Nostalgia By The Truckload
This weekend we are going to visit my family to celebrate a belated Christmas. It kept getting delayed due to illnesses and conflicts but it looks like my family can finally meet up this time. I’m looking forward to it but I suspect this trip might set us back in our efforts to simplify and de-clutter our home.
The last time we visited, mom said that I should take all my childhood keepsakes now that we are moving to a bigger home. I’m sure lots of parent stash away trinkets from their kids’ childhood knowing that they will appreciate those things when they are older. I think it’s neat that my mom kept some of my toys all this time.
The thing is, my mom is a packrat and she saved virtually everything I ever played with or owned as a child. Cabinets and shelves full of old toys, games, souvenirs, hobbies, crafts, you name it. A bedroom is dedicated to this stuff right now. Some of it’s sentimental but most of it isn’t.
My older siblings picked through their things years ago and refused to take most of it. Eventually, I think their rejected stuff got assimilated into mine, creating one massive collection. Against all wisdom and advice, I have agreed to take it. My mom saved all these things for us and I think that’s really sweet of her. Her heart was in the right place. She didn’t want to throw away the things that meant something to us as kids. So now I’ll do the honors.
I’m assuming the first truckload will be coming back with me this weekend but I’m not sure yet. If so, I need to have a plan so the stuff doesn’t become a permanent fixture in a corner of my garage. Inspired by Brip Blap’s awesome article on learning to let go of pseudo-sentimental items, I’ve decided to do the following steps:
- I will go through the stuff and toss anything damaged, incomplete, or just plain un-salvageable. That My Little Pony that my sister gave a mohawk and multiple earrings comes to mind. (It was the 80’s – punk was in.)
- Stuff that is in decent condition but not unique enough to be sold will be given away to friends with kids and Goodwill. I think most of it will be in this category. Hopefully the toys that helped me pass the time as a child can bring happiness to others, too.
- Stuff that is in good shape and particularly retro or kitschy might head to eBay. There may be a few gems among the rocks, who knows. I’ll have to wait and see.
I already know I’m keeping a few things, like some favorite childhood books and my miniature dollhouse. Those items were always intended to be kept, not the junk drawer with a paddleball toy that’s missing the ball or the pressed pennies from amusement parks.
I will also make sure to do the sorting with Eric. He can keep me grounded if a wave of nostalgia hits me and I start rationalizing why I should I keep this stuff. I can hear myself now: “Wouldn’t it be fun to save this for our kids someday”, “But it’s too special”… Eric has no attachment to these things and can keep us focused and on task.
Once I start getting these boxes I’ll have to report on the interesting things I find. Besides a lot of children’s books and Barbie Dolls I’m not really sure what’s there. I bet it will be a fun job sorting these toys. It’s sure to bring back a lot of memories. I’ll just have to be careful that it doesn’t bring back the clutter, too.
Image Source: tshein