But I do collect something. Instead of surrounding myself with crap that I have formed artificial attachments to, I collect memories. In fact, the inspiration for this post was a song I heard while driving this afternoon. I heard the song and was instantly transported to a moment that happened ten years ago- I saw what I saw then, and most importantly I felt what I felt then. That is far more powerful that anything a dusty knick-knack could inspire.
Music likely triggers my memory because my brain has always responded to music- I remember melodies and lyrics almost the instant I hear them, and I often have intense reactions to songs (I can't even describe how I felt the first time I heard "No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses). In my sophomore English class I did my semester project on the significance of songs throughout my life. Obviously not everyone is going to react this strongly to music, but there are other ways to preserve memories without cluttering up your house. Photographs are an obvious option, especially if you're creative and into scrap booking or some other way to store and display them. I also employ journaling to help me remember significant events and emotions. Or, if you feel the need to keep a few sentimental objects, be selective about the ones you choose to hold onto and display them properly- what is the point of keeping ticket stubs from concerts or the brochure from the hotel you stayed at on your honeymoon if you don't display them? Put together a shadowbox and you will enjoy your items (and your memories) and your surroundings will be peaceful and beautiful.
Another method I employ is the "Sentimental Box." For us this is a good sized Rubbermaid tub marked "sentimental." In it I keep sentimental objects we (and by we, I mostly mean my husband, although I do have a few items in it) feel the need to keep but don't care to display like high school yearbooks, diplomas, fraternity BS (no bias here), and the like. Here's the caveat- if something doesn't fit, it has to go. So if I want to squeeze something new in but the box is full I have to get rid of something else.
Whatever you choose to do, I promise you can start to clear out the piles of junk around your house you never seem to use... you aren't going to need them.
How do you preserve memories without filling your house full of junk?
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