To Keep or not to Keep?

I am a pack rat by nature, and have to force myself to go through closets and drawers and throw out the old, the worn, the unused. I’m honestly not sure why I cling to things. My mom went through her closets and mine regularly as a child, so it sure isn’t her fault.

Part of my problem is that I am strongly visual. The downside to that is literally ‘out of sight, out of mind’. I keep things out if I need to do something with them, because if they are put away, I will forget to do whatever it is I am supposed to. Yes, there are always lists, but if I don’t see something to put it on a list in the first place, it won’t get done. One of the greatest things about my Nook is that I can borrow books from my library without having to leave them in piles by the front door so I’ll remember to return them.

The thing is, some old stuff is meaningful. I won’t throw out books about biographies, cities, or history. All of them are potential references. So is the occasional article I come across online about antique kitchenware or baby farming or some other all-but-forgotten aspect of life in times past. I will print and file them because I can retrieve them faster than by running a search or going through my large list of bookmarked sites. One of the best gifts I ever got was an album from my mother filled with old photos of her family. (A sneaky way of trying to pass her old stuff on to me? LOL!)

On the other hand, with the advent of online radio and digital music storage, I am okay with tossing out older CDs, while my normally ‘toss ‘er out’ husband still has his beloved REO Speedwagon records. My youngest daughter kept one of her old Barbies as a memento of her childhood.

It is said that when you get rid of old things or attitudes, you make room in your life for new ones that suit your life now. What kind of things do you hang onto, and what can you let go of easily?

P.S.: I’m double-blogging today! At www.authorsbymoolight.comI take a quick look at the history of birth control in America. And ABM is giving away a gift certificate to one lucky commenter in March!


10 thoughts on “To Keep or not to Keep?

  1. Ann, I so understand how you feel. As for me, my easily released items are clothes, knick knacks, kitchen stuff. I’ve had to train myself to let go, because I can always find a reason not to. Books are the hardest, even when I know they’re going to a good home.

    I enjoyed this post. Nice spirit and feel. Keep it up.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Claudsy! You’re right, sometimes we have to give ourselves little pep talks when we want to cling to something, lol! I’ve never had a problem getting rid of kitchen stuff, but sometimes I want to hang on favorite tops or something in my closet.


      1. We each have our little soft spots. Mine is stories in hardcopy and mementos from forty years ago. I just know I’m going to need them sometimes in the future, so they stay in boxes that I never unpack.

        That’s what I’ve been disposing of this past year. I either use something now or not. If not, I need to get it out of my life. Relationships are something else entirely.


      2. Isn’t that the truth! As soon as you throw something out you find something you can use it for.


      3. Or worse, you rediscovered why you’d kept it all this time. Groooooaaaan.


      4. LOL! Yup, that’s happened to me. Doesn’t help the pack rat syndrome on bit.


  2. How very true. I save stuff too. I am very sentimental.


    1. I have to think hard when it’s something that belonged to a family member. One of the worst things was giving away some of my kids’ first baby dresses years ago. I could remember when they wore them the first time!


  3. My basement and the closets are full of all the good stuff–the David Winter collection all the squadron ladies lusted over in Belgium back in the late 80’s, old paintings, and the quilt sampler with 101 safety pins in it, ready to hand quilt since 05. Of course, my collection of clarinets and saxophones hog closet space, the floor and shelves. Clothes cycle out and in, thank goodness. It helps that Thrift World and Goodwill have us on speed dial for collections. Dear hearts, get help before it’s too late!


    1. ROTFL! Mary, your comments are always wonderful and witty. Thanks for stopping by, it brightened my day. 🙂


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