It’s a bittersweet experience. You recently came across a box full of old memories. Maybe it was intentional, maybe happenstance. Nevertheless, few words can describe the nostalgia associated with looking at one’s childhood heirlooms.
What may seem like ordinary, mundane items to someone else often have the incredible power to take us back to a time when life was much simpler and different.
A Cluttered Childhood: Cleaning out Old Belongings
Many of us cherish personal belongings for their intrinsic value, the kind of thing you cannot set a worldly price on. Understandably so, it can be extremely challenging to part with things from the past, particularly if that entails choosing between a storage box and a trash bag on a weekend designated for spring cleaning.
As hard as it may be to accept, not every memento should be kept until the end of time. Of course, if you have a very strong personal attachment to a particular item, than by all means, hold onto it.
What Should you Keep?
These are the kinds of things that can be passed onto future generations, namely if they have been in the family for a long time. On the other hand, stuff like aged high school and college clothing or similar items, could be better served by going to the garbage dump or second hand store.
To assist you in this likely emotional journey, it will help to create a list of designated keepers. There are certain childhood belongings that should never be discarded, such as gifts given by important family members or items accumulated during a particularly important time in your life.
Photographs and old collections (e.g. baseball cards, coins, etc.) each command a high degree of value for their owners. The latter in particular can even come with a hefty price tag, which is all the more reason to keep it safely stowed away for another few decades!
The easiest way to decide what should stay and what should go is to boil it down to two questions: Does this item create clutter in my home? And will the memory remain if I simply take a picture of it?
There’s no need to fill your house with items that you can take a picture on with your iPhone. If any of your memories can be portrayed as vividly via photograph as they can as an item, take your snapshot and send the physical item to the trash!