Posted in 2011
, June 2011
on June 21st, 2011 by Susana Enriquez – Be the first to comment
This box may look small, but inside lurked a fashion revival.
The 1990′s revival of the 1970′s to be exact. Yes, I embraced bell bottoms and wide-leg pants in all of their hippie glory!
Here’s a sampling of the goodies I found:
- Four pairs of denim bell bottoms (the awesome pair on the right with all the buttons belonged to my sister)
- One pair of black-and-white, wide-leg pants
- One pair of cotton bell bottoms (also my sister’s)
- Two vests – one denim; one patchwork with fringes (which I don’t think I ever wore. Really.)
- One colorful shirt I bought at a thrift store
Why did I save this stuff for 17 years or so? Two reasons.
I thought they would make great Halloween costumes. And they did. One year. When they still fit.
I was also holding onto them for my daughter(s) for when the trend returns. When I was in high school, I thought it was so cool when my friends wore clothes their moms wore back when they were young. It’s only now that I realize that in order to do that, those moms were violating the cardinal rule of clothing retention: If you haven’t worn it in a year, it needs to go (but NOT into a box in the garage).
The problem with holding onto stuff for your children is that if you don’t have any, like me, you have to hold onto the stuff for a long time before they’re even old enough to decide if they want to wear your funky, button-down bell bottoms.
I would have to store those bell bottoms for at least 20 more years to get to that point. That’s not happening. So into a bag everything went. Destination: Goodwill.
If my daughter(s) ever express interest in wearing funky old clothes, I can always take them thrift-store shopping. Who knows? Maybe some my clothes will still be around.
And how random is this: In the box, I also found the crown I wore on the day of my First Communion and my candle.
Perhaps finding those two items is a sign that I should reconnect with my religion. That remains to be seen, but in the meantime, they are going into my box of memorabilia.
Posted in 2011
, June 2011
on June 13th, 2011 by Susana Enriquez – Be the first to comment
It turns out empty nests aren’t as devoid of stuff as the name implies – at least in the UK.
According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, British parents are storing nearly £2.5 billion ($4.06 billion) of stuff that their children have abandoned.
It happens in the U.S., too. My parents’ garage has been home to nine boxes of my stuff for years. Total value: I don’t know, but not even close to £2.5 billion.
How does it happen? When you leave mom and dad’s house, it’s usually to move into a pint-sized dorm room with as many as three people. Even if you wanted to take your little league trophies and high school yearbooks with you, you wouldn’t have room for them. So you leave them behind and on occasional visits back home, you add to the collection.
But, kids, you shouldn’t feel guilty for leaving your stuff behind because it seems that parents benefit from it. The story says parents “enjoy looking after their children’s old stuff – one in five still sees their child’s old bedroom as belonging to them, even after they’ve flown the nest, and one in eight say they enjoy the ‘nostalgia’ that keeping their childhood possessions brings.”
It makes sense: as long as parents have their children’s stuff in their home, they can pretend that their children are only gone temporarily. They don’t mind what organizing guru Peter Walsh calls memory clutter, because seeing the stuff triggers happy memories of having a full house.
Benefit or no benefit, I’m working on whittling down the amount of stuff I’m storing. I’ve already gone through the contents of one box and I’ll be starting on the second box this week. I figure that if I tackle one box every two or three weeks, my parents will ring in 2012 with a nest that is downright empty.
If you’re a parent who would like to use the prime real estate in your home for the things you love – like scrapbooking and exercising – instead of for storing your kids’ long-forgotten baseball card and Cabbage Patch doll collections, set a deadline and have them stick to it!