Keeping Mementos

When I was a teenager, I started saving store receipts. I saved the receipts of music CDs I bought, video games, movies, or events I attended. To me it was just like saving a movie stub from the theater; it was a souvenir.

Receipts don’t take up much space, and I could look at one and see the exact date and time that I purchased something. Now for something like a music CD this can be invaluable. As you get older and your memory fades, you can look at something like that and it could help you remember a particular time in your life.

When I started decluttering I came across the little box I had saved all my receipts in. I took them out of the container and started looking at the oldest ones first, the receipts of music CDs I had purchased when I was 14-15 years old. It made me smile briefly as I got farther and farther into the “future” through the dates and times, as I started remembering the events and times with my friends.

Then, I realized this was silly. I know our memory degrades over time, but mine wasn’t that bad (yet). Plus, keeping these receipts was simply more clutter to have around my house. They were completely unnecessary in my life!

I saved four major receipts from the whole stack and filed them away in a photo album. I tore the rest of them up and put them in the trash- these things I had held onto for almost 20 years.

What I realized was that these were important to me at one time in my life, but that time was past. I wasn’t living in the past, but I don’t need to vacation there either.


2 thoughts on “Keeping Mementos

  1. I understand that, I have what i call My junk box, its one small box half full of things that remind me of the past. It contains things like letters from my late grandfather, concert tickets, & so fourth. I hold on to for memories. I had a second box similar but it was all tapes, videos & flyers from about five different bands I had played in. I gave that away to an old band member and he seems to enjoy it alot more than i did, it taking up room in my closet.

    1. Some things are worth holding onto- I certainly have not given up a lot of things that are sentimental to me. The hard part I think is finding that balance in what you decide to keep. For example, I had a subscription to a magazine I loved for almost 13 years. That’s a lot of magazines to keep! Right now I am going through them and paring them down to less than 20 total.

      On the other side, there are a lot of things I got rid of (like personal letters and other things) that I threw out. But I really wished I’d kept them. Good luck with your minimalist lifestyle!

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