Are you a Pack Rat or Minimalist?

Something strange happens when you realize you have to move. Suddenly your home filled with treasures and keepsakes starts to look annoying and cluttered. Why do we have all this junk? How in the world did we collect all these things in the past year? Every time I open a drawer, close a closet, or pass by a wall full of photos I think, “Oh geez, we’re going to have to pack that.”

Moving turns me into a minimalist. For the most part I have a cut-throat mentality. If I haven’t used it in a year, then I probably won’t use it in the next year. See-ya in Goodwill, high-wasted corduroy pants.

But then I go through some of my stuff and wonder if I’ll regret getting rid of it. For example…

  • Should I save the reply cards that people sent in for my wedding? Most of them say yes or no, but some have funny little notes to us.
  • I have saved all of my playbills since seeing my first Broadway Phantom of the Opera in New York. Is this just a waste of space? Or should I keep them for sentimental value?
  • Do you keep letters that people write you? Invitations to showers, weddings, parties?
  • Oh the books! There are so many!
  • How often do you keep magazines around? I usually throw them away a year after they’ve been read, but some of my cooking ones could be useful later.
  • I have a ton of mugs, but really only rotate my favorite 4 for my morning coffee. Should I get rid of the others that are just taking up precious real estate in the cabinet?
  • I have over a dozen journals since I started my first in the 1st grade. That first one is funny, but some of the others are just silly accounts of which boy I like and what I had for breakfast that morning.
  • How many spatulas are too many spatulas?
  • Should I keep my cap and gown from college graduation? Let’s be honest, that’s never going to get worn again, unless my kiddos want to play dress up in it.

Oh the decisions! What do you think I should keep or toss? Are you a pack rat or minimalist when it comes to keeping sentimental things?

(photo credit)