When we moved from our first home to this one, we brought with us boxes that hadn't been opened in many years. In those boxes contained memories of times long ago. When we moved in, our strategy was - if we know which room it goes in and can be put into place (IE furniture) - put it into place. Everything else placed into the garage. A few weeks went by and we decided there were a few things that needed to go ahead and be put inside the house. So we moved most all the inside boxes into the living room. After a few weeks of tripping over everything and getting extremely irritated, we decided to bring all the boxes upstairs and into the bonus room. This is where (theoretically) we could unpack and find a home for everything else. Also by this time, everything that was going to need to be downstairs was already downstairs. Theoretically everything up in the bonus room or in the garage would need to find a home upstairs or garage (respectively).
Here we are, three plus months later, and the downstairs looks awesome. It is visitor ready at almost any time of the day. There are a few "hidden surprises," but overall the downstairs is organized and neat. Then, we walk upstairs. I just shake my head. I pretty much avoid the upstairs altogether. So yesterday, I decided it was time to move some stuff. We walked in and if it looked like it could be Christmas Stuff it was moved it to a bedroom that was empty. I opened every single tote or box and unwrapped every single item. I, then, DVD racked it. LOL. My husband jokes with me that when I want to 'look' like I'm cleaning that I organize the DVD rack. There was a reason for the organization though. I wanted all my tree stuff to go into one tote so that when it's time to decorate the tree, I only have to pull out one tote to do it. I wanted all my snowmen stuff in one tote so that I know what to expect when I open that tote. Then everything that already had its own box was stacked in the closet neatly. I managed to put everything from two HUGE (unmanageable) totes into two medium (manageable) totes. There are only a handful of items left and they will go into a third tote. I know we have some more Christmas things in the Bonus Room and hopefully those things will be combined with the handful of items will fit nicely with those items.
Then we tackled "files." Now, it would be simple of the files were already ready just to be put into our file cabinets. However, we had probably 6 bankers boxes worth of files/paperwork. Two of them were filed nicely and the other four -- well not so nicely. We went through the boxes and I put out in three piles. One pile would need to be shredded, one pile that we needed/wanted to keep and the final pile was a pile that I wasn't sure if it needed to be shredded or kept. We wound up with two full banker's boxes of "shred" material, one full banker's box of files in files (although this could be worked through and organized better, but we'll wait for that another time) and a full banker's box with files not filled at all - and a completely empty box.
Why is it that men have a box of stuff and women have a box of memories? I'd look through boxes and remember the exact moment and feeling of the things in the boxes. I felt happy. My husband looked through his boxes and it wasn't until he came across his old Popular Science Magazines that he even had a look of nostalgia in his eyes. I don't want to get rid of the acorn a dear friend of mine gave me in the 5th grade (nor will I !!!) that I held every day from the point he gave it to me until I graduated high school. It was my secret (well I guess not anymore. LOL). I'm leaving my elementary jewelry box intact as is. I remember how I felt as I placed each treasure in there. It includes one of my lost baby teeth. I remember not placing too many things in that box after elementary school. I haven't looked in that box since college and I haven't pulled anything out since high school. It was like my own little time capsule with tiny bubblegum rings, fake jewelry, girl scout patches, a lost tooth, a marble and that precious acorn plus many other memories. To anyone else, it would be a box of stuff. But to me, it's happiness in a box.
Lastly while in college, I wrote down a phrase. I found it while digging through a box. It said, "Children will soar like Eagles if given the wings to fly." How Profound -