Readers, I’d like you to meet (left to right) Puddin, Lambie, and Bun-Bun. They are almost as old as I am. We have made many fond memories together.
I ran into the old gang while cleaning out boxes of memorabilia from my parents’ storage space. I’d been ruthless, culling and recycling and donating. I was on a roll.
Until I opened the last box and found those three little faces staring up at me. Their names came back immediately, along with their stories.
My birthday-twin and I (we were born a few hours apart) and childhood best friend discovered one day that we had identical stuffed koalas: that’s Puddin. Lambie was given to me so early in my life that she’s always been there. And Bun-Bun was one of several stuffed rabbits who slept in a row next to me. (I rotated the order so that each one got a turn sleeping next to me and no one felt left out.) His nose has been falling off for as long as I can remember.
My approach to decluttering thus far has been to snap a photo of each piece of memorabilia and then dispose of it in the most appropriate way. The image of the object will be more than enough to remember it by.
But for these guys? I’m keeping the real thing. These relics from childhood are cuddle-worn, so steeped in love that just holding them today makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Do I need three stuffed animals from when I was a little kid? Of course not. Am I keeping them? You bet.
It’s the rare but treasured, meaningful bits of former selves I have no qualms about keeping. A few dear objects like these can tell a more beautiful story than all the meaningless junk we acquire every day ever could.
Tell me: What sentimental objects do you give yourself full permission to keep?