The thought of throwing something away that has sentimental value kind of makes me feel sick to my stomach.
The hardcover notebook (pictured) was given to me by my first high school volleyball team in Arlington (NE) in 2000. It's not even a notebook any more. It split down the middle after being used so many years, but I still kept this front piece.
Today I took a deep breath, put it in the trash can, and hurriedly took it out to the dumpster for fear that I would be tempted to pull it back out. I'm still not completely confident that I won't dumpster dive, but I'm going to try really hard to leave it there.
Why did I keep this piece long after it was actually useful?
Simple. The sentimental value. I associated it with my first team and the memories we made that year.
And then it finally hit me (another suggestion by The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus): take a picture and preserve those memories. So, that's what I did. I look at it and I still think about that team. The memories come flooding back and I smile. You see, it's not the artifact itself but the memories I was afraid of losing if I let the physical item go.
Was the item useful to me any longer? No.
Was the item itself adding value to my life any longer? No.
Answering no to both questions made it an easier decision to finally get rid of it. Getting rid of it does not erase any of the memories, and having a picture preserves them.
As I continue to get rid of the excess (in other words, the "stuff" that no longer adds value to my life), I will take pictures of those items that I want to preserve memories.
Then it's on to the dumpster!
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.