At least once a year I like to go through my apartment to do a little spring cleaning. It lessens the amount of junk that's accumulated and it allows me to donate the things I may not need anymore.
I developed this habit during college. I moved in and out of dorms and apartments at the beginning and end of every year. When I moved home, I've moved in and out of my parent's house and a rented apartment.
I discovered it's a heck of a lot easier to move when you have less stuff–or at least when you lessen the amount of things you own.
I plan on finishing that spring cleaning this weekend now that a majority of school activities are winding down.
As I've gone through some of the things I'll donate, I'm also reminded of the memories behind them.
I found t-shirts from college activities that I can probably stand to part with. My Dance Marathon shirts reminded me of the hours I spent playing and standing for the kids who receive medical care from the University of Iowa's Children's Hospital.
I found coffee cups in the back of my cupboard that I had collected, or someone had collected for me, from various events. One mug I gained after taking photos for a college assignment. Another I had made when there was a Pinterest fad to doodle on coffee cups and bake the design onto the mug in the oven.
They'll make another coffee lover happy as I create room in my cupboard.
I also found a few leftover sewing projects from 4H. I had sewed a purple gym bag when I was in middle school. I remember feeling frustrated when I learned that sewing is harder than it looks. But I also remember feeling accomplished that I'd completed the simple bag.
I also found various things that I'll be sending with my boyfriend's sister and my brother as they attend college this fall.
One item, a collapsible chair, reminded me of the hours my sophomore roommate and I spent in them completing homework or eating junk food during movie nights.
When I find the items I've determined I no longer have use for, I'm surprised to realize how much I remember from the times I used them. Some of them spark the, “Oh yeah. Now I remember why I kept that.” Others simply take me down a recent memory lane.
As my spring cleaning continues this weekend, and as my donate pile continues to grow, I'm looking forward the memories they will continue to bring.