I used to be that way. I have a box with letters from twenty years ago, along with a few other mementos. However, I’ve become less sentimental as I’ve aged.
When I empty my pockets after going to a movie, I stop, look at the stub, hesitate for a moment, and then throw it away. I think, “There’s already enough clutter in this house!”
Save Some Items
Once we age and settle down with that one special person, sentiment can fade from our priority list. After all, we see this person every day. We talk about buying houses and funding our 401Ks. Once the gentle rush of romantic emotion changes to a deep, companionate love, many of us lose the desire to document our relationship.
When I was a teenager, I was far more hesitant to throw anything away. I still have a tithing envelope my cousin and friend used to write a, “Do you want to go out with me?” dialog during church eons ago. Even THAT was sentimental to me – maybe because I witnessed their (in total) two-hour romance. ~smile~
Clutter is a very real problem in small apartments and big homes alike. It is so easy to accumulate stuff, and it can be difficult to decipher what is important to keep and what is not so important.
Though I don’t think it’s feasible (or even healthy) to save every sentimental item that comes into your lives, I do think it’s good to save some items. But which ones?
What Items Should I Save?
This is the million dollar question. The answer will be different for each of us because we have different personalities, preferences, inside jokes, and love languages. There isn’t a specific formula for what to keep and what to discard; but, if you create and follow a system, it may be easier to decide what stays and what goes. Consider something like this:
- Buy a storage container you can easily store in your home. Whenever you have something in your possession you are not ready to toss in the trash, throw it in this container. This can be ticket stubs, notes that came with flowers, small gifts that are not functional or beautiful, or anything that has some questionable sentimental value. When you come across something you know you want to keep, put it in another safe place.
- Go through the above storage container once a year. This gives you enough time and distance from the items to gain some clarity. “Am I ever going to scrapbook all my ticket stubs? Probably not. Let’s toss these.”
- Have one more storage container where you store your truly special items. This could be a $10 plastic bin from Walmart or a wooden hope chest. Whatever you want. ~smile~ This is one, easily accessible place where you can save the cards, letters, and souvenirs that are near and dear to your heart. Every so often, open the box and pull out the memories.
Maybe you males are thinking, “What does this have to do with me?” More often than not, it’s the lady in the relationship that likes to hold on to those special memories (though not always).
Well, fellas, I think you can help your sweetie save some precious memories by making sure at least one physical reminder of your special dates goes home with her at the end of the night. You don’t need to save a McDonald’s napkin for her every time you go out for a quick dollar menu burger, but on those special Valentine/Anniversary/Just because I love you dates, buy, make, or save her one item that can remind her of that evening for years to come. And if she’s not the most organized person in the world (like me), consider buying her a special box to hold those memories.
And even though women are traditionally more sentimental, I imagine guys would also enjoy looking through a memory box occasionally.
Ladies, even if your man does not give you a specific gift or save you a souvenir of your dates, get in the habit of doing it yourself. Attach a note to each piece that documents when it was, where you went, what you did, and how you felt.
Experience It Again
When we save physical memories of special events, we get to experience them again and again! And when life gets busy and we forget what it was like to be carefree and in love, we can pull out our boxes and travel back in time for some heart-warming memories.
As life happens, we naturally forget details; but, journals, pictures, and memory boxes can remind us of special moments we would otherwise forget.
I hope you’ll consider documenting your experiences this year and for years to come!
Do you have a specific place where you keep memories of special moments?