True Confessions of a Memory Hoarder

“Your home is a living space, not a storage space.”

I never thought of myself as a hoarder. After all, I can still walk through my house. I take the trash out regularly and rarely keep something because I might use it “someday.”

However, I’m beginning to feel differently about myself. We are moving to a smaller place and the process of packing has taught me I am a hoarder. What do I hoard? Memories.

I have saved photos, awards, and every cute drawing each of my children gave me. I saved record albums, tapes, and compact discs. I’ve saved souvenirs from every family vacation. I could go and on. Over a period of forty years I continue to move these “treasures” along with me. Somehow I have failed to realize a person always collects more memories every year. Each year the number of boxes increases. Unless I rent a storage unit, I am out of space.

And what is the point of a storage unit anyway? I can’t imagine spending a few hours visiting the unit to gaze upon my treasures. After all, most of these valuables sit untouched year after year.

I’ve come to the end of the road. The moving van will pull up in two weeks. I’m facing one of the biggest decisions of my lifetime: How to let go.

I’ve got to get back to work. Taking a break to write this post has helped me process my plan. As I examine each artifact I will question its value to my family. Anything my children might want is important. If the item doesn’t pass this test, it can be donated, recycled, or worst case scenario, trashed. I love this quote:
“Your home is living space, not storage space.”
― Francine Jay

I’m ready to live more and remember less. Are you a memory hoarder? Leave a comment and tell me how you freed yourself.


Debbie Burton is a children's author and award winning poet. Her books, "Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry Street," "Return to Blueberry Street," and "Truckload of Trouble." (Elk Lake) are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

8 thoughts on “True Confessions of a Memory Hoarder”

  1. As you know….been there, done that! I found there were a lot of “things” I could do without. There is a company that you can mail the children’s art to, and they will turn it into a book. Saves a lot of room.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always amazed by how similar our lives our. We are doing the same thing, down sizing, yes it is very very emotional for me. The simple act of just looking at all those memories is exhausting. I have kept many and purged many. I moved many that I will go through again and purge again. Some things I simply photographed and moved them on. But I kept many things and don’t regret that, I know that I’ve moved some of my most precious memories with me and that comforts me. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kara, this is an emotional process. I am thankful for all the wonderful experiences I’ve had over the years. I know I will keep the best of the best. I wish you well on your move. We are transitioning to a retirement community next year, and will live in an apartment temporarily. Thanks for staying in touch with me.


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