Why Do We Keep What We Keep?

Written by Samantha Pointer

On August 4, 2011

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The other day as I was driving by the old place where I use to vote and I thought about the new voter card that I had received. When you get a new card they ask you to destroy the old card. Well I was finding myself not wanting to destroy the old card but to keep it. But for what? As some monument to a moment in my life? As a reminder of where I used to vote? I had no idea. There was no real reason, but I found it comforting to want to keep this item.

This one example is played out on a larger scale by many people everyday. It got me to asking why do we keep what we keep? There are certain things that I have kept in my life when I had gotten a replacement for it. My reasoning was for a visual reminder of a time in my life. But at some point you really need to ask yourself is this really necessary. Am I the only one who cares about this information and if so do I really need to keep the item. If I was to start to keeping everything I got a replacement for I would become a hoarder and being an professional organizer I don’t think that would be a good idea.

So I got to thinking about what I could do instead of keeping this item and here is what I came up with. It may help you too!

  • Take a picture! If it is so important for you to keep an item then I would suggest that you take a picture of the item that you are thinking about keeping and that way you can just discard it but have a reminder about this time in your life. It is so much easier than keeping a whole bunch of clutter just to remember a time in your life.
  • Get over it! That’s right, get over it. You know that you are the only one who cares about it and there is no real good reason to keep it. Sometimes you have to be that bold about it to yourself.
  • Set a limit of just keeping a set number a year of very important items that you want to remember in a memory box. This is for the person who just must keep the physical item and pictures just won’t do.

These are just a few things that you can do to keep from becoming a hoarder of objects to remember when. I am sure there are more and I would love to hear how you keep from doing this or if you do this how you keep it under control. Leave your stories in the comments below. Until next time….

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