Decluttering Your Memories

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Before my KonMari Method declutter-palooza, I did make some headway here and there ridding our home of excess stuff. One of my favorite resources for simplifying life and changing your ways is the Zen Habits blog. A couple years ago, I bought a decluttering e-book by Leo Babauta, that blog’s author. My favorite takeaway was his advice on items that are packed away, taking up space but never used, yet difficult to part with due to sentimental value. He suggested taking photos of those items and writing their stories. Then you can let the items go while preserving the memories, which is all you really want anyway.  

The first obvious candidates for this approach were my wedding shoes and purse. As for the shoes, I am fashion challenged, so I don’t even know if they are nice shoes or not. I bought them because they matched my dress, they were comfortable, and the heels wouldn’t sink into the grass at my outdoor wedding. They served their purpose well, and I haven’t worn them since.

I found the purse while shopping for the wedding with my friend Jess. I said to her, “This is perfect—same color as the dress, and it’s just big enough for a lipstick and a pack of cigarettes.” She stared at me blankly. “What??” I said. Then I remembered. I hadn’t smoked in two years. In that moment, I was struck by how much cigarettes had been my appendage for so many years, how smoking was so automatic and so much a part of me that I could say that, without even thinking, two years after I quit. It made me feel so grateful that I had finally gotten out from under that addiction after trying and failing repeatedly for five years.

But mostly it was funny, and Jess and I had a good laugh over that one. Old habits die so hard, you can even forget you’ve kicked them.

These two items have been sitting in the storage area for the 11 years that I’ve been married. There’s clearly no point to them being there, but I couldn’t bring myself to part with them because they’re associated with my wedding day. After taking this picture and writing this, I put them in the Salvation Army box without the slightest twinge of regret. This shit works!

Now the dress, that’s a whole other thing…

© Camille Williams and Wake Up, Mama! 2015

2 thoughts on “Decluttering Your Memories

  1. Melissa R says:

    Great post! Great method!
    I finally got rid of my shoes about a year ago. It had rained the morning of our outdoor wedding and my shoes had lots of grass stains anyway.
    Now my wedding dress. I thought about donating it. I may do that.
    Proms dresses… I have many. Those really need to go. Like really.
    I purge so many things, purging makes me so happy, but these I can’t seem to as easily as some other things.
    Thanks for all your encouraging purge posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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