Thursday, March 18, 2010

clutter, clutter everywhere

Put your thinking caps on — I need some opinions.

From time to time I become obsessed with clutter. Now would be one of those times. I'm my own worst enemy really, since I allow these things to pile up in the first place, until it drives me crazy, but that's beside the point. I feel like our closets are packed to the brim with things we don't really need. I think anyone who lives in a 750ish square foot apartment with a husband and two cats could understand where I'm coming from. Less is definitely more.
Let's consider this an informal poll. My question for you is, where do you the draw the purging line? There's sentimental value, and then there's letting crap pile up for no good reason. What's worth keeping?

I have three shoe boxes full of relationship memorabilia with Husband — cards, ticket stubs, notes, little gifts. I can't bare to part with any of it, but man it takes up a lot of space. What should I keep? What needs to go?

What about cards from other people? Do you keep them? How long?

Once you've graduated university, do you draw the line at high school memorabilia? Do you think it's crazy for a 25-year-old to still have things packed away from her high school days?

We are thankfully moving into a bigger place in six weeks, but it seems ridiculous to move things that we really don't need. Now is the time for some major decision making. Help!


  1. I have birthday cards, Christmas cards, Valentine cards, etc. from the past 4-5 years taking up space in my dresser drawers. I don't want to get rid of them either, but I'm not sure how to store them so they're out of the way and not just a junky stack! As for the ticket stubs, notes, etc a photo album can be a great way to store those things. Some people would suggest a scrapbook but I hate scrapbooking :)

    My high school stuff is all at my parents', so it's their problem now! All I have are my friends' grad photos and my yearbooks.

  2. I am major fan of purging. It's tricky to know what to keep and what to throw, but here are a few tips that I use:
    1) Cards - I keep things for about a year. After that, I only keep the cards that have sentimental messages or kind words that I wouldn't want to get rid of. The rest of the cards get torn and thrown either to the bin, or the craft box (you know the kind - the sparkly, fun ones!)
    2) Things from waaaay back in the day - unless they show an achievement, milestone or something that is really a part of you, I get rid of it. Or, I scrapbook or find some way to productively keep your memorabilia so that it can be displayed or put in an album. If you can't be bothered to do either, it not worth the trouble of keeping in the first place.

    Mostly, I know what I value most (notes, letters, photos) and that's what I aim to keep - the rest goes. Good Luck!

  3. I agree with kimberlymosher -- I've been paring stuff down lately by scrapbooking it or shadowboxing it. It forces you to keep only the most precious, important things, and toss the rest. At first I thought it would be impossible, but once you see the special things presented/preserved really well, it makes you feel better about getting rid of the other items.

    Cards-wise, I only keep the special ones from my husband (in the *one* storage box of relationship memorabilia I have limited myself to). I toss every other card once that holiday has past. Oh, and I keep Christmas ones in my Christmas crafting drawer, to recycle them into new ones.

  4. whoa. I think this time of year brings everyone to this same dilemma. The biggest question I face is, can I make something else from this (it could be anything I am on the verge of disposing of, old clothes, books, paper etc.) Maybe it needs to be a more realistic approach will I be able to make use of this in the next month? and then deciding from there? Who knows.
    Good luck with the move!

  5. I am the same, but I'm slowly trying to sort and throw things out. Since right now I'm in a huge almost 3 bedroom apartment, soon to be moving into a one bedroom, I really need to reduce my clutter.

    What I found that works, is when looking through my 'memory boxes', as I call them, I just ask myself if I would even notice/remember this if there was a fire and it was all gone. I know it's hard to get rid of some of the memories. Good luck with the sorting though.

  6. I think the easiest thing to do would be to keep anything you know you can use in the future. Photos and gifts that you can use are always a keeper. It's always hard, though. But it'll save you a lot of space in the long run. =]

    Good luck,

  7. Newlyb,

    I would suggest a decorative chest - don't insist on throwing away anything of value to you, if you'll miss it and regret it later. I'm a purger too, but like you, I let things pile up before I go crazy with organizing! You can purchase a small, decorative chest from Walmart and store all your memoribelia in there, put it in your closet or out on display as an accent piece in your home.

    I don't save cards unless there's a significant message on them, mind you, I've saved all the cards from our wedding (for now). I have my junior high and high school year books and keep them in a dresser drawer or chest, wherever you have extra space, instead of using up space you could use for other things!

    Maritime Girl

  8. I found you through twitter(weird i know!), what a fun space :) It's nice to see another haligonian blogger!

    when my fiancé and i moved to, and from, BC, it was a huge lesson in purging. Especially since we shipped essentials via ten boxes and the rest we had to fit into two suitcases each. ack!

    Since then, I've really tried to not keep non-essentials which I tend to want to (like cards and such).... but sometimes they can be useful. :)

    Also, my mom still has a bunch of highschool stuff, that I don't want her to throw out LOL.

    Good luck!

  9. I read the blog and sentimental clutter is totally subjective. One idea that comes up a lot is to scan paper memorabilia, like the ticket stubs, and then toss them. It would be cute to scan that stuff in with some pictures and order a photo book (like from snapfish or apple) that makes the album for you. Then you have those memories (the important keepers at least) and it's contained. Myself, I have a Ryan box but it's small and its pretty. I rarely keep cards from ANYONE else unless it has a particularly touching message - and I'm ruthless with those! I keep them in a file. I have a very carefully honed high-school box with some of my old "spirit gear", photos, yearbooks, diploma, achievement certificates, etc. Figure it will be fun for my kids to look through, as I've enjoyed looking at my mom's stuff. But I did NOT keep everything. Same with college.

    Good luck!