Posted in 2011
, May 2011
on May 23rd, 2011 by Susana Enriquez – Be the first to comment
I started with the smallest box because I thought it would be the easiest.
See, even though I haven’t opened these nine boxes in years, I have an idea – albeit vague – of what’s in them. So I expected to open this box and find a bunch of old papers that I could mostly toss.
What I found were lots of memories encased in little slips of paper dating as far back as 1990. These are some of the things I found:
- Embossed matchstick covers from my cousin’s wedding in 1990 – Toss
- My 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade IDs (What happened to the one from 9th grade?) – Keep
- Six random bumper stickers (Who is Vesta and why does she think I’m special?) – Toss
- Ticket stub from the Menudo reunion concert on August 9, 1998 – Toss
- A section of my braces, along with a card from my orthodontist congratulating me on my “great and winning smile” – Toss
- Eight heliumless mylar balloons – Toss
- Birthday cards from my auto insurance agent, my sisters’ ex-boyfriends and people I used to call “friend” – Toss
- Birthday cards from my parents, sisters and people who I still call “friend” – Keep
- A certificate of completion for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, along with three snap bracelets (including the coveted black bracelet!) – Toss
- A “Grumpy” stretched penny from Disneyland – Toss
- My 8th-grade graduation diploma – Keep
- And my favorite: The drawing Steve gave me in the 10th grade (or was it the 9th grade?) to demonstrate his love for me. That was before he kissed another girl. Drama! – Shred!
While I got rid of most of the items that were in the box – and the box itself – I still kept quite a few items. And because you learn in Organizing 101 that you have to honor the memories that you think are worth keeping – meaning, you don’t bury them in a dingy box in the garage – I have to find a nice container for them. Something I can keep on a shelf. So far, I like this box from Ikea:
One box down; eight to go.
Posted in 2011
, May 2011
on May 5th, 2011 by Susana Enriquez – 1 Comment
My parents’ house is like a museum of my life.
A peek into a dresser drawer reveals a high school cheerleading uniform, circa 1996 (don’t ask if it still fits); inside the linen closet lurks a math competition trophy from 1991 (1st place!); a relic from a failed relationship hides behind the door of a TV cabinet.
While my pieces are sprinkled throughout their house, the main exhibit is in the garage.
Deep in the bowels of the section of the garage that is supposed to house a third car (but hasn’t in nearly two decades) are nine boxes that hold the contents of my life. Well, at least snippets of my life.
For several years – a decade or two, perhaps – these cardboard boxes and plastic bins have been the resting place for my old toys, books, Beanie Babies (I, too, latched onto that collection frenzy) and numerous other things.
Most of all, the boxes are filled with delayed decisions. I don’t want to open up that bin full of Beanie Babies and face the fact that I wasted my hard-earned money. Nor do I want to part with my childhood mementos. And I certainly don’t want to go through the box that is full of memories from a relationship that is no more.
While it has been easy not to think about those boxes and their contents (my parents have plenty of space for them in their garage), it’s time to do something about them.
I would like to think that when I crack open my boxes, I’ll be able to make quick decisions about whether to keep or part with each item. But who am I kidding? Some of those boxes are full of what organizing guru Peter Walsh calls “memory clutter” – those things that trigger memories, positive or otherwise.
So one at a time, I’ll go through my boxes. Some decisions will come easily, but most will be difficult. There may be laughter; there will definitely be tears. But I’m ready.