Things I found while cleaning

On purging – Part II

Going through my things before leaving to travel.

Last year I started the massive project of sorting through my life. As I’m getting ready to leave for a year to travel I don’t want to leave a mess and certainly don’t want to come back to one.

I still have so much stuff at my mom’s place. Years and years worth of everything. It’s amazing too because I have almost nothing from before 1999 when our house burned down. I couldn’t even image how much I would have if not for that.

A couple of Sundays ago I spent the entire day finishing up cleaning my old room. I went through everything and reorganized boxes and threw out five garbage bags of stuff. Five!

I found some things I didn’t even remember I had! Like these pink martini glasses. Who knew?


pink martini glasses

And I found some treasures…

like a Barbie and the Rockers tape…

Barbie and the Rockers Soundtrack

and the soundtrack to Chipmunk Adventures…

Chipmunk Adventures soundtrack

and a VHS copy of an episode of Today’s Special, which is quite possibly the best TV show that was ever made ever…

Today's Special VHS Tape.

and a poster I ripped from the wall in college because it’s kind of an awesome ad…

In your hands you have the power to stop rape.

and in one folder I found an old high school ID (if you thought my hair was short now!), my Thespian card, Ghost Writer Team member card, and Babysitter’s Club fan club card!

my high school ID

International Thespian Society card.

Ghost Writer Team member card and Babysitter's Club fan club card.

And some things I debated whether or not I still need. Like this Schindler Elevator Corporation work shirt that I bought at a resale shop because it’s the elevator company in my favorite horror movie. But…my name’s not even Mike! And it’s pretty huge on me!

Schindler Elevator Corporation work shirt.

and a skateboard that I never learned to use. And when I tried once I almost impaled myself and still have horrified nightmares about.

Skateboard for sale.

I also found the print out of the wedding dress I wanted in the spring of 2000…which totally wasn’t in a binder full of wedding ideas…totally not…you know how I seem to really want a cute short wedding dress? Let’s just say my tastes have changed…

the wedding dress I wanted in 2000

I ended up making a pretty big sell pile! It’s amazing how once you get going it’s easy to purge. I even ended up re-going through things I went through last time and getting rid of things I had originally thought to keep! And yes, those are bridesmaid dresses on top. That was a hard decision but really they’ve just been sitting in my closet for years! And yes, my rollerblades are in there too. Which is kind of sad. And I feel like I’m letting my Inline Insomniacs alumni down. But I have not used them in forever and a day. And last time I tried my feet hurt like hell.

Sell pile.

But don’t start thinking I’m becoming some kind of minimalist or anything. Because my keep pile(s) are pretty big!

Keep pile

So my old room is completely done! I still have one more round though as I tackle the attic…


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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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