We have started to declutter our house in preparation to put it on the market in the next few weeks. This has been quite the process. I have always thought that we were very good at purging. Honestly if it is not bolted down or used within the past few months, we usually get rid of it. Sometimes I even just watch the show Hoarders and immediately go and throw stuff away. But this process has been eye opening.
First, it showed me that my husband owns nothing. Nothing. He could literally pack a backpack with what he owns in our house. When I pointed it out to him, he was delighted. The man doesn’t save anything. He has no attachment to things whatsoever. When he was a teenager his mom told me that she actually grew concerned about him beacuse he used to clean out his room and give his stuff away. Apparently he has always been like this. So this means that I, along with the 3 year old, am responsible for the clutter in the house. I guess mostly me. I have a huge problem throwing things away that I see as sentimental. And unfortunately I see everything as sentimental.
EJ’s baby box is actually a giant storage container and that doesn’t even account for the artwork I have kept or his three baby books. Mike likes to point out that this is slightly ridiculous since he was 7 months old when he came home. I have even saved my own cards, photos, letters, articles, pictures I drew as a kid, and even my scrapbooks. The “sentimental” stuff filled three large storage containers last night and I am not even done. But I just cannot part with it. Everything in those boxes brings back a memory. It makes me smile as I remember some small moment of my childhood. What Mike sees as trash, I see as precious and irreplaceable. It is ridiculous and it does take up a lot of room. But as I get older, I am realizing that life does go by really fast and my memory of things is getting fuzzier and fuzzier.
I started to save these things for EJ so that one day he can smile as he remembers something from his childhood that he loved. I have his first pair of shoes, his first toy, his favorite baby books, his first baseball hat. It is endless. Yesterday I showed Mike a scrapbook I made of all of EJ’s announcements, holiday cards, and birthday invites. He smiled politely and said, “I am sure he will love this when he is 30.” I sensed sarcasm.
But someday I will give him all this “clutter” and we can go through it together remembering all of his firsts. Or he will be like Mike and throw it all away saying, “Mom, why did you save all this junk??” I will take my chances.