Keeping What Matters

holiday fabrics

To see how my computer room looks as I write this, you’d think I never put anything away.  In one corner a box of holiday ornaments is open and some of the contents scattered around.  In another place some blankets recently re-discovered in the cedar chest are draped over the stairway banister, hoping to find a useful function if cold weather gets here.

On this desk are a couple of stacks of papers that are perpetual messes. I just never can bring myself to finally get rid of them or put them away.  The sewing table is anything but that, covered with photos to matte and frame, art supplies, camera bag, finished mixed media projects, and a folder filled with letters from 1992.

This place is not always this chaotic, but for now it is.  There is no excuse, no justification. It just is.  Someone once said to me that a home should be clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy.  By that standard, I have a very happy home.

This month it has become my goal to sort through as much of the boxes of stored stuff in our home and determine what should be kept and what can be liberated. We began last weekend in the basement, that perfect catch all place for what you think you might go through later.  (Newsflash: you never go through it.  It just stays in that dust covered box that has now become a nesting place for the cats.)  Now I’m wondering just why I thought I had to have those things.

In some ways this is like taking down the calendar, looking at the pages of the past months and remembering what took place and when.  Opening boxes, going through  shelves of things brings up the same kind of memories.  What were we doing when we bought these? Why did we keep them? Have we learned from this? Are we going to ever need this, do this, share this again?  What were we thinking?  

It is as though our home has become one giant time capsule, though not buried to be found later. 

And yet there is something redeemable in all this, more than just the additional space that becomes available.  The process of sorting through these boxes sometimes yields bits of personal history long forgotten. Not all of it needs to be let go. Some is worth keeping, cherishing.

It’s finding treasures from family and friends, shared over the years, handmade things, hand written letters, children’s school projects, sweet things that bring peace and joy to the heart. 

Those are the gifts from the past that I’ll hang on to.

Sharing my thoughts today at Vision and Verb.
Vision and Verb

6 Replies to “Keeping What Matters”

  1. What lovely holiday treasures. And what a wonderful way to think of it – as opening a time capsule – a look back at your family history.

  2. In spite of having rather ruthlessly gotten rid of unneeded things before I moved this spring, I find I still have more to let go of. I'm torn between needing to lighten the load, both physically and emotionally, and wanting to hold on to things for the memories they evoke. Thanks for this thought-provoking piece.

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