Friday, 30 December 2016

Memo Box

I have a box called the Memo box.

It was started when I was young and tried to clear out. Things I did not want to clear out and did not want to use or even display - went into a separate box.
When full, the box got taped up and put into the attic. Then I started a new box.
It contained diaries, invitations, letters, souvenirs, calendars and other odd bits and bobs. Clearing the note board usually sent some items into the memo box.

After twenty years of this, I had three memo boxes. Large boxes. Banana boxes sized but sturdier.
I would open them at times to get something or show something to somebody.
I would dream about clearing them out. Just throwing them.
I would dream about opening them and keep just the good bits.
I would dream about donating them to the museum that would open in my name as I got old.
I would think that whoever was going to write my biography would appreciate having them.

In early 2014, when I sold my house, the boxes in the attic had been unattended to almost five years.
With the emotional support of the man, a camera to capture the memory of some items, and a very, very small new memo box, I dug through all boxes.
I kept photos, albums and school books. I saved all qualifications and newspaper clippings where I appear. I tossed the rest into large black garbage bags for incineration (keeping of course all hazardous materials, electronics or similar non-combustible items on the side for more suitable waste treatment.)
Very little was donated. I could just not bear the thought of seeing those items on the shelves of the second hand shops.
From this clear out, I have since then further culled photos, calendars and the like. The only thing I accidental tossed where my student day medals (I do not think I can explain what they are without complete loss if international dignity - unless you already know. Not that I necessarily need them, but they are such a crazy memory of a life I used to live, and would not have taken up much space, that I think I would have wanted to keep them. But then, considering how embarrassing they are, I might have tossed them anyway by now.)

I still have a Memo box though. I keep items in it that I don't want to through out. For example old address books and calendars, letters and post cards from friends, physical photos I am given and other little items that means something at the time.
It is the size of a shoe box.
I cull it occasionally.
And I will never ever fill it and tape it up and put it in the attic (as I now have none and instead will keep my memories in my head).


  1. Funny you should post about this, because we are facing a similar problem. About 10 boxes and plastic storage containers of STUFF, that we packed when we left Christchurch in 2008, and since then ave never really been unpacked. Once we are settled into the new shop we have an agreement to cull them down to one at the most. The trouble was, we had space for them in the old shop, so we never bothered. A lot of space can be a curse not a blessing!

    1. Stuff from 2008 - who can resist the temptation to go through that?! Woohoo! Good agreement through! Perhaps they could be used as prizes in a friendly raffle among the friends? (It is much-much easier to go through other peoples stuff!).