Memories Are Best Kept In My Heart, Not in Drawers and Boxes All Over the House

I’ve learned something from going through all of the clutter at my Dad’s house. I don’t want anyone to ever have to sort through drawer after box after closet of my crap.

So, what am I going to do with all mine?

I have a lot. I’ve saved movie stubs and birthday cards and love notes and locks of hair. I’ve saved t-shirts and brochures and Playbills and candy bar wrappers.

And it’s not organized. There’s some here, and some there. Every once in awhile I’ll take a bunch of it and put it in a box or drawer. These things never go into scrapbooks or anything that would be able to be enjoyed by someone else. But really, who would anyway?

Then there’s my planners. I had saved my daily planners for about ten years, figuring it would be kind of cool to look back in later years and see what I’d done, where I’d been. Yesterday when we were cleaning out the garage I saw them and started thinking about them. Who is going to care that I had a doctor’s appointment on March 28, 2001? Really. I tossed them.

So I got the thought into my head to just get rid of all of the loose memorabilia, the random junk that will mean nothing to anyone but me. I may save a very few things that are very special to me, but they won’t be random pieces of paper or tickets to my 10th Styx concert. Those memories are best kept in my heart.

But not my photos. I’m not going to get rid of my photos.

But they did get me thinking some more. At my Dad’s house there is a closet and a large part of the garage that hold photo albums and scrapbooks and other memorabilia from my stepmother, and her mother, and my grandmother, and any number of older, deceased family members. What does one do with that? My stepmother obviously felt compelled to keep it, but she had no idea what to do with it all either, besides throw it in a closet. No one really wants it, but no one wants to toss it, either. I’d like my Dad to hold onto the stuff from when we were growing up, and his Mom’s stuff. But no one really wants the other stuff. It’s not my decision to toss it or not, and thank goodness for that.

So of course that got me thinking some more. Who is going to want mine?

I have a son. Boys typically could care less about these types of things. He’s not going to want them. Sure, his future wife will want to see and have pictures and some memorabilia of him growing up, but she’s not going to want mine, or my Dad’s.

So, I’m keeping my photos. And a little bit of my memorabilia. And a lot of his memorabilia. And someday, hopefully many, many years from now, he’ll go through it all and decide what he wants to keep, and what he wants to toss. I won’t mind.

All of the memories will live in my heart, and hopefully in his.

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4 Responses to “Memories Are Best Kept In My Heart, Not in Drawers and Boxes All Over the House”

  1. Emily Says:

    I totally agree with this – getting rid of the junk stuff but keeping photos. My mother is going through boxes upon boxes of photos and putting together a family tree. The photos with dates and names are ever so helpful and fun to look through. A photo speaks a thousand words. Movie stubs from 1998, not so much.

  2. Good Fountain Says:

    Good luck with this. I have some things that I have saved over the years that I’m not yet ready to part with. Maybe someday…

  3. Patty Says:

    Exactally. through all of our moves I have found things that I can’t believe that I kept, and have since thrown away. And not once yet have I looked back and wish I had kept that newspaper article, or movie stubb.

  4. Sara Says:

    I’m another vote in favor of junking stuff and keeping photos! I do have some memorabilia I keep, too. How can I get rid of the hilarious “check yes or no” notes passed between me and my best friend in elementary school? I just try to keep it limited to a shoebox or two. And before I kick the bucket, I’ll make it very clear to anyone who may be around that they do not need to keep *my* sentimental items when I’m gone.


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