One Bag Nation

Why Do I Save This Stuff?

Posted on: September 24, 2008

Two events conspired to make me think about some of the stuff I’m holding on to; the first is that my daughter is losing her baby teeth, and the second was a post by Rachel over at smallnotebook.org about Holding on to Sentimental Things.

So here are some things I’ve been holding on to and some thoughts about why I’ve been holding on to them:

  1. My wisdom teeth – extracted many years ago. Yes, they’re kind of creepy but they still hold a certain fascination and I think they’ll come in handy if I ever need to keep evil spirits away.
  2. A little wooden box in the shape of a heart given to me by my high school boyfriend. I haven’t seen him since 1980, BUT we became “sweethearts” in 6th grade; it was an on again/off again thing all through junior high and high school, and when he gave me that little box I thought it was the sweetest, most romantic thing EVER, and I guess I still do!
  3. The “Italian Mood Cube” my Mom gave me hundreds of years ago. I can’t come up with a good reason for this one, but it doesn’t take up all that much space . . .
  4. My mother’s wedding dress, not a traditional gown, but a totally chic 50’s cocktail dress. Given the state of my mom’s basement, the dress is much better off sitting in mine . . .
  5. The tassle from my college graduation mortarboard. I was the shortest one in my dorm so I was at the beginning of the line – that’s all the tassle meant!! I guess it conjures up lots of happy memories – not of being short, but of college days.
  6. My Cambridge Italian Dictionary, held together with masking tape and rarely used anymore. I keep this to remind me of another time in my life when everything was still ahead of me and I dreamed of an exciting and glamorous international career.
  7. My Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School cookbook, given to me by my Mom in 1985 and held together by even more masking tape. I still cook from it regularly and see no need to replace it until it becomes unreadable. I was green when green was just a color.
  8. My husband’s first pair of baby shoes. This is a complicated one; I think that the fact that his parents saved this stuff (we have baby clothes too) tells me how much they loved him, and how much they longed for a baby, just as we did.

So what about you? What’s in your closet, cupboard, basement or under your bed that you hang onto for sentimental reasons?

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9 Responses to "Why Do I Save This Stuff?"

Ha. We are so different. I throw out EVERYTHING.

BUT.

Sometimes I regret throwing out stuff.

Go figure.

My husband won’t let me throw away any of his college T-shirts. They no longer fit (and are not fit for human sight anyway), but I cannot throw them away. So, they are sealed in three boxes in our basement.

Probably the one sentimental thing I could get rid of but won’t is a nightdress made for me by my great-aunt when I was 9. I was named after her, and she made me clothes (often in purple, my favorite color), and this nightdress is almost the only piece I have left that she made.

Vered: perhaps there’s a middle ground . . .

Ally: my husband doesn’t insist I keep things of his, but I end up tossing his worn-out socks and underwear! I guess he doesn’t notice.

I’m still keeping a pink, hilariously retro cowgirl shirt that I bought in college from a thrift store for 10 cents. I loved that shirt, and it reminds me of fun times when I was excited about furnishing my first apartment and finding the best meal in town for $2.25.

I would never throw out any of my husband’s old tshirts without him knowing, but he doesn’t care so much about socks and such. Apparently the tshirts are supposed to get better and softer as they get older, but yikes.

Hi Rachel: my husband has a collection of baseball team t-shirts, and I’m kind of attached to some of them too b/c they remind me of fun trips we’ve taken together.

Every year I buy or receive a special Christmas ornament. When I’m putting up my Christmas tree I take time to look at each ornament, remember when or how I got it, and think back to what I was doing that year.

Marelisa: I almost added a Christmas ornament to the list. It’s a small stained-glass sun that has been my tree-top “star” for years; I got it at a work holiday party a million years ago . . . and still reminds me of my carefree youth 🙂

What a great article Ann! I am a professional organizer and even I keep some things for sentimental reasons. Holding on to keepsakes is only a problem if it is inhibiting you from creating new memories. It sounds like what you have kept is not a problem at all and will be wonderful to share with your child one day.

@Meagan Thank you! I have plenty of stuff I really do need to get rid of, but these few things do seem okay.

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