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Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Method to the Madness

Several months ago I worked on getting my food storage back on track. We have a small storage room in my in-laws part of the house. It was so packed with stuff that there was no possible way I was going to fit the necessities in there. So in April I stood in the storage room and the kids hauled everything that wasn't Christmas or Food Storage up into the garage. When I came up the stairs I found my garage in a completely unusable state...basically there was junk everywhere. How dumb was I to start such a project weeks before Cub Scout Day Camp!?
It sat for several months...just like it was on the day it was dumped.
My husband really needed to be able to park in the garage so the week after Day Camp I cleaned out the garage. There were a lot of items that were in limbo. Do we keep 'em, store them for another 15+ years or toss 'em. All the "what do we do with this" items got moved into a neat pile in my living room.
It sat for several weeks...just like it was on the day it was dumped.
So on Sunday we thought it would be a great Sabbath day activity to go through all our memorabilia and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. The kids had a blast with all of John's mission and sports stuff. And though they were really trying to help get it all organized it became somewhat of a war zone.
It has sat for several days...just like it was on Sunday when it was dumped.
There really is a method to the madness, although at first glance it appears that I have been missing in action in my own home for quite some time now.
But what do you DO with some of this stuff!
Here's a glimpse of just a few of the choice items that we are sorting through...
Thank you Dad Cazier for video taping every single football, basketball and baseball game John was ever in, starting from the time he was 8.
Oh...and just in case he missed something while recording the game on film, do not fear...we have the exact same games on cassette tape, straight from the radio. (We also found some tapes that John and I sent to one another while he was on his mission...we won't be getting rid of those)

Together John and I had two huge boxes of trophies and plaques. Do I really need to keep my Church Volleyball trophy that says I was the Most Improved Player? And why does John have a bowling trophy!? Our solution to this clutter was to take pictures of all the items and they will go neatly into a scrapbook. It felt wonderful to toss those things in the trash.
We have oodles and gobs of personal journals and yearbooks. These are coming out of the cardboard boxes and moving onto the bookshelves. Because we graduated at the same time, from the same school, we got rid of any duplicate yearbooks we had.

Old Baseball cards. That's it. None of them are worth anything. None of them are famous people the average person would even know. Just old baseball cards. What to do with these is still up for debate in this house...heated debate.

This box is every letter that I wrote to John while he was on his mission. I thought for a second that I would toss all but a few, but then I read one and it is just like a personal journal (that I didn't keep during my college years.)
We are also keeping all the letters from his parents but all the others are now gone. The kids got really into sorting after I found $15 cash that my mom had sent to John while he was in Italy. He couldn't use it there so it has sat in a card for all these years. Thanks to the kids thoroughness we found $20 more in several different cards and letters.
That is how many bags of garbage we took out to the dumpster!
We did find some treasures amidst all the trash.

You can't tell from the picture but this card is on a regular piece of poster board. It is the candy gram that I delivered to John after our very first date in February 1991.


So I better get off the computer, quite procrastinating and get going on my living room...after I shower...and start the dishwasher...rotate the laundry...make some phone calls...


Em & M's said...

Ha ha--I know that feeling! It is fun that you saved some of those great things and memories, but yeah, a lot of what we save is just junk. I went through all my old school papers and "keepsakes" a couple Christmases ago. Luckily Matt was there as a guide, or I would have kept a lot more. I am proud to report every keepsake I have now resides in my cedar chest at my parent's house, and there's plenty of room for more!

4starmom said...

We have the same "heated debate" going on for about 9 1/4 years now. Let me know what you come up with.

Amy J. said...

Oh and guess what...I just remembered today that there are about 3 more boxes of baseball cards exactly like this one hiding on John's side of the closet.

Jan said...

That looks exhausting but rewarding when done. I am so not very sentimental at all. My kids and husband are. It makes life interesting. Although as I get older, I cherish them alot more than I use too. It's fun going through things.

Love the candy poster.

SuzanSayz said...

I know just how hard it can be when sorting through years of memorabelia. I find that the best rule of thumb (other than, throw it all away? Are you CRAZY?) is to think what will really matter to your kids and grandkids. Now you might think that they would want everything, but really I think just a small sample of most things would be good enough. One other thing to consider is that VHS tapes and cassette tapes really degrade after a few years. I would take the best of the best and have it proffesionally burned onto a DVD or CD and then guard those with your life. Also whenever newer and better technology comes along you will then want to transfer everything to that. I have a hard time letting some things go, but I figure that if it has been stored somewhere, for five years or more, and I have never once looked at it that means that I probably never will.

debsters said...

Wow, what a project. I think we all have those places where things just accumulate. I need to go through my stuff AGAIN and do a little throwing away.
What a great feeling when it's done. Good Luck!

::DANDEE:: said...

My stomach hurts a little thinking about having to go through all of that! That is a task that is no fun, but feels great to have it completed.


Movie Queen said...

Why DOES John have a bowling trophy?
How bad did you have to suck at volleyball to be voted the most improved player in church ball?
Loved the candy gram. Ah, the memories.

Deborama said...

that is so funny, our boxes get smaller and smaller every few years when I go through them and throw things away. What a good idea to take pics of it, it would be a lot easier to have pics of everything laid out. Its hard to let it go, we will need it the minute its gone. :(

ashley said...

It looks like you will be busy this weekend! Those are some great keepsake items that will serve as some great memories someday,...I'm probably not helping much, as you can tell, I love to hold on to everything too. I hate throwing away things that have "sentimental" value, but what a great idea to take pictures of trophies, awards, etc. Good luck!

rip said...

Hey! That looks a bit like my life now! (minuse the bowling trophy and football tapes) We are getting better at letting stuff go. Good luck!

Lisa said...

My mom was a collector. She saved everything! Things that had no business being saved. But of course, when something meaningless has been saved for 20 some odd years, it suddenly isn't meaningless anymore.

Anyways, my dearest mother's garage is packed, crammed, and stuffed with.....STUFF! And my ultimate goal in life is NOT to end up in the same predicament she has gotten herself into. So I have gone to the opposite extreme. I save nothing. Well....a few things, but not much. I'll probably regret it one day.

That's how life is, right? From one extreme to the other.

Noelle said...

i am laughing at this post. it reminds me of one i posted not so long ago. what is it about having to create a mess while trying to clean one up?