It seems fitting that my first blog post is about one of my parents sort of. Let me start by stating -- I love throwing things out. I absolutely love doing it. In fact, I am at the other end of the hoarding spectrum. I typically ask -- Why keep it? What use it?
I personally think there is nothing more invigorating than throwing away or shall I say recycling something you no longer need or want. I am one of those individuals that can't stand clutter and fortunately for me my wife doesn't either. SO--if you like to keep small mementos then pass up this first blog as it won't be for you.
My wife and I decided to tackle un-cluttering one room every once in a while. Basically clean it or rid it of the long winter clutter. The first room we tackled was the office. The office use to be the kids playroom and while cleaning it we came across crafting items such as those little plastic beads that our kids would spend hours making intricate designs with. You know the ones that you have to iron so they melt to form the dolphin, or peace sign...two family favorites.
We also found yarn and string of all different colors and lengths, rocks, yes beach rocks, some small and some large. In one cabinet there were 9 signed major league baseballs signed by professional players but we couldn't figure out whose signatures they were and whether they were worth anything so we put them in the Goodwill pile.
We found my wife's high school sketch pad filled with pictures I'm sure she was proud of at the time but she decided we had better recycle them. Better to hide them from our children -- those nudes were awful. We also found old half used chapsticks of unknown vintage, little bits of cut up pieces of paper with stickers, words and numbers written all over them. We found checker pieces as well neatly organized in zip-lock bags with playing cards in each bag as well. There were more ballpoint pens than I'll use in the rest of my lifetime along with half-used broken crayons and a varying assortment of pencils.
I realized many years ago that I was not good at keeping things. I have never been one to keep cards, or letters...ok well maybe a special one occasionally but I tend to think it means more if I keep the item in my thoughts than in my sock draw.
I know some guys that keep old running sneakers to mow the lawn or work outside in but I can't understand it, why keep multiple pairs of old worn out sneakers! Seriously, won't one extra pair do?
Sometimes things happen that do cause me to ponder whether the item should be kept. This, I realized, when I found my mother's signature stamp. As I looked at the curved manner in which she wrote her name I then thought -- wow--mother has been dead for fifteen years and I still have her signature stamp. Even more why did she have a signature stamp in the first place, it wasn't as if she had a huge need to sign checks!
So I asked myself what’s the solution? Is the stamp acting as some window into my relationship with my mother or perhaps the stamp was just stuffed in a draw after she died and it is time to recycle it. Before I could ponder this thought I found a hello kitty pink notebook that had my mother's signature stamped on every page. I then realized it was just a toy and nothing more.