With parenthood, and all the extra “stuff” that accompanies a child, I feel as if I am in a perpetual state of cleaning. Cleaning up and cleaning out. Used to be, I did big clean-ups a few times a year. Now, cleaning is just a perpetual process.
Back during summer vacation, I wrote a post for MomsLA about my goal of finding one item each day to get rid of. Here’s the link to the essay in case you missed it: http://momsla.com/summer-clean-7-things-live-without/
Honestly, I don’t always get rid of something every day, but I find that I’m at least looking every day. And on days when I do take a forgotten box down from the high shelf in the closet, I find several items to get rid of. Sometimes, they are things I had no memory of and was therefore not needing.
A few days ago, it was my cap and gown from high school graduation that made it to the donation pile. I don’t think I’ve worn the ensemble since that June day twenty years ago. And without any hesitation, it was very easy to look at the gown, finger it for a quick minute, and discard it.
At the time, high school was just a stepping stone; it got me to college which would get me to my teaching career. And although I didn’t know it at the time, the most beneficial part of high school was meeting the man who would one day become my husband. (In case you’re not familiar with our story -- we were classmates and met during our junior year English class at Fairfax High School. It wasn’t until my last semester at community college that we started to date).
It’s funny in a way; I had held onto that cap and gown for twenty years and through two moves, but now it just didn’t seem important to me to keep it any longer. I was able to see that cap and gown as just an unnecessary bit of clutter, taking up valuable closet space.
Generally, I’m a sentimental person. I tend to hold onto certain things because of the memories attached to them. Yet, I’m discovering that as I get older, my memories, and their related mementoes, become re-prioritized. Which ultimately leads to cleaner closets.