Saturday was a rainy day, making it the perfect choice for Spring Cleaning. First I surveyed my room. And realized anew that I have lots of stuff.
Do I really need all this? I'm not a packrat but I do hold on to some things "just in case." I have fairly stringent rules when it comes to books- if I'll read it again, I keep it. Otherwise I donate it to work, friends, or a resale shop. I have a "one year to wear" rule for my clothes. Any "maybes" get a one year reprieve. If they haven't been worn by the next Clothing Swap, they are freed to a new home.
I think my problem area is memorabilia. I'm too dang nostalgic. I take tons of pictures, which I am hopelessly behind on scrapbooking. I keep meaningful cards and letters for years. I actually found letters from a penpal from when I was 15 years old- our moms met at a craft show and decided we should be penpals. I think we only wrote for about a year but apparently I still treasure those letters. I have my old journals, term papers, drawings, books, etc. Some of my Spring Clean became therapeutic as I looked through the contents of my hope chest. And tried to remember why I had saved a short story Rachel Warner and I wrote when we were in 6th grade, poorly disguising our classmates' names and casting ourselves as the heroines. Or why a small foam volleyball from my youth group's April Assault was worth hanging on to. Or what I thought I would do with the regatta poster from my crew days. Some things made me laugh or get misty eyed and some things made me question my sanity.
In the end I have quite a few things to donate. My apartment complex is collecting items for The Cinderella Project, which donates prom, formal, and bridesmaid dresses, shoes, clutches, and new make up to girls who otherwise cannot afford them. So there goes my old prom dress and one of the few bridesmaid dresses I've held onto. I have a wide assortment of Christian books and CDs that I no longer want, freebies from my days working at The Christian Bookstore. So all that goes to the staff at my church. I've saved a pile of things for my parents to go through, like my signed Michael W. Smith CD- my dad's a big fan. There's clothes for the Clothing Swap my friends and I do every spring and fall.
And then there's clothes, knickknacks, books, CDs, household decor, and more that will be donated to a resale shop my friend's church supports. It feels really good to be holding on to the things I need and pass on everything else to the people that need them. And it feels good to cross another item off of 31 Things!