My fiancé Kelli and I have a bit of a running joke based on some recent house cleaning experiences. As we’re preparing for our wedding and her moving in with me, we needed to go through a bunch of my old stuff and determine what is worth keeping and what should be tossed out or given away. Naturally many of these items were stored in old boxes, which I hadn’t touched in years.
She found fairly quickly that I was open to getting rid of a lot of things. Old school papers and awards were tossed in a recycle pile, although not before I had to show off my hefty pile of “Student of the Month” honors because I’m pretty much awesome and my nerdiness knows few bounds. But for many of the things I wanted to keep, she asked the same question: “What are we going to do with it? It’s just going to go back in a box in a closet, never to be seen again.”
Since then whenever we stumble across something we don’t know what to do with or where to put, the immediate joke is “this goes in the box!” As we’re planning things for the wedding and purchasing decorative items and such, this has come up countless times. My goal is to not spend too much money on things we can’t repurpose or won’t want to display after the ceremony, because otherwise we end up with boxes of things we feel we can’t get rid of but don’t know what to do with.
These “box” items are a challenge for all of us. We accumulate things throughout our lives that hold meaning but don’t necessarily warrant display. Or we want to hold onto the memory, but the piece offers little more than that. When we stumble across these items we’re forced to confront ourselves, our pasts and our memories and seemingly apply a value to whether or not the item is worth keeping.