No backsies: memory lane decluttering item #2

I toyed with the idea of letting go of 50% of my stuff. There is something freeing about continuing to move things along with gratitude. I feel lighter and my heart is happy honouring each item with a simple thank you.

As my new linen closet filled up this week, I added old towels to the donation box ear-marked for the SPCA. Still, the closet was crammed. What I realized took up a substantial chunk of room was all the old baby blankets.

I’d kept most of them. There were two silky soft first blankets, hand-knit by my mother-in-law: a green and white one for my son and a pink and white one for my daughter.

Then came the tiny quilts. Animals in trains, fluffy clouds, fun fringes… so many memories and so much love poured onto those fabric squares.

I took a deep breath and placed half of them into the donation box for Goodwill. I knew I needed to keep a couple aside for the box forts my daughter would create next summer in the garage. I checked with her, “Are you okay with me donating your baby blankets?”

“Yeah, sure.” She didn’t look up from her phone.

“Make sure,” I said. “No backsies once I drop them off.”

“Yep. All good.”

Then I checked with my son.

“Wait.” He removed his headphones and pulled the red-fringed fleece blanket with lions driving cars out of the box. “I remember this one. And that one.”

“You’re welcome to keep them.”

“Yes, I want those.”

As happy as I’d been letting go of more stuff, I pulled the blankets from the box and took them back upstairs into the full linen closet.

Marie Kondo, the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says the sentimental items are last to go and I know why: if you had to start there, it would halt any progress. I want to keep memories in my heart… not in my closet where no one enjoys them.

Marie also says, however, that you can’t tidy up for someone else. Every person is responsible for their own stuff.

As I wrote that last statement, I went back upstairs to the linen closet and pulled out my son’s baby blankets. I tucked them lovingly into the top of his closet. I returned to my closet and removed a blanket that a friend had gifted me years earlier. I’d rarely used it. I added it to the donation box with a big thank you.

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