I have been called a packrat in more than one way and, guess what? It’s true. I keep. I keep things. But to me, they aren’t just things. They are the memories of things. They are the who, what, when, where and why of my life. I don’t know why, but I’d rather call them “things” than refer to them collectively as “stuff.” “Stuff” has become somewhat of a dirty word to me (thanks to commentary like that of another language lover, George Carlin) in terms of consumerism and such. All the same, it’s not all the same. And I realized that recently when I decided to re-evaluate my things.
I wanted to give away the clothes I promised myself I’d wear for years now. I wanted to streamline my bags and purses since I really only used the same two or three. I wanted to sort through all of my craft supplies that range from markers and paints to stray pieces from flower garlands I bought at Walmart a few years ago. I wanted to shred all of the paperwork that I kept since I started at UNCG in 2003 (the time before I could hoard—I mean, store—all of that info in my email inbox).
I made considerable progress in this not-Spring-Spring-cleaning. Rooms were bigger, brighter, and tidier. I knew what I had and where things were. I made mental notes—a plan—about how to receive and store things I’d get in the future.
And, I started up a treasure chest.
I don’t think that I mean to call it a treasure chest in the first place. As my intention quickly swam through a sea of words and phrases and fond memories of Muppets on the sea, I jumped at referring to this cardboard box as a treasure chest.
And this treasure chest is effective.