10 August 2012


My parents are in the middle of packing up their house to move.  They have lived in the same house for nearly 40 years and bought up a family there.  My husband was at their house recently and returned with a box of stuff.  Most of it was books, some stories and some more textbook type, my mother was a teacher for 25 years, which she thought that either myself or other home educating families might want to use.  The rest is stuff that I keep looking at but am not sure what to do with.  The box has been sat on the dining room floor for the last three weeks.

Amongst the other stuff is a lock of my hair, a receipt for ballet classes from when I was a few months older than my own daughter, primary school reports, programmes from music concerts that I took part in at school and letters I wrote to my parents when on school trips.  My house is much smaller than my parents, they have been able to keep all this stuff without running out of storage room.  I suspect that most of these things were put away from the time they are from and have never seen the light of day since.  So what to do with them.

They are part of me, of my life, my history.  Will they ever get looked at again, will my children ever be interested in them.  If I keep them will they go in a box and sit in the loft until I move house or get carried out in a wooden box and my own children are clearing the house.  They mean little on their own but are part of the mosaic that makes up my life.  As I look at them I have wonderful memories, I can remember my ballet lessons, I can picture all the teachers who signed my primary school report forms.  I am really struggling to know what to do with it all.  Part of me wants to keep it, but part of me thinks what for.

It has made me think about all my possessions and memories.  Why do we keep, do we need to fill our houses with stuff, do we really need it all or will we just feel overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed by the need to reduce what we own, or by the volume of stuff we are living with.  I am trying to simplify our house and this extra box has just made this, so far easy task, really hard.

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