As I was finishing up my last post, I already had a pretty clear idea of which time capsule junk pile I would dive into. I’m ready to get this train rolling to success with less. Unfortunately, I didn’t choose to take on that hideous gift bag full of junk mail. Priorities. I decided to start small.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce Little Random Floral Bag-Bin Thingy! It has remained full and untouched for months. Actually, it hasn’t been untouched completely. I think more has been added to the top layer in recent weeks . It’s one of the many catch-all kind of vessels that you would find strategically or erratically placed around my house. As I dug deeper to the bottom of the bag-bin in preparation for the embarrassing Insta-post, I realized that this flowery little holder and all of its contents had most likely been sitting on top of the dresser in my closet for OVER A YEAR.
Packing up your life and relocating could be a very humbling experience, especially if you have collections of time capsules like I do. I’ve packed up classrooms and I’ve packed up my living spaces a handful of times. I tend to just give up toward the end. When there’s a time crunch, I do the classic one-armed surface swipe and throw all remaining random items into a container. Floral Bag-Bin Thingy survived the move from one house to the next without even being touched or emptied for almost two years. Sneaky!
With my recent interest in trying to live a simpler life and studying some basic principles of Buddhism, I really appreciate the idea of how possessions do not define us.
At least we shouldn’t let them. I agree with this 100 percent. However, as I studied the contents of this bag-bin, I couldn’t help but think about what kinds of conclusions or judgments that strangers would make about me and the life I live. It reminds me of the classic “3 things in a paper bag” project that sometimes happens at the beginning of the year as a getting-to-know you activity. I will share my opinions about that in a later post. Until then, here are the goods:
The things in my bag-bin do not define who I am. I saved these trinkets, scraps and objects for either functional or sentimental purposes. I obviously threw some other things in there because I was lazy or there was some kind of dire emergency that prevented me from getting to a trash can. Some of these things are not functional anymore such as the crumpled up gum wrapper and cracked iPhone 4. Other items will serve a purpose in the future. 51 cents and an unused tampon is a major score! What is the story with the giftcards? It’s going to take some more of my valuable time (or some poor barista’s time) to figure out if there is any money left on them.
I am not going to address every item that is pictured, especially the sentimental ones. I know that they are symbolic of people and memories that are important to me. It is only now that I realize I don’t really need the physical objects anymore in order to connect with my loved ones or enjoy reminiscing. If you are reading this and you are somehow directly associated with any of the items pictured, please know that you either play a regular key role in my life, or at the least, I follow you on social media.
Here’s my plan with this little collection:
- Keep the items that have monetary value and function (coins, giftcards)
- Keep only 3 items for sentimental purposes (I have to start somewhere)
- Recycle, shred, or throw everything else away. Recycle means recycle. Not holding on to it to “re purpose” it later. I’ll never make any progress if I do that.
- Acknowledgement: Trinkets, souvenirs, functional and non-functional objects have been and always will be a part of my life.
- Goals for the Future: Collect mental souvenirs and document the good times digitally. Do not allow any more bags or bins or any hybrid species to enter the house. Bonus travel goal: Just enjoy my time at whichever hotel I am staying in and turn in the damn key card to the front desk when we leave. A key card to the Wynn will not get me into my house when I forget the garage door opener.
- Now: Floral Bag-Bin Thingy is still in this room. It’s empty now, but still creepily present.
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA