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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tidying Up Letters--Or Not

Daughter #2 bought Marie Kondo's book a few years ago. Using Ms. Kondo's guidelines, she cleaned her apartment by getting rid of the clutter.

Daughter #2 is on her spring break and is now using Ms. Kondo's principles to clean out her room in our house. When she moved out, she only took a few boxes of stuff with her. The rest of it stayed here. So now, she is cleaning out her high school memories, books, and papers.

Meanwhile, I read parts of Ms. Kondo's book and--inspired by my daughter--decided to tackle some of my own clutter. I had several accordion files filled with emails from way back. There were full-sized letters from our daughters, my sisters, and my parents. Back in the day, we used to print out the emails because there wasn't enough memory to keep them. At least, I think that was the reason.

Yesterday, I went through one accordion file of emails. I read many of them--or skimmed some of them. I tossed out about half of them. But it was hard. It was delightful to remember those days. Everything in those letters was history--family history--detailing a specific time when two of our daughters were in college, when my sisters were bringing up their younger children, and when my parents were still with us.

The old email letters were printed out in the time of Netscape, when we had dialup service for the Internet. Nowadays, My sisters call or text me. My daughters call or text me. My sister-in-law is the only letter writer left--though at Christmastime we receive letters from some other friends.

There are others like me who find letters too precious to pitch in the recycling bin. There are suggestions about putting them in a scrapbook, or actually making a book out of the letters. Both of those ideas are great possibilities.

It is good to get rid of clutter and I agree with Ms. Kondo about many things--but not my letters.

What would you do?

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