Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The things I keep

As you know if you are a regular reader, I'm big on purging and organizing, I often walk around the house giving possessions the side eye. Do we need you? Do we use you? Do we love you?

The other night as I was dusting the dining room, my eyes fell to a set of dishes in the china cabinet. I'm so used to them being there I don't give them a second thought. My Grandmom bought them for me a ways back in her retirement community's shop. She told me she thought of me when she saw them. I don't need them, use them, or love them. But I've kept them without once thinking about getting rid of them.

Why? I'm certainly not trying to summon her back from the dead and being ever the practical person, she would absolutely tell me to get rid of them. They weren't even hers, so they don't hold sentimental value for me. But I don't get rid of them. Just like I don't get rid of the afghans I don't use that my Mom Mom crocheted that sit in the basement in a picnic basket.

I often tell other people to get rid of things that don't serve them but I rarely mention that I keep some things that serve no purpose and that I don't love. I have an under the bed box that holds paper memories in the spare room and we have these things around the house that remind us of people who are no longer with us. I consider the sentimental stuff we own manageable. Everything has a spot and most of it is on display. It's not overtaking our home, stealing our air, or making us hoarders. I'm good with it. I just want to put it out there that I have this stuff too. Not everything has fallen victim to purging!

Might I someday get rid of this stuff? Sure. But that day is not today. 

What do you keep?

p.s. Every day is Earth Day, friends! Some things we do at our house to be more eco-minded: http://www.lifeaccordingtosteph.com/2012/04/green-machine.html 


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 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

33 comments:

  1. I also have things that serve no purpose except in the memories they hold and that's fine. I have a box of mementos from places my husband and I have been, dishes from my grandmother and things from my mother. I also have a box of things my mom gave me when they moved; things she had held onto. I'm not getting rid of mine anytime soon either. Enjoy them. :-)

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  2. we all hold onto things that have sentimental value. my father died in 2004 and i still have his wallet and handkerchief from when it was collected at the hospital...it has everything that was in there the day he passed - his bus tickets, his cards, money, that little scrap of paper he had with our cell numbers written on it...i can't bear to throw it away.

    there are some other things (mostly nicknacks) that we have of his - this weird treasure chest thing (that used to hold some kind of candy he liked) which i ended up giving to kayla and she now uses it for her stuff, these tins that remind me of him even though some of them are empty but again, i can't part with them.... so i say hold on to those dishes until you're ready to donate them...even if you never do, they remind you of your grams so enjoy looking at them every day :)

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  3. i do the same. i admit, there are a few things given to me by my grandmother that i'll get rid of once she passes away. but my granny's dishes, i just can't. the china cabinet they used to be in is haunted--im not joking--so maybe i need to give them back? hehe

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  4. My grandmother had us inventory some of her things, and she wants a list of who's taking what. I appreciate the sentiment, but I'm also kind of dreading the day I take in the huge pile of knickknacks she has earmarked for me. Both because it'll be a sad, grief-filled day and because I'll have a huge pile of new stuff that I'll feel very conflicted about getting rid of. Passed down possessions are difficult!

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  5. I totally have a small box of old letters from friends or exes from back in the day that serve as memories. Old cards from my Dad that got me through college. Those hold sentimental parts of my life and like you said are manageable because it has a place for it.

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  6. My parents sent down a few bins of my stuff from growing up including old dance costumes, porcelain dolls, and random knick knacks and embarrassing pictures of my tween years. Do I need that stuff? - definitely not! But I can't bear to part with it, and I'm a huge purger and organizer like you. Some things just can't be thrown away :)

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  7. I love this! I really try and keep our possessions to 'useful or beautiful' and all that jazz, but sometimes i am super sentimental for no reason at all - when that becomes a problem, i purge. but like you said - our stuff is manageable. when it isn't, i'll get rid of them. i really like that china though :) i don't have any china!
    ps love the new pictures, I noticed yesterday but forgot to say something :)

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  8. I have cards and letters from you kids. Old pictures, of course . Rich cannot bring himself to throw away his mom's purse that is in his office. Glad you have Mommom's afghans. Gamma is still here, so that's that. I have Stephen's baby blanket that Mommom made that I need to give to them. I have a million other things, too! Always a surprise in my drawers, LOL. Love, your Momma

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  9. I keep cards from my parents, sister and husband...I don't ever throw them away...it's just my thing lol! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  10. I keep things, too. Especially letters!

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  11. I totally keep things like this. I use to be a nanny and the children drew me so many pictures and sent me cards and letters and I have them all. I just can't part with them.

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  12. I have boxes up in the attic of things Emry has made - from 1 year on to current. One day, I'll have to go through and pick my favorites - but for now - they sit up there in the attic. I also keep mementos from special occasions.... A cork from a bottle of champagne, ticket stubs - dried flowers. As long as it isn't overtaking the home - I'm good with it to!

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  13. I have a few small things from my grandma that are ugly, but mean something to me. A wooden owl she had hanging in her bathroom is now in my bathroom and these tiny brass dogs we used to play with at her house are on my bookshelf. So random!

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  14. some things just hold meaning to you no matter what. you are definitely allowed to keep those things. those are gorgeous by the way - even if you don't use them.

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  15. This is great. I love how you worded every part of it. I struggle too with the things from people not with us anymore- seems wrong to give away and wrong to keep around with no purpose. I always wish I could find a place for this things like how Andy eventually gives away his toys in Toy Story 3- everyone wins!

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  16. I am actually proud of myself. Recently got rid of a lot of HS stuff that meant nothing... no one would ever want to see some of it. BUT... weirdly enough - we still have Erich's wedding ring from his first marriage. Sitting in a drawer. Odd, right?

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  17. And ya know what not getting rid of certain things is ok. It all balances out and what's important is how that item or memory makes you feel. Just stumbled across your blog and it is awesome!! xo

    livingoncloudandreanine.blogspot.com

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  18. I have some old cards and letters from relatives and friends that have passed that I can't bear to part with. I'm not a keep every birthday card ever person, but I have a select few notes and cards that are special to me.

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  19. What you choose to keep is so very special because there is so little that you do keep.

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  20. Some of my most treasured possessions are from family, most who are no longer with us. I have my dad's favorite book, my sister's nightstand, and a huge bowl that my grandma used to serve dessert to my mom and her 11 brothers and sisters. I also have a basket filled with afghans made by my other grandma. I have a tendency to be a little hoardish, but now that my kids are grown with their own homes, I pass some of these things on to them.

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  21. i try to keep things that have a good memory attached to them. I have a decorated egg that my mil gave to me and some of her dolls because i know how much she loved them and what it meant for her to give them to me. I have my lock from highschool! I cant remember the combination but i love it for some odd reason. I do tend to hoard but i try to go by the years method where if you havent even looked at it in a year or two you probably dont need it.

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  22. That's definitely a great thing to keep. I am pretty good at purging what I don't need, but travel memories are hard for me to let go of!

    xo Ashley | haveashley.com

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  23. I'm definitely guilty of keeping things for sentimental reasons, and I'm ok with that. I think that as long as I don't get too crazy with it, there is room in my life to hold on to some things.

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  24. I understand your need to keep those things. I have several old china, silverware and crystal from my grandparents that hold sentimental value. Now the gold-plated cutlery set from my in-laws is so ghetto fabulous, I would love to get rid of it.

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  25. I used to keep a lot more things for sentimental reasons, but at some point I realized I was hanging on to a lot of them because I felt like I was supposed to, not because I really wanted to...if that makes sense? I still have some things that keep not because they're useful or because I really like them but because I know that one day I'll want to drag them out, and I'd be sad if I couldn't. But like your stuff, they're pretty well confined to just a couple of boxes or they have a home somewhere out.

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  26. I certainly have a few pieces around our house for sentimental purposes only. They are so very special to me and while we might not use them or you might now see them displayed out....I doubt that I will ever get rid of them. I just cant. But like you, it is a manageable amount. A few dishes that were from my grandmothers's china collection, the afghans that are in a plastic container in my linen closet that literally still smell like my grandmother because they are stored as such. Sometimes I just open the container and smell her perfume and let the memories flood my mind. The random peanut dish that was my great grandmothers, the locker decoration my parents made me for senior week during high school....those things I cherish.

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  27. I tend to save little mementos from trips, craft supplies that I'll never use and a few pairs of jeans. The jeans don't even fit me anymore but they were a splurge from years ago and I feel bad getting rid of them. Maybe I'm holding onto hope that I'll fit in them again!

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  28. Honestly I keep all the things.....you would probably have a hay day at my house purging things! I am THe WORST at getting rid of things!

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  29. I have proven to make terrible decisions what to keep and what to throw. You mention afghans. My Memaw made me two afghans especially for me - one based on my HS colors and the other on my college's. Somewhere along the way, I don't have them anymore. I want them now. I'm sentimental about them in my old age. Guess what I do have. My high school letter jacket and various dance costumes and uniforms. I don't need these, yet I don't get rid of them.

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  30. I'm a huge paper keeper. I keep cards, notes, ticket stubs, airline tickets, etc. I have more recent ones on my bookshelf which I hole-punched and put a ring through to make a cute little booklet. The rest are in shoeboxes in a closet- I can't bear parting with them!

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  31. I keep the first three record albums I ever owned although I have no record player, I also keep a box of Kelli/Tyson momento's that have no use but I can't throw them away.

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  32. I've gotten a lot better with what I keep in recent years. I think because now I live in a one bedroom apartment so space is a hot commodity! lol Our storage closet is packed to the brim though... like you said, afghans, paper memories - aaaaaaaaaaaand old receipts that I'm terrified of getting rid of, lol

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