Just to give you a little idea of what’s going on, in our home office we are moving from this desk:
An excellent Craigslist find! Needless to say, we’ve lost some storage space. We wanted to downsize the desk so we have more flexibility in rearranging our rooms (our old desk is HUGE). This left me with a little problem though – what to do with the two bottom drawers, which were full of paperwork…
Now, for most of my life, I have battled a powerful hereditary pack-rat gene passed down to me by my father. Luckily my mother has been able to confine his habits to the basement of his house. I feel like I’ve done much better as an adult, much more ready to let things go. Still, it can be hard. For example, I have been out of college for about 5 years now, and still have every shred of paperwork from my 3 1/2 years of Japanese study (including study abroad). I know that none of this is useful, but it has taken me 5 years and two moves to finally let it go.
Sometimes we can hold on to the clutter in our life because we feel we need it, as if somehow we need physical evidence of our memories. Clearly, things like pictures and keepsakes from trips can be treasured items, but regardless of how much I enjoyed academia, I’m never going to sit around a coffee table on a Saturday evening and share the results of my Japanese 2 final exam. For me, I just needed to separate myself from the items with the chasm of time. What works for you?