Taking a break from woolly work today to deal with something I have been avoiding for a solid three years: my old bedroom at my parents’ house. Basically when I got married I just left everything where it was and moved in with my husband. I hate going down there (my room was in the basement). Everything is dusty and musty now, but at the same time it’s all the little things that represent a period in my life that is gone. I don’t want to deal with any of it.
With my grandmother coming to stay with my parents this summer, I felt that it would be good to get my stuff out of the house. But there is a LOT of stuff. Part of me feels like one of those hoarders on TV when the psychologist takes one pen away and the homeowner shrieks in dismay. On the other hand I’m thinking, “Hell, I’ve lived without this stuff for THREE years. I do not need it!” Which is true, until I go back and look at it.
“Oh, my elf ears, I’ve got to keep those!
Hey, here is that jar of M&Ms with the lamb faces on it that you gave me that one Easter.
And my first ball of yarn! I have to keep that.” (I will definitely be keeping that)
So yes, some of these items are special. For instance, I have all of my childhood books, which Rich says I need to keep so I can read them to “Little Gwen” (someday — not now). Regardless of that, I still love the books: Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter, the Berenstain Bears, Maurice Sendak, and Rosemary Wells, plus a few others I had picked up at school book sales. Things like that along with yearbooks and amusing school projects and family mementos will be coming with me.
One of the main reasons I left these things “in storage” is that there is nowhere for them to go at our house. You will not walk through the garage, house or basement and find a blank corner or wall. You will not stop and think, “You need something here!” And therein lies the problem. Even if I keep a mere fraction of this stuff, there is still no place to put it. The garage is full of SCA items, which require you to have your life in duplicate; future house projects like wood flooring we bought a year ago; wood working tools that can’t be reached; all of my vending hardware; the sellable contents of Rich’s uncle’s house; and so on. In the basement we have more of basically everything that is in the garage. Oh, did I mention this house has no closets? They would be full anyway, so it doesn’t much matter.
Another problem is that many of my belongings are weird and special to me, but no one else would find them useful. I don’t want to throw them away because it’s not trash, but who else wants my sand art from the Medieval Faire 15 years ago? I’m ready to move on, but will anyone else want it? Perhaps I ought to stuff my heart with steel wool and just purge. After three years, do I really need a Madeline doll that I bought in my teens? Not likely. She is awfully cute though…