Monday, March 15, 2010

Goal #24 Complete - Packing Away the Memories

This past weekend, I went to visit my folks in Tucson. While I was there, I undertook the arduous task of cleaning out "the abyss" - also know as the huge, catch-all, walk-in closet in my old room.

My parent's have been very generous to allow me to keep my things in this closet. But considering there are five people still actually residing in their house, it hardly seemed fair that I was taking up the largest closet.

Thus, I gathered up storage binds, garbage bags and a box marked "Donate" and got to work packing away some memories.

Choosing which memories to store away and which ones to toss was bittersweet. I was nostalgic as I sorted through hundreds of items, many of which brought me back to a very specific moment in my life. The costumes from my days as a theatre major were the best - Goneril from Shakespeare's King Lear, Raina from Arms and the Man, The Ghost of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol, and Raven from The Robber Bridegroom -  all characters that I was very proud of and cherished playing.

The end result of the closet purge wasn't quite as dramatic as I had hoped (the closet held much more that wasn't mine than I had thought). But, I felt accomplished and my parents were grateful, so the goal was still a success!

Here is the closet before:

(The door wouldn't even open the whole way!)

Here is the closet after:
(My parents can actually get to the gun safe now! Can you spot it in the before picture?)

(And the door is fully opened!)

Here is the mass I removed from the closet:

(Two bins of "memories" for the attic, one bin of hand-me-downs for my sisters to wear later, three and a half bags of garbage and one box to donate)

I think accomplishing a goal with such tangible results was a very satisfying way to kick of Project 101 in 1001! But it was going through a whole closet-full of memories that was the highlight.
Q4U-  What is one special item that you have packed away as a memory-keeper?


  1. Definitely my prayer journals! I started my first one when I was 9 years old. I'm not sure how many I have total. I should count them. They're in like 3 separate places right now.

    Your post has inspired me to get rid of even more things in my house! It's one of my favorite pastimes. That's one of the great things about having a small house--there's only room for so much stuff and does not allow for any pack-ratting.

  2. And now that the world knows where the gun safe is, let's pray all of your friends are law-abiding citizens.

  3. When I got married I went through all my old stuff and kept a box of toys that I loved from my childhood. Now when our friends' kids come over they love to play with my old smurfs, trolls, and care bears!

  4. haha.. I love reading other people's comments.. LOL.. especially your dads.

    To answer your question, I am relatively a clean, tidy person when it comes to my living quarters. But, the summer before I got married I had to take-on a project like yours in cleaning out my room that is now a 'guest' room. It was exciting and sad all at the same time! I think I laughed and cried about 5 times before the project was complete :) :( But the project did finish just in time to start collecting more items in my hubby's and my apartment. :D

    As for what I kept... pretty much everything! LOL! But, I especially LOVE pictures.. albums, frames, whatever! There are so many precious memories which I hope to never forget :)


  5. I love purging too! Woohoo!! Great job, Jen!

    Definitely my journals. Well, anything I've written in the past is special to pull out and read.

  6. You totally inspired me to clean out my desk the other day. Thank you!


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