There are lots of inspiring things being written about decluttering these days, but I enjoy adding my own words at times, especially when I face up to a particular experience myself. Lately I've been working on a second round of garage decluttering, since when I did it the first time I managed to get everything in nice, neat storage containers, but I still kept a lot of things that I really didn't need. This time around I decided to go through my paper containers (where I actually had every last note I took during college) and my souvenir/memory boxes.
It was kind of fun to actually see all these items again, but ultimately a little melancholy since I knew there was absolutely no need for me to keep most of them. I would never again be looking at these Large Scale Scientific Computing matrix equations, if it wasn't for the fact that I was going through them to throw them out! It's been good for me to reassess the value of "things", since I often equate the physical thing to a memory. I had to remind myself that my memories are never going to change if I don't have this Shakespeare exam buried in a box in my garage - I will still remember the class fondly! So, I was able to reduce three giant boxes of paper down to one giant box - I had to keep just a few favorite projects and all of my journal notebooks (since I may read them when I'm 75 or something!).
I went through the same emotions with my other old items, and even old clothes. It may be difficult, but I found it really liberating to "detach" from things, and now I've reduced my box of "treasures" by 50%, too. I'm sure someday even the items I'm keeping now will mean much less to me than the memories I have of them - and the memories can be stored in zero physical space!
Now I can say my garage is totally complete! After round two and a trip to Goodwill, I can fit everything I need on my shelves without having other storage containers lining the walls, and it feels great!