I know, I know. It’s hipper to declutter, simplify, minimize. However, I’m worried about all of you. You seem so vulnerable, so naked in your streamlined, tidied spaces. Therefore, I present you with a guide to surrounding yourself with a comfy layer of stuff.
1. Start with your clothes. Sizes, seasons, and styles will change. Therefore, save everything. Your skinny pants will be there for the long haul to incentivize your weight loss efforts. I know this to be true because my skinny pants hung in the closet (with tags) for so long, they developed dust across the top fold. That’s commitment.
Are booties still cool? If not, I’ll just keep mine until they are again.
My husband is from Nebraska, so sometimes, I am exposed to snow. Therefore, I will keep my snow pants, ski mask, gloves, scarfs and ear muffs. And so should you. Snow happens.
2. Once you’ve gathered or saved sufficient clothing, you’re ready to tackle your papers. Now it’s entirely possible you will need to vindicate yourself in a situation involving the bank account you closed ten years ago. You must be prepared with a defense in the event someone questions the debit card withdrawal you made at Panda Express in 2009. Therefore, start making file folders. You have a lot of paper to save.
The sad truth is, all of your relatives will die someday, so I suggest saving every card they have ever written in. Even if it’s just their names. How awful will you feel on the day Grandma dies, knowing you threw away that Easter card?
Are you really getting every possible use out of your toaster oven? the baby’s sound machine? the dog’s life vest? Probably not. So save all corresponding manuals, warranties, etc. in the off chance you will have a day to look through them all. We shall call it Dia de Manual and you will undergo epiphanies such as this: Whahahhat? If I had pressed lullaby twice I could have gotten an additional song on the Sleep Sheep? Nooooooooo.
3. I’ve reserved the easiest hoarding objects for last: items of sentimental value. Really, no memory is too small. Seriously. For example, right this very moment, there’s a Werther’s candy wrapper in my jewelry box. Why? you may foolishly ask. Well, my grandpa passed away fifteen years ago, and my grandma recently gave his vest to my husband. The wrapper was in the pocket. I have many fond memories of my grandpa eating candy and chewing gum, so this wrapper epitomizes some of my most treasured moments.
It goes without saying that you should also save anything gifted to you. Think of the time and effort that person put into regifting that soap or picking out that sweater that better reflects her taste than yours. Really, the best thank you note is never giving anything away.
And don’t even get me started with photos. Even if it’s out of focus or torn in half, it’s a picture! Of someone you know! Or knew. Or think you know because it’s hard to tell if that’s an elbow or a balloon animal, but you’re pretty sure it was taken that one time…
There’s so much more wisdom I could impart to you on this subject of hoarding…I didn’t even cover hobby supplies, holiday decorations, baby gear, kitchen gadgets, things you might need someday, items you should have returned, and multiples in case you need something.
Hoarding takes time, but the rewards are great. Nearly everyone can throw something away, but it takes someone with vision to imagine its possibilities.