Saturday, January 24, 2009

Confessions of a Paper Piling Pack Ratty Hoarder

Do you see those bookshelves? They are a miracle of will power and a hardening of my heart. Each of my children have bookshelves in their rooms. In fact, the luckiest of the three has bookshelves built into his bed. They are responsible for organizing and maintaining their own shelves however they see fit. In our basement, we have some glorious built in shelves. They were a major selling point for me when we bought the house. For better or worse, my husband and I have filled them completely. Three of the shelves (pictured above) are devoted to children's books, holiday books, outgrown board books, reference books, whatever the kids don't want in their own rooms. Only the books were squeezed in too tight and had spilled over into piles on the floor and a nearby desk. They needed weeding, but I hate weeding. It pains me, really. I'm sentimental and illogical when it comes to throwing away or passing along my kids' books, schoolwork, and drawings. Let me illustrate for you how poorly my mind functions. My daughter creates about five or six pictures a day. Last Tuesday, she made these three. Well, I couldn't throw away the Tinkerbell inspired fashion sketch. What if she becomes a famous and successful designer someday? Won't she want this early work? I put it on the Keep pile.
She also produced this portrait of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Remember him from the Muppets? How could I toss this example of how alike my daughter and I are in our senses of humor? Keep.

Finally, she made this excellent portrait of our newly inaugurated President. I couldn't throw that away, and not because it seemed disrespectful our traitorous to send our Commander in Chief to the recycle bin along with old magazines and takeout menus. Nope, I couldn't throw it away because she had dated it "Januray 20, 2009." For some reason, I find misspellings by people under the age of 12 endearing and over the age of 12 annoying. The sweetness of "Januray" assured Mr. Obama a spot on my kitchen counter for at least a few months.

This illogical approach to what I save is much worse when it comes to books I've read with my children. One may tell me there's a book in his or her room that they no longer read, and I can donate it somewhere, but if I remember who gave it to them, or that we read it once at a park on a sunny day, or just about anything else about it, I put it on the basement shelf. But it was getting out of hand, and yesterday I went to work. I tried to keep sentimentality at bay and remind myself that I would donate the books to good homes. The result: that ten inches or so of space on the bottom shelf. It may seem insignificant to you, but it's a source of great pride to me!
What is difficult for you to throw away or recycle?


Ginny Marie said...

I have a hard time getting rid of my daughter's stuffed animals. I remember when each was a favorite for about a month, and then tossed aside. What if she wanted the animal again? All our little animals have names, and I get a little attached to them myself!

Corinne said...

ooh i love the pictures!

MotherReader said...

It is difficult for me to throw away just about anything. I'd say that the thing that allows me to toss most stuff that isn't actual garbage is my fear of being featured on one of those shows about hoarders.

I'm kidding, but not by a lot. I find it hard to get rid of most of my kids' stuff - unless I know it is going to a good home. All their clothes go to my niece or neighbor. Some of their toys to another niece. But the books have been hard to part with, as are the pictures, and I'm with Ginny on the stuffed animals.

MotherReader said...

Oh, and I'd totally frame the Obama picture.