Thursday, January 6, 2011


So. I've been talking about doing this for years. Documenting all the weird little things I've been holding onto for years, and then letting them go. This is it. This is the first step. I am a little scared, a little really excited.

I am not a writer. Nope. I make up words, I misuse commas. But you know what? It's OK. This really is mainly for me. For my mental health. And maybe to reach out a little. I am all for making the universe smaller, one tiny golden thread of recognition at a time.

I am a "Pack Rat". This is the euphemism. Really, I am a hoarder. Not like the people you see on the TV, I guess. I've managed to control it pretty well.  I've never owned a home, and I've always been too broke to really buy a ton of stuff. And I really have come quite far in the past couple of years. Still, I have a lot of things I haven't managed to get rid of. Things that don't serve any purpose. I am just seriously terrified of getting rid of them. To me, objects are stories. Objects are memories. I am terrified that if I do not have the thing, I will not have the memory. That is partly a BS fear. It is also partly real. People age, brains age.

When I am 80 years old, I may forget the time when I was sitting in the Blue Moon in Neenah, drinking coffee, and I got up and chased a floating piece of debris for two blocks because somehow, I was convinced it was a message from whatever force is governing this place. Somewhere I still have it, and I will tell the story fully when I find it. I will take a picture and put it here. I will tell its story, and then I will let it go. It is terrifying and exhilarating. Even thinking about throwing it away makes me tear up. Isn't that weird? Yes. I'm just glad I can now recognize this as weird. I told you I've come a long way.

In 2009, my husband and I downsized from a three bedroom, two story house with a basement to what is, essentially, a large one-bedroom apartment. With tons of closets. that are all packed full. I got rid of a lot of things. I had boxesandboxesandboxes of things I hadn't even seen in *years*.  I judged most of those possessions by asking "Can I write 150 words about you? Do I want to?". If the answer was "no", it went. If it was "yes", it got packed in a box that said "Write about me".

Would you like to guess how many times I've opened those boxes in the past year? Goose Egg.
So. This time, it's for real. I am purging more, I am taking pictures, I am documenting them.

And also, hello.


  1. I love this already. It totally inspires me to do the same thing- both Jeff and me!!!

    -Angie Heinze

  2. For what it's worth, I don't think what you've described is weird. It seems to be very common for people to hold on to objects in order to preserve the memories & feelings associated with those objects. And, taking pictures of & telling stories about the objects is a great way to retain your memories *and* keep a digital instance of the object.

    Your project sounds fascinating... thanks for bringing us along for the ride! :)

  3. I am so happy that you have done this.

  4. You rock, and I am looking forward to sharing your memory journey with you. I may even join you on your trip and purge a few of my own cluttered memories.

  5. Amy- I think a certain degree of this is normal, definitely. But when you see some of this stuff, you'll see what I mean. I used to keep empty sugar packets.