Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weaving the Threads - Part Two

Unpacking My Past . . .

. . . is as much a metaphor for reconciling myself to past choices as it is a literal unpacking of boxes and freshening the things I love but keep packed away. I've been doing a lot of the first recently and it changed me enormously. The core of who I am is still there but the expression has changed. It isn't easy making these changes and some I have not handled well but learning the new rules of behavior as one banishes past ghosts can be a messy process.

The literal unpacking is my process for unearthing old family treasures - to photograph them, tell their story, and display them. I learned what these things were from my mother but preserving their stories in a more permanent way is left to me. Oral tradition stopped with me but I'm picking up the stories again and with technology, preserve them for our family.

I was at Orchard Supply and Hardware (OSH) yesterday and for the umpteenth time looked at a tall storage cabinet - four bottom drawers (one deep) and enclosed shelves on top. The first time I looked at this cabinet was two years ago. It was $189.00. Now it's $219.00. Nothing about the cabinet has changed except the price which has increased by $30.00. But this cabinet, I'm convinced, will be an effective problem solver for the enormous collection of family photos I have and need to sort through.

Right now they are all in a jumble of boxes. By getting this cabinet, I accomplish two things - I organize better thereby making the sorting more do-able; and emptying boxes frees them to store other items that need a temporary home. I can start putting order to chaos again. I've done this before but never finished the job. I don't expect to finish it either any time soon but my need to bring some order to it all pretty much has reached critical mass (again). Add to that the unpacking and exposing of my treasures and I will be forced to rid myself of more of the clutter that takes up too much space in my life.

Part of what defeats me (or at least slows me down) is the sheer quantity of "stuff" to deal with. I've tossed so much, Goodwilled so much, and there is still so MUCH. I'm not a start-a-project and work-to-the-end sort of person. So what takes one person a week to ruthlessly accomplish (hummm, would that be my DH?), takes me literally years! Just ask him. But, when I get into writing fits like this I generally make some progress to add to my long-haul style of putting order to things.

So, Saturday I continued to tackle the decluttering and determining of what is really important to keep. Yesterday I found a treasure trove of items from my mother's past. They require some sprucing up and freshening so first stop today is the grocery store to purchase of some sort of gentle soap and two 100% clean, never used pans for hand washing and hand rinsing. Then the gentle dry and iron. These items are all scheduled to become art-piece memory displays. Photos to follow, I promise.

Coming Soon - Weaving the Threads - Part Three
Creating My Personal Space


Mary Timme said...

Decluttering is such a neat way to get your life in order, isn't it? I go in fits and starts and put away and throw away. I always forget where I put stuff--I can be pretty sure it is somewhere, but I have to take time to think, "Now, it was a frenzy of cleaning, and it made sense to me then, but not now, what label I used." I'm tricky that way! ;-)

I love that you are keeping the important and getting rid of the merely urgent! Way to go Anne!

Susie said...

Hi Annie,
I love that storage cabinet! We are just starting to redo the office area
which is mostly "mine" I want to use white cabinets for storage. I think it makes for such a nice clean organized look. I found some at Lowes, but I like yours better!

Star said...

I'm glad you're making headway on this project. It sounds like there are so many memories to preserve.

Carmen said...

Don't forget that you have to stop by my blog Today ;-)

CattyCat said...

Annie: I spent a year putting all my photos in semi order and into all matching albums. Once the project is complete it is such a pleasure to take an album down now and travel through my past life years and remember. Photos are so great because one photo can trigger not just the image but potentially memories for all your senses.

tongue in cheek said...

unpacking the past, keeping the good, and saying goodbye to the old tapes, and un needed messages.

May there be only tresures left in their place.