Monday, March 30, 2009

Memorabilia...To Keep Or Not To Keep?

Organizing Blog

Do you still have stuff in your house from when you were growing up?

How about trophies or plaques?

How about trophies you got as a grown-up...playing your husband's?

Military moves definitely make you think about your stuff. There are probably some people out there who leave boxes unopened from move to move, but for us, we opened all our boxes. So that meant every time we moved, every thing we owned touched our hands and had to be thought about.

That's a sobering thought.

This last move was our final military move — the big retirement move. So for us, this should be the last time we have to go through all our stuff like that. What it has made me do is really think about everything when I open up the boxes to put things away.

I'm going to use that as my current excuse for why it took me so long to unpack and get settled.

But seriously, if I might never touch this stuff again, do I really want it in my house taking up space.

I've had a box of what I will call memorabilia that has moved around with us since we've been married, so basically almost 24 years. This box has been cardboard, non-see-through Sterilite, see-through Sterilite, cardboard again when the movers broke name it, it's probably had a home there. Here are some of the things that lived in that box.

So just to run through a few of the items:
  • Homecoming corsages from Hubby, when he was just a boyfriend and not Hubby yet

  • broken plastic trophy from winning the 3rd grade equipment run...I was fast

  • second place, fourth grade area math olympics trophy...little flat marble thing

  • graduation tassels...high school and college

  • graduation hat and gown

  • graduation announcement cards...mine and Hubby's

  • a little box of souvenirs from church trips to Canada and Washington D.C.

  • a Gideon Bible

  • a bag of stick pins that were stylish and cute when I was in high school

  • cake cutter from wedding

  • my letterman sweater from being a smarty

  • Hubby's letterman blanket from being a sporty

  • my drill team sailor uniform

  • my sweatshirt from winning the local Elks Club hoop shoot in 3rd grade

  • our wedding cake topper

  • a multitude of greeting cards from Hubby to me

  • graduation cards to Hubby and me from other people

  • gift cards and greeting cards from our wedding...I did enjoy reading the letters again

There was more, but that's the bulk of it.

Then we have plaques and trophies. Hubby is the primary trophy owner, I am the primary plaque owner, except for all those military things they give you every time you leave, which makes him about on an even keel with me. The plaques and trophies have taken up two large Sterilite boxes and moved with us over and over and over again. Take a gander at Hubby's trophies.

I started with the box of memorabilia. I threw out the old dead flowers. They were too far gone. I got rid of the old stick pins. They were discolored or missing the backs or completely unnecessary for any memory. Really, there was a lot of junk that I was able to just toss in the trash. My girls had fun trying on my drill team sailor suit that I wore when I was just one grade older than them. I still kept it, but overall the box was pared down.

The trophies on the other hand were an adventure. For the first time ever Hubby told me I could just get rid of them all. Seriously! And I couldn't. Me, the queen of getting rid of stuff couldn't do it.

I read the little plaques on the front and split them up into a keep and toss pile. The ones in the top picture are the keeps, and the ones in the bottom picture are the tosses. I thought about sending the Pepsi can trophy in the bottom picture to Heather, knowing her love of Pepsi, but a guy playing softball on top just didn't quite cut it. Plus the can was dented, taking away any possible monetary value. Oh, I kid. About the monetary value, not about thinking about sending it to her.

The plaques on the other hand were harder. I kept all mine. Every last one. I don't know that anything will ever be done with them, but I couldn't part with them. I kept all of Hubby's too. If he ever gets an office instead of a cubicle he can hang his up. His are from his grown-up years at least.

So we still have two Sterilite boxes holding trophies and plaques, but they are wrapped up much better and not so tightly packed. We also still have the one box with memorabilia, but it is pared down and easy to access if we wanted to reminisce through the items. And just as a note, these are primarily things that could not go in a scrapbook, either due to bulky size or quantity (maybe I'd just pick out a few favorite wedding cards to put in the album).

I also had to cut up Hubby's letterman's jacket. It was due to what we will call 'sticky vinyl issues.' The sleeves where most of the patches were located were vinyl, and they had gotten sticky in a gummy way. I'd cleaned it before but it was just not working anymore, so we decided as a couple to cut off the patches and throw out the jacket. I should say that I would cut off the patches. I actually saved all the jacket except the sleeves, thinking that someday maybe I could have someone put some leather ones on as a replacement, like he's ever going to wear that jacket again. Oh, well.

So that's it for this part of the Organizing Round-Up. Tomorrow I am going to show you what I do with photographs. Yee-haw!

Any one else with memorabilia stories?

This post is linked to The Organizing Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-Up.


Mari said...

We had quite of few boxes of that kind of thing stored in our basement until we had the great flood of 2006. We had a pipe break and there was lots of water on the floor, making it's way into lots of boxes. We rented a dumpster and I went crazy getting rid of things. If I hadn't thought about it or touched it in the last few years it went (mostly!) I felt so good when I got done and I can't say I miss what we got rid of.

Betsy said...

I have a box of this kind of stuff! I would have pitched the flowers, too. You do have photos of them pinned on you, I'm sure...and they looked better then! ha-ha!

I always think of how much I love to look through things that belonged to my grandmother. That is the feeling your grandchildren will have some day. Some stuff looks silly to us now, but it may not a couple of generations later.

That said, I'm not for hoarding every little thing. Just keep the things that are most special. :)

Heather and Reese said...

That Pepsi trophy is awesome! I would have cherished it :) LOL!

You did a good job. It's always hard to get rid of memorabilia.

I've been checking for this post ever since you mentioned saying something about me and Pepsi earlier in the month. :)


The Curnews (Demara) said...

Aw we have a WHOLE storage room filled probably because we've only been married 5 years come November! Haha you just wait when we've been married as long as you guys, I'm sure the collection will have downsized a lot! At least that's what I'm hoping. ;o)

Lifeorganizer said...

I recently had an idea to photograph memorabilia I've been hanging on to. I want to make a scrapbook and explain what the things are and why I have kept them. For example, a small wooden bench my uncle made and I used it for dolls made from my Grandmother's doilies. That way when I'm gone, my children will know what it meant to me and can decide whether they should keep things like the depression glass tea set that was my mother's when she was a girl.

Marcia Francois said...

THis is a bit of a passion of mine, so here is a link to some of my posts :)

Anonymous said...

I think trophies and plaques are one of the hardest things to organize. It looks like you did a great job, though!

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