one can seem to relinquish, a size 4 figure that will inexorably never return, a maturation that moves me past silly games I’ll never play again. They’re still hanging around.

Question? (a la Dwight Shrute)

Why do we hold on to things? Why do we grasp desperately at the rapidly fraying rope of friendships past (to preserve a sense of stability and loyalty??) Why do we blindly disillusion ourselves into thinking we’ll ever look the way we did 10 years ago when in reality it’s physically impossible (to avoid tossing out the elusive skinny jeans that will never see the light of day on this ass again??) Why do we cart around board games from our elementary years that we know we’ll never play again (for sentimentalities sake??)

Whatever the reasoning (most of which are ludicrous in their very construction) I realized it was time to clean house both literally and figuratively. Time to get rid of the ghosts of the past lurking in the dark and claiming too much stake in my precious storage closets. Time to exorcise myself of the things I no longer need in my life. If I haven’t used it in a year, it’s gone. If we haven’t had a real, decent conversation in the last year, you’re out of here. If your name is not the Boo, then I don’t need your letters and gifts and shoe boxes of memories.

And I have to tell you, there’s something incredibly liberating about Spring Cleaning not only your house but also your life. A release that comes by ripping up things you once deemed important and tossing them for good. Heaving clothes and cards, games and gauchos, pens and promises out of your life and into the proverbial garbage bag. Because really, it’s called “trash” for a reason.

What junk (in your home and your life) are you holding on to??

21 comments:

Matt said...

I dont hold onto anything really. I'm surprised I didnt throw my diploma away yet.

happy packing.

soundofsilent said...

I'm not much of a pack rat. If anything I toss things too quickly.

But, there was a deep recess of my closet full of notes, or middle school papers, or silly awards.

There was a MIGHTY purge almost 6 years ago, where I took 3 large boxes and condensed it into 1 or 2 small boxes. I wanted to keep some of those things because they ARE fun to look back at.

the gamer's wife said...

Ahh, I am moving too next month! I think the boxes are going to swallow me whole before I can escape. It's nice to know someone else is going through the madness like me - good luck!

I think I missed it...where are you moving to??

Bluebelle said...

Ooh, I love packing too! Have fun. :)

I have loads of old photos, scrapbooks, school work and stuff from primary school. Luckily for me it's mostly still at my parents' house so I don't have to sort through it. One day it will be back haunting me though!

Mous said...

I wish I held on to more. It is sad but true that I have found myself questioning my years past. I have nothing but memories and sometimes I wish they we a tad more tangible.

Good luck packing and remember to take underwear and dishes last you will need them first :)

Jessica said...

I need to do the same thing. Except that we moved into our house over a year ago and I'm still not done going through things! This spring I need to do some major demolition on those boxes!

Kylie said...

When we moved last May I did the same thing you just described. IT FELT GREAT!!! I loved every minute of it! I kept just a few very special things that I thought someday I may want to share with my unborn children. There's a good chance that stuff will still get tossed some day.

Lil' Woman said...

I have no idea but I will find out soon enough myself when I begin to pack for my move.

Stephanie said...

I'm not sure, but I'm pretty certain I'm about to find this out as I'm moving in August. I'm usually pretty good at not getting attached to stuff that should be thrown away, but I also can't help thinking I should keep it for some reason.

Narcs Killl said...

i think we hold on to things to make sure we have proof they existed, because so many things are fragile. it's sort of beautiful in a very human way.

i too am a pack rat. I have almost every one of my favorite pieces of clothing since i was a child. books too!

fallallaroundme said...

All those things from high school I thought I might look at again someday...

Great post! Awesome blog!

Ahope said...

I too am a pack rat that have been going through all the "junk" in my home and my life. The only difference is I can still wear my clothes from ten years ago... which is sad but true.

Nice post :)

Krystal said...

ugh, i hold onto things bigtime...like clothes (i hate throwing them away/getting rid of them), cards people send, notes, etc...too much! i might be moving soon too so i need some inspiration...so if you throw some things away you should pry talk about how awesome it was!

D said...

I'm a huge pack rat too. I can't help but thinking "What if I need this someday?" And I hate to let go of the memories. I know that the stuff isn't what the memories are all about, but they spark my memory of that time.

Muppet Soul said...

My husband.

Just kidding - he's glorious.

I still have boxes, never unpacked, from my move here last July. they would fall under the category of 'things that are useless to me, but I will not get rid of'.

It's a very large category.

Shannon said...

You are definitely right about this.

Margarita said...

Isn't it such a relief to let go of things though? For the past year I've been getting rid of things, and it feels so great. Anything I feel I can't part with I scrapbook, because really, if something is sitting in a box or getting covered with dust, is it really a memory that you're cherishing? No, might as well toss it.

Sunshinemeg said...

It's so weird to pack up your entire life and have all the memories come back with each little thing you pack. It can be fun too.

Moving is the ultimate spring cleaning!

Nashe^ said...

Good for ya!
Gee. I've been planning to toss out all my old junk but I just keep putting it off coz (and i'm being honest here) I simply do not have the time! Gaaahh.

Jenn said...

i'm a packrat, who likes to say that i'm not - which may be the worst combo. i hold on to EVERYTHING - notes from elementary school, party favors from all of my sorority events in college, etc. but the one thing i found recently that i did hang on to which was pretty cool (or uncool depending on how you look at it) was the newspaper from September 12, 2001. We'll hopefully never see something like that again in our lifetime, and the entire newspaper was coverage of September 11th.

Michelle said...

Oh goodness, literally everything you said you keep, I have all those same things in boxes upstairs.

I tagged you on my blog :)


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