Every book on decluttering that I've read always make two points.
1. You are discarding the thing not the memory
2. Once the thing is gone you won't remember owning it
That second point is true and in all that I've gotten rid of I can only remember a handful of them. Because of that, I think the first point is a lie and it's the root of why getting rid of possessions is so very hard for me. Every time I look at something memories flood over me,
This stuff hedgehog is an example. It and a mate was to be a Christmas gift eleven years ago. This one turned out well but the other melted in the felting process and I didn't want to make a replacement. It was important to me for the gift to be a pair so I held onto this one once it had nowhere to go.
Every time I saw it I would remember the walking to the yarn store on my lunch break and buying the yarn to make it. I would remember knitting it at the park in the cold April sunshine with Joey at my side watching the nesting geese attack joggers as they ran past. The feel of the yarn, the crinkling of the pattern in its plastic sleeve, and the way I struggled making the short rows with that crazy fun fur yarn all would come flooding back as if it was something I made just this morning. I would even remember the Chicago apartment with the washer and dryer set and the pink and rainbow hedgehog that failed to come into existence.
None of those memories were bad or good but of a handful of average days. The kind of average days that a life is built out of and are so hard to remember. I didn't particularly want to keep the hedgehog but I couldn't imagine getting rid of it either, it, along with everything else I own, is my memory talisman. When Finn shredded it I had a pang and thought about repairing it before breathing deep and throwing it out.
And with that, I'm starting the process again. I just finished reading Marie Kondo new book on making a joy filled home. My Mom spent the weekend here and we went to IKEA so she could buy a chest of drawers. All of the silly cute display rooms are so inviting and fun and I want my house to be warm and inviting and filled with life and not weighted down with every single possession from the past. So I'm going to take a deep breath and start again.