Holy Water & Beyonce Onesies

Sometimes I have a hard time letting things go. Thing things, like things that take up room in closets, turning them into overflowing disasters of letters and concert tickets and clothing items that will never be worn again. Like this festive Beyonce onesie: 

Nate has clearly not fit into this in, er, a little while. I bought it when I went to see Beyonce in Madison Square Garden with my brother. I sat next to an eight foot tall transvestite (not my brother), singing all the words to "Irreplaceable" and "Get Me Bodied."

So when I filled up boxes this afternoon -- Donations, Trash, Save -- this one went in "Save." 

But I did toss a lot of other stuff, hauling bags of tiny plastic parts of long gone toys to the curb. My feet were burning on the pavement (perhaps I should do this kind of cleaning in the fall), but it felt good to throw them in the trash bin. 

Other things were not so easy to get rid of. I sit down when I'm going through these closets, start thumbing though inscriptions in books and remembering the stories behind all these things. This is of course rule #1 in decluttering -- don't get caught up in that.

Things are not people, and memories remain when things go away.

"Save the one sentimental thing, display it, and get rid of the rest."

I've read the uncluterring blogs, watched the segments where Nate Berkus transforms a cluttered hme to a carefully curated living space with a touch of the personal (and I do love him -- he's one of the inspirations for my Nate's name.)

But none of the tips work when I find stuff like, say, a lifetime supply of Holy Water. 

What, doesn't everyone have a Holy Water collection? No? 

 

There's a special story behind the box on the left. A friend brought it back from the River Jordan for Nate's baptism. Clearly, it stayed.

***

The difficult thing about cleaning out his closet is that I held on to a lot of these things -- the functional items like crib pads and blanket -- just in case I ever had that mythical second child. Letting go of stuff is a physical reminder of letting go of that. But lately it's getting easier. 

 

What helps is tacking this closet with my Mom. Together we scoured consignment sales for tiny Polo shirts and board books, things that we are giving away. At times in the organization process, we enable each other's sentimentality -- "How could we let that go? It was his first _______ [insert ridiculously cute themed item]!"

 

We remember the sales and the finds, and the things we bonded over back when I was totally confused and nervous about being a mother. (See: years one through six.)

The truth is this is a one-child home and will continue to be. So it's time that I let that stuff go, because it's not serving anyone bunched up in a closet. I get that. It will all find a good home where it will be used. 

 

But the Beyonce onesie and Holy Water collection? Not giving up that.

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