The case for never throwing anything away.
I have too much stuff and it’s not well organised, so while searching through papers this morning I considered making a start at organizing and downsizing at least some of the clutter. Like for instance piles of travel scraps.
I have two nice photo albums from my trip to Australia and my third trip to USA that include some receipts and tickets and such in between the photos, and for at least a half dozen trips after that I’ve been saving small piles of such stuff with the intent of replicating the previous successes.
But motivation has been lacking, because it’s a lot of work, I barely ever look at them, they’re of little interest to anyone I know, and zero interest to anyone I don’t know. So I just have small piles of travel scraps that maybe it’s time to throw away.
But then I start looking through them and I pick up a receipt for two muffins and milk at Calgary Zoo. And the way the human brain works this drags up from the depth of my memory that day at the zoo. Me wondering what to have for lunch, finding a place to sit, stray memories of parts of the park and of driving there. All just because I looked at an old receipt that takes up hardly any room. So why not keep it?
Then again how important is it that I got to take this particular trip down memory lane? My day would have been pretty good without it. And I also found a receipt from an Edmonton gas station that triggered no specific memories what so ever.
In the end I think I’ll keep the cafeteria receipt and throw away the one from the gas station. I’ll keep the one from a super market in the south of France that reminds me of having breakfast in a small park / median, and throw away a pile of student association leaflets that trigger no specific memories. And I’ll put what I keep in a box clearly labeled “mementos” so I don’t have to search through it when I’m looking for something important, but will have no problem finding it when I feel like a trip down random memory lanes.