This weekend I had my in-laws in town and one of the conversations that came up was that my Mother In Law is a self professed hoarder.  She stocks up on gifts year round and at any given point would have closets upon closets to choose from.  The unique inner workings of my in laws is not the purpose of this article although that would make for interesting reading.  

What I did plan to talk about was my own desire to save more things but don’t know when you hit the fine line that saving a few precious memories makes its way into the hoarding zone.  

I have historically been a purger or one who purges if that isn’t grammatically correct.  I love to donate things and often get rid of things that probably have a longer amount of time in my life.  

However, sometimes I just wish I had some of these things back.  I can probably think of these on a single hand.  I donated 70 pairs of shoes to the Mercer Island thrift store when I didn’t have the room when Mia was born some of those Air Max I wish I still owned.  I had a pair of Camo pants that I grabbed at a thrift store back in high school.  These went from pants to capris to shorts and now probably sit in some random person’s closet.  I sold a case of transformers for $25 which I wish I could hand off to my son so he could understand the battle of Optimus Prime and Megatron the same way I knew it…  One shall rise and one shall fall.  

Then there are some sentimental things that I’ve lost over the years.  My father was never a big letter writer but when I was in college he used to send me newspaper articles he found interesting and instead of a letter there would be a post it attached with some Dad-ism like hope all is well, sounds like your wether is good, study hard…  You know Dad-isms.  One time I remember he sent me an article about myself, I had just had the best game of my college soccer career against Auburn and he somehow came across an article about the game and my box scores.  It was accompanied by a full page note of him recounting how I didn’t make the 8th grade basketball team and how proud he was of me for not quitting.  While the two don’t seem related it all made sense to me and his recognition of these two moments still help to power me towards success today.  Through collegiate moves and everything else I lost these notes.  

Now back to current day and I find myself keeping everything.  Shoe boxes, notes my wife gives me around having a nice day, the kids first, second and third of everything they have touched plus sweaters that look more like Sesame Street and less like Wall Street.  

So where do you draw the line?  Fill the attic until you no longer can?  Rent a storage locker?  Build an add on garage that has closets built into it so you can store all your clothes and hoarded gifts for the next three Christmases (Wow, full circle on the Mother In Law story huh?). 

While I’ll never forget that note from my Dad, or stop trying to buy vintage Dinobots … I don’t know where to draw the line cleanly and maybe there isn’t a good spot.  Maybe I should just save the line with those shoeboxes incase I want to move it later.