So I’ve really dug in and started packing as of this past weekend, and continued last night. As I mentioned in my last post, packing my least needed things first is leaving chaos and destruction in my wake – my room currently looks like it’s been hit by a bomb. Also, we are storing our packed boxes in our locker and keeping empty ones in the apartment, so the living room is starting to grow new walls built out of currently empty boxes – we’re living in a messy maze. I’m hoping this new claustrophobic aspect of our living space will encourage everyone to fill the boxes and transfer them to the locker asap (hint, hint Eleanor and Tigger!).
Part of the mess creation, I believe, is that I’m really trying to crack down on keeping unnecessary things. Instead of just taking something out of a drawer and placing it in a box (of the rinse, lather, repeat variety), I am taking something out and examining it’s worth to my existence. This is a bit of a process, and an interesting (albeit time consuming) walk down memory lane. To add insult to injury, I have inherited my Maternal Grandmother’s habit of squirreling things away, inside other things, wrapped in something else, boxed inside another thing, etc. – similar to the way the Russian Nesting Dolls fit into each other, but with a lot less rhyme and reason. Not only does this make it harder to sort out what I actually have, but trying to break myself of this habit while packing is impossible as the very logic behind packing is fitting things into other things, and then into other things. You get the drill.
Case in point: my Memory Box. At some point between University and moving out on my own, I decided that I would buy a small Rubbermaid bin that would serve as my one place for unnecessary, but sentimental things. It’s a veritable cornucopia of all things Nancy. Some of the contents include:
- A sampling of Ribbons and Medals from my Equestrian days (I used to have so many of these, I wonder if I just tossed the rest? Good job Nancy, regardless)
- A collection of my writings from elementary school up until my OAC English paper – 50%, why the hell am I keeping that?
- A Calculus Exam from OAC. You’d keep it too if you got 100%! I keep this as a reminder than I can be one hell of a smarty pass if I give a toss about something.
- Various Birthday, Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter cards – this collection used to be much larger, but now only includes a few from each of my grandparents and other cherished family members. These are irreplaceable in my mind.
- Possibly every certificate I’ve ever received. One for Earth Day participation, one for getting Screeched In during my visit to Newfoundland, my Smoke Free class of 2001 certificate (ha!), and my Highschool Diploma. Definitely no favouritism shown to the higher hitting honourable mentions, as they are all lumped into one envelope (which is also inexplicably kept in a folder, inside the box)
- Diaries. Several of these. I was never very good at keeping them, so there isn’t a whole lot of content, but still fun to flip through.
- A plethora of Travelling memories – museum tickets, maps, flyers, airport signs etc. Garbage to some, key memory triggers to me.
- Postcards and Letters from my friends and family. I can’t throw these out, they’re too much fun to read over and over.
The nature of the things in this box isn’t necessarily the problem, it’s the 18 different methods of storing and organizing each type of memory inside the box that makes sorting and organizing a bit of a nuisance. I’ve tried to sort this collection out before, but inevitably (as was the case last night) I give up and just shove it all back in. Something tells me that without the folders, clips, boxes, elastics and plastic bags used to ‘organize’ my stuff inside this box, I would be able to keep a whole lot more of it. But I guess that isn’t the point.
Truth be told though, my Memory box is hardly the only place I keep this kind of stuff. I have another Rubbermaid bin full of my Yearbooks from Elementary School, High School and University (yes, my University had Yearbooks, exactly like High School ones). Even more of this stuff can be found tucked away in any number of places in my room. It’s a flawed system.
I really do need to develop better methods of storing and organizing things, but I’m thinking that particular job will be saved for once I’m actually moved into the new place – and whenever Jillian has time to help! For now, making daily trips to the garbage, recycling, and donation box is a sure sign of progress!