Monday, January 12, 2015

Trash or Treasure?

What with Christmas, New Year's and a persistent bronchial-respiratory infection, I've spent the better part of the past month going in circles. Things don't get done when I go in circles. Things get tossed into piles where they'll be least likely to be seen - in my case, in my office. But eventually, something forced me to enter the "dumping ground" and when I did...well, let's just say it was an eye-opening experience. Consequently, I've spent the past week shredding junk mail, filing papers, sorting, tossing, shelving - and alphabetizing - books and a myriad of other cleaning and de-cluttering tasks. Once I started, I couldn't seem to stop myself. I kept gaining steam until I had put my mark on every room of the condo. And I didn't stop with drawers, closets and bookcases. I also tackled boxes that had made the journey with me from my home; boxes that contained items my mom had saved and which had come to me for storage after my dad's death ten years ago. Boxes into which I had yet to peek.

During this process I've discovered some interesting facts, one of which is the items people keep. What makes someone keep one item while tossing another? Is it so we can revisit those memories years down the road? Or, perhaps, so future generations will have a better understanding of our lives? Is it just that we're pack rats? That we have trouble "letting go?"  I let go of hundreds of books when I sold my house and I'm here to tell you...It. Was. Not. Easy.

They say that one man's trash is another's treasure. Here are a few of the "treasures" I uncovered during my de-cluttering journey.







My Girl Scout utensil set:  This was part of the mess kit that went with me to Girl Scout camp every summer. The last time I remember using it was 1963 yet there it was in the box from my parents, clean, shiny and ready to use - an item deemed a treasure by my mom.













My Autograph Book, with a collection of messages that spans nine years - from 4th grade through 12th. I don't remember when I last saw this book. In truth, I had forgotten that it even existed. The words written within mean the world to me, especially the ones from my dear grandpa. He was a hardworking farmer with little formal education. The message he wrote in my book is the only handwritten message I ever received from him. The book also contains priceless notes from friends, teachers, my parents, aunts, uncles and my beloved grandmother. With the exception of the friends, they are all gone now which makes their personal notes all the more precious. I treasure that book and I give thanks that my mom did as well. The message to the left was written by a classmate. Why did our messages always have to rhyme? ;-)



Letters: What an important part of our history penned letters have been. With the installation of a computer and internet access in most homes, the handwritten letter has fallen out of favor. I, for one, mourn its loss. One of the treasures I discovered this week was a packet of letters written to me during my time as an exchange student in Mexico. I was fourteen, in a foreign country, living with a family I had just met. Air Mail letters were my only connection with my family in the U.S. Reading those letters this week, I was taken back to 1966 and the memories of that wonderful summer - not only of my own experiences but also of what was going on back home with my parents, brothers and friends while I was off on my "grand adventure." Through her words and her hand, I was also gifted with a piece of my mom and the simple, happy times before life became complicated and illness and death took her from us way too soon. Another treasure.

Did you notice the postage on those letters? Eight cents to send a four page letter Air Mail from Michigan to Mexico City. My, how times have changed!

I also found old passports, a third grade report card, high school musical playbills, my sophomore year college ID and a 1961-62 School Safety Patrol membership card. In one of the boxes I hadn't previously opened I discovered my parents' original marriage certificate and photos from their wedding day that I had no idea existed. A trove of treasures.





Music: One of my clearest memories of Girl Scout camp is the music. Every night, we'd gather around the campfire and sing songs. Some we were taught by the camp counselors but many were taken from the American Camping Association "Let's All Sing" songbook. Yep, I also found the songbook - a compilation of musical memories from my youth including The Happy Wanderer, Kookaburra, Alouette, Sarasponda, This Old Man, Zulu Warrior, Kum Ba Yah, and, of course, Make New Friends. Oh yes, and while we're on the topic of Girl Scouts, my mom also saved my GS sash, complete with badges. Both the sash and the book are more than 50 years old. An antique treasure? *grin*








What about you? Do you "cleanse" your home at the start of each year? 

Do you have treasures that were saved for you by your parents? What types of items are among your treasures?

What items are you saving for your own children?

Do you miss writing - and receiving - handwritten letters as much as I do?

Do you have as much trouble saying goodbye to your books as I do? How do you decide what stays and what goes?

Let's talk trash and treasures! I have a package of books for five randomly chosen people who leave a comment on today's post. (U.S. addresses only)




70 comments:

  1. Keep some jerlwly! Donate books, I clean
    Kimh

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    1. I donate a lot of books also. I don't have much jewelry from previous generations but I have a lovely miniature hand mirror that belonged to my great-grandmother. I never knew her but I'm told she was over-the-moon excited about the arrival of her first great-granddaughter. She exited this world the night I entered it. I've always felt a special connection to her because of that.

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  2. Oh, don't they bring back memories PJ ? I am guilty of storing items and fforgettingg they aare there. Your post tells me it's time for a trip down memory lane. :) Having 7 kids all now grown makes my boxes numetous in size. lol. Going to tackle them this week. Thanks for the post.Some of the memorable items are love letters between my in laws during WWll.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com






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    1. So many lovely memories, Carol. How wonderful that you have your in-laws' WWII letters! In one of my dad's boxes, I discovered WWII V-Mail letters from my uncles (stationed in Europe) to my grandparents - complete with blacked-out words and phrases. I had forgotten that those letters were censored before being shipped back to the States.

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  3. Treasures my mom gifted to me:

    my first camera with film still in it. It was a Kodak but bulkier than even the little 110 instamatic I had in college. Sadly I lost that at a Badger football game
    all my Girl Scout stuff- sash, book, tam, belt
    grade school and HS classmate's class pictures which we exchanged, all my class pictures
    sweaters and jackets I wore in HS and college
    board games
    dolls and stuffed animals and other toys, including things I won at carnivals
    report cards and trinkets from each school year: Kleenex flowers from the floats we made, awards I won in school, medals I won, pins from GAA, HS yearbooks
    my wedding dress, my HS formals
    my baby book and cards
    my favorite books

    Thank yous-I receive thank you cards from my children and their spouses. I'm of the vintage that I do receive birthday cards and notes from friends and relatives. I do like the speed and convenience of e-mail for every day messages.

    Books-I have to donate books. I usually donate to the Friends of the Library book stores. I don't have room for all of the volume that I read, as I still prefer handheld books.

    Children- I've passed on toys, stuffed animals, games, books, Halloween costumes, clothes and puzzles. I also have their baby blankets saved.

    I have my daughter's wedding dress and veil.

    When I have spare time I start sorting through the saved items. I never start the day with that idea in mind. It's while I'm looking for something else that I wade through the treasured items and throw or give things away.

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    1. What wonderful treasures, Laurie! I still have my first stuffed animal and one of my first toys. They're both a little (okay, a lot) worse for wear but I can't bring myself to throw them out.

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  4. We just downsized a few months ago so I had to get rid of a lot of stuff. I had to get rid of a lot of my favorite books but with so many being available as ebooks now it wasn't as hard as I thought since I promised myself I would get them again.

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    1. Downsizing is an excellent way to clean things out! I'm still marveling at everything I got rid of when I sold my house to downsize to the condo. I'm also surprised by the number of things I don't miss. ;-)

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  5. I LOVE THIS POST.

    Do you have treasures that were saved for you by your parents? What types of items are among your treasures? MY ALMOST 95 YR OLD MOM IS STILL HERE AND I HAVE NOTES THAT SHE, MY DAD AND AUNT HAVE WRITTEN ME.

    What items are you saving for your own children? THEIR BABY BOOKS, PHOTOS, REPORT CARDS, NOTES AND PICTURES THAT THEY WROTE/MADE.


    Do you have as much trouble saying goodbye to your books as I do? How do you decide what stays and what goes? DEFINITELY YES TO SAYING GOODBYE. I HAVE VERY FEW KEEPERS - MAYBE 20 - AND IF A STORY I REALLY ENJOYED/REALLY IS MEMORABLE, I KEEP IT.

    Thanks for the giveaway; always love a surprise pkg of books.

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    1. Patoct, how very lucky you are to still have your mother with you. My uncle died this past Christmas. He was the last living sibling from both my mom's and my dad's families. I loved him dearly and mourn not only him but all the family stories yet to be told. I wish I had written more things down.

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    2. So sorry for your loss. I forgot, my dear aunt and godmother (my mom's sister) passed away at 92 in 2011. I have some of her furniture and 2 decorative pictures hanging in one of my bedrooms. My daughter has her beautiful bedroom set and she also took some pictures. My aunt did not want a garage sale, so some friends of hers took some items and a good friend of mine took some stuff. My aunt would be happy knowing several people are enjoying some of her treasures. Aunt Rosie was wonderful aunt an I miss her so much. Our family occasions centered around her home.
      Patoct

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  6. That was me 7:49 post - 1/12 - forgot to put my name. LOL. Sorry.
    Patoct

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  7. As a retired history teacher my advice is to keep your found treasures and revisit the memories as often as long as you want. And yes I do keep many of the same items as you.

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  8. I do miss the written word. I have several little treasures I have saved over the years. I have my girl scout sash, my girl guide(England) bandanna, Notes I took on trip we went on with class in England, t shirt from band in high school, my flagline uniform, a candle a neighbor boy made me for Christmas 30 yrs ago( boy that makes me feel old) and autograph book from my English school St. Johns Primary, a doll I received for Christmas when I was about 8

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    1. It's lovely to revisit those memories, isn't it? I came home from work one day in the late 80's to find a bouquet of yellow roses and a beautiful note from my late husband. It was one of those "no special occasion" gifts of love. I thought that I had lost that note in one of my moves but it recently surfaced during another cleaning spree. It took me right back to that wonderful day and how loved and cherished he made me feel.

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  9. Wow, I do not even know where to begin. I do a lot of tossing when I realize I need more space or when I move. I've gotten rid of books several times over in many years and feel OK about it during, telling myself it is for the best, then spend a lot of time regretting it. I can still picture my Strawberry Shortcake cook book I bought during a 5th grade book-fair. I wish I still had it.My copy of Gone with the Wind from High School is also thought often of. I just think some things/books are more memorable than others and sometime you never know what those things mean to you until they are gone. I did manage to keep my Girl Scout handbooks and badges. I sort of wish I kept a lot of other things through the years. My parents moved out of the "big" house- leaving all kinds of stuff in the attic we never recovered. Great job on cleaning up. Nice book shelves! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I've felt that way about a few books too, Sally. Some I got over but others I went out and bought again. lol

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  10. P.S. I do still have lots of my hand written letters!

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  11. We moved from a 4000 square foot home to a 1600 foot apartment about a year ago. Talk about trash....talk about downsizing...talk about purging! We did. Sadly some treasures had to go. My kids and I spent hours going through buckets of their school work, photos etc. It was such a treasure simply walking down memory lane with them. But choices had to be made. We all were allowed one bucket. Books were even donated! I consider it all treasure, never trash but at times, a choice has to be made and this was one of those times. Now, I think about making memories and buying less. I hope I succeed.
    My kids, starting their own lives and boxes to fill their future homes.
    Books, starting over and in one year, I have an entire new bookshelf filled, even with a kindle and nook to my name!!!
    Sigh....

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    1. It's hard making that choice but, like you, I got rid of a lot of stuff when I downsized. Strangely, the more I tossed the better I felt. Almost as if I was lifting a weight from my shoulders.

      Now, I think about making memories and buying less.

      I love this!

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  12. Probably not at the start of each year, but I try to do some Spring purging and Fall purging. But I've a difficult time with parting with sentimental items, like childhood stuff or family memorabilia. Books...after a while are the easiest to purge because I only have so much shelf space and when I start tripping over books, I get mad and fling a bunch into a box and take them to the used book store for trade. I get new books (which hardly helps the problem, but usually I bring home less books than I took in and it somehow works out.)

    I have a couple files of my old college papers (where I got good grades or wrote on topics I liked), I have a couple t-shirts from my school (which was cool because we rarely spent money on stuff like that), I have Mom's and Dad's bibles, some of mom's poetry/prayers and Dad's navy stuff, many of the old family pictures. I don't have letters (even though it was the way to write when I was young, I was a poor writer--but I do have letters from my Aunt Helen still that I keep (she passed in 2008)) and I do have journals I've started and stopped for various reasons, so it's funny to read through some of those. One I "encoded" to where the boys I was talking about had code names. Yeah, it's so encoded, I don't remember who the devil I'm talking about. I see that romance lasted for all time, as I wrote about in the journal.

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    1. One I "encoded" to where the boys I was talking about had code names. Yeah, it's so encoded, I don't remember who the devil I'm talking about.

      LOL! Thank you for sharing this! It makes me feel so much better about a couple of the messages in my autograph book. I read them, thought "Oh, isn't that sweet!" then immediately followed that thought with "Who the heck is Linda?"

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  13. Similar to Hope, I moved in 2013 and downsized dramatically. So, almost everything had to go. I donated, gifted, sold and discarded enough stuff to fill 3 houses, I think! LOL! But being the sentimental creature that I am, there were some things that made the trip across the continent. The short list:

    My grandmother's highboy dresser (ca 1912) and a pair of her kidskin gloves

    My dad's woolen driving cap, some of the treasures HE kept (a tiny crystal and silver salt shaker he found, an unusual seed he brought back from being stationed in the South Pacific during WWII) and the flag that was draped over his casket at his funeral.

    My mom's china cabinet, part of her collection of antique platters, some of her crystal glasses, and her dress watch

    A 1st Edition set of The Complete Works of Charles Dickens
    A book of poems by Tennyson
    Modern Medical Counselor (a tome on everything from at home childbirth to how to treat a raging case of elephantiasis published around 1940)
    Autographed debut novels by my writer friends

    There's a lot more, but you get the gist. Though they are "just stuff", that STUFF is part of me in a way. One look, one touch and I can relive memories that have faded over time. I hope that someday, one of my children or grandchildren will cherish these items as much as I do. And I plan to leave an inventoried list of them, where they came from and why I kept them.

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    1. Those aren't "just stuff," Cinthia. They are true treasures and family heirlooms that are irreplaceable. Do make that inventory so that generations to come will know "the whole story."

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  14. We are retired military, so we cleaned out every 4 years when we were reassigned. I do have boxes of pictures that we lugged around. And keepsakes from different places, but not too much from my childhood. Kinda wish I did tho.

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    1. My late husband was career military and the same as you. When we met (following his military retirement) I think he was a big shocked by the amount of "stuff" I carted with me from place to place.

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    2. Okay, that's supposed to be "bit" shocked but I guess big works too. LOL

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  15. I do remember the autograph book, particulary, write on white to be polite. Brings back memories. I so looked forward to getting that book and getting signatures and signing others books.

    I clean out my clothes and my young daughter's as well as she outgrows them. My mom handed me a Winnie the Pooh dress from when I was young so my daughter could wear it. My mom has stuff of mine from when I was a kid.

    Natalie's Mama

    Thanks for the giveaway - love to get boxes of books. The anticipation of winning and if I do waiting to see what is in the box.

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    1. The mother of a friend kept all of my friend's dance recital costumes from when she was young. When my friend's daughter was young, she and her playmates loved using those costumes for dress-up. Wish I'd thought of that!

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  16. I donate clothes to goodwill (most of mine come from there) I donate my already read books to Goodwill and the library book sales. Otherwise, I use it or it goes bye-bye. I always keep a bag of books ready to donate in my living room next to the door. I keep a garbage bag of clothes in my bedroom ready to go-try to purge closes twice a year. I'm not a sentimental person.

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    1. Most of my old clothes go to Goodwill too.

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  17. I am a total pack rat. I have trouble throwing almost anything away. Giving away is a bit easier. I'm sentimental over items, I like to think that items can be reused, and I truly love clutter lol. I love being surrounded by my books. Also, my mom use to throw everything out and I think somehow I'm still rebelling lol.

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    1. My mom was the pack rat in the family which is probably why too much clutter tends to make me feel claustrophobic. Guess I'm rebelling in the opposite direction. ;-)

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  18. When we moved into a smaller place several years ago, we carted truckloads of stuff to the dump, donated several truckloads, and gave away enough furniture, appliances, and dishes to fill a small house. I also halved my book collection at that time. I still purge my bookshelves a couple of times a year, but I'm donating and giving away fewer books since I buy mostly digital now. The things I can't bear to let go of all have sentimental value--a trunk that belonged to my great-grandmother, a punch bowl inherited from a great aunt (even though only two of the matching goblets survive), and a full shelf of bibles that belonged to four generations of family members. I also cherish journals, pictures, hand-made cards from former students and from the boys and the grands, and literally hundreds of "dust collectors" that were gifts from students, friends, and family.

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    1. Those are the hardest things for me to turn loose too, Janga. It's not so much the item but the memories that accompany it.

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  19. I passed along my photos and treasure to my daughters. I am older and want things neat and easy.

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    1. I'm with you, Helen only as the only girl in my family and with no children of my own, I've become the family treasure depository. ;-)

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  20. I loved your post today since it resonated with me greatly. I try to discard annually, donate clothing, household items and books more frequently. I miss writing, reading and receiving letters since I grew up in the 50's when corresponding was meaningful, the only way to communicate and wonderful.

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    1. I grew up in the 50's too, petite and treasure those letters and notes.

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  21. I would like to give my children what I consider treasures although I know that they don't need more in their homes so I will wait. Artifacts and sculptures from my father which are precious. I hold onto some books and give many to friends, retirement homes and libraries. I donate clothes which take up space and try to get rid of things that are no longer useful. When I was young I wrote many letters to friends and family. Of course this no longer is the case. that was a different era.

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    1. When I sold my house I knew there were many items I would not be able to keep so I took photos of the ones that were leaving. Now I can look at the photos and remember the memories connected to the items.

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  22. I definitely have trouble throwing things out. I bow to your success in this area. Some of the things you found are so precious--the GS items and your parents' wedding photos. And the letters! I do miss letters. I think before I go, I'll need to leave my kids a roadmap of what has $$$ value, so they don't trash everything! For example, your GS items could be sold (on eBay) or even donated to a district scout museum, if one is near you. (FYI, my Hubby treasures his old Boy Scout handbook.)

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    1. I never thought about donating the GS items to a museum. I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the tip!

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  23. The only treasures I have from childhood is my Barbie doll and Barbie is dated 1958 and the other the early 60's but they are in bad shape because I really played with them a lot, we didn't get a lot of things like this and they were from a few Christmases. I also have a china cup and saucer that my primary Sunday school teacher gave me when she was in her 80's that was her's when she was a little girl. I can't seem to part myself from these items. I do have a lot of junk that needs to be gone through and got rid of. A whole atic full. I do purge some books from time to time that I have read, usually send them to a nursing home or my sister and then to a nursing home. I heard they really enjoy them there.

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    1. My Barbie bit the dust a few years ago. She also was "well loved." ;-)

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  24. My husband passed away several years ago; I finally sold my house to our daughter. She has most of the treasures. I gave some other treasures to my other daughter. I live in a sr. community and have some wonderful pictures and momentos from my later husband. My daughter who bought my home, became a first time mom in October - so we will be making new memories to treasure.

    Patty B43

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    1. Congrats on the new grandbaby! Have fun making those new memories. :)

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  25. I have a hard time getting rid of books but when I do, I try to give them to people I know will enjoy them. I have a neighbor who reads the same books I do so she gets a bag every now and then. When she's done, she passes them on to friends. Have certain authors I keep though.

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    1. How nice of you to share your books with your neighbor. I'm sure she appreciates those bags!

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  26. I'm a terrible book hoarder. Rationally I know that there are a lot of books that I should get rid of, just to have the space back. But the book hoarder in me is screaming "sacrilege!" The funny thing is that I'm not a hoarder in any other aspect of life. In fact, I'm ruthless at getting rid of clutter and junk. I get in trouble for throwing away things that should have sentimental meaning. So that would be a great 2015 goal... great book purge :) Thanks for sharing and I'm soo very jealous that you've already done your purge!

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    1. Erin, I'm sure there are many here who can empathize with your book hoarding tendencies. I've become much better at clearing out books over the years but it still isn't easy.

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  27. We moved a little over a year ago, and I got rid of about 4000 paperbacks. I know. I still kept about 400 or so of some for my TBR, so I still have a couple of bookcases in our new-to-us office. We purged over 30+ years of stuff/junk/crap. But I kept my Sucrets tin full of Girl Scout badges dating from the 60's. Your post brought back so many memories. I am going to make a point of reading more of my TBR books and then out they will go.

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    1. Whoa! That's a lot of books! You could have opened your own lending library, Nikki! :)

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  28. OM GOSH! U are so like ME!!! Mom saved for me that I still have: first lost tooth, lock of hair, PICTURES!!!
    I do save letters and Christmas photos of friends w/children and NOW grandchildren!
    Books I don't keep cause I want others to enjoy them as I did! I've saved "signed" books from fav authors....
    Gave sons their treasures but now I save for grandkids what parents can't save!!
    Jewelry from Mom is priceless treasures and I wear it as much as I can! Thanks for sharing your books with lovers of reading! Happy New Year...hope you get rid of that infection real soon, too!!!! Mickey

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    1. Thanks for the get well vibes, Mickey!

      No saved teeth here but I do have a lock of hair from my first haircut.

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  29. I am a "pack rat". Not as bad as the hoarders they show on the tv show, but I am reluctant to throw away items that I might need later. As for my books, I will only get rid of one if I have more than one copy. I usually donate them to the local library or the thrift store. Right now, I have about 20 large totes filled with my books sitting in a storage unit. And my TBR list isn't a list but a bookshelf. My Mom is the purger in the family, she wanted to throw or get rid of her thimble collection, luckily I was able to save them for my nieces. She doesn't collect them anymore, but I can remember as a kid searching for just the right thimble to give to her for her birthday, Christmas and Mother's Day. I also have my Girl Scout badge sash. A lot of good memories. I hope it doesn't sound weird, but I consider my books to be my "children". I don't have kids myself, but I do have two younger nieces who are developing into voracious readers just like their aunt. I know when the time comes, my books will go to a good home and the ones they don't want, they will donate them to the local library.

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    1. How nice that your nieces share your love of reading. I love sending packages of books to our readers here at the Dish because I always know they're going to good homes where they'll be enjoyed and appreciated.

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  30. I'm one of those people who has a hard time letting things go, especially things like mementos from high school, my son's drawings from elementary school, and the list goes on and on. There is a lot of stuff I dragged across the country when I moved from California to Florida and I'm planning on going back in a few years. I should thin things out, but I don't hold out a lot of hope that I will get rid of most of it. There are so many memories that I just don't want to lose. I have my mother's photo album from when she was a teenager and then a young wife, and I treasure it, plus a few things she bought for me, but that's about all I have. I was reminded today about her button collection, I wish I knew what had happened to that. I don't think my son will want most of the stuff I have, but that will be his problem to dispose of it all, not mine. :D

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    1. I'm the same way about some things, Barbara. The memories are mine and someone will probably ditch them after I'm gone but as long as I'm here I'm going to enjoy them. :)

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  31. I've tried to clean things out, but it is really hard. I still have my Girl Scout sash with it's badges, but didn't have that cool utensil set. I wish my grandparents & parents had kept more letters and cards - I only have a few that were stashed in a box. My nephew gave me a membership to Ancestry.com for Christmas, so I've been going thru trying to build a family tree. I did find a partial (3 generation) family tree I had created for a Junior Girl Scout badge - I'm glad I saved that. I recently found a box of other stuff I've saved - it has a vase (like a cute pony) that my grandfather had given me when I was in the hospital for appendicitis - I don't think anyone else will want it, but I can't get rid of it.

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    1. The utensil set was a Christmas present, given to me when I was around ten. I can still remember how excited I was when I opened it.

      Have fun with your Ancestry membership. One of my cousins has done extensive research on our family tree. The information he's uncovered is amazing.

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  32. I do try to clean out, but never get very far. I've got a big rubbermaid bin for each child filled with Tshirts that they didn't want to say goodbye to. The idea was that I would make a quilt out of them - in reality I don't have the time to piece it all together these days..... Maybe one day. I've also got a few boxes of other things save for each of them like Tae Quon Do uniforms, her Girl Scout vest, his Boy Scout badges etc.

    After my mother died, my siblings and I spent days going through just the things she had boxed in her garage. We each kept many items and passed some things on to the grandkids. She had a lot of things that had been our grandmother's and it made for an interesting trip down memory lane.

    As far as getting rid of books. I think it is possible, but not likely, that there is a Glenda in another dimension/reality who is able to easily discard books. ;-)

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    1. As far as getting rid of books. I think it is possible, but not likely, that there is a Glenda in another dimension/reality who is able to easily discard books. ;-)

      LOL!

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  33. I try to pare down things throughout the year. Quilts from my grandma and her wedding ring are some of the most important things I have.
    Denise

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  34. We moved so much when I was younger that a lot of our stuff was lost. Then when we finally settled a flood destroyed a lot of what we had :( but that actually taught me that we must value what we have and learn to let go of material things. My mom has been able to keep a few of of our childhood "trinkets" but I try not to, I try to de clutter as much as I can whenever I can keeping in mind that things come and go. Memories stay forever.
    JoannaM

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  35. I have lots of pictures of family members which I treasure as many of them have passed on. Also have some momentos from my Dad who passed away a long time ago. I have a lot of treasured items in my living room. Try not to keep too much clutter.
    Cuzie Dawn

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  36. I do clean out once or twice a year, donate items and have a garage sale once a year. I have no problems donating or passing along books. I do have quite an extensive bookcase filled with books that I DO hate to part with. My husband makes fun of me. But that won't stop me from accepting a winning package from you. LOL.
    LIMarie

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  37. I have more treasures than I know what to do with. I don't have much from my school days. Before I went overseas, I packed all my treasures into 3 small boxes. My family moved while I was gone and for some reason threw out everything, but a shoebox of things.
    My 3 years as a Peace Corps volunteer added many must save items to my stash. I agree with you about letters. The ones I received from my family and future husband are to be treasured. Even more so because my mother died a couple of weeks after I got home. The letters I wrote home are great records of my time and travels.
    The past few years, I have been overwhelmed by events and stuff. I may get a small area straightened up, but it never lasts very long and it is never enough. I never get more than an hour or so to work on the mess, and that isn't enough to accomplish much of anything.
    Books are a major problem. I find it difficult to part with them. I collect old books and some on topics I am interested in. I am working my way through the fiction, but there are so many good books to read. Better yet, or maybe not, there are so many good ones coming out every day.
    Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

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  38. What a wonderful post. Enjoyed reading about your keepsakes and mementos. I have my daughter's girl scout sash and my son's cub scout shirt along with a few other items like that. I recently moved back to MI after living in NC for nearly 15 years. Because the move was taking me from a 3 bdrm house to a 2 bdrm apartment, I had lots of paring down to do. And it's hard to do. Several pieces of furniture as well as over 600 books had to find new homes. When I mentioned the furniture items to my kids, my daughter said she wanted my sewing machine and my cedar chest so I brought them along for her. In the cedar chest, I found a hand-made quilt made by my grandmother probably in the 1930's. Since it had been stored in the cedar chest for so many years it is still in pretty good condition. Only the binding in some places shows wear. My daughter was so pleased to get that as a bonus along with a baby afghan my mother crocheted for me when I was pregnant with my daughter. She wanted that too!

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