Spring Cleaning

by Amy

donation-box

Every season, I switch my closet out. In the spring, I put my winter sweaters in a big blue bin, and it goes into the storage space until the weather turns cold again.

I try to purge, and create piles. Donate, consign, trash – just like those clear the clutter books recommend.

I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping clutter to a minimum. I donate clothes, and books frequently. When the mail comes, I sort through it right away, and throw out the junk.

Sometimes I accidentally throw away catalogues my husband wanted. Or worse, I tear up receipts too quickly, and panic when we decide to return something. Even if it’s not my fault, I’m usually blamed for “lost” papers.

I used to save everything. I liked making scrap books when I was younger. I kept birthday cards, letters, programs from concerts, ticket stubs.

Not anymore.

It’s not that I’m not sentimental. I’ve just learned to let go of the physical stuff.

Even still, a few items seem to remain in that storage bin year after year. I can’t seem to put them in another pile. It’s unlikely I’ll ever wear the faux suede brown pants and the tight little sweater with the sparkle heart in the middle – a gift from Jen for my 26th birthday when we lived in Spain.

And yet, I can’t seem to let go. Maybe that’s ok. It’s really not taking up that much space in the big blue bin. I realize I’m holding onto the memory, to what that cute little outfit represents.

Sevilla.

The orange trees, Vespas zipping past, the smell of Spring flowers mixed with smell of horse piss.

Cappuccinos, and why is this toast so fantastic?

Red wine, Fanta limon, olives, jamon hanging from the ceiling, cheap whiskey, discotheques.

The Cathedral, The River Guadalaquivir, The Torre del Oro, The Royal Alcazar.

Bar Sancho Panzo, little glasses of cool beer

Tia, hija

A kiss on each cheek.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

zoe

I purge most crap from my life but some things memories and otherwise ya just gotta hang on to.

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Amy

True. True.

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Kristen

I totally relate – I can’t seem to let go of my itty-bitty “clubbing” tops. Not that I ever COULD or WOULD wear them again – but such good memories! And they’re so tiny, they don’t REALLY take up any space, right?!

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Amy

I know! I guess we are holding onto the memories, and hesitant to let go of those girls who had the confidence to wear the itty-bitty tops.

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Vanessa

I like to hang onto things that bring back memories too. Unfortunately my house is so tiny, I’ve got to be very selective.

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Amy

That’s our issue too! But, I think being selective makes the things you hold onto even more special.

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That cynking feeling

Yes, sometimes is nice to keep those objects that help us remember our stories

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Amy

It is nice to have those reminders.

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Jody

Don’t throw it out. I, for one, like to have physical triggers for great memories. I mean, I for more likely more than one.

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Amy

Thanks. Who knows – maybe it will fit again one day too ;-)

It’s true, the unexpected physical reminders are nice…

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Marcy

I’ve gotten a little better about getting rid of stuff, but I still hold onto sentimental items. Yours definitely sound like they’re worth keeping.

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Amy

Thanks. I guess we don’t have to get rid of everything….

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Joe

I don’t think my wife accidentally tosses my clothes. I think she just purges anything she doesn’t like.

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Amy

Hmmmm….you’ll have to take that up with her…

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IASoupMama

I think I’d keep something with memories like that, too!

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Amy

Thanks. It’s been over ten years, and still such a part of me.

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Kirsten Oliphant

Love the way memories can attach to things like clothing! I am going through a massive dose of nesting/renovating, so this definitely hit close to home, and I totally know what you mean. I have so many things I keep because of a fragment of a memory of a day in London or a time in Atlanta or Virginia, or with a certain person.

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Amy

Thanks. It’s funny how we go through those nesting phases. Sometimes it feels so good to get rid of stuff, and sometimes, it’s really nice to just hold on to a memory and pack it back up.

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Jamie@SouthMainMuse

I too am a reforming sentimentalist or pack rat. It does get easier with age but there are still those few baby dresses and books that I just can’t pass along to someone else.

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Amy

It does seem to get easier as we get older, or perhaps it’s just sharing a small space with a family?

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Peach

Ohhh, with those memories of Spain I wouldn’t let them go either. I loved the way you ended this!

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Larks

I can really relate to this. It’s amazing how objects can hold memories.

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Natalie the Singingfool

It took me YEARS to let go of my south of France wardrobe, which hadn’t fit in just as many years, so I COMPLETELY understand!

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