I Wish I Had Saved More of My Old Clothing for My Children

Purge or PackRat? So a funny thing happened when I saw my friend's Doc Martens on the floor the other day. I admired them. Even took a photo. Then I remembered my own cool pair that I had bought at the actual Doc Martens factory in England.

And then I wondered why I didn't save them. I know I meant to save them, but my habit of purging to the point of maybe over-purging probably got the better of me.

Sure, they're only shoes. But then again, maybe they're not.


Now before you think I just donate or toss pretty much everything, even items with heavy sentimental value, I don't. In fact, I just had quilts made from my kids' baby clothes.

So there.

More From The Stir: Getting Rid of All My Clothes Was One of the Best Things I've Ever Done

But my own items, well, that's a different story.

When I cull my closet every season or, let's be honest, every month, it's hard for me to see the value of putting something in a bin. Maybe it's because I recently cleaned out my mom's home and found years and years of items that should have been tossed a long time ago.

I still remember some organizational expert say that if you're just going to keep it in a bin, then why keep it at all. And well, I suppose I've kept that in my head.

But now that my kids are getting older, particularly my oldest daughter who's hitting tweendom, I really wish that I had thought more carefully of what I thought was worth saving.

Did those Doc Martens really take up so much room in my closet or a bin?

No, they didn't. But perhaps it was more than the shoes and about the memories attached that I was ditching.

It's not that they were sad, at least in the case of the shoes, but I'm wondering if it was just hard for me to have so many reminders of my past, particularly because so much of it was so hard and, yep, I'll say it, depressing.

And at least for me personally, I lived with a father who used to take away things from me all the time as a punishment, even gifts or things I had bought for myself. So I suppose giving things away and ridding myself of them was a way for me to get back some control.

I realize it's not the same for everyone. And I'd much rather be an over-purger than a pack rat. MUCH.

But as I looked at the shoes and remembered my own, I wanted to be able to go back to my closet, pop them out of a bin, and put them on my feet. Then I'd shove them away or, hey, maybe wear them, and then save them for my kids.

For now, all I have are the actual memories of them, which might be just as valuable, if not more, than the items I've long since parted with.

On the other hand, it's nice to have a few things to pass along that your kids can keep long after you are gone to tell the stories to them yourself.

Are you a purger or a pack rat?

Image via ohmyGaly/Flickr

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