When we moved from Illinois to Colorado, it was from a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom tri-level house to a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. Before we moved, I purged and cleaned out and got rid of tons of stuff. Downsizing is possible, but I’m not sure that it is possible to downsize enough to keep all the things that we needed/wanted to keep. So we have a storage area. Actually, it is garage at the apartment complex, but don’t tell them that because we aren’t supposed to store stuff in the garage. It is supposed to be for a car.
One of the things I decided to tackle while I was unemployed and waiting to be approved to Substitute Teach, was the garage. When we moved, every box was labeled and I had an inventory of the boxes and a general description of their contents.
Over the past 4 years of apartment living, my organization has become lax. Really lax or perhaps non-existent. Don’t get me wrong, I could find the Halloween costumes and the Christmas stuff, but generally there was no rhyme or reason to the organization. Also, there were many, many boxes that were no longer labeled correctly.
There has also been a large amount of stuff that has been added to the storage area. Most of it is waiting for me to find a teaching position. The amount of teaching stuff I’ve accumulated is enormous.
I found games that were never opened and that the boys have outgrown. I found books that the boys were ready to read. I found stuffed animals (that the boys went through and kept only a few – thank goodness!). I found some clothes that I will never wear (turtlenecks and such – I run warm and Colorado doesn’t get cold like Illinois did). I was able to donate two car-loads of “stuff.”
I was also able to get things a bit more organized. There is a lot more space in the storage area than there was before I started working on it.
However, the best thing about cleaning out the storage area was I found some things that I thought were lost. At one point, my computer hard drive crashed and we lost all of the pictures of the boys. Years worth of pictures. It was devastating. My mom and my mother-in-law sent me digital copies of what they had, but they didn’t have all the pictures – only what they took or what I shared with them.
What I found, while cleaning out the storage space was picture albums. Albums I had made and forgotten about. There was an album from when Alex was a puppy, when David was a baby and toddler, when Michael was a baby and an album of pictures from my bridal shower, Chris’ and my wedding and our honeymoon. I nearly cried when I saw them.
I thought that the pictures were gone. There is another box or two of keepsakes in the storage area that I need to go through. I know that it has a box full of baby things of David’s and clothes that were the boys that I wanted to save. I am hoping that it has other items that I seem to have “misplaced” since the move. There was a letter from my Nana (my mom’s grandmother), concert tickets from the Elton John/Billy Joel concert that Chris took me to before the boys were born, and a letter my dad wrote me when I was away at college. I am sure that there are more things in the box that I’ve forgotten about and will be happy to see, but I can’t remember what they would be.
We didn’t take many pictures of Michael right after he was born because his birth was traumatic and his head was severely bruised. I didn’t want him to be plagued with pictures of how awful he looked right after he was born, so we didn’t take many pictures. But of David, there are tons of pictures of him from his first few days. To think that I didn’t have pictures of either of my boys after birth was sad. It was such a surprise to find them. And I am certain, when I bring the other box in from the storage area, I will find more treasures.
It has been several weeks since I worked on the storage area, but the treasures that I believe I will find in the box marked keepsakes have me thinking that I need to get back out there before winter comes.