The random things I keep.

I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder (yet), but I do admit to having trouble getting rid of stuff.  My closet is a prime example.  The problem, as I see it, is that there is no problem.  I would get rid of clothes if I didn’t wear them; it’s just that, I tend to wear them all.  If, for some reason, a favorite shirt or comfy pair of socks gets hidden for a few months in a black hole (innocently disguised as a drawer), I miss that specific article of clothing and do all I can to find it.  I even have the odd shirt or dress from high school that has inexplicably come back in style.  It’s gotten to the point that I have actively thought “wow! I’m so glad I saved this!”   While this is not exclusively a bad thing, it is not healthy for the welfare of my closet.  Overall, I’m sure I could do with having less.

This has been a common theme recently as I’ve gone through the cabinets in order to make room for some new kitchen items.  There have been some tough decisions and some renegotiation of space: “do I really need a salad spinner?”   Sadly, I am still not done.  But what I have also found amidst the random kitchen items we own and haven’t made use of in recent count (waffle maker, espresso thingy…) are random items that I saved because I thought they could be useful.  Like these tea canisters.

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I’m sure I held onto them because I thought, “when I buy more loose tea, I can put it in these nifty canisters!”  But have I done that?  No!  Yet, I’m having trouble throwing them away.

They have no emotional value.  Or at least none that compares to the sleeveless navy blue shirt I still have because I wore it in my junior year picture for the yearbook (hmm… on second thought, maybe I should get rid of that.  Simply wearing something in a picture shouldn’t count as reason to keep it). Yet these empty tea canisters seem so useful! And every time I make moves to recycle them, I just can’t do it.

I blame Pinterst or Craftgawker.  There are millions of crafts I could do with these tea canisters in addition to their practical use as tea receptacles.  I could make a pencil holder or a cool wall art installation.  If I made my own soy candles, it would be a perfect shell!  But, I don’t make my own candles, nor do I need a pencil holder, so why can’t I let go?

As a kid, whenever I would go to my grandma’s house (you know, the one over the river and through the woods), she would let me pick one thing from the basement that I could take home with me.   Her basement was like a treasure trove.  There were old containers, birthday cards from fifty years ago, cigar boxes, and broken picture frames.  I loved it!  My mom, not so much.  My grandmother was from the generation that lived through the depression, and my mom always used that as an explanation to why she held on to so much stuff.  I, however, did not grow up in the post-depression era, and should probably make more effort to live with less.

Except, those are some really great childhood memories of bonding with my grandmother when she would tell me the story behind the item I would eventually choose to take home with me.  What memories will I share with my hypothetical-future grandchildren?  Will we gather around the computer while I give them the password to my cloud account so they can see pictures and fragments of documents and old emails? Somehow, that seems less special.

Please note that I am not suggesting that these tea containers will someday be cause for strengthening the relationship between my future-grandmother-aged self and the x amount of grandchildren I might have.   I just think that maybe there is a small amount of value in keeping some random things, even if they seem unimportant right now.

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