The trouble with downsizing

I’m not good at throwing things away. I would rather find places to keep all the odds and ends I’ve collected over the years. Just in case I ever need them again.

This goes for papers, letters, postcards, newspaper clippings, silly pieces of memorabilia, ornaments, random gifts… The list goes on. The space, however, does not.

While I’ve been in my cottage in Little Mowbray for the past three and a half years, collecting bits and pieces has been fine. I’ve found the perfect place for this little memory or that little curio. The rest has been consigned to boxes of all shapes and sizes. The kinds that lurk under beds and in corners. Filled with all sorts of things. Grief, as far as I know Atlantis could be in one of them, or Elvis even.

But now that I have to think about packing it all up… *whimper* I just have far too many things.

There’s a simple solution to that, I know. Throw things out, give things away.

I’ve done my cupboards, I’ve a huge bag full of clothes to go to charity. The paper stuff – well, I’ve recycled a whole lot of it, but I refuse to ditch my old writing. That I’ll need to convert to electronic form.

Nope, all of that is easy, if I just get down to it and do it.

It’s the other stuff I battle with. The silly things I collected while living in the UK, or bits and pieces from my childhood. A daffodil pin to mark a special occasion, the countless silly toys I got with Happy Meals, the weird little ornaments I had on my printers tray as a child. Each and every one of those things holds significance. It feels somehow wrong to just throw them away. Is it any more wrong than the fact that they’ve been stored in a box under my bed for the past three and a half years?

Probably not. But at least I still have them.

Sometimes I worry that if I throw them away, I’ll lose the memories too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, shut up, I’m a girl – I’m allowed to be sentimental.

I guess it’s just a case of taking a deep breath and being realistic. Will I ever really want to display the empty shell from the first time I fired a rifle? Will that slightly scratched Red Nose Day badge ever really find pride of place in my living room?

Again, probably not. But it still feels weird to throw them away.


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