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Hello New Year goodbye junk, and a game of Keep Or Toss

I spent a large chunk of yesterday alone, in our basement, sorting though bins and boxes and stacks of our stuff that have been accumulating down there since 1997. You see, our basement has served almost exclusively as storage for us (with a small corner for laundry and another for a tool area) and so it has been used (and abused) as such. The problem is, if you have too much storage space you tend to fill it. And this is precisely what we’ve been doing for over a decade.

We’re going to be renovating our home and will be moving out in the Spring, so it’s important that we get rid of as much unwanted junk as we possibly can before we start packing. I really don’t want to pay someone to haul and store our garbage.

To make my work a little more fun for myself I tweeted as I went. Pretty soon I had a little Twitter cheering section (or maybe it was more of a support group?) that helped keep me going.

Care to play a game of KEEP or TOSS with some of the items I unearthed yesterday? Tell me, what would you have done with the following:

Bridal magazines from the year we were married (circa 1998):

My wedding dress, which I haven’t looked at since August 7, 1998. My kids thought it was a hilarious when I tried it on:

My grandmother’s parasol; fabric top, wooden handle, in perfect condition:

Kiddie art. This one says: “I have seen squirrels pick their noses”:

The first gift my husband gave to me (and behind the kettle is a chocolate advent calendar. That’s where he hid my engagement ring when he proposed):

My husband’s old textbook:

My high school graduation photo:

A complete set (at least I think it is) of E.T. cards:

A cool-looking Coke can:

Champagne flutes that were an engagement gift:

What would you keep? What would you toss? I’ll tell you what I decided to do with each item in the comments below in a couple of days. 🙂

Mother of two imps and wife of one. Writer, photographer, pro blogger, adventure-seeker, Ottawaholic, social media evangelist and lover of STUFF. Also known as @missfish on Twitter.

8 Responses to “Hello New Year goodbye junk, and a game of Keep Or Toss”


Hmmm, if it were me, I’d keep the wedding dress, the champagne flutes (I don’t have any, so they would be useful), the squirrel picture, the parasol and the E.T. cards (might be valuable for a collector.) I’d toss the rest (or give to charity, as appropriate). The grad pic is a sticky one. Do you have other, smaller versions you could keep, and pass this one on to your parents?


Brenda A.

Love the RT cards! I had those as a kid, too. Keep the wedding dress and the nose-picking squirrel. 🙂


Brenda A.

Rats. The ET cards, not the RT cards. I guess Twitter was on my mind!



Well, I’m horribly unsentimental so I’d keep the parasol, the grad picture, and the ET cards because I think the kids would think they are cool. The champange flutes and kettle can stay only if they are located on the main floor and get used at least once a year. The magazines, advent calendar (I really am a meanie), coke can and textbook get recycled. The kids’ art can stay but only if the amount is limited – I have one small box for each kid and stuff I want to keep goes in there and nothing more is allowed.

As for the wedding dress…I recently got mine out too and I wonder why I’m keeping it. I think I will let the girls play dress up with it – or else I might cut it up to make something new. It’s definitely too 90s to be sold. Yours is a much more classic style than mine. I could see one of your girls wearing it as a grad dress or to a fancy party, so I’d say keep, but put it in your closet where it can maybe get out and about every now and again.


Jennifer Aikman

keep it all! keep it all! sorry, i keep everything. but you can’t toss your wedding dress! and the advent calendar?? nooooo… okay, maybe the coke can can go.



yikes – it’s not even my stuff and I’m sentimental. My keep list is longer than the throw list (oops).

I say throw – magazines, book, ET cards (sell on ebay?), coke can, champagne flutes

keep – wedding dress, parasol, art (but agree with a previous comment that you can’t keep it all), kettle (but only if it can be used in your new kitchen), advent calendar and graduation photo (unless you have others).

Good luck with your mission!



Thanks for your guesses everyone! Want to know what I did?

Bridal mags: I tossed them all except for one.
Wedding dress: I’m going to have professionally cleaned and stored.
Parasol: KEEPING.
Squirrel picture: I couldn’t bear to throw it away. But I did toss out a bunch of other drawings that weren’t as good.
Kettle: I tossed it. It was rusted on the inside and not usable. The picture and the memory will have to suffice!
Hypercard Handbook: My husband wouldn’t let me toss it. 🙂
Grad pic: I kept it. Sigh.
ET cards: I will keep them until I retire, and then put them on eBay.
Coke can: I kept it. I can’t help myself.
Champagne: I kept them, and pledged to drink more bubbly.



I’m getting more ruthless and unsentimental with age and keep very little whilst my husband is becoming more of a hoarder of the trinkets and treasures he finds. I’d say take pictures of everything on a SD card…especially kid artwork or things that have sentimental value…like the advent box.


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