I threw out a lot of my possessions in this most recent move. I said goodbye to boxes of college stuff labeled “sentimental” and shoved all together — papers I didn’t throw away when they came into my life and, due to a packrattiness in my blood, held on to them until they were old enough to seem significant. I threw away my bookshelf from my childhood bedroom, the iron and wicker one that could’ve been harboring little insect friends from our last apartment. I threw out readings from old college journalism classes, anthologies of my heroes’ stories and my (failed) attempts at imitating them. I threw out the 90 sets of clips from the Daily Northwestern, and the piece of string that lived around the doorknob of one of my dorm rooms, and the scrap of tissue paper from that surprise party. (But not the paper star from our apartment in New York. I couldn’t.)

I don’t miss any of it. In fact, I woke up this morning and looked around our totally clutter-free apartment and it seemed like my whole sense of being had done a yawn-stretch and could finally spread out. Except! I’ve had dreams about the stuff I threw out. My bookshelf appeared in a dream last night and was talking to me about how mad it was at me. I’m serious. I’ve angered the objects. And now they’re after me.

I knew there was a reason I kept things.

3 thoughts on “Possessive

  1. I try to do that every time I move, but I still find myself hanging onto unread newspapers, potential craft supplies and ill fitting clothing. Now that I’m back and my dad and grandparents’ house, I roll my eyes at the things they’ve been holding onto. My dad’s room is filled with tapes of shows and football games. The room my grandma spent most of her time in is a mess magazines, news papers, styroform contaners and candy wrappers. Old mattresses, mounds of clothing and old furniture (some ours, some from a deceased woman my grandpa was power of attorney for) clutter the basement, preventing me from possibly having my own space during my stay here.

  2. I am on a de-clutter tear now, tossing out books that I don’t ever look at, clothes that I don’t ever wear or that are stained. With the clothes, at least, I soothe the pain by telling myself that hey! I’ll get to buy NEW clothes!

  3. My Mom came to town this weekend to help me unpack and purge. She left with four big boxes of clothes that I haven’t worn in at least a year! Who knew I had so many clothes? I wear the same five outfits every week, I swear. This is what happens when you live in an apartment with lots of storage.

    I did a paper purge myself before the move, but I still can’t bring myself to get rid of books.

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