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All My Yesterdays

For the past month, I’ve been going through acres and acres of paper. I’m swimming in old photo albums, report cards, half-finished stories, folders of magical thoughts for future writing. Oh yes! My office is under renovation. It’s a small room. It used to be the sewing room of the previous owner. And for a tiny space, it houses a deep, huge closet. And that is where all of my ‘stuff’ has been stored for the past thirteen years. Truly, it has been an overwhelming exercise.

I’ve discovered touching letters from my mom, photos of my teaching assignment in the N.W.T and other items that are packed with emotion. Some days have been very hard and I’ve had to stop and walk away. But I’m making progress. And it makes me wonder why do we ‘hold on’ to what we do?  I think for me,  it’s about capturing my past.

Growing up in an air-force family was a unique experience and we moved constantly.  I think I kept things to remember the places where we lived.  The people I met are ‘somewhere out there’ but I can’t find them now. But I’ve saved their photos and I have their memories. Cleaning out my office forced me to examine why we honour and cherish certain photos, stories, items and discard others.

What has been your experience?files-1614223_1920 stacks of paper  Are you a saver? Are you a person who dislikes stacks of memorabilia? Or are you hopeful that in the fullness of time, someone else will have to deal with your collection?

I’d love to hear from you.



  1. I save everything as well – I have letters from junior high to and from friends. Letters from high school romances, letters I never sent – pictures I hold onto so I can capture those memories once again. I’m in touch with your process – I tried to go through my stuff as well and the pile pretty much stayed the same – I can’t seem to let go.

  2. Happy May, Jodie! Ah, decluttering. I’m envious. We spent a number of years slowly moving home base from Vancouver to Victoria, which meant “stuff” got boxed up and moved in batches, and dumped in the basement with no particular logic. The home renos still aren’t complete so there aren’t places upstairs for everything (some days, getting dressed involves visiting 4-5 closets/cupboards, but one day there will be a walk-in closet!). Some of the upstairs wiring and plumbing of course involves the basement, so periodically all the stuff in one section of the basement gets shoved somewhere else so Mr. Home Handyman can work there. It’s pretty much a disaster area. When (if???) the renos finally get finished, we’ll be able to properly organize the upstairs and then we can tackle all of the “stuff” in the basement – the junk and the treasures. I’m really hoping that a favorite blue sweater, one I haven’t seen in several years, turns up down there! But, on the other hand, I am organizing my office, going through old files and tossing material that’s dated, so I do have control over my own little corner of the world.

    1. Wow! That sounds like a lot of work that lies ahead. The bushman has a large garage with tools that I have no idea what they’re even called or what they do. But as you mentioned I’m trying to keep my own little bit of paradise organized. But on some days, that’s a difficult mission. Thanks for dropping by.

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