This last weekend something happened that I had really lost hope would ever happen. The Husband helped me clean out the garage! Not only did he help, but it was his idea in the first place.
Because of the size of our garage and the shape of the driveway it is nearly impossible to park the van in the garage. I can easily get in at an angle but that precludes ever parking a second car in there. In October we spent most of a Saturday bringing everything over from our storage unit. But we didn't go through any of the stuff; we just stacked it haphazardly in the garage with a narrow walkway down the center. And there it sat for months. Occasionally E would see something out there and beg to bring it in the house (E doesn't forget about anything) but that was the extent of it.
Until I mentioned that I still couldn't find a book of negatives and it was keeping me from completing a reprint order for a very patient mother-of-the-groom. That spurred The Husband to action and we did find the negatives.
But we also found a lot of stuff. Box after box labeled "Japanese Things" from The Husband's mission there 14ish years ago. He has more stuff from those two years of his life than either of us has from our entire childhoods and he has a very difficult time letting go of any of it.
I, on the other hand, have been very good about letting go of meaningless pieces of my past. Painted wooden hearts from church camp, buttons from junior high, party favors from elementary school class parties -- all gone. Plaques from junior high and high school proclaiming that I took 3rd place in a math competition or was an alternate for Governor's Honor two years in a row or that I was a Master Scriptorian have found their way to the trash (after having been photographed of course) to free up space in my garage as well as my life.
The most important lesson I've learned from this weekend of purging - don't go through this stuff while the kids are around (especially E). They kept taking stuff out of the throw-away pile and begging to keep it. I think they get that from their dad.