May 19th, 2011

cleaning

Throwing stuff out

Much purging today ... of the ownership kind, not the digestive kind. We plan to move a bunch of stuff into the garage this weekend (if the cement is dry), so I've been going through all my junk that's been sitting in cardboard boxes in the closet for years. There's no sense in just transferring stuff from the closet into the garage -- I may as well go through everything first and get rid of stuff I don't want.

Things I got rid of today:

- pay stubs from the past 20 years
- print-outs of computer code I wrote in the 1980's ... in BASIC
- the academic medals I wore around my neck at high school graduation
- random home and garden catalogues, Levenger catalogues, etc. ... from the 1990's
- the photo negatives for about a million rolls of film, which I'm quite certain I would never look at again, let alone use for reprints
- print-outs of the angry emails that Shannon and I wrote to each other when we were split up in 2001 (why did I have these in the first place?)
- un-filed divorce paperwork from when Shannon and I were split up in 2001
- 3 pads of graph paper (I kept one in case I ever need some, but -- seriously! -- when am I going to need graph paper? Let alone 4 pads of it!)
- hundreds -- and I'm not exaggerating -- of photos of people I barely remember, photos of people I *do* remember but they have their eyes closed, photos of scenery I totally can't identify, photos of various blurry things, duplicate photos for which I see no purpose in my life, etc.
- a Duran Duran calendar from 1985, the program for the Duran Duran concert I went to in L.A. in 1984, and some random Duran Duran magazines (and a Wham! magazine) -- this stuff I'll probably try to sell on eBay, especially since Duran Duran has been touring recently and people might actually be interested in them again
- my "American National Red Cross Beginner Swimming Record of Learning" from the early 1970's
- a few of my report cards from elementary school (though it's kinda amusing to see that I got dinged repeatedly in 1st grade for "talking out of turn" and not having "good self-control.")
- a ditto machine copy (purple ink and all) of a form letter to parents on June 16, 1977, informing them that their child had "worked very hard learning sounds and learning to blend them into words. Now he can read." Dude, I learned to read before I ever started school. I don't need your stinkin' form letter.
- a PTA meeting program from 1977 which pretty much only lists the names of staff members, the "executive board," etc. Why in the world did this ever make it into a box of stuff my mom saved?
- several of those sheets of photos of everyone in your elementary school class -- I have no idea who *any* of those people are, except myself. Why would I want photos of them?
- many many membership cards for video stores that no longer exist
- a financial aid letter from my first year in college (1987)

My mom would be heartbroken that I'm getting rid of a lot of this stuff, but I'm less sentimental than she is. I mean, this junk has been sitting in a closet for a couple decades. Why keep stuff that has no purpose and which doesn't interest me? I like getting rid of unnecessary stuff. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me.