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Moving Back Home – decluttering the past

What will you  hold on to from your past?

What will you hold on to from your past?

Laurel recently graduated from college and shares her story of refreshing the room in which she grew up.

“Where am I going to fit all this stuff?” I wondered, thinking of the eight packed suitcases that were scattered throughout my parents’ house. When I graduated from college last month, I knew that it signified the end of an era. For all of my memorable years, I had been a student, and for the previous four years, all of my trips home had been temporary.  I’d never brought home more than a couple of suitcases at a time, but suddenly the belongings I had accumulated while I was away at school needed a home in a room still full of remnants of my childhood.

I spent the first days of my last summer vacation cleaning out my bedroom. I donated boxes of clothes I hadn’t recently worn and a dollhouse I’d forgotten I owned. I recycled old papers from high school whose grades no longer carried the weight they once had. When I came across items with sentimental value, I asked myself, “Will I bring this to my first apartment?” If my answer was no, it was put aside to be donated or gotten rid of.  If I wasn’t able to part with something I discovered, I vowed to revisit it when the time came to move out on my own. I saved pictures and other memorabilia, but limited myself to a single box. After two days of purging and cleaning, there was empty space on my shelves and room in my dresser, and the unpacking finally began.

The process of moving back home after living on my own in college was made easier by the reclamation of my space. I revitalized old picture frames with recent photos, parted with stuffed animals no longer in need of my love, and made my bedroom feel like home again. Receiving my diploma was not just the commencement of my life as a college student, it was the start of a transition to a new phase. When I do move out on my own, I will be grateful to be surrounded only by things that I will be glad to have come with me. Nobody dreams of moving in with their parents after college graduation, but at the very least I won’t be living with the past 20 years of my own life as well.


What do you own that you are glad to have with you?  What about the rest?

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